Many more children in Lev Tahor cult could definitely be at risk
The head of the youth protection agency in Quebec that first gained access to the Jewish sect Lev Tahor is frustrated that children’s services in Ontario have not acted on Quebec court orders for more than 100 children in that community, CBC’s the fifth estate has learned.I think Doig is foolish not to worry about the children in their entirety. There's every chance even other children in the cult were abused - both physically and psychologically - by the overlords and parents. But maybe the following could explain something:
While an Ontario judge has upheld a Quebec court order to place 13 Lev Tahor children in temporary foster care, Denis Baraby, the director of Quebec’s youth protection services Laurentian branch, told the fifth estate that his agency is concerned for more than just those children.
After Lev Tahor left Quebec, Baraby said youth protection authorities went to court and obtained orders to bring all the children in the community before a judge to determine if they are at risk. He said there were 128 orders in total. [...]
Baraby told the fifth estate’s Gillian Findlay that Quebec authorities handed over the court orders to their colleagues at the Chatham-Kent Children’s Services, expecting they would take them to an Ontario judge to enforce them. He does not understand why that has not happened.
“Frustrated, yes frustrated,” he told Findlay. “They [Chatham-Kent Children’s Services workers] had been in the community, they saw what was going on.
“Things were bothering [them], and yet there is no more action regarding the remaining children. So there is something we have difficulty comprehending.”
The executive director of Chatham-Kent’s Children’s Services, Stephen Doig, told the fifth estate that his organization is not legally obliged to act on the Quebec orders, as laws are different between the provinces. He said children’s services will wait to see what ultimately happens to the case of the 14 children that is already before an Ontario court. A decision is expected Monday.
Doig said his agency is not actively monitoring all the children in Lev Tahor, but he said if there are concerns reported, children’s services will visit the home and do an assessment.
Baraby said that Lev Tahor members might be presenting Ontario officials with a different view of their community. For example, Baraby says that in media reports, he’s seen the children playing with new toys that they didn’t have in Quebec.No doubt about that. The cult is clearly trying to disguise its earlier MO with a facade, but the authorities shouldn't let that get in their way. Besides, one of the worst forms of abuse against the girls in the cult was forcing them to wear niqabs.
“They’ve learned from their mistakes in Quebec, so things appear to be better in Chatham,” Baraby says. “If they are, you know it's going to be beneficial for the children because we know that they're seeing toys.
“I think we have all been manipulated by the community, even us.”
As for the members who went to Guatemala, here's why:
The Lev Tahor members told Findlay they randomly chose Guatemala as their destination. However, that country may offer them a legal haven.Boy, Guatemala sure doesn't have a very good political system, do they. And they clearly don't have much morale if they allow underaged marriages. But good to know the head honcho was collared and sent back to Canada after a potential jailbreak.
In Quebec, some of the allegations against Lev Tahor include marriage of girls as young as 14, and not following the provincial curriculum. In Guatemala, the legal age for marriage is 14 and there is no required educational curriculum.
The fifth estate learned that last month, Guatemalan authorities were warned that more members of Lev Tahor might be on their way to that country.
That warning came the same day the fifth estate learned that Lev Tahor’s leader, Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, was detained in the Heathrow airport in London and sent back to Canada.
Some possible good news is that there's secret court orders preventing the children from leaving Canada:
More than 100 Lev Tahor children have effectively become prisoners of this country as a result of secret court orders that prevent them from obtaining passports and crossing international borders.No, it's not. Besides, some of those parents could be just as crazy as Helbrans, and therefore unsuited to the task of caretaking. Some lawyers sure are apologists for victimologists.
Guidy Mamann, an immigration lawyer who is representing the ultra-orthodox Jewish group, said the existence of the judicial orders was discovered when some Canadian-born children were denied passports. Their parents are temporary residents in Canada and would therefore be free to leave the country.
“Some of the families said, ‘You know what, we’re not going to apply for (residency) extensions. This is getting crazy — we just want to go,” Mamann told the Star in a telephone interview. “We’re not talking about running; we’re talking about these families do not have permanent status in Canada — they have temporary status. What is being proposed? That they leave their kids here? It’s crazy.”
A spokesperson for the director of youth protection for the Laurentians region of Quebec said the warrants for every single child in the Lev Tahor community were obtained in the days after they fled Quebec for Chatham-Kent, Ont. — a departure that was prompted by a fight over the community’s home-schooling regime as well as an approaching court case that risked seeing 14 children from two families taken into temporary foster care.Well there you have it, that's why the court orders, and for the right reasons. Because of the cult's dishonesty and lawbreaking, that's one more reason why the courts wouldn't allow a Passover visit for some children:
An Ontario Court of Justice judge has denied a request for two Lev Tahor children to spend Passover with members of the community, citing a concern over flight risk raised by the lawyer for Chatham-Kent Children’s Services.They really shouldn't. The cult and its sympathisers even tried to influence the rulings by posting articles about it in the judge's mailbox. They don't deserve the monetary support of the authorities.
William Sullivan, the lawyer representing two children who were apprehended and placed in foster care, said the family of Mayer Rosner, a community leader in the controversial ultra-orthodox Jewish sect, was willing to host them for three days during Passover.
“They are prepared to come here, participate in Passover, and if ordered, to return,” said Sullivan of the two children. “I said to my children clients when I saw them on Sunday, I said I want you to be the engineers of building this small bridge. I want you to, if this court was to permit you, to come to Chatham to spend Passover on the days that I’ve mentioned … to show the court that you will respect it.”
But Loree Hodgson-Harris, lawyer for CKCS, alleged Rosner played a role in the flight of the families that prompted the emergency order.
“Mayer Rosner is one of the community leaders that the society has concerns with,” said Hodgson-Harris, who said she was not given enough time to fully respond to the request. “The circumstances of this case involve parents fleeing the jurisdiction in the face of a court order. The evidence will be that it was with the assistance of the community leaders and in particular Mayer Rosner. The long and the short of it is that it’s much more complicated than the girls spending a few days in the community.”
Justice Lucy Glenn ruled that the two children could have access to the other children in care in Toronto and visits from their parents, but would not be returned to the community for Passover.
Glenn also ordered that the parents of the children be allowed eight hours per week of supervised visits. Chatham-Kent Children’s Services agreed to pay part of the cost required for the parents to travel to Toronto where the children are in care.