Medical authorities are calling for a controversial healing cult to be banned from Victoria after its bleach-based “miracle” cure put at least four Victorians in hospital.
Genesis II Church of Health and Healing leader James Humble is coming to Melbourne in mid-November as part of an international tour spruiking his “Miracle Mineral Solution”.
Ten Victorians have reported being poisoned by MMS in the past five years – which is believed to be a “vast under-reporting” of cases – and critics say the bleach is potentially deadly.
The cult recommends MMS “sacrament protocols” to treat diseases including cancer, HIV/AIDS, asthma and autism, even suggesting it is a “promising” treatment for Ebola.
The product, also known as “Master Miracle Solution”, is a sodium chlorite solution mixed with acid in water but critics say it is a poisonous bleach that should be used for cleaning.
AMA Victoria president Dr Tony Bartone slammed “snake oil salesmen” for preying upon vulnerable sick people with “magic potions”.
He said the church should be banned from promoting MMS, which is not listed on the Therapeutic Goods Administration’s register and cannot be legally sold as a health product.
MMS is available online as a “water transformation treatment” based on Mr Humble’s formula and the Herald Sun was able to buy it last week.
“There’s no evidence whatsoever and certainly no clinical trials to suggest this is anything more than a bleach,” Dr Bartone said.
“It certainly should be banned.”
Tickets to Mr Humble’s Clayton seminar were advertised for $500 but organiser “Bishop” Paul Treacy said there was no fee and attendees were asked to donate only to the church.
Victorian Poisons Information Centre specialist Dr Dawson MacLeod said people had reported symptoms including vomiting and diarrhoea after using MMS. Of the 10 people who had reported being poisoned by MMS, four had to be hospitalised, he said.
“Our calls seem to stem from people not diluting it ... People make it very strong because they think it might be more effective,” Dr MacLeod said. “There’s no basis in science for it being effective.”
He said it could cause “potentially life-threatening illnesses” and the long-term consequences of using MMS were unknown.
Mr Treacy refused to be interviewed and hung up when contacted by the Herald Sun.
He later emailed to say the seminar would be a “creative, friendly environment” for people to learn about the church’s “sacramental protocols” but MMS would not be sold there.
A recent Genesis II newsletter claimed MMS was a “promising” treatment for Ebola”.
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