The "Prodfather": Rabbi Tortures Husbands Into Giving Gets
#1

From the New York Daily News:


[Image: epstein.jpg]
Rabbi Mendel Epstein, 70, was dubbed “The Prodfather” after he was convicted of
charging desperate wives thousands of dollars to torture their husbands into compliance.



Brooklyn rabbi gets 10 years for leading a gang of men who beat up Jewish husbands reluctant to divorce their unhappy wives
BY Reuven Blau
NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Tuesday, December 15, 2015, 3:33 PM


A Brooklyn rabbi got 10 years in the slammer Tuesday for his role as the ringleader of a gang of Jewish men who used violence — involving handcuffs and electric cattle prods — to force reluctant husbands to give their wives religious divorces.

Mendel Epstein, 70, was dubbed “The Prodfather” after he was convicted of charging desperate wives thousands of dollars to torture their husbands into compliance.

The white-bearded Talmudic scholar once bragged about using an electric cattle prod to persuade the men to sign a religious divorce document, known as a “get.”

Epstein, a prominent rabbi who specializes in divorce proceedings, was found guilty of conspiracy to commit kidnapping.

Vox Wrote:"Conspiracy"? A "conspiracy" involving a Jewish person? What sort of tin-foil hat, "age-old antisemitic canard" is this!? Everyone knows conspiracies don't exist!

On Tuesday, he was sentenced to 10 years behind bars — but he could have been sent away for life, authorities said.

A total of 10 men in all were convicted with Epstein for participating in his schemes.

The rabbi’s plot started to unravel when federal agents set up a sting to catch him and his Orthodox goons.

An agent posed as a woman desperate to get a religious divorce. She went crying to Epstein for help, according to phone conversations played at trial.

“The Prodfather” told the undercover agent it would cost $60,000 to pay for the potential beatdown.

Vox Wrote:
SIXTY GRAND? And the guy isn't even getting whacked? What a rip-off! I think there are people in my neighborhood who'd do it for a couple cases of beer.

And there go all the jokes about Jews never paying retail.

Epstein, who headed a small congregation in Brooklyn, was arrested in October 2013 as he and his men were busted inside an Edison, New Jersey, warehouse.

They were there plotting to confront the undercover agent’s non-existent husband.

The father of nine, grandfather of 45 and great-grandfather of five was caught on tape boasting that his “team” kidnaps and beats stubborn husbands until they give their wives a “get.”

Six co-defendants pleaded guilty in the case before it went to trial.

At the trial, defense attorney Robert Stahl argued Epstein was a “champion of women's rights” who was “puffing and exaggerating” when he talked to undercover agents about what he could do for them.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Wolfe stressed Epstein and the others weren't participating in a religious ritual.

“These people were not here for a religious ceremony,” she told the jury of eight men and eight women.

“There is nothing religious about this. This is a kidnapping,” she said.

Prosecutors pointed to a long list of items the men used that was found inside their mini-van.

Boots, black shirts, stockings, gloves, a hat or face mask, a blindfold and handcuffs were all on the list.

Epstein also talked about what the men should do if the husband was so scared he suffered a heart attack.

"Take a right turn and let him die," he told an undercover agent.

[Image: jewish-divorce-trial.jpg]
A mask the men used in their kidnappings.

[Image: jewish-divorce-trial.jpg]
Another mask used to intimidate victims.

Epstein's lawyer argued the feds were missing a major piece of evidence—a cattle prod.

"The government loved Rabbi Epstein's words on the tape, but you know what? There was no cattle prod," Stahl told the jury.

Epstein was recorded bragging about the tough tactics his crew would take about once every year and a half.

"Basically what we are going to be doing is kidnapping a guy for a couple of hours and beating him up and torturing him and then getting him to give the get," Epstein said.

"I guarantee that if you're in the van, you'd give a get to your wife," he added. "We take an electric cattle prod … you put it in certain parts of his body and in one minute the guy will know."

Vox Wrote:

Before his arrest, Epstein was long suspected of using torture to convince Jewish husbands to divorce their wives.

"We prefer not to leave a mark," he told the undercover agent.

Israel Markowitz testified that he was lured to Lakewood and tortured into giving his wife a get in 2009. He recognized David Epstein, the rabbi’s son, as one of his assailants.

Vox Wrote:
I smell a Coen brothers movie in all this! I'd definitely watch it (but then, I'd watch pretty much anything the Coen brothers put out).

Anyway, there's one words for all this:  YOWZA!
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#2
I don't know why, but this song came to mind after reading this article:



Craziness, I tells ya.
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#3
Those Orthodox Jews are crazy! What is it about religious zealots of all kinds that brings about both the best and the worst in man? I guess hardcore religion attracts certain types of people, many of them mentally unstable in some way.  Every religion has weirdos I guess.


That mask is creepy! Imagine being taken into a windowless van someplace by masked rabbis and being tied up and hit with a cattle prod!
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#4
Vox Wrote:
I smell a Coen brothers movie in all this! I'd definitely watch it (but then, I'd watch pretty much anything the Coen brothers put out).

Anyway, there's one words for all this:  YOWZA!

Exactly what I was thinking while reading this.
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#5
Reminds me of the story line in the first season of the Sopranos when the rabbi enlists Tony and co. to secure a get from the rabbi's son-in-law. Funny scenes.
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#6
(02-13-2016, 01:14 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: Those Orthodox Jews are crazy! What is it about religious zealots of all kinds that brings about both the best and the worst in man? I guess hardcore religion attracts certain types of people, many of them mentally unstable in some way.  Every religion has weirdos I guess.


That mask is creepy! Imagine being taken into a windowless van someplace by masked rabbis and being tied up and hit with a cattle prod!

But then again, you're probably measuring sanity by some sort of Anglican lukewarm standard.

I wouldn't really equate the clarity and sanity of a St. Teresa de Ávila or a St. Benedict with some random crazy rabbi or whatever what you're thinking when you talk about religious people being unstable.
I dare any crypto-Anglican, common sensical person reading this to go and found dozens of successful convents or establish a rule that would guarantee the survival of civilization.
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#7
(03-09-2016, 07:12 PM)Renatus Frater Wrote:
(02-13-2016, 01:14 PM)formerbuddhist Wrote: Those Orthodox Jews are crazy! What is it about religious zealots of all kinds that brings about both the best and the worst in man? I guess hardcore religion attracts certain types of people, many of them mentally unstable in some way.  Every religion has weirdos I guess.


That mask is creepy! Imagine being taken into a windowless van someplace by masked rabbis and being tied up and hit with a cattle prod!

But then again, you're probably measuring sanity by some sort of Anglican lukewarm standard.

I wouldn't really equate the clarity and sanity of a St. Teresa de Ávila or a St. Benedict with some random crazy rabbi or whatever what you're thinking when you talk about religious people being unstable.
I dare any crypto-Anglican, common sensical person reading this to go and found dozens of successful convents or establish a rule that would guarantee the survival of civilization.

He didn't say religious people are unstable (he's religious himself). He referred to "religious zealots" and intimated that zealotry (old-fashioned sense of the word, based on "zeal") brings out both the best and the worst in men. And how can that be denied when you have the Saints you refer to on the one hand, and jihadists and rabbis like "the Prodfather" on the other?

I'm puzzled about your dare... How can anyone found anything that'd guarantee the survival of civilization?

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#8
The problem of course is not zeal, but the religion. Of course if one is following a wrong religion only the worst will come out because of the religion and whatever is good is from some other source.
Yes, he didn't come out and say pious people are unstable, he just threw it out there that « many » are and every religion has its weirdos. I'm sorry if I think this statement is too close to modern ethos Francis so well captures in many of his statements about « radical Catholics ».

I have no idea how one would found a rule that guarantees perpetuation of civilization. I suppose that shows the grace and genius of St. Benedict.

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