An obscure American ‘church’ that markets a banned substance it calls ‘miracle medicine’ which it claims can cure cancer is preparing to hold a secret gathering in Farnham next week.
Police and trading standards have been alerted to the plans for a two-day ‘seminar’ organised by the Genesis II Church, which has been accused of claiming that its Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) - banned by the Food Standards Agency - can cure diseases such as cancer, HIV and malaria.
The News & Mail has seen emails from a Bishop Jonathan Grenon advising followers to gather at Farnham railway station at various times from to (), when they will be transported to a nearby undisclosed location.
Attendees have to pay $400 for the weekend, at the end of which they will be made a ‘health minister’ and given a package of ‘sacraments’, including MMS.
Michael Marshall from The Good Thinking Society, a charity which fights against pseudoscience and which has been monitoring MMS distribution, said: “It’s crucially important that vulnerable members of the public are protected from highly dangerous misinformation, as it’s clear these kind of events could easily cause some to make a tragic and fatal mistake.”
Mr Marshall said the ‘medicine’ had been known to make people vomit blood and lose the lining of their intestines, branding its effects "heartbreaking and grotesque".
He also warned that if people at next week’s meeting, which is being organised by Mr Grenon and Mark Kishon, claimed MMS could cure cancer, they would be in breach of the Cancer Act 1939.
Undercover reporters infiltrated a meeting hosted by Mr Kishon in Sussex last month where he was filmed advising a cancer patient that his post-treatment check-ups were "unnecessary".
Owners of venues that host Genesis II, added Mr Marshall, were often unaware of the nature of the meeting taking place.
MMS is thought to have been invented in the 1960s by Jim Humble, who is head of the Genesis II Church.
Last week in Washington state, a 45-year-old man was convicted in a federal court of conspiracy, smuggling, selling misbranded drugs and defrauding the United States for operating a business selling MMS over the internet. He faces a potential jail sentence of up to 34 years.
'Come and learn'
Surrey County Council Trading Standards promised to investigate next week’s meeting.
Steve Ruddy, community protection manager, said: “We will do anything we can to protect residents from any dubious and deceptive practices, especially when they target vulnerable people and those suffering from serious health problems.
“To prey on the worries and misfortunes of the most vulnerable is shameful and shocking.”
A spokesman for Surrey Police said officers would be monitoring the situation.
Bishop Jonathan refused the News & Mail’s request for more information and denied the group would be distributing drugs at the service.
He also urged respect be shown towards the group’s beliefs, saying: “We only want people to come and learn of our sacraments and to use them freely as God so lovingly allows us."
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