A Christian homeschool family in Arkansas is claiming that state and county police agents wrongfully removed their seven children from their home after they conducted a warranted search of their property to look for a medicinal "miracle" supplement that is thought to cure cancer and AIDS.
Hal Stanley and his wife, Michelle, of Hot Springs heard a loud knock on their door on Jan. 12 only to find a crew of state and Garland County police officers standing on their porch with a search warrant.
Hal Stanley told KARZ-TV that the agents searched his home while he and his wife were held outside for hours. The search concluded when the authorities found the mineral supplement, known as "MMS" or Miracle Mineral Solution, and removed the family's seven children from the home for over 72 hours.
Although the MMS substance is not technically illegal and can be purchased over the Internet, the Food and Drug Administration has ruled that the drug can turn into a type of potent bleach and cause minor side effects like nausea, vomiting and diarrhea along with other more serious health problems.
Although the substance was found in the home, Hal claims that he is the only one in the family who has taken the drug and he mostly uses it to purify his gardening water.
"Policemen here, policemen here. Over here, on the side roads full of policemen," Stanley recalled as he described the scene when the police presented him with a search warrant. "It said we're here to search your house. … If they had asked me if I had MMS, I'd say yes, and give it to them."
While their parents were left waiting outside while the police searched the home, the kids were allowed to stay inside the home. After the search was over, the seven kids were taken to an ambulance and evaluated. With the parents thinking that the whole ordeal would end after the kids were looked at by medical professionals, they were wrong. After the evaluation, the kids were taken by the police.
"Suddenly the door opened … and there were six or eight of them, came in the door, marched in there. Fully armed sheriffs and people stood there and said. 'We're taking the children for 72 hours," Stanley explained.
When the parents asked who made the decision to take the children from the home, one county officer proudly replied, "I did and I am proud of the decision," Stanley said. "They were saying that I was endangering them with some water purification drops."
The Stanleys, who have nine kids in total with two of them having graduated from their homeschool program and gone on to college, are a non-dependent family that strives to avoid contact with the government.
In response to multiple news reports citing Stanley's claim that their home was searched and their children removed from the home because authorities had found the MMS supplement, Arkansas Online reports that the Garland County Sheriff's Department issued a statement indicating that the warrant, search and removal of children was all part of a child abuse investigation.
The police statement said that child abuse allegations were filed against the family on Jan. 9 by two local residents who have close ties to the Stanley family.
"There have been a number of reports in various media outlets the decision was made to remove the minor children from the residence based on one contributing factor of chemical known as 'MMS' or 'Miracle Mineral Supplement,' this is absolutely false," the department's statement reads. "[T]here was a number of different factors and investigators felt they had no choice but to intervene in the best interest of the minor children."