A federal judge has sentenced Lev Tahor cult leaders Nachman Helbrans and Mayer Rosner to 144 months (12 years) in prison followed by 5 years of supervised released for the 2018 Shabbos kidnapping of two children who escaped the cult
Back in November of 2021, Helbrans and Rosner were found guilty on all six charges they faced, including conspiracy to travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, and conspiracy to commit international parental kidnapping.
Several other Lev Tahor cultists have been arrested in connection with the case, including brothers Yoel, Yaakov, and Shmiel Weingarten, who were picked up by Guatemala authorities earlier this year.
They are expected to be extradited to the United States to face charges and a trial.
Three others in the United States are reportedly cooperating with authorities.
YWN has been at the forefront for more than 10 years fighting the Lev Tahor cult – with dozens of articles over the years. YWN has spoken to many victims of the Lev Tahor cult who managed to escape. To say they were terribly abused sexually, suffering constant violent beatings, forced starvation and other horrific abuse, would be an understatement. The world is a safer place now that these two monsters are behind bars. Our hope is that the rest of the leadership in charge of this cult are arrested and thrown behind bars.
YWN has received many, many emails and phone calls from desperate parents and siblings of cult members who were unfortunately sucked into this nightmare and have lost contact with their loved ones. Most importantly, all possible efforts should be made to save children who are being dragged around the world now as this cult is on the run. Rescuing these children is literally Pikuach Nefashos.
Lev Tahor was founded and led by Shlomo Helbrans, from the 1980s until his drowning death in Mexico in 2017. Since then, the leadership has moved into the hands of his son Nachman Helbrans, along with Mayer Rosner, and Yankel and Yoel Weingarten – who are even more radical and aggressive than the late founder.
In 2014, YWN ran an article titled “Cults and the War of the Jewish Magazines” in response to Mishpacha and Ami magazines running articles on Lev Tahor. Mishpacha Magazine had run a fifteen page “expose” on the group, essentially describing Lev Tahor as a cult that has some serious issues involving medicating children, and behaviors that resemble child abuse. Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter of Ami Magazine claimed the exact opposite – and ran the following sentence below their headline, “The unjust persecution of a group of pious Jews, and the unsettling silence of the Jewish community.”
(YWN World Headquarters – NYC)