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.

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2 comments untill now

  1. A shocking and well-written article. One wonders what the members of this Yeshiva community would think if they knew of all this.

    FYI, new version of an already existing blog (from blogger to WordPress), at http://lgatttruth.wordpress.com

    Cheers, and keep up the great work !

  2. […] religious transformation of Rama Behera, who is of Indian descent, was the focus of a previous CultNews report some time ago. At that time Behera/Cohen was affiliated with Yeshivat Rambam, a Jewish day […]

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