Desperate to “cure” them of autism, some parents in the United Kingdom have started force-feeding their children bleach and turpentine. The treatment, called the Miracle or Master Mineral Solution (MMS) by advocates, is being attempted on children as young as 2 years old. MMS is made by blending a potent mixture of harsh chemicals that, combined, cook up industrial-strength bleach.
The bleach, easily purchased online, is either fed or inserted into the child through an enema. One parent who attempted the treatment told the Mirror — whose reporters investigated a Facebook group promoting the practice — that her 2-year-old child “cried really hard” when he was given his first enemas, but that things are getting “better and better.” Other misguided parents claim that behaviors associated with autism, such as rocking and chewing, decrease after the treatment is administered.
However, these perceived improvements in the child’s psychology are likely reactions of fear after experiencing the brutal treatment, experts told the Mirror. Drinking bleach can cause an intense burning sensation, chemical corrosion of the skin, and many other graphic and painful symptoms. Repeated consumption of such a harsh chemical substance can result in death.
The Mirror reports that posters to the closed Facebook group believe autism is caused by pathogens and parasites; the bleach is rumored to kill the parasites and therefore “cure” the child. These claims, however, have no scientific backing. Autism is not a result of parasites or pathogens at all — and this grim misunderstanding of autism is risking children’s lives.
“Research suggests that autism develops from a combination of genetic and nongenetic, or environmental, influences,” according to Autism Speaks. The organization notes that the nongenetic influences include complications and abnormalities during pregnancy — not the influences of any vaccine, pathogen, or other substance.
“There is a very large, really unscrupulous group of people out there who take advantage of vulnerable families,” Barry Sheerman, a member of Parliament who chairs the U.K.’s Autism Commission, told the Mirror.
It is believed that the Facebook group draws influences from a cult-like group from Southern California called Genesis II Church, founded by former Scientologist Jim Humble. BBC unveiled the church’s influence in the U.K. in 2015, when they were discovered campaigning for the use of MMS at a conference in Surrey.
The group also has been influenced by ex-drug addict Danny Glass, who goes by the pseudonym Sun Fruit Dan online. He creates videos urging parents to administer children up to seven drops of turpentine three times daily, believing it will rid them of parasites. A native of the U.K., Glass now lives in Thailand, where he reportedly escaped jail after being questioned for his wife’s death due to reckless driving.
The practice is not only misguided, but barbaric. Bleach could corrode a child’s esophagus and stomach lining, making it one of the most dangerous items you keep in your kitchen.