Ultra-orthodox Jewish cult raided in Guatemala: Lev Tahor wanted for child abuse

Cult leader Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans.    Photo: Canadian Television


Guatemala cops raid Jewish cult Lev Tahor wanted for abusing children  14/09/16

Unconfirmed reports say police took children away from parents, and that Israeli officials were present at the raid on the Lev Tahor community.

After having been forced to abandon Israel, the United States and Canada amid accusations of child abuse, the radical ultra-Orthodox Lev Tahor sect is now under investigation in Guatemala, where it has been based for the past two years.

Guatemalan media reported that police had conducted a raid lasting several hours on the village where over 200 Lev Tahor members live. One unconfirmed report said children were taken away from their parents, and another said that Israeli officials were present during the raid. The Foreign Ministry said in a press statement last night that Israel was cooperating with Guatemalan authorities. The Guatemalan authorities recently decided to investigate members of the community on suspicion that serious criminal offenses, including against minors, are being committed in the compound where they live,” the statement said. “The relevant Israeli authorities are in direct contact with the Guatemalan authorities and are following developments closely in order to ensure the welfare of Israeli citizens, most of them minors, who are in the Lev Tahor community’s compound in Guatemala.”

The community is headed by Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, an Israeli who fled the country with a group of his disciples in 1990. For the past 15 years, most of the community has been wandering around North and South America, most recently in Guatemala. But the sect also has members in Jerusalem and Beit Shemesh.

Relatives of Lev Tahor members have testified in recent years that Helbrans and his senior disciples use extreme, violent methods to retain control over the community, including abuse, corporal punishment of children, use of psychiatric drugs, kidnapping children from their parents and forcing young girls to marry older men. In Canada, these suspicions resulted in criminal proceedings against some community members, and several children were taken from their parents.  SOURCE 

  1. Lev Tahor face new round of legal action in Guatemala   14 Sep 2016
  2. Guatemalan Officials Raid Jewish Cult Lev Tahor   15 Sep 2016
  3. Ultra-orthodox Jewish cult raided in Guatemala over suspected child abuse
  4. Ultra-Orthodox Jewish sect that fled Canada raided by Guatemalan police over child abuse concerns
  5. Guatemalan authorities raid fringe ‘Lev Tahor’ sect


  1. What Is The Lev Tahor Cult?
  2. Child protection investigation Lev Tahor  wiki

Lev Tahor Documentary Part 1   {English subtitles}     47 mins    Hannah Katsman 

Click on captions icon to see subtitles.

Amnon Levi interviews Aryeh Laver, a 21-year-old Israeli whose mother joined the extreme Jewish group, Lev Tahor, then living in Ste-Agathe-des-Monts, Quebec, Canada. According to accounts of former members, the group practices underage marriage, corporal punishment, semi-starvation, and mind control with psychiatric medication. The show aired in November, 2012.
Since the show aired, five children of an ex-member have been removed. On November 27, 2013, Montreal judge Pierre Hamel ruled that 14 additional children should also be removed. In advance of the ruling, the group moved to Chatham-Kent, Ontario, claiming that they were being forced to teach subjects that conflict with their religious beliefs. Ontario has not upheld the Quebec ruling but a hearing is scheduled for January 10, 2014

Lev Tahor Documentary Part 2  {English Subtitles}    42 mins   Hannah Katsman 

Click on captions icon to see subtitles.

Full Episode: Lev Tahor   22 Feb 2014  16x9onglobal 

In this episode of 16×9: Chief Correspondent, Carolyn Jarvis travels to Lev Tahor — an Ultra Orthodox Jewish Sect in Chatham-Kent, Ontario — where 16×9 was granted unprecedented access. For a week we documented their culture and traditions, and bring you a candid look at what Lev Tahor is all about. For more info, please go to www.global16x9.com.