Dale and Shannon Hickman don’t believe in doctors. Because of this religious conviction, set forth by the cult the couple belongs to, Oregon City’s Followers of Christ Church, the Hickmans let their premature infant die after being being born at home rather than seek medical help. As a result of this decision, the couple was convicted of manslaughter in 2011.
The child, named David Hickman, weighed just 3 lbs, 7 ounces at birth. His tragically short life was only 9 hours long. According to reports, the Hickmans went to Shannon’s mother for help when she began having contractions more than two months prior to her due date. The couple says they didn’t notice anything was wrong with the baby until just minutes prior to his death — a claim which an expert on this subject has called a lie. Instead of calling a hospital like most rational people, they prayed over the dying baby and “anointed” his head with oil.
Both halves of the Hickman couple will spend a minimum of 6 years and 3 months in prison for their actions, which is light, considering the fact that their child lost his life over their idiotic beliefs. The judge in the case, Robert Herndon, called one of the cult’s midwives “one of the most dangerous people in Oregon.”
Apparently, this cult is not just in one small congregation in Oregon, either. They have outfits operating in Idaho, Oklahoma, and California. The Idaho branch of the cult has suffered a string of easily preventable deaths as well. The same is true of a similar faith healing cult called General Assembly Church of the First Born.
The Hickmans’ lawyer said that there was no way to prove that the Hickmans acted “knowingly,” and that they knew their refusal of medical help would result in the baby’s death. The court shot that down:
“The inquiry was not whether defendants’ religiously motivated conduct was reasonable. Instead, the inquiry was whether a reasonable person would have been aware of the risk of David’s death.”
Of course they knew, and they’ll go to prison for it.
This cult and their brainwashing has been responsible for 78 child deaths and 10 women, all of whom died in childbirth.
Featured image via the Daily Mail