Police arrest 9 suspected Jerusalem cult members

Alleged cult leader, family members are suspected of witness intimidation and intent to commit a crime.

The Jerusalem Post/February 6, 2012

Police arrested nine people Monday suspected of being members of a Jerusalem cult. The man suspected of leading the cult and two of his helpers, who had been arrested in August on suspicion of sexual and emotional abuse of the women and children in the cult, were re-arrested along with an additional six on suspicion of intimidating witnesses and intent to commit a crime.

The man suspected of heading of the cult had rented a number of buildings in the North and had supplied the witnesses in his original trial with food and necessities, with the intention of keeping them there for the trial's duration.

According to police, they were planning on moving some of the witnesses to the buildings located in the Yavniel Yishuv in the coming days. Those arrested included: the suspected cult leader, two of his assistants, two of his wives, three of his sons and one of his daughters.

"They tried to invent things that weren't there. They're trying to destroy a family from the roots. They said we are a cult; we are not a cult," said Rachel, who was adopted into the family and married one of the leader's sons.

"I've known him (the leader) for 13 years. He took care of me like a daughter. He is the best dad that ever lived," she added. Rachel gave birth to a baby girl eight days ago. Her husband was among those arrested.

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