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U.S. authorities have made threatening noises in the direction of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing (G2C) for a while now. G2C is the Florida outfit that pretends to be religious in order to sell a bleach-based “miracle” drug as a “sacrament,” in the belief that as a faith organization, it can do as it pleases.

The FDA has published dire warnings, and the church leaders laughed all the way to the bank. Four weeks ago, a federal judge issued a preliminary injunction to stop the church from selling the toxic product; its “Archbishop,” Mark Grenon, wrote a blistering response that amounted to “Come and get me.”

Since then, nothing.

Except for a $150,000-plus fine imposed by our friends Down Under yesterday.

A “healing church” that promoted a solution containing industrial bleach as a cure for coronavirus has been fined more than $150,000 for multiple allegedly unlawful advertising offenses.

On Wednesday, Australia’s drugs regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), said the Australian chapter of the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing had been fined for selling and promoting a solution containing sodium chlorite, a chemical used as a textile bleaching agent and disinfectant.

The Australian website for the church, MMS Australia, falsely claimed the solution could treat, cure, prevent and alleviate diseases including Covid-19, HIV and cancer, the TGA said.

True to form, G2C remains unrepentant.

MMS Australia [the church’s Oz chapter] has not removed the products from its website. It has updated the website to say those seeking miracle cures “should pray to The Lord for healing and guidance”. The website also says those seeking the bleach solution and other products urgently could add a $5 express shipping voucher to their online shopping basket to jump to the front of the queue.

Chutzpah to the max. But the bleach sellers are singing a slightly different tune now.

“Our products, their descriptions and other information posted here are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease, and any apparent reference to same is inadvertent and purely coincidental,” MMS Australia said. “We do not believe in miracle cures, but in healthy, wholesome living and good nutrition to keep the temple of our souls, our bodies, clean and free of harmful chemicals and poisons. We also believe in the power of quiet contemplation, meditation and prayer.”

Mark Grenon’s aggressive bluster seems to have infected his Australian crew, too.

An Australian representative of the church’s MMS Australia Foundation previously told Guardian Australia: “Do you go into the Catholic church and question them about the wine or the bread that they serve in the Eucharist?”

If those items were made with industrial bleach, why yes, we just might.

I’m thinking about starting a church whose sacred ritual is poking oneself in the eye with a special poking stick that I’ll be selling for only $199 (plus shipping and handling). For another $129, I’ll also provide a jar of eye ointment made from ground glass and asbestos. If I could buy the Florida church’s mailing list to promote my services, I don’t see how I could fail.

(Image via Shutterstock)