Omâéa centre opens
The Omâéa centre in Primrose Hill opened on this day in 1998. As a cutting-edge offshoot of the fashionable Aréjiâ temple, it soon attracted high-profile devotees such as eco-entrepreneur Francesca Katz and PR guru Vicky Ross. Local resident Sadie Frost was mistakenly linked with the Omâéa sect after she was snapped by paparazzi while walking her pet iguana in the street outside the centre.
The following year the sect was criticised in an open letter signed by 19 eminent doctors. They warned that its meditation technique – which involved breathing through one lung while resting and ‘detoxing’ the other – was potentially dangerous.