Alternative medicine isn’t medicine, but at least most woo is in itself probably as harmless as it is useless (the conspiracy theories and falsehoods involved in marketing them less so). MMS, or Miracle Mineral Supplement, is different. MMS an aqueous solution of 28% sodium chlorite, an industrial chemical that, when prepared in a citric acid solution, forms chlorine dioxide. Yes, we are talking industrial-strength bleach, and its effects on the body are what you’d expect from that. MMS is nevertheless promoted as a cure for HIV, malaria, viral hepatitis, the H1N1 flu virus, common colds, acne, cancer and much more. Its inventor, Jim Humble, has no evidence for any of his medical claims, of course; instead, he claims to be a billion-year-old God from the Andromeda galaxy.
In recent years, MMS has in particular been promoted as a “cure” for autistic children, in particular by deranged lunatic Kerri Rivera. But there are several other promoters of MMS around as well. Louis Daniel Smith is hopefully not anymore, though: In 2015 he was found guilty of selling industrial bleach as a miracle cure for numerous diseases and illnesses, including cancer, AIDS, malaria, hepatitis, lyme disease, asthma and the common cold through a business called “Project GreenLife”, and sentenced to 51 months in prison. In particular, the jury convicted him of one count of conspiracy to commit multiple crimes, three counts of introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce with the intent to defraud or mislead, and one count of fraudulently smuggling merchandise into the United States. Before the trial, three of Smith’s alleged co-conspirators – Chris Olson, Tammy Olson and Karis DeLong, Smith’s wife – pleaded guilty to introducing misbranded drugs into interstate commerce. The most scary part, however, is that Smith was part of a network of at least 1,700 people selling MMR around the world; stopping him was, in other words, likely to make only minimal difference to the worldwide distribution of MMS. Smith’s numerous fans and followers were of course quick to yell “conspiracy” and “oppression” and “health freedom”.
According to the instructions for use that Smith provided, nausea, diarrhea and vomiting were all signs that the miracle cure was working, and, despite a risk of possible brain damage, they suggested that the product might still be appropriate for pregnant women or infants who were seriously ill. Officially, however, the sodium chlorite was imported for use in wastewater treatment facilities, conveniently sold in 4-ounce bottles for $20 apiece. It is, in that light, only a remarkable coincidene that Project GreenLife also happened to sell citric acid, the other component of MMS, and provided information about use “for your safety and convenience”.
There is a good discussion of MMS here.
Diagnosis: We don’t generally cover ordinary criminals, but have to make an exception here. Hopefully he learned a lesson, but we are not really very optimistic, and there are many more like him. An extremely dangerous fellow – crazy, stupid and completely without scruples – so we recommend maintaining a safe distance.