Jillian "Mai Thi" Epperly believes she has the formula that cures most ills, including cancer, in the form of fermented cabbage juice called "Jilly Juice" that forces the body to expel "waterfalls' of diarrhea.
But after a man diagnosed with cancer stumbled upon her Facebook page, "Exposing the Lies Candida: Weaponized Fungus Mainstreaming Mutancy" that promoted her purgative potion, he swore by the elixir's purported powers and adopted the strict juice diet regimen.
Sadly, following her baseless protocol didn't save his life.
Now, Epperly and Facebook are under scrutiny for their roles in spreading hack remedies.
In a BuzzFeed report, Epperly explained how she's able to present unsupported theories on social media and compared her method to religious conversion.
We're using a different context in my world, and the manifestations from the salt and the accessing of the nutrients is gonna give you a different context of what the symptoms are. So essentially what it is, is we're trying to turn an atheist into a Christian.
@aetiology @BuzzFeedNews On the same page of the website. I find it very hard to put any blame on the people who p… https://t.co/fUxZ7jAvKq— lil mitro vert 🏴🇮🇷 (@lil mitro vert 🏴🇮🇷)1521369921.0
Epperly explained in her Facebook group that candida attracts parasites, and the only way to eliminate them from the body is through a strict liquid diet primarily consisting of her fermented cabbage concoction. The juice causes repeated cycles of explosive diarrhea she refers to as "waterfalling," which gets rid of the parasites.
Bruce Wilmot was a huge proponent of the Jilly Juice and was convinced by its healing powers after he discovered Epperly's page. He chronicled his regimen on Facebook.
I've been juicing like crazy, Cancer bad juice good. Ime [sic] brewing up some of Jillian Mai Thi's protocol and plan on switching completely over to her diet, ferment etc. as soon as that is ready.
His friends helped make batches of the alleged liquid lifeline by following the provided recipe online: Add a tablespoon of Himalayan salt, two cups of water, and two cups of cabbage or kale. Puree in a blender, and store at room temperature in sealed bottles for three days to allow for fermentation.
His dedication backfired.
Wilmot's daughter found him emaciated weeks later as a result of starvation and dehydration. He was eventually found unconscious in his apartment and died a month after being diagnosed and starting his Jilly Juice diet.
Wilmot's friend, Rabbi Hawkins, told BuzzFeed his thoughts on Epperly's concoction.
If someone had bottled up rat poison and told him, 'It will heal you,' he would have drunk it. That's how desperate the man was.
Epperly believes the pharmaceutical industry is a scam, and she was introduced to the anti-vaxx and chemtrail communities to treat her premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD).
If you're not familiar with "Jilly juice" & similar health scams spread through FB and other social media, check ou… https://t.co/DMvBsiyiEy— Dr. Tara C. Smith (@Dr. Tara C. Smith)1521303553.0
After doing some research on fermentation, Epperly discovered that candida and other fungi were common catalysts for various diseases.
In October 2016, she created the kale and cabbage version of the Jilly Juice and established the Facebook group featuring video demonstrations after encouragement from fans.
She talked about parasites with BuzzFeed.
I wasn't aware of parasites in the beginning. The group actually was a research tool, a database tool, to share what they were passing. And I'm like, Oh my god. That's coming out of you in waterfalls?
We are in a poop cult. You know why? Because we're realizing that poop is one of the main things that is feeding the candida and the worms and the parasites.
@paldhous So is she full of shit, or no more?— Eric Samuel (@Eric Samuel)1521376107.0
However, others were incensed over Epperly's juice becoming a phenomenon, with parents feeding their children the fermented cabbage juice under the assumption that it's proven to promote health.
@BuzzFeedNews If you've never seen what happens to somebody whose potassium is in the toilet, so to speak, well I h… https://t.co/99uAsGCerE— I ♥️dogs♿ (@I ♥️dogs♿)1521334936.0
Epperly also told BuzzFeed that infants can benefit from Jilly Juice in addition to breast milk.
A baby could potentially live on this along with coconut oil and be fine, and would be able to flourish and grow because they're getting access to nutrients.
@BuzzFeedNews Apparently her 💩 juice doesn’t cure psychiatric disorders. SHE’S GOOFY 🙃 AS HELL!!— Wallas Weeks (@Wallas Weeks)1521345759.0
As for Wilmot's death, Epperly blamed him for not strictly adhering to the diet.
He stopped. I told him, cut back a little bit if the symptoms get too much — but he really shouldn't have. He really should have kept going.
@BuzzFeedNews I am a person that suffers from IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) Which is everything from vomiting, gas… https://t.co/0e3l7YEftM— 🕉🔮Willow🔮🕉 (@🕉🔮Willow🔮🕉)1521364974.0
Soon a resistance to Epperly's protocol emerged in the form of antil-Epperly groups that were determined to shut down her unfounded claims. Even online petition groups rallied to ban Epperly from social media.
Andrew Stewart wrote a letter to the Ohio Attorney General's Office requesting to incriminate Epperly for endangering other people's lives.
I would like to ask that the office of the Ohio Attorney General without delay investigate this matter and use every legal option to make this woman stop, and furthermore consider criminal charges. She is an inherent threat to the safety of others and what she is doing is neither legal nor by any standard morally sound at all.
Never thought I’d text my friends to read about a cabbage juice pooping death cult but here we are, this is fascina… https://t.co/oIQwOcAYeo— Max Falkowitz (@Max Falkowitz)1521296910.0
Don't go chasing waterfalls... https://t.co/KwmhwESyfh— Klil H. Neori (@Klil H. Neori)1521337695.0
BuzzFeed conducted a telephone interview with Epperly that was published on March 7, 2018, as featured in the video below.