Last week, I noted that I’m back after a nearly three week hiatus for a little cervical spine surgery. This week, I’m forced to note that something else is back. No, that’s not correct. It actually never went away, but it’s making the news again. I decided to write about it again (1) because it’s been a long time since it’s been covered on SBM and (2) it’s a good example of how many forms of quackery, no matter how ridiculous, never go away regardless of negative news coverage, evidence, or even prosecution. I’m referring to the so-called “Miracle Mineral Supplement” (MMS, often also called Miracle Mineral Solution), or, as we like to call it here at SBM, a form of industrial bleach. Thanks to a man named Jim Humble and his Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, bleach is sold as a treatment and cure for autism and a number of other diseases, including HIV/AIDS. It’s a treatment that the FDA has issued warnings about, starting in 2010, and for which one of the most notorious sellers of MMS, Louis Daniel Smith, was convicted of conspiracy, smuggling, selling misbranded drugs, and defrauding the United States.
Let’s back up a bit. 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. MMS is just such a treatment, and I first took note of it nearly nine years ago. Mind bogglingly, MMS is a form of bleach. Specifically, it is, in essence, industrial strength bleach, 28% sodium chlorite in distilled water. It is frequently diluted in acidic juices, such as orange juice, resulting in the formation of chlorine dioxide, which is, as the FDA characterized it, “a potent bleach used for stripping textiles and industrial water treatment”. According to its proponents, MMS can cure almost anything: cancer, AIDS, and just about any other serious disease you can imagine. Never mind that there is no biological plausibility and no evidence, either preclinical or clinical, that MMS can do what its proponents claim it can do. True, bleach can kill bacteria or cancer cells in a dish at a high enough concentration, but that doesn’t mean it’s a useful antibiotic or chemotherapeutic agent. Feeding autistic children bleach or, even worse, subjecting them to bleach enemas, is horrifying—and, yes, this is really a thing. There are quacks out there, in particular Kerri Rivera, who advocates diluting MMS and giving it to autistic children, both orally and in the form of an enema, to treat their autism. Before she agreed to sign an assurance of voluntary compliance under which she was barred in Illinois from selling MMS or similar substances to Illinois residents and presenting at future Illinois conferences concerning the use of such substances to treat autism, Rivera was a regular fixture at the Autism One quackfest in Chicago for multiple years. She is, however, still selling MMS in Mexico.
So imagine my distress when I saw a post by Hemanta Mehta and a story in The Guardian on Friday informing me of this:
A group calling itself Genesis II Church of Health and Healing plans to convene at a hotel resort in Washington state on Saturday to promote a “miracle cure” that claims to cure 95% of all diseases in the world by making adults and children, including infants, drink industrial bleach.
The group is inviting members of the public through Facebook to attend what they call their “effective alternative healing” at the Icicle Village Resort in Leavenworth on Saturday morning. The organizer of the event, Tom Merry, has publicized the event on his personal Facebook page by 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” is asking attendants of the meeting to “donate” $450 each, or $800 per couple, in exchange for receiving membership to the organization as well as packages of the bleach, which they call “sacraments”. The chemical is referred to as MMS, or “miracle mineral solution or supplement”, and participants are promised they will acquire “the knowledge to help heal many people of this world’s terrible diseases”.
Since Saturday was two days ago, I looked around for any reports of what happened. I found a brief announcement of the event, which took place in Leavenworth, WA, on the Genesis II website, but not a lot else. I also note that the event page in Facebook linked to above is no longer there. In addition, there’s apparently another seminar scheduled for August 17 in Eden, NY. On the church’s official Facebook page, however, it’s not difficult to find ads for something called the G2 Sacramental Kit:
As an aside, if you peruse the Genesis II official Facebook page, you’ll find all manner of quackery, including functional medicine, antivaccine tirades, anti-GMO pseudoscience, anti-fluoridation fear mongering, and, of course, an ad for a “documentary” lauding the church as having found in MMS the cure to 97% of disease:
And here’s the trailer:
In the trailer, a man claims that a small band (the “church”) has found the cure for “pretty much every disease” that afflicts humans but that is—of course!—being suppressed. There’s a clip of Jim Humble calling diabetes, hypercholesterolemia, and diabetes “fake” and “made up” diseases.
Unfortunately, this “church” is using religion to disguise its quackery as a “sacrament”. On the website, the link to Genesis II founder Jim Humble’s book of MMS protocols is described as “Health Sacramental MMS Protocols,” and MMS providers are described under lists entitled First G2 Sacrament Provider and All G2 Sacrament Providers. Under the latter link, there are listed “sacrament providers” all over the world, including in Africa, Europe, South America, the Philippines, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and the US. Particularly odd is Genesis2Church Chapter 321 in Arizona:
Genesis2Church Chapter #321
Email: [email protected]
Sacraments: MMS, HCL 4%, CA 50%, CDS, MMS2, DMSO, Calcium bentonite clay,
Diatomaceous earth, Sodium chlorite flakes, Test strips, Plastic bottles, Empty Capsules
If you go to the link, you’ll see MMS/CDS described as “CDC water purification drops”, which is amusing because that’s what CDS is actually used for in industry. If you follow a link to one of the MMS providers, Atlantis Healing Center, you’ll find the uproarious line, “MMS Sacraments Are Now Available in Discount Bulk Packs”.
Every few years, it’s worth explaining what MMS is and why it’s still sold; and this resurrection of the topic in international news presents the perfect opportunity, particularly since I didn’t bite (at least not here) last year when a father in Indianapolis accused his wife of giving their child MMS.
MMS: Bleaching away disease?
Because I’m most familiar with her and her quackery, I’ll discuss it mainly (but not exclusively) in the context of Kerri Rivera’s protocols. To the best of my knowledge, advocacy for using MMS, either orally or by enema or both, first bubbled up from the underground autism “biomed” quackery movement around 2010 or so. However, it was at the 2012 edition of the yearly Chicago antivaccine autism quackfest known as Autism One, Kerri Rivera gave a talk touting how she supposedly “recovered” 38 autistic children in 20 months. At the time, Rivera was running a clinic in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico that she called AutismO2 Clinica Hyperbarica. Unsurprisingly, the website is no longer there. Fortunately, the almighty Wayback Machine at Archive.org provides the now defunct material we’re interested in under “Protocolos”. Conveniently, it provides versions of the protocols in both English and Spanish.
It’s been a long time since I discussed this, so I thought I’d go over Rivera’s protocols as shown in her archived slides. Much of them parrot the same sort of nonsense that antivaxers like to parrot, for instance, a model in which “toxins”, diet, genetics, and antibiotics “load the gun.” There’s also a bit about “biofilms there” too. There’s a mention of chelation therapy. Amusingly (and horrifyingly), near the beginning, there’s this:
- The most powerful killer of pathogens known to man. It has been used in stockyards to kill pathogens on meat, and on slaughtered chickens; it has been used to sterilize hospital floors and benches and to kill pathogens in water works without killing friendly bacteria for over 70 years.
- Now this same formula is used in the body, and the same situation results. No damage is done to the body, but the pathogens are destroyed. In its powerful form, MMS is chlorine dioxide that reverts back to harmless chloride and neutralized oxygene. It leaves nothing behind to build up.
Because industrial bleach is just what you want to ingest or feed to your child.
It doesn’t get any better. Later, there is a slide that reads:
My journey through MMS
With the idea of virus in the brain, I visited Google University in July 2010 after a friend began doing Goldberg’s protocol with no improvement. But, I really think that he is onto something. Goldberg and Usman for me are the 2 people curing autism for obvious reasons, and they are both thinking pathogens first.
MMS kills virus, bacteria, candida, neutralizes metals, and MMS passes through the Blood Brain Barrier. What more do we need?
How about a plausible scientific rationale evidence of safety? I note that this is the same rationale for using colloidal silver: It kills pathogens on surfaces and the skin very well, and indeed silver does. That’s why it’s in a variety of antimicrobial salves used to treat burns. It’s just not possible to get it into the bloodstream at a high enough concentration to do the same there, although it is possible with prolonged use to turn someone blue.
In any case, much of the rest includes pretty standard-issue chelation therapy quackery. As you may recall, chelation therapy is a quack therapy used in autism that presumes that autism is due to “heavy metal toxicity”. Chelating agents bind to heavy metals and facilitate their excretion in the urine. Unfortunately, among the heavy metals removed are calcium and magnesium, and lowering levels of those two metals too much can result in cardiac arrhythmias and death. This is not a theoretical danger.
Then there’s the MMS protocol grafted on to some standard issue autism quackery:
- 10-15 drops MMS enabled and 500 mL water
- In the colon for 12 – 30 minutes
- Use pipette and syringe
- Is applied 2 or 3 times per week
It goes beyond that, though. I’ve noted in the past that proponents of MMS not only give MMS to autistic children orally, but that some even bath them in it, and, of course, Rivera advocated enemas with it. Rivera advocated continually upping the dose. She even discussed the potential adverse reactions. A long time ago, I remember seeing a video (that I unfortunately can no longer locate) in which Rivera discussed how autistic children might get diarrhea from the MMS, but how that was OK as long as it was “detox diarrhea”. She even likened the reaction she expected to a Herxheimer reaction, which is sometimes seen after the initiation of antibacterials for tick-borne relapsing fever. It was first described as a reaction to the treatment of syphilis with penicillin and is also seen after treatment of other diseases caused by spirochetes, such as Lyme disease and leptospirosis. Basically, this reaction is due to the release of endotoxin-like products by microorganisms as they die off during antibiotic treatment. Rivera also discussed what she referred to as the “72-2” protocol, which involves giving MMS every two hours for 72 hours. She also recommended “fever therapy” and argued that it’s a good thing that MMS can cause fevers because it’s “waking up the immune system” which realizes that there’s “autism in the house.” She also exulted about how she “loves the enemas” so much for autism.
Shockingly, Rivera’s slides from the 2012 Autism One quackfest are still on the website. They make for some bizarre reading. I do have to admit to some amusement, though, at Rivera’s choice of closing quote:
“Miracles happen every day. Not just in remote country villages or at holy sites halfway across the globe, but here, in our own lives.” – Deepak Chopra.
Yes, that seems appropriate. It is also appropriate that apparently (as I just learned yesterday) Facebook has finally shut down Rivera’s page:
6 years campaigning against BLEACH witch Rivera and FB has finally shut her down.
Even her personal page has been removed.
Screenshot is latest video of her crying about FB booting her.
Well done to all who campaign with me, Autistic kids are safer now.
Be proud ❤ #ENDMMSABUSE pic..com/PasRqoRSdl
— Fiona Pettit O'Leary (@fionapettit71) April 21, 2019
Well done, indeed, Ms. O’Leary.
One of the most common claims made by Jim Humble and his disciples is that MMS is perfectly safe and causes zero or minimal side effects. My perusal of the autism biomed underground on social medial has shown me otherwise.
MMS: Case reports
Just how nasty MMS can be when administered to children can be appreciated if you read the story of a mother subjecting her child to Kerri’s MMS protocol, including both oral ingestion of MMS and MMS enemas. It’s six years old, but oddly enough it’s still on the web. The introduction sets the background. The boy’s name was Jojo, and he was then nearly eleven. He had been diagnosed with autism when he was three years old, and his mother had subjected him to “autism biomed” interventions since December 2005, beginning because, as she put it, “I decided to give it a go because my mother’s instinct told me that Jojo suffers from egregious tummy problems.”
So apparently Jojo underwent a wide variety of “autism biomed” woo over the last seven or eight years before the events of the blog, but in March 2013 the “biomed” treatment took a turn to the terrifying when Jojo’s mother discovered MMS and began to follow Kerri Rivera’s MMS protocol:
Jojo is given 1 oz of the mixture hourly, so effectively he is getting 1/8th of a drop each time. His first dose was given after school at 1 pm. He is now given 8 doses only although my reading tells me that it is a minimum. I suppose I could increase up to 9-12 doses a day but I’m kinda leery of the possible increase in die-off effects too.
As well she should have been leery, but apparently not leery enough not to undertake biomedical quackery. Even as early as day 1, she noted Jojo running a low-grade fever and coughing, which, of course, could simply have been a coincidence. Similarly, she also noted JoJo to have increased hyperactivity, which could very easily have been due to confirmation bias. By day 2, Jojo continued to have fever, and his cough got worse. Somehow, his mother came to believe that “coughing after taking MMS could be due to parasites in the lung dying,” as incredible as it might be that anyone would believe something like that. Later entries describe Jojo developing constipation, and, when that resolved, his mother thinking that parasites were coming out in his stool. It is a theme that continues through the rest of the blog, as Jojo develops diarrhea, languor, and flareups of his chronic eczema (blamed on parasites, of course).
Finally, Jojo’s mother decides that he needs to have MMS enemas after having had a text message exchange with Kerri Rivera. Jojo’s mother tells Rivera that he is constipated, and Rivera responds:
Do an enema. There is probably a worm in his intestine. And give more MMS doses orally if he is awake. More MMS now, please.
So Jojo’s mother did just that and administered the first enema on day 7.
So what happened? Here, it’s very useful to compare the claims of someone like Kerri Rivera to those of quacks selling “liver flushes” that are touted as causing one to pass gallstones out into the stool . The very first example of this can be found in an entry called Worm. Here’s where the gross pictures begin. (I’ll save you from having to look at them unless you want to by not embedding the actual photos.) Now take a look at that link and the picture contained therein. It’s basically a stringy bit of something that looks a little bit like a worm. Jojo’s mom asked her mom buddies on the MMS Facebook group, all of whom were “pretty sure” it was a worm. It’s not. Any surgeon or doctor who deals with GI problems will recognize it as a bit of mucus, possibly with a bit of colon mucosa (the lining of the colon). We see this sort of thing all the time, and it’s definitely not a worm.
Over the month of April and into May, Jojo’s mother treated her blog readers to regular photos of things like this. For instance, in this post, she spread a bunch of nasty stuff out and photographed it. Kerri Rivera, we were told, had informed her that this stuff is “worm INTESTINES. The outer skin is already digested and the inside (intestines etc) disintegrates like this.” No, it was just more mucus mixed with colonic mucosa (the lining of the colon). Disturbingly to me as a surgeon, it looked to me like a fairly decent-sized chunk of colonic mucosa with mucus. I can’t say for sure how large it is because Jojo’s mom was, unfortunately, not kind enough to provide a ruler next to it. Oddly enough, the lower picture showed more mucus, and Jojo’s mother correctly labeled it as such. Then, right after that, we were treated to more pictures of mucus and sloughed colon mucosa, which Rivera characterized once again as “the intestines of the worm, the outer ‘skin’ having already been digested.”
Later on her story, Jojo’s mother told us:
It’s been a while since I wrote in this blog but I have been so busy. I have been poop-diving for quite a while now, started about a week before April’s Parasite Protocol. Getting to be more confident about differentiating between biofilm (translucent, clear, film-like gel), mucus (breaks up in water) and worm pieces (looks like layers of opaque tissue, when lifted with work it intertwines around itself like a rope).
Kerri says that the outer skin of the worm is usually totally digested by the time these worms are expelled and what we see, that rope-like, intertwined tissue are its intestines, the insides of the worm.
Later still, because the “worms” were still coming out (as they would always come out given that they were intestinal lining and mucus, not worms), Rivera told Jojo’s mom that she needed to treat her son not only with bleach but with Mebendazole, a drug used to treat worms, such as pinworms, roundworms, tapeworms, hookworms, and whipworms. The new protocol included:
With the parasite protocol, one will have more to keep track of:
- Mebendazole / Combantrin
- Diatomaceous Earth (DE) + Rompepiedras (RP)
- Castor Oil
All the above were given in different combinations on different days, no real pattern to it so one has to be on the ball enough to know what is given on which days of the Parasite Protocol from Days 1 – 18. From Day 18 onwards it’s just the DE and the RP.
I have to say that I have seen a lot of worms only after starting the Parasite Protocol. So what I read about Andreas Kalcker saying that CD (read: MMS) alone will not kill the parasites and that mebendazole is required must be true. Whilst it does happen ~ parasites being killed by CD alone, best results are achieved with the Rivera CD protocol done in conjunction with the Kalcker Parasite Protocol.
Remember what I said about the liver flushes above? Basically, most liver flushes involve taking Epsom salts, olive oil, and fruit juices, such as apple juice or lemon juice. As I have pointed out before, these “gallstones” are nothing more than saponified oils, thanks to the acids from the juice and the salt from the Epsom salts or phosphate salts often used in these protocols. Similarly, what I suspect to be going on here is that the castor oil and neem (which is an oil as well), mixed with the diatomaceous earth, combine in much the same way that the Epsom salts, oils, and acid from the juices do in liver flushes, the difference being that the mixture probably doesn’t saponify in the same way. However, clearly, when enemas are added, what comes out, instead of looking like little stones, looks like the pictures we see.
It’s not just this child, either. In 2017, there was this news report in the UK:
The woman, from Cheshire, has been reported to police for her activity in a secret Facebook group for parents that claims autism is caused by parasites that can be cleansed using the potentially lethal treatment.
However, autism campaigner Emma Dalmayne who infiltrated the group, says the images actually show children’s bowel lining that has been burned away by the bleach.
The treatment being administered is CD (Chloride Dioxide) or MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution), which is administered orally or via an enema.
Dalmayne reported some truly horrible things:
No parents will admit to doing this to their children publicly. This treatment is not illegal at the moment but we need to get rid of it,’ said the mother-of-six.
‘The most extreme case I have seen to date is a six-year-old boy who had to have his bowel removed and a colostomy bag fitted after his parents gave him these enemas.
‘What you see in these images is the bowel lining of these victims.’
I can’t help but also repeat an anecdote I described the last time I wrote about MMS:
My 14YO son has autism. I’ve been treating him with a parasite cleanse system for 1.5 years (5 days on, 2 days off). He’s made some remarkable improvements, but every time I try to wean him off the cleanse, the parasite symptoms flare up. He is nonverbal and fairly low-functioning, so I don’t get any feedback from him as to how he is feeling. Last week, I started him on 1 drop of MMS then upped the dose to 1 drop, 2x a day this week. After about 4 days at 2 drops/day, he vomited once and had diarrhea all day. I am assuming it is the MMS. I decided to drop down to 1 drop/day again until he gets beyond this. He tends to have loose stools anyway, which I am guessing is related to this ongoing battle with the parasites.
Reports like this are everywhere.
The cult of bleach
Like nearly all alternative medicine, MMS is basically an element of a cult. Indeed, the cult itself (Jim Humble’s Genesis II Church) makes that point explicit by calling MMS a “sacrament” in its religion. Now, it’s hard to say whether Genesis II exists primarily to sell MMS now or whether MMS really is just part of the religion. Certainly, Jim Humble is a major league crackpot:
The Genesis II Church of Health and Healing believes that MMS, which is essentially industrial bleach, is a religious sacrament.
The church excommunicated an Eyewitness News producer after she went undercover armed with her iPhone at a seminar in Costa Mesa.
Their founder, Jim Humble, is a former Scientologist who claims he’s a billion-year-old god from the Andromeda galaxy.
“And then I asked to be put in the part of the space navy that watched over Earth,” Humble, the self-proclaimed Archbishop of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing claims in a video.
Humble also claims he discovered the miracle potion in the jungles of South America.
“I just treated 800 cases of HIV just recently in Africa, every one of them came out good,” Humble is heard stating in another video.
It would be one thing if Humble just thought he was a billion year old god from Andromeda who was part of the space navy watching over earth. Then, he’d just be a harmless (and possibly amusing) crank. But he goes beyond that claiming to be able to cure cancer, HIV, diabetes, autism, multiple sclerosis, malaria, and basically almost any disease with industrial bleach, concocting a history of how he supposedly discovered MMS in 1996, although with a caveat:
In 1996, while on a gold mining expedition in South America, I discovered that chlorine dioxide quickly eradicates malaria. Since that time, it has proven to restore partial or full health to hundreds of thousands of people suffering from a wide range of disease, including cancer, diabetes, hepatitis A, B, C, Lyme disease, MRSA, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, HIV/AIDS, malaria, autism, infections of all kinds, arthritis, high cholesterol, acid reflux, kidney or liver diseases, aches and pains, allergies, urinary tract infections, digestive problems, high blood pressure, obesity, parasites, tumors and cysts, depression, sinus problems, eye disease, ear infections, dengue fever, skin problems, dental issues, problems with prostate (high PSA), erectile dysfunction and the list goes on. This is by far not a comprehensive list. I know it sounds too good to be true, but according to feedback I have received over the last 20 years, I think it’s safe to say MMS has the potential to overcome most diseases known to mankind.
It is important to note that MMS does not cure disease. MMS is an oxidizer, it kills pathogens and destroys poisons. When these are reduced or eliminated in the body, then the body can function properly and thereby heal. I often say, “The body heals the body”. MMS helps to line things up so the body can do just that.
All of this, of course, is transparent nonsense.
It’s not just autistic children who suffer, either, because MMS is being sold as a treatment for just about every disease and condition under the sun, and a common part of MMS protocols is similar to what Kerri Rivera recommended: Keep increasing the dose until you start getting nausea and/or diarrhea. Indeed, there’s been at least one death that I know of associated with MMS (although in fairness it’s not entirely clear that MMS caused the death). There’s no doubt that many who’ve tried MMS have suffered symptoms consistent with corrosive injuries to the GI tract, including vomiting, stomach pains, and diarrhea, the aforementioned sloughing of the lining of the GI tract. The FDA, in its warning letter, cited receiving reports of injuries associated with MMS, including severe nausea, vomiting, and life-threatening low blood pressure from dehydration. Other potential complications can include kidney damage and acute hemolysis.
Of all the alternative medicine cults out there, MMS is one of the more pernicious and ridiculous. Unfortunately, it’s hard to laugh at the ridiculousness of MMS without simultaneously being alarmed at its potential for harm. Just watch this video of cult members persuading parents in Uganda to administer MMS to their children to treat malaria if you don’t believe me. It’s horrifyingly unethical and reeks of racism and preying on vulnerable populations. (Particularly hard to watch is a segment around 7:25, where a baby is being fed MMS and is clearly not liking it at all.) This is the face of the cult, and I fear that MMS won’t disappear even after its “discoverer” Jim Humble goes back to Andromeda.