By the end of today, the Ontario courts will rule on an appeal by Lev Tahor, on whether or not the Ontario Courts have the jurisdiction to uphold a Quebec Court decision which calls for the removal of 14 children from the sect to be placed in foster homes.
Just as the original Quebec order was to be enforced, the group fled their home in Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts and resettled in Chatham, Ontario where a judge upheld the Quebec decision. The Quebec court decision was based on allegations of physical abuse, forced confinement, separating children from their parents, brainwashing, beatings, illegal marriages and mind control made be Quebec Department of Youth Protection.
Over the last two weeks both the Global Television Network’s, 16 x 9 program, and the CBC’s 5th Estate aired episodes concerning the allegations made against this cult. The common threads of the allegations made by child welfare workers, and interviews with past members that corroborated these allegations ran throughout both programs.
The program contained many questionable matters, revealed the answers to many unanswered questions, and may have shown evidence of deceit on the part of Lev Tahor. Throughout this, Lev Tahor and its leaders may have displayed deceitful conduct by not providing evidence to prove their own allegations against authorities and going as far ordering the destruction of their computer files while being filmed.
They have now launched a new tactic through their own website where they make libelous accusations at critics of the cult who were former members and may “now have seen the light”, as well as the brothers, sisters, parents and children of the members who are concerned about the psychological and behavioural changes which have affected their family members while they are at Lev Tahor.
These accusations include:
Oded Twik: A junky, drunk, addicted to the bottle, can not be steady with a woman, children is totaly out of the question for him.
Yisrael Alter: Was removed from the home by the police, during his divorce from his wife, after she had complaint of abuse of her by him.
Michael Reuven, the father of Shay Phima: A criminal … and a Liar …
The list goes on. But what is missing is actual evidence and verification of the sect’s accusations about authorities and its critics. Without any actual evidence, their position becomes one of “sour grapes” and may be indicative that these critics are right.
As a member of this group of critics, I have always placed the concerns of the members of this sect, especially first and foremost in our minds. Our concerns and criticisms are based on allegations of child abuse, neglect, use of drugs, physical and mental abuse and mind control that have been made against them by child welfare agencies, former members, and those with who have had personal experiences and relationships with Lev Tahor; especially with their leaders. When we have made allegations, it has always been based on testimony and other types of evidence.
These are the critical issues that Lev Tahor’s detractors have, and they come from all corners of the Jewish community – Reform, Conservative, Orthodox, Hareidi, Zionist, and Anti-Zionist. The commonality of the allegations are those of physical, emotional and mental abuse which have been entered into the courts as evidence.
We have yet to question their style of Judaism. Their religious beliefs have never been the issue since they may only differ in degree from other sects of Judaism.
So when you look at Lev Tahor’s website, and when you read through their allegations and “name calling”, I hope that you will take the time to look for any corroborating evidence.