When I heard that members of the Lev Tahor cult were apprehended in Trinidad and Tobago, the first thing that came into my mind was the Paul McCartney song “Band on the Run”. Here is the most applicable verse from the 1973 musical hit:
Well, the night was falling as the desert world
Began to settle down
In the town they’re searching for you every where
But we never will be found, oh no
Band on the run
Band on the run
And the county judge who held a grudge
Will search for evermore
For the band on the run
For the band on the run
The cult has been under investigation for issues including hygiene, children’s health, marriages as young as 14 years, and allegations that the children weren’t learning according to the provincial curriculum.
Police have confirmed to the media that 12 of the 14 children which were to be placed in foster homes have fled from Canada — six to Guatemala, nine others stopped in Trinidad and Tobago.
Two of the children are missing and there is a search on for them.
Fearing a negative decision of their appeal, Lev Tahor leaders basically “stuck their tongues out” at the local justice system and the Children’s Aid Society and wilfully disobeyed a court order not to leave the Chatham area. Apparently, they flew out of Toronto.
When the court convened on March 5th to consider the appeal, the children and several adults and parents did not appear. Even their legal counsel was not aware where they were. Subsequently, an emergency order to apprehend the children was made before the decision concerning placing the children in foster care was made. As far as I know, a decision concerning this matter will now be made on April 4th; not that it makes a difference now that they have fled the country.
According to reports they are headed for their eventual destination of Guatemala. Based on their pattern of deceit and lies, their destination could also change. Some went through Mexico, while the others missed their flight to Mexico, and took a WestJet flight to Trinidad and Tobago, and eventually were to go on to Guatemala via Panama.
The courts were told that the members and children decided to go on a holiday. Yeah right! That is why they are determined not to return to Canada, and are fighting the Trinidadian legal system not to be returned to Canada.
Helbrans, the cult’s leader has even stated that the families won’t return to Ontario by their “own will.” Alluding to anti-Semitism, he even went as far as to grandstand by saying to the world: “we will not replace our Torah for a maple leaf.” He will never admit that it is the unlawful acts, refusal to adhere to the laws of Canada or any country with sensible laws, the lies, deceit, and allegations of abuse; but he conveniently cries anti-Semitism.
Canadian consular officials will now be consulting with Trinidadian authorities on just what to do.
As a Commonwealth country member, Canada does have an extradition treaty with Trinidad and Tobago, but not with Guatemala.
Why Guatemala you may ask? Did you know that the legal age of marriage for boys is 16 years, and for girls 14 years? It’s all starting to come together. They may be trying to escape to their own type of paradise where girls are allowed to marry at a young age. This corroborates my views on the matter, and specially my views on Helbrans. I would list other countries that allow marriage at an early age, but I’m quite positive that Lev Tahor is reading my blog too.
This reminds me of the old saying: Screw me once, shame on you. Screw me twice, shame on me.
I implore the Canadian government not to let it happen a third time. Continue looking for the missing children. Make arrangements to extradite those in Trinidad back to Canada. They broke the law here, repeatedly.
According to some lawyers, only criminal matters warrant extradition; while child welfare matters do not. Since when are allegations and proof of child and family abuse, allowing underage illegal marriages, and purposely disobeying a court order not to leave, not criminal offences? The welfare of the children is at stake.
As for Helbrans, apparently there may be an Interpol International warrant for his arrest. If this be the case, the Canadian government should act quickly.