Followers of Christ faith healers bury their dead children

Fallen followers: Investigation finds 10 more dead children of faith healers

BOISE, Idaho – Peaceful Valley Cemetery sits on a windswept hill 30 miles east of Boise.

Followers of Christ faith healers bury their dead in Peaceful Valle...

KATU’s Dan Tilkin covered many faith-healing stories. He traveled to Idaho to trace the connections between Followers members in both states, and a new trail of dead children.

A former member of the Followers of Christ advised him to go to Peaceful Valley and look for two specific names. He found them. He found many more.

A coroner’s report says a 6-day-old baby died of interstitial pneumonitis. That’s pneumonia, untreated.

A baby girl lived only 20 minutes. The coroner’s report said she received no pre-natal care.

A coroner believes a 2-year-old who had Down’s Syndrome died of pneumonia. 

A 15 years old girl died of food poisoning. She vomited so badly she ruptured her esophagus. 

A four days old boy died of “likely an intestinal blockage.”

A 16-year-old girl died of pneumonia. 

A boy died from diabetes at the age of 11.

A 12 year old girl died in Albany, Ore. Her parents, Travis and Wenona Rossiter, face manslaughter charges. 

In 2010, jurors in Clackamas County convicted Jeff and Marci Beagley of letting their son Neal die of an untreated urinary tract infection. 

Of the 553 marked graves at Peaceful Valley Cemetery, 144 appear to be children under 18. That’s more than 25 percent. 

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Comment by Joan Denoo on August 26, 2014 at 4:05pm

Luara, I argued against "keeping families together" as well. For the good of the child, to be in a home that is compassionate and firm on the important things, like tending to home, school and civic responsibilities, and feeling safe, was a primary motivator for me as their counselor.

It is also for the good of the parents because if they have high conflict between them, it is virtually impossible to make the changes needed with children involved. I found that separating children and parents, training them individually before bringing them together with the new skill set was important in their treatment.

It was good for society, because stress in the home often leads to community involvement, police, social workers, judges. The judicial system is not the place for healing. it is the institution that can put pressure on people to cooperate and make necessary changes. No jail ever taught an abuser the things he or she needed to be a healthy spouse or parent or child. 

A person doesn't know how to tie a shoe until he or she learns how. It is the same with interpersonal relationships; if one doesn't know how to be healthy in a relationship, nothing changes until and unless the person learns the skills. Not all families teach those essential things. We learn from our parents and our grandparent, who may have a screwed up idea of how healthy families function. 

Of the boys I encountered at the boys' ranches, about a third had parents who were too strict and the boys acted out in a rebellion or an anti-social way. About third of the parents were too lenient and did not provide the essential boundaries that children need. And about a third of the boys ran around with a group that influenced them at a time when peer acceptance is more important than family acceptance. 

Comment by Luara on August 26, 2014 at 2:44pm

the child has a loyalty to abusing parents and often seeks, actively, to return to them.

I took a foster child training program once, and the social workers doing the training kept on drumming into us that the child wants to be returned to their family and they're usually better being back with their family and the idea is to keep families together.  I questioned this rather passionately and said I would have been immeasurably better off with healthy parents, my whole life would have been different, I wanted to get away when I was a kid and I probably would have happily gone away if anyone had given me the choice.  I was vociferous about that and other things and eventually I got kicked out of the training program.

Probably the reason for their counterintuitive "truth" about keeping families together - what a pile of sentimentality! - was shortness of funds.

Comment by Joan Denoo on August 26, 2014 at 1:37pm

There is another aspect of abuse that hasn't been covered yet and that is the child has a loyalty to abusing parents and often seeks, actively, to return to them. I witnessed this often at the boys' ranches and in battered women's shelters. That behavior is difficult to understand, but it is true of children and of adults who are in an abusive situation. That is why, when an assault occurs, the prosecution has to be in the name of the state, as a crime against society. Children and adults tend not to pursue prosecution, many thinking they deserved the assault. Many delude themselves thinking they, the abused one, will do better and the assault will not happen again. The abused claim responsibility for being assaulted. They do not realize the assault originates in the assaulter, who usually thinks he or she is entitled to treat a family member with violence, denying it is an assault.  

Comment by Pat on August 26, 2014 at 12:34pm

FT31, in most instances of abuse, it's anything but obvious.

Comment by Luara on August 25, 2014 at 4:16am

The condition  of the child/children  would  be proof enough  of abuse....

Abuse isn't necessarily obvious. 

Comment by k.h. ky on August 24, 2014 at 7:22pm
You're right Pat. There's no money in it for the corporations. It's a damned shame even a childs welfare is caught up in our politics.
Comment by Freethinker31 on August 24, 2014 at 6:17pm

@ Luara....In such a case the end result  would  be to take  the abused  children  away  from the parents...The condition  of the child/children  would  be proof enough  of abuse....

Comment by Luara on August 24, 2014 at 5:45pm

@Pat  One problem is that unless it's very bad, the abused children continue to be in the power of their parents.  If outsiders try to intervene on behalf of the child, the parents feel shamed and they're likely to punish the child for it later.  That's one reason outsiders may not say anything. 

Comment by Pat on August 24, 2014 at 5:10pm

@Luara -  It was like a stamp of approval, like society agreed that I deserved it. Truer words were never spoken. The scum bucket parents who starve, beat, and otherwise neglect and abuse children, are hauled into a court of law. They piss, moan, whine, and complain about how they are being ill treated. Fortunately, I go off like a striped nose baboon on behalf of the children and point out what total, useless pieces of slime they really are. 

Problem is, the damage has already been done to the innocent. How do you un-ring a bell that has been tolling in the ears of innocents for years? Tolling the message that they're worthless. when the reality of the situation is that they're the only ones who are worthwhile.

Comment by Luara on August 24, 2014 at 4:40pm

No wonder  you are so passionate about this topic

Oh, it has a very personal resonance.  Not only did outsiders not help - their not helping gave me the impression that society in general thought my parents were right.  It was like a stamp of approval, like society agreed that I deserved it.

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