Jan 12, 2022

CultNEWS101 Articles: 1/12/2022 (LDS, Covid, Lev Tahor, Guatemala, Legal, Swami Vishnudevananda, Abuse, Yoga Teacher Training)

LDS, Covid, Lev Tahor, Guatemala, Legal, Swami Vishnudevananda, Abuse, Yoga Teacher Training

All 588 missionaries at the Provo, Utah missionary training center were tested and a total of 91 tested positive.

An outbreak of COVID-19 has been reported at The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints' main training center for missionaries in Provo, Utah, church officials said Thursday.

The Provo Missionary Training Center, which resumed in-person training in June, requires all missionaries to be fully vaccinated and also conducts COVID-19 testing.

Face coverings will now be required in all indoor spaces and missionaries will not travel to their assigned missions unless they have tested negative for COVID-19 or have completed any necessary quarantine periods, said church spokesperson Sam Penrod.
"As Lev Tahor leadership sought to transport group to Iran, Israel Amir and team of ex-Shin Bet agents traveled across globe to search for 2-year-old boy.

A 22-year-old survivor of an ultra-Orthodox, anti-Zionist cult in Guatemala is in the midst of a years-long struggle to extract his two-year-old son from the hands of the leadership of the extremist group.

Israel Amir managed to escape the Lev Tahor cult while holed up in a Guatemala forest compound two years ago.

The group has been described as a cult and as the "Jewish Taliban," as women and girls older than three are required to dress in long black robes covering their entire body, leaving only their faces exposed. The men spend most of their days in prayer and studying specific portions of the Torah. The group adheres to an extreme, idiosyncratic reading of kosher dietary laws.

Lev Tahor was founded by Rabbi Shlomo Helbrans in Jerusalem in the 1980s. The group fled to Canada and then to Guatemala in 2014 after coming under intense scrutiny by Canadian authorities for alleged child abuse and child marriage.

In November, two top leaders of the group, Nachman Helbrans and Mayer Rosner, were convicted by a federal court in New York of child sexual exploitation and kidnapping in a case involving a family that escaped from the cult.

Before leaving the cult, Amir filmed a video during which he described the brutality of the leaders, the lack of food and the extreme conditions at the compound. He sent the video to his cousins in Israel who flew to Guatemala and helped him leave. He has since been re-acclimating to life back in Israel, far away from the cult."
"In 1969, Swami Vishnudevananda pioneered what has become a life transition ritual for the GenX and Millennial precariat: the Yoga Teacher Training (YTT) Programme. He was a cult leader rapist who thought yoga would help the world stare down a UFO invasion. Not exactly confidence-inspiring.

Not every YTT programme is bad—today's bonus host Matthew has worked in some good ones for over a decade. But on the whole, we're talking about an industry that has graduated up to 500K ppl over 50 years through a pseudo-educational process that has greased the epistemological pipeline towards conspirituality.

YTTs are unregulated by any academic or professional consensus. They are driven by the anxious charisma of urban yoga studio entrepreneurs who need to sell big-ticket products to counter the rising overheads of the gentrification they're helping to drive. Their curricula offers a pastiche of uncited resources. They pad contact hours with sermons and meditation sessions.

The typical YTT training manual is an unironic postmodern meat-grinder in which Iron Age philosophy and high school anatomy are blended with quotes from Carl Jung and Rumi. As an example, Matthew looks at a Jivamukti Yoga School manual from a 2007 training hosted at Omega Institute."

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