MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — A Minnesota judge has ruled a 13-year-old boy with a highly treatable form of cancer must seek medical treatment over his parents’ objections.
Brown County District Judge John Rodenberg ruled Friday that Daniel Hauser of Sleepy Eye has been “medically neglected” and is in need of child protection services. Rodenberg said Daniel will stay in the custody of his parents, but Colleen and Anthony Hauser have until May 19 to get an updated chest X-ray for their son and select an oncologist.
Doctors have said Daniel’s Hodgkin’s lymphoma had up to a 90 percent chance of being cured with chemotherapy and radiation. Without those treatments, doctors said his chances of survival are 5 percent.
So much for the Native American church defense.
Hauser’s parents, and Daniel himself, insisted their religion — subscription to a sketchy Mormon/New Age/pseudo-Native-American church — requires them to treat illness only with natural remedies. Daniel had one chemo session, and the family refused further chemo treatment, saying that the boy is healthy now.
The Hausers are white and Catholic, but some time ago they joined the Nemenhah Band, a group that identifies itself as Native American. The Nemenhah supposedly came to the New World from the Middle East with Hagoth, a figure in the Book of Mormon, and settled in the Four Corners area of the present USA.
Their records, the Mentinah Archives, were found and translated into Spanish first, then English. The LDS Church, meanwhile, does not officially accept the authenticity of the archives, but plenty of Mormons do, apparently. (Well, if you believe the Book of Mormon is literally true, then you can pretty much accept anything as truthful.)
Based on the Mentinah Archives, the current Nemenhah Band believes that natural plant and herbal cures can cure any illness, that anyone can be a Native American medicine man after completing the Nemenhah instructional courses, and that anyone thus trained can be “protected” from prosecution under federal Indian religion laws.
Anyone can be a Nemenhah Band member. He or she just needs to pay money to join and to buy the Nemenhah medicinal products, and, by the way, to sell them as part of the Nemenhah MLM.
So it is that the Hausers, including Daniel, are all elders in the Nemenhah church and medicine men, and all believe themselves immune from county and state child welfare laws. The county attorney, however, disagreed.
He stated that Daniel has no clear understanding of his adopted religion, and no clear understanding of what it means to be a medicine man. The county wanted Daniel to have his chemo and to be placed in a foster home.
The figure in the background of this drama is one Philip “Cloudpiler” Landis, a man with a dubious past and a cold disregard for the life of Daniel Hauser. Landis not only founded the Nemenhah Band, but also published the Mentinah Archives online and designed the medicinals sold by the Nemenhah store. He also tours the country giving talks on how natural health practitioners can protect themselves from government regulations and laws.
Here’s what the Associated Press said about Landis earlier today:
Nemenhah was founded in the 1990s by Philip Cloudpiler Landis, who said Thursday that he was one-fourth American Indian. Nemenhah adherents are asked to pay $250 to be members. “We’re non-dogmatic, a very universal faith,” Landis said.
Landis said he founded the faith after facing his diagnosis of a cancer similar to Daniel Hauser. He said he treated it with diet choices, visits to a sweat lodge and other natural remedies. Landis also once served four months in prison in Idaho for fraud related to advocating natural remedies.
“The issue is Danny’s right to decide how he wants to live his life,” Landis said. “What if they make him take chemotherapy and he dies from that? The band will mourn with the family if that’s the case, but we’ll rejoice that Danny had the opportunity to test the law of the land.”
Or to put it another way, “We will rejoice that we took advantage of the confusion of a misguided family and their child’s life to see if our ludicrous legal defense works or not.”
You lose, Landis.