Thursday, March 19, 2015

Nachlaot: Panic in Jerusalem: Parents in a tight-knit neighborhood believe a pedophile ring is terrorizing children. What if it doesn’t exist?

Please reread the transcript of Rabbi Berkovitz talk about satanic abuse in Sanhedria Murchevet - then read this article regarding the allegations of satanic abuse in Nachlaot. Sounds familiar doesn't it. It is also interesting that Rav Berkowitz thought the allegations in Nachlaot were too unbelievable to be true - until he started hearing the same unbelievable allegations in his neighborhood.

 BTW does anyone know who is Rav Berkovitz's relying on for his views and understanding? Any relationship to those who were involved in Nachlaot?  Please note that of all the hundreds of charges of satantic child abuse and all the trials and even convinctions - all have been thrown after being reconsidered

Of interest I received a call today from someone who politely asked me to take down the recording of Rav Berkovitz as well as the transcript. I told him if he can convince Rav Sternbuch that they need to be taken down - I would be willing to comply - otherwise they stay.

The neighborhood of Nahlaot in Jerusalem is less a single neighborhood than a cluster of smaller semi-distinct neighborhoods that, beginning in the 1870s, grew incrementally as the city’s population expanded beyond the Old City. Batei Rand and Batei Broydes are two of these clusters, each with a few hundred residents. Both are overwhelmingly Haredi and built around semi-enclosed courtyards. The apartments are continuous and are stacked on two levels, the upper one accessible via a shared, wrap-around balcony. Most of the apartments are single-entrance and open into the courtyard, so there is little privacy, and the residents are, for the most part, very poor. Most families don’t own their home, but instead lease it on extremely favorable terms from a charitable organization. Many of the families have been in the neighborhood for generations, and the area, marked by labyrinthine cobblestone alleyways, Jerusalem stone, and gardens, has long been beloved by those that live there.
“It was the most quaint, amazing, incredible, peaceful, loving community,” a former resident recently told me. “A place where religious and secular got along with each other. It was like an example of what Israel could be.”

All of this changed in October 2010, when a 44-year-old man named Binyamin Satz was arrested. Satz is mentally handicapped, and court documents note that he is on state disability, has schizophrenia, Tourette’s syndrome, and “a non-specific eating disorder.” According to his lawyer, Roy Politi, he eats “only bread and cheese, but not when they are touching.” Politi told me that Satz weighs less than 90 lbs. A neighbor described Satz as “very strange, very slight,” with an “extremely pronounced twitch from his shoulder to head.” Politi described Satz as “functioning like a 12-year-old kid.” [...]

To date, more than 70 children, nearly all from Haredi families in the tight-knit community of Nahlaot, have been interviewed by Social Services and have claimed to suffer severe sexual, psychological, physical, and ritual abuse at the hands of nearly 60 individuals. At least another 50 children have claimed abuse, though they were not interviewed by Social Services. The children have identified the perpetrators either by name or by telling characteristics: the one with the ponytail, the one who exercises, the filmer, the one with a walker, the one who wears a knitted kippah, and so on. Those accused include American immigrants, middle-aged men, elderly women (nearly half of those accused are female), geriatric couples, teenagers, mother-son teams, mentally handicapped individuals, at least one Arab, suspected Christian missionaries, and, more recently, a few prominent members of the community, including a rabbi. Some of those who have been identified by one or more children are unaware, or appear to be unaware, that they have been accused.

There was no hint of pedophilia in the community before October 2010. But the Haredi community in Nahlaot now believes that the highly organized ring has been operating secretly for years—possibly generations—and is governed by an elaborate hierarchy. According to community members with whom I’ve spoken over the past year, they believe that a small number of masterminds, including the 70-year-old Vorst, a convert to Judaism who directs Ohel Sarah Imenu, an organization that facilitates Haredi conversions, used formerly abused teenagers and mentally handicapped locals as scouts for the victims. Community members believe that these scouts watched the children and parents from outdoor locations that offered prime vantage points—under the guise of tending gardens, doing calisthenics, or panhandling—and memorized their schedules, recording when the children would be unsupervised. The pedophiles noted the schedules of various homeowners, residents of Nahlaot claim, and they allegedly snuck into dozens of apartments and sheds in the neighborhood in order to abuse the children, who have pointed out these locations to their parents. Many are convinced that there are Christian missionary motivations at play here and that false converts have infiltrated their community. A number of locals told me they believe that the videos and media produced by the pedophile ring are being sold for tens of thousands of dollars or more.

The Nahlaot situation is already widely referred to as the worst pedophile case in Israel’s history. This is a phenomenal understatement. If true, this would be, in terms of the number of perpetrators and the scope of conspiracy, unprecedented in known criminal history. Indeed, not only that: It would be the first proven instance of an association generally acknowledged to be the great white whale of sex crimes. “To be perfectly blunt,” said Dorothy Rabinowitz, a member of the Wall Street Journal’s editorial board who won a Pulitzer Prize for her extensive coverage of such cases, “there is no such thing as a pedophile ring.” [....]

By late 2010, dozens of children had told their parents they were abused, and the circle of accused kept growing. The acts reported by the children, nearly all between the ages of 3 and 9, are incredibly horrific and often very bizarre. Virtually none of the allegations involve only one molester and one victim; the children have consistently claimed multiple offenders and multiple victims. There are reports of orgies involving as many as 20 adults and more than a dozen children. There were, allegedly, frequent raping and forced sodomy of children as young as 2 years old. The children claim that various objects—including large branches, semi-automatic rifles, screwdrivers, and other carpenter’s tools—were forcibly stuck up their anuses and other orifices; that knives were held to their throats; that they were told that if they didn’t voluntarily return to be raped, they would be “chopped up into little pieces,” or that their entire families would be murdered. They claim that they were shown, by way of threat, the guns that would be used for this purpose and told that cameras had been installed in their homes to ascertain their silence. The children claim that they were, on various occasions, bound up and beaten, held on top of open flames, lashed with sticks, burned with chemicals, given soft drinks spiked with hallucinogens, and injected with drugs.

The majority of the allegations include reports of video-recording and photography, and the children say they were forced to watch pornographic movies and violent sexual encounters between their abusers. Some children say they were abducted at night from their homes, viciously abused, and returned to their beds. Others say they were abducted from school and then returned. Babysitters were said to be threatened with severe physical punishment or death unless they brought the children in their care to the pedophiles. There are reports of witches, magic doors, secret basements, and large dogs used to intimidate the children. Many allegations include elements of ritual and Christian abuse, including forced prostration and benedictions, sexual acts involving massive iron crosses, and various other forms of foreign worship. Some children say they were taken to a nearby church, where they were abused by priests, as well as other undercover Christians.

But after a few confused and shell-shocked months, the community began to organize itself in late 2011. Parents began raising awareness via personal blogs and websites, spearheading fundraising campaigns for therapy and legal fees, and organizing various sympathetic newspaper and radio reports. Most significantly, the community found a central organizing force in Altea Steinherz, an American therapist who lives in Rechavia, a neighborhood adjacent to Nahlaot. Steinherz, who specializes in addictions and eating disorders, began devoting herself on a volunteer basis to the alleged victims and their cause. “This [case] is not going to go away by itself,” Steinherz told me.

Steinherz arranged interviews with police and lawyers for most of the families, many of whom, according to Steinherz, “simply have no idea what to do in a situation like this.” Steinherz does not have a degree in psychology or abuse counseling; she has a certificate called a CASAC, which certifies her to do alcohol- and substance-abuse counseling. Nevertheless, in late 2011 she emerged as the strategist and spokesman for the cause: directing the collection and dissemination of information, raising awareness and support, and coordinating the collection of testimonies and any available evidence. She’s also organized PR and media campaigns—critical work, since many of the Haredi residents of Nahlaot don’t have the Internet.[...]

Cases similar to Nahlaot’s, many whose particulars are even more extreme, have occurred frequently in the past, particularly in the 1980s and early 1990s, with as many as 500 or more children reporting horrific and fantastic abuse at the hands of dozens, or even hundreds, of adults. In order to classify and recognize these cases, the FBI’s Kenneth Lanning, who worked in the Behavioral Science Unit from 1981 until 2000, developed a model that describes what he termed “multi-dimensional sex rings.” (This term, Lanning admits, never really caught on; more frequently used is “ritual abuse,” “organized abuse,” or “satanic/sadistic ritual abuse.”) The model delineates four criteria: multiple offenders and multiple victims who are considerably younger than “standard” pedophile victims; the victims are controlled and coerced primarily through fear; the abuse occurs in communities that are insular and ultra-conservative; and at least some of the abuse in question is extreme, grotesque, or incorporates ritualistic aspects.

A study of past cases reveals startling similarities: The accusation always begins with a single complaint and is always parent-driven. The children’s accounts contain fabulous or impossible elements—magic tunnels, bullets that find their target, walls and people that disappear, and so on. The conspiracies being alleged are far-reaching and highly improbable. There are untrained professionals involved driving the investigations. There are nearly always claims of video recording and of being forced to watch porn and adults having sex.

This history is relevant because, to borrow Lanning’s term, a multi-dimensional sex ring has never once been substantiated. Never, despite the enormity of the crimes in question, and despite the numbers of times they’ve been alleged, has any independently corroborated evidence been found. Many of the children who testified in these cases have, as adults, recanted their testimonies, and courts have, over the years, turned over convictions that were based purely on children’s testimonies. In the most famous of these cases—the McMartin preschool trial in California, which ran from 1984 through 1990 and in which more than 350 children claimed they had been abused at their daycare center—every single allegation was thrown out. [...]

1 comment :


    Above is a link posted by "Sheleg", someone who believes strongly in the existence of a Ritual Child Abuse Ring based in Nachlaot. "Sheleg" also has made posts to, stating that the Ritual Child Abuse Ring has spread to other areas of Jerusalem, including Sanhedria. If one reads the document in this particular link in detail, it can be seen how the claims of child abuse snowballed from accusations of child molestation against one individual, to accusations against many individuals who constituted a ring, and finally to accusations that the ring had as its purpose the conversion of children to Christianity.

    At each stage the parents carried out their own investigations, contaminating whatever evidence was there by their improper, suggestive questioning techniques. In particular, if one looks at page 14 and 15 of the document, that is the first point at which the claims about the Christian missionary aspect of the alleged ring were introduced. It is clear from this text (which is from a document made up by the accusing parents), that the children never brought up the topic on their own until the parents asked them leading questions about it. Anyone familiar with this case will not be surprised who was instrumental in introducing this idea.

    Here is a translation from parts of pages 14 and 15:

    Chanuka 5772 [translator's note: December 2011]

    One of the attackers by the name of Y.S. was found hung in his apartment.
    The neighbors and newspapers testified that he was murdered, but the police claimed that what had occurred was a suicide.

    Tevet 5772 [translator's note: January 2012]

    On Sunday, the 6th of Tevet 5772 [translator's note: January 1, 2012], a woman from a different neighborhood (see footnote 24) who heard about the death of Y., said to R.C. that she "thanks Hashem that this evil person died". R.C. introduced her to the parents of the children, and she told them that she already is familiar with the "group from Nachlaot", at the head of which is S.P. and R.K. ... The woman said that in contrast to the righteous appearance of S.P., in truth she is a Christian missionary...

    The parents were very surprised, but decided to ask the children if anyone attacked them in the area of ... (the area where S.P. lived) All the parents asked their children separately, and all the children answered, without exception: "by the lady with the shawl, she's a Christian!"

    [Translator's note: One should note that there is no mention of this lady by the children, before the idea was introduced by R.C. and D.S.]


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