The fatal fall of Aajonus Vonderplanitz, photos and context from a dark moment in the struggle for food freedom

July 24, 2021

Controversial figure, no doubt, nevertheless the name of Aajonus Vonderplanitz has lived beyond his death.

Alongside advocating for his raw food diet, The Primal Diet outlined in his talks and books, and helping desperate refugees of the medical industrial complex regain their strength, he was an active supporter of food freedom. He was early and prominent in the push for making raw milk accessible under unjust legal circumstances.

On August 28th, 2013, shoddy railing on the second story balcony of his home in Thailand gave way and he fell to the ground below. He was transported to a hospital where he later succumbed to his injuries.

Photos from the scene:

These photos were originally posted on Vernon Hershberger’s website at vernonhershberger.com/aajonus.html

Vernon’s ownership of the domain has since expired and is now a Thai blog, not sure what’s going on there. However, using the Wayback Machine, I’ve been able to retrieve the photos here:

https://web.archive.org/web/20141205050127/http://www.vernonhershberger.com:80/aajonus.html

From the page:

Aajonus Vonderplanitz died in a rural area of Thailand where he had a home, about three-and-a-half hours from Bangkok. Vonderplanitz was seriously injured a few days earlier when he stepped out onto a second-story balcony on the house, and a railing collapsed. Vonderplanitz broke his back, and was taken to a local hospital where he was placed in traction. He was in such intense pain that he accepted pain-killing medication, and shortly after, went into a coma and died.

{above photos originally positioned here}

I received this in an email from a friend:
Dear Friends,
It is true that our Founder and friend, mentor and advisor, Aajonus Vonderplanitz, has passed away.

This is the story as we know it, from Aajonus’ girlfriend in Thailand, as the final events unfolded the morning of his passing.
At the end of the week last week, Aajonus was with his girlfriend, in Thailand on a balcony on his house. He was cleaning a wound to his hand, and went to the railing to throw the rest down of the washing fluid to the ground. She turned away to do something, and heard a crashing noise. The railing was broken, at least in that spot, and she heard moaning. She rushed to the ground below, and found him there.

He broke his back quite severely, next to the first rib, and could not move his legs. He took charge of the care of his body, even in the hospital, where he had them wrap his torso to stabilize the bones. He did have one x-ray, and then would not let them do more. The doctors wanted to operate, and he refused. He had them wrap him and feed him his food, and continued so for two days. He was apparently in good spirits, but did experience what must have been severe pain, for he did let them give him at least two pain shots. This might have been necessary for him to stay awake and in control, as the body can shut down from pain. There was blood in his stomach at some point, for he did regurgitate some food with blood in it.

On the third day of his hospital stay, he sent his girlfriend to a court proceeding in Bangkok, about 3.5 hrs away, about the land there in Thailand, over her protests. He insisted she go. While she was gone, he went into a coma, and they put an IV in him. When she returned he was “very bad”. At this point she emailed our Thai member, who called a few of us. The doctors say he had a kidney infection and blood infection. They continued to feed him butter and honey, as instructed, and followed his wishes as possible. They gave him oxygen as his breathing decreased, and he steadily lost blood pressure. They told us his kidneys had stopped functioning, were not producing urine. They wanted to do something, but no one had any authority to override his stated wishes. When his heart failed, they pumped his heart and tried to resuscitate him for a half hour. Our Thai member was on the phone with Aajonus’ girlfriend and could hear the flatline beep of the heart monitor. She called me and when we called back, they had stopped resuscitation efforts at 2 am August 28th Thai time, Noon on August 27th Los Angeles time.

We are all in shock, and find it hard to believe he is gone from us. He has survived so many severe injuries it is hard to believe he didn’t survive this one. He was not worried about surviving this, and took no special precautions for his safety. We have a couple of members going back to Thailand soon to help the authorities and to get a first-hand look.

The US Embassy in Bangkok, Thailand is on the job, in touch with his family members, next of kin, and handling his affairs there. Those of us with close ties to Aajonus have been in contact with each other and his family.

We want to have our regular gatherings on Saturday and Sunday, but also many of us would like to gather on this Sunday afternoon, September 1st, for a potluck, to be together and support each other, share stories. We will have a more formal ceremony/memorial later, perhaps next weekend, after we know what is happening with the family.

We at Ra Healthy Foods will continue to provide support and sustenance for us all. We will continue to support each other as a club and group in our pursuit of health.

I love you all, and am so glad you are all part of my family, my group. I look forward to seeing you this weekend, during the pickup times, and during the potluck gathering to share our strength and love for each other.

Sincerely,
The Folks at RA

Listen to the memorial service held for Aajonus on Super Human Radio Network

Show notes:

Aajonus Vonderplanitz was an enigmatic figure who changed the nutritional landscape forever. He pioneered the popularity of his Primal Diet that espoused eating only raw meats, eggs, honey, milk and the like. Many were shocked at his assertions that eating raw chicken was not only safe but could reverse disease.

Vonderplanitz passed away on August 28th, 2013. Both Roach and Ellingson knew him on a more personal basis. We discuss his life, the mysteries surrounding his death and who will carry the torch now that he’s gone.

Link: Super Human Radio #1269 (September 10th, 2013)

Obituary by David Gumpert

In Death As In Life, Controversy Follows Aajonus Vonderplanitz

Link to David Gumpert’s website

Comments by Mark McAfee of Organic Pastures

It is with shock and sadness that I hear of his untimely death. Although I did not agree with all of what Aajonus did …no one can say that he was not an original. I thank him for investing at OPDC as one of our earliest investors and I thank my Karmal soul that he was thanked and repaid in full many years ago.

Rest well….and thank you again for standing up for raw milk in CA in 1999-2000 so that now…all people have access to raw milk in CA for the years to come. You may have consulted with coyotes…but you surely did not deserve to die after falling off a railing in Thailand. Life is delicate and precious…



He had guts…that is for sure. I remember when he showed up at the Senator Dean Florez 2008 Raw Milk SB 201 hearings in Sacramento and walked right up to the “PhD experts panel testimony table” and made himself right at home. No invitation, no permission no nothing! He just did it. That was ballsy Aajonus. Senator Dean Florez had been told plenty of stories of Aajonus and the good senator did not call on the capital security to have him removed and as uncomfortable as it was initially…Aajonus fit right in and after some time actually held his own and did quite well.



One more story for the ages….my first time that I met Aajonus, James Stewart brought him to the farm in 2002. Aajonus had brought $20,000 dollars in cash with him so we could invest and help buy our first bottle filler capper machine. James introduced Aajonus to my wife Blaine and we all chit chatted for a few minutes. As I spoke with James privately….lo and behold,….Aajonus went over to Blaine and began to stuff $20,000 of $100 dollar bills down the front of her blouse….Blaine, the great sport that she is, went with it and was both shocked, confused and blushing. She had no idea what had just happened. That was Aajonus. Completely unpredictable in almost every way. Blaine shared with me later….saying, “did I look that much like a stripper??? ” We both laughted. What else could we do but laugh it off. Very different kind of guy. No boundaries and few social limits.

Assassination speculation

Aajonus Vonderplanitz was a thorn in the side of gov and megacorp, with his advocacy ultimately leading to localism, which is contrary to the plans of big business and their puppets in office.

Two alarming episodes preceded his death, leading to speculation that he was killed:

  1. He claimed to have been assaulted and injected with an unknown substance in a hotel room he was staying at on the road. This led to a period of deteriorated health and lack of use in his arm, which was noticed and remarked upon by his friends and students.
  2. Very close to the date of his fall, him and his girlfriend were driving one night when his vehicle malfunctioned and swerved off the road into a body of water. He claimed there was evidence of sabotage after inspecting the vehicle.

We’ll never know exactly what happened, but the suspicion is understandable.

AV’s friend and compatriot, Larry Otting, who went to help settle his affairs after his death, is convinced the fall was a genuine accident.

Carrying on his legacy

Jim Ellingson continues to host WeWant2Live.com, the original source of Aajonus Vonderplanitz content

There are also some articles, topics, and transcribed Q&A sessions hosted on aajonus.online

Aajonus Vonderplanitz and his mother Doris

Friendly reminder that you don’t have all the time in the world. Get out there and do something.





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