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Federal agencies raid Christian ministry
Posted By Brian Fitzpatrick On 10/09/2010 @ 11:00 pm In Front Page | Comments Disabled
Two federal agencies, backed up by state and local police, have swooped down on a peaceful Portsmouth, R.I., ministry like Eliot Ness busting up one of Al Capone’s Prohibition-era breweries.
“They came in screaming and hollering, ‘This is a raid, hands up.’ I saw a gun in my face,” said Jim Feijo, founder of Daniel Chapter One, a ministry that supports itself in part by providing health counseling and nutritional supplements.
Feijo also provides nutritional counseling to world-class athletes.
The raid was spearheaded by the Federal Drug Administration and the Internal Revenue Service, Feijo told WND. Feijo has no idea why the government raided his offices, but he noted that the raid came Sept. 22, a week after a federal judge refused to allow the FTC to levy a massive fine against Daniel Chapter One for refusing to send a letter to customers saying in effect that their products were worthless.
“If they can do this to us, they can do this to anybody,” said Feijo. “We haven’t had due process, we thought we were innocent until proven guilty.”
“They patted Jim down and removed him from the office. They didn’t show me a warrant. They came in very aggressively, that was needless,” said Tricia Feijo, Jim’s wife and partner and a trained homeopath.
“They locked us out of the building and for the next four hours they went through everything. They took personal correspondence, they took phone records. It’s so over the top that they’re going through personal e-mail to see if I told a friend how to use a certain product, or told somebody what they could do for an illness.”
“We’ve developed a series of products based on Biblical principles,” said Feijo. “We’ve never had a complaint, never harmed anyone, and thousands of people have told us they’ve been helped by our products. We’ve never had a lawsuit.
“They’re making it sound like it’s an urgent matter to protect the public, yet they’ve had our client list for six months and haven’t contacted them,” Feijo told WND.
The raid is the latest development in a three-year legal battle between the Federal Trade Commission and Daniel Chapter One, which sells products intended to promote natural healing without the use of prescription drugs.
“The position for the FDA is only drugs can treat illness. We believe drugs don’t treat anything. Fifteen years on the radio, no one’s ever complained, no one’s ever been harmed, we haven’t been sued, but 106,000 people will die this year from FDA-approved drugs,” said Jim Feijo.
The FTC alleges that Daniel Chapter One falsely claims its products can cure cancer.
“We never said that,” said Tricia Feijo. “They took a few words from one paragraph, some words from another paragraph, put them together, and said we implied we could cure cancer … their biggest complaint was testimonies of people saying they were healed of cancer.”
The conflict began with a Federal Trade Commission Internet sting operation against companies that claimed they could cure cancer. According to the Feijos, 130 health products companies were targeted, and all but Daniel Chapter One reached agreements with the government.
“They ordered [us] to tell our customers there is no science behind our products, that only conventional medical treatment has been proven safe and effective in humans. We know from experience that chemotherapy and radiation are not safe,” said Jim Feijo.
“We told them we can’t comply, because there is scientific evidence in favor of our products. They wanted us to give in to their position of scientism and deny our religion of faith in the Lord Jesus.
“They acknowledged that we are a ministry, but then they denied all our rights as a ministry, all our constitutional rights,” Feijo added. “We are a corporate soul, a 508 corporate soul. We have same legal status as the Roman Catholic and Mormon churches.
“We told the IRS during the raid they have no legal right to do what they did because of our 508 status. We’re immune to filing papers and so forth because we’re a 508 corporate soul. They’ve gone against their own laws.”
At an FTC hearing in April, the Feijos presented five experts to testify to the scientific evidence supporting their products, but they failed to sway the FTC judge. The FTC will only accept double-blind, placebo-controlled studies, according to the Feijos, and small organizations like theirs cannot afford to conduct such expensive research.
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