Respectful Insolence

Here we go again.

Remember how last week I said I wouldn’t write about the Miracle Mineral Solution (abbreviated MMS) again for a while? I lied.

Well, actually, I didn’t. At the time I wrote that, I really did mean to give it a rest for a while, and for a while at least I was a good boy. I even managed to ignore Todd Drezner’s excellent post on—of all places!—what is normally a wretched hive of scum and quackery, The Huffington Post, entitled The Curious Case of Autism and MMS. Then came this post by an MMS apologist that we’ve met before, a man named Adam Mr. Abraham who goes by the handle of The Phaelosopher and is responsible for putting together the incredible conference of woo that he calls the Genome Healing Workshop, which was held in Scottsdale this very weekend. He’s also the same guy who was—shall we say?—less than pleased with me for having criticized his workshop.

The Phaelospher, it appears, is very unhappy with Mr. Drezner, very unhappy indeed, so much so that he wrote a post entitled The “MMS-is-Bleach” Card is Played… Again. Before we get to the “Fail-osopher,” as skeptics like to call him, let’s first go back to Mr. Drezner’s HuffPo post and what brought it about. It was a hard-hitting article, and, certainly, I can’t argue with Mr. Drezner’s conclusion:

Let’s state the obvious: There is no reason to give bleach to any child, for any reason. There is not a shred of scientific evidence that MMS is an effective treatment for autism. Some purveyors of quackery have spotted a lucrative market and are trying to take advantage of it. But their protocol is far closer to child abuse than it is to effective medical treatment.

Sadly, Autism One and those who attend it have had a very hard time recognizing these simple facts. In a post at Age of Autism, Julie Obradovic tries to defend MMS without actually defending it. Instead, she mentions that Autism One presenters included M.D.s, Ph.D.s, and a Nobel Laureate. But the presence of smart people at a conference that promotes quackery doesn’t change the fact that it’s promoting quackery.

Indeed, it does not, although I would point out to Mr. Drezner that this Nobel Laureate is a Nobel Laureate who has come down with the Nobel Disease. He’s turned into a complete crank, endorsing homeopathy, appearing in an HIV/AIDS denialist movie, and starting up an unethical clinical trial of long-term antibiotic therapy for autistic children. In fact, it was that clinical trial that he came to Autism One to talk about, lending the aura of his Nobel Prize to the most wretched of quackfests.

Montagnier aside, I dealt with Julie Obradovic’s apologia for MMS last week as well. Basically, in the context of writing about how great she thought the Autism One quackfest was over Memorial Day weekend, she lamented how mean some skeptical bloggers were to Kerri Rivera, the quack whose talk touting using MMS for autism actually appears to have embarrassed members of the “autism biomed” quackery underground enough to downplay it or to play the “be open-minded” card. As I say frequently, though, it’s a fine line between being open-minded and being so open-minded that your brains fall out. Letting a quack like Kerri Rivera give a talk about feeding autistic children bleach and giving them bleach enemas until they get a fever, all in an attempt to cure their autism, blows past that line at Indy racer-like speeds and continues on for the proverbial 500 laps past it. From my perspective, if anything, we skeptics went a little too easy on Ms. Rivera, but our commenters didn’t. They called this “treatment” what it really is: Child abuse. Even if the bleach in the solutions poured into these children’s anuses were nothing more than water or saline, it would still be child abuse because it’s a useless therapy that involves doing something that is likely to cause extreme distress to any child. Autistic children, however, given their frequent sensory issues, are far more likely to find such a treatment to be painful or disturbing in the extreme while many of them would be less likely to be cooperative for it. But, as we know, it’s worse than that, given that Rivera advocates upping the doses until children start having fevers, exulting about how she loves fever therapy.

Criticism of this quackery is what Obradovic characterized as “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)” and as “obsessive and premature.” Later, Ms. Obradovic showed up in the comments of Mr. Drezner’s post, outraged that she had been characterized as defending MMS quackery, saying that what she wrote was “in no way an endorsement of MMS” and concluding:

Your argument that Autism One should not have given MMS a venue regardless is fair. But to take issue with me and what I wrote, and to morph my observation of Autism One into a defense of MMS is not. I was defending the parents who attend Autism One, not a treatment. I respectfully ask that is acknowledged. I also accept responsibility for any interpretation my article gave otherwise.

Now, far be it from me to be critical of someone who takes responsibility for it when her writing is misinterpreted. Unfortunately, I don’t think that’s what Ms. Obradovic is doing. After all, “accepting responsibility” means nothing if you don’t admit that what you wrote could easily been misinterpreted by reasonable people. Whining about it doesn’t count. On the other hand, in all fairness, maybe she’ll get there.

However much I might criticize Ms. Obradovic for her outrage that skeptics might have the temerity to criticize something such as bleach enemas as a treatment for autism, The Phaelosopher goes one step beyond. Actually, many steps beyond—beyond the event horizon of a black hole of burning stupid. After complaining that Mr. Drezner’s piece is a “slam,” in introducing Ms. Rivera and her quack clinic Mr. Abraham first repeats the despicable idea that autistic children are “soul-less”:

The clinic is an outgrowth of another motivation; the fact that Rivera is the mother of an autistic child, a growing boy who, in his second year of life, was healthy one day, and after receiving a required, “routine” inoculation, suddenly went away. His body is there, but his spirit, his proclivity toward normal human interaction, is not. He is distant in a way that saddens a mother’s heart.

No one doubts that raising a severely autistic child is incredibly difficult, as it is for many special needs children, but to describe such children as being there in body but not in spirit suggests that people like Mr. Abraham do not think of such children as wholly human, that they think of them as somehow less than human. I read it time and time again on autism “biomed” websites and antivaccine blogs: “Something” (almost always the evil vaccines”) “stole” the child away, but the child can be “recovered.” In this, the view is that there is some sort of idealized “normal” child who can return, if only the “toxins” from vaccines/pollution/diet/chemicals or whatever can be purged.

In any case, Mr. Abraham brags about 40 children out of 400 families allegedly “lost” their autism diagnosis. Let’s take Ms. Rivera at her word that approximately 40 children out of 400 families did indeed lose their autism diagnoses. This in no way implies that the bleach did it. Autism, after all, is a condition of developmental delay, not developmental stasis. As many as 19% of children diagnosed with autism at age two lose their diagnosis before their seventh birthday, either due to maturation, intervention, or over-diagnosis at age 2; so even if Ms. Rivera is not deluding herself about all these “recoveries,” what she is presenting is nothing spectacular that couldn’t be achieved by doing nothing at all outside of the mainstream. Yet she pours bleach down children’s throats and pumps it into their colons and then congratulates herself for results that could easily be achieved without MMS. Meanwhile, Mr. Abraham, exults that “the syndrome went away, and the child, the spirit, had returned.”

As I said, despicable.

Next, Mr. Abraham shares with us the story of a mother who claims to have gotten all sorts of worms out of her autistic child using Ms. Rivera’s protocol, complete with pictures. Who knows if this child actually had worms, whether this is a legitimate medical anecdote or a made-up one? Let’s say for the moment that it’s legitimate. So what? Giving a child enemas of almost any kind would probably get worms out of the colon as they emerge from the small intestine if there are worms in the digestive tract. That doesn’t mean that getting rid of worms will cure autism or that bleach enemas are even a good treatment for worms.

Finally, Mr. Abraham makes a most ridiculous analogy:

When we see pictures of children “fighting cancer” that have no hair, we think that the cancer condition caused the hair loss. However, the cancer treatment; the chemotherapy or radiation, actually did the deed. We are accustomed to rationalizing, at doctor’s suggestion and all the “respected” literature on the subject, that it was okay because the cancer was so dangerous.

Even though it creates no residual chemical toxicity in the body, doctors will not use MMS, which has proven itself to be a benign and effective way to reduce a myriad of chemical abuses and microbial abnormalities inside the human body. Doctors will not use it because the FDA and the AMA frown upon such use. Livelihoods can be upset if this outlaw “bleach” as the FDA mis-characterizes the sodium chlorite solution that is MMS, is used.

That’s right. Mr. Abraham is actually arguing that it’s a double standard to criticize treating autism by making children sick by feeding them bleach and giving them bleach enemas while accepting the side effects of hair loss, nausea, and vomiting from cancer chemotherapy. This is an argument so brain dead that I don’t think even his Genome Healing Workshop could restore the neurons that must have been destroyed to allow him to make it.

Last week, I asked this rhetorical question: Will the autism “biomed” underground ever renounce using bleach to treat autism? I’m still not sure of the answer, even though several of my readers have told me the answer is no. On the one hand, we have people like Julie Obradovic and the “media director” of the antivaccine crank blog Age of Autism furiously backpedaling and assuring us that they really and truly aren’t defending MMS. Clearly, Rivera’s appearance at Autism One three weeks ago embarrassed them. Actually, it wasn’t her appearance per se, but rather that fact that the blogosphere noticed and spread the news of her quack presentation far and wide. On the other hand, they’re also defending “freedom” to choose quackery like MMS and circling the wagons.

Maybe those who told me that the “autism biomed” movement will never renounce any form of quackery, no matter how outrageous, not even MMS, were right after all.

Comments

  1. #1 Darwy
    Røde grøde med fløde
    June 18, 2012

    As a parent and a scientist, it is just incomprehensible that someone could administer such a compound to their child (autistic or otherwise) to the point where they’re ‘spewing’ out of both ends.

    It doesn’t matter how they try to rationalize it – MMS is bleach. It isn’t Chlorox bleach – but you know, Chlorox bleach isn’t the only bleach that exists. “Bleach” when mixed with water will produce hypochlorous acid, which unfolds the proteins of cells – any cell – which can cause cell death.

    Do they think that it somehow targets only the ‘bad cells’? I’m seriously beginning to think it’s some grotesque “Munchausen by Proxy” illness these people have – to be willing to subject their children to such barbaric treatments.

  2. #2 gaist
    June 18, 2012

    So about ten percent of kids being fed MMS “recover” from autism, but about 19% of kids not on MMS do the same?

    So MMS actually reduces the kids chances of “recovery” by half?

  3. #3 James
    June 18, 2012

    To be fair gaist being constantly made sick by being forced bleach day in and day out and occassionally (I believe the ‘regimen’ is 2-3 times a week?) having a bleach bath would make those kids more withdrawn and suffer. I dare say the abuse of it all would make a normal child ‘withdraw’ and be a lot less social and willing to talk to people. Which seems to be the bar for what a lot of these people consider autistic.

    On that note I kind of disagree with Orac’s article. Its not a choice between ‘do MMS’ and ‘do nothing’. Its a choice between ‘do MMS’ and ‘care for your child’.

  4. #4 herr doktor bimler
    June 18, 2012

    I am having a hard time believing that anyone calling himself the Failosopher is other than a parody.
    Would Bruno Bettelheim be welcome at the next A1 meeting? Like Rivera, he claimed a high success rate for curing autism, as long as he was allowed to diagnose the kids with autism in the first place.

  5. #5 Guy Chapman
    United Kingdom
    June 18, 2012

    Steady on, one mustn’t call MMS bleach just because it is chemically identical to bleach – after all, Jim Humble himself has set up a petition to demand that Emily Willingham stop calling it that (comment: http://www.chapmancentral.co.uk/blahg/2012/06/mms-its-bleach-no-really-it-is/), and if Humble says it then it *must* be true, mustn’t it?

    Oh. As you were then.

  6. #6 meg
    June 18, 2012

    Unfortunately, this is the result:

    http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/15546675

  7. #7 MikeMa
    June 18, 2012

    Waiting for the nits to fly as the pickers resolutely nibble at the ‘bleach’ naming while ignoring the total lack of evidence for good and the copious evidence of harm.

    “But my child spewed worms”, screams one ignorant git. “It only targets bad stuff”, spews another. Popping corn in anticipation.

  8. #8 Todd W.
    http://harpocratesspeaks.com
    June 18, 2012

    @meg

    That’s awful! You’d think that in the two years since that story, people might have clued in that bleaching your kids is a bad idea. Then again, when the crowd in question promotes sprinkling industrial chelating agents on their cereal and in their orange juice…

  9. #9 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    on the other hand
    June 18, 2012

    I’ve drunk bleach (in high dilution, it’s a way to sanitize water). In my view the issue is less that it’s bleach than that there’s no high quality evidence it does any good. After all, my father ate prescription rat poison for years.

    The bleach label makes an accurate, convenient emotional hook – but if there were evidence that it actually was of benefit…

  10. #10 Old Rockin' Dave
    June 18, 2012

    I wonder if MMS proponents have ever tried to describe a mechanism of action for how having bleach shot up your ass “cures” autism.
    Autism pretty clearly involves structural and organizational, physical, changes in the brain. If I recall my physiology classes correctly, it would appear that little if any of the solution should be absorbed through the bowel wall and into the bloodstream. So how is a bleach enema supposed to effect physical changes in the brain? Is an army of tiny magical bleach fairies unleashed into the blood to travel across the blood-brain barrier, where they wave microscopic magic wands? Does ‘MMS’ really stand for Medieval Magical-thinking Scam? I really can’t wait to hear the explanation. Surely the Failosopher is speaking out of the same orifice that he thinks the bleach should go into.
    @Meg: It’s appropriate that this horrible travesty happened in Barking; only someone who is completely barking mad could ever do something like this to their child.

  11. #11 mimi
    June 18, 2012

    Meg and Todd, that story is of an actual murder with household bleach, not an attempt to cure a child with autism.

    While MMS is indeed 100% child abuse, it is not intentional murder.

  12. #12 Shay
    June 18, 2012

    Mephistopheles — we kept a bottle of Chlorox in the emergency supplies kit all the years I was stationed on the coast of Carolina, to purify water after hurricanes. Its drinkable but that’s about all one can say for it.

    I’m still boggling at the idea of enemas, period, for small children. ANY small children. Who holds them down while the (alleged) caring parent performs the procedure, I wonder?

  13. #13 Denice Walter
    June 18, 2012

    I hate to say this but the partisans over @ AoA / TMR are awfully full of themselves ( as well as full of it).

    Today Mr Olmsted likens autism to Watergate: malfeasance and cover-up. Right, they compare their fantasy tale ( see RFK; Blaxill/ Olmsted) to governmental interference in the political process, obstruction of justice, corruption in high office, what-have-you.

    LIsa Goes ( TMR) writes about her travailles then surmises that she was ‘chosen’ to “heal her child and heal the nation”.

    I keep hearing about brave health freedom fighters out there fighting for your right to party, oops, I mean use alt med nonsense to waste money, time and possibly hurt children in the process.

    Health freedom advocates want to keep the government from getting involved in people’s health choices and providers’ therapies and actions. They want to be free of the FDA running things; however, they *want* the government to label GMOs ( Adams;Natural News today) and prosecute the aforementioned malfeasance. They also seem to like the court system ( see AJW).

    I am in the process of compiling a list of alt med fave lawyers : it seems that they prefer their strivings towards independent action and total freedom to be accompanied by legal representation.

  14. #14 Denice Walter
    June 18, 2012

    @ Mephistopheles O’Brien:

    You may not believe this but one of the idiots I survey actually is opposed to chlorination, as well as fluoridation, of drinking water. Seems that they’re both toxins and can be removed by the filtration systems he sells.

  15. #15 Dangerous Bacon
    June 18, 2012

    As you might expect, among the people promoting MMS for what ails ya are naturopaths. This story from the New Zealand Post (2010-10-16) contains the usual justifications from woo-ists, including the shocking detail that Big Pharma is opposing the use of bleach in order to protect “the sickness industry”:

    “Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) is being marketed to cure various illnesses from colds and flu to Aids, hepatitis, malaria, herpes, tuberculosis and cancer. Medsafe has issued an official warning advising people to stop taking the liquid…’the product instructs consumers to mix the 28 per cent sodium chlorite solution with an acid such as citric acid. This mixture produces chlorine dioxide, a potent bleach used for stripping textiles and industrial water treatment…high oral doses of this bleach, such as those recommended in the labeling, can cause nausea, vomiting, diarrhoea and symptoms of severe dehydration’…(a Rotorua naturopath said she was living proof that the product worked): “it’s fast and quick acting and I’ve never had a negative effect…this is just a battle between pharmaceutical companies and complementary medicine. The sickness industry is a multi-billion dollar industry and the reason why Medsafe is against this is because it’s a relatively cheap way to treat sickness”

    How the use of industrial bleach fits in with naturopathy’s supposed mission to “cleanse” us of toxins remains to be explained.

  16. #16 Andreas Johansson
    June 18, 2012

    @gaist: While I woudn’t be surprised if MMS “treatment” is actively harmful to recovery, I’d be even less surprised if Rivera’s statistics are unreliable, wrong, or just plain made up.

  17. #17 Captain Quirk
    June 18, 2012

    I’d much rather share this planet with a severely autistic person than with one of these quacks.

  18. #18 DaveD
    June 18, 2012

    As I recall, there is actually some justification for worry about chlorination. Yes, of course it kills pathogens, and that is a Good Thing, but some of the by-products of chlorination may be carcinogenic. Use of ozone doesn’t have this problem, but retrofitting all the water supplies in the nation would be massively expensive.

    It may be that my information is out of date, and chlorination turns out to be benign.

  19. #19 Anton P. Nym
    http;//anton-p-nym.livejournal.com/
    June 18, 2012

    According to the A1 folks, I wasted valuable medical materia cleaning my toilet this weekend. (I wonder if it’ll morph into one of those Japanese singing toilets now that it’s taken the cure…?)

    @DB: well, these folks are of the same ilk that used industrial chelation solutions to “cleanse” us of toxins so in a way MMS is a step up. (At least the stuff can be used as a water purifier, albeit at a far smaller dose than these rubber-duckies use.)

    — Steve

  20. #20 Denice Walter
    June 18, 2012

    @ Dave D:

    The woo-meister of whom I speak has an *interesting* habit of mind that fails to weigh risks vs benefits so chlorine, like vaccines, pharmaceuticals, mammography and nearly every other advance medicine has made over the past century are all risk- without benefit. Whereas, supplements are just fine and dandy: all benefit, no risk.

    It’s called black-and-white thinking.

  21. #21 Calli Arcale
    June 18, 2012

    Andreas — I vote that the stats are just plain made-up. It’d be interesting to see Rivera actually give a reference, though.

    DaveD — as I understand it, there are some small risks with chlorination of municipal drinking water, but they are outweighed by the good of killing harmful pathogens. The main obstacle to installing new systems that use other methods is the same obstacle that keeps our power grid so antiquated — it’s hard to talk politicians into spending money to replace something that works.

    MMS is one of those things that, like chelation for autism or atherosclerosis, to me goes beyond any point where I can laugh about it. It’s depressing. A few people have taken such massive advantage of parents. It’s snake oil writ large, and some do it not even for money but for *pride*. They want the glow of people’s adulation. “I can tell you how to fix your child!” “You can? Oh, you are a savior!” That’s what’s so sinister about all this.

    The talk about soulless children…. That gives me conflicted feelings. Some people have a very hard time relating with a person who is different, and I think these parents get stuck at a very early stage of something like a grieving process. They cannot accept that their child is this way; the only way they feel they can cope is by clinging fiercely to the idea that their child isn’t really like this, but is merely ill or injured, and can be treated/fixed/cured/whatever. The ones I really feel sorry for are their children, who have to endure so many things for so little point. And some of these children pay the ultimate price for their parents’ fixation with fixing them. So many of the stories are tragedies in the classic literary sense; the parents cause harm in their quest to remove harm.

    And this, of course, is why woo is never harmless. What’s the harm in letting people use homeopathy when they have the sniffles and there’s nothing mainstream medicine can do for them anyway? Oh, they might disregard a sinus infection and not get antibiotics until it’s really nasty, or they might waste money. But those are trivial harms. The *real* harm is in letting the public confuse real and fake medicine. Allow homeopathy to be sold alongside real medicine, offer reiki in your hospital, teach therapeutic touch at your nursing college, and you set the stage for the general public thinking that it’s reasonable to try bleach enemas for the treatment of autism.

  22. #22 Doug
    June 18, 2012

    my daughter has autism spectrum disorder, possible mild CP, doesnt speak well, uses sign language and has seizures. the use of this treatment on any child should be considered child abuse and that child should be removed from the parents home.

  23. #23 Todd W.
    http://harpocratesspeaks.com
    June 18, 2012

    @Mephistopheles O’Brien

    The fact that it is bleach is, perhaps, a side issue, but not totally irrelevant. The amount of the doses being recommended is quite important, in addition to, as you mentioned, the fact that there is zero quality evidence that it actually does any good.

    @mimi

    I saw the murder bit in that article, but also noted that the woman called it “medicine”. My point was primarily that use of bleach as medical treatment for autism, barring any evidence that the benefits of doing so outweigh the risks, is dumb and should have been realized long ago.

    As for meg’s article, I’d have to see more details about the case before I offer any cogent argument re: murder vs. child abuse.

  24. #24 sophia8
    June 18, 2012

    @Tod W: She was trying to kill the child, not cure him: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1329855/Mother-Satpal-Kaur-Singh-killed-autistic-son-forcing-drink-bleach.html

    The MMS cheerleaders would of course say that makes all the difference – they’re NOT trying to kill their kids so it can’t possibly do any harm.

  25. #25 Calli Arcale
    June 18, 2012

    There is a poignant comparison there, sophia8. I remember now when that one hit the news. She certainly wasn’t the only person who tried to essentially euthanize an autistic child. You’re right that the MMS cheerleaders probably won’t be swayed by it; the old saying applies about how you can’t can’t reason a person out of a position they didn’t reason themselves into. The fact that so many of them take exception to calling it “bleach” is evidence that they genuinely don’t think it’s the same thing.

  26. #26 lilady
    June 18, 2012

    (posting from an ancient laptop)

    I had requested that Ho-Po do an article on MMS, Rivera and Generation Rescue’s Autism One Conference…as well as AoA’s feeble attempt to slam the science blogger, while ignoring the abuse of children, in an email, sent to their editorial staff last week. I’m delighted that Todd Drezner wrote about this sordid practice.

    Scroll to the beginning of the posts to see me and every one of the early comments who agreed with me, Autismum and Science Mom, that these *treatments/cures* are blatant child abuse, perpetrated by a small segment of parents, behind closed doors…no different than the abuse committed by predator/child abusers who derive sick pleasure from seeing any other child being violated.

    See, I have this “thing” about kids and abuse. I’ve sat with a parent of a two year old whose two year old child was sodomized aboard a school bus; the toddler underwent surgery for repair of his rectum. I had to have my son tested for STDs, because an aide caring for him and his “roomie” was caught in the act of sexual abuse. I had to wait six months to have my child retested for HIV because the female abuser (a female), was forced by the police to undergo testing and found to be HIV positive.

    I worked intently with local legislative bodies in two counties to pass local legislation to require all school bus drivers and aides to undergo fingerprinting and criminal background checks…to force the governor of my state to override an Assembly veto to enact State legislation,that had been vetoed by the Assembly for a number of consecutive years.

    Because of the efforts of parent advocates legislation was enacted in my state, to have all prospective child care workers at licensed day care facilities and group home, undergo fingerprinting and criminal records checks.

    I’ve been into the back wards of “developmental centers” and mental hospitals where neglect of basic needs is so pervasive that it constitutes abuse.

    So, why should I hesitate to call out these parents who abuse their children for what they do to their kids and for what they are…child abusers?

  27. #27 Heliantus
    June 18, 2012

    Re; Chlorinated water

    Isn’t the risk of water chlorination an almost moot point anyway? I was always told to just pour water in some clean pitcher or jug and let it rest for a few hours, and the remaining chlorine will simply evaporate.

    re: MMS and autism, the more I read about it, the more it looks like enforced discipline. Behave, or else.
    A bit like how we were beating mad people a century or two ago.

  28. #28 Calli Arcale
    June 18, 2012

    Heliantus: Wes, it does have a lot of parallels there. There was a time when people believed in “beating the crazy out of someone”, and many autistic people would count. There are people who still believe that, which is rather terrifying. The Judge Rothenberg Center comes to mind. I often read the comments at Yahoo! News; when it’s a story relating to autism, ADHD, behavioral problems, bullying, etc. it’s amazing how many comments will come up saying “well, if the parents just beat some sense into the kid, this wouldn’t be a problem.” People still a) expect parents to be able to discipline away behavioral problems and b) think that corporal punishment is a good way to do that. I suspect that of the people who use ridiculous therapies to treat autism in their children, very few of them approve of corporal punishment; the ones I’ve encountered do not, which is a sort of cosmic irony. It would be interesting to try and figure out if belief in the effectiveness of corporal punishment has any relationship to the use of woo; I would guess that it does, but that people who believe in the effectiveness of corporal punishment would be *less* likely to use a treatment like this, because they would favor a more direct approach (look at me when I talk to you, or you get the belt). And it is truly frightening how many Yahoo! commenters I have seen endorsing the latter point of view.

  29. #29 Todd W.
    http://harpocratesspeaks.com
    June 18, 2012

    @sophia8

    Thanks for the additional article. The quote from the 999 call makes it much clearer.

  30. #30 Todd Drezner
    June 18, 2012

    Orac,

    Thanks for writing about my HuffPo piece here. I initially hesitated to write about MMS because you and others had done a good job exposing it, but ultimately decided that it would be good for the topic to be covered on HuffPo.

    My wife, who hadn’t heard of MMS until I showed her my piece, predicted that it would get very few comments because who could possibly disagree with it? I wish she had been right, but it’s always eye-opening to understand just how far over the edge society’s hysteria about autism can lead some people.

  31. #31 Bryan Feir
    June 18, 2012

    @Mephistopheles O’Brien:

    After all, my father ate prescription rat poison for years.

    Presuming you mean Warfarin, well, that’s a wonderful example of ‘the dose makes the poison’. In small doses, it’s a useful anticoagulant for treating people after heart attacks. In larger doses, it’s still an anticoagulant, just to the point where the ingestee tends to hemorrhage to death from any break in the blood vessel walls.

  32. #32 lilady
    June 18, 2012

    @ Todd Drezner: The early posters on your blog were overwhelming supportive of your efforts to bring this *treatment/cure* of autism to the Ho-Po readership.

    Later posters, the usual suspects, who troll on every thread about autism, attempted to derail your blog. I think that the “RI regulars” (Kelly M. Bray, Austismum, me and others), successfully showed them up for their trollish behaviors and for supporting child abuse of developmentally disabled kids.

  33. #33 Todd Drezner
    June 18, 2012

    @lilady: Agreed. Thanks for your efforts.

  34. #34 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 18, 2012

    @Bryan Feir,

    Yes, indeed, it was Warfarin. My point with that anecdote was not to demonize the medicine, but to caution against focusing too much on “you’re trying to bleach autism (or other things) away”. Rather, in my view we should focus on “you’re trying to bleach autism away in the absence of reliable data that it has any benefit.”

  35. #35 mimi
    June 18, 2012

    @DaveD

    I myself worry over the carcinogen issue. Dioxin is a by-product of chlorine dioxide bleaching. I had posed the question on another thread in this blog if it were feasible to create dioxin by ingesting activated mms, which could then encounter the fiber from the food we eat. It wasn’t answered, so I don’t know if it was just a stupid question or if anyone knows.

  36. #36 Calli Arcale
    June 18, 2012

    You make a good point, Mephistopheles. From their perspective, we’re objecting to them demonizing a mainstream medical treatment (vaccines) and then turning around and demonizing their woo. From their perspective, what’s the difference? After all, if they understood what’s different, they wouldn’t be endorsing woo. Better to point out what’s different, and that’s the lack of any evidence it will help and volumes of evidence (writ large in OSHA files) that it will cause harm. They are harming their children for no gain at all.

  37. #37 Pixiedemon
    With a cup of coffee
    June 18, 2012

    Off topic, but I thought it worth sharing a celebration of autistic children. Today the BBC website published the results of an autism photography competition and the stories that accompany the winning photographs are truly heart-warming. Life isn’t easy for these families, yet they respond with love and enjoy their children rather than with child abuse.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/in-pictures-18489694

  38. #38 Calli Arcale
    June 18, 2012

    mimi — I’m no expert, but from what I’ve read, I don’t think so. I think dioxin production requires higher temperatures than exist inside the human body. Still, these are very reactive chemicals, so any manner of nasty things could be happening inside.

  39. #39 Mephistopheles O'Brien
    June 18, 2012

    Calli – you make an excellent point.

  40. #40 Interrobang
    June 18, 2012

    look at me when I talk to you, or you get the belt

    My mother favoured an even more direct approach than that — if she wanted me to look at her, usually when she was scolding me about something, she just would grab me by the jaw, bring my face about 10cm from the end of her nose, and squeeze until I seemed suitably compliant.

    For a limited definition of “work,” it *does* work.

  41. #41 Narad
    June 18, 2012

    Still, these are very reactive chemicals, so any manner of nasty things could be happening inside.

    Which reinforces the conclusion. A ClO2 wants to get something done now, not band together with others and go looking for rings to organize around. The synthesis of dioxin is an uphill battle.

  42. #42 Kelly M Bray
    Walking down the street with Diogenes. All we found was a used car salesman.
    June 18, 2012

    This is a picture of my son Tim at 2 1/2 when he was really struggling and only was able to say a few words and avoided most eye contact. Even then does he look like there is nobody home? Like a soul less child? I never used any biomeds with him and yet he grew up to be a fine young man. He still struggles at times, but he is happy and loved.

    https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=4167061984779&l=9e815c6e7a

  43. #43 Autismum
    http://autismum.com/
    June 18, 2012

    @Mephistopheles O’Brien
    I agree with your point about not demonising MMS based just on it being bleach, however, those defending it will not even admit this to be the case and I think there is an empahasis that this “treatment” not only lacks proof but any type of plausibility.
    Of course, the dose makes the poison and although sodium chlorite and sodium hypochlorite are used in water purification this ludicrous autism treament protocol demands increasing the dose until the poor children are spewing it out at both ends.
    @Heliantus
    This “treatment” really does seem like a punishment if not torture. I’ve wondered if some of these biomeddlers are avenging themselves on the children who have made their lives so difficult.
    @Lilady
    How horrifying. The UK is quite strict on screening people who work closely with children since two ten year old girls were murdered by a school caretaker in 2002 (Soham murders).
    @Kelly
    Anyone who’s heard my little Pwdin tootling the horns of Otis Redding songs would know he got soul.

  44. #44 Roger Kulp
    June 18, 2012

    In one of my posts that didn’t go through last week,I asked where I could get one o’ them Brain Bunnies.I still want one,preferably with a brain that looks like a puzzle ribbon.

  45. #45 meg
    June 18, 2012

    mimi/Tood/sophia

    My apologies, it was the end of a long day when I posted the article, and wasn’t in a state to articulate myself.

    My thoughts on it (that I didn’t post) were that this is the reality of bleach – it will kill. Okay, MMS isn’t administered this way, but how can it be safe? The woosters are always crying ‘toxins!!1!’ but are seriously talking administering something that we’re accepting IS toxic. . . Yet again, I don’t get these guys . . .

  46. #46 Autismum
    http://autismum.com/
    June 18, 2012

    Any other Huff Po regulars notice how the usual commentators on all things autism promoting biomed and the AoA etc agenda are pretty quiet on this one?

  47. #47 Roger Kulp
    June 18, 2012

    Could someone explain to me how giving a child MMS would induce a fever?Doesn’t Rivera know enough about the physiology of some of these diseases that might present as autism? Especially how,in some children,fever can cause regression?

    As I asked on another blog,how is MMS any worse than chemical castration by Lupron,or industrial chelators on your kid’s breakfast?

    Shay@ 10:06
    Have you ever been a child with severe fecal impaction?I have,it’s not pretty,and it’s not fun.

    Calli Aricle @12:06

    They cannot accept that their child is this way; the only way they feel they can cope is by clinging fiercely to the idea that their child isn’t really like this, but is merely ill or injured, and can be treated/fixed/cured/whatever.

    We hear about this all the time with autism,but what about parents of other disabled children?

  48. #48 Roger Kulp
    June 18, 2012

    Looking at the “ascari lumbricoides” on phaelospher’s blog.Anyone else think they look like french fries?

    Real ascari lumbricoides look like this
    http://curezone.com/image_gallery/parasites/ascaris/000.jpg
    http://www.graphicshunt.com/health/images/ascaris_lumbricoides-479.htm

  49. #49 lilady
    June 18, 2012

    @ Kelly M. Bray: You make mighty handsome children :-)

    @ Autismum: I was really “torn” about my post…because the abuse was visited on my son and his friend who is still alive. (There is a hidden *blessing* in having (or having had), a child whose mental age was less than one year old.

    He had the most wonderful caregivers and nurses who enabled him to survive into adulthood. The shocking thing is that we never “saw it coming” from a female direct care aide, who *seemed to be* a warm caring individual. The “case” was difficult to *make stick*; she was “indicated” as an abuser in the State’s child abuse registry. By the time the case came to trial, she was dying of AIDS and never served time for her crime.

    My personal “thing” about child abuse, has nothing to do with my being a “mandatory reporter of child neglect and abuse”. My conscience is my guide.

  50. #50 Narad
    June 18, 2012

    Something tells me that Dan Olmsted (who apparently requires three bylines before the lede) did not think about the giant bull’s-eye presented by “Why Autism Is Like Watergate”* for references to the Plumbers and break-ins.

    * Note to managing editor: Not even the AP would let you get away with lc “is.”

  51. #51 Roger Kulp
    June 18, 2012

    Also he states Having the condition, be it autism, cancer, or anything else, is already a sign of mineral and ecological imbalance. …As for Autism, a similar imbalance is in effect, just as it is with any disease. MMS should not be looked upon as a “cure”… balance is.

    Exactly what mineral,element,or whatever is he,or those who use MMS claim is “out of balance” anyway?

  52. #52 Matt F
    June 18, 2012

    @ Roger
    I am pretty sure that those are ascarid worm on his website, he picked the image up from another website that was talking about them. I could be wrong but from my parasitology class some of the preserved specimens in ethyl alcohol look somewhat similar. Though that doesn’t change that giving MMS to children is child abuse and that taking it in the first place is idiotic.

  53. #53 Sialis
    June 18, 2012

    @Lilady: That is a horrible story, I’m so sorry that you and your family had to go through that.

    @Meg 6:34 pm (and everyone): The rationale is that MMS and other substances they sell are not pharmaceuticals. Anything that is not pharm product is inherently safer, or so they claim.

    These people prey on the desperation of parents and patients who have diseases that as yet have no cure or effective treatment, especially for pain and emotional suffering. Desperate people will try desperate measures, if they know no better.

    Lilady and others should know this is similar to the Herx excuse being used with the chronic Lyme disease activists and ‘LLMDs’. They claim that the sicker the patient gets from their treatment, the better, as it proves the treatment is working to kill the bacteria. This is of course nonsense, but nevertheless their targets are often easy prey.

  54. #54 Denice Walter
    June 18, 2012

    @ Narad:

    Ha! I read through Olmstead’s article earlier: now scanning the comments, I also ask sincerely:
    “Just where are those investigative reporters today- you know, the kind who dig through a pile of filthy rubbish for years, deal with utterly despicable miscreants on a near-daily basis, experience abuse and character assassination and yet go on doggedly- no matter what- until they uncover the entire bucket of burgeoning slime and make it public – where are they? ” In London?

    On a lighter note:
    all SB advocates should be quaking in their Ferragamos/ Laboutins today because a new documentary is about to go viral after being shown exclusively to presenters at the Health Freedom Expo and to ‘prenticed- rebel – free- thinkers- on- the- cutting- edge -*The War on Health: the FDA’s Cult of Tyranny* is being distributed free of charge so that it may be posted around the ‘net to enlighten the masses and spread fear deep into the blackened hearts of the pharmatocracy ..
    -btw- that’s us.
    You may access this *meisterwerk* through the Progressive Radio Network.

    Fortunately for yours truly, I can’t view film/ video at this computer. And I’ve already laughed enough today.

  55. #55 Orac
    June 18, 2012

    Oh, I was aware of this film. I just forgot to set up my computer to capture the streaming video when it was originally aired on Friday night. My loss. Well, not really.

  56. #56 Denice Walter
    June 18, 2012

    @ Orac:
    I really should mention that the bunny with the removable brain is rather disturbing and creepy: I hope that at the very least, it has either a replacable skull/ scalp, bandage or hat to cover up its surgery. It’s worse than the wind-up walking plastic brain with feet that I got as a gift.
    And that’s pretty bad.

  57. #57 Denice Walter
    June 18, 2012

    It’ll be repeated … endlessly.

  58. #58 Kelly M Bray
    Walking down the street with Diogenes. All we found were some cans to recycle
    June 18, 2012

    “It’ll be repeated … endlessly.”

    Like listening to a parrot on meth.

  59. #59 Heliantus
    June 18, 2012

    @ Roger Kulp

    Could someone explain to me how giving a child MMS would induce a fever?

    My bacteriology is a bit rusty, but if I remember correctly, one trigger for fever is the detection by our immune system of certain bacterial fragments, like bits of lipo-polysaccharides (LPS).
    So my tentative hypothesis would be, by submitting someone to MMS drinks and/or enema, you break down his gut’s bacteria and, by irritating the gut linen, trigger diarrhea.
    Both the initial aggression (the MMS) and the diarrhea will make the guts more permeable to the generated bacterial fragments, which will end up in fever-triggering concentration in the bloodstream.
    Or maybe the next pathogens bacteria the child eats (with food, drinks, or dirt) have suddenly access to the depleted, weakened gut linen, so the fever is a reaction to an on-going infection.
    This, or it’s simply shock reaction – The guts are assaulted by chemicals for 3 days straight and the body react by activating any defense mechanism it may have.
    Or all of them.

    tl;dr: MMS is messing up with the child’s guts, for no benefits and plenty of potentially nasty side-effects.

    As an aside, fever’s efficiency at doing anything positive for the host is highly controversial: most bacterial or viral pathogens are as happy at 42oC as at 37oC. Humans, especially infants and toddlers, are not…
    Well, it could be a crude warning sign for the rest of the group that this one is sick and to be cared for and/or isolated, I guess.

    Especially how, in some children, fever can cause regression?

    I was wondering about this. It’s non-consistent.
    Vaccine-induced fever = bad
    Illness-induced fever, or MMS-induced fever = good

    Regarding MMS rationale, my own hypothesis is that they believe in the Hulk effect: submit him to more gamma-rays, and you will get Dr Banner back.

  60. #60 Roger Kulp
    June 19, 2012

    lilady@7:47

    That is awful.I knew about your son,but I never knew that part.It is sad,but if you believe in karma,she may have gotten her due.Not that I would wish AIDS on anyone,even someone who abused vulnerable disabled people in their care.

    @Heliantus if this is what MMS is doing to a child’s gut/intestines,it’s even more dangerous than I thought.No one knows more than I do,what kind of suffering someone with autism and GI disease can go through.These are definitely sick and twisted parents to inflict this on children who are already sick and suffering.

    Your Bruce Banner/Hulk analogy makes perfect sense,I finally get it now.

    These parents are pure evil.No other word for it.

  61. #61 Mrs Woo
    June 19, 2012

    @mimi – I used to live in a water district in Missouri that regularly had to use so much chlorine in its water treatment that it exceeded the EPA recommended levels of known carcinogens with the byproducts. They would dutifully send out messages once a quarter, as required by law, to let us know that the previous three months we had been ingesting water with unacceptable levels of carcinogens in it (I was always a little unhappy that they never told you until after you had been drinking it for three months straight – switched to bottled water and stayed there after that). According to the notices, though, whomever provides your water has to send you written notification if they are feeding you water with higher than acceptable levels of carcinogens in it; so if you’re not getting the notices, you’re (hopefully? probably?) safe.

    @Kelly – he looks adorable. :)

    @lilady – one of my saddest memories from working in a group home for mentally handicapped adults was the issues some adults had with cringing, certain avoidant behaviors, etc., all from years of abuse. Also, ones who were labeled “non verbal” could usually curse like sailors (some possibly better), which made me wonder if those were the most common words used around them as they were mistreated. I know that not everyone mistreated them, but with a few of them you had to wonder how often they had kindness. Usually the easiest clients to work with had been surrendered by family at adulthood or had had family consistently visiting and spending time with them while they were in state hospitals. The most fearful, least verbal, etc., were the ones who had been left by family and never visited again. :(

    I wandered a bit on various “autism treatment” boards the other day. It was ironic to find that one person claiming that they had parasites, but they were coming out of their skin was immediately assured it was “morgellon’s” and that MMS was a very effective cure if used long enough. There was also lots of cheer leading with lists of protocols, how to find practitioners to provide them, who the best homeopaths were (it was a good thing I had to create a membership to comment there – it was so tempting but I didn’t want to waste time to do it only to be banned), etc. Just… a lot of “wow” moments.

    I wonder though, how widespread this is. If I hadn’t found such an active skeptic voice on the internet I might think that at least half the world had fallen on its head. It’s good that there are those willing to be vocal, because alternative voices are always doing their best to be sure they’re heard.

  62. #62 meg
    June 19, 2012

    @Mrs Woo/lilady

    You’ve hit on my biggest fear. With my sister in full time car (not Autistic, chromosomal abnormality) I do worry that if something were happening to here, we’d have absolutely no way of knowing. There are checks on staff of course, but we are dealing with the most vulnerable. How would we know, let alone prove anything. We’re a close family, and my mother is constantly monitoring things, but we can’t watch 24/7. We just have to trust that those looking after her are good people. And in Shaun – one of her house mates who has a habit of telling everyone everything that happens.

    Lilady, your fight is a good one, and I wish you well in it. And on behalf of people like my sister, and those you’ve helped – thanks.

  63. #63 lilady
    June 19, 2012

    Thanks to all of you, who have offered kind words about my son and his friend…it means a lot to me :-)

    The bus driver and bus matron fingerprinting bill was passed in my State ~30 years…after that sad instance of sodomy of the little boy. We worked on the legislatures of two counties…knowing that the legislation would *have to be* superceded by a State law..in order to get the governor to act to override the Assembly.

    A few years after that we started to work for fingerprinting and criminal records for all direct care staff in licensed day care and group home facilities…which was a major undertaking.

    I would suggest to you all, to check your own States laws and regulations to ascertain if they have similar regulations on the books and to ascertain if they have the technical ability (our agency is the Division of Criminal Justice), to run accurate fingerprint and criminal records checks BEFORE employing staff that has contact with vulnerable populations.

    It *pays* to have connections with civil service commissioners, County district attorneys and local news media reporters, who are simpatico to your cause, as well.

    Fingerprinting and criminal records checks are not a complete guarantee that your child will be safe. Strongly-worded legislation and regulations, with built-in penalties for non-compliance, will prevent a known predator from getting within striking distance of your vulnerable children.

  64. #64 dingo199
    June 19, 2012

    Speaking as a medic (and one who has done a parasitology diploma) I have no doubt that MMS damages the intestinal mucosa.

    Pictures of “parasites/worms” emerging after MMS purging are nothing more than strips of fibrinous material and bits of intestinal mucosal lining that has been stripped away from the bowel (sometimes called intestinal casts or bowel casts). I can understand how some ignorant people could imagine they or their kids have passed “worms”.

    Damage to the intestinal mucosa will certainly result in bacteria and/or bacterial products breaching the normally intact mucosal barrier (translocation).

    This release of bacterial products (like LPS mentioned above) will cause fever and could have even worse consequences, since they can induce septic shock in the host.

  65. #65 elburto
    June 19, 2012

    Dingo – that’s what I’d assumed, that it was the gut’s (very precious) lining sloughing off.

    Morgies do something similar. They claim that bathing in bleach, or Dettol, makes ‘worms’ exit through the skin.

    They post pics galore, and it’s just the dead skin cells being removed by towelling dry. You know how it can roll up into little thread-like pieces as you rub the skin dry? Yep, worms, evidence that bathing in toilet cleaner is good.

    Sialis – the morgies are fond of describing their ‘herxing’ too. They often post highly magnified pics of the results, with the ‘parasites’ outlined.

  66. #66 Sialis
    June 19, 2012

    @Lilady: I don’t want to derail this topic, but your last post brings to my mind all sorts of questions and concerns I’ve had for a long time. (The last thing I need is to get Orac mad at me for derailing his blog posts).

    It appears as if medical boards, at least in some states, are not required to notify law enforcement agencies when a medical provider is found guilty of sexual abuse of a patient. It seems that a medical provider can be investigated by the board, and found guilty of sexual ‘inappropriateness’, even with psychiatric patients, yet some can continue to keep their medical license, while others may lose their license but never be listed as a sex offender or charged with any crime.

  67. #67 Sialis
    June 19, 2012

    @Elburto: Yes, I know. The ‘LLMD’s and the Morgellon’s doctors are one and the same, in many cases. I suggest that this is why there are so many parallels.

  68. #68 dingo199
    June 19, 2012

    Here is a link to some “worms” produced by MMS purging that I linked to previously..
    http://www.natmedtalk.com/album.php?albumid=58

    As you can see, absolutely none of this material is a recognized intestinal parasite.

  69. #69 dingo199
    June 19, 2012

    Comments from a forum discussing MMS:

    Your experiences with and response to MMS are encouraging. For about two months I have been taking it for stage four prostate cancer.

    Response:

    MMS does not seem to be very effective against prostrate cancer. The reason must be is because blood flow to the prostrate is very, vert low. Consequently Jim Humble’s solution is to douse the body with so much MMS1 and 2 that it glows in the dark.

    I guess prostate cancer will be the least of the poor chaps problems…

  70. #70 mimi
    June 19, 2012

    @ Mrs. Woo,

    My concern is not about drinking water. Rather, my limited knowledge about the production of dioxin by chlorine dioxide through paper bleaching. My limited understanding is that it is a by-product that occurs when chlorine dioxin reacts with lingin in plant fibers. The mechanisms of how this occurs is unknown to me, further if the conditions in the human gut would allow this to happen.

    I was wondering if taking the chlorine dioxide could cause this by-product because we eat produce, which has lingins, as well as wood pulp itself being a common food additive these days. Since dioxins have negative impacts on glutathione that alone could scare many biomed parents from MMS

  71. #71 Heliantus
    June 19, 2012

    @ Dingo199

    Consequently Jim Humble’s solution is to douse the body with so much MMS1 and 2 that it glows in the dark.

    No, wait, these dudes are against chemo- and radio-therapy, but have no issue with making someone “glow in the dark”?

  72. #72 adelady
    city of wine and roses
    June 19, 2012

    ‘glow in the dark’

    That sounds as though they’re really aiming for something like the worst case of sunburn ever. Except they _want_ the skin to slough off.

  73. #73 lilady
    June 19, 2012

    (Back on my own laptop now…it needed a new mother board)

    @ Sialis: The person who abused my son, was not “licensed”. Direct care aides do not have a licensing process, which IMO, is dead wrong, but many people in and out of government are working to change that. After an intensive investigation, she was “indicated” in the child neglect/abuse registry…thereafter ineligible to be employed in any capacity, working with any children.

    I *believe* that a doctor would have to be convicted of a crime…to be ineligible for licensing or relicensing in any state.
    Misdemeanors such as speeding would not bar him/her (IMO).

    Sexual crimes, spousal abuse, impairment by ETOH or drugs (street or prescriptions) that result in certain felony convictions, as well as “white collar” crimes such as Medicaid or Insurance that result in a felony conviction, IIRC, are a bar to initial licensing…and license renewal.

    Certain doctors (Mark Geier) who are licensed in multiple states, can have their licenses suspended in several states, pending investigations outcomes, yet are *free* to ply their trade in other states where they are licensed and where they are not a subject of a complaint/license suspension.

    Nurses (and I assume doctors) must attest before they are first licensed…and with every license renewal, that they have never been convicted of a crime (other than speeding), and have never been the subject of a complaint to any professional licensing board and have never had a prior license suspended or revoked. If you “tick off” *yes* to any of these questions, your license, or relicensing will be held up or denied.

    Doctors (and nurses) do sometimes lie on these forms, but as I recall, if my nursing license is suspended or revoked in any jursidiction, the decision is forwarded to a central registry and I will not be able to get a license in any State. If I was licensed in several States, suspension or revocation of my license in just one State, is an automatic suspension or revocation in all the States where I am licensed.

    There may be some central agency for physician licensing…but it is not as effective as the registry for nurses.

  74. #74 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    June 19, 2012

    I know neither Orac nor the Science Blogs people have any control over this at the moment (unless I’m wrong), but when I loaded this page I got the following AdChoices ads below.

    Can’t anything be done to stop these ads from appearing on SB sites, at least?

    MMS MIRACLE 4 OZ MMS $8
    J. Humble Approved! Free Shipping Professional Grade MMS & Activator
    http://www.buymms.biz
    ***
    Sodium Chlorite Canada
    Solution. Flake. Powder. Best Prices Guaranteed!
    http://www.sodiumchlorite.ca

  75. #75 Calli Arcale
    June 19, 2012

    Mimi:
    I did a little googling, and it looks like all the reactions which are usually pinpointed in dioxin contamination involve high temperatures — high enough to be easily lethal to humans, so it’s probably not a danger with ingestion of MMS. (There are plenty of other dangers, though.)

    Roger Kulp:

    They cannot accept that their child is this way; the only way they feel they can cope is by clinging fiercely to the idea that their child isn’t really like this, but is merely ill or injured, and can be treated/fixed/cured/whatever.

    We hear about this all the time with autism,but what about parents of other disabled children?

    Oh, definitely. Sometimes even kids with major, major disabilities, and certainly we see it in parents of kids with terminal illnesses. Look at the parents who take their kids with brain tumors to see Dr Burzynski, or to dubious clinics in Tijuana or Brazil or wherever. Denial can strike anyone who is faced with a painful reality that represents a massive change in their life. That can be a severely autistic child; it can be a kid who is normal but got involved in gangs (how many mothers get quoted on TV saying that couldn’t possibly have been her perfect little angel who did that?); it can be terminal cancer; it can be paraplegia. Lots of things.

    lilady:
    You bring up the ultimate nightmare of any parent, or child/spouse of an adult who has become disabled and requires skilled care. What happened to your son is horrible. It’s also why so many people are purchasing hidden cameras now and placing them into the rooms of their disabled family members. I don’t think it happens to the majority of people in care, but even one is too many, and there is nowhere near enough oversight. I’m not sure how to fix that; our society considers caring for the disabled and elderly to be just about the lowliest job one can have, and consequently it is very hard to retain good staff. Some do it out of love, but it’s hard to pay the bills, and harder still to put up with the way employers and society will tend to treat them. So it’s no wonder that some seriously bad apples wind up in there. They should at least institute buddy systems.

  76. #76 Kelly M Bray
    Diogenes went home.
    June 19, 2012

    I just sent this email to Science Blogs ad office. Marc S I S, I stole a chunk of your post.
    >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>
    “Can’t anything be done to stop these ads from appearing on SB sites, at least?

    MMS MIRACLE 4 OZ MMS $8
    J. Humble Approved! Free Shipping Professional Grade MMS & Activator
    http://www.buymms.biz
    ***
    Sodium Chlorite Canada
    Solution. Flake. Powder. Best Prices Guaranteed!
    http://www.sodiumchlorite.ca

    We just spent a whole column at Respectful Insolence about how MMS is a dangerous quack product and is being used to treat autistic children by enemas. After all that, when someone pulls up the column they see ads for this snake oil. If we did a column about date rape would you put up ads showing where to buy GHB? Your reply or lack thereof will be posted on the R.I. Blog”

  77. #77 mimi
    June 19, 2012

    @ calli,

    Thank you, once you mentioned heat, I googled the temperatures that are involved in the kraft process, coming up with some ranges between 200 and 400 degrees.

    I should have mentioned this in my comment to Mrs. Woo, but I am very lazy when posting from my tablet, and just explained the reason for my original question.

  78. #78 Marc Stephens Is Insane
    June 19, 2012

    Kelly,

    Thanks for your efforts. I suppose I could have sent the same kind of message to someone at SB but didn’t think of it.

    I know what they’ll say: the product is legal, it’s being sold as a water purifier, not intended for human consumption, the website makes no health claims, etc.

    Interestingly, the Canadian ad’s “MMS” section (a redirect to TheMMSStore.com) was shut down recently by the Canadian government. The owner in Alberta cried “witchhunt” in the media when he was forced to close down operations. There’s lots of press on this from Alberta newspapers. So all these guys can sell now is industrial-sized drums of sodium chlorite–to be used as industrial bleach, perhaps? Or for several weeks of 72/2 protocol?

    This isn’t the first ironic juxtaposition of ads on RI but it is the most destructive. I see ads for water-alkanizing machines, ADHD clinics, psychics, and all kinds of woo, obviously tailored to key words in the body of the page I’m on.

    It’s like all the anti-$cientology sites I read have paid ads from the cult itself. Although that’s probably a bigger fail since anyone on an anti-$cientology site is unlikely to be swayed or lured over to the other side. Ads here on RI, on the other hand, may be seen by and influence parents who find themselves here genuinely doing research.

  79. #79 lilady
    June 19, 2012

    @ Calli Arcale: The intense-care group home where my son resided until his death, is now in the process of installing cameras. I know, I visit my “other son” (my son’s “roomie”), every week).

    With the population in that facility, the primary risks are mishandling transfers to and from wheelchairs, beds and shower chairs.

    We have some great relationships with staff…who pipe information over to us, trusting that we will be discrete, when we address problems that arise within the facility, with supervisory staff. Furthermore, they know we still have contacts with the funding state agency and with a State watchdog agency that monitors the quality of care in group homes.

    I give the agency credit for their *open door* policy without restrictive “visiting hours” where you witness the Dog and Pony Show, put on for visitors. They also have very enriched staffing ratios for these very disabled, medically fragile residents.

  80. #80 Autismum
    http://autismum.com/
    June 19, 2012

    Of course balancing security with the privacy of those being cared for is a tricky one. This is why this poor child was locked in a bathroom by “care” staff.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-north-east-wales-18458803
    And don’t get me started on the abuse of adults at Winterbourne View.

  81. #81 Denice Walter
    June 19, 2012

    @ Kelly M. Bray :
    “A parrot on meth”?
    Perhaps self-fuelled by DOPAMINE- e.g. pressured speech delusions of grandeur, no self criticsm

    To riff off a line by the late Mr Vonnegut ( and I paraphrase):
    it’s a chemical problem: some people take too many, some don’t take enough of them … and
    ( my own addition)….
    some people’s brains make the bad ones all by themselves!

  82. #82 Denice Walter
    June 19, 2012

    @ lilady:

    Lilady: fighting for the dis-abled since…
    well, for a really LONG time!

  83. #83 lilady
    June 19, 2012

    @ Autismum: I still don’t get the justification for locking a child, unattended, in a bathroom.

    Some schools and other facilities have “time out” rooms, for a child whose behavior puts the child or others at risk. There are very strict regulations about using these rooms. The child’s behavior before the “time out” room is used must be witnessed and verified by written documentation from other staff members. At no time is a child left alone or locked in a room. The door is always ajar and in the line of sight of other staff and at least one aide is with the child in the room at all times. After the “time out” room is used, multiple reports must be filled out, that are reviewed at the parent agency…and also reviewed by the government licensing and funding agency, to (hopefully) prevent inappropriate use of “time out” rooms.

    I wonder if the parent in this “case” and other “cases” is really pleased with the overall care that is provided to to child. Sometimes, parents are *reluctant* to make complaints, to *push for an intense investigation*, because of fear of repercussions or fear that the child will lose the placement in a facility.

  84. #84 Autismum
    http://autismum.com/
    June 19, 2012

    There is no excuse for the treatment of this child.
    I believe there was a long delay in the reporting of this incident to school management and the incident being reported to the parent. I’m following the story closely

  85. #85 Calli Arcale
    June 20, 2012

    My daughter got put in “time out” a few times her first year in the public school, but the school’s definition of time out was exactly what it should be (IMHO) and same as it was for years before: she was sent to the principal’s office. On those occasions when the principal was unavailable or needed the office for other duties, she sat in another staff member’s office. She ranted, raved, threw things . . . and they just sat quietly and didn’t encourage any of it. Today, she regards them almost as parents, and once in a while goes to their offices voluntarily when she needs time away from other students. Usually it’s lunchtime, and she just can’t handle the noise in the cafeteria. Not all districts are as well-funded and consequently well-staffed as ours, though.

    lilady, I hear you about the biggest risk to residents in practice being mishandled transfers. It’s a difficult thing to do, transferring a person from bed to wheelchair, wheelchair to potty, etc, and it can very easily go wrong. My grandmother got a very nasty bruise while in a skilled nursing facility because of a botched transfer; she bruises extremely easily due to decades of heavy cortisone use (she has severe asthma), so it’s pretty much inevitable in her case. And I had an elderly relative die from what amounts to complications of a hip fracture sustained in a nursing home. She was 99, and just beginning to lose her marbles, so the family had no real regrets; she’d never wanted to be stuck in a nursing home, but her health had rapidly deteriorated in that last year. She didn’t survive the surgery to repair the hip. (Surgery on the very elderly is controversial, but she would have had no real quality of life with a broken hip. Constant, unremitting agony until she slowly wasted away. Attempting the surgery made sense.)

    The story of the girl locked in a bathroom overnight is horrible. There is no sensible reason why anyone would consider that appropriate handling of the child.

  86. #86 lilady
    June 20, 2012

    @ Calli: Thanks for sharing when a *time out* room or *time out* session is appropriate. Some kids have a sensory overload and it is far better to remove them from a situation to give them time to adjust to a classroom or social situation. What happened to that young girl locked in a bathroom was punitive abuse.

    A few of the strict regulations that are in place for nursing homes and Intermediate Care Facilities for the severe and profound developmentally disabled population, under the category of “restraints” are ridiculous…when you consider that arm or leg splints ordered by a physiatrist or orthopedist to prevent contractures or a safe bed with side-rails to prevent dangerous falls for those who have dementia and/or low vision or for those who lack the intellectual capacity and who are at extreme risk to topple out of bed…are questioned by the Medicaid audit teams.

    If a child lacks the capacity to make decisions about his/her medical care, it is important to petition Family or Surrogate’s court to become the child’s guardian…even before his/her 18th birthday…the usual timeline for “emancipation”, so that you are entitled to sign for medical procedures (even sedation for a test or a lumbar puncture). Have an alternative and a substitute guardian appointed as well. I have substitute guardianship of my son’s friend.

  87. #87 lilady
    June 20, 2012

    O/T…but a poster at AoA linked to this Ho-Po blog, with the “suggestion” to post there to defend Jenny McCarthy’s remarks disparaging parents who do not indulge in activities to actively *treat* their children (the so-called *Warrior Moms*)

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jess-wilson/autism_b_1607631.html?utm_hp_ref=twitter&comm_ref=false

    I’ve just commented on this blog (in moderation, now). Does anyone else want to come out and play on the Ho-Po?

  88. #88 lilady
    June 20, 2012

    The damn ads are up again on this thread:

    MMS MIRACLE 4 OZ MMS $8 J. Humble Approved! Free Shipping Professional Grade MMS & Activator http://www.buymms.biz

    Sodium Chlorite Canada Solution. Flake. Powder. Best Prices Guaranteed! http://www.sodiumchlorite.ca

  89. #89 JGC
    June 20, 2012

    “Best Prices Guaranteed!”

    Because if you’re going to feed your kids poison, you might as well do it as cheaply as possible…

  90. #90 Roger Kulp
    June 20, 2012

    dingo199
    June 19, 9:27 am
    As you can see, absolutely none of this material is a recognized intestinal parasite

    No,but they do look kind of like “sausage casings”.They could either be faked,or proof this stuff really does strip off your intestinal lining,like paint off a wall.Talk about shitting out your intestines.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qyB26qC2ijk

  91. #91 lilady
    June 20, 2012

    @ Roger Kulp…true story, here.

    Question:
    (From a first year resident doing a rotation at a public health clinic, after perusing a lab report) “What’s the difference between a dwarf tapeworm and a “regular tapeworm?”

    Reply:
    (From a wise a$$ public health nurse) “About 6 inches”.

    http://www.parasitesinhumans.org/hymenolepis-nana-dwarf-tapeworm.html

    :-)

  92. #92 Autismum
    http://autismum.com/
    June 20, 2012

    I thank my lucky stars my Pwdin is in such an incredible school. When a classmate bit him a couple of weeks ago we were invited in to view the classroom footage of the incident if we wanted to.
    In his classroom there is a sensory corner and also a quiet room for children to go to if they are a bit overwhelmed – it is never used as a punishment. They also have a pile of catalogues in a cupboard just for Pwd in case he gets anxious and needs a stim – we get through about 8 Argos catalogues (great big things) a week.

  93. #93 lilady
    June 20, 2012

    @ Autismum: All three of the school programs that my son attended from 14 months old through age 21 (early intervention for physically disabled kids and two special schools for severely and profoundly multiply disabled kids), were superb.

    Yes, he was profoundly intellectually impaired…but not too impaired to *get over* on school nurses who tried to give him his midday anti-convulsant medication, crushed in applesauce. (In a panic, phone call from school nurse), “he shakes his head ‘no’ when I tried to medicate him”. My reply…”you’ve been ‘had’ by a profoundly mentally retarded kid; he’s “holding out’ for chocolate pudding”.

    Many of his teachers and aides remain as close friends…they are the ones who developed his social skills and cared for him, for 20 years and who comforted me and my family when he died eight years ago.

  94. #94 Phoenix Woman
    June 21, 2012

    Pictures of “parasites/worms” emerging after MMS purging are nothing more than strips of fibrinous material and bits of intestinal mucosal lining that has been stripped away from the bowel (sometimes called intestinal casts or bowel casts). I can understand how some ignorant people could imagine they or their kids have passed “worms”.

    Damage to the intestinal mucosa will certainly result in bacteria and/or bacterial products breaching the normally intact mucosal barrier (translocation).

    This release of bacterial products (like LPS mentioned above) will cause fever and could have even worse consequences, since they can induce septic shock in the host.

    Excuse me while I scream now.

    AAAAARRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH!

    The people who push MMS — and who must know that this is a result of ingesting it — are beyond evil.

  95. #95 Lawrence
    June 21, 2012

    It is sickening – these parents seem perfectly happy to “love” their kids right into their graves……

  96. #96 Greg
    New York
    June 22, 2012

    Please to everyone out there, do not drink sodium chlorite and especially the conversion to chlorine dioxide for any reason. This should make the MMS question immediately moot. (Using credible water purification tablets for purifying water from specifically bacterial endospores is ok)

    I have ten years of experience in R&D and delivery of chlorine dioxide into the air and surface for disinfection. Yes, it’s a miracle chemical compound but only for specific uses. There are over 120 years of peer publications that overwhelmingly support the power of Clo2 disinfection with very noticeable under-whelmingly kindredness for internal application. A great website to gather published information for any discussion re: chlorine dioxide is http://www.odorscience.net/Technology.html.

    Chlorine Dioxide and Sodium Chlorite are very powerful oxidizers. That’s why they work. The argument that clo2 is not bleach and here is the blah, blah, blah, chemical molecular structure. Unfortunately they work the same way, and this entitles oxidizing. There is no educated chemical engineer or chemist that would ever endorse using an oxidizer of this magnitude internally. Yes, it does burn on the way down.

  97. #97 Tony
    Houston
    July 27, 2012

    The problem is that when your child has autism. Like I do. You begin slowly to lose faith in the medical establishment. It all begins by having your “trusted” pediatrician tell you “nothing is wrong, a lot of male children have issues with speech”, then it moves on to having to listen to a Dr tell you that your two year old will never amount to anything and that we need to make plans to have him locked up in a facility for the rest of his life. Then you hear of successes from Lovaas and company with ABA (but then it only really works for less than 50% of kiddos involved in his initial study. As you read more and more you enter into a world you never knew existed. One you are ill equipped to live in. A world of special diets, vitamin supplements and so on. You hear some folks have had success. You want to do what is best for your child. You feel uneducated…no matter what your original level of education is…you are at a loss. Then you think back at how the doctors you have met all along were also uneducated and how no one has “the key”. At this point you are willing to try anything. You get into the clinical trials database…you are now willing to experiment with your child. I’m an engineer with a solid knowledge base of statistics and I know full well how to design experiments to identify the better variables to optimize a production process. Then I see how “the establishment” performs these tests in their clinical trials and I know how things don’t look right. I know I will try anything. I haven’t seen the clinical trial on MMS…from the postings on this blog it would even be unethical to even consider doing one. I don’t know. One thing I know is that there will always be some shady unethical person trying to prey on the needs and desperation of somebody else…I’m just saying

  98. #98 Mrs Woo
    July 27, 2012

    @Tony – yes, there are all sorts of unethical people out there (and a few who are just really deluded I think) that will take money hand over fist from desperate people. My own battle isn’t autism – it’s something else, and I’m Mrs Woo because my trusting Mr Woo will try anything to cure me. As much as we might seem angry at parents who will literally stoop to anything, even something that sounds like absolute torture of a child, we are probably more angry at the Geiers, etc., of this world who advocate useless expensive and sometimes dangerous or possibly lethal treatments to “recover” a child with issues of developmental delay.

    I have several friends with autistic children and I have an autistic grandson. Right now I believe the best I can give to them is a lot of interaction on their terms and encouraging them, loving them and offering every thing I can to them to help them achieve their potential, whatever their potential might be.

    Mr Woo was introduced to MMS as a “cure for all diseases” a few years before Orac ever wrote about it. He did the “regular protocol” and it made him so sick by the end of the first week that he quit doing it. He’s a true-believer of alternative therapies if ever there was one, but couldn’t endure how bad it made him feel. I could never condone using it for any treatment for a non-verbal child. Between no evidence of any benefit and how miserable it makes people, it’s just wrong.

    Stick around – there are many commenters on here who are either on the spectrum or have children on the spectrum, etc. They understand what it is to be the parent of a developmentally disabled child – they also get frustrated when the children are subjected to unproven, sometimes harmful therapies out of parental desperation, and can be very vocal about wanting to protect the kids. I don’t blame them – you cannot be an honorable person if you are unwilling to be a voice for those who have none.

  99. #99 Denice Walter
    July 27, 2012

    I hate to jump in to correct someone….
    an anecdote:
    A long, long time ago I read a now-famous study by one AJW: it didn’t seem to jive with what I had studied about neurophysiological development. It seemed suspicious to me that a post-natal event could trigger such serious anomalies and so rapidly..it just didn’t fit. Apparently, I wasn’t the only person who thought so.

    About 4 years later, I was shocked when my cousin was concerned about vaccines and autism; he had a newborn son- who is the hopes and dreams of both his parents who had waited a very long time for him. I told my cousin not to worry about vaccines. He’s a bright guy ( who creates movie magic through technology) and his wife is a mathematician.
    Neither studied medicine or related topics. They vaccinated the child, who is fine and age 10.

    Doctors and psychologists are not un-educated about autism and other development problems. They do not have all of the answers but they do know certain things from research: there is a genetic factor, very early environment ( i.e. pre- and peri-natal) may play a role and *de novo* mutations are suspect. There are very early signs – social and communicative precursors like gaze patterns – and physiognomic indicators like head size, facial proportions and brain wave differences. All of these events are prior to the so-called causative vaccine. There is data that shows no association between vaccines and autism over many DECADES. Doctors and psychologists also know about how the DSM-IV changed diagnosis c. 1994.

    Living with a disabled child is difficult but the easy answers provided by many ( such as dietary cures) will not solve any problems. It’s a long, hard often lonely road but many children eventually make progress.

  100. #100 Rine
    Vancouver BC
    August 8, 2012

    It makes a big difference to the opinions of your readers, and is insulting to their intelligence, when you push your bias upon them with misinformation instead of just sharing the facts and letting people agree with you on the merits of your argument.

    I don’t even disagree with the point of your article but your method is extremely unethical, and your information is false.

    Sodium chlorite is not chlorine bleach and yet you refer to it as bleach constantly throughout your article to give the impression that is, which is much like brainwashing.
    To imply, because it has a similar name or is only one oxygen molecule away from being bleach, means it is basically the same thing is like saying it is safe to drink hydrogen peroxide.

    Water is safe to drink, it is H2O
    Hydrogen Peroxide is toxic and it is H2O2.. that’s just adding one more oxygen molecule and suddenly it’s an entirely different thing. Same thing here.
    Sodium hypochlorite is bleach and is NaClO.
    Sodium chlorite is not bleach and is NaClO2.

    But that isn’t even the issue as using the MMS protocol actually calls for changing the compound into Chlorine Dioxide gas and not administering the sodium chlorite itself.

    Chlorine Dioxide gas doesn’t produce chlorine in a soluble state (strangely enough) unless in gas form and in concentrations of 30% or more.. obviously that isn’t happening with these snake oil kooks as it’s also accompanied by a giant explosion when it happens.

    In the body it can break down into oxygen and chlorite ions which quickly break down into chloride ions which are an essential electrolyte located in all body fluids responsible for maintaining acid/base balance, transmitting nerve impulses and regulating fluid in and out of cells.

    Again, in the body chlorine dioxide breaks down into.. oxygen and chlorite which are actually both essential for life.

    The amounts used in MMS are harmless to humans on a cellular level and do no physical damage to our bodies.

    That said.. there is no proof they are good at healing anything for you. I don’t agree with taking sick people’s money with fake cures. There are often minor side effects of nausea and sometimes vomiting which we can only guess are caused by irritation in the stomach and possibly the flood of dead pathogens hitting the liver faster than it can expel them. I mention this because while there is no proof MMS will cure or heal you it IS true that chlorine dioxide works like magic on human pathogens and it’s possible it at least kills some in your gut, if not your blood stream, before decomposing into oxygen and chlorite.

    This can rarely lead to serious side effects related to the dehydration caused by those two unpleasant side effects.

    I have no doubt that the FDA overstates this in their warnings. Not because of a conspiracy but rather because it’s possible bad things will happens and there is no evidence god things will happen so they err on the side of caution and are a bit dramatic about it.

    The FDA’s official word on MMS…
    “There have been no reported deaths from use of MMS; however the FDA has received numerous reports of nausea, severe vomiting, and life-threatening low blood pressure caused by dehydration.”

    BUT IT IS NOT BLEACH AND HAS NONE OF DANGEROUS SIDE EFFECTS OF BLEACH AND TO KEEP SAYING OTHERWISE IS TO LIE AND IS ONLY DISCREDITING YOURSELF!

  101. #101 Marion Delgado
    August 24, 2012

    I’ve been drinking bleach for years and I have NO MORGELLONS IN MY BODY! Praise Jenny!

  102. #102 Science Mom
    http://justthevax.blogspot.com/
    August 24, 2012

    I’ve been drinking bleach for years and I have NO MORGELLONS IN MY BODY! Praise Jenny!

    That’s not the only thing you don’t have.

  103. #103 AdamG
    August 24, 2012

    I’ve been drinking bleach for years and I have NO MORGELLONS IN MY BODY! Praise Jenny!

    I call Poe on this one.

  104. #104 Wendy
    United States
    September 9, 2012

    OMG, are you people serious?????? Anyone who would do this to a child should not be able to parent! This is disgusting! The only seriously ill people I see from this is the parents who do this! Maybe they need to be the ones drinking it. You freaking idiots.