The First Substantial Report about Lev Tahor in Guatemala is Scary

Hannah Katsman’s blog, A Mother in Israel, has just posted the first substantial description of Lev Tahor in Guatemala. The post, Squalid, Dangerous Conditions of Lev Tahor Children in Guatemala, is written by Oded Twik (or Tuik) a brother and uncle of Lev Tahor members who Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans sent to Guatemala to evade Canadian justice. The post starts with a call on Canadian and Israeli authorities to act to protect their nationals victims of this vicious cult. It is followed by a narrative report of Oded’s one-month visit to Guatemala to seek out his family and try to help them.

Below is that post/press release and a link to an Appendix with a detailed description of conditions in Guatemala and his interactions with Lev Tahor. The conditions are scary. They live with no running water, sleep on the floor, are cut off from the outside, and a mother recently gave birth on the floor of a hut. Members appear even more subdued and drugged than in Canada.

Statement by Oded Twik on Behalf of
All Family Members of Lev Tahor in Israel:

Oded Twik, Brother and Uncle of Lev Tahor Members

Oded Twik, Brother and Uncle of Lev Tahor Members

I, Oded Twik, recently visited my sister, a member of Lev Tahor, in Guatemala. The following is based on my first-hand observations, which are outlined in the appendix below.

The families of those injured by the Lev Tahor cult have been warning Canada for the last three years that our family members are in danger from the cult and their leader who controls their lives and those of their children.

These children were born in Canada and four have Canadian citizenship. Canada is responsible for them.  We demand that the Government of Canada meet its obligation to protect these children.

Recently Canada failed to prevent my sister and her six children, on the instructions of Shlomo Helbrans, to flee to Guatemala in violation of a court order.  These children are in imminent danger.

The gravity of the situation for these children, and the threat to their safety, increases daily. The international media stationed in Guatemala City, who are in contact with my sister, have informed me that on the evening of May 5, 2014, a group of local Mayans attacked, with rocks, the house where the members of Lev Tahor currently live. Members of Lev Tahor called the police, who have been guarding them. According to the most recent report, the tension remains very high and the families have not been able to leave the house in several days. We greatly fear for the safety of the community, and the children in particular. Two of these children are infants, including a newborn.

Therefore, we request the Government of Canada to immediately act and arrange for the return of these children to Canada. The concern for these children is reflected by the decisions of the Canadian courts that child welfare officials undertake ongoing monitoring of the children of Lev Tahor and conditions within their community. The children need to be returned immediately to Canada.

All children within this cult are helpless against its leadership, especially Shlomo Helbrans, who misrepresented himself in order to be able to remain in Canada.

The physical abuse of our family members is his legacy.

Click below for the Appendix

APPENDIX: Observations by Oded Twik, Brother of a Lev Tahor Member, of His Recent Trip to Guatemala



11 thoughts on “The First Substantial Report about Lev Tahor in Guatemala is Scary

  1. But I thought the editor of AMI magazine said that the leader is a tzaddik and to bring to light the sorts of allegations made here is nothing less than loshon hora! How can we possibly believe that anyone with a black suit, black hat, and beard could be a cult leader? It must be that all those who got out and are telling people scary stories are part of one big, vast conspiracy to harm this tzaddik, and I’m glad a first-rate investigative reporter from Brooklyn figured this out, to spare the rest of us and save us from loshon hora

  2. lashon Hara is nothing compared with all this lies of the supose concern brother has, he is only looking for 15 minutes of fame or maybe all the money that the international help can give him. how can you ever think that in guatemala there is no hospital, we are civilized people please dont believe in all this lies he is only looking for fame.

    • Ingrid L Santos,

      Oded Twik’s trip cost him a lot in lost earning time and other expenses and was motivated by his concern for his sister, her children, and others in the clutches of Lev Tahor. Yes he wants to draw attention to their plight. No, he is not doing it for any personal wish for attention to himself. He is otherwise, not a public personality, that is not his ambition. If he could be assured of the safety and wellbeing of everyone under the thumb of Helbrans, he would be happy to retire back to being a private citizen.

      Of course Guatemala has hospitals. The point is that somehow, this delivery ended up happening outside a hospital without even the resources and preparation for a proper home delivery or proper home conditions.

      Ingrid L. Santos, You speak about lashon horah but do you realize that Jewish law is explicit that sometimes there is not just permission but an obligation to report unpleasant but true facts about others when necessary to protect people from harm. The bliblical verse that starts out admonishing against tale-bearing ends by admonishing, “Do not stand by idly on the blood of your friend.”

  3. I’m graduating from medical school next year in the main university of Guatemala. If you need any advice on any issue pertaining health and disease I’m available. Let me know! Je parle français aussi!

  4. I’m finishing medical school this year in Guatemala City. I’m available if you happen to need any advice relating to health or disease. Let me know.

See Commenting policy ( )

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s