When last I encountered Mark Sircus, who is an acupuncturist, practitioner of traditional Chinese medicine, and the director of the International Medical Veritas Association, it was in the context of discussions of the violent rhetoric of the antivaccine movement, with an article by Sircus from 2011 serving as one of the earlier examples that I had written about of an antivaxxer saying, “string the bastards up.” According to Sircus, the “bastards” whom he wanted to string up were the “doctors in white coats” who were injecting “poisonous heavy metals into babies.” (Unsurprisingly, the article is no longer on his website, which is why I had to link to an Archive.org Wayback Machine version of it.) More recent encounters with Sircus involved his selling an e-book advocating “natural allopathic medicine” (whatever that meant) to treat Ebola and pH quackery for cancer that he called “voltage healing.” He’s still touting “Natural Allopathic Medicine“—now capitalized!—for “cancer, heart and kidney disease, diabetes as well as for neurological conditions like Autism, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s diseases,” (because of course he is)
Given that background, it is thus utterly unsurprising that, with the arrival of COVID-19, Sircus has pivoted to COVID-19 quackery. However, but he’s done it with a twist that makes him stand out a bit from other quacks and made me take notice. In brief, he combined two quack claims in one, first, the false claim that the mRNA vaccines for COVID-19 have are causing a massive wave of cancer and, second, the idea that Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS, a.k.a. chlorine dioxide, a chemical used as a bleach and disinfectant) is the cure for these cancers. He lays out his “case,” such as it is, in an article from a couple of days ago, ‘Vaccine-Induced Cancer’ Chlorine Dioxide To The Rescue.
The first thing I noticed about this article is how Sircus avoids referring to MMS initially. Instead, he writes:
We now have an inconceivable rise in cancer rates caused by COVID vaccines. Early in 2022, Senator Ron Johnson hosted a conference in Washington D.C. called “Second Opinion.” One of the speakers at this 5-hour recorded event last Monday was attorney Thomas Renz, who in the short time allotted to him, testified that three military medical professionals had become whistleblowers, putting their careers on the line, to expose data contained in the Department of Defense Medical Database, under oath and under penalty of perjury, regarding the explosion of miscarriages which increased by almost 300% in 2021, a nearly 300% increase in cancer, and over a 1000% increase in neurological injuries. Renz stated: “Our soldiers are being experimented on, injured, and sometimes possibly killed.” (by the COVID-19 vaccines.)
This was a conspiracy theory birthed by a trial lawyer representing “whistleblowers” who had supposedly downloaded the Department of Defense’s Defense Medical Epidemiology Database (DMED) and found a huge spike in cancer beginning after COVID-19 vaccines were rolled out. As I pointed out a couple of weeks ago, a far more likely explanation for the observed spike was some sort of reporting issue. The reason is simple. Cancer takes years to develop; so any association between a postulated carcinogen and any given cancer or cancers will take years to manifest itself. When you see a spike in incidence of, for example, esophageal cancer of nearly 900% in one year, you’re not looking at biology, carcinogenesis, or pathophysiology. You’re looking at a reporting issue with the database. Of course, Sircus, being a quack, doesn’t understand this and credulously takes the trial lawyer’s bogus numbers at face value because they support what he as an antivaxxer wants to believe, the narrative that COVID-19 vaccines are dangerous and cause cancer.
Sircus also cites Dr. Ryan Cole, the pathologist who has claimed that he’s seen a lot more cancer diagnoses since COVID-19 vaccines rolled out. His claims are, as I’ve described, unverifiable, anecdotal, unsupported, and downright nonsensical.
Don’t worry, though! “Dr.” Sircus has the solution (the Miracle Mineral Solution, actually) to this imaginary vaccine-induced wave of cancer:
What can anyone say in the face of the combined weight of cancer, genetic vaccines, and almost omnipresent COVID infections? We need a brigade of solid natural medicines, yet one substance could make all the difference for cancer patients—chlorine dioxide. There are many substances that can help us, but leading the charge up the hill is chlorine dioxide; it is the Tiger Tank of a new medical approach that will be necessary for the age of antibiotic-resistant infections and vaccine-induced cancer.
Personally, I find it rather interesting (and amusing) to quote the article to which Sircus links that describes MMS as the “Tiger tank” of medicine (the Tiger tank being a German heavy tank used in World War II that was feared for its destructiveness and heavy armor that made it difficult to destroy or disable. Of course, as a WWII buff I could also point out that the Tiger was also very expensive (costing twice as much per tank as a Panzer), difficult to manufacture, and very fuel inefficient, even for a tank.
None of this stops Sircus from making wild claims for MMS, like:
It is hard to dispute; once you get to know chlorine dioxide like millions already do, that it is the Tiger Tank of medicine, the point of the spear, an essential treatment that the FDA will never accept. It really is too good to be true, but it is true, as campers and water treatment systems have known for decades.
Chlorine dioxide empowers the immune system giving it a massive assist in its battle against pathogens and diseases. Though it is not the only oxygen therapy that can and should be employed, it is best if near-instant results are required, which is crucial if you come down with a COVID and suffer from a severe drop in oxygen.
Campers and water treatment systems? It is true that chlorine dioxide is used as a water treatment, both in water treatment systems and as water purification tablets for campers. It works mainly through oxidation to kill bacteria and inactivate viruses. It has some advantages over traditional chlorine, but is more expensive and is often used with chlorine to disinfect pools and water. Also:
Acute exposure of the skin to chlorine that originates from the decomposition of chlorine dioxide, causes irritations and burns. Eye exposure eyes to chlorine dioxide causes irritations, watering eyes and a blurry sight. Chlorine dioxide gas can be absorbed by the skin, where it damages tissue and blood cells. Inhalation of chlorine dioxide gas causes coughing, a sore throat, severe headaches, lung oedema and bronchio spasma. The symptoms can begin to show long after the exposure has taken place and can remain for a long time. Chronical exposure to chlorine dioxide causes bronchitis. The health standard for chlorine dioxide is 0,1 ppm.
I would also note that the concentration used to disinfect water is generally on the order of 1-5 ppm, which is a very high concentration to try to achieve in the body. Of course, I’ve done the math before regarding the claimed use of MMS to treat children and found that the amount recommended in, for example, Kerri Rivera’s protocol is easily much more than 120 times the amount of chlorine dioxide a child would get from just drinking tap water.
That’s why I’m amused by this part from the first article:
Chlorine dioxide possesses anticancer and antiviral activities, probably due to its inducing activity of ROS production. Chlorine dioxide exhibited significant cytotoxicity against two breast cancer cell lines (MCF-7, MDA-MB-231) and three colorectal cancer cell lines (LoVo, HCT-116, SW-480). This cytotoxicity appeared to be associated with the capacity of chlorine dioxide to induce the production of reactive oxygen species (ROS).[i]
ROS stands for reactive oxygen species, basically forms of oxygen, like ozone, that can oxidize more intensively. Just for yucks, I looked up the paper. It’s a Korean paper that does have an English translation of its abstract, which—surprise! surprise!—does not include the concentrations of chlorine dioxide used. Fortunately, I found the PDF, particularly this figure:
This study is ridiculous, because of course if you put a high enough concentration of bleach into the media used to grow cancer cells—or any cells,—it’ll kill those cells. That doesn’t make it an effective treatment for cancer, because it has to be able to get into the body at a high enough concentration to kill cancer cells without undue toxicity against the surrounding normal cells. Citing the experiment above reminds me of the classic XCD:
How, you might wonder, does MMS supposedly fight cancer? Look no further to Sircus parroting the “acid” narrative, in which cancer is due to “excess acid”:
Cancer involves an interaction between rogue cells and surrounding tissue. This is the clear message of Dr. Mina Bissell. The health or sickness of surrounding cells and the surrounding extracellular matrix interact to shape cancer cell behaviors such as polarity, migration, and proliferation.
Cancer cells routinely form in most people’s bodies in areas of low voltage, low oxygen, and acidic pH. Bottom line: the more acid conditions prevail, the more aggressive the cancer. Hypoxia and extracellular acidity are deeply associated with the cellular microenvironment and the spread of cancer.
The cells cannot detoxify themselves without sufficient oxygen, so acids build up. Without enough oxygen, the cells turn to fermentation as an alternate source of energy for survival, and this builds up acidity through the creation of lactic acid. Without enough oxygen, cells turn cancerous, or they die.
This is, of course, a narrative that misrepresents actual science beloved of cancer quacks like Robert O. Young, whom I’ve written about more times than I can remember. You remember Young, don’t you? He’s the “pH Miracle Living” quack whose main idea is that cancer, sepsis—indeed all disease—is due to “excess acid,” and his “cure” is his “pH Miracle Living” diet that’s supposed to be “alkaline.” Also of note, Young was prosecuted for practicing medicine without a license, spent time in prison (well-deserved and too short a sentence, in my not-so-humble opinion) and lost a lawsuit by a former client of his who was enticed to follow his program and died of breast cancer as a result, with a judgment of $105 million. If you want to get an idea of how bad this quack is, he is a germ theory denier who denies that even sepsis is caused by bacterial infection while claiming that cancer is a “liquid,” specifically a “toxic acidic waste product of metabolism or energy consumption.”
To combat this, Sircus claims that MMS generates oxygen:
There are other ways to ram oxygen down our mitochondria’s throats. However, one of the best and least expensive ways is chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide” is a substance that provides oxygen to tissues and all body fluids, activating the mitochondria of cells, which in turn generate more energy that allows the body to recover.
Dr. Andreas Klacher says, “Many debilitating secondary infections with their toxins will be neutralized, thus relieving the liver and kidneys. In addition, there is much more oxygen and thus much more energy in the body. Chlorine dioxide thus provides more quality of life and lifetime in the short term.”
First, “ramming oxygen down our mitochondria’s throats” is not necessarily a good thing. Remember those ROS? Guess what? They’re carcinogenic! They cause DNA damage that the cell has to repair. Sometimes it can’t, and the result can be mutations that lead to cancer. So even if it were true that one MMS could generate more oxygen for the mitochondria, that doesn’t mean it works against cancer. Come to think of it, Sircus seems unable to make up his mind if cancer cells are invaders that need to be killed or if just a manifestation of too little oxygen in the tissues that can be reversed by magically providing oxygen to them:
Chlorine Dioxide targets cancer cells like a magnet because of the lactic acid at the cancer site. Once the Chlorine Dioxide comes into contact with lactic acid, it releases oxygen directly where it is needed the most. Cancer cells are known to produce excessive amounts of lactic acid. This is because cancer cells have dysfunctional mitochondria, which prevents their use of the citric acid [Krebs] cycle. Consequently, pyruvic acid, the product of glycolysis, which normally would enter the mitochondria for its total combustion into energy, is instead converted to lactic acid.
It is reported that cancer cells can produce 40 times more lactic acid than normal cells. As a result, their metabolism is dirty and poisons the cells around them with increasing acidity.
This is one of those quack claims that is sort of true, but misleading. It is true that many kinds of cancer utilize anaerobic metabolism, using glucose but not oxygen, which does lead to lactic acid production. Anaerobic metabolism is, of course, a normal physiological function. When adequate oxygen is around, it provides “fuel” for oxidative metabolism, which is much more efficient and produces far more energy in the form of ATP per molecule of glucose, but when there is inadequate oxygen it keeps the cell alive, but at the cost of needing a lot more glucose (because it’s a lot less efficient). That metabolic characteristic of cancer is why PET scans work, because PET scans measure uptake of radiolabeled glucose.
None of this, however, means that MMS works against cancer. As a Star Trek fan, I like to refer to technobabble, the seemingly scientific-sounding but actually nonsensical verbiage often inserted into old Star Trek episodes (particularly in, but not limited to, The Next Generation episodes) as a way of introducing a term for what Sircus is doing here: Biobabble or metabolobabble. It’s basically technobabble in the realm of biology and metabolism. It sounds impressively scientific, but any biochemist or cancer biologist can immediately recognize it as utter nonsense, because that’s what it obviously is to anyone with any knowledge of the subject. It sure does impress the marks, though, as do anecdotes.
A first patient with metastatic adenocarcinoma of the pancreas has decided, on his own, to refuse chemotherapy but to treat himself with lipoïc acid, hydroxycitrate combined with oral ingestion of chlorine dioxide. As a result, his blood tests and radiological examinations have almost normalized, and the disease is stable at 18 months. Another patient with hormone-resistant metastatic prostate cancer has experienced a sharp drop in PSA level as well as an improved medical condition.
I read that reference, and you know what? The pancreatic cancer actually grew from 3 cm to 5 cm in diameter during that time. Funny that Sircus didn’t mention that. The prostate cancer patient’s story is no more informative in that it is not clear whether his first decrease in PSA was associated with his starting MMS or was a delayed response to his chemotherapy. Moreover, although it is usually a good surrogate marker for total body tumor burden, PSA doesn’t always correlate precisely with overall tumor burden. Also, as is often the case with alternative cancer therapies, MMS was not the only treatment this patient was using.
Testimony of Breast Cancer treated with topical and ingested CDS. The person took 15 ml of CDS in a liter of water in 10 daily doses for one month. And she applied pure CDS pads topically in the morning and at night. In the images, you can see the evolution of results.
You might think that this looks like a very impressive response, but I noticed a key statement in the testimonial. The patient applied CDS pads to the open wound. There is a solution known as Dakin’s solution, which is basically dilute bleach (sodium hypochlorite, not chlorine dioxide) that was developed during World War I to treat infected open wounds that is still used today, although much less often than in years past. Given that MMS is basically another kind of bleaching agent that is also antibacterial, it is not unreasonable to speculate that it was the topical bleach, not the ingested bleach, that helped the open wound heal. Note how Andreas Kalcker is very careful not to show enough to assess carefully the size of the tumor. Indeed, I bet that, if the tumor had actually gotten significantly smaller, he would have shown the mammograms and/or ultrasound scans to prove it. In any event, we’ve met Kalcker before; he’s a true believer in MMS and has used it to treat autism, even using intravenous MMS to treat COVID-19.
I’ll conclude by giving Sircus a little “credit.” He’s managed to combine misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines and a truly vile form of cancer quackery into one black hole of COVID-19 and cancer misinformation and quackery. That is not a compliment, but quacks gonna quack, and grifters gonna grift.