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Wednesday, November 25, 2015 

New Square's ban on technology for parents

The Journal News recently wrote about how the Haredi enclave of New Square, specially named for the Skverer clan that overlords it, has been imposing special bans against technology for parents enrolling their children in their one school:
Each year, when registering their children for private school, parents in the all-Hasidic village of New Square must agree in writing to follow a detailed list of very specific rules — or risk the expulsion of their children from the only school in town.

For example, mothers are banned from driving, and they must shave their heads and wear only clothing that extends at least 5 or 6 inches below the knee. The far more abbreviated list of rules for fathers requires them to pray regularly with a quorum and refrain from cutting their beards.
But this year, the overlords introduced at least 3 more rules:
Mothers are prohibited from using smartphones — even for business purposes.
Mothers and fathers must cease using WhatsApp, a popular smartphone messaging application.
As announced last month on a large flier taped to the village's synagogue wall — no one may use cellphones without web filters.
This doesn't surprise me. It figures Haredi clans like these would decide in time to forbid the use of internet tech, and even newspapers that don't belong to them.
Authorities posted the notice after it was discovered that some adults were keeping second, unfiltered phones in addition to their approved "kosher" ones.

The rules are the ultra-Orthodox sect's latest attempt to keep the Internet out of the hands and minds of its followers for fear that exposure to the secular world will lead to moral decay and community disintegration. Radios, televisions, Internet connections and newspapers are also banned in the small Rockland County village. Guided by the community's spiritual leader, Rebbe David Twersky, followers, known as Skverers, strive toward the Hasidic ideal of living a hallowed life, in which even the most mundane action is sanctified.
No, it's the latest attempt to destroy the minds of so many people and turn their lives into pure waste. In fact, it's their way of destroying all meaning the Torah has.
Though the community is small, it is growing very fast and contributes thousands of private-school students to the cash-strapped East Ramapo school district, which has struggled to balance the needs of public and private schools. And New Square's extremism —- particularly when it comes to cutting off women's access to information and transportation —- is troubling to defenders of civil liberties.

"If private citizens are asking people to voluntarily pledge to this kind of commitment, it would, in my opinion, be antithetical to principles and values of America," said Norman Siegel, the former executive director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. "There should be an open, robust debate about whether this approach is consistent with what America and New York state are supposed to be about."
Indeed, it's throughly contemptuous of everything the Constitution was meant to stand for. All the Skverer have done is make clear they have no gratitude for the freedoms and protections America offers for human rights and such. IMO, there should be a legal motion filed to demand the overlords cease this mental abuse of their flock, and public condemnations of the Skverer would be of great help too.

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