Parents are making their children drink industrial bleach to cure them of autism—with the potentially deadly practice linked back to a U.S. cult.
According to British tabloid the Sunday People, six British police forces have probed cases in which children as young as two have been forced to undergo the potentially lethal treatment.
The treatment being administered is CD (Chloride Dioxide) or MMS (Miracle Mineral Solution)—with a secret Facebook group touting its use to desperate parents in the U.K.
The method has been promoted by a controversial U.S. church with a branch in Los Angeles - the secretive Genesis II Church, founded by Jim Humble, a former scientologist.
A 2016 investigation by Eyewitness News and ABC News found an underground network clustered in southern California promoting MMS on Facebook as a cure for ailments including cancer, Parkinsons, and autism in children.
The previous year the BBC exposed a secret conference in which leading figures from the church travelled to the U.K. to promote the use of MMS, which it claims is a non-dangerous religious sacrament.
They believe that autism is caused by pathogens and parasites, which Chloride Dioxide kills. Doctors say that the claims of adherents are groundless, the solution is untested and can cause serious harm.
The solution includes two chemicals – sodium chlorite and hydrochloric acid – that combine to make bleach. It is sold to be used orally or as an enema.
Proponents recommend mixing it with a fruit juice, but medical experts warn that this causes the solution to acidify and produce chlorine dioxide – a potentially lethal bleach used for stripping textiles.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration warns that the product “used as directed, produces an industrial bleach that can cause serious harm to health.” It is banned in Canada.
The British Food Standards Authority warns against use of MMS, and says it can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea, reduced blood pressure, damage the gut or cause respiratory failure.
There has been one death linked to use of MMS and several cases of those taking it reporting serious injuries.
However, the substance remains available to buy on the internet.
Dr Jeff Foster warned of the potentially deadly consequences of using MMS.
“Autism is a neuro-developmental disease which is not amenable to any form of tablet treatment. ‘It’s developed in the womb or early stages of life. ‘You can’t just reverse it and anyone claiming that does not understand the condition,” he told the People.
"When you have very extreme measures like this to “cure” a condition it’s just a roulette game,’ Dr Foster said. ‘
"Eventually someone will die. It’s only a matter of time."
A British parliamentiary commission focussed on autism is expected to tighten the laws around MMS.
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