COVID: Pastors of 'Church of the Bleach' arrested in Colombia
The North Americans Mark and Joseph Grenon were selling from the Latin American country a 'lethal' miracle cure against the virus.
The dark medical show by Mark Grenon, the 'pope of the church of bleach', has ended as a vaudeville nightmare and possible prison sentence of up to 17 years. From the beginning of the pandemic, Grenon advocated among his faithful at Florida's Genesis II Church of Health and Healing for a "miraculous mineral solution" as a sacrament to cure COVID, and later marketed it throughout the United States, Africa and Latin America.
The Colombian Attorney General's Office has accomplished what the United States could not, stopping Mark Grenon and his son, who allegedly operated from the coastal town of Santa Marta sending a 'miracle elixir' — which has killed seven Americans — to their clients in most of Africa, Colombia and the U.S.
In a video posted on Twitter by Colombia's top prosecutor, the father and son appear dressed in overalls and blue masks being escorted by police.
The news comes a month after the Archbishop of Genesis II and his three sons were accused by Florida authorities of trafficking potentially deadly substances not approved for medical use by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). In a statement, the FDA said "ingesting these products is the same as drinking bleach."
The Grenons' "miracle mineral solution" (MMS) is actually chlorine dioxide, a textile bleach they prescribed to treat everything from AIDS and cancer to autism. According to The Guardian, they even fooled President Donald Trump, who in April, after receiving a letter from Mark Grenon, recommended injecting disinfectant to treat COVID-19.
Also around this time, a judge in Miami ordered the Genesis II Church to stop marketing the substance, but was ignored by the Grenons, and the organization continued to sell its poison in numerous countries.
In fact, despite the medical warnings, the Bolivian Senate approved a bill at the end of last month that endorsed its use as a treatment for the coronavirus, although the Health Ministry ended up disallowing it.
The desperate race to find a vaccine against COVID and the escalation of infections and deaths worldwide — in the United States alone there are 5.24 million infections and more than 167,000 deaths by August 14 — the proliferation of false remedies and "COVID scammers" has grown as much as the fear and uncertainty.
Recently, the U.S. Department of Justice announced the closure of some 300 Internet sites selling fraudulent coronavirus remedies, as well as the arrest of three Vietnamese citizens involved in a fraud ring. The civil lawsuits were filed in Tampa, Florida on Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, and the arrests took place in Vietnam where the scammers were operating, according to a statement from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The 'corona-fakes' have become real and fearsome snowballs that arrive at homes in the form of a disinformation avalanche due to the immediacy of the Internet.
A few days ago the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene published an investigation into the number of people who had died as a result of misinformation about the virus. In the first three months of the year alone, at least 800 people died as a result of 'fake news' and deliberate scams, and 5,800 ended up in the hospital.
Most of the victims, the researchers say, had ingested methanol — an alcohol used to make fuel — or cleaning products on the recommendations of misleading social media publications.