Elior Chen Archive

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Four followers of cult leader Elior Chen convicted of child abuse

The Jerusalem District Court convicted four disciples of accused cult leader Elior Chen of child abuse on Wednesday.

Elior Chen was the spiritual leader of an ultra-Orthodox Jerusalem sect suspected of severe child abuse.

Chen and several of his followers allegedly used knives, hammers and other instruments to abuse children as young as 3 and 4 years old in the West Bank settlement of Beitar Illit in February and March 2008.

The four convicted followers were accused of 22 charges stemming from 40 instances of child abuse.

Earlier this month, another one of Chen’s disciples, and the mother of eight of the abused children, was sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to shaking, burning and tying up her children.

– Source / Full Story: Four followers of accused cult leader convicted of child abuse, Nir Hasson, Haaretz, May 12, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

During their trial in Jerusalem District Court, Roi Tsoref, David Kugman, Abraham Mitzkelachy and Simon Gabai accused Chen of participation in the abuse.

The acts of abuse include violently throwing the children around by their arms and legs, leaving a child in an electric oven until his hair burned, placing a child in a suitcase for three days, feeding a child excrement and other extreme acts of abuse. The court indictment counted 40 separate acts of abuse against the child victims.

Chen has been charged with ordering his followers to beat and psychologically the eight siblings, all children of a mother belonging to his sect. He has been described as being viewed by his adherents as a tzaddik, or righteous leader, to be emulated.

Chen justified the sadistic practices as means to exorcising demons from the children.

His trial is still ongoing.

– Source / Full Story: Chen followers found guilty of abuse, Jerusalem Post, May 12, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog

Mother in Elior Chen child abuse cult sentenced to 5 years in prison

A disciple of accused cult leader Elior Chen was yesterday sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to shaking, burning and tying up her eight children.

The woman, identified only as M., received a lenient sentence in exchange for testifying against Chen and others.

The abuse was so “horrific” that M. seemed to have been under a spell when she let it take place, said Jerusalem District Court Judge Zvi Segal, adding that it was reminiscent of Nazi atrocities.

“The defendant, the mother of eight minor children, abandoned them completely, leaving them in the hands of Chen and those who did his bidding, as though she were under a spell, without any ability to judge or distinguish between right and wrong,” Segal wrote in his ruling.

“While she was apparently emotionally cut off from eight people – all of them flesh of her flesh, helpless minors – a horrific scenario that was completely unbelievable was planned and executed in front of her eyes, and she kept silent. The acts committed against the children express a loss of humanity on the part of their perpetrators.”

M. pleaded guilty to shaking her children, burning them “like they were cheap kindle,” as Segal put it, tying up their hands and feet with rope and plastic ties, and feeding them excrement.

He said he got the impression M. was being honest when she said at the end of her trial that she intends to work hard to restore to herself the title of mother. Segal also took into consideration her testimony against Chen and her children’s request that she not receive a harsh sentence.

The child abuse affair was uncovered two years ago, when one of M.’s children was taken to the hospital unconscious. Once the story became public, Chen fled to Brazil, which extradited him back to Israel. He is now on trial at the Jerusalem District Court.

The child, now 6, is still in a coma.

– Source / Full Story: Mother in Elior Chen child abuse cult sentenced to 5 years in prison , Nir Hasson and Tomer Zarchin, Haaretz, May 3, 2010 — Summarized by Religion News Blog