Company Offers the Chance to Be Buried Alive for $58,000 As Part of a Therapy That Helps You To Renew a "Desire to Live"
Two packages available; one comes with coffin.
In the world of psychology, facing your fears—sometimes known as exposure therapy—is key to eliminating certain anxieties and phobias. But a Russian company is apparently taking things to the next level: Underground. Various news outlets are reporting that for $58,000, the company will stage a fake funeral and bury you alive to alleviate the fear of death.
Company founder Yakaterina Preobrazhenskaya introduced the new venture on Instagram last week. "There is a possibility that after this procedure [the client] will discover new talents, psychic abilities or see success in business," she told the Govorit Moskva radio station. On Instagram, the entrepreneur described the service as a "true symbol of fighting for yourself and your own happy future." Read on to find out more about what that service entails, and why it's actually nothing new.
Preobrazhenskaya, a self-described business coach, told Moskvich Magazine that two packages are available: An "online funeral" and a "full immersion" ceremony. The first option, which costs about $15,635, is touted as "stress therapy for fears and anxieties," intended to "close chapters" in a person's life so they can experience "divine healing" and "rising from the ashes."
The "full immersion" package includes a complete funeral ceremony, subject to religious preferences. For just $58,000, the customer is placed in a coffin and buried for up to 60 minutes, followed by a "mandatory revival with an all-around revived awareness of their mission."
The company promises customers will emerge from the coffin with a renewed "desire to live." The burial vessel is apparently yours to keep as a souvenir. "This procedure will allow you to evaluate your life and love it, understand your mission and unlock your potential," Preobrazhenskaya told the radio station.
As for the safety of the "full immersion" thing, "We do not intend to expose our clients to undue risk," Preobrazhenskaya said on Instagram. She claimed scientists had determined that a buried coffin would contain five-and-half hours of breathable air.
"We can offer people different options. They will choose what they want," the start-up founder said. "We can even stage a testament so that they can let go of past traumatic experiences and create a new, cool, interesting life."
As crazy as it may sound, Preobrazhenskaya is not a pioneer in this arena. Before the pandemic, fake funerals conducted for the living had become a serious business in South Korea, Reuters reported. In 2019, more than 25,000 people had participated in group "living funeral" services at Hyowon Healing Center, aiming to improve their lives by simulating death.
During a typical event, participants wore shrouds, took funeral portraits, wrote wills, and lay in a closed coffin for around 10 minutes. "Once you become conscious of death, and experience it, you undertake a new approach to life," said 75-year-old Cho Jae-hee, who participated in a living funeral as part of a "dying well" program offered by a senior welfare center.
The living funerals attract all age groups, from students to retirees, Reuters reported. Hyowon, a funeral company, began offering living funerals to help people appreciate their lives and reconcile with family and friends, said company head Jeong Yong-mun. "We don't have forever," he said.
"That's why I think this experience is so important—we can apologize and reconcile sooner and live the rest of our lives happily." He told the news outlet that the process has saved some people from suicide.