Daniel Hauser and mother flee to Mexico

May 21, 2009 • 8:24 am

Daniel Hauser, the poor 13-year-old kid who has treatable lymphoma, but whose parents won’t let him get treatment because of their faith-based objections, has apparently fled toward Mexico with his mother.  This after they fled a court-ordered treatment of chemotherapy, and, if they refused to comply, removal from his parents’ care and placement in a foster home.

They may be seeking quack cures, such as laetrile, in Mexico.  Warrants have been issued for his mother, Colleen.

It has recently come to light that Daniel, who has been home-schooled, is illiterate —  at the age of 13!!!!  What does this say about his parents’ real concern for him, or about his own ability to understand what he is refusing?

He is being murdered, slowly, in the cause of faith.  If his mother is caught and the delay has caused Daniel’s death, she should be tried for murder.  But of course the consideration of “faith” will mitigate any punishment she receives.

His mother’s behavior is evil, pure and simple. Daniel does not deserve this.  Is this one of those evils that God permits in the world to achieve a greater good? If so, what is the greater good?

23 thoughts on “Daniel Hauser and mother flee to Mexico

  1. ennui,

    Very interesting blog, interesting insight (of course we’ve seen other such cases similar to this that point out the plausibility of Orac’s concerns). This story is so sickeningly sad. It got me to thinking how strange it is I (we maybe) can feel these things so deeply, be so incensed and confused – then our lives kick in, and it gets pushed back. I remember (never forget) watching the video of people in Kenya burning others alive recently in the belief they were witches, very, very graphic video. It screwed me for days, the images kept coming to my mind at the most inopportune time (almost to tell me, no, all is not right in the world).

    It is because of such madness that I have supported organizations such as the Center for Inquiry, Skeptic’s Society, AHA as well as others for over 15 years now. I don’t think I could be accused of scientism (in the pejorative sense), but I do believe very strongly in the power of scientifically rationality (science and reason), free thought/inquiry and an openness to our creative sense, advocated rightly and strongly in an attempt to gain greater acceptance of the basic principles will help us out of the cruel madness irrationality brings.

    Kenya witch burning video – WARNING – very graphic and disturbing:


  2. You do realize that the reason she decided to take her son out of the country was because she was breaking the law by neglecting him. And that the reason that is against the law is because of legislation, laws made by and on behalf of a predominantly religious, predominantly Christian population.

    How do you suppose that would be possible if the majority of those religious people weren’t in favor of trying to prevent this kind of child neglect and to punish it when it was done? Clearly most religious believers in the United States, in most states, are opposed to allowing the beliefs of the parent to excuse their neglect of a sick child. I’ll be happy to go into the instances when state legislatures are suckered into giving exemptions anytime.

    You going to be blogging on the large numbers of people who are denied medical treatment due to not being able to pay and that some of them, sometimes, are given free treatment by religious institutions and groups? Or, as I asked Orac once, isn’t the medical treatment the really important issue here? I didn’t expect you would. He didn’t answer either.

  3. Both parents should be charged with child abuse and neglect. The mother should be charged with attempted murder, upgraded to first degree murder if the son dies due to her actions.

    A clear message needs to be sent that society will no longer put up with this asinine behavior.

    1. I just don’t believe that will change anything. To these people the only true law is that of their personal God. Unfortunately they would happily go to jail believing that they are doing the will of their lord. They believe their suffering on Earth will allow them an eternity in heaven. The only way to stop this happening is to eliminate the belief system. I don’t know how we’re going to do that.

  4. Daniel Hauser and mother flee to Mexico

    That clears up that. I thought they had been raptured.

  5. Please stop saying this boy was being homeschooled! He wasn’t. Clearly he was kept from learning of any sort which is wilful neglect. His illiteracy at 13 is a result of that neglect, not “homeschooling”.

    1. Well, they said he had a learning disorder. I would think that the parents would be charged with something else if the court’s investigation had found that the boy couldn’t read because his education had been neglected.

  6. Could someone please give me a link to an original source that shows Hauser’s mother is being motivated by religion and not just a total lack of scientific awareness? I have googled for over 15 minutes and I can not find any direct references. And, which religion is she motivated by?

    I’m not accusing anyone of intellectual dishonesty, I just am surprised that it was so hard to find a firsthand source given how much the ‘atheism blogs’ I follow are blaming religion for this.

    Perhaps the media thinks it is taboo to mention that it is religion that is motivating Hauser’s mother to make this illogical decision…

    1. From the Minneapolis Star Tribune: “Daniel, one of eight children, has asserted that treatment would violate his religious beliefs. The teenager filed an affidavit saying that he is a medicine man and church elder in the Nemenhah, an American Indian religious organization that his parents joined 18 years ago (though they don’t claim to be Indians).”


      1. I wonder how the illiterate communicated the affidavit? Maybe he stomped his feet in the dirt like that a horse.

  7. If the problem is the parents beliefs, then why not attack, specifically, those beliefs instead of attacking religious belief in general, including the majority who think the parents are as wrong as we do? Since the majority of people in the country are religious, wouldn’t it make sense to, at the very least, not put this in terms that will alienate a large numbers of them?

    From this post and similiar ones around the anti-religious blogs, it’s clear that you’re not really interested in solving the problem.

    By the way, the criticism of the parents’ belief, you might have missed that because you believe that there is no “internal criticism” of religion. But it’s there in many thousands of volumes as anyone who bothered to look, would see.

    1. Religion in general is disparaged in response to cases like this in part because religion in general helped created the atmosphere in which it could happen.

      If she left not so much because of strong religious feelings as because of an utter lack of scientific understanding – well, maybe she’s an idiot or maybe she wasn’t taught science because of the way many religious people fight *so hard* against the accurate teaching of science in schools.

      If she left because of strong a religious beliefs that prayer is better than medicine – gee, wonder where she could have gotten that idea?

      If she left because of a religious idea that “natural” equals “god-given”, well, that may not be exactly what is preached from the pulpits but it’s not hard to get there ….

      Every time someone says “well, prayer certainly couldn’t *hurt*”, they are ignoring situations like this, in which people turn to something comforting because the science that might actually heal them is complicated and comes at a price (temporary pain and nausea of chemo, etc.)…

      1. Religion in general is disparaged in response to cases like this in part because religion in general helped created the atmosphere in which it could happen.

        Oh, so, the fact that the majority who elected the government who made it a crime for a parent to do this, who are religious, are to blame? When you say “the atmosphere in which it could happen”, it being illegal is that atmosphere.

        You might as well say “religion in general” created the “atmosphere” responsible for this blog existing.

        Individual adults are responsible for their behavior, other people who don’t make those decisions are responsible for what they do. No one who disapproves of medical chid neglect and who doesn’t encourage that specific act is responsible for it.

  8. he doesnt want the treatment…maybe people should just live thier own lives and mind thier own business. google billy joe best. did the same thing and survived from non medical treatments and to this day is healthy. i know two people who have been treated for hodgekins…one is dead from too much chemo treatment (on accident) and one is reciving chemo and painfull bone marrow transplants at least twice a year now. who wants to live the little life they have left like that?

  9. That’s it, burn the kid’s insides with chemo. Chemo was first developed as a method of torture. Chemo also cannot distinguish between a healthy cell and a cancer cell. It is a game of chance. What will survive, you or the cancer?It is also very big profit for the pharmaceutical companies. Doesn’t this story of court ordered chemo sound like we live in a police state? Thats our FDA for you. First they poison us with non-labeled GMO foods, then the government takes away our Constitutional rights by creating a fictitous person who seems identical to us but is not. That person is your STRAWMAN-your name in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Do your homework people! Oh yea, most people wish to remain un-informed, I mean stupid! The mother of the 13 yr old boy is smart for not wanting the government to take control of her son’s health. Look what our government allowed Monsanto to do. PATENT LIFE! MORONS!

      1. Yes, yours! I normally don’t fight fire with fire, I don’t believe in putting negative energy back into the universe, but you need to open your eyes. All those statements are true, you need go back to grade school and learn to do your homework before you call a man’s statements “stupid”. When it’s your statements that are exactly that. Instead of making an outlandish statement why don’t you look into his words and see if they hold any truth? Or do you like the box that your mind is trapped in?

  10. Definition of a cancer specialist – A person who knows how to maximize profits in order to pay off medical school loans, luxury items, summer homes, and an apartment for their mistress.
    70% of oncologists interviewed said they would not participate in chemotherapy because of its ineffectiveness. What does that tell you? If the government told you to drink dog urine to extend your life, would you do it? Of course you would! The government told you to!
    Follow the SHEEPLE to the herd!
    Get your vaccines!
    Love that thimerosol!

Leave a Reply