Message Font: Serif | Sans-Serif
 
No. of Recommendations: 0
Warning!
This story has some very disturbing elements to it. So disturbing that I was brought to tears, and even now, just writing about it, I find myself crying again.

Here's a PG-rated summary:
So-called haredi "Rabbi" Elior Chen is suspected of leading a cult (in Israel) that believed that torturing children would remove the "devil" from them. Israeli authorities have arrested some of the parents involved, but Chen and one of his followers have fled to Canada.

Israel is now seeking extradition.

If you have a strong stomach, I refer you to these other news sources.

Again, let me warn you that the tortures are quite horrific. (To put it in perspective, the details describe tortures far worse than anything that's gone on at Guantanamo Bay detention camp; some children have been hospitalized, and at least one has permanent brain damage.)

There's been quite a bit of coverage in the mainstream Canadian Press: http://news.google.com/news?q=Rabbi+Elior+Chen

I was first alerted to the story through this message from Naomi Ragen's mailing list: http://archive.mail-list.com/naomiragen/msg01480.html
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
What a horrible story....capital punishment is too good for this scum.

silencer
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 5
These people, all of them, need to be destroyed*. The kids need to be immediately removed from that environment, and be placed far away from anyone that had anything to do with these people. And all the people that enabled such abuse need to be locked up forever.

* I mean death, as quickly as possible, this is avoda zarah on the level of worshiping Molech.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
How were people persuaded to follow this guy?
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 1
awful, hope they find the guy.


are these folks really Jews, or are they non-Jews who are not?

not that it matters, they deserve the harshest punishments if the allegations are true.


Dov
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
How were people persuaded to follow this guy?

I don't know… perhaps he's very charismatic, and sincere in his beliefs. (In which case he is, perhaps, psychotic. But that still doesn't forgive the parents in my mind.)

Years ago I recall someone* try and explain the difference between a legitimate religion and a cult. He said that if you questioned a legit Orthodox Rabbi, for example, about his teachings, he would be happy for you to ask other Orthodox rabbis, for you would quickly find they all agreed. In contrast, any "religious" leader who tells you that he alone knows G-ds will is running a cult.

A legit leader shouldn't be asking you to keep secrets (which this guy almost certainly did), nor should he be threatened by your consulting others.

* I think it was Mark Powers, then the National Director of the anti-cult and counter-missionary group Jews for Judaism. But my memory could be wrong.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Israel is now seeking extradition.

Are you sure? I very much doubt that any formal request has been made. Even the abusive parents are still under investigation and have not been charged with a crime.

By the way, to those jumping to say that such people should be "eliminated" and so forth, don't jump too fast. In this case, for example, the father hasn't even been accused of anything, other than being a weakling who couldn't stand up to his wife. Should he be arrested? Should the children be removed from his custody? A child who is given to foster care or adoption often ends up suffering even more emotionally and being ruined for life. There are no easy answers.

As to how a mother could act in this awful manner. The answer usually involves dark secrets of physical, mental, and sexual abuse in her own past.

Elan
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I wrote, Israel is now seeking extradition.

Elan asked, Are you sure?

I'm sure that's what's being reported.

Israel seeks extradition of rabbi from Canada


Officials in Israel have issued an international arrest warrant for a rabbi who is believed to be in Canada…

Journals seized by authorities investigating the case have suggested that Chen's followers do not call him by name, but instead refer to him as "His Honour the King of the Messiah."

Source: http://www.ctv.ca/servlet/ArticleNews/story/CTVNews/20080408/rabbi_warrant_080408/20080408?hub=World

Also this:
Police in Israel are seeking the extradition of a rabbi who fled to Canada …
Source: http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=428902

And this:
Israeli officials have issued an international warrant for the arrest of Rabbi Elior Chen, and were planning to ask Canada to extradite him…

For days, Israel's media have been filled with the gruesome details of the case…

Chris Girouard, a spokesman for the Canadian Justice Department, confirmed yesterday that Canada has a bilateral extradition treaty with Israel.

Source: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080408.CULT08/TPStory/TPInternational/Africa/

All I know is what's reported; Elan, since that article says it's been widely covered in the Israeli media, perhaps you can look there for more info? Or try searching http://news.google.com/

I'm sorry, but I won't be responding to any more questions about this. I just can't keep writing on this topic. It's making me physically ill. (That is not hyperbole.)
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Hmm, if he comes to my shul, He'll get some of the treatment he administered to those defenseless children, Then after some time, I will call the authorities to pick him up.

What a piece of vile scum.

Mark
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
Elan asked, Are you sure?

I'm sure that's what's being reported.


Okay, fair enough. I just hadn't heard that an official warrant has been issued.

Elan, since that article says it's been widely covered in the Israeli media, perhaps you can look there for more info?

Yes, you don't know how widely. Since one abuse story came out perhaps a couple of weeks ago, there has been a slew of such stories. They are all over the news. It seems that the publicity has brought police and child protective services in Israel to respond much more aggressively. Cases that were largely ignored, some for years, have suddenly been exposed publicly with the police making arrests and the media going into a frenzy. It seems that every police precinct is now trying to find its own cases to get the publicity, which will be to the benefit of many abused children.

But maybe it will die down soon, because a new tent went up today at the Israeli media circus. Moshe Katzav, Israel's former president, came before the court today and rejected his own plea agreement in his sexual abuse trial. He will probably be formally charged with rape in the coming weeks.

Elan
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0

Are you sure? I very much doubt that any formal request has been made. Even the abusive parents are still under investigation and have not been charged with a crime.


I Saw the story on Haaretz or Jpost ( or it could be Yediot) but it is true.

Mark
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
Are you sure? I very much doubt that any formal request has been made. Even the abusive parents are still under investigation and have not been charged with a crime.

The news reports I saw stated that an extradition request is in progress. Here's one -

http://www.upi.com/NewsTrack/Top_News/2008/04/08/israel_seeks_radical_rabbi_from_canada/7461/

By the way, to those jumping to say that such people should be "eliminated" and so forth, don't jump too fast.

When a kid is in the hospital in a coma, then yes, I think we should jump as fast as possible.

In this case, for example, the father hasn't even been accused of anything, other than being a weakling who couldn't stand up to his wife. Should he be arrested?

Yes. And held pending investigation.

Should the children be removed from his custody?

Yes, YES, YES.

A child who is given to foster care or adoption often ends up suffering even more emotionally and being ruined for life.

Yes unfortunately. But certainly ends up better than left in a coma in the hospital.

There are no easy answers.

That's true. Only difficult questions - like "How could a parent possibly allow such a thing to happen to their children?"
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 2
In this case, for example, the father hasn't even been accused of anything, other than being a weakling who couldn't stand up to his wife. Should he be arrested?

Yes. And held pending investigation.

Should the children be removed from his custody?

Yes, YES, YES.



The father was interrogated and released with no charge. Fortunately he is home now to take care of the children. One thing that hasn't been mentioned here. The father had been separated from his wife recently. He was away from home when the children were abused, and two other men had moved into the home at "rabbi" Chen's direction to help the mother "discipline" the children.

People who react emotionally without knowing or caring about the facts are the reason there are lynch mobs.

Elan
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 3
The father was interrogated and released with no charge. Fortunately he is home now to take care of the children. One thing that hasn't been mentioned here. The father had been separated from his wife recently. He was away from home when the children were abused, and two other men had moved into the home at "rabbi" Chen's direction to help the mother "discipline" the children.

People who react emotionally without knowing or caring about the facts are the reason there are lynch mobs.


Who said anything about lynch mobs? The first thing that needs to be done in a case of severe child abuse is to separate the kids from the people who may have harmed them or will continue to harm them. Then, after initial investigation, if either of the parents (or other close relatives) is determined to be safe for the children, then the kids can be remanded to their custody. Exactly as was done in this case.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
The abusive mother is being released and put under supervised house arrest away from her home. The release has been postponed, however, to give the DA a chance to appeal the lower court's decision before the supreme court tomorrow.

Elan
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
The abusive mother is being released and put under supervised house arrest away from her home. The release has been postponed, however, to give the DA a chance to appeal the lower court's decision before the supreme court tomorrow.

The supreme court has ordered that she remain under arrest for now.

Populism wins.

Elan
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
<<The abusive mother is being released and put under supervised house arrest away from her home. The release has been postponed, however, to give the DA a chance to appeal the lower court's decision before the supreme court tomorrow.>>

The supreme court has ordered that she remain under arrest for now.

Populism wins.


I thought it was the Supreme Court that ruled in this case, and not populism.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
The supreme court has ordered that she remain under arrest for now.

Populism wins.

I thought it was the Supreme Court that ruled in this case, and not populism.


I meant that the Israeli courts seem too often to be influenced by public opinion, and I think this is such a case.

If a person isn't a flight risk and does not pose a danger to others or themselves, and is not likely to hinder the investigation, there is no reason to keep them under arrest. No matter how ugly the alleged crime.

U.S. courts are pretty good at following those rules and releasing people on bail even when they are accused of serious crimes. Israeli courts too often keep people locked up before their trials, for long periods, with no real justification.

Elan
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
<<I thought it was the Supreme Court that ruled in this case, and not populism.>>

I meant that the Israeli courts seem too often to be influenced by public opinion, and I think this is such a case.


It's a funny thing, Supreme Courts often rule in the direction of populism. Interestingly enough, populist supporters of one side of the issue are just as often perturbed (or satisfied as the case may be) as the populist supporters of the other side of the issue. I guess that is due to the fact that Supreme Courts can generally only decide in one direction or another. Supreme Courts have just as often ruled in ways that perturbed the "law and order" populists.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
<<I thought it was the Supreme Court that ruled in this case, and not populism.>>

I meant that the Israeli courts seem too often to be influenced by public opinion, and I think this is such a case.

It's a funny thing, Supreme Courts often rule in the direction of populism. Interestingly enough, populist supporters of one side of the issue are just as often perturbed (or satisfied as the case may be) as the populist supporters of the other side of the issue. I guess that is due to the fact that Supreme Courts can generally only decide in one direction or another. Supreme Courts have just as often ruled in ways that perturbed the "law and order" populists.


I'm not referring to highly charged political issues, such as the 2000 election you may have thought about as you wrote this. I'm thinking about the straight forward and fundamental protection of habeas corpus against a lynch mob mentality.

Elan
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I'm not referring to highly charged political issues, such as the 2000 election you may have thought about as you wrote this. I'm thinking about the straight forward and fundamental protection of habeas corpus against a lynch mob mentality.

No, I was thinking of cases in which the courts have released accused criminals. I don't think it is beyond the pale to keep this woman locked up for now, I would think that there is a non-zero probability that she might attempt to kidnap the children and spirit them out of the country somehow.
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
I would think that there is a non-zero probability that she might attempt to kidnap the children and spirit them out of the country somehow.

Non-zero is not an appropriate test. 0.0000001% is non-zero. There is no reasonable chance that she would do so. She has neither the means to do so, financially or in terms of access to the kids, nor the demeanor to do so. How would she get on a plane undetected with seven layers of black robes hiding her whole body and face?

If you wanted to make excuses for holding her, I imagine that claiming she would obstruct the investigation by hiding evidence or influencing witnesses would be a better excuse. But the fact is, there is no legal justification for holding her.

Elan
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
<<I would think that there is a non-zero probability that she might attempt to kidnap the children and spirit them out of the country somehow.>>

Non-zero is not an appropriate test. 0.0000001% is non-zero. There is no reasonable chance that she would do so. She has neither the means to do so, financially or in terms of access to the kids, nor the demeanor to do so. How would she get on a plane undetected with seven layers of black robes hiding her whole body and face?


No, but once gaining access to the kids, it would be relatively easy to pass them off as someone else's kid, using that other kids passport to get them out of the country. The passport control folks have a difficult enough time already verifying faces on passport pictures, now imagine them telling the difference between similar sized, similar looking kids with a short cropped haircut with the ubiquitous long peyot!

If you wanted to make excuses for holding her, I imagine that claiming she would obstruct the investigation by hiding evidence or influencing witnesses would be a better excuse. But the fact is, there is no legal justification for holding her.

The Supreme Court ruled otherwise, and I have to assume that they have access to more information than either of us have. Are you suggesting that Elan be the supreme judge of such things instead? :-)
Print the post Back To Top
No. of Recommendations: 0
No, but once gaining access to the kids, it would be relatively easy to pass them off as someone else's kid, using that other kids passport to get them out of the country. The passport control folks have a difficult enough time already verifying faces on passport pictures, now imagine them telling the difference between similar sized, similar looking kids with a short cropped haircut with the ubiquitous long peyot!

The children are in foster care. If the mother is moved to house arrest she will have no access to them. You're trying to build a straw man.

The Supreme Court ruled otherwise, and I have to assume that they have access to more information than either of us have. Are you suggesting that Elan be the supreme judge of such things instead? :-)

The supreme court has plenty of leeway in its decisions, and I think it's allowing itself to be influenced by public opinion in this case. Rather than err on the side of an accused who must be presumed innocent and kept free in the absence of a real danger, they are punishing the individual before trial.

Elan
Print the post Back To Top