Israeli 'cult' leader, 60, sexually abused women followers & forced them to put hands in fire ‘to feel what hell's like’

A 'CULT' leader in Israel sexually abused female followers and made them put their hands into fire so they could see what "hell feels like", say reports.

The 60-year-old was arrested for allegedly "committing severe offences" against some of those under his influence.

The claims come after police raided the HQ of the cult-like group in an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood of Jerusalem and arrested a rabbi suspected of being the leader.

Cops – tipped off by women who had managed to flee the group – targeted the location with the help of the Israeli Centre for Victims of Cults.

They discovered dozens of women and children being held and abused under extreme slavery conditions, according to cops.

It is thought that victims were sexually abused, and some say they were told to put their hands in to fires, to see what "hell feels like", according to Israeli media.

The police's undercover probe unearthed details from women who had escaped the group – described by authorities as a cult.

It is also accused of holding children between the ages of one and five and keeping them away from their families and the outside world.

Police said women attended the location under the guise of a women's seminar and that the operation could have been going on for a number of years.

The prime suspect, who was not named, is also suspected of stealing money and doling out various forms of punishment.

Israel's Channel 12 reported that the suspect had previously been arrested at least twice on similar charges.

He denied any wrongdoing during his arraignment.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said: "We know that the women and children were there for several months inside the home.

"We know that he took their money away from them and was holding them against their will."

Superintendent Isaac Simon said the victims were held in very cramped conditions and difficult sanitary conditions.

Police released footage of the compound's interior crammed with closely spaced triple-decker bunk beds.

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