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:
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