20/20 Investigation into a Church accused of selling snake oil has Tampa Bay area ties

Posted at 6:41 PM, Oct 28, 2016

A 20/20 investigation of a church selling a mixture they call a miracle cure but experts claim it's snake oil is hitting close to home.

I-team Investigator Jarrod Holbrook found Tampa Bay ties to what 20/20 is uncovering. He found the church's leader and co-founder lives in Bradenton.

In fact, 20/20 investigators tell us Bradenton is where they're shipping the product and appears to be the "center of their operation".

It's called the Genesis 2 Church of Health and Healing. Members aggressively push this miracle mineral solution (MMS). A mixture they claim cures all kinds of diseases from breast cancer, HIV, to autism.

20/20's Chief Investigative Correspondent Brian Ross had it tested, and found it's nothing miraculous, in fact, he says it's an industrial bleach, a clorox on steroids.

"It was actually shipped to us from a home down in your area where the family of some of these archbishops live," says ABC's Brian Ross

Mark Grenon, who lives in Bradenton, calls himself the archbishop and co-founder of the church. He travels the world pushing MMS.

After 20/20 investigators bought some for $150, they watched what happened when they poured an undiluted portion onto a pair of blue jeans.

Ross explains, "..the denim turned white through both pant legs. Even with the prescribed much smaller dose experts say it's still a danger for anyone to drink."

Experts say, it's "ridiculous this is scary dangerous stuff."

Holbrook asks, "We know they've held seminars in the Tampa area, what goes on at these seminars?"

"People are trained to become health ministers at $450 a head. And what they're offering is a cure for everything they say," Ross answers.

Ross confronts the so called archbishop from Bradenton in his 20/20 report.

He says, "It's amazing tough language from an archbishop but he knows he's under fire."

"How many people are buying this?" Holbrook asks.

"According to them hundreds of thousands of people are following this, they've shipped millions of bottles of this," Ross answers.

You can see 20/20's full investigative report tonight starting at 10 o'clock on ABC Action News.

We also tried reaching out to Mark Grenon by phone and email. He wrote back that he doesn't "waste his time with puppets".                 

USF's Dr. Karen Berkman the Executive Director with the Center For Autism And Related Disabilities says, "If there was a cure I'm pretty sure I would've known about it by now. And I think the rest of the world would know about it as well.  At this point there is no cure for autism that we are aware of."