Seven homeschooled children in an Arkansas family have been taken into custody by deputies after authorities reported they found in their home a mineral supplement that was not approved by the federal government.
According to Health Impact News, the product, called MMS, can be purchased online and used to purify water. The family said the water was used on the garden.
The report said the product “has been used in Africa by the Red Cross to treat malaria,” but its presence in the home of the Christian family – the father is a pastor – was reported by an anonymous caller. Deputies responded by asking the parents to step outside into the cold winter air and answer questions. They were then served with a search warrant, and the house was searched for five hours with the children inside.
Friends launched an immediate social media campaign, including a BringTheStanleyKidsHome page on Facebook and a GoFundMe page, to help Hal and Michelle Stanley organize a legal defense and obtain the children’s release from state custody.
Health Impact News released a copy of an email composed by Michelle Stanley after the raid.
“The DHS has come and stolen our kids from us under the guise of ‘protecting our children,'” she wrote.
She said the dispute started a month earlier when an anonymous caller complained about the family allowing the children to be barefoot.
When an investigator arrived, “We showed her some of the ‘200 and something’ pair of shoes and told her (actually the kids told her) how it was their preference to go barefoot and that it was like a tradition to briefly run out in the snow barefoot and take a picture of the footprints.”
Then weeks later, “several people showed up at our door, all obviously here for the investigation and we welcomed them in.”
“However they desired us to step outside in order to speak privately with Hal and I and not in front of the kids. I tried to tell them it was much warmer inside and that it was nothing for the kids to go to the back of the house for us to have privacy talking. They refused and insisted on us stepping outside.”
She continued: “After stepping outside they issued us a search warrant and said we could not enter our house or talk to our kids until the search and the investigation was through. … They said the charge was that we had a poisonous substance in our house and that the kids were being exposed to it and it endangered their welfare.”
Regarding the supplement, she continued, “Never has it been used in any way to ‘poison’ our kids or even expose them in such a way as to endanger their lives.”
She said eventually “6 intimidating brute looking males and 1 DHS female all lined up in our den to tell us they would be taking our kids into their custody for 72 hours.”
That time period, however, has extended to more than a week already, family supporters said. Their GoFundMe support team reported the parents were allowed to see the children Saturday.
“This family is a Christian family, who homeschools their children. They live a peaceful, [quiet] life and are wonderful parents. I have know[n] them for over 20 years, my children have grown up with theirs. Hal is my former pastor. If this can happen to this family [it] can happen to mine, it can happen to yours,” wrote the page organizer.
The county sheriff’s office declined to respond to WND requests for comment, and messages left with the state police and state health and human services department were not returned. One state investigator’s answering machine on Monday said he was out of the office Oct. 13-17 and would return the following week.
Health Impact reported the product is sodium chlorite and is available on Amazon or eBay.
The report said studies have investigated its possible beneficial effects in cases of Alzheimer’s, multiple sclerosis and Parkinson’s, but the government said it can be turned into a bleach that would be poisonous if taken, the report said.
Local television station KARK reported the family explained that they used the substance for purifying water for their garden.
The “Miracle Mineral Solution” has been cited by the FDA for being able to be turned into bleach.
Hal Stanley told the station, “If they had asked me if I had MMS, I’d say yes and give it to them.”
The mother noted in her email the anonymity of the complaint.
“We asked who made the charge and if anyone could just make any accusation and they have to act on the call regardless of its validity. They said it could be a hateful neighbor, a prank caller, someone with malicious intent and they still would have to act on the call,” she wrote. “The call was anonymous and therefore the caller was protected while all our rights were taken away.”
At a website called Medical Kidnap, one reader, Jacquie Trump, noted that government authorities, under the standard used against the family, should lose their own children, because “there are dangerous chemicals in their own homes.”
“Bleach, draino, toilet bowl cleaner, Tylenol, stain, varnish, glues and the list goes on and on. It is criminal that this gestapo organization can break into your home and terrorize anyone at anytime over anyone reporting anything.”
WND long has reported on government disputes with homeschoolers. In December, a homeschooling mother in Virginia filed a lawsuit against six social workers after they seized her two children and placed them in foster care.
One of the social workers claimed a diabetic 4-year-old’s blood glucose levels were too high. The case was brought on behalf of Vanessa Wilson against workers from the Riverside County Department of Social Services Child Protective Services by the Home School Legal Defense Association.
The claim explains officials “then deliberately kept the children separated from their mother, in spite of clear evidence that the separation was unnecessary – and concealed that evidence from Vanessa and the court.”
WND has reported on other cases in which authorities have taken children from their families, including when authorities in Germany dispatched a SWAT team armed with a battering ram to take custody of several homeschooled children.