Lev Tahor: A Perverse Form of Investigative Journalism


 

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Members of Lev Tahor

As part of their Passover edition, Ami Magazine published several articles about Lev Tahor. They were interviews with Ariel Goldman of Lev Tahor, Denis Baraby of Quebec’s Youth Protection Department, Lev Tahor’s immigration lawyer Guidy Mamaan, an article by physicist Bernard Fryshman, and an article about a visit to Lev Tahor by Yitzchok Frankfurter, the magazine’s editor.

Until now, I have never heard of Ami Magazine. Nevertheless, the article has stirred up a great deal of anger within certain segments of the Jewish community.ami magazxine

Ami Magazine has been described as an anti-Zionist propaganda publication geared to Hareidi Jewish anti-Zionists. If I was reading these articles as a passenger on an Air Canada flight, I would be trying to grab the “sick sac” which would normally be located in the rear pocket of the seat directly in front of me.

One word comes to mind when describing Yitzchok Frankfurter’s views on many issues concerning Judaism, and that word is: demented. When one tries to put forward the hypothesis that the greatest cause for the Holocaust was Zionism, what other conclusion could one have? Continue reading

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An Empty Victory for Lev Tahor


The Orthodox sect Lev Tahor has successfully appealed a ruling that would have returned 14 children to be placed in foster care in Quebec.

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Members of Lev Tahor

It was a rare but empty victory for Lev Tahor, which many feel is a cult.

The cult left Quebec for Chatham, Ontario just before a sentence could be enforced by that province’s child welfare system that 14 children be placed into foster care. Once they got to Chatham, they again were required to face Ontario’s judicial system about these same allegations. This time, they attempted to outrun the courts by fleeing to Guatemala. Several of them never reached Guatemala but were returned to Canada from Trinidad.

There have been allegations by child welfare officials, which was reported by the media. Allegations included child abuse, beatings, children forcibly being removed from their parents and being placed with other parents as a form of punishment, underage marriages as young as 14 years, children sleeping in urine soaked beds, poor hygiene, low educational standards, running away from the law, and applying for refugee status in Guatemala and Trinidad. They left Canada to avoid prosecution, and to avoid facing charges, allegations and evidence of the abuse of children .

Some call the recent decision a “rare legal victory” as removing the children to Quebec “would be contrary to their best interests,” and would also “have disastrous emotional and psychological ramifications for them”. I agree that separating the children by moving them to Quebec would not be a good move for any of these children, and would certainly have psychological consequences for them.

The ruling is only an empty or hollow victory for the cult. I say this looking closely at the comments made by Superior Court Justice Lynda Templeton in her 36 page decision which she released to the public. Her decision shows that Lev Tahor is not exonerated from the allegations facing them.

One has to realize, when legal appeals are made, the decision that is made and the scope of the issue considered are very narrow indeed. The Courts only look at whether or not the trial decision was correct in law. In this case, Justice Templeton only addressed the issue of whether or not the children should be returned to Quebec, and be placed in foster care in that province.

She was quite clear of that in her decision. She made her decision that would not require the children to return to Quebec based on the emotional and psychological damage that would be created. Her comments throughout the written decision makes it abundantly clear about the court’s concerns about the validity of these allegations of abuse, and the behaviour of the adults.

Justice Templeton’s decision contained a number of statements expressing concern about the circumstances of the children relative to the allegations of abuse. She explicitly points out that the children are at risk.

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Her decision best exemplifies the fact that the concerns and actions of the courts and child welfare authorities are not an issue of persecution, or the religious smear campaign that members of the cult and their outside supporters claim. It may not even be an issue of parents being unable to care for their children. The issue is that it is strongly felt that the children are at risk. It may not even be the fault of the parents. It must be remembered that Helbrans and his enforcers exhibit a great deal of influence on all members of the cult, and especially the parents of these and other children within that community.

The best summary of the concern of the Courts and Chatham-Kent Children’s Services is best found in Justice Templeton’s statement within her decision that:

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In other words, the government or state has an obligation and responsibility to protect children, and particularly these children. As such, Chatham-Kent Children’s Services can no longer investigate or act on the allegations put forward by Quebec’s child welfare agencies, but is obligated to undertake its own investigations and obtain its own evidence. They are also obligated to undertake new investigations and any actions that it may feel are appropriate to protect these children, most particularly from the cult’s leaders.

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In other words, they cannot outrun the Courts. Wherever they go, authorities will always be required to ensure that these children are not placed at risk. Chatham-Kent Children’s Services is required to act on behalf of government and the Courts to ensure that these children are not at risk.

Hopefully, they will not find any proof of the allegations before them. But based on what we’ve heard to date, I seriously doubt it.

Lev Tahor Practices Deceit And Digs Their Own Grave


Back in January and February of this year, I posted articles about the games of deception that Lev Tahor plays. Both the media and I have characterized the cult as being rife with the practice of child abuse, health concerns, substandard hygiene, poor health, and girls being forced to marry as young as 14 years of age, amongst other things.

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Members of Lev Tahor

The only criticisms that I received were the odd ranting from those who refused to provide their true names, or for that matter information about where they lived. They lack credibility as they refuse to own up to the reasons for their views, and may even be members of the cult, itself.

I’m glad to be able to say that similar views to mine, are being reiterated by a wide spectrum of the media, and from all segments of mainstream Judaism – Orthodox, Conservative, Reform, Reconstructionist, Hareidi, and Zionistic.

The best example of investigative journalism about the cult has been undertaken by the CBC’s Fifth Estate. First they aired an hour long episode about the cult called “The Rabbi of the Pure Hearts: Inside Lev Tahor”, which told all about the allegations against the cult, its history, its leader and his past, and the controversy in which the cult is involved.

Now, the Fifth Estate has aired “After the Cameras Went Away”, a follow-up to their initial story. To view the sequel, please click on the following link:

http://www.cbc.ca/fifth/episodes/2013-2014/after-the-cameras-went-away

All I can say is that the CBC has helped the cult dig its own grave and shows that these allegations are all true. After watching this sequel, the only conclusion that one can make is that Lev Tahor practices deceit.

The leaders of the cult have not taken a responsible attitude or for that matter any initiative to dispel or prove that all of these allegations are false. All that Helbrans and his henchmen have done is deny the allegations, and practice deceit. The greatest example of deceit and irresponsibility have been their attempts to evade the authorities and courts, by first escaping to Ontario, and then to Guatemala.

Instead of providing proof that the allegations against them are bogus, all they do is refute them, even in the face of additional former members who are making these same allegations. Then there is the testimony of a child psychologist and relative of a former member who saw children in the cult not behaving or playing as normal children would. They were living with a sense of fear and not behaving as normal children. Lev Tahor doesn’t deny that the children are being continually sedated with Melatonin.

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Children from Lev Tahor

Most telling is the video streamed onto to the internet showing children being “egged on” by the leaders and becoming hyped-up or hysterical when the Canada Border Security Agency comes to arrest members who have broken the law and are in Canada illegally. The leaders are stirring up the children, by saying that authorities are coming for the defenceless babies of the community. Then one of the children asks if the cult elder is still filming to determine whether or not they should continue their staged hysterics.

Thank you CBC for confirming without any doubt what-so-ever that Lev Tahor and their leaders practice deceit.

Immigration Puts a Dent in Lev Tahor


Canada’s Immigration agency has shown that members of Lev Tahor cannot be trusted.

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Members of Lev Tahor

Until now, we have all been bombarded by Lev Tahor’s cries of their innocence. The supposed denial of their human rights, the claim that there has been no proof of allegations of abuse by them against children, persecution supposedly because they choose to worship their faith in a manner that is stricter than any other sect of Judaism, and the so-called anti-Semitic war that is being waged against them, are just some of their cries.

For a while, I’ve argued that many of them are in Canada illegally.

Now I have proven to be correct. Earlier this week, the Canada Border Security Agency (CBSA), accompanied by officials of the Chatham-Kent Police Service, and Chatham-Kent Children’s Service visited their compound in Chatham and took several of their members into custody. In all, the CBSA arrested and detained 7 members who are known to have 28 children in all.

Uriel Goldman, a board member and community elder of Lev Tahor, or as I refer to him, one of Shlomo Helbran’s 3 stooges, reacted with indignation to the arrests. He went on to say:

… the action makes it appear the group was targeted for harassment. Why raid our community? There is no evidence of abuse. It’s discrimination, it does not smell good. Men and women are panicking. It has been hard on the children, after all these visits from social workers … There are 200,000 illegal immigrants in Toronto and they have no problem at all. But we are the target. Why? You decide.

Let’s help Goldman out on this one.

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Uriel Goldman

Here you have a group of people that came to Canada because they thought it was the promised land. There are allegations of child abuse, abuse of women, children were not meeting the minimum educational standards, they were not being taught either one of the official languages, authorities found that children were sleeping on urine soaked mattresses, and girls as young as 14 years of age were being forced to marry, much older men. By the way the legal age of marriage in Canada is 16 years of age.

After committing these acts, they evaded authorities. First they flee to Ontario to avoid answering these allegations, and then they flee to Guatemala for the same reason.

If they aren’t guilty, then why did they flee? They would have been given every opportunity to prove their innocence in the courts.

In the words of Uriel Goldman: You decide.

Now with the involvement of the CBSA, and after an immigration hearing that took place on Friday, two men and woman — all Israeli citizens– were ordered to remain in custody after the Immigration and Refugee Board found they weren’t likely to leave Canada voluntarily if released. Goldman remained indignant saying that they were in the process of arranging a meeting with immigration officials within the next few days, and that the CBSA acted irresponsibly and in haste.

It was found that 3 of these people, all Israeli citizens: Avraham Kabaz Kashani, 39, Odel Malka, 30, and Yochanan Lauer, 19, had each flouted immigration rules multiple times and were without permanent legal status in Canada.

Kashani first came to Canada on a temporary resident visa in 2000, made multiple but failed attempts to gain legal status and once his avenues for appeal were exhausted, was ordered out of the country in 2007. He did not leave voluntarily, nor did he directly contact authorities about his situation before he was arrested this week. More than likely, if anything, it was immigration’s incompetence that allowed him to go underground and overstay in Canada. So, 9 years of tolerating his presence in Canada, is not exactly acting in a hasty manner.

Apparently, Kashani did not leave in 2007 because his wife was expecting to give birth. To how many others has his wife given birth since that time? As soon as his wife had given birth, and both mother and child were able to travel, they could have returned to Israel. If his wife was a bonifide Canadian resident, did they ever consider a legal sponsorship of Kashani to Canada?

Based on their past behaviour can one trust him? He has been ordered into custody until he is deported back to Israel. Hopefully, that will take place sometime later this week.

Odel Malka was ordered to leave in 2002, but only left in 2012. She then returned using a fake passport. The third person has one more avenue of appeal left.

Not one of the sect members, so much as made reference to the separation of these people from their children. When the CBSA came, they were accompanied by officials of Chatham-Kent Children’s Services who also took the children into temporary custody. Shortly afterward, the children were either returned to Lev Tahor, or were re-united with their parents. This shoots down the arguments being put forward by those who are always at odds with Children’s Aid Societies that CAS’s are “hell bent” on taking children away from their parents and their communities.

The overall message is that Lev Tahor cannot be trusted. They’ve run twice to escape the courts. Members have come to Canada and have remained here illegally. This just shows that they cannot be trusted. In saying this, they can’t be trusted when they claim that there is no child abuse, or any of the other allegations.

Immigration Fraud at Lev Tahor


Police Raid on Lev Tahor in ChathamOn April 2, 2014, the Canadian Border Services Agency made a series of arrests at the Jewish, ultra-orthodox Lev Tahor community compound near Chatham, and arrested 7 people.

What gets me is the need for sensationalism by members of the media, just to sell newspapers. The Globe and Mail described it as follows :

… a flotilla of vehicles from the Canadian Border Services Agency, Chatham-Kent Children’s Services and the Chatham-Kent Police Services rolled into Lev Tahor’s cluster of bungalows on the outskirts of Chatham, Ont.

What’s a flotilla? It is a fleet of ships or boats. How many boats are there in a flotilla? According to Wikianswers, there are 2 or more boats in a flotilla. If there were 3 agencies involved in making these arrests, and if each agency brought 3 vehicles in making these arrests, there may have been a total of 9 vehicles involved. The press attempts to describe it as a re-enactment of the D-Day landing in Normandy.

What is interesting is that it is a complete departure from previous enforcement and arrest actions taken by authorities. Before, these actions centred on allegations of child abuse, physical abuse, health, hygiene, and forced marriages of girls as young as 14 years of age. These were issues pertaining to the courts.

Now these issues are immigration matters. They could include illegal entry into Canada, the use of false documents to enter the country, falsely seeking refugee status, or even the expiry of visas, and especially visitor visas. If the latter is true, then why did these people enter Canada as visitors when they had the intent to stay in the country as residents? Is this misrepresentation?

Contravention of Canada’s Immigration Act by members of Lev Tahor is something that I have argued about for a long time.

Uriel Goldman, a cult spokesperson responded to the enforcement action by saying: “the community was shocked by the authorities’ actions since his group had been expecting a meeting between Lev Tahor lawyers and immigration officials within days”.

Wake up Uriel, everyone in Canada is required to have their status regularized, legitimized or legalized to avoid contravening Canada’s Immigration Act. In other words, they broke the law by not renewing their status before it expired. They were in Canada illegitimately or illegally!

Now one of their lawyers has removed himself from the case. With respect to Lev Tahor, the changing of lawyers has become a common re-occurrence. This might be indicative their leaving outstanding debts in Quebec.

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Self Proclaimed Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans of Lev Tahor

Maybe they were following in the footsteps of their fearless leader, the self proclaimed Rabbi, Shlomo Helbrans who gained entry into Canada as a refugee through deceit and paying people to make false statements about him. Saying that he is a refugee is like making the argument, that if your aunt had balls, she would be your uncle! In fact, he is a convicted kidnapper who has as much right to be in Canada, as a convicted war criminal who has misrepresented himself.

 

True to form, Lev Tahor is continuing its soap opera and claims of harassment by the authorities because of anti-Semitism and anti-Zionism, when they could be guilty of being in this country illegally. It has nothing to do with their religion, or the way that practice their religion. It is based on the fact that they may be in Canada illegally and nothing more.

It just shows you that they tend to operate by denial and by stretching the truth and by claiming anti-Semitism as their only argument.