Editor’s Note: Heather is non-autistic but a fierce advocate and fellow neurodivergent person. She is the best person to tell this story because she has been on the inside of it.
Recently, news broke that MMS, a bleach solution touted as a miracle cure, was being used to treat autistic children. It delights me that awareness for the abusive autism treatment MMS is being once again highlighted in the mainstream news because that’s how big changes are made.
I was once enmeshed in the dark underground network of those parents attempting to cure their children. Being out of the network for 3 years, I had no idea Melissa Eaton or Amanda Seiger, two mothers who have been working under cover for years to infiltrate the groups of parents using these “cures,” had been at it for so long.
MMS is an acronym for miracle mineral solution, a Like most things that claim to be a “miracle,” its a complete scam, and is also dangerous. The solution is basically made of chlorine dioxide, which in very low concentration can clean your water source. But in the dosages recommended for use as a “cure,” MMS can cause poisoning, renal failure, and the mucous membrane to shed from the stomach, esophagus, and intestines.
MMS was invented by former Scientologist and deranged cockwomble, Jim Humble, who claims it can cure cancer, MS, Crohn’s disease– hell, even Down Syndrome.
Since, crazed bleach fleecer Kerri Rivera has taken up the cause of getting parents to cure autism with MMS. This beef-witted bleach monger believes that stimming is caused by fungus, that seizures “reset the brain,” and that high fevers are an indication of autism leaving the body.
By forcing your child to drink, bathe in, or receive MMS via enema, Rivera claims it can “magically” make a child’s autism disappear.
No surprises, it doesn’t work.
Finding Myself in the Large Bowels of the Internet
My initiation into the bleach nightmare from hell was an accident. I had added myself to the Facebook group, CD Autism, just assuming it was another autism group; however, when posts from that particular group started showing up in my timeline, I felt my heart sinking down to my stomach.
I was suddenly immersed in a world of so much pain, scared kids, hurt kids, so many misunderstood parents, so much desperation, false hopes– and so many photos of people’s bowel movements.
This was an underground world with its own language. There were many abbreviations I didn’t understand, most notably, “pp” (parasite protocol). Apparently, the consensus of this cult-like group was that parasites were the cause of many autistic symptoms, and others were a result of heavy metal toxicity from vaccines.
It wasn’t just that cures were being peddled. There was a group norm to push– aggressively– parents to continue powering through the protocol, in spite of extremely disturbing negative side effects and vehement rejection from the children. The preferred administration method for giving their children bleach was enemas, but bathing them in it and force-feeding them MMS was also encouraged.
I wondered, was I witnessing admissions of sexual assault on top of other forms of child abuse? If children survived this torture, would they grow up knowing where boundaries are if they had no right to consent to painful bleach enemas?
It seemed as if parents were being groomed into abusing their own kids. All I could see was that it was SO wrong.
In other groups for parents of autistic children, you would see kids achieving things and parents praising them. In this group, all praise was given to these little bottles of poison. I immediately shared my concerns with others on social media.
Getting inside the heads of these parents would be very hard. I don’t think most want to hurt their kids. I think many have perhaps been told very negative news from their doctors, others saw their kid regress around vaccination time and decided the autism was a vaccine injury. Others misunderstood, desperate, searching for answers.
Life can be confusing if you are simply given a diagnosis with no useful advice, which is what often happens. Some may feel detached from their kids who are non-speaking and unable to show verbal affection. Maybe they feel its their only option. But that doesn’t excuse their actions either. The welfare of the child should always be priority.
This is a long shot, but if there is anyone out there reading this who is realizing they’ve been buying into false hope cures, please consider joining this Facebook group (link below). Even if you are using an anonymous account. Autistic adults want to help your child. They can, I promise. Please join :
Biomed Wrongs to Autism Truths
It wasn’t long before I found others fighting it, and we created a Facebook group. I was in communication with people from the USA, UK, Canada, and South Africa. After a month or so, we found German activists fighting it, too.
I, along with others from the group, reported a few parents implementing this protocol to the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty against Children. We had to. We were afraid for the welfare and safety of the children, and both the parents and kids needed help. We also reported the sellers to trading standards, and reported the groups to Facebook. I honestly thought the problem would be resolved in months. How naive…
One German friend helped to put me in contact with one of the most well-known activists, Fiona Oleary, in Ireland. Within a week, she had media attention on the matter, and with colleagues, they worked hard to get the documentary, Primetime, The Bleach Prescription, out the following year, meanwhile working on so many other related initiatives.
Activists from all over the world started advocating in their own countries where laws varied considerably– as did the safety of the people reporting sometimes. Some were public and vocal, but many worked behind the scenes.
Frustration was still there though, as despite all the awareness we were spreading, members only trickled into our anti-MMS group, with little activity to match the grave seriousness of the situation. In many autism groups there appeared to be sympathy for the parents for being “so desperate,” rather than the obvious fact that abuse was taking place.
In other Autism groups, bio-medical type treatments were sneaking in, and we had to be careful we weren’t inadvertently giving out free advertising or opening the door to new dangerous “cures.” The academic community was slowly introduced, and a few scientists helped debunk the pseudoscience, and some mandated reporters did their bit, too– and I think they continue to do so.
We found Emma Dalmayne in November that year and her dedication, drive and commitment has been unstoppable ever since. Her quick connection to the press, authorities and parliament was fantastic. She has received so much media attention in the last 5 years and has worked to seal convictions and law changes.
In South Africa, the fight had begun, which eventually resulted in law changes, as well as in Canada, Ireland, and many others.
This amazing documentary came out in Canada from the work of some great people:
There were protests in the USA against AutismOne, the yearly quackfest which promoted these vile protocols. The second protest managed to stop Rivera from promoting her protocol in Illinois.
There is so much, now a quick Google search will show so much about this. I have left out so much. Much campaigning, and so many different countries.
Websites have been made.
Articles and blogs have been written.
Petitions have been made.
There has been so much press exposure.
Laws have been changed.
Rivera’s book has stopped selling on Amazon.
Facebook groups have been closed.
Parents have been reported.
And so much has been done, it would honestly take a novel to write it all, but now I want to address something SO important. It’s never really highlighted in the press. None of this, I mean NONE of it would have been achieved without the determined, tireless, brave and dedicated work of Autistic adults. None.
The first chat I personally joined about stopping MMS was nearly all Autistic Adults. The first Facebook group against MMS started– nearly all Autistic Adults. The first Facebook page against MMS– made by Autistics.
The German contact? An Autistic mother who helped me find an Irish Autistic mother telling me an Autistic mother will care the most. We tried Irish parenting groups with no success. Fiona O’Leary, of course, is Autistic.
I worked with Fiona for over a year. Her work begins at about 9:30 am and finishes around 4 am some days. Her dedication holds no bounds.
Amanda Sleiger is Autistic.
The German fighters, mostly Autistic. Australia and New Zealand, mostly Autistic. America and Canada, mostly Autistic. Are you seeing a pattern? Emma Dalmayne, guess what?? Autistic.
There are new Autistics joining the fight all the time, sharing petitions, sharing articles, spreading awareness, making phonecalls, sending emails.
People see “special interests” as a bad thing. Autistic people “don’t have Empathy”? They have “no concept of other people”?
I have never seen these concepts debunked more thoroughly than here. The drive to stop the abuse of children Autistic adults never met is huge, driven, determined, and unstoppable.
We thank the press, the politicians, and child abuse services, but to our army of Autistics fighting for the safety of rights and safety of kids they have never met is outstanding.
This article certainly isn’t discrediting all the non-Autistic Allies involved, too, such as our latest hero, Melissa Eaton.
There are non-autistics investigating, sharing information, going to protests, signing petitions, too, of course.
The fights continue against MMS just like other forms of abuse, like this current one against the Judge Rotenberg Center (JRC) abuse here:
Like the fight for services for kids with additional needs here:
These fights are full of Autistic advocates.
But just like the fight against MMS, it will end– even if I am writing about it as an old lady. Would MMS have been successful without the crowd of Autistics fighting against it? Perhaps not, I dread to think.
Autistics and allies will always continually fight against what is wrong. The mistakes their parents made will be worked on to create better lives for the next generation.
To join in the efforts and support these dedicated heroes, UK readers please sign and share:
UK petition against Autistic “Cures”
USA readers please sign and share this:
Petition to end toxic cures in the USA
So, the next time you read some comment, post, or article on social media talking about Autistic people lacking empathy, or not caring for others, please share this. The dedication in Autistics is essential, thorough, and can be life-saving.
If you can help in any way with the fight against MMS, please contact this facebook page: The Autistic Avenger
As a non-Autistic myself, the sheer horror of MMS and complete admiration of Autistic Advocates inspired me to help admin the Facebook group Autistic Allies, completely dedicated to connecting non-autistic people to Neurodiversity. I feel its the most practical way to stop parents falling for these quack treatments and abusive therapies, but also to learn about autistic people from autistics.
- Autism “Intelligence” Tests Send Mixed Messages to Parents - August 9, 2020
- Free Communication Resources for Autistic Children - February 1, 2020
- How to Spot a Good– or Bad– Therapist for Your Autistic Child - August 31, 2019
My heart hurts reading this. It actually brings me back to a time of my own internalized ableism when I would have done anything to “cure” my own autism. (I hadn’t gotten as far as bleach, but I was doing some pretty wacky stuff.) I think you’re 100% correct in that autistic people are the best sources of information on how to communicate with and help autistic children cope with the neurotypical world around them. And, of course, advocates like you. 🙂
You’re welcome. In fact, you inspired me so much, I wrote an essay about my own internalized ableism, and it should be published here soon. 🙂
Great, can’t wait to read it 😊
As a Canadian I was curious about the link to the documentary so followed it. The comments in the youtube comments section where this documentary is posted are really upsetting. They are filled with people saying MMS works and the doc is evidence of it and government is trying to interfere. 🙁
I hail from South Africa and recently came across this MMS quackery that is running rampant in my country. I am not Autistic, I am merely concerned for the many people being hurt by this nonsense and would like to know if there are any groups or organisations in my country I can work with to bring this down. I am also doing some in-depth research in an attempt to find a connection between The Family Hope Center (their one doctor, Kristin Clague Reihman previously endorsed Kerri Rivera on social media, as called out by Fiona O’Leary) and Rivera – there is something here, I just need to make that final connection and will appreciate any help I can find. I know a family currently enrolled in the FHC’s program, which is based on the Doman-Delacato method, which has incidentally been named as child abuse by our physio-therapy board. Said family has also been delving into MMS and related nonsense. I am posting anonymously to secure the privacy of involved individuals, however, I am very willing to communicate privately with anyone who can help me. FHC also bases a fair bit of their “treatments” in DAN! and utilise a host of pseudo-scientific approaches, most concerning of which involves masking, or a bag, with the tiniest little valve hole, placed over the nose and mouth of the child to reduce oxygen intake. This can of course lead to hypoxia and other dangers, especially since this is done during the creeping and crawling sessions. I may mention here that the kid of this family is creeping and crawling 3km a day. That is not a typo. There is something terribly nefarious going on here, and while this organisation and Kerri and her ilk target Autistics, they also go after all neurally diverse folks, all disabled, and all desperate, and I, as an ally, cannot sit by and allow this to continue without fighting back.