I've been reluctant to write about the Daniel Hauser case. I don't even want to imagine what his parents are going through. If you're not a parent, I can't explain it to you, so you'll have to trust me---having a kid with a life-threatening illness can drive you to do the unimaginable.
And what Daniel's parents have chosen to do is nearly unimaginable, but until you've been there, judgment must be tempered by compassion. But that compassion is only for the parents and the patient, not for those who are supporting their horrible decisions.
Daniel is 13 year old boy with Hodgkin's disease, a form of cancer that is curable with radiation and chemotherapy. Without it, it's deadly, and the death isn't pretty. I've diagnosed patients with Hodgkin's and had the pleasure of watching them go on to live normal lives. None has ever regretting being treated.
Daniel's parents apparently belong to a cult called Nemenhah, some sort of New Age-Christian gamisch of beliefs with a Native American patina. Like most cults, it wants your money, your absolute obedience, and ideologic purity. In return you get to abandon your money and your access to modern medical care.
Daniel's parents, after one cycle of chemotherapy, decided to follow the Nemenhah dictates and eschew modern, curative medical care. They may or may not realize that the suffering they are inflicting on their child is much worse than anything he could experience with treatment. When the courts ordered him back to treatment, the mother took Daniel and ran. She is currently wanted by the police.
The basic ethical principles here recognize that children, while autonomous beings with rights, have a limited decision-making capacity, and must rely on adults, preferably their parents, for guidance. If the parents cannot provide a safe environment, the State becomes involved, as it did in this case.
This cult appears to be a collection of Anglos under the leadership of a guy who immodestly calls himself "Cloudpiler". As with most cults, it relies on the Leader's direct communication with the Divine, as laid out in their "constitution":
We adhere to the Eighteen expressions of the Sacred Sahaptan Healing Way as among the Primary Fundamentals of our faith worship, and the foundation of our society. They are:
We, Nemenhah are a people dedicated to teaching the Sacred Sahaptan Healing Way and of principles contained in the written records of the Ancient Nemenhah, many of which are found the "Mentinah Archives," as well as the sacred writings of indigenous peoples around the world. As such, we believe that no person stands above another; all people are not merely created equal, but are equal in the sight of the Creator. We are Nemenhah!
We believe and adhere to all the principles of the Sacred Sahaptan Healing Way, as restored to Phillip (Cloudpiler) Landis, by direct revelation from his Grandfathers, and through the ancient tradition of Wyakin, which include but are not restricted to:
iii) The use of natural healing methods and materials, and of spiritual guidance for the
healing of the body physical and the body spiritual of the individual, family,
community, nation, and world.
And of course, after establishing authority and control, the real message:
The Sacred Giveaway
The Nemenhah Seminary is not a Commerce-Based Program. It depends entirely upon the generous donations of its Members for support.
The Sacred Giveaway is the method by which the Nemenhah Program is supported. The Suggested Offering amount for the Ceremonial Service of Individual Spiritual Adoption is $250.00 initially and $100.00 annually. Thereafter, Nemenhah Members of good intention, willingly make regular, monthly offerings from out of their own financial stewardship. They do this prayerfully, relying on Spirit to direct them in the amount or kind of offering that is most appropriate. They never neglect this part of the Adoption Covenant, understanding that if they do, the Nemenhah Band cannot continue in its important work and its offering to Humanity globally.
All of the Educational Modules of the Core Curriculum are offered with the request that you make a donation of $30.00 (or as much as Spirit directs you) for each module.
If you have already been spiritually adopted and you already made your initial $250.00 offering, please remember to support the program by making additional offerings for the Course Modules on a regular basis. All offerings are strictly voluntary and non-refundable.
You cannot know how much your offerings are appreciated by the Mentors and staff of Nemenhah. It is your generosity and demonstration of faith that makes this program successful and allows the Band to promote and forward this important work for all. Thank you!
Their "constitution" reads like an unholy union of Scientology and Mormonism.
But the main point is that to an outside observer, Nemenhah looks like a cult, and part of that cult is the requirement that the Hausers sacrifice their child.
Now child sacrifice is not unique in religious history. It is a fundamental part of the stories of Judaism (Isaac), Christianity (Jesus), and Islam (Ismael). However, in the modern context, outside of wars and suicide bombers, religions don't usually require child sacrifice. (Hmm...that's a pretty big exception.) But for whatever reason, the Hausers seem to feel it is their religious obligation to let their child die, and on some level I think they know he will die.
Still, while they bear a great deal of culpability, it is tempered by their inculcation into the cult, and they will suffer for their choice for the rest of their lives. But those who are enabling their murder of their child need to be called out: the "health freedom" idiots who think any State involvement in personal health decisions is wrong; the altmed folks (like Mike Adams) who don't "believe" in chemotherapy; the cult leaders who have given them "guidance". All of these people are guilty of helping to kill a child. It sickens me that they can still sleep at night.