A man who tried to attend a $646 seminar held by a church offering a controversial cure for Ebola says he was turned away for offering a donation.
The Auckland man, who only wanted to be known as Jason, drove to Ngatea in the Hauraki Plains this morning for the start of the three-day seminar by the Genesis II Church of Health.
He wanted to know more about the bleach-based solution sold by the non-religious group, known as Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS), for his alternative medicine practice.
The 62-year-old from Mission Bay said he was not put off by medical experts who had slammed the "cure" as being potentially fatal.
However he was disappointed at being kicked out of the seminar shortly after it begun for not paying the US$500 registration fee.
"I felt as if they are not what they seem."
Jason said the seminar was too expensive and he was willing to make a $30 donation. The host, Roger Blake, previously indicated donations were welcome but Jason said his was turned down.
Instead, he said the group wanted $200 for the catered event for the one day Jason wanted to attend.
When he asked if he could buy some bottles of MMS, he was directed to the healing group's website and told there were no bottles at the Ngatea Water Gardens Function Centre where the seminar is being held.
Sold through miracle mineral.co.nz, the water treatment is claimed to be effective against Ebola, cancer, arthritis, hepatitis, shingles, chickenpox, and malaria.
However New Zealand's medical regulatory body, Medsafe, has followed the lead of the US Drug and Food Administration and the UK Food Standards Authority in urging people not to use MMS.
"These products, when used as directed, produce an industrial bleach that can cause serious harm to health," Medsafe said.
A young man at the door to the function centre said media could not attend because it had painted the product in a negative light.
He claimed there were documented cases of the solution being used to save dozens of people in Africa from malaria.
The man also said he used the treatment regularly to treat illnesses including the common cold.
It's thought about 50 people are attending the seminar.
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