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Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) and autism at Autism One: Kerri Rivera’s apologists strike back

A couple of weeks ago, I was horrified to learn of a new “biomed” treatment that has been apparently gaining popularity in autism circles. Actually, it’s not just autism circles in which this treatment is being promoted. Before the “autism biomed” movement discovered it, this particular variety of “miracle cure” has been touted as a treatment for cancer, AIDS, hepatitis A,B and C, malaria, herpes, TB, and who knows what else. I’m referring to something called MMS, which stands for “miracle mineral solution.” As I pointed out when I discovered its promotion for various maladies and then later when I discovered its promotion at the yearly antivaccine quackfest known as Autism One, MMS is a form of bleach. It’s industrial strength bleach, actually, 28% sodium chlorite in distilled water. Before use, MMS is frequently diluted in acidic juices, such as orange juice, resulting in the formation of chlorine dioxide (ClO2), which is, as the FDA characterized it in its warning about MMS, “a potent bleach used for stripping textiles and industrial water treatment.”

You might be thinking now: Orac, that’s a really nutty idea! Why on earth would anyone think that bleach would be a cure for anything other than stains? Well, as far as I can figure out, besides being told by God that MMS is a cure-all, a man named Jim Humble based his decision to bleach people’s diseases away on the use of ClO2 as an antimicrobial in water supplies. Of course, as I’ve pointed out before in detail, just because something kills bacteria in water or in a dish does not make it a good antibiotic. It’s the same reason that colloidal silver is quackery. Colloidal silver is actually a pretty good topical antibiotic, but taking it internally it’s impossible to achieve plasma levels adequate to have antimicrobial effects without undue toxicity. The same principle is in effect here. ClO2 works very well as a water disinfectant, but trying to achieve plasma levels equivalent to those required to disinfect water is a straight line to toxicity, and failing to do so leaves all toxicity and no potential benefit.

More importantly, the hidden assumption behind Humble’s selling of MMS as a miracle cure is that the diseases he’s targeting are all due to microbes. Even if MMS were an effective antimicrobial and antibiotic (leaving aside the claims about how it can be useful for pretty much all bacteria, viruses, and parasites), this rationale is utter nonense when it comes to cancer and autism. While a few cancers have their origins in infectious diseases (H. pylori leading to stomach cancer or human papilloma virus leading to cervical cancer, for example), by the time the cancer has developed it’s too late. Getting rid of the microbe won’t reverse the cancer.

What really seemed to hit a nerve, though, was a presentation by Kerri Rivera see for yourself at the Autism One quackfest, in which she advocated MMS as an autism treatment. When I first wrote about it, the video wasn’t posted yet, but now it is (see part 1, part 2, part 3, part 4) so that you can see for yourself that the talk is no different than what could be expected based on her handouts and her previous talks. That alone was bad enough, but she also advocated giving MMS to autistic children in the form of enemas, in essence claiming that bleach enemas can cure autism. Even worse (if that were possible), Rivera advocates “fever therapy” and views fevers after bleach enemas to be a good thing, a sign that the treatment is “working,” much as Jim Humble gives MMS to treat adults in increasing doses until they start to feel ill. Indeed, Rivera even exults about how much she loves “fever therapy” and how it “wakes up the immune system.” In addition to the bleach enemas, she recommends a “72-2” protocol that involves making children drink dilute bleach every two hours for 72 hours.

In fact, posts by myself and others (such as Emily Willingham) about forcing autistic children to undergo bleach enemas in a vain attempt to “bleach the autism away,” as I put it hit such a nerve that there is now a petition signed by over 1,500 people entitled No bleach enemas to “cure” autism in children!

Well, I guess there’s nothing that quacks won’t defend, because various advocates and quackery apologists are coming out of the woodwork to defend Rivera and her MMS protocol. For instance, Jim Humble himself has placed a counter-petition on that reads:

Stop telling people that MMS is bleach because it is not

Because there are some mothers that don’t realize that Emily is wrong and they may never help their child to attain normalcy.

So, there! You evil skeptics! You’re preventing parents from “recovering” their children from autism using bleach enemas! Stop it with your damned skepticism and insistence on science-based medicine! We believe MMS cures autism, and that’s enough!

The petition also has only 31 signatures at this reading.

In any case, when looking for someone to defend the indefensible when it comes to autism quackery, there’s only one place to go; so I went there. Yes, I’m referring to the antivaccine propaganda blog Age of Autism, where the ever-reliable Julie Obradovic wrote a piece about the Autism One quackfest entitled Autism One: Is there a doctor in the house? Ms. Obradovic is unhappy, too. She’s unhappy about the blogosphere’s take on Kerri Rivera and her bleach enemas:

Sometime that night I saw a nasty article already on the Internet about Autism One. To start the conference, there was one slamming it and The Chicago Sun Times. Now to end it, there was one slamming it and the parents who attend.

A blogger, who hadn’t attended the conference, but instead was regurgitating another blogger (who hadn’t attended the conference either), wrote an entire article about the inability to “bleach” the Autism out of a child. She was referring to MMS, a treatment being used for gut problems in some children that hadn’t even been presented yet. It was on schedule for the next morning.

It struck me as really odd that something most people at the conference didn’t even know much about had already been completely scrutinized by people who seem loathe the mere idea of medically treating a child with Autism (with anything but pharmaceuticals, apparently). It seemed obsessive and premature, to say the least, and it was eerily reminiscent of what happened with other interventions in the past.

What other interventions are those? OSR, an industrial chelator that Boyd Haley tried to sell as a supplement to be used to treat autistic children, at least until the FDA finally stopped it? Chelation therapy itself, which can kill?

From what I can tell, Ms. Obradovic is referring to a post by Kristina Chew, which cited my earlier post about Ms. Rivera’s MMS talk. Whichever posts Ms. Obradovic is referencing, one thing is clear. There are certain treatments that one doesn’t have to experience for oneself and talks that one doesn’t have to attend oneself to realize that they are fetid, stinking piles of horse droppings. It wasn’t hard to glean what Kerri Rivera was going to say from her previous talks, her blurb about her Autism One talk, and her handouts. It was even easier to come to the educated opinion that what Ms. Rivera does to autistic children is pure quackery and quite likely child abuse. No wonder she practices in Mexico, the land where quacks who would be shut down in the U.S. go avoid pesky things like laws and regulations regarding medicine and the standard of care.

Note also Ms. Obradovic’s framing of the issue. To her, it’s not a matter of bloggers like myself being outraged because quacks like Kerri Rivera exist and subject autistic children to bleach enemas until they have diarrhea, calling that diarrhea “good” as long as it’s “detox diarrhea.” It’s not a matter of us being puzzled and alarmed at how parents could buy into this quackery. Our criticisms, to her, are not a matter of our wanting to protect children who make up an especially vulnerable population, autistic children. Oh, no. To Ms. Obradovic, supporters of science-based medicine attack quacks like Ms. Rivera because we “loathe the mere idea of treating a child with Autism” with anything other than pharmaceuticals. This is, of course, utter nonsense, but I have no doubt that Ms. Obradovic really believes it.

So, in answer, I will assure her that I personally do not “loathe the mere idea of treating a child with Autism” with anything other than pharmaceuticals.” In fact, I don’t care whether a treatment for autism—or anything else for that matter—is pharmaceutical or otherwise. I only care that the treatment be based on sound science and supported by well-designed clinical trials. What I do loathe is the idea of treating a child with autism with a therapy that has not one whit of scientific evidence to support its plausibility, is potentially dangerous, and, at the very minimum, subjects autistic children to what is likely torture for many of them (enemas, even leaving aside the question of bleach) with no prior evidence that they are likely to benefit from the treatment. In brief, I loathe the idea of subjecting children, be they autistic or neurotypical, to such rank quackery. Come up with a plausible non-pharmaceutical treatment for autism with some real science—not crank rationales—behind it, and I’ll be interested and possibly even support doing clinical trials if the preclinical evidence is compelling enough. In other words, I go where the evidence leads me, and it sure doesn’t lead me to MMS.

Apparently not Ms. Obradovic, who proceeds to tone troll:

But mostly, the article irritated me for its tone. The author’s message was clear: parents who try these treatments are gullible, dangerous, and/or don’t love their children, and the people who pass them off are snake oil salesmen.

Some of these are straw men; others are not. The biggest straw man of all is that we claim that parents who try these treatments are gullible and/or don’t love their children. The parents might be gullible, or they might just be insufficently scientifically sophisticated to recognize quackery. No one that I know of claims that these parents don’t love their children. On the other hand, we do say that the people who pass such treatments off are snake oil salesmen, because they are, although it’s an insult to snake oil to compare MMS to it. And that’s OK. We’re coming to a conclusion we consider reasonable based on the evidence. It doesn’t matter whether someone like Jim Humble or Kerri Rivera actually believe in their snake oil. It’s still snake oil. I’m sorry if Ms. Obradovic is offended to read that, but it’s the truth.

Moreover, the actual purveyor of this snake oil, Ms. Rivera herself, is pretty pathetic when it comes to defending MMS. This can be best seen in her response to an open letter by Autismum criticizing her use of MMS to treat autistic children. Autismum’s open letter is a blistering attack on MMS quackery that concludes:

Your “treatment” is abuse. It lacks plausibility. It lacks humanity. You advocate dosing autistic children with your over priced poison to treat the fantasy symptoms of candida such as, “laughter for no reason.” I love it when by 46lb, four year old Welsh boy laughs even if I can’t tell what’s tickling him. I won’t do a thing to prevent that.

So how did Ms. Rivera respond? With a non-response, actually:

You have your science all wrong. The websites that you site are incorrect. I wish you and your son all the best. Wonderful hearing your opinion. Everyone has one be it informed or misinformed.

This is nothing more than argument by assertion. Ms. Rivera seems to think that simply asserting that her critics “have their science all wrong” is enough. She doesn’t explain how we allegedly have our science wrong. She doesn’t provide anything resembling decent scientific or clinical evidence to support her position and show that we are wrong. She doesn’t even make a minimal attempt at a science- or evidence-based counterargument.

I’ll close by noting that there might be some reason for hope. Even if the quackfest known as Autism One has no filters when it comes to allowing dangerous quackery to be presented, apparently Ms. Rivera’s—shall we say?—novel treatment strategy using bleach enemas brought out some actual skepticism, at least about MMS, in the comments after Ms. Obradovic’s defense of quackery. Some examples follow.

First, someone named Fielding J. Hurst, who in an earlier comment declared himself a believer in “biomed” treatments:

Chlorine Dioxide is the important part of this discussion. Your copy/paste is on Sodium Chlorite. Chlorine Dioxide has been shown to cause impaired thyroid and kidney function, as well as cause neurological impairment.

Also, there is a big difference in killing external pathogens and ingesting it. Bleach kills the pathogens by poisoning them, that doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to ingest it.

WHAT ABOUT ALL OF THAT GOOD BACTERIA IN THE GUT PROMOTED BY OTHER BIO-MED TREATMENTS THAT WORK? CAN SOMEONE NAME ME A BLEACH RESISTANT GOOD BACTERIA? I spent a decade healing my daughter’s gut issues that I can easily see undone quickly with this stuff.

If we can’t agree that it’s not a MIRACLE, can we at least agree that IT’S NOT A FRICKIN’ MINERAL. SOLUTION, yes. At least a little truth in the name.

My favorite tidbit from the Archbishop Humble … IT’S NOT REAL DIARRHEA! Thank goodness. Fake Pseudo Diarrhea is very good for you. It’s a sign of a miracle in progress.

OK, there’s no actual evidence that the “other” biomed treatments “work” any better than MMS, but at least most of them aren’t bleach. Oh, wait. They are things like hyperbaric oxygen, chelation therapy, bizarre diets, supplements, and other things equally potentially harmful. Never mind. At least Mr. Hurst realizes that MMS is quackery—unlike all that other quackery. That’s a start. Perhaps that skepticism will blossom and spread to a lot of the other autism “biomed” quackery out there.

Then there’s someone by the ‘nym tiredmom:

I believe that autism is a fully-recoverable gut disorder, that the children are suffering and deserve treatment. That being said I think that there is A LOT of snake oil in the biomed world of autism. Autism is awful and parents are desperate and will try anything. I have also observed that we don’t demand a lot from whoever comes out with a new product. We don’t demand that they prove anything to us because they are one of the few who are telling us that they believe in our kids and are trying to help. I have had parents admit to me that certain doctors or supplement people asked them to endorse their products or program and gave them free supplies. I think we have to become a lot more skeptical. I don’t believe we can always trust other parents’ opinions. While there are many biomed treatments that help and even recover children many children get better in the early years without any intervention but if the parent is trying a certain biomed protocol at the time or even therapy they will credit that.

I was amazed that there was actually a comment recognizing that some autistic children improve on their own and that many parents trying biomedical woo mistakenly attribute such improvement to the quackery du jour they’re using. Unfortunately, the vast majority of comments were more supportive, at least tolerating Ms. Rivera’s quackery, like this comment by RisperDON’T:

Whatever happened to the Mercury apologists, “The dose makes the poison?” Gone?

Naysayers trashed and got OSR removed from the market for it’s origin as a waste water treatment before revision for human use by one of the nation’s leading University chemists.

Fluoride was suggested as a pesticide early on.

And many FDA approved (and off label use) drugs today have known toxicity including death (e.g. chemo) and those who refuse it are considered the quacks.

This is, of course, a typical fallacy used by defenders of quackery: Because real science-based medicine has side effects and complications, criticizing pseudoscientific treatments for their potential side effects is unfair. I am impressed, however, that Ms. Obradovic managed to restrain herself from pointing out how some chemotherapies still used (nitrogen mustards like cyclophosphamide and melphalan) had their origins as chemical warfare agents. Be that as it may, the difference is, of course, that these real medical treatments have scientific evidence and clinical trials showing that they work, how they work, and that the benefits outweigh the risks. MMS has nothing of the sort.

In the end, regardless of what other “biomedical” treatments are beloved at Autism One, I keep holding out hope that the organizers of Autism One would be able to realize that there are some things that are so beyond the pale that they don’t belong even at Autism One. I agree with Sullivan and Emily on this count that the organizers of Autism One should renounce such quackery, in particular Kerri Rivera. Unfortunately, I also realize that this will never happen because, apparently, offering “hope” to parents of children with autism requires never “judging” and remaining “open-minded.” Unfortunately, we all know what happens when you are too open-minded. Your brains fall out.

By Orac

Orac is the nom de blog of a humble surgeon/scientist who has an ego just big enough to delude himself that someone, somewhere might actually give a rodent's posterior about his copious verbal meanderings, but just barely small enough to admit to himself that few probably will. That surgeon is otherwise known as David Gorski.

That this particular surgeon has chosen his nom de blog based on a rather cranky and arrogant computer shaped like a clear box of blinking lights that he originally encountered when he became a fan of a 35 year old British SF television show whose special effects were renowned for their BBC/Doctor Who-style low budget look, but whose stories nonetheless resulted in some of the best, most innovative science fiction ever televised, should tell you nearly all that you need to know about Orac. (That, and the length of the preceding sentence.)

DISCLAIMER:: The various written meanderings here are the opinions of Orac and Orac alone, written on his own time. They should never be construed as representing the opinions of any other person or entity, especially Orac's cancer center, department of surgery, medical school, or university. Also note that Orac is nonpartisan; he is more than willing to criticize the statements of anyone, regardless of of political leanings, if that anyone advocates pseudoscience or quackery. Finally, medical commentary is not to be construed in any way as medical advice.

To contact Orac: [email protected]

246 replies on “Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) and autism at Autism One: Kerri Rivera’s apologists strike back”

Jim Humble also promotes administering MMS intravenously if the vomiting and the diarrhea are bad enough to stop the recipient receiving them by the usual routes.

If you want to see how crazy some MMS fans are, just look at reviews of Jim Humble’s books and videos are on places like Amazon and YouTube. It’s all extreme paranoia about “big pharma” coupled with a general lack of critical thinking and anecdotes galore. I think it would be fun to bait these people.

Jim Humble also promotes administering MMS intravenously if the vomiting and the diarrhea are bad enough to stop the recipient receiving them by the usual routes.


Holy-moley – they have a problem with the “toxins” in vaccines, but are just fine with giving their kids bleach directly injected into the bloodstream?

What kind of bath crystals are these people on?

I haven’t seen anyone explicitly advise inflicting intravenous MMS on *children* — they just talk about “the patient” — but I could only read so far, despite a notoriously high threshold of disgust.

There is also any number of nutters who reckon that because MMS is a powerful oxidant (YAY! GOOD!), while DMSO is a powerful antioxidant (YAY! GOOD!), therefore the two should be combined in a drugs cocktail that would be DOUBLEPLUS GOOD.

I guess I don’t understand the assertion that MMS isn’t bleach. That’s pretty basic chemistry.

NaClO2 – Sodium Chlorite. Chemicals.
C9H8O4 Aspirin. Chemicals.
Why is one a DEADLY PHARMACEUTICAL and the other is a Miracle Solution ? (btw: sodium chlorite is neither a mineral nor a miracle. )
Second: why is this idiot permitted to sell this crap ?
Are there not laws against administering a noxious substance ? or poisoning ? How come these evil pustules on the ass of society aren’t behind bars ? because they claim it’s treatment ? I could set up a storefront and claim kicking the crap out of cancer patients was curing them, that wouldn’t make it true and it wouldn’t immunize me from prosecution for assault.

On her Facebook page, Alison MacNeil is promoting the pro-MMS petition on You may remember her – she’s the daughter of Robert MacNeil, the famous journalist, whom she persuaded to make “An embarrassing, reckless, and irresponsible coda to Robert MacNeil’s career”.

Not only does she want her friends to sign the petition, she also posted a picture of a T-shirt that was emblazoned with: “Enema MacNeil”, with the caption “hey ARI? I’m with Kerri”. It seems she wore this while attending Autism One.

It seems safe to assume that Robert MacNeil’s son is being subjected to bleach enemas.

It struck me as really odd that something most people at the conference didn’t even know much about had already been completely scrutinized

Because MMS is not new. Ask Rhys Martin, who wrote about it in 2010.

bleach enemas

a “72-2″ protocol that involves making children drink dilute bleach every two hours for 72 hours.

MMS, a treatment being used for gut problems in some children

With so much bleach attacking your children’s gut flora (not to mention irritating the intestine itself), if they don’t have gut problems at first, they will after the treatment.

Are they trying to prove Wakefield right by creating a bunch of autisitic children with guts issues?

Just where the pluperfect hell is Child Protective Services when you need them?

James 2:24

Following on from DLCs comments

Bleach = sodium hypochlorite solution (NaOCl) which would be a “nasty chemical” if In a vaccine. Is a lot less than natural then formaldehyde (I am not aware of any natural sources) and is made in chemical plants by big nasty chemical companies. Maybe the Autisim groups are In the pay of “big Chemical”.

Bleach is also a powerful oxidant which presumably is bad as antioxidants are good.

Good on Autismum for posing questions to Kerri Rivera. The response from Rivera “says it all”. This non-doctor, non-scientist who is an acolyte of Jim Humble and who operates beyond our borders *claims* that the specialized autism clinic that she operates is to enable poor Mexican children to have the benefits of chelation, MMS and other biomedical interventions. She also *claims* to have *cured* children who were diagnosed as having autism.

Why is the ex-pat in Mexico? Where is the proof that she has *cured* any child? These questions go unanswered…and will remain unanswered for the simple fact that she is fronting for Jim Humble and is out of the reach of the FDA and any local or State Child Protective Agency.

The groupies over at AoA, and the parents who are dosing their kids with MMS are hard-nosed child abusers. And, no, I disagree that the parents who feed their kids MMS and who shove MMS solution enemas into their children are well meaning loving parents who don’t understand the dangers and pain that they subject their children to. They look at their children as lab guinea pigs, they see their children writhing in pain, they see the tears and the fear of the “treatments” in their childrens’ eyes. And, the damage they do to their children is no different than the damage that would be inflicted by a sick deviant stranger.

Take a look at some of the links on Macneil’s Facebook page.Autism recovery with homeopathy is one.

Making the rounds today I seem to spot a trend:
@ AoA, Mr Olmsted chastises the use of the anti-malarial, mefloquinine ( Lariam) by the American military.
Ms Conrick praises NAC ( I’ve been hearing about it for years *chez* idiot)
@ TMR, Ms Mamacita describes the deleterious effects of GMOs and food additives.
Orac cites a commenter ‘nymmed “RisperDON’T”. ( Risperdal is an atypical anti-psychotic sometimes prescribed to children with ASDs)
Some anti-vaxxers defend MMS while despising vaccines.

They appear to be labelling standard pharmaceuticals and technical innovations as *Verboten* while accepting non-pharma products as acceptable whether they be supplements or industrial bleaches or chelators. I guess it depends on who is selling the treatment.

Some of these parents load their children with handfuls of supplements that are un-tested and rail about doctors recommending Risperdal et al : they recount these tales of force feeding pills as though they were proud of their mis-use of their children.

I believe that one AJW really focused attention on the spurious autism/ GI connection- Andy’s project- the gift that keeps on giving . More bad ideas.

@ DLC: I think that it’s a bunny with a removable brain
-btw- someone gave me a plastic wind-up toy that is a brain on 2 feet that walks about.

OT- but I think that it fits in extremely well

Over @ Quackwatch**, I just learned that legal action based on Gary Null’s infamously bad batch of supplemental powders, ( covered by Orac in April, 2010) that sickened him and several customers, has been partially resolved : 2 of the 6 who were hospitalised settled their suits for undisclosed amounts BUT a fellow representting his mother, who died, continues on behalf of her estate.

Remember this is the dude who writes about how SBM is killing people by the hundreds of thousands.
If you google his name, Barrett’s article is amongst the first few hits. Guess that’s why he switched his main activites over to a crock called PRN.

** last paragraph of Barrett’s article on the quack; Dr B links to the suits.

I’m blushing!
There is some fella, Alejandro Diaz, doing the rounds of the blogs defending Kerri Rivera and MMS. It’s quite fun to see him contradict himself from one to another and his grasp of chemistry, well, lack of it, is hilarious.
and DLC, I think you’ll find that’s lop-eared rabbit and not a bear. Maybe it’s a dog. I don’t know but I want one.

Oh my goodness! An amigurami critter with removable brain! Am I weird that I find it adorable and hilarious at the same time?

That anyone would be suckered by MMS is depressing, but hey, go back a hundred years and folks were paying big bucks to have (presumed) billy goat testicles implanted in their abdomens. Or look at the trial of the “lady” down in Florida who was caught giving cheap buttock enhancement procedures that basically consisted of injecting caulk into people’s backsides. (Yes, with a caulk gun.) There really is a sucker born every minute.

I think the people who do this to their kids do actually love their children. It’s hard to understand, but consider this: a great many abusers love their children too, even though they hit them. It’s much more complicated than “love = do good things to the people you love”. You’d *think* it would be that simple, but these are people we’re talking about, and people are anything but simple. Abusers usually aren’t fully aware of how badly they’re treating their children; they’re in denial. And people who overmedicate their children (whether with approved drugs or not) are also often so far down the rabbit hole they aren’t looking at the situation dispassionately; they become so focused on the cure and chasing a possible future that they don’t notice the present. Of course, it’s hard to be dispassionate anyway when it’s your kids we’re talking about. I can definitely see how some might think any treatment is worth trying.

@ Denice Walter: Also at AoA…after Stagmom offered up a lame disclaimer about MMS…she *claims* that AoA does not endorse MMS or any other bizarre *treatment*…there have been no more comments posted. I suspect that the thread is now closed. Too bad. I was busy re-posting the comments on Science blogs just so people are aware of what these child abusers are doing to their children.

Yeah… ‘we don’t want no stinkin’ aluminum or mercury in our kids!’

“Bleach and Ionic silver? Those are GREAT!”

I don’t get it. I just don’t. Their ignorance is truly staggering. The whole ‘if it isn’t BIG PHARMA it must be GOOD” idea is just grotesque.

Colloidal silver is my pet peeve. Sure – let’s give our special snowflakes ionic silver, which is toxic to pretty much every organism out there – and even better, it’s nano silver!

Particles small enough to pass through the cell membrane by diffusion alone (and the blood brain barrier) – along with being taken up by the Na+ pumps into the cell.


DMSO is NOT fun stuff. It reacts very badly with my skin. I definitely wouldn’t want to mix the two together. Not sure what the final reaction might be, but I do know that DMSO is supposed to draw things into the tissues (there are those who argue against a DMSO instillation cocktail for interstitial cystitis including lidocaine for that reason, though some have suggested a “rescue instillation” including lidocaine after a DMSO instillation might not be unsafe).

I have never heard of DMSO taken orally – is the mixture suggested for topical application for people who are having issues taking it orally?

The latest things with MMS makes me wonder how more alt-med lovers aren’t dead.

@ Calli Arcale: While it is true that convicted child batterers and child murderers all *claim* to love their children, they are violent pugnacious individuals who work out their aggressions on their children. The end result is that their children are irreparably harmed emotionally and physically and…just as dead… as if the sicko pervert around the corner used these children to satisfy his/her sadistic appetite.

These parents are similar to the religious zealots who believe their child is possessed and subject their children to rituals to cast out the demons. Here the demons are parasites, fungi, bacteria and other pathogens and heavy metals and vaccines that need to be *treated*. They are looking for the easy fix, rather than devoting their time and energies to help their kids. They are consumed with anger at their *situation* and view their children as being dirty infested beings. They experiment with their children behind closed doors and deliberately hide their *treatments* from other family members. They know damn well that society views their *treatments* as child abuse and when they are *caught* by Child Protective Services, they claim to love their child.

Why does AoA defend the actions of the disgraced Wakefield and the Geiers? Why are these child-abusing characters giving a platform at Autism One and why are the groupies providing financial support to Wakefield. The answer is simple, their judgement is warped and their moral compasses and their parenting skill are non-existent.

I’ve often been accused of being a bleeding heart liberal because I believe that many people who are caught up in the criminal justice system can be rehabilitated, if given a chance. My compassion does not extend to child abusers.

@ lilady:

The fans also live vicariously through the bold, maverick, rebel paradigm-shifters (i.e woo-meisters): as AJW shall re-educate the corruption-ridden world of SBM, they will also bask in the radiant sunlight as they intone,” I told you so!” along with him; the SB nay-sayers shall have their comeuppance and all will be right with the world.

I think that the ever-spouting geysers of woo serve as role models for the fans’ own activities: writing, speaking, selling useless ( or dangerous) crap to the un-suspecting and un-informed, being grandiosity personified.If you peruse anti-vaxx sites’ facebook connections, you’ll observe that they have thousands waiting in the wings.

-btw- you’ll notice that ( in other thread) that my version of the esteemed ancient concoction requires better hootch! Family motto: “Better Hootch, Forward!” ( in Latin, I think)

@ Mrs Woo:

EVEN if the alt med treatments DO contribute to their demises, who can ever prove a link in a court of law? That would be a difficult task. See my comment above about Dr Barrett.

The latest things with MMS makes me wonder how more alt-med lovers aren’t dead.
Probably because they are clever enough not to take it themselves, only use it on their children (but those are lost anyway, so no harm done if they don’t make it).

IMO it is of no importance whether parents giving their children “bleach therapy” love them or not.

What is important is that they are giving their children “bleach therapy”.

And alt-med people always blame previous “allopathic treatments” for “weakening the patient too much for alt-med to save them.” ~shakes head~

I sometimes get baffled by how hard it is to turn “true believers” around. Usually the best I can do with Mr Woo is make him angry pointing out ways that his newest alt-med treatment is illogical or unrealistic. Right now he’s listening to one of his favorite “truth” websites that has assured him that the government has created the zombie virus and, in true New World Order style, has made us aware that it exists (according to Alex Jones, the NWO has rules that include telling us their plans but in ways that make them seem unbelievable).

To think, I’m skipping violin practice to not disturb him listening to it…?

@ Neil on Knees 8:43am

Bleach = sodium hypochlorite solution (NaOCl) which would be a “nasty chemical” if In a vaccine. Is a lot less than natural then formaldehyde (I am not aware of any natural sources)

Actually, that’s not true, there is a very common natural source of hypochlorites in all mammals: the phagolysosome inside our macrophages and other bug-eating white cells.
(see Wikipedia article on hypochlorite for this)
But note how it is inside a very specialized vacuole, the in-cell version of a NBC suit, and how transient it is.
It seems evolution spend some effort segregating super-oxidizing molecules. There doesn’t seem to be a strong benefit in having them free-roaming in the blood stream …

according to Alex Jones, the NWO has rules that include telling us their plans but in ways that make them seem unbelievable

My understanding of this was that the Masons have a duty to reveal their intentions but are allowed to do so cryptically. Minor difference.

The biggest straw man of all is that we claim that parents who try these treatments are gullible and/or don’t love their children. The parents might be gullible, or they might just be insufficently scientifically sophisticated to recognize quackery. No one that I know of claims that these parents don’t love their children.

I know you are loathe to cast such judgement but I did just say it.

You may disagree but I simply can’t see how anyone can subject their children to these vile “treatments” and exploit them out of love. I have to agree with lilady on this one.

I hate to say but I will anyway: parents may actually GAIN- at least socially- from their child’s condition- Freud wrote about ‘secondary gain’ wherein a person who is ill uses that condtion to his or her advantage -perhaps to “make-up” for other losses experienced- so, we might call this “secondary gain by proxy”. I am not saying that this is done *deliberately* or even consciously but some folks that I can NAME ( or refer to by ‘nym) became semi-famous because of their association with the Cause: they write books and posts about autism, they’re lauded as brave martyr parents, they are listed amongst the elect or suchlike.

Woo advocates’ cavalier notion about diagnosis and treatment by the untrained is rather scary itself: remember, these are the people who gripe about how real doctors and psychologists *label* their children and its “un-professionalism”.

So glad that working in this part of the field is not my metier.

MMS has been touted to cure Lyme disease too. Which only makes sense because Lyme causes autism, of course. 🙁

@ Science Mom: Thanks for taking a stand against these abusing parents. Your statement on your blog is exactly what should be stated to these sadist parents.

We have stood by while kids have been maimed and killed by *interventions* and haven’t as yet labeled their actions as abusive. It must be something is our collective psyches that we make excuses for parents who maim their children…”they are well meaning or well intentioned”, “they are gullible”, “they are uneducated and ignorant about dangerous treatments”…Ad infinitum. We just cannot comprehend that a parent would knowingly endanger or injure their child.

There are malevolent people in this world and abuse of a child doesn’t magically change to not a case of abuse, because the abuser is identified as the child’s parent.

If you have convinced yourself that autism is a fate worse than death, then I can certainly see parents believing that trying MMS is better than the alternative. I don’t believe, other than in highly unusual situations, that these parents are intentionally malicious. Hopelessly misguided, perhaps, but not evil.

I’m sorry but I can’t beleive anyone, much less a parent, believing oral bleach, intravenous bleach or bleach enema’a are a reasonable alternative to anything under any circumstances.

Whether they’re misguded or acting out of malice, they’re still abusing children.

lilady, I think you missed my point. What abusers do to their children is absolutely wrong, and certainly damages the children. Sometimes they even kill their children. But we should not make the mistake of assuming that they are all lying when they say they love their children. Nor should we assume all abusers have the same motivations for what they do.

The ones who are taking out their anger on a convenient target — many of those probably do genuinely love their children, which makes the situation all the more tragic. It would probably be easier if the parents were just assholes, honestly. Love makes it worse, then. A parent who is unfit to parent can be blinded by their love for their children and refuse to be separated from them. We idolize those who do the right thing, and rightly so, because it is better to give up your children out of love because you recognize they are better off without you. But love makes it harder, because it hurts more to lose them. Addicts, philanderers, people with anger management issues . . . . They often mean well. They just don’t *do* well. And the hell of it is, sometimes they realize just what a horror they’re putting their families through. Some will use that as a moment of clarity, and break the cycle; others will simply spiral further down in response.

With people who subject their children to woo….

They are spending huge amounts of money, many of them. They honestly believe this is what is good for their children, that there is some hope. If they didn’t love the children, why wouldn’t they just abandon them? I can’t make sense of their actions except as Munchausen’s by Proxy or by a deep and potent love that has blinded the parent and made them far too eager to grasp at offers of hope. I’ve seen that happen. I am sure that most, and quite possibly all, of these people on AoA and other sites do love their children.

Love can be abusive, though. To assume that an abuser doesn’t love is to gravely underestimate the extent of abuse, and overestimate the power of love. Love, without reason, can lead to quite horrifying outcomes. In Camaroon, some women iron their daughters’ chests in hopes of reducing the size of their breasts. It doesn’t work, but they do it anyway, because they love their daughters. They think that making them less attractive will reduce their risk of being raped. That doesn’t work either, of course, but they keep trying, and the results can be as agonizingly horrific as any burn can be.

I don’t believe, other than in highly unusual situations, that these parents are intentionally malicious. Hopelessly misguided, perhaps, but not evil.

I respectfully disagree. If you can look at your child and STILL think it’s a good idea to jack them up with bleach, or inject chelators, immunoglobulins, force-feed them anti-fungals and antibiotics then you are evil and have no humanity.

Freud wrote about ‘secondary gain’ wherein a person who is ill uses that condtion to his or her advantage -perhaps to “make-up” for other losses experienced- so, we might call this “secondary gain by proxy”.

The AoA people talk about autism as the New Epidemic, not noticing that the *real* epidemic is of Munchausen-by-Proxy.

@ Denice Walter:

“Freud wrote about ‘secondary gain’ wherein a person who is ill uses that condtion to his or her advantage -perhaps to “make-up” for other losses experienced- so, we might call this “secondary gain by proxy”.

Can you say Munchausen-By-Proxy-Syndrome, Denice? Its odd that much discussion is taking place about the changes in the DSM 5 diagnostic criteria pertaining to autism. (Truly outside of my area of expertise), but perhaps there should be a new subgroup under Munchausen-By-Proxy to describe the abuse of a developmentally disabled child.

I would “propose” that this new subgroup is marked by parents who are immature, who haven’t accepted their child’s differences from the “norm”, who have a preexisting degree of narcissism, who are angry and prone to histrionics, who view themselves as martyrs, who have a distrust of science, who are in denial and are publicity seekers, who need constant reinforcement from their “group” and…who seize an opportunity to “capitalize on their child” by pimping their stories on anti-vaccine websites.

This bleach thing really, really makes me think of all the old tales about changelings. You surely know the folk tale – if your child starts to behave strangely, cries all the time, makes faces, looks disfigured – it’s not your child anymore, your child has been taken by elves and what is in the crib, is their changeling. So what you do? Start beating the changeling until its mother comes to save it and brings your own child in return.

I have never heard of DMSO taken orally – is the mixture suggested for topical application for people who are having issues taking it orally?

The Great Google reveals that while some people are mixing DMSO into their MMS and applying to the skin, others are indeed drinking it.

I’ve always felt that AJW’s project sounded like MBP: inventing an illness where there was none,
subjecting children in his charge to unnecessary tests, getting attention from the process…

but I can’t say that because we should never diagnosis anyone over the ‘net….
doens’t mean that our minds will not go where the situation leads them..

@ Cali, you are a kind and considerate person and I think it’s going to come down to agreeing to disagree. The biomeddlers aren’t culturally or educationally isolated, on the contrary, they go on and on about how ‘educated’ they are. So they have no excuse for what they are doing and some actively hide what they are doing. I’ll concede that they may have some excruciatingly warped remnant of love for their children but have dehumanised them so extensively that they convince themselves that only they care enough or are the only ones to “recover” them. Recover them from what? Drug addiction? Cancer? Infectious disease? If they truly loved the child there in front of them, there is no way (in my opinion) that they could inflict the damage they do and brag about it no less. No, this is about the selfish parents.

@ Calli Arcale: And, I think you missed my point. Let me rephrase some of my prior statements, for clarity.

The love that you describe as being well-meaning and misinterpreted, is a sick love. Even the most intellectually impaired child will recoil from oral doses of industrial strength chemicals because of the memory of prior doses that caused that child to puke. The parents who shove catheters up their kids rectums to instill caustic enemas see the fear on their child’s face, the tears welling up and see their child writhing in pain as they are dealing with agonizing bowel cramps. Their feces, after repeated bowel cleansings are not formed; they are watery and acidic and they excoriate the delicate rectal tissue. Yet, the parents still persist with the ritual purgings.

“With people who subject their children to woo….

They are spending huge amounts of money, many of them. They honestly believe this is what is good for their children, that there is some hope. If they didn’t love the children, why wouldn’t they just abandon them?”

Why would you equate the money that is spent on these “treatments” with parental love, Calli? They don’t “abandon them” because they would lose face in the community and within the group on websites. Having people who are unaware that you are abusing your child and who heap praises on you for caring for your child and being a “martyr” in your own perverse mind, fulfills a sick need for these abusers. They are powerful motivators to hang on to your child.

I might add Calli, that this subset of Munchausen-By-Proxy parents are slick. They do their “treatments” behind closed doors and back off their “treatments” before their children becomes so dehydrated or so anemic that they require hospitalization.

Please Calli, do not compare certain practices such as genital mutilation that takes place in Africa or breast “ironing”, which are being condemned by educated people in those same societies…and roundly condemned by everyone outside of those closed societies.

Years ago, in the Western World, certain ethnic groups had the xenophobic and dynasty-building practice of marrying off young virgins to older cousins. In China, they used to bind the feet of upper class young girls…to make them more desirable. Those practices have all been abandoned, because of our enlightened attitudes.

These abusing parents live in a society that does not abuse our kids, we don’t have a close male relative who “prepares” a young woman for marriage. We don’t…with the exception of certain cults…hand over 10 year old girls…to pleasure old men. We don’t countenance psychological, emotional or physical abuse by teachers or caregivers who we entrust our children with. Child abuse is child abuse, even if the abuser tries to hide behind the label of parent.

You are defending the indefensible, Calli.

The Great Google reveals that while some people are mixing DMSO into their MMS and applying to the skin, others are indeed drinking it.

Is it just me, or is this the height of irony? (Yes, I know what they mean.)

@ Calli Arcade:

Don’t forget the “Ashley Treatment” for some severely disabled children — keeping them small and preventing puberty. And one of the reasons the parents have this done is to prevent sex abuse. It’s easy for me to talk, but I can’t get my mind around this, particulary the last reason! If someone is so sick as to rape a helpless person, “infantilizing” (if that’s the right word) the patient won’t stop it.

This is not even woo!

@ Queen Khentkawes

We all agree that woo is pretty terrible, but there are many, many differences between the Ashley Treatment and woo. If you haven’t seen it yet, here is the parent’s rationale for the Ashley treatment in one slide

Ethically controversial? Yes.

However there are some clear medical benefits to Ashley, and every procedure, even though some were invasive, was a legitimate medical procedure with clear data about risks and side effects. Unlike the haphazard treatment of children with bleach, which is never a good idea.

Also, if you really read the entire case, I believe the parent’s had Ashley’s best interests in mind, not their own.

If you have specific questions about that treatment, let me know. We just had a very in-depth presentation on the topic in my ethics in healthcare research, practice, and policy class.


The Ashley Treatment is a false dilemma regarding the potential for sexual abuse. Abusers abuse children (and other peoples) regardless of their size, puberty, mental capacity or even if they wore burka (no offense intended to burka). There is absolutely no correlation regarding sexual abuse potential and puberty or not puberty.

The other reason are entirely valid but the potential for sexual abuse in that case is bullshit.

@ Autistic Lurker

You are probably right, I honestly know nothing about that topic. Could you link to the data that you are referring to that says there is no correlation between abusers and the people they choose to abuse?

However, the comment I was replying to above said the Ashley Treatment was referring to the Ashley Treatment as being comparable to woo. I was arguing that it is not, mainly due to the medical reasons for many of the procedures. Maybe if you fixate on the treatment as a way to prevent abuse and ignore everything else, you could argue that it was unethical, but I would argue that overall, it was an ethically justified procedure.

Also, in my opinion, regardless of the preferences (or lack thereof) of abusers, the Ashley Treatment is a very powerful way to prevent abuse, because it allows the child to stay under the care of his/her parents, as opposed to institutionalization.

Ugh! We need more science education in America!

by one of the nation’s leading University chemists

What? E. J. Corey was involved? Richard Heck? Barry Sharpless? That commenter wouldn’t know a “leading University chemist” if he met one.

Yeah, I know there’s that thing we call “Nobel disease” but Boyd Haley’s not on that list. And (no offense to intended to residents of KY or alumni and students) the University of Kentucky isn’t exactly a scientific mecca.

I think it’s worth noting, at least in passing, that MMS might conceivably benefit some people. By producing a strong base, the solution would predictably neutralize stomach acid, which COULD be a good thing, IF (as most obviously in the case of ulcers) a condition involved either an excessive amount of stomach acid or a weakening of the stomach lining. And, if the person is on the autism spectrum, it’s plausible that, by alleviating the GI condition, autism symptoms could be mitigated simply by reducing stress. Of course, none of these possibilities are in evidence in the presentation material.

David N. Brown

Mesa, Arizona

Calli Arcale, ScienceMom, and Lilady: re loving your children.

This is where I’d like to repost Kelly M Bray’s comment from May 16th, but I botched saving the link and can’t find the original comment (it has been reposted elsewhere; perhaps Kelly would be willing to repost it again on Just the Vax in the comments to Science Mom’s latest post). The comment resonated with me, and I’ve thought about it a lot.

To paraphrase: what would you change about your child? Nothing.

Myself, I’d like to get my children to modify some of their bad habits, but that’s about it. As I said, the comment resonated with me, and I’ve thought a lot about it. While my kids fall under the umbrella of “normal,” they aren’t exactly “typical” and it has not always been easy being their parent. But, like Kelly, I wouldn’t have it any other way.

“Abusers abuse children (and other peoples) regardless of their size, puberty, mental capacity ”

This is true for offenders in general, but NOT for individuals. By accepted wisdom, the victims of a single offender will fall within a quite narrow range of ages. Of course, that doesn’t make arresting physical development any more useful.

I suspect that this is, in no small part, a case of expressing legitimate but unpleasant concerns in euphemism. The most obvious REAL problem is that a mentally handicapped but physically fully developed woman can get pregnant (and probably will NOT use “protection” on her own initiative!), and possibly have an equally disabled child. There’s also foreseeable problems where mental functioning is just high enough that a “partner” might claim “apparent” consent with some plausibility.

David N. Brown

Mesa, Arizona

David Brown @7:20

predictably neutralize stomach acid
We have medications like Prevacid and Zantac for that, with the added bonus that they don’t destroy the patients’ intestinal membranes.

I cringe when I read the comment from the mother who mistook slough off of from the damage done to her child’s intestine as a proof of dead parasites.

I’ve seen slough off: In my child’s case, the damage was done by dairy products – and you know what? I stopped giving them to her!

Total HTML and proof reading fail. Obviously, my quotation of David ends at “acid.”


Uh, dude, parents and relatives abuse children all the time, and the abuse often happens in the home. I wouldn’t present institutionalization as though it automatically guarantees sexual abuse whereas home is safe and sound, because that’s demonstrably not true. I also think it does a pretty big disservice to non-parental carers by implying that they are all predators waiting to pounce.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go be ill over in the corner. While I recognize that Ashley’s parents are in a difficult situation, every time I read their thoughts, I feel like they just didn’t want a woman’s body interfering with the illusion of their perpetual infant. I can’t verbalize well why it bugs me, aside from feeling like Ashley is viewed as a thing to be changed at will and not a person.

@ ccs:

I was reacting more to Calli Arcade’s post than the bleach, and I should have made that clear. Having said that:

1. The argument can certainly be made that stopping growth makes it easier on both the child and the caregiver.

2. The argument can certainly be made in favor of sterilization of the child. Personally, I think it’s a slippery slope, but that’s just me. I can see why the parents would worry about a pregnancy.

3. But to say that all this will protect the child from sexual abuse is nonsensical. Aside from the fact that they may be institutionalized at some point, the parents have to protect their child from everyone who comes in the house. This “small size as protection” argument is woo and ought not be made.

4. I have to echo Nashira here. “Pillow angel” sounds to me like a demotion from “person” and I don’t like that.

One application of DMSO in research settings is as a ‘vehicle’ to carry other drugs, chemicals, metals and allergens through the skin. We call this ‘painting’. The DMSO is mixed with the compound of interest and the mixture is brushed onto a small area of exposed skin…..and vuala!

This MMS story just keeps getting scarier.

Did anyone hear Rivera describe how the “72-2” protocol was conceived? In the video I watched, Rivera told a story about a desperate parent using a ‘standard’ MMS treatment involving treating only during the day. Apparently, this mother lay awake at night wondering whether the parasites might have plenty of time to grow while she was sleeping (and therefore not able to bleach her poor child), so….yep, you guessed it, the mom devised an 3 day torture protocol that she felt wouldn’t give the parasites time to grow. Rivera was so moved by this that she immediately adopted the protocol as standard procedure. Now that’s science-based medicine!

Honest question. I’ve heard this idea a few times now:

‘I believe that autism is a fully-recoverable gut disorder, that the children are suffering and deserve treatment”
(sorry, suck at html, and without preview, can’t be bothered trying)

I don’t get this – my, admittedly limited, exposure to autism suggests there’s a problem somewhere with the brain – not the gut. How the hell do they explain the idea that a problem in the gut is causing autism?

Meg, it is because when Richard Barr was looking for someone to provide “research” to support a lawsuit in the UK, the person he found willing to do fraud for cash was Andrew Wakefield. Since Wakefield was a gastroenterologist he tied it all to the “gut.”

I am not defending the indefensible. You are misunderstanding me, apparently thinking I am defending child abuse. I AM NOT, and I am offended that you think so. I am well aware that child abuse is reprehensible. My point is that telling these people “you obviously don’t love your children” is a) wrong and b) counterproductive, because it’s a great way of making people defensive. You want them to hate you? Go ahead and tell them they hate their children; I can guarantee you it will only reinforce their views.

The world is not black and white, lilady, divided into good people and evil people, with good people incapable of evil acts. Quite the contrary. People are a mixture of both, and are fallible. They can be fooled, they can be deluded, and they can deceive even themselves without realizing they are doing it. And there is no greater evil than that which is done out of love. “It’s good for him. She’ll thank me when she’s grown. This is better than the alternative. We must beat the demon out.” (I met an exorcist once. Now *that* was a surreal experience. Luckily, not one which believed in beating the devil out, but still very very weird.)

Jeebus, this comment just showed up on my blog:

Amanzo, mother of Liam (3)June 11, 2012 9:03 PM

MMS is NOT bleach! If anyone would take the time to understand the chemistry behind the substance, you would have proper information to THEN evaluate. Chlorine dioxide is SAFE in the ways we use it with children and people. It is a compound produced by our immune system. Anyone who doesn’t believe autism is an immune-disorder needs only see the lists of food sensitivity my child has. I will help restore my child’s body to health – because I love him and want the best for his future. I believe in MMS and Kerri Rivera. Please research more before you sign this petition.

My point is that telling these people “you obviously don’t love your children” is a) wrong and b) counterproductive, because it’s a great way of making people defensive. You want them to hate you? Go ahead and tell them they hate their children; I can guarantee you it will only reinforce their views.

Calli, these are people who are completely immune to reason, evidence, logic and humanity. They already hate “us”; we’re the enemy remember? We’re “pharma whores”, “shills” and “vaccine-pushers”. These are people who intentionally isolate themselves from criticism and dissent, people who initiate lawsuits against their critics, threaten people’s employment, threaten people’s safety and the safety of their children and who stalk their critics. This is not a nice and rational group of people. Education doesn’t work, compassion doesn’t work so what do you suggest? They need a wake-up call, if for nothing than yes, to put them on the defensive. Because their repugnant and defiant defence of abuse may prevent others from going down the same road.

Calli…let’s agree to disagree. I personally don’t care if they hate me for calling them out for their abuse of their children.

I don’t talk around an issue of blatant child abuse and I will not give them “a pass” or let them cop of plea of ignorance, because they are “misunderstood” and “only want the best for their child”.

I obviously do not share your view of the world and your view that good people commit evil acts, simply because they “can”. These cold and unfeeling abusers, have severe mental problems that they refuse to acknowledge or get help for. They would rather work out their anger on their defenseless kids.

Just remember Calli, that for every abusive parent, there are enablers; a spouse, another family member or a neighbor who “prefers” to not “get involved”…the abusers count on this.

Child abuse is everyone’s business.

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