“People are going to get the impression that they’re fleeing Canada or something, which is nonsense. They are here as temporary residents only. They don’t have the right to live in Canada permanently. They are required to leave the country.”
Haredi Cult Didn’t Really "Flee" Canada, Attorney Says
Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com
When the haredi Lev Tahor cult fled in the middle of the night to Guatemala from rural Chatham-Kent, Ontario last month, many locals were surprised – even though the cult has a history of violating court orders and immigration law, and of fleeing everywhere they have ever lived.
Late last year, the cult fled attempts by government child protection In the Province of Quebec to protect the cult’s children from alleged child abuse and neglect. Members of the cult violated a court order and fled Canada for Guatemala several months ago. Some were caught in Trinidad and sent back to Canada. Another was caught in Western Canada before she could fly to the Central American country. The rest set up shop in rual Guatemala and waited for Helbrans and the rest of the cult to join them. Late last month, they did.
But the cult’s attorney claims there was no flight – even though the all but a few members of the cult departed for Guatemala in the middle of the night with no warning to landlords or local officials – because most were not Canadian citizens anyway.
“Guatemala is a country that has received them. They seem to be ok there. It doesn’t have the comforts of Canada, but then again Canada is not offering any permanent solution for these people anyway. Most of the families are planning to stay with the group. We can’t obtain any kind of group immigration, there’s no such thing in Canada. Few of them would actually qualify for Canada’s strict immigration criteria so they’re relocating elsewhere until they find a permanent place where they can continue living their lives together.
“People are going to get the impression that they’re fleeing Canada or something, which is nonsense. They are here as temporary residents only. They don’t have the right to live in Canada permanently. They are required to leave the country,” Guidy Mamann, Lev Tahor’s Immigration Lawyer, told Blackburn News.
Mamann had previously said there was no risk of Lev Tahor fleeing.
The cult – which reportedly practices unerage marriage and regular psychological and emotional abuse of members and abuse and neglect of children – is now living in a village in rural Guatemala, some allegedly in a dirt-floor shack.
The cult’s leader, Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, is a convicted felon who served time in the US for kidnapping a young Jewish boy into his cult.