The extremist Jewish ultra-Orthodox “Lev Tahor” sect of some several hundred people living in Guatemala requested asylum from Iran, The Yeshiva World News (YWN) reported on Saturday night.
In a trove of documents found and filed on Thursday to the US Federal Court by YWN, one batch of documents reveals that the anti-Zionist cult pledged their loyalty to the “Supreme Leader and Government of the Islamic Republic of Iran” and requested “asylum, protection and religious freedom of the families of its loyal members in Cheshek Shlomo community.”
Other documents obtained by YWN shed light on some of the following principles held by Lev Tahor: “Everyone must negate his or her mind… completely, to the leader of Lev Tahor; They must subjugate soul, spirit, and will,” and so forth.
Members of the sect fled Canada en masse in 2014 after the country’s authorities began paying attention to the minute community over concerns of child abuse.
Currently, five members of the cult await trial in the US, facing charges of organizing the kidnapping on December 8 in 2018 of a 14-year-old girl and her brother, 12, in the village of Woodridge, about 90 miles north of New York. YWN has regularly reported that violent beatings, abuse, and rampant pedophilia were still common within Lev Tahor.
Lev Tahor was founded and led by Israeli-born Shlomo Helbrans, from the 80s until his reported drowning death in Mexico in 2017. Since then, the leadership has moved into the hands of his son Nachman Helbrans and other members, believed to be even more extreme than its original founder.
In early September, a crew from Hebrew-language broadcaster Channel 12 flew to Guatemala to document the cult but was violently attacked by dozens of its members. They were reportedly rescued by local police who rushed them to the hospital.