What Is The Lev Tahor Cult?

Photo: Israel Police - An Israeli family was caught trying to flee the country to enter into an extremist cult in Canada known for its violent punishments, mental manipulation and burqa-like attire.

Photo: Israel Police – An Israeli family was caught trying to flee the country to enter into an extremist cult in Canada known for its violent punishments, mental manipulation and burqa-like attire.

An ultra-Orthodox Jewish family in Israel that was believed to have wandered into Jordan accidentally was in fact attempting to flee to join a cult in Canada.

The father’s family had sought a court order to prevent the couple and their six children from leaving the country to join an extremist cult known as the “Jewish Taliban” based in Quebec, the Jerusalem Post reports. The Jewish sect, Lev Tahor (Pure Heart), is believed to have 250 members led by Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, a 50-year-old Israeli who allegedly uses violence, mental manipulation and harsh punishments on his followers.  

The family was arrested when they arrived in Jordan, was returned to Israel and detained by Israeli police, the Times of Israel reports.

Lev Tahor members live in small town north of Montreal, isolated from the outside world. From the age of three onwards, female members are dressed completely in black, including their faces, resembling Islamic chadors. Israeli news organization Israel Hayom has heard testimony from ex-members that cite violent beatings of children, undocumented weddings involving minors as young as 14, forced marriages and divorces.

Helbrans has denied such claims in the past

Cult leader Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans. | Photo credit: Candadian Television

Cult leader Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans. | Photo credit: Candadian Television

“Use force? We want everybody who is not 100 percent happy … to leave us,” the rabbi told the Globe and Mail.

He went on to say that girls normally marry in their teenage years and are not forced into wedlock. “The women here choose of their own will,” he said.

Reports say Helbrans conducts “psychiatric evaluations” on his followers and orders them to take medication he prescribes. He names every baby in the community and has been known to change names of adult members, vosizneias.com reports.

In 1994 Helbrans was convicted in the U.S. for kidnapping a 13-year-old boy who was studying with him. In 2001, he fled to Canada on a temporary visa and later received refugee status. Cult members later joined him in the Sainte-Agathe, Quebec, and the group has grown to around 250 people.

The recent incident in Israel is not the first time prospective members have been prevented from entering the cult community in Canada. In October 2011, two girls aged 15 and 13 were stopped by Canadian immigration officials and returned to Israel, the Globe and Mail reports. The girls’ great-uncle had petitioned a court order, saying the girls would be harmed by the Lev Tahor community, their property would be taken and they would be forced into marriage.

In 2008 the Israeli female leader of the cult, Bruria Keren, was sentenced to four years in prison for beating her mentally retarded son. She was dubbed the “Taliban Mother,” but only a few of Keren’s 12 children testified at her trial, Haaretz reports.

"Some of the punishments included dripping water on the children to forcefully wake them up in the morning, beatings with belts, sticks and electric wires, and cutting the girls' hair as retribution for bad behavior," the judge said. Keren reportedly tied up one of her children, stomped on another’s foot and put out a match on another child’s chest.

3 thoughts on “What Is The Lev Tahor Cult?

  1. http://www.bill613.com/news/provincial-police-suspected-lev-tahor-human-trafficking-forgery-documents/#comment-71983

    A 14 page affidavit filed by Quebec provincial police to obtain a search warrant (called an Information to Obtain document), which contains written testimony by two former members of Lev Tahor-known as a CULT, was unsealed and obtained by News Agencies on Wednesday and the allegations in the document reveal that Quebec provincial police suspected Lev Tahor cult of human trafficking and forging documents.

    The document, which was signed by Sgt. Normand Dion of the Surete du Quebec, also describes forced prayer services, drugging and food deprivation. The affidavit also details that the suspicion of forged documents led Quebec provincial police to obtain a search warrant on January 29, 2014 in Chatham, Ontario, after Lev Tahor cult had fled from Ste Agathe to Chatham in the middle of the night. Among the items confiscated were hospital cards, laptops, marriage licenses from Missouri, bottles of medication including treatment for seizures (divalproex) and an antipsychotic medication (perphenazine), and a medicare card. The document was dated January 28th, a day before the search in Chatham….

    The affidavit also mentioned a CD containing documents from 2010 and 2011, which included a forged passport and power-of-attorney documents asserting control over members of Lev Tahor cult in case of incapacity. The CD had been given to the SQ by a rabbi who had received it from a former member of Lev Tahor Cult…..

    The list of charges in the warrant issued in January include detailed allegations by former Lev Tahor cult members — including Helbrans’ own son Nathan — of physical force, braking his legs, use of psychotropic drugs, forced marriage of juveniles and sexual assault in a very bad way, according to Canadian reports…..

    Read more: http://www.jta.org/2014/09/11/news-opinion/world/lev-tahor-sect-trafficked-in-human-cargo-documents-show#ixzz3DKLMcrpx

    In the interview section of the affidavit, a former member alleged that children were beaten with a hanger in the Shul, Ministry of Education documents had been forged by the former member of Lev Tahor cult on direct orders from the men running Lev Tahor cult, children were removed from their families and placed with other families if the parents didn’t follow Lev Tahor Cult rules, members of Lev Tahor cult were ordered to go to the doctor with a list of symptoms and ask for specific medications by name, children were brought in to Lev Tahor cult from other countries for arranged marriages, and mandatory use of medication (one witness said that he had been “forced to take pills with my meals three times a day.”) The witness also alleged that Lev Tahor cult leadership conducted violence of many natures (physical, emotional, etc), and did not allow children to be educated. Another witness added that when 13 and 14 year old girls disobey Lev Tahor cult rules they are tied up in basements, and that all money coming from the government must be handed over to Lev Tahor Cult leadership.

    More allegations came from a January 2014 interview with One who fled Lev Tahor Cult in 2012 together with his pregnant wife after questioning the ethics of Shlomo Helbrans, leader of Lev Tahor cult. According to the affidavit, he told the SQ that he was given instructions to beat children with a belt and that children under 16 were married. He was also forced to forge documents for the Ministry of Education.

    He also told the SQ that on Shabbos morning everyone was/is forced to Daven Shacharis for 6 hours followed by an hour of meditation. “he indicated that during the prayers at the synagogue in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, people were locked in the building … the doors were locked with a key so that no one was able to leave,” was written in the affidavit, according to the Toronto Star.

    The affidavit also reports that in August 2013 police and child welfare officials went to the community where they had to wait over an hour before going into the homes and saw very suspicious things, including a man going door to door carrying a paper bag. When they were finally allowed into the homes, they interviewed some members. One person told them that he had been separated from his family by force upon first arriving in Lev Tahor Cult. Placed with strangers, he had nothing to eat and had to beg. He also shared the story of a Lev Tahor member ordered to slap a woman in the face for refusing to wear the burqa Lev Tahor cult women wear. He also said that any income must go straight to Lev Tahor cult leadership.

    Lev Tahor Cult, who fled to Guatemala, denied all the accusations. CBC Windsor met Lev Tahor cult member Evil Munster Nachman Helbrand ימ”ח (who is also known as a lire) in Chatham as he was collecting things a family had left behind. He told them that the reason Lev Tahor cult left Canada is because they felt their religious freedom rights were violated.

    It is important to note that while Lev Tahor cult members dress like Chassidim, they are not considered Chassidim, let alone Orthodox Jews, by the majority of the Jewish world. they are a “cult” and cold blooded people just like the Nazis, In fact, All Chassidim in Montreal united to support and protect families who had left Lev Tahor this horrible disgusting cult.

    We object to using the term Haredi or Orthodox regarding these people. They are simply a crazy manipulative sect. They do not accept Torah Sheba’al Peh, the Oral Tradition, therefore they are simply “Apikorsim” and do not follow the Torah of Hashem. Why did the Monster, child abuser, Helbrans move away from Jerusalem? Because if he stayed he could isolate his group with himself and manipulate them, they would have been excommunicated even by the Haredim in Jerusalem…

    http://www.bill613.com/news/provincial-police-suspected-lev-tahor-human-trafficking-forgery-documents/#comment-71983

  2. http://www.bill613.com/news/provincial-police-suspected-lev-tahor-human-trafficking-forgery-documents/#comment-71983

    A 14 page affidavit filed by Quebec provincial police to obtain a search warrant (called an Information to Obtain document), which contains written testimony by two former members of Lev Tahor-known as a CULT, was unsealed and obtained by News Agencies on Wednesday and the allegations in the document reveal that Quebec provincial police suspected Lev Tahor cult of human trafficking and forging documents.

    The document, which was signed by Sgt. Normand Dion of the Surete du Quebec, also describes forced prayer services, drugging and food deprivation. The affidavit also details that the suspicion of forged documents led Quebec provincial police to obtain a search warrant on January 29, 2014 in Chatham, Ontario, after Lev Tahor cult had fled from Ste Agathe to Chatham in the middle of the night. Among the items confiscated were hospital cards, laptops, marriage licenses from Missouri, bottles of medication including treatment for seizures (divalproex) and an antipsychotic medication (perphenazine), and a medicare card. The document was dated January 28th, a day before the search in Chatham.

    The affidavit also mentioned a CD containing documents from 2010 and 2011, which included a forged passport and power-of-attorney documents asserting control over members of Lev Tahor cult in case of incapacity. The CD had been given to the SQ by a rabbi who had received it from a former member of Lev Tahor Cult.

    The list of charges in the warrant issued in January include detailed allegations by former Lev Tahor cult members — including Helbrans’ own son Nathan — of physical force, braking his legs, use of psychotropic drugs, forced marriage of juveniles and sexual assault in a very bad way, according to Canadian reports.

    Read more: http://www.jta.org/2014/09/11/news-opinion/world/lev-tahor-sect-trafficked-in-human-cargo-documents-show#ixzz3DKLMcrpx

    In the interview section of the affidavit, a former member alleged that children were beaten with a hanger in the Shul, Ministry of Education documents had been forged by the former member of Lev Tahor cult on direct orders from the men running Lev Tahor cult, children were removed from their families and placed with other families if the parents didn’t follow Lev Tahor Cult rules, members of Lev Tahor cult were ordered to go to the doctor with a list of symptoms and ask for specific medications by name, children were brought in to Lev Tahor cult from other countries for arranged marriages, and mandatory use of medication (one witness said that he had been “forced to take pills with my meals three times a day.”) The witness also alleged that Lev Tahor cult leadership conducted violence of many natures (physical, emotional, etc), and did not allow children to be educated. Another witness added that when 13 and 14 year old girls disobey Lev Tahor cult rules they are tied up in basements, and that all money coming from the government must be handed over to Lev Tahor Cult leadership.

    More allegations came from a January 2014 interview with One who fled Lev Tahor Cult in 2012 together with his pregnant wife after questioning the ethics of Shlomo Helbrans, leader of Lev Tahor cult. According to the affidavit, he told the SQ that he was given instructions to beat children with a belt and that children under 16 were married. He was also forced to forge documents for the Ministry of Education.

    He also told the SQ that on Shabbos morning everyone was/is forced to Daven Shacharis for 6 hours followed by an hour of meditation. “he indicated that during the prayers at the synagogue in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, people were locked in the building … the doors were locked with a key so that no one was able to leave,” was written in the affidavit, according to the Toronto Star.

    The affidavit also reports that in August 2013 police and child welfare officials went to the community where they had to wait over an hour before going into the homes and saw very suspicious things, including a man going door to door carrying a paper bag. When they were finally allowed into the homes, they interviewed some members. One person told them that he had been separated from his family by force upon first arriving in Lev Tahor Cult. Placed with strangers, he had nothing to eat and had to beg. He also shared the story of a Lev Tahor member ordered to slap a woman in the face for refusing to wear the burqa Lev Tahor cult women wear. He also said that any income must go straight to Lev Tahor cult leadership.

    Lev Tahor Cult, who fled to Guatemala, denied all the accusations. CBC Windsor met Lev Tahor cult member Evil Munster Nachman Helbrand ימ”ח (who is also known as a lire) in Chatham as he was collecting things a family had left behind. He told them that the reason Lev Tahor cult left Canada is because they felt their religious freedom rights were violated.

    It is important to note that while Lev Tahor cult members dress like Chassidim, they are not considered Chassidim, let alone Orthodox Jews, by the majority of the Jewish world. they are a “cult” and cold blooded people just like the Nazis, In fact, All Chassidim in Montreal united to support and protect families who had left Lev Tahor this horrible disgusting cult.

    We object to using the term Haredi or Orthodox regarding these people. They are simply a crazy manipulative sect. They do not accept Torah Sheba’al Peh, the Oral Tradition, therefore they are simply “Apikorsim” and do not follow the Torah of Hashem. Why did the Monster, child abuser, Helbrans move away from Jerusalem? Because if he stayed he could isolate his group with himself and manipulate them, they would have been excommunicated even by the Haredim in Jerusalem.

    http://www.bill613.com/news/provincial-police-suspected-lev-tahor-human-trafficking-forgery-documents/#comment-71983

  3. Pingback: George Berger's Gripes and Gaffs | Is Lev Tahor A Cult or Not

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