Yes, you read that right.
Jewel Shuping has a condition known as Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID). People with this condition believe they are supposed to be disabled despite being healthy, able-bodied adults. In Jewel’s case, her desire was to be blind.
As a child, Jewel would stare into the sun for hours in hopes of damaging her eyesight, and preferred walking around in the dark in order to simulate blindness. During her teens, Jewel began using a cane, and even learned Braille.
Once she became an adult, the idea of living as a blind person consumed her. In 2006, Jewel says she met with a psychologist who agreed to blind her by pouring drain cleaner into her eyes.
“It hurt, let me tell you. My eyes were screaming and I had some drain cleaner going down my cheek burning my skin,” Shuping says. “All I could think was, ‘I am going blind, it is going to be okay.’ ”
Jewel claims there are others like her who are willing to take drastic measures to become disabled. “People with BIID get trains to run over their legs, freeze dry their legs, or fall off cliffs to try to paralyze themselves. It’s very dangerous. And they need professional help,” she explained.
Not surprisingly, Shuping has faced harsh criticism from those within the blind community. She acknowledges their frustrations with her condition, but says, “The way I became disabled doesn’t really matter….I went blind on purpose, but I don’t feel it was a choice.”
Jewel was featured on during a six-minute segment for Bancroft TV on September 30th.
If you think it’s crazy that a trained medical professional would knowingly and willingly blind a consenting adult, you’re not alone. After this story began circulating last week, many viewers began questioning Jewel’s claims. A quick search on Snopes indicates there is more to the story than meets the eye (ha, get it?).
In April, Jewel was featured on a North Carolina news station for her fundraising efforts to help blind Indonesians. That story presented several inconsistencies. Not only does Jewel go by a completely different name in the news story, she also claims her blindness was a result of a freak accident, rather than an intentional plan. Click here to check out the video.
Whether she’s twisting the truth about an accidental blinding or lying about an intentional loss of vision, there’s no doubt this story is fishy!
What are your thoughts?