HORROR CONTINUES: Lev Tahor Escapee KIDNAPPED in New York; Authorities Investigating

29
Women and children walking inside the Lev Tahor compound in Guatemala. Photo taken during a police raid on Monday, November 5, 2018

Authorities are currently investigating an alleged kidnapping of one of the escapees from the Lev Tahor Cult.

Highly credible sources confirm to YWN that one of the “Teller children” was reportedly kidnapped from the Monroe area on Monday afternoon.

As YWN has been reporting, the Teller children arrived in the United States last week, following an intense effort to rescue them from the Cult, currently located in Guatemala.

The children are the 4 daughters and 2 sons of Rebbitzen Sara Feige Teller, a sister of current Lev Tahor leader, Nachman Helbrans. She is married to Rabbi Aron Aryeh Teller, rosh yeshivah of Lev Tahor.

[LEV TAHOR HORROR: Tales of Beatings and Torture Emerge From Excommunicated Cult Members]

Rebbitzen Teller escaped the cult several months ago, and had been thwarted on several attempts to rescue her children, on one occasion even being attacked by cult members armed with guns, knives and throwing rocks.

Two weeks ago, a massive raid by over 100 heavily armed Guatemalan police was unsuccessful in rescuing the remaining three children as cult leaders had likely moved them out of the compound prior to police arriving outside the compound’s barbed wire fence.

Then, Rabbi Teller and the 3 girls, accompanied by a woman who posed as their mother, were arrested as they attempted to cross the border into Mexico with false passports.

Bechasdei Hashem, Askonim were successful in bringing the children to the United States, joining their mother and three siblings who had arrived the week before.

Tragically, it appears the saga is not over and the Lev Tahor Cult is continuing to inflict horror on the lives of the these children.

YWN has reported extensively on the Lev Tahor cult – with dozens of articles over the years.

Lev Tahor practices include women and girls wearing black head-to-toe coverings day and night, arranged marriages between teenagers, and a violent form of Malkos. Lev Tahor only permits certain fruits and vegetables to be eaten, as well as whole wheat flour made into bread with a stone press.

Former members of Lev Tahor (who either escaped or were otherwise expelled) do not recall learning Mishnayos or Gemara, nor any Mitzvos Bein Adam LeChaveiro. They spend the majority of the day in deep prayer and are only allowed to study certain sections of the Chumash, with Lev Tahor commentary.

Internal documents of Lev Tahor show that Shlomo Helbrans made his followers swear and sign to uphold the following principles among others.

(1) Everyone must negate his or her mind and mind thoroughly and completely, to the leader of Lev Tahor.

2) They must subjugate soul, spirit, and will.

3) Each man accepts upon his descendants and descendant’s descendants until the end of all generations to be subjugated under the will of Lev Tahor’s leader.. this should be said openly to the leader himself.

4) Everyone must be ready at any time and moment of 24 hours of the day, whether on the Shabbath and Yom Tov, summer and winter, healthy or sick, to do the will of the leader.

5) Whether the person is a young man or an old man, virgins and women they must accept to do the will of the leader.

6) They must agree to throw away all his physical needs, including eating sleep and rest until he fulfills the desires the leader.

7) It is the obligation of each of them at the beginning of the morning prayers to recite and accept upon themselves all of the above with full mouth and supreme joy.

Some observers have written that these are signs of a cult. Indeed, this was the position of an author of an article that appeared in Mishpacha Magazine. Others, however, claim that there is nothing cult-like about the movement. Rabbi Yitzchok Frankfurter of Ami Magazine met with Helbrans and assured his readership that it was not a cult, even though a previous Ami article stated that it was.

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 Magzaine 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. 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.”

Originally a citizen of Israel, cult leader Shlomo Helbrans went to the United States where he was convicted for kidnapping in 1994 and served a two-year prison term before being deported to Israel in 2000. He then settled in Canada.

In 1994 he was convicted in Brooklyn for the 1992 kidnapping of 13-year-old Shai Fhima Reuven, a Bar Mitzvah boy he was tutoring, and served a two-year prison term in the U.S. He was originally sentenced to four to 12 years in prison, but in June 1996 an appeals court reduced the sentence to two to six years. Three days later, he was placed in the work release program for prisoners less than two years away from the possibility of parole, where inmates are freed from prison if they have a job. After protests, he was moved back to prison.

The high-profile case drew much attention in the U.S., and gained further attention when Helbrans successfully convinced New York prison authorities to waive their requirement that all prisoners be shaved for a photograph upon entering prison, and to accept a computer-generated image of what he would have looked like clean-shaven instead. After the State Parole Board decided in November 1996 to release Helbrans after two years in prison, the case rose to near scandal with suspicions that the Pataki administration was providing him special treatment.

After his release from prison, Helbrans ran a yeshiva in Monsey, N.Y., and was deported to Israel in 2000. He then settled in Canada, where in 2003 he was granted refugee status, claiming his life was being threatened in Israel.

Helbrans and his followers had arrived in Mexico’s southern Chiapas province after spending three years in Guatemala. They had travelled to Guatemala from Canada, where child-protection authorities were moving to seize children allegedly suffering from neglect.

The group had been established on the outskirts of Sainte-Agathe-des-Monts, north of Montreal, for more than a decade before Quebec authorities began paying close attention. As they prepared to move in to protect children in the sect in late 2013, community members left en masse overnight for Chatham, Ontario. Before the next summer, they had moved on to Guatemala.

Court documents used by Quebec police to obtain warrants alleged that Lev Tahor girls as young as 13 and 14 in the community were routinely married off to much older men. The allegations in the documents, which became public after the sect had fled and were never proven in court, included sexual and physical abuse of children.

(Charles Gross – YWN)




29 COMMENTS

  1. United States of America needs border control for departures as does Israel:- At least there would be some chance of being on the look out for this child being smuggled out of the United States of America.

  2. As an aside, i am wondering about the choice of titles for all the players named in this sick saga. A news story calls them rebbetzin, rabbi, rosh yeshiva…how is this accurate? Who conferred the titles? Possibly, there should be quotation marks surrounding them.

  3. ever wonder who supports these hundreds of people,after all none of them work,? it is non other than that other Israel and Jew hating cult who reside in Kiryas Joel and Williamsburg. no wonder that it was in kiryas Joel that this kidnapping happened,and that is the reason that Frankfurter of Ami has white washed this criminally insane gangster cult ,gangsters and Israel haters stick up for each other

  4. Mrs. D, it is easier to just call them by the titles they hold within their society, even if it isn’t accurate. It’s like calling a reform Rabbi by his title.

  5. ChugiBugi: Really lovely post.

    Did it even dawn on you to think – that these kids only speak Yiddish and the Chasidish lifestyle is probably the easiest one for them to acclimate to? That these families taking in kids are working very hard every step of the way, to try and get them to eat normal foods, convince the girls to go to school and elsewhere without a burka, and of course get much needed therapy? That these Tosch, Kashau and Satmar Chasidim you are so easily denigrating are the ones vehemently opposed to this cult, and have the Middah of Chesed to not just talk the talk, but actually walk the walk?
    I didn’t think you did.

    It’s much easier to lump all 100,000 or so anti-Israel Yidden together together and imitate Goebbels. If you repeat a lie often enough…

  6. Chug,
    “no wonder that it was in kiryas Joel that this kidnapping happened”
    It happened there because that is where they were placed. While you don’t have to agree with their ideology, why blame them on something they have no hand in..

  7. Just put in links to the previous stories.
    STOP MAKING HATE SPEECHES ON KJ JEWS, UNLESS YOU ARE A SELF HATING JEW YOURSELF.
    Any updates?
    make better journalism by using diffent picture,
    this picture is the same all the time, then I think its an old article… change the picture

  8. > chugibugi

    Strange how rumours work. A little web search going back to when the father Helbrans was alive gives statements like “There are rumours that Satmar has put a hit on him.” Hardly sounds like Satmar supports them. But more to point of things I know from here in Canada, the Hasidishe communities (actually, their combined central council) are the ones who called the authorities on him. So that tells me all I need to know both about him and about who clearly does NOT support him.

  9. To Mammele
    I happen to know that the millions of dollars that it took to support this cult year in and year out came mostly from Satmar,because they shared a common ideology and that is a pathological insane hatred towards our God given holy land.
    This Helbrans gangster himself became a Baal-tshuva in his younger years ,and later was drawn towards Satmar and it is there that he was brainwashed with his insane murderous hatred toward anyone who is not an extreme anti zionist.

  10. To Mammele
    I happen to know that the millions of dollars that it took to support this cult year in and year out came mostly from Satmar,because they shared a common ideology and that is a pathological insane hatred towards our God given holy land.
    This Helbrans gangster himself became a Baal-tshuva in his younger years ,and later was drawn towards Satmar and it is there that he was brainwashed with his insane murderous hatred toward anyone who is not an extreme anti zionist.,,,,,,

  11. Jo,
    IF that is the case, the mother will definitely have the rights, especially in this particular case, wherein the children are living in horrific conditions..

  12. Joseph: except that if she was truly married off by her father illegally at age 13 (remember, she’s 14 now) no sane court will grant the father custody.

  13. CB: I’m not going to keep on arguing with you on this, but you’re way off target. IF there were a FEW Satmar AFFILIATED supporters, which is questionable, there about 100,000 Satmar affiliated people that ARE AGAINST HELBRANS & HIS HENCHMEN.

    Some of those people actively support those that left or want to leave the cult.

    You have lumped them all together. I can similarily claim that because you obviously support Zionism, you are responsible for Yaldei Teiman being abducted by the State in its infancy.

    Shlomo Helbrans was simply a power hungry mad-man whose true colors weren’t known at first. He used his anti-Zionism to attract the disillusioned, and then tortured THESE SAME ANTI-ZIONIST FOLLOWERS. The current leaders are following the same path.

    He may have also used the anti-Zionism angle as a ploy in his fund-raising, because honestly, Satmar Chasidim are known for their generosity. And some may have been naive and fallen for his “charm”. But by taking this to the next level and claiming those Chasidim now helping kids escape are responsible for their original plight you have lost all credibility.

  14. Mammele,,have you a problem with reading and comprehending the English language ? did i ever claim that all of Satmar supported this monster Helbrans,just stated the fact that some Satmar philanthropists bankrolled this cult because they felt a kinship with these animals because they had a common enemy Medinas Yisroel.

  15. CB: my reading comprehension is fine.

    Quoted is part of what you wrote “ever wonder who supports these hundreds of people,after all none of them work,? it is non other than that other Israel and Jew hating cult who reside in Kiryas Joel and Williamsburg. no wonder that it was in kiryas Joel that this kidnapping happened,”

    So when you insinuate that Satmar is a cult, and THAT THE REASON THIS GIRL WAS KIDNAPPED SPECIFICALLY FROM KJ (from people obviously against Helbrans) is because of their common hatred of Israel and Jews, you don’t leave much room for error about your misguided assumptions.

  16. chugibugi, you said that you know that most money to support this cult “came out mostly FROM Satmer”. THAT is blaming Satmer and not individuals. Don’t blame others for the supposed “miscromprehending” of you words.

    The INDIVIDUALS, who supported Lev Tahor did it because they were naive and thought the group was being persecuted by “anti-Semites”, they did not help out because Lev Tahor is anti-Zioni.

    There are Satmer families who are mourning the lose of a daughter or son, and consequentially grandchildren, to this cult.

    When you say Satmer, you are talking about Satmer, you are not talking about individuals.

  17. satmar never allowed appeals for these wackos , it is true during the yishai fima trial many gedolim defended him and were fooled by his followers , eli teitelbaum is the one who blew the cover open

  18. A cherry bowl can have one or two single rotten ones. If someone Satmar supported, they should immediately ask a Rov how much double or triple hey should donate towards healing and fixing this.