A Florida man and his adult son were arrested in Colombia and face extradition to the United States related to federal charges of selling Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS)—a toxic bleach—as a treatment and cure for COVID-19, HIV and other illnesses, The Guardian reports.
Video footage on Twitter shows Mark Grenon, who refers to himself as an “archbishop,” and his son Joseph Grenon being taken into custody. The arrests arrive a month after federal prosecutors in Miami charged the two men, along with Mark Grenon’s sons Jordon and Jonathan Grenon, with conspiracy to defraud the United States, conspiracy to violate the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, and criminal contempt.
The Grenons made $500,000 in 2019—and that was before COVID-19 struck the United States and created a new market, reports The Washington Post. What’s more, a Justice Department statement about the July charges asserts that the “Grenons allegedly sold tens of thousands of bottles of MMS nationwide, including to consumers throughout South Florida. 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 charging documents, Genesis’ own websites describe Genesis as a ‘non-religious church,’ and defendant Mark Grenon, the co-founder of Genesis, has repeatedly acknowledged that Genesis ‘has nothing to do with religion,’ and that he founded Genesis to ‘legalize the use of MMS’ and avoid ‘going …to jail.’”
In April, Mark Grenon wrote to President Trump, promoting MMS’s ability to “rid the body of COVID-19,” reports The Guardian. A few days later, while on national TV, Trump wondered aloud whether disinfectants could be injected into the body, almost like a cleaning.
Before marketing MMS as a treatment and cure for COVID-19 this year, the Grenons sold it as a cure-all for numerous other illnesses, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, viral hepatitis, Alzheimer’s and autism. Needless to say, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved MMS for any of these uses. In fact, the FDA issued warnings to consumers, urging them not to drink MMS.
People who have drunk MMS have been hospitalized, developed life-threatening conditions and died, the FDA reported. And yet, the Justice Department alleges, the Grenons sold tens of thousands of bottles of the toxic bleach nationwide.
Conservative politician Alan Keyes, a former adviser to President Reagan, has helped sell MMS. He’s the front man of IAMtv, a web-based channel that broadcasts shows such as Jesus Talk Live, Bob the Plumber and Keyes’s Let’s Talk America, along with segments that promote MMS and the Grenons’ church. IAMtv also operates in Uganda.
The Grenons aren’t the only religiously affiliated people hocking so-called cures for COVID-19 and HIV. For a related story from this February, see “TV Preacher Jim Bakker Suggests His $125 Product Kills Coronavirus (COVID-19) and HIV.”
To read a collection of POZ articles on the search for an HIV cure—efforts based on evidence and science—click #Cure.