Lev Tahor Shuffling Off to Buffalo for the Last Time


Several days ago I wrote about the saga of the two girls, a 15 and a 17 year old, the two remaining Lev Tahor ​members in Canada​ who were ordered into foster care by the courts. They recently escaped from their foster home and allegedly fled by taxi and then bus to the U.S. border crossing at either Niagara Falls or Buffalo, New York.

​They were ordered into foster care as they defied a court order not to leave the Chatham area. Instead, while en route to Guatemala, they were apprehended in Trinidad and returned to Canada. Once in Canada, the courts had no other option but to place them in foster care because their parents were in Guatemala.

​​I`ve received some flak from individuals – no thought, no content, no facts, just criticism combined with insults and innuendo. In contrast to them, I become involved, research and gather facts.

Comments such as: “mmuahahahaha?!!” are not arguments; nor are they facts or substance. It just shows that they are incoherent morons or a babbling idiots. In this case the person making the comment is a home grown Canadian moron. There is an old West Virginian saying that you waste your time when you argue with assholes and idiots.

On that note, if anyone wishes to debate the facts about what really happened, show yourself. Just changing your Twitter handle and not identifying yourself, indicates that you are merely a subversive or devious moron and have nothing to contribute to finding the truth. All you are doing is criticizing; not providing evidence and fact. When one argues without facts or evidence all they are doing is criticizing me and wasting the public’s time. It`s nothing that I can`t handle. Your arguments ring hollow. This applies to whether they are on another planet such as Venus, or right here on earth.

Both the Montreal Gazette and my last post raised some interesting questions about the girls` escape from their foster home. As I set forth in more detail, it can be questioned whether these girls had sufficient knowledge of how to use Toronto’s public transportation system, and Ontario’s intercity transportation system to do this on their own and evade authorities.

I visited the home. I know where the home was located. I was there once. It was on an out-of-the-way street on which taxis never cruise to pick up fares. To have a taxi on that street, one must either be dropped off, or request one for a passenger pick-up. So arrangements for a taxi to pick up the girls had to be made.

The house is a fairly large home surrounded by high fences. It would be impossible to hop the fence and escape from the property. Also a security guard was located outside the home and questioned anyone that ventured onto the property.

These girls were not worldly at all. They were born into and raised within the cult. They rarely ventured into any kind of store. According to their grandmother, they never went to any stores, except the local grocery store. Anytime they left their environs, they were always chaperoned by at least one male member of the cult. This is also true for any visit to a dentist or doctor as well.

Initially the girls were placed in two separate foster homes. As a result of the grandmother and I advocating on behalf of the girls for the sake of their emotional wellbeing, and the foster family agreeing to house both girls, both were housed in one foster home.

Joseph Solimani & Nachman Helbrans

Father of the Two Girls (left) with Nachman Helbrans (right), a son of Lev Tahor Leader Shlomo Helbrans

The first argument that has been hurled at me is that in this modern age with the use of computers and the internet it is very easy to acquire that information. The argument does not hold water since members of the cult are banned from using the internet. According to the grandmother, the two girls have never even turned on a computer.

They had no comprehension of where they were located in that strange and large city called Toronto. They had no idea of where the bus terminal was located. They had no money to take a taxi. They probably didn`t even know where the closest border crossing was located.

Based on that, I can only surmise that they must have received assistance from someone. There were numerous reports that the father was lurking around Toronto’s Ultra Orthodox Jewish community along with Nachman Helbrans, one of the cult leader`s sons. They were spotted in the Bathurst-Lawrence area which is within 15 square blocks of the foster home.

How could the father and Nachman Helbrans get past the security guard who was guarding the home? Who arranged for that taxi? As for the foster family assisting them, I know that they are prominent and wealthy members of Toronto’s Orthodox Jewish community, and the issue of a payoff to the family is ludicrous. I can only speculate that someone was bought, sold and paid for? Was it was an employee of the security company or was it an employee of the social service agency? I don’t know.

I do know that after I heard about the possibility of a kidnapping, on the Monday morning I contacted Chatham-Kent Children’s Services (​CKCS)​ and was told that the girls were safe. I was also assured that the girls were still in Canada.

​Since CKCS did not have direct contact with the girls, I can only assume they were relying on information from Jewish Family & Child Service of Greater Toronto (JF&CS), to whom the care of the girls had been entrusted.​

The next day, with the rumour still flying around, I called JF&CS. The supervisor in charge refused to tell me anything citing privacy regulations even though I told him that I represented the girls’ grandmother, and they had a letter of authorization confirming this on file with the agency.

​​In a very officious​ manner the agency’s manager who I had spoken with to arrange visits between the grandmother and the two girls said that he couldn’t tell me anything due to privacy considerations, and denied any responsibility by the agency for the care provided by their agency. All I wanted to know was whether or not the children were still in Canada and they were safe. I told him that his agency was responsible since they placed the children in the foster home and that they were charged with the girls’ supervision. He argued with that concept.

The next day, I again contacted CKCS and that they advised me that the two girls were no longer in Canada. CKCS also apologized to me by saying “that if you felt that you were told two days ago that the girls were in Canada an apology would be in order”.

To me this means that CKCS was unaware of the girls status 2 days before, as they were not informed by JF&CS until several days after the event occurred.

Once again, the day-to-day shots about the foster care and supervision of the two girls were being called by JF&CS who​ were also responsible for their care and supervision. They probably blew it.

Undoubtedly there may have been a breach of confidentiality by this Toronto agency.

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Lev Tahor Shuffling Off to Buffalo for the Last Time

  1. you had me thinking I’m inclined to agree with your written words until you refered the the lev Tahor as a cult. At that point I stopped reading. You speak of facts and education. But you still refer to them as a cult instead of a sect.

  2. I thank you for your comments.

    Janja Lalich and Michael D. Langone have identified the common characteristics which are indigenous to cults, which have been applied to Lev Tahor.

    As in all cults, Helbrans disciples display excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to him and regard his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, and as law? He claims to be on a special mission to save humanity or at least Judaism. They consult with him on just about everything and always accede to his authority.

    Cults prey on the weak-minded. With respect to Lev Tahor, many members are baal teshuva, secular Jews who are looking to return to Orthodox Judaism and acceptance within a religious environment. Others come from difficult situations and the charismatic Helbrans showers them with warmth and attention until they get sucked in and sever all ties with their families. As in all cults, subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends, and radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before joining the group.

    In all cults, as with Lev Tahor, the leader dictates in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel. Members must get permission to date, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth. There have been reports of Helbrans and his assistants using violence, physical and mental manipulation to control his followers, which include forced marriages and divorces between community members, arranged marriages between minors as young as fourteen and children being subjected to ruthless beatings.

    How is Helbrans behaviour different from that of Jim Jones in this regard?

    Marriages are arranged by Helbrans at age twelve or thirteen and because of the young age at which marriages are performed. In one particular instance concerning one of the girls who refused an arranged was punished for an extended time with in a basement.

    Other harsh punishments used to enforce compliance include forcing people to wear shoes that are too small, separating parents from their children at the age of just six months and the forced use of drugs. This is abuse which is characteristic of cults. Babies are only allowed to have their diapers changed twice a day. Helbrans also names every baby in the community and has been known to change the names of adult members as well.

    As with all cults, questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished. Malka Helbrans, the wife of Shlomo Helbrans was forced to flee back to Israel after she was beaten to near death by her husband’s followers for voicing her opposition to the treatment of children. She was quoted as follows:

    “I heard men violently knocking on the door of the women’s synagogue,” … I saw eight to ten men with plastic white chairs charge at me and they all started beating me with the chairs. I thought I was dying. I screamed. I did not understand what was happening. I did not understand why. They chased me home. They threw snow at me. The knocked down my door and beat me and beat me, and beat me… They accused me of closing the door to the women’s section… The main reason for my sufferings is the fact that I dared to voice opposition to the punishments that are being used in the village.”
    Physical abuse is characteristic of Lev Tahor. A serious allegation leveled at Lev Tahor in the past had to do with the use of corporal punishment. Publications of the Va’ad Shomrei Mishmarot Hakodesh in New York said that in his yeshiva quoted students as saying:

    “Helbrans gave beatings to Hasidim who are his servants, causing them to pass out and to shed blood and more.”

    A 2004 article in Besha’a Tova, also reported that:

    “Helbrans himself goes to the extreme, adopting this way in all areas of life. Especially in the area of repentance for sins… on every day of the year, he adopts the custom that was practiced by Shlomei Emunei Yisrael on Yom Kippur Eve, to receive lashings, as a means of repentance. The community practices this throughout the year, and their daily prayers are also similar to that of the High Holy Days and more. His disciples regularly fall to the ground to absorb whippings, in order to repent for their sins”.

    All things being said, a strong case can be made that Lev Tahor is a dangerous cult of lunatics and fanatics. Helbrans even told his group that Hitler and Stalin were good teachers.

    I know that the Orthodox family of a rabbi in Toronto had an encounter years ago with Lev Tahor. The result was the re-kidnapping of a family member from the clutches of this cult, and countless months of deprogramming to counter the effect of Lev Tahor brainwashing.

    I hope that this gives you some insight from where I am coming from, and the thoughts and arguments that I use to establish my position.

    Shana Tova!

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