The Daily Outrage: Tel Aviv cops catch cult leader reputed to have numerous ‘wives’ 

WHO: Goel Ratzon, 60

WHAT: In Israel’s first major cult bust, police arrested the alleged sect leader, who is accused of fathering 37 children since 1993 with his “wives” and his own daughters. In a raid on three squalid apartments in Tel Aviv, 17 women and 39 children were found. The women wore conservative orthodox dresses covering their entire bodies and bore tattoos of Ratzon’s face in an angelic pose. They earned money by cleaning houses (for women only) and gave all their pay to Ratzon.

HOW IT WORKED: Ratzon told TV interviewers, “I’m perfect ... I have all the qualities a woman wants.” A neighbor also said the self-styled messiah claimed to have learned hypnosis in India and used the technique to subjugate women.

WHAT NOW? Ratzon was under investigation for a decade, but the women were all registered as single mothers, so polygamy could not be charged. He finally was seized under Israel’s recent human trafficking laws. The women and children are under the care of social services to guard against threatened mass suicides.


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Staff Report

Staff Report

A daily newspaper covering San Francisco, San Mateo County and serving Alameda, Marin and Santa Clara counties.
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