U.S. Feds Charge Phony Church with Selling Bleach as a ‘Miracle’ Cure for Covid-19

Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images
Photo: Justin Sullivan, Getty Images

Why am I not surprised these guys are from Florida?

This week, authorities charged a Florida father and his three sons, all members of the infamous “Church of Bleach”, with conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and distribute mislabeled drugs after they billed a toxic household cleaning product as a cure for covid-19.

The church’s founder, Mark Grenon, and his sons, Jonathan, Jordon, and Joseph, allegedly billed their bleach product “Miracle Mineral Solution” as a way to “treat, prevent, and cure” the virus when ingested, according to a suit filed in the Southern District of Florida on Wednesday.

And it gets worse. Since these guys apparently seem deadset on winning the shittiest human being Olympics:

“They sold this dangerous product under the guise of Genesis II Church of Health and Healing (‘Genesis’), an entity they allegedly created in an attempt to avoid government regulation of MMS,” according to the filing.

The group’s own website blatantly advertises itself as a “non-religious church,” the filing continues, and Grenon has repeatedly stated publically that he founded Genesis to avoid legal consequences for selling MMS, that it “has nothing to do with religion.”

Even before advertising the bleach product as a cure for covid-19, Genesis marketed MMS as a modern-day panacea that could treat autism, cancer, AIDS, and dozens of other health disorders and diseases, according to a criminal complaint affidavit. In the 10 years since the church’s founding, the feds allege that Genesis has sold tens of thousands of bottles nationwide with profits surging to more than $US120,000 ($172,848) per month since the pandemic started.

It goes without saying that the Federal Food and Drug Administration has not approved using MMS as a treatment for covid-19, cancer, or any of those other issues. On the contrary — the bogus miracle cure-all has proven so prevalent that it’s earned the dubious honour of its own warning page on the FDA’s website. The agency explicitly discourages drinking MMS or any other bleach products as they can cause severe vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, and life-threatening low blood pressure.

“The FDA has received reports of people requiring hospitalizations, developing life-threatening conditions, and dying after drinking MMS,” the filing said.

The Grenons are also charged with criminal contempt after allegedly violating a federal restraining order issued in April that barred Genesis from distributing MMS. According to the affidavit, not only did the Grenons continue selling the product, they also proceeded to publically threaten the federal judge behind the order. The men allegedly said the judge “could be taken out” and warned, “You want a Waco? Do they want a Waco?” on their church’s weekly podcast in an apparent reference to the infamous Texas massacre.

As obvious a scam as this all may seem, the FDA and the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention have had their hands full the last few months convincing people that ingesting household disinfectants is far from a good idea. Back in April, President Donald Trump bolstered these bogus claims when he floated the idea of injecting disinfectant or “a very powerful light” into coronavirus patients as a potential treatment during a press conference.

While he later walked back these comments as a joke, one CDC study has since shown that entirely too many folks took him literally. The agency launched an investigation last month into recent spikes in poison control centre calls regarding exposure to disinfectants and other household cleaners. Alarmingly, it found that 39 per cent of people polled admitted to engaging in at least one high-risk practice not recommended by federal health guidelines, with some of the more eyebrow-raising examples including dousing their food in chemical cleaning agents, misting their body with disinfectant spray, and gargling — yes, gargling — bleach to help prevent covid-19.