Harris County Attorney Vince Ryan’s effort to stop the sale of a fraudulent medical treatment has been upheld.
The Fourteenth Court of Appeals in an opinion issued last week affirmed an injunction obtained by Harris County Attorney Ryan that halts the promotion and distribution of a fraudulent medical treatment known as the “Miracle Mineral Solution.”
After Ryan filed a lawsuit in 2017, District Judge Randy Wilson ordered Shane Hawkins D/B/A Genesis II Church of Health and Healing, Chapter #119 to stop promoting or selling the “Miracle Mineral Solution.” This alleged medical treatment was called a “health sacrament” of the church and was touted as a cure for 95 percent of human diseases. The solution, also marketed as MMS, is actually a sodium chlorite product used in disinfectants and as an industrial bleaching agent.
The Court of Appeals in a September 27 opinion, rejected Hawkins’ claim that no court had jurisdiction over him or his church and that he had a right to teach the church’s beliefs and offer its sacraments.
“This product is nothing but an industrial bleach concoction that poses a serious health risk to Harris County residents,” Ryan said. “The promoter’s claim that this product can solve practically every ailment known to man is not only ridiculous but also dangerous to the persons who use it.”
According to the Federal Drug Administration, MMS is a solution of sodium chlorite mixed with an activator such as an acid like citric acid. The FDA advises that when those two chemicals are mixed together, they create chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleaching agent.
MMS is promoted by Hawkins and others as a “miracle” substance that can cure cancer, diabetes, autism, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, Hepatitis and even addiction and the common cold.
However, no medical research shows MMS to be effective in treating any of these diseases. In fact, when used as directed, MMS can cause serious harm to a person’s health. Health authorities warn that drinking the MMS mixture can cause severe nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and possibly even death.
Ryan stated in the lawsuit that Hawkins promoted and sold MMS in Harris County through “seminars” offered at local hotels. These seminars are referred to as “Genesis II Church Sacraments: The Fundamentals of MMS.” (This church has no known affiliation with any legitimate religious organization.) The sacraments consist of mixing up and consuming MMS. Attendees had to pay a $500 cash “donation” at the door in an envelope labeled “Genesis II Church donation c/o Rev. Shane Hawkins.” In return, donors received church membership for a year and a “Reverend Certificate.” Those who finished the course were promised that they would know “how to restore health from 95 percent of the diseases of mankind” and may “legally” use the prefix “Dr.” with their name.
The trial court found that Hawkins violated the state’s Deceptive Trade Practices Act because of the fraudulent claims about MMS and by promoting, manufacturing and selling MMS, a drug that is not legally approved as safe and effective for use.
“I understand the desperation of many people to find a cure for their illnesses,” Ryan said. “That someone would use this desperation to prey upon them, fraudulently offering hope that they will be cured, is bad enough. But that this so-called cure is likely to make them even sicker is intolerable. We are stopping this fraud from happening in Harris County.”
Click here to read the County Attorney’s lawsuit.
Click here to read the trial court’s judgment.
Click here to read the Court of Appeal’s Opinion.