That is the allegation being made by Hal and Michelle Stanley, a homeschooling couple from Garland County, Arkansas, in a story that has gained national attention. They consider themselves preppers.
Armed sheriff’s deputies and state police surrounded their home and served a search warrant at 9:30 p.m. Jan. 12. The deputies were apparently searching for bottles of Miracle Mineral Solution, or MMS, made popular by Jim Humble. The father said he mostly uses it for purifying water for the garden, according to KARK and the family’s Facebook page.
After the deputies found MMS, the Arkansas Department of Human Services (DHS) took the seven underage children. Two older children are in college.
“Saying that I was endangering them with some water purification drops,” Hal Stanley said of authorities’ reason for searching his home and taking his children.
After removing the children from the house the kids were placed in an ambulance and given a medical examination. Officials said they were healthy.
The action shocked the family.
“Suddenly the door opened … and there were six or eight of them, came in the door, marched in there,” Hal Stanley said of the sheriff’s deputies. The deputies served a warrant and asked if he used MMS.
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“Policemen here, policemen here,” he said. “Over here, on the side roads full of policemen.”
Stanley said deputies made him stay outside the house, and then searched the home for hours, even though he had said he would turn the MMS over to them. After the search, the deputies and social workers took his seven children away.
A Search Warrant for Water Purification Drops?
The US Food & Drug Administration (FDA) claims that MMS is dangerous because, the FDA says, it “produces an industrial bleach that can cause serious harm to health.” Online advertisements for MMS claim that it is a potent antibiotic which can kill a wide variety of disease-causing pathogens.
“MMS is not an illegal or banned chemical,” the family’s GoFundMe page said. “After a 5 hour search it was decided by the Sheriff’s department to remove the children, to be tested for MMS exposer. The Stanleys were told it would be 72 hours and the children would be returned. They were not returned, even after none of the children tested positive for MMS.”
KARK reporter Josh Berry said the Stanleys avoid government contact and practice self-sufficiency. Stanley claims he’s never had a run-in with the law or contact with police before this incident.
“Unless they stopped to buy vegetables,” Stanley said of law enforcement. “I’ve never had a speeding ticket.”
Neighbors praised the couple’s childrearing.
“We’ve seen the family grow up,” one said. “You know, the sound of children playing and laughing. You see them jumping on the trampoline.”
The Stanleys said medical officials and social workers had positive comments.
“They were saying the children looked healthy and everything looked good,” Hal Stanley said of the Arkansas Department of Human Services. Michelle Stanley even claimed that a DHS employee complimented her on her home.
“Oh this is nice and your kids are great,” the unidentified employee reportedly said. The mom said, “That’s what was giving us hope that this thing’s just going to be over in a few minutes.”
After the children’s removal, Hal Stanley demanded to know who was responsible for the action.
“And finally a young man from the sheriff’s department raised his hand, ‘I did it and I’m proud of the decision’.” Hal Stanley said.
The Arkansas Department of Human Services declined to comment on the incident.
Do you believe social workers and deputies should have removed the children? Are preppers and homeschoolers being targeted? Share your thoughts on this story in the section below: