Suspected cult guru arrested in Haifa

Leader allegedly practiced corporal punishment and starvation.

Police Central District detectives located and arrested Shay Abramov, the guru of the so-called “Ithaca” cult on Thursday morning. The cult was followed by the Netanya teacher arrested two weeks ago for abusing her children and starving them. Abramov was found hiding away in an apartment in Haifa.
From the beginning of the investigation, police suspected that the teacher was influenced by the cult, which teaches extreme discipline, including corporal punishment and starvation of children, in the belief that children who experience pain in childhood will be better adults.
Abramov and his wife lived in the teacher's apartment in the past, according to information received by the police.
After a widespread week-long manhunt Abramov and his wife were taken in for questioning, on suspicion of involvement in abusing the Netanya teacher's children. Abramov is also suspected of having abused the teacher herself.
Police received intelligence they were hiding out in their apartment in Haifa after the affair broke in the media, observed the building and then raided it, taking the pair into custody.
Police are aware of dozens of children who were the victims of the system of discipline taught by Abramov. The majority of parents involved are educators, and the police are rounding up additional suspects.