Bleachgate – the British connection

Let me introduce you to Christian Pankhurst…

According to his Twitter profile, Christian is ‘about living from the heart, expanding awareness beyond the mind and helping people connect intimately’ but he also has an interesting sideline selling a so-called ‘miracle cure’ made of an industrial bleaching agent, sodium chlorite.

Sodium chlorite has a number of quite interesting uses. It’s used primarily in paper-making as a bleaching agent but it also turns up in very small amounts in some theraputic rinses, mouthwashes, toothpastes and gels and in some contact lens cleaning solutions. Under brand name ‘Oxine’, its also used to sanitise air conditioning systems and animal containment areas.

What it doesn’t do, if ingested by humans, is cure HIV, hepatitis, the H1N1 flu virus, common colds, acne, cancer or anything else for that matter. In fact, if you follow the instructions given for using this supposed miracle cure then what you are likely to experience is nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and symptoms of severe dehydration –

– and don’t just take my word for it, that’s also the view of the US Food and Drug Administration who, at the end of July, issued a safety alert warning consumers not to use this product.

I could write more about what has quickly come to be known to skeptics as ‘Bleachgate’ but for brevity’s sake, and to avoid repetition, you can pick up most of the gory details from Rhys Morgan, who kicked this whole story off with supplemental information and commentary from Zenbuffy and Cubik’s Rube, but for now I think its well worth giving Christian Pankhurst the benefit of a full once-over.

Pankhurst is what might reasonably be described as a ‘Quack’s quack’ and even goes so far as to describe himself, on his personal website, as ‘Dr Christian Pankhurst D.C’.

The letters ‘D.C.’ after his name indicate that he is a ‘Doctor of Chiropractic’ which, of course, means that he’s not really a doctor at all and certainly not a medical doctor. Actually, he’s not any kind of doctor, not even a doctor of chiropractic as his LinkedIn profile indicates that he only has a ‘Masters degree’ in backcracking from the Anglo European College of Chiropractic, which he gained in 2002, some twelve years after the AECC ceased to offer the American ‘Doctor of Chiropractic’ qualification.

Within a year of completing his training as a chiropractor, Pankhurst switched to a different but not less lucrative field of quackery, ‘life-coaching’, which is, today, his main line of business despite the fact that he appears not to possess any qualifications that might be relevant. Pankhurst actually describes himself as a ‘relationship consultant’ and ‘communication coach’ and states on his website that he ‘studied with some of the most well known leaders in the personal development industry’ – so well known, in fact, that he appears to be unable to name any of them on his site.

In fact, so far as can be ascertained, he appears to have become a ‘disciple’ of an American New-Age Guru, Neale Donald Walsch, who, so far as I can tell without polluting my brain any further, seems to peddle a fairly routine line in wholly derivative, bog standard Hippy dreck which he’s managed to flesh out a bit using the old ‘speaking to god‘ gambit. It’s a poor guru who can’t even get his Wikipedia entries straight but that a feat that Walsch and his followers have managed by including a section on ‘Parellels in other belief systems‘ which states that…

Walsch claims that he had never known most of these ideas before his revelatory experiences

…even though his main Wikipedia biography states that he was…

brought up as a Roman Catholic by a family who encouraged his quest for spiritual truth.

…as a result of which he…

studied The Bible, the Rig Veda and the Upanishads

Like I said, a quack’s quack.

Interestingly, in addition to his MMSEurope site, which peddles bleach to the UK, Pankhurst also has a site MMSAmerica.info which sells the same crap to the US although, in this case, part of the paper trail also leads back to a Devon-based firm of toolmakers, Pankhurst Trading Ltd, which is run by a David Pankhurst. On Ebay, MMSEurope states that it is a ‘division of Pankhurst Trading LTD’ and gives the Devon address of Pankhurst Trading Ltd as its main contact address, but with a Manchester (0161) phone number.

A reverse IP check also reveals two firther bleach peddling sites located on the same server as MMSEurope.com and MMSAmerica.info, MMSNederland.nl and MiracleMineralSolution.eu – the later maps to the same Dutch language site as MMSNederland – along with Pankhurst’s personal website.

Naturally, all of Pankhurst’s site include a compendious quack miranda warning

Disclaimer:

The seller is not a licensed doctor or healthcare practitioner and should not be regarded or contacted as such, and statements of ailment or disease support are not provided by the seller as it is illegal to do so. The Miracle Mineral Supplement (or MMS, Miracle Mineral Cure as it is commonly known) is a water purification product and is not an approved health care supplement, and therefore is not intended for human consumption. All information provided is for educational purposes only and is NOT to diagnose, prescribe, cure or treat any diseases, or replace the consultation and advice of a licensed healthcare practitioner. Any statements or testimonials anywhere on the website or links provided are individual cases and do not guarantee that you will get the same results. You agree that no responsibility or liability will be incurred to any person or entity with respect to any loss, damage or injury caused or alleged to be caused directly or indirectly by the information contained in this site. If you have a severe medical condition, please consult a licensed healthcare professional.

Note also; this website contains links to other websites operated by third parties. These links are provided for your convenience and reference only. The seller is not responsible for the content or products of any linked sites or the links contained therein.

However, while researching this article, I turned up a post on hubpages.com entitled ‘Jim Humble is going to Jail?‘ which sheds some interesting light on the provenence of Pankhurst’s disclaimer in the form of an email message that was apparently sent by Humble to his salespeople…

Agency is trying to take MMS off the market…

I just got a desperate letter from Jim Humble the discoverer of MMS stating that “sorry, but my name and my picture must be removed from all sites selling mms in any form. All of the jim humble approval stamps must be removed from every site selling mms.”

He further states, “This must happen immediately. Any time the attack comes if my approval is on any sales site that can be used to put me in jail. This is true in most countries as well as the united states, especially in Europe. Please comply with this. It is important. This must be done immediately. Taking my name off of your site will also keep you out of jail.

“I appreciate your help in bringing mms to the world. Now is the time to change mms to nothing but water purification drops. My sites will remain in place so that people can use them. They don’t lead people to other sales sites. When the time comes the authorities must see nothing but mms water purification drops. We will have to depend upon my book, radio, TV, you tube, and other internet articles to tell what mms really is.

“One other point, anywhere on your site where the word supplement is used it should be changed to the word “solution”, the reason for that is the FDA objects to the word supplement, that begins to neutralize our sites. Is for your protection.” End of announcement!

That all seems to suggest both that Humble, the creator of the MMS scam, is fully aware of what he’s doing and that Pankhurst is likely to have received this particular email, hence the references to water purification tablets.

In any case, enjoy Pankhurst while you can as if his scam sites start to disappear, that’ll likely be because Trading Standards have paid him a visit.

UPDATE – March 2011

Prior to my recent hosting problems, I received a comment from Pankhurst in which he claimed to have had nothing to do the sale of MMS for two years. Since posting this article in August 2010, domain registration data for the MMS domains has been altered to remove any references to Christian Pankhurst and the sites moved to a server in Spain, away from Pankhurst’s personal site.