Charles: It began with Rheo’s frequent guest appearances on ABC Television’s A.M. Los Angeles with Regis Philbin in the late 1970’s. His segments dealt with a variety of topics, healthy recipes which he demonstrated in the studio kitchen, exercises – he jumped on his mini trampoline once, etc. His most popular appearances were when he brought before and after photos of his students – blown up very large and mounted on foam board -- whose bodies and health had been dramatically – and I mean dramatically -- transformed under Blair’s guidance. These were remarkable, eye popping photographs of people, mostly young men, showing how they looked before Blair’s program and again a few weeks later after working with Blair. The photos and the stories of health transformation that went with them really got my mother’s attention whenever she saw Rheo on the show. You see I had been a sickly child and my parents did not know where to turn for help; they had tried several approaches. Finally, having seen many of his cases on Philbin’s show, my parents contacted Rheo and set up an appointment to speak with him at his home (seen in the photo at the top of this post). I vividly recall that day, seeing all the before and afters and realizing
that here was a program that could give me the health and vitality that had eluded me for so long. Rheo saw my interest and enthusiasm and immediately accepted me as a client – which was a stroke of great luck for me since he had a lengthy waiting list at any given time. I moved in with him two weeks later and stayed for several months during which time I was under his 24 hour care and tutelage. Each day I consumed several hundred grams of protein, supplements in the form of 500 capsules and pills – and again, this is each day. In addition I underwent three hours of blood circulation enhancing physical therapy treatments Monday through Friday, did a few minutes of light exercise and slept 12 to 16 hours a day. That, in a nutshell, was the Blair program that transformed my health and made me one of his before and afters.
The journey of healing during the transformation was, for the most part, very pleasant. Rheo and I got along well; indeed he was easy to get along with! Rheo was a people lover and people loved him. He was such a fascinating person; unlike anyone else I have ever met. He treated me very well and was generous with his time and attention. And there was always something interesting going on at his home. I can't tell you how many Hollywood celebrities I met during my time there. It was a thrilling experience in so many ways.
Ben: What was Rheo H. Blair’s real name? Why did he change it?
Charles: His given name was Irvin P. Johnson. In considering why he changed his name it is important to understand that Rheo was very open-minded and inquisitive. He was always looking for new ways to grow and improve as a person. He often explored ideas that were outside the mainstream including two of his favorites, astrology and numerology. The latter is where the name change came from, a friend having recommended a numerologist. This numerologist taught a detailed philosophy in the form of a self study program wherein he functioned as a teacher or even “guru”, mentoring the student throughout the process. Once the student successfully completed the course the guru gave him his “true” name based upon the numerological properties of the student’s birth date. Having, using and completely accepting this name as one’s real name would, according to this philosophy, make him a stronger (in every sense of the word) person and a more successful person. Rheo became so completely enamored of this philosophy, passionate even, that he talked about it frequently and with such conviction as though he had discovered the very meaning of life. His passion was obviously convincing and compelling because several of his close associates subsequently went through the same process of obtaining their “true names.” So I got to know a number of people – five that I can think of off the top of my head -- with these odd sounding names. As if the atmosphere at Rheo’s home wasn’t already interesting enough, this made it all the more so. I should add that he disowned his given name as not being the real him, as being irrelevant and entirely random whereas his “real name” was based upon what he viewed as scientific and spiritual truth and therefore legitimate in his eyes.
To be continued...
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Copyright © 2009 Charles Welling
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Information found on Rheo H. Blair: The Book is meant for educational and informational purposes only, and to motivate you to make your own health care and dietary decisions based upon your own research and in partnership with your health care provider. It should not be relied upon to determine dietary changes, a medical diagnosis or courses of treatment.