A horrific "miracle cure" for autism peddled by a Southern California "church" that ended up simply being industrial bleach—which is, uh, poison—was exposed Friday by an ABC Los Angeles investigation. Everything about it is crazy.
The "church," which is called Genesis II, pushes a fringe medical treatment of ingesting chlorine dioxide—what the church refers to as MMS ("Miracle Mineral Solution") and we refer to as bleach—as a cure for autism. "Autism is curable," chuch member Kerri Rivera, who has since distanced herself somewhat from the church, says to parents of children with autism in a video obtained by ABC Los Angeles. "I like to convince people they can cure their kids."
Many parents wrote on autism-related Facebook pages and forums that they follow the church's advice of having their children ingest chlorine dioxide in accordance with the lunar calendar, because, according to Rivera, parasites "wreak havoc" on the stomachs of autistic children during the full moon and need to be killed with bleach. Yes, really.
The church's founder, a former Scientologist who claims to be from another galaxy, wrote in a newsletter after the ABC Los Angeles report that, "For lack of a better way to express things at the time-or because others put words in my mouth, in the past I have stated that MMS cures most of all diseases. Today, I say that MMS cures nothing!" Earlier this year, ABC Los Angeles interviewed a former NASA planetary geologist and mayor of a small Southern California city who claimed his wife died after ingesting MMS once, on a tip it would ward off malaria.
Meanwhile, outbreaks of diseases that the church claims it can cure with bleach along with autism are continuing to pop up as a result of the anti-vaccination movement, which claims that vaccines for these diseases at a young age cause autism. Multiple studies have tied outbreaks of measles, whooping cough, and mumps to the anti-vaccination movement.
Sam Stecklow is the Weekend Editor for Fusion.