MIAMI NEW TIMES – Mark Grenon will stand trial in Miami, charged with creating a fake church to peddle industrial bleach as a “miracle cure” for COVID-19.
In August 2020, a Florida man and his son were arrested in Colombia after fleeing as U.S. federal investigators alleged the pair had used a fake church as a cover to peddle industrial bleach as a “miracle cure” for COVID-19.
Mark Grenon, the 64-year-old who led Genesis II Church of Health & Healing and claimed to be the source of Donald Trump’s bleach fixation, has spent the past two years jailed in the South American country with his 34-year-old son Joseph.
Grenon’s two other sons, Jonathan, 36, and Jordan, 28, who were arrested at the same time on U.S. soil, remain incarcerated at Miami’s Federal Detention Center pending a September 12 trial.
The wheels of justice turn slowly, but in this case, at least, they’re turning.
“The product had killed seven people in the U.S. as of August 2020, according to a report in Business Insider.”
According to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Florida, the elder Grenon made his initial appearance in federal court on Thursday, July 28.
He waived representation of counsel, according to court filings. No attorneys are listed on the docket.
According to an indictment filed last year, the Grenons manufactured, promoted, and sold a product they called “Miracle Mineral Solution” (MMS) …
a chemical solution containing sodium chlorite and water that, if ingested orally, becomes chlorine dioxide, a toxic compound used as an industrial disinfectant.
Even before the pandemic descended, the Grenons were selling jugs of the substance, claiming it could prevent and cure all manner of ailments.
Prosecutors contend that the family raked in more than $1 million in sales.
Leader of “Genesis II Church of Health and Healing,” Who Sold Toxic Bleach as Fake “Miracle” Cure for Covid-19 and Other Serious Diseases, Extradited from Colombia to the United States
Miami, Florida – Mark Grenon, 64, made his initial appearance today in federal court in Miami, Florida, after being extradited from Colombia.
Grenon is charged—along with his three sons, Jonathan Grenon, 36, Jordan Grenon, 28, and Joseph Grenon, 34—with fraudulently marketing and selling “Miracle Mineral Solution,” a toxic industrial bleach, as a cure for COVID-19, cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, autism, malaria, hepatitis, Parkinson’s, herpes, HIV/AIDS, and other serious medical conditions, and with defying federal court orders.
According to an indictment returned by a federal grand jury, the Grenons, all of Bradenton, Florida, manufactured, promoted, and sold a product they named Miracle Mineral Solution (“MMS”). MMS is a chemical solution containing sodium chlorite and water which, when ingested orally, became chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleach typically used for industrial water treatment or bleaching textiles, pulp, and paper.
The Grenons claimed that ingesting MMS could treat, prevent, and cure COVID-19, according to the charges. The FDA, however, had not approved MMS for treatment of COVID-19, or for any other use. Rather, in prior official warning statements, the FDA had strongly urged consumers not to purchase or use MMS for any reason, explaining that drinking MMS was the same as drinking bleach and could cause dangerous side effects, including severe vomiting, diarrhea, and life-threatening low blood pressure.
In fact, FDA received reports of people requiring hospitalizations, developing life-threatening conditions, and even dying after drinking MMS.
The indictment further alleges that before marketing MMS as a cure for COVID-19, the Grenons marketed MMS as a miracle cure-all for dozens of other serious diseases and disorders, even though the FDA had not approved MMS for any use.
The Grenons sold tens of thousands of bottles of MMS nationwide, including to consumers throughout South Florida, according to the allegations. They sold this dangerous product under the guise of Genesis II Church of Health and Healing (“Genesis”), an entity they are accused of creating to avoid government regulation of MMS and shield themselves from prosecution. According to charging documents, Genesis’ own websites describe Genesis as a “non-religious church,” and Defendant Mark Grenon, the co-founder of Genesis, has repeatedly acknowledged that Genesis “has nothing to do with religion,” and that he founded Genesis to “legalize the use of MMS” and avoid “going [ ] to jail.” The Genesis websites further stated that MMS could be acquired only through a “donation” to Genesis, but the donation amounts for MMS orders were set at specific dollar amounts, and were mandatory, such that the donation amounts were effectively just sales prices. The indictment alleges that the Grenons received more than $1 million from selling MMS.
The indictment also charges the Grenons with criminal contempt. The United States previously filed a civil case against the defendants and Genesis II Church of Health and Healing. See United States v. Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, et al., Case No. 20-21601-CV-WILLIAMS. In that civil case, the United States obtained court orders halting the Grenons’ distribution of MMS. According to charging documents, the Grenons willfully violated those court orders and continued to distribute MMS. The Grenons also allegedly threatened the federal judge presiding over the civil case, and threatened that, should the government attempt to enforce the court orders halting their distribution of MMS, the Grenons would “pick up guns” and instigate “a Waco.”
Furthermore, according to statements made in court by federal prosecutors in Miami, a search warrant was executed for Defendant Jonathan Grenon’s house at the time of his arrest, and officers discovered that the Grenons were manufacturing MMS in a shed in Jonathan Grenon’s backyard in Bradenton, Florida. Officers seized dozens of blue chemical drums containing nearly 10,000 pounds of sodium chlorite powder, thousands of bottles of MMS, and other items used in the manufacture and distribution of MMS. The government also recovered multiple loaded firearms, including one pump-action shotgun concealed in a custom-made violin case to disguise its appearance, according to prosecutors.
Trial is set to begin on September 12, in Miami, Florida, before Chief U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga.
U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida Juan Antonio Gonzalez and Assistant Commissioner of the FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations Catherine Hermsen made the announcement.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Michael B. Homer and John Shipley of the Southern District of Florida are prosecuting the case. FDA’s Office of Criminal Investigations investigated the case.
U.S. Attorney Gonzalez commends and thanks the government of Colombia for its assistance. U.S. Attorney Gonzalez also extends his gratitude to the Justice Department’s Office of International Affairs (OIA) and the Narcotic and Dangerous Drug Section (NDDS) Judicial Attachés in Bogota, Colombia for their substantial assistance in securing the arrest and extradition of Mark Grenon to the United States.
An indictment is a charging instrument containing allegations. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.
Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov, under case number 21-cr-20242.