By registering as a church, despite acknowledging that the organization is nonreligious, the Genesis II Church of Healing sought to avoid legal ramifications for its primary activity: falsely claiming that a mixture of sodium chlorite and water could cure cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and COVID-19 and selling it at a profit. The mixture, once ingested, becomes chlorine dioxide or, in layperson’s terms, bleach. Embracing a false narrative that suggested ingesting bleach might be a way to kill the COVID-19 virus, the founders of the church expanded their existing operations, touting the “cure” through their website, radio broadcasts, and newsletters. Their advertising was effective enough that it caught the attention of an FDA official, who placed an order for the “Miracle Mineral Solution,” analyzed the ingredients, and then had a warrant issued for the founders’ arrest on charges of fraud and criminal contempt. Two of the founders have fled to Colombia, where they run a “health retreat” that doses the bleach solution to visitors; two others are in custody, after having issued threats of violence if authorities tried to halt their activities. Although it may seem that buyers should be savvy enough to realize drinking bleach is not a viable solution to any health issues, lying about its effects in marketing materials remains a prosecutable offense.
Source: Christina Morales, “$1 Million in Toxic Bleach Sold as ‘Miracle’ Cure, Officials Say,” The New York Times, April 25, 2021