The self - appointed "Rebbe" of LEV TAHOR (Pure Heart), "Rabbi" Shlomo Helbrans. However, his real name is Erez Shlomo Elbarnes and he, apparently, is of Tunesian origin. In order to sound more Ashkenazi, he changed his name into Helbrans.
Most of you probably don't know any Hebrew but it is worth putting this text into Google Translation and read it in whatever language you know:
I have been dealing with chassidic groups for many years and once, I used to be involved myself and saw my future in being haredi. Today there is not too much left of this past but I am still a, more or less, religious Jew. Nevertheless, I cannot stand various Ba'alei Teshuva (newly religious) movements where a Ba'al Teshuva is putting himself into a Rebbe position.
In our days, people do that due to their ego, reputation power and, of course, money money money. Unfortunately there are always weak Jews following them like sheep. Many Ba'alei Teshuva feel rejected by regular chassidic groups or are simply looking for the most extreme ways. My advice is: Always stick to the regular groups instead of running to one of those self - appointed Breslover or other Gurus. Even stick to Chabad or the original Breslover in Mea Shearim but don't get involved with self - appointed false "Rebbes" !!!!
On Friday, Israel's most popular newspaper ISRAEL HAYOM published a long article on "Rabbi" Shlomo Helbrans and his LEV TAHOR group located near Quebec / Canada. Helbrans, a Sephardi Jew of Tunesian origin, grew up in a secular Kibbutz and, later on, became a Ba'al Teshuva. He lived in Jerusalem (Kiryat Yovel and other parts of town), founded his own "chassidic" movement and, according to ISRAEL HAYOM, may have run away to Monsey, as Israeli authorities started investigating. Elbrans is extremely anti - Zionist and the Israeli police suspected him of dealing with Arabs. Not even Satmar or the Toldot Aharon would do so.
In Monsey, the local Vishnitzer Rebbe and others signed bans against Helbrans and his Ba'alei Teshuva group. A small group of Jews who are, according to the media, get abused by the Rebbe himself or further members. Many kids are forced to marry at the age of 14. Either other kids of their age group or divorced men in their 30ies. According to the law, this kind of practice is forbidden but in Quebec, Helbrans seems to have found an area where the police are less investigating.
Helbrans who is, according to ISRAEL HAYOM without any SMICHA from the Israeli Rabbanut (Chief Rabbinate) wrote his own books and this is what he is teaching his followers. Still in Jerusalem, he studied with the Toldot Aharon for a while and afterwards in Satmar but insisted on founding his own group. As a matter of fact, as a Sephardi Jew one doesn't have to many chances of raising one's rank in Toldot Aharon.
This upcoming Friday, ISRAEL HAYOM is going to publish a second part describing how the Israeli police reacts towards all those family members of Israelis joining Helbrans. The "Rabbi" himself doesn't allow any member to be in touch with his family and obviously carries out a complete brainwashing.
However, ISRAEL HAYOM accuses the haredi world of not speaking up much more against Helbrans and his methods. Haredim don't like him and thus ignore him. If there were more Haredim protesting maybe Elbrans would have to go to court.
Nevertheless, ISRAEL HAYOM is not the first Israeli newspaper publishing a long report on the LEV TAHOR group. Haaretz has done so a few months ago: