Canada-bound Israeli haredi family sent back from Jordan

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A haredi Orthodox family who crossed into Jordan with plans to join an extremist cult in Canada was returned to Israel and held for questioning.

The family of eight from Beit Shemesh reportedly was attempting to evade a court order preventing them from leaving Israel for Canada, where they planned to join a cult in Quebec called Lev Tahor, or Pure Heart. The cult, led by Israeli Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans, reportedly uses extreme violence and mind control.

It had been believed that the family had accidentally crossed the border while hiking. The family of the father of eight reportedly had obtained a court order preventing his family from leaving the country.