Wednesday, August 23, 2023

Sanhedria Murchevet Satanic abuse rings: Dr Joy Silberg a believer in Satanic cults (and repressed memories) and Rabbi Yitzchok Berkowitz

As I have noted, I recently had an an exchange of emails with Dr. Joy Silberg - a Baltimore psychologist who is viewed by many as an authority on child abuse. She also has trained,  endorses and is supportive of the two therapists (neither who are psychologists) - who were charged by the Israeli police with propagating false allegations in the community that satanic abuse rings are operating in Jerusalem - for financial gain.

Dr. Silberg wrote to me that she has seen no evidence of the existence of a satanic abuse ring - but she refuses to state this publicly. She did send me a very neutral statement that I could publish - that simply says that no conclusions should be made until all the data is evaluated and that the rabbis, professional investigators should be respected. It is important to note that she made absolutely no mention of reporting information to the police or even involving them in dealing with this problem. 

In addition I published her endorsement of a book - which is widely discredited account of a woman who has survived satanic abuse. Furthermore she recommended that I read a book by Ross Cheit - that claims that the "witch hunt hysteria in America regarding satanic abuse - which has been widely discredited - in fact contains "kernels of truth". Finally, despite the widespread rejection of "recovered memories" or "suppressed memories" that are recovered by some therapists - she still firmly believes in them.   This is a link to a book co authored by Dr. Silberg in which she supporting these "memories". See 

Aside from the role of Dr. Silberg in providing not only the therapists but also the authority behind the belief in satanic cults in Jersualem - we have the question of her connection to Rabbi Berkowitz - the Rav of Sanhedredia Murchevet who last year publicly claimed that these cults exist and apparently still does - in spite of the claims of the police that they have found no supportive evidence.

It is helpful to reread the transcript of Rabbi Berkowitz public announcement from last year

From the transcript of Rabbi Berkowitz;

At the end of ;i."vl!m 1011, I received a phone call, a phone call from one of the yungerleit in the neighborhood, a member of the ·kehilla, someone whose family I know very well, I know every one of the children. He tells me, his daughter seems like she's trying to say something, his daughter sounds like someone hurt her, but he doesn't quite understand. I recommended that the daughter be brought to a woman I know that specializes in molestation, works primarily in chutz la'aretz, but happens to be here a good part of the year- I sent her there. 
After a session that lasted hours, I get a phone call from this therapist, and she says -I took out the teddy bears, and this girl described to me an act of oines, nothing less, with all the details - to the very end, including how they cleaned her up, and what hurt and when. In the conversation, what also emerged was that this happened many times. 

Obviously, I was shaken. I immediately phoned Mrs. Coopersmith from the children's unit at Neve, someone I always consulted with in issues of child psychology. I said I understand this is something that cannot go unreported - what do I do? She said, you've got to go the TI'i1 m;ti1'1 D1Yl, a place that was set up for interrogating children, rather than the police station .... social worker's there, a police representative. Something that's supposed to be a little more user-friendly for the kid. The girl was traumatized by the initial session with the therapist. The parents were even more traumatized. It took a lot of convincing - they went. The girl was once again traumatized - and said nothing. She wouldn't say anything. So I was informed, there's not much that can be done, because the girl isn't talking. 

Third, and this is what's most frightening, they use all sorts of technology, and systems, for compartmentalizing their brain, so that whatever they're experiencing remains subconscious, conscious on only a certain level, and the other part of their brain is totally unaffected by it, so that they won't talk. This seems quite clear, we've even discovered a lot of the technology. So kids don't naturally talk 

An interesting article  main chapters to read are 1 and 8


Does Rabbi Berkowitz know Dr. Joy Silberg? Is he relying on her authority?

Who is the specialist that used Teddy Bears to elicit a 'clear picture of the abuse that took place' 

DID the methods used possibly give results more indicative of what this therapist wanted to hear rather than what actually occurred?

Where DID Rabbi Berkowitz get this idea of a compartmentalized brain and what kind of technology is capable of doing this! (all within the hour that they disappeared on the way home from school.)

Are the police being suspected by Rabbi Berkowitz and Dr. Silberg of collusion with the abuse rings?

After 3 years of public hysteria and panic - with claims of over 400 children being abused and yet no suspects - what is needed to end this chilul hashem?


  1. Why is it a "chilul hashem"?

    Why are you so keen to discredit Rabbi Berkovits for, at worst, erring on the side of caution? Would you rather he dismissed the claims a la all the Charedi deniers/enablers?

  2. are you serious? You don't have the foggiest idea why causing panic in a community. adovocating false ideas that are harmful to families - especially the children? Provides a cover for real abuse and safety practices against abuse. channels money into unneeded therapy.Discourages contact with the police and government agencies which are the only source of genuine protection of our children and our community. Creating paranoia and hatred towards secular Jews - i.e.,the police as well as goyim. etc and etc. What is it that you don't understand?

    I am not interested in discrediting Rabbi Berkovits. But he clearly has taken an incorrect position which is causing much harm. Because he is such a truly wonderful person he is above criticism? Because Rav Shmuel Kaminetsky is a truly wonderful person he is above criticism? Being a brilliant talmid chachom who is a pleasnat person - does not give you a free pass when you present a position which is wrong and harmful.

    Or are you one of those who believe that anything critical of chareidi Jews or community must be covered up because the individual is always sacrificed to preserve the image of the community?

  3. Wow, what a response. You need to calm down.

    I still fail to see why R Berkovits has "caused much harm". True some people may now be scared unnecessarily. On the other hand people (such as is common in naive Charedi communities) who were otherwise unawares of paedophilia may now become more aware of the issues. I don't think any of your points raised are substantial or accurate.

    I don't feel either R Berkovits's stand or my opinion required a vitriolic attack from you.

    NB. Your final paragraph is a wild jump to conclusions that couldn't be further from the truth.

  4. Has there been any attempt on your part to approach Rav Berkowitz? He seems to be an intelligent person who would like to determine the truth. Why can't you sit down with him and clear things up like 2 adult men should? You guys don't live on opposite sides of the world?

  5. If I thought it would help I would do so.

  6. Saying "some people might now be scare unnecessarily" is a huge understatment. You don't educate people about dealing with sex abuse by scaring them with fables of satanic sex abuse. You do a great harm by indicating that the police are not to be relied upon and are perhaps part of the evil conspiracy. You don't help things my encouraging people to go the therapists who are not competent and who "discover" abuse that never existed. I gather you really don't know much about dealing with child abuse.

    What is your relationship to Rabbi Berkovits?

  7. No relationship to him whatsoever and frankly a bit childish that you presume some exists just because I am questioning the level of criticism you have of him. As I said he is getting on the side of caution and really choosing the lesser of two evils.

  8. Several people have tried to communicate with him to no avail.

  9. but he didn't chose the side of caution - he put gasoline on the fire - not water.

  10. I think there is a cult. And it is abusing children.

    Now that I have your attention, allow me to explain.

    I think we have a Cult of the Un-thinking Children. And that the cult is promoted in schools. When the students get older, they join the Cult of Un-thinking Adults.

    This is my theory behind the genesis of the cult. The Yeshiva movement apparently started as a reaction to the Enlightenment. Jews that were learned but were discarding their Jewish tradition were able to sway others to join them by clever logical arguments that really twisted the Torah. Those who started the Yeshivas attracted students by telling them that they, the students of the Yeshivas, would be the repository of the Jewish tradition, and that these students must simply tune out the pied pipers of the Haskala. Thus, a whiff of un-thinking entered the Yeshivas.

    The Yeshivas similarly honed the idea that knowledge flowed from the top down: the idea of "learning from all" was muted.

    Enter corrupt leaders who decided to use the un-thinking of students, and the students' respect for their leaders, to manipulate the masses. The leaders realized that once they were recognized as leaders they could seemingly get away with anything. There was no "error correction mechanism" of critical thinking to counter corrupt leadership. Thus, when the system breaks, it cannot be fixed. Or, to fix it would require convincing people that their schooling and upbringing till now was flawed.

  11. This implies that moral panic is the result of a yeshiva education. Highly contradicted by past events.

  12. I think that conclusion you drew is a little bit of a stretch. My point was that what passes SOMETIMES for Jewish education can be a DISTORTION of what a Torah-true education should be. I didn't invent this idea. I heard from a Rav who heard it from Torah-true Gadolim.

  13. I think it would help. Rabbi Berkowitz is very difficult to get a hold of, but not impossible. Try to get an appointment to speak to him. He is a very reasonable person who will consider what you tell him, especially if you bring evidence (like the witch hunt studies about the US in the 1980s) to back yourself up.

  14. I have known Rabbi Berkowitz for over 20 years. He is not interested in what I have to say. He has a very logical mind - and he has been presented information that he thinks makes sense - after initially being skeptical. Alternatives have been available to him from the beginning and he rejected them.

    If he is interested I will speak with him. However I see no chance that he will be interested the other way around. He doesn't view me an authority on the subject - especially in comparison to Dr. Silberg. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge and he stuck his neck out to defend the satanic abuse ring theory. At this point, he is not going to switch unless he is forced to. Which from what I understand is in the pipeline. It is unfortunate.

  15. It is unfortunate with Rabbi Berkowitz, as he is sincere and has contributed to a lot of good for our people. With the good doctor, it will be good that her kooked views will be exposed. It is unfortunate that she chose that route, but she had to have known that her theories are very far from scientific. This was her choice.


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