Wednesday, November 20, 2013


The Times of Israel reported that members of Lev Tahor, an Islamic-like cult of Haredi background, tried to flee their homes in Quebec to go as far as Iran:
Long dogged by accusations of severe child abuse and neglect, the 40 families of insular hassidic group Lev Tahor fled their homes Tuesday in Ste. Agathe, Quebec, fearing imminent removal of the children by Canadian welfare authorities.

According to Oded Twik, an Israeli whose sister and eight children have lived with Lev Tahor for the last eight years, the Israeli Foreign Ministry and police worked through the night Tuesday to get information about the safety of the children.

About 200 people traveled in three hired buses to Ontario, where they rented a small number of hotel rooms. “The Canadian police have confirmed that the group planned to go to Iran,” said Twik.

Lev Tahor is led by charismatic convicted kidnapper Shlomo Helbrans. The group, mainly native Israelis and their Canadian-born children, lived in the resort town of Ste. Agathe-du-Mont, Quebec. Only five members have legal status in Canada and the children do not hold passports. [...]

In 1990, after an Israeli investigation for ties with what was then the Islamic Movement in Israel, Helbrans fled to the United States with about 20 followers.

In 1994 Helbrans was imprisoned for two years in the US for kidnapping Shai Fima, whose secular parents had sent him to Helbrans for bar mitzvah lessons.

Post-release, Helbrans and his followers moved to Ste. Agathe, about 100 kilometers north of Montreal. There, Helbrans successfully petitioned the Canadian government for refugee status, claiming persecution in Israel for his anti-Zionist opinions.

Oded Twik has urged the Canadian authorities to remove all 137 children from the community. Dozens of family members and supporters attended a demonstration outside the Canadian Embassy in Tel Aviv on October 14. Many family members have not communicated with their relatives for eight years.[...]

Members who have left the group described a diet of dough, goose eggs and goat’s milk, but no fruits and vegetable. There are regular beatings, long prayers, and for the girls, dark clothing covering all but the face, and household servitude. Children, including babies and toddlers, are removed from their parents to live with other families, often repeatedly. Girls are routinely married off at 14, in some cases to men more than twice their age.
This is exactly what's dangerous about cults, and this one is led by a cretin who's just as bad as Neturei Karta. And some of the customs they go by are clearly influenced by Islam, such as the tent-clothes and underaged marriages. They may be the same cult that's turned up places like Beit Shemesh, and are certainly dangerous. If the authorities have stopped them from leaving, they must remove the children from their clutches immediately.

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