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Marianne AziziIsrael
As appeal date in Supreme Court of Israel approaches, new evidence comes to light. Was the Ambash a cult, or a mistaken diagnosis of folie à plusieurs ("madness of many")

Five years ago Daniel Ambash was sentenced to 26 years in prison.  He was charged with running a cult; mind control and alleged child abuse.  All the evidence was circumstantial.  Was he innocent or guilty?  This article is not to determine this.

All the evidence shows his guilt, but to achieve this in Israel, police and the judiciary violated every possible right.  Daniel Ambash was convicted for sending women and children to beg in the street, living as a parasite from their profits and using mind control to punish them for impure thoughts via violence, rape and humiliation.

Recently, an international human rights lawyer, Emmanuel Athanasiuo, went to Israel to examine the Ambash case in more detail.  There were more questions than answers.    If the women were victims of a cult, why did the state not give them support?  Why were they imprisoned and then released with no charges at the time of the courtcase?  Now, they are not victims or criminals but are prevented from visiting Daniel.  The lawyer came to the conclusion that there has been a huge miscarriage of justice on the family.

If the children were victims of abuse from the family, why did they suffer more at the hands of social workers?  Manipulation, gifts, threats in order to give false and coerced confessions which they later retracted.

There is a systematic abuse occurring in Israel in plain sight.  Corruption seeps through the system, from Judges, State Attorney, Welfare, Police, and the people are powerless to do a thing about it.

The Ambash family suffered the worst side of all the systems.  False claims; social workers snatching children and abusing them; police brutality; false imprisonment and full news censorship giving them no rights to give their side of the story.  It is beyond doubt that Daniel Ambash dominated his women and raped them, but it was not mind control.  Experts now believe it could be pure psychosis.  The Israel system hit the Ambash family hard, but was it necessary to do so?  The prosecution experts say that a cult leader must be stripped of his powers by all means.

 Ilana, Azama, Aderet, and Shiran Ambash continue to prepare for the appeal due in August.  They claim they were not enslaved, but in the police investigation, Aderet Ambash admitted to eating feces in publlic, and begging to be punished for her salvation.  Sources claim she does not see this as an unusual activity, which could explain the potential misdiagnosis of a cult.

All the independent experts - lawyers, filmakers and indivuals who have met them say with confidence that they are independent women, each with their own mind and personality, in no way sheep in a cult. This leads experts to say there is a misdiagnosis, and indicates a folie a deux, or in this case a ' folie à plusieurs ' - the french term for a shared psychosis.  The madness of many.

The cult breaking group in Israel have also declared Yoga to be cult, so how reliable is their criteria?  The questions continue.  The innocence or guilt of Daniel Ambash is not for the reader, nor it seems is it for a judge.  The real trial could be of the system which conspired to damage an entire family unit on just a few bribes, words and hearsay.  Should the women have been brutally beaten by the police?  Should the children have been equally tortured in different ways?  If the cult leader is guilty as charged, where is the support for the women and children?  Yet, there is nothing.  Nothing but silence.  The women themselves are united in defending their lifestyle.  Most of the behaviours have led experts to suspect that the family were not victims in a cult.  They women continue to deny they were in a cult, and continue to live together (without the children).  The indications of a folie could be clear.  They share the same thoughts, feelings and experiences and speak as one person, often the same as Daniel Ambash.  Rather than being victims of a cult, it may be put to the test that they shared a common psychosis.

The case was presented in France, to a response from the International Bar Association there that it was an absurdity, full of holes and surely couldn't even be a real case.  This is what experts say when they read the files. (which are published in this column but banned in Israel)  Yet a couple of carefully managed articles 5 years ago is all the public have to go on.  The case followed hot on the heels of a true cult leader Goal Ratzon who abused 30 women, making what could be a witch hunt so much easier.  Ratzon was acquitted of the mind control charges, but Daniel Ambash was convicted.


Other articles on this subject and the problems Israelis face are on this site. 

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