Faith healers let their son die in agony

hamiltongardener(CAN 6a)September 20, 2012

I'm not sure what I am more outraged about. The fact that these people love their religion more than their children's lives, or the fact that the courts allowed them to get away with murder. Literally.

Two parents have avoided jail after admitting they let their son, 16, die in horrible agony because they chose to 'pray away' his burst appendix and refused to take him to the hospital.

Russel and Brandi Bellew, age 39 and 36, of Creswell, Oregon, pleaded guilty to criminally negligent homicide on Tuesday and were sentenced to five years probation after reaching a plea deal with prosecutors.

The couple, who had seven children before Austin Sprout's death, are members of the General Assembly and the Church of the First Born in nearby Pleasant Hill, which shuns modern medicine and teaches parishioners that faith healing and prayer will cure disease.

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Here is a link that might be useful: 16 year old dies

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jon_in_wessex(z8/9 UK)

This lot?

Holy Ghost' cult stirs Idaho debate after move from Utah
KSL TV News, Utah/September 15, 2009

Salt Lake City - There's rising concern in Idaho about a religious cult that packed up and moved out of Utah earlier this summer. Neighbors near Pocatello are upset about the group's plan for a massive new residence.

The group is called the Church of the Firstborn and the General Assembly of Heaven. It was based for years in a Magna duplex.

In June, KSL News followed a caravan as the cult consolidated its members and moved to Idaho. They left Utah for greener pastures in Idaho, but their new neighbors worry that the pasture is getting too crowded.

"I just feel that these people have purchased a piece of property that does not suit their needs, and now they're asking all of us to suffer the consequences," said Idaho resident Deanna Shannon.

Before they moved to Idaho, the group stirred law enforcement interest in Utah. Leader Terrill Dalton purports to be the Holy Ghost and the Father of Jesus, but a former follower accused him of sexual improprieties and assassination plots.

The Secret Service raided the duplex and questioned cult members. However, there was no evidence to justify charges.

When the group relocated to Idaho, they moved into a semi-rural home just inside the boundary of the Fort Hall Indian Reservation, raising worries from neighbors.

"There's too many people coming and going, and you don't even know who they are," said tribal member Tonna Edmo.

On Monday night, the tribe held a public hearing on the cult's plan for a big new residential facility. About 100 concerned neighbors showed up.

"They want to build a three-story, 38-room building," Edmo said. "And how many people are they going to put in there?"

Some neighbors worry about the group's beliefs and lifestyle, but the biggest worry was that they'll have too big an impact on community resources.

"Individuals that have their homes are concerned about the environmental problems--the water table, the aquifer, the sewage," said tribal member Nancy Eschief Murillo.

The tribal land-use commission has not made a decision yet on the cult's building plans. They're accepting public comment.

That reservation, by the way, is located just north of Pocatello.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 1:40PM
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This happens over and over again with these kind of people and it always seems to be treated the same way-children dying while their parents pray over them and then getting slapped on the wrist because the 'parents' have suffered enough etc. I would toss a couple of minor drug users out of jail to make space for the 'real' criminals.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 1:48PM
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I've read and I agree. I'm just not saying anything more. My ire is too high. Horrible idiots. Still not strong enough.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 2:01PM
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Thank you, Patriciae... my thoughts, exactly.

A burst appendix is not considered a major issue by today's standards, and yet can mean the difference between life and death. Here's a poor kid, who's 16 years old... gone now, because of his parents beliefs. They may not have even been HIS beliefs. And the pain... that must have been agony.

I'll never understand how people can be allowed to get away with what is, essentially, being an accomplice to murder. It's child abuse, at the very least.

5 years probation? They got away with it.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 2:02PM
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I just want to go back and time and tell him to run away. He was old enough, big enough, he would've made it. I would've eschewed the church for my son if it was me. So many things are wrong with them! Mostly, the thing about faith is, it would've had to been HIS faith that healed his body. It's not their body or their faith, so back off parents! I'm still too full of ire to say anything right; too many tears.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 2:18PM
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Human sacrifice!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 3:57PM
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This is beyond belief. I'm sorry, I did not read the link. I just can't. Too upsetting. This is not religion. It's a cult.

How any human being can watch another human being suffer like that, much less their own child, and not get them medical help is beyond my understanding.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 4:09PM
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So why did they plea bargain? Take the other kids away. This is sick and gruesome.


    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 4:24PM
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Despicable, and why aren't they in prison?

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 4:37PM
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They're not in prison because it involves religion. Plus... prisons are overcrowded with all those terrifying criminals who smoke pot and stuff... gotta keep these monsters out of the public.

Yeah, I guess it's ok... I mean, they have what, 6 more kids, or something to that effect?

Honestly, I say take all the kids away. That IS gruesome!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 4:46PM
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Maybe the other kids won't get burst appendixes, it is somewhat rare....

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 5:16PM
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How could they let that poor kid languish like that for that long. Cruelty. Religion. Ignorance. Religion. Sadistic. Religion.

Did they wear earplugs to not hear his screams? What a joke. Religion.

Sure hope they get kicked off the reservation. For hundreds of years even the ancient civilizations knew to DO SOMETHING!!!!!!!

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 6:07PM
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Maybe they didn't have insurance, and couldn't afford to take the kid to the hospital, and so they prayed.

An awful lot of people do that.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 8:07PM
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I don't think you can blame religion. Blame the parents; they have free will. Same as if they crash the family vehicle because the parent was OWI or the child wasn't strapped in with a safety belt, and the child is injured or even dies. Same as not paying attention and allowing your child to wander into the ocean and drown. Same as not locking up your gun and thus allowing your child to shoot someone (including him/herself). The parents are charged with the responsibility of safeguarding their child's safety in every way they are capable of.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:18PM
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A shame some kids are born to idiots and others don't get a chance to be born at all. Both cases of parents killing their child. Why shouldn't they have gotten a deal when people kill babies everyday? Congratulations to everyone who thinks abortion doesn't kill. Now kids can be killed and trying to convict the parents who kill them is impossible.

    Bookmark   September 20, 2012 at 9:18PM
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