Police bust ‘messianic’ prostitution ring active across Israel

Sect allegedly brainwashed girls, persuaded them that having sex with non-Jews would hasten redemption of Jewish people

Illustrative: A prostitute on a street in south Tel Aviv on January 1, 2013. (Flash90)
Illustrative: A prostitute on a street in south Tel Aviv on January 1, 2013. (Flash90)

Four members of a so-called messianic group have been arrested on charges of kidnapping young women and forcing them into prostitution, police said Sunday.

According to the charges, the group would control women with a combinations of drugs, alcohol and heavy brainwashing techniques and convince them to have sex in exchange for money, often while under the influence of drugs.

Police allege that the girls were taught that “lying with non-Jews would hasten the redemption” of the Jewish people and that by having sex with non-Jews, the girls would purify them and bring back their “holy sparks” to Israel.

The four-month investigation of the group, referred to by police as a “messianic sect,” began after an initial complaint that members of the group were working the streets in an attempt to coerce young women to join them and become more religious, and ultimately received the assistance of the Shin Bet security service.

The suspects were two men, a 60-year old from Kiryat Arba and 47-year-old from Ashkelon, and two women, a 40-year old from Kiryat Arba and a 39-year old from Jerusalem. Over the course of the investigation, police say, they discovered that the group was active throughout the country.

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