Sun, Apr 21, 2019 - Page 5 News List

‘Church’ offers bleach ‘miracle cure’ despite warnings

The Guardian, NEW YORK

A group calling itself Genesis II Church of Health and Healing yesterday planned to convene at a hotel resort in Washington state to promote a “miracle cure,” which they claim heals 95 percent of the world’s diseases by making adults and children, including infants, drink industrial bleach.

The group invited the public to attend what they called their “effective alternative healing” at the Icicle Village Resort in Leavenworth.

Event organizer Tom Merry publicized the event on Facebook, telling people that learning how to consume the bleach “could save your life, or the life of a loved one sent home to die.”

The “church” asked event participants to “donate” US$450 each, or US$800 per couple, in exchange for receiving membership to the organization and packages of the bleach, which they call a “sacrament.”

The chemical is referred to as MMS, or “miracle mineral solution,” and participants were promised that they would acquire “the knowledge to help heal many people of this world’s terrible diseases.”

MMS actually consists of chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleach that is used both on textiles and in the industrial treatment of water. It has been banned in several countries for use as a medical treatment.

In the US, the chemical cannot be sold for human consumption.

The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2010 put out a public warning after it was notified of many injuries to consumers from drinking the fluid, with symptoms that included nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, severe dehydration and a life-threatening reaction on the part of one person.

The FDA issued blunt advice: “Consumers who have MMS should stop using it immediately and throw it away.”

An FDA spokesman said that the agency could not comment on possible civil or criminal law enforcement actions, but added: “The FDA continues to advise consumers about the dangers of miracle mineral solution and the agency has issued warnings to consumers over the past decade.”

Fiona O’Leary, a campaigner against pseudoscience whose work helped to get MMS banned in Ireland in 2016, said that she was horrified that the Genesis II Church, which she called a “bleach cult,” was hosting a public event in Washington.

“This event is endangering people’s lives, especially children. We must protect vulnerable people from this dangerous quackery,” she said.

This is not the first time that Washington has grappled with a group touting MMS.

In 2015, Louis Smith from Spokane was convicted in the Eastern District of Washington for selling misbranded drugs and defrauding the US. He had sold MMS through a Web site called Project GreenLife, having obtained sodium chlorite fraudulently by creating a phony “water purification” business.

He was sentenced to four years in prison.

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