Police and Trading Standards were powerless to intervene in a secret meeting in Farnham at the weekend hosted by a fringe US church purportedly marketing a miracle cure for cancer.
The authorities were alerted last month to plans for a two-day seminar organised by the Genesis II Church over and (June 13 and 14) at a secret location near the town.
It was alleged the church would be supplying MMS – Miracle Mineral Solution – which is banned by the Food Standards Agency, but the church claims can cure cancer, HIV and malaria.
Ahead of the meeting, Get Surrey saw emails from organiser Bishop Jonathan Grenon advising church followers to gather at Farnham railway station at various times over the weekend to be taken to the gathering.
In exchange for $400 (£250), people were promised, at the end of the seminar, they would be made ‘health ministers’ and would receive a package of ‘sacraments’ – including MMS.
MMS has previously been compared to bleach, with consumption causing severe nausea, vomiting and diarrhoea.
A Get Surrey reporter went to Farnham railway station at around (June 12) – the first allotted pick- up time ahead of the seminar, according to Bishop Grenon’s emails. He reported seeing around a dozen people, from early middle-aged to elderly, waiting loosely in a group with luggage, as well as someone wearing a Surrey County Council (SCC) shirt.
In a statement issued to Get Surrey , the county council said Trading Standards’ officers made their presence known to people arriving at the railway station for the Genesis II Church seminar and explained concerns about the safety of products set to be offered.
“Officers then identified the house where the event was taking place and, despite initial attempts to speak to the organisers being refused, arrangements were made to speak to a person in charge after police were present.
“Trading Standards officers explained the purpose of their visit and were told no products had been supplied at the event and there was no evidence that MMS had been supplied.
“Officers still have concerns consumers are being misled so they have written to the people running the event to make them aware legislation applies.”
Steve Ruddy, community protection manager at Surrey Trading Standards, added: “We would like to speak to anyone who attended this event as we are concerned vulnerable people are being misled and manipulated in order to profit from their misfortune.
“We won’t hesitate to take action to protect residents."
MMS is thought to have been invented by Jim Humble, the head of the Genesis II Church.
Michael Marshall from the Good Thinking Society, which campaigns against pseudo-science, said the so-called ‘medicine’ had been known to make people vomit blood.
He said the society brought it to the attention of Trading Standards in late May, as well as local MPs, to protect the public from ‘highly dangerous misinformation’.
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