A US family selling bleach disguised as a “miracle” remedy for a wide range of medical afflictions has been busted in Florida.
A federal grand jury in Miami returned an indictment charging 62-year-old Mark Grenon and his three sons Jonathan Grenon, 34, Jordan Grenon, 26, and Joseph Grenon, 32 with fraud after their extensive operation allowed the dodgy cure to land in the hands of thousands of vulnerable people searching for remedies.
The indictment found the family manufactured a product called the “Miracle Mineral Solution”, which was revealed to be a chemical solution containing sodium chlorite and water. If ingested orally, the solution becomes chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleach “typically used for industrial water treatment or bleaching textiles, pulp, and paper”.
The family allegedly used the current hysteria over COVID-19 as a springboard for their business, claiming the toxic product could “treat, prevent, and cure” the virus.
The US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) had not approved MMS for treatment of COVID-19, rather sending out a public health warning against taking the misleading remedy, which can cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea, and life-threatening low blood pressure.
The indictment alleged the family sold their bleach solution under the guise of Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, which claims the product was first invented in 1996 by a man named Jim Humble as a cure for malaria.
The Genesis II Church — which family senior and defendant Mark Grenon claims “has nothing to do with religion” — has been accused as being a front for the family to traverse loopholes in the legal system to distribute their product.
The church claims over 20 million people have taken the Miracle Mineral Solution, providing a long list of supposed testimonials from people suffering everything between abscesses, scabies and gangrene.
“MMS has proven to restore partial or full health to hundreds of thousands of people suffering from a wide range of diseases. MMS is a weak oxidiser that when used properly can run through the human body destroying disease pathogens and the poisons that they create, while doing no harm to the body,” the church’s website said.
Twenty-three testimonials on the church’s website claim MMS was an effective treatment against their case of coronavirus, while a further 42 posts claim the solution was an effective remedy for autism.
“Please do not pay attention to this video most of (sic) This YouTubers are been paying by big pharmaceutical industries to lie about Clorine dioxide calling this wonderful mineral a bleach,” read a testimonial posted by an account named Claudia Holistic Healing in November 2020.
“I wan (sic) to share my testimony bout (sic) how this mineral heal (sic) my mom from diabetes and myself from COVID-19.”
David Gorski of Science-Based Medicine said the fact the bleach solution had conned so many buyers was “quackery”.
“There are some forms of quackery that I’ve never been able to understand, quackery that is so bizarre, so without a reasonable scientific rationale, and so potentially harmful that it boggles my mind that anyone would ever think it is a good idea,” he said.
“Feeding autistic children bleach or, even worse, subjecting them to bleach enemas, is horrifying—and, yes, this is really a thing.”
But the circus surrounding the Grenon family doesn’t stop there. The United States previously filed a civil case against the defendants and the Genesis II Church for criminal contempt, following a dispute over the distribution of MMS in 2020.
The Grenon family allegedly threatened the federal judge presiding over the case and warned they would “pick up guns” should the government continue to get in the way of their remedy hustle.
Officers carrying out a warrant for Jonathan Grenon’s home found “dozens of blue chemical drums containing nearly 10,000 pounds of sodium chlorite powder” and thousands of bottles of MMS ready for distribution, federal prosecutors told a Miami court.
Strewn among the clandestine operation were multiple loaded firearms, including a pump-action shotgun concealed in a violin case.
Each of the Grenons has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit fraud and two counts of criminal contempt. They face life imprisonment if found guilty.
Jordan and Jonathan have been detained since the arrest, but officers are still on the hunt for Mark and his middle son Joseph, who are now believed to have left the country for Columbia.