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mms - the woo-filled gift that keeps on giving

I've written before about the so-called 'miracle mineral solution', aka MMS (here, for example), but I see that it's hit the news again recently.

MMS is essentially bleach1, but one Jim Humble has made quite a little empire (and a 'church') out of selling the stuff, and has previously claimed that it's a preventative & cure-all for just about anything that might ail you - including malaria, cancer, and HIV. (It isn't, and it won't: the proposed mode of action is preposterous.) While Humble has recently distanced himself from those claims, it appears that one of his church's archbishops continues to promote them. The associated fevers and gastro-intestinal upsets associated with ingesting a bleach solution? Simply a sign that the 'treatment' is doing its job. /<snark>

Now, if adults choose to 'treat' themselves thusly, then that's their decision. However, MMS has also been promoted in some quarters as a 'cure' for autism, with parents advised to administer MMS to their autistic children multiple times over a period of 72 hours - alongside thrice-weekly enemas2 of the stuff. The proponents of this activity claim that autism is due to parasite infection, and that the evidence lies in the dead parasites that can be seen in the poor kids' bowel movements. I say 'poor kids', because what those ropey strings of membranous stuff actually are, is the mucosal lining of the intestines themselves.

I can think of two words that apply here; 'treatment' & 'cure' are not those words.

Over at Respectful Insolence, Orac has once more picked up on this story following a news segment about Humble & his so-called church, and handled it in his inimitable way.

1 MMS is a solution of 28% sodium chlorite in distilled water. When this is is added to water containing citric acid (or some other acid), it generates chlorine dioxide ie a bleach. 

2 500mL water + 10-15 drops of MMS, administered and left in the colon for 20-30 minutes

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The "church" part of the scam seems to be modelled after the pyramid-scheme aspect of Scientology (pay enough money to the people above you, eventually become a Bishop and start extracting money from other people in turn) -- though with the added feature of self-poisoning.

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