This week, Sean Dix, the inventor of floss rings, was convicted of harassing a dentist he accuses of poisoning him with fluoride, as his mom shouted out, “It’s a kangaroo court!” This is just the most recent chapter in the nearly 20-year-old saga of Floss Rings.

A Promising Inventor Gets the Hatchet

If you listen to Dix’s narrative, or read a sympathetic commentary online, Dix was the victim of a coordinated attack by big business to prevent his amazing invention from reaching the market. Dix had patented a process for making sterile dental floss, which in combination with his Floss Rings he says was going to revolutionize the industry. In 1996, he met with executives at Johnson & Johnson, who talked to him about buying his invention. When he decided not to pursue their offer, he says, they enlisted the help of CNN to assassinate the character of his invention, which had been shown to be nearly 24% more effective at removing bacteria from between teeth, a potentially significant improvement in our battle against gum disease.

After his invention was mocked on national television, his investors pulled out, and Dix was left in a dire financial state as stores stopped carrying his invention. In an attempt to get redress for damages, Dix began calling and faxing CNN, demanding that they try to undo the damage done to his product. He did this a lot, sending 6000 faxes over one four-day period. At one point, FBI agents arrived at his door, saying that what he was doing constituted harassment across state lines and was a federal crime, but he continued faxing and even sent a death threat, which got him arrested.

After he was arrested, he claims, he was given an MSRA infection intentionally, and, fearing an attempt on his life, he decided not to go to the doctor.

When Dix emerged from prison, he began attempting to contact government officials about his story, including the governor and district attorney of New York. It was shortly after this that he claims he was poisoned with fluoride. He was supposedly given an acute dose of fluoride that caused his urine levels of fluoride to exceed the accepted safe levels by about 150 times, and three times the level previously identified in a case of fatal fluoride poisoning.

Dix recovered from his poisoning and began pursuing action against the dentist, who was not questioned by police. It is now five years since the alleged poisoning took place, and during this time Dix has maintained an unrelenting pressure on the dentist, attempting to figure out who paid her to poison him and what compound she used.

Where Is the Ring of Truth?

The coverage of his trial in the New York Post has certainly not been flattering to Dix’s story. It’s possible this is just more of the media doing its work to grind down the underdog, although it’s in keeping with the Post’s journalistic style.

Dix is a countercultural hero, and he’s already gained legendary status in the eyes of many of the people who write about him. It’s unlikely we will ever know the truth about his story, and certainly it seems impossible to sort out the various commentaries, many of which are based almost exclusively on Dix’s words.