Every time I have to do one of these, I get absolutely furious.
The Bellews belong to the General Assembly and the Church of the First Born, which has been linked to a number of deaths related to healing by prayer. Sprout, a Creswell High School junior who was Brandi Bellew’s biological son, had been ill for more than a week before he died, sheriff’s Lt. Spence Slater said. Because of their religious beliefs, the Bellews allegedly did not take the teen to a doctor after he became sick, Slater said. Investigators on Friday declined to reveal the teen’s cause of death, but Slater said medical professionals have indicated that Sprout’s condition was “highly treatable.”
“Our opinion is that if (the Bellews) would have taken (Sprout) to a doctor to seek medical attention, he would have survived,” Slater said. Sheriff’s detectives have investigated two other relatively recent deaths involving Sprout’s family, Slater said.
They include the 2007 death of Sprout’s biological father, Brian Sprout. According to an obituary submitted by the family, Brian Sprout died at age 35 of sepsis related to a complication from a leg injury. Investigators found that Brian Sprout had not sought medical treatment before he died, but that didn’t constitute a crime because he was an adult, Slater said.
The second case investigated by the sheriff’s office arose in October 2010, when Austin Sprout’s grandmother, Mary Sprout of Creswell, died of what were initially described as unknown causes. Her death certificate states that investigators later learned that she died at age 54 of acute myeloid leukemia, a relatively common cancer that is curable, according to the National Institutes of Health.
There’s just nothing new to say about this that I haven’t said before. This is where true evil lies.
The Religion Harms series is my effort to show the dangerousness of religion.