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“Church of Bleach” family gets years in prison for deadly “miracle” solution

Bottles of MMS, a bleach product sold by Genesis II Church of Health and Healing.
Enlarge / Bottles of MMS, the bleach product that Genesis II Church of Health and Healing was ordered to stop selling.

A federal judge in Miami has handed down years-long prison sentences to a Florida father and his three adult sons who were convicted in July of using a faux church to sell an industrial-strength bleaching agent as a “miracle” solution they falsely claimed could cure serious illnesses such as cancer, HIV/AIDS, and COVID-19.

Father Mark Grenon, 66—the patriarch of the so-called “Church of Bleach”—and one of his sons, Joseph Grenon, 36, were sentenced to 60 months in prison (five years). That’s the statutory maximum sentence for their conviction of conspiring to defraud the US by distributing an unapproved and misbranded drug.

Jonathan Grenon, 37, and Jordan Grenon, 29, received longer sentences of 151 months in prison (12 years and seven months), because they were convicted of contempt of court as well as conspiring to defraud the US.

Mark and Joseph Grenon were also initially charged with contempt but did not ultimately face the charges due to an extradition deal. After the US government filed charges in 2020, Mark and Joseph fled to Colombia, and the contempt charges against them were dropped as part of an agreement to extradite them back to the US.

“A Waco”

During the jury trial, federal prosecutors described the Grenons as “con men” and “snake-oil salesmen” who, in 2010, began selling their dangerous bleach product—”Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS)”— through a non-religious “church” called the Genesis II Church of Health and Healing. They sold MMS as a “sacrament” in exchange for mandatory “donations” to the church, while claiming MMS could treat serious conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, diabetes, autism, malaria, hepatitis, Parkinson’s, herpes, HIV/AIDS, and COVID-19.

Prosecutors said the family sold tens of thousands of bottles of MMS, making more than $1 million over the years.

MMS is consumed as chlorine dioxide, a powerful bleaching agent that can cause severe vomiting, diarrhea, and life-threatening low blood pressure. The Food and Drug Administration, which warned consumers of the product in 2019, received reports of people requiring hospitalizations, developing life-threatening conditions, and even dying after drinking MMS, according to prosecutors.

When federal authorities first filed charges against the Grenons in 2020, the Grenons sent letters threatening a federal judge and warned they would “pick up guns” and stage “a Waco.”

Grenons speak

Throughout the trial, the Grenons represented themselves but did not speak in their defense, seemingly as a form of protest. They had court-appointed defense attorneys who stood by during the trial, but the Grenons did not allow them to speak for them.

In July, it took a Miami jury just 30 minutes to return the guilty verdicts for the four men, according to the Miami Herald.

The Herald reported that the men broke their silence during sentencing last week to plead for mercy and protest their prison terms.

Father Mark Grenon reportedly argued to the judge that he was a victim in the case and that his three years in custody so far amounted to “kidnapping.” As such, he said the US government owed him compensation of $5.76 million for being “held unlawfully.”

He apparently put the deal to the judge, asking “yes or no?” US District Judge Cecilia Altonaga called it a “nonsensical question,” and said, “I won’t answer that.”

The three sons, meanwhile, said they did not “consent” to the judicial proceedings and claimed their time in custody was already enough.

“I have lost everything,” Jonathan Grenon told the court, noting that he was married with five sons. “I believe I should be released to my family.”

The Grenons had previously stated that they plan to appeal their convictions.

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