A bizarre story links a purported “cult” leader from Wisconsin to an Orthodox Jewish school in Baltimore.

Affidavits filed in a Wisconsin court claim that R. C. Samanta Roy, formerly known as “Rama Behera,” is now using the name “Avraham Cohen” in Baltimore, Maryland reported the Shawano Leader.

Dr. Avraham Cohen“Dr. Avraham Cohen” was pictured on the Web site of Yeshivat Rambam and identified as “a neurosurgeon” that has pledged a half million dollars to the institution.

However, according to an affidavit filed in a Wisconsin lawsuit the man in the photo is actually R.C. Samanta Roy.

“I have known him for some time and recognize him in the picture,” states a member of the Shawano city commission in the affidavit.

Rebecca Gietman, Roy’s attorney stated, “No, Dr. Roy is not living in Maryland as a neurosurgeon. That allegation is completely false.”

The story about the doctor published within the Yeshivat Rambam’s newsletter does seem just a bit incredible.

“Dr. Cohen” supposedly grew up within a Jewish community in India. And his “family was in the import export business, trading products with the merchants on the islands of Java, Sumatra, and Borneo. He went into medicine and then went into the hospital business.”

The article was titled “A Shining Example.”

But R.C. Samanta Roy seems something less than a “shining example” according to his disaffected former followers that have said Roy’s influence caused “the disintegration of families” and that he was given to “frequent humiliating verbal attacks.”

Rama Behera (Samanta Roy)One former Roy follower said, “It doesn’t have to be logical, it doesn’t have to make sense; Rama [also known as Roy] says so and that’s it.”

Maybe Roy beleives because he “says so” he is a member of a religious group and “that’s it”? And not only is he “Jewish,” he is also a doctor, a “neurosurgeon” no less.

Former members also cite Roy’s “lack of consistency,” which perhaps explains the contradiction of a man that once led a group known as “The Disciples of the Lord Jesus,” claiming that he is an Orthodox Jew.

“Now I belong to a Jewish school and a Jewish community, Yeshivat Rambam,” he is quoted as saying, adding the school’s teaching stems from the Torah.

“I am so glad and feel so secure that my daughters will grow up here at Yeshivat Rambam and will become great women academically and mothers of Yisrael who will preserve our culture, our dignity, and our excellence.”

Former members have also said that Roy encouraged them to take “Jewish names,” perhaps his own adoption of the name “Cohen” is somehow part of that idiosyncratic practice.

Interestingly, after a photograph of “Cohen” was posted on the Ross Institute Web site subsection about Rama Behera protests were launched by both Roy’s attorney in Wisconsin and Yeshivat Rambam of Baltimore.

The Baltimore school claimed the photo was its property and could not be run without explicit permission, but subsequently provided no proof of intellectual property rights or copyright.

CultNews now runs the photo of both “Rama Behera,” also known as R. C. Samanta Roy, along with the one taken of “Dr. Cohen” with his two “daughters” in Baltimore.

Let readers judge if these photographs are of the same man.

But CultNews thinks they sure look like the same guy.

Note: CultNews is now accepting submissions to be published. If you are interested please make your submission of 400 words or less and about a related subject of interest (e.g. note the many categories to the right).

Mayor Gavin Newsom has officially declared today “Ilchee Lee Day” to honor a man many consider a “cult leader.”

CultNews has previously reported about Ilchee Lee and his organization know as “Dahn Yoga.”

Lee and Dahn are currently being sued in New York for wrongful death by the family of Julia Siverls, a 41-year-old professor of education at Queensborough Community College that died during a Dahn retreat.

But according to Mayor Newsom’s proclamation the man some say is promoting a “dangerous con” should be lauded and acclaimed as “a leading philosopher and brain educator.”

However, others that have looked into Dahn with a bit more due diligence have described Lee’s so-called “brain education,” as more like “brainwashing” and “mind control.”

One former Dahn student in Las Vegas told a local TV news team, “I couldn’t sleep, I couldn’t eat. I felt like I was drugged.” She was later hospitalized for three days. Her treating physician told a reporter that she was mentally abused and suffered from post traumatic stress disorder.

Ilchee Lee seems to be following in the footsteps of fellow South Korean and purported “cult leader” Rev. Sun Myung Moon, the founder of the Unification Church.

Both Lee and Moon’s followers see their leaders as messianic figures here to “save the world.”

But what these men seem to do best is save money.

Moon has built a multi-billion dollar financial empire that includes the Washington Times and United Press International.

Lee now controls millions of dollars in real estate holdings, including the Sedona, Arizona retreat where Julia Siverls died and another retreat property recently purchased in Ellenville, New York.

There are reportedly 147 Dahn Centers in the United States.

Gavin NewsomDahn’s Web site is touting Gavin Newsom’s proclamation as apparent proof that Ilchee Lee is the great man his devotees imagine. And Dahn members will undoubtedly celebrate today.

But San Francisco’s mayor, known at times for his poor judgement, seems to have made another stupid mistake.

After all groups called “cults” are nothing new to Newsom. He once dated a Scientologist, actress Sofia Milos star of the TV series CSI Miami. And that brief romance included attending a Scientology fund-raising event.

It seems like Mayor Newsom may not only be a public servant, but also a public relations pawn, used by one “cult” after another.