Daniel Greer was sentenced to 20 years in prison, suspended after 12, last month after getting convicted of four felony counts of risk of injury to a minor. Connecticut trial Judge Jon Alander considered the testimony of no less than three accusers, ie., Rabbi Avi Hack, Eli Mirlis and Rafi when he sentenced pedophile “Rabbi” Daniel Greer, AKA “the Goat” to 20 years in jail.
In spite of the testimony of no less than three accusers, in spite of the fact that the Goat’s two loyal sons fled the compound, and in spite of the fact that Dr. Ford testified in the civil trial that Ezi Greer was molested by the Goat, the Goat received numerous glowing letters of admiration, love, and support. One such love letter was written and signed by “Senior” Rabbi Albert Feldman, Rabbi Emeritus of the Westville Synagogue, who stated: “After knowing Daniel Greer for better than a half-century, I can fully vouch for Rabbi Daniel Greer’s upright moral and ethical character and behavior in all situations.”
Numerous other love letters were submitted in support of the Goat. The Goat lied to his letter writers and told them that their letters would be sealed from public view. Judge Alander never sealed the Goat’s love letters. Larry Noodles has possession of all of these love letters. I have held off on publishing all of the love letters in order to give the letter writers a chance to reach out to the three rape victims and reconsider their opinion that the Goat should be spared jail. Contrary to popular belief, I have a positive outlook on humanity. I always give people the benefit of the doubt. The Goat is not a person, he is a farm animal, so I have not given him the benefit of the doubt.
Judge Alander received one letter which would best be described as “Goat hate mail” authored by prominent psychologist Dr. Siev. You can read Dr. Siev’s letter below:
I hope that the Goat love letter writers will realize they were wrong about the Goat. The Goat fooled many smart people. The pedophile Goat fooled a PhD former fan who worked at the Yale Child Study Center as well as a Yale pediatrician former fan. The Goat fooled Larry Noodles, which isn’t very difficult. I’m not the smartest guy in the world. I didn’t graduate from Yale University like the Goat. I am hopeful that these Goat supporters, who knew the goat well, will provide me with letters with new insights into the mind of this depraved pedophile, as well as a message of compassion to the many victims of the Goat, which included the Goat’s own children.
A new victim of the Goat school recently came forward and sent me a couple of emails. I vetted and verified that this person is legitimate. He asked that I not publish his name. I got sick reading his emails. See below:
“I recently have been following your blog and I admire the good and passionate reporting you do. The Goat got off easy if you ask me, even if he wasn’t an abusive pedophile. I am fairly confidant the whole school was a sham to begin with. The first year I was there, we started off with 18 kids and by the end of the year there were only 3 kids left (one of which was a Hack) either because they left due to trauma or were kicked out for acting out. The year after, there were only 5 kids in the high school. The expenses clearly could not be covered by tuition alone, which indicates it was a front or a way to funnel money / receive funding as well as have political pull. He operated his ethnic cleansing of the Edgewood neighborhood out of that school as well, in part by pressuring out black people and repossess their houses for peanuts later to rent them out to white folk exclusively. At least this is what I gathered as a 12-14 year old. Regarding Eli Mirlis, I remember he would come back to the room at atypical hours, wiping tears with tissues almost every night. I didn’t even realize it was an indication of anything emotional at the time. I figured it was allergies or something. 12 years isn’t much at all for a crook of goat caliber. That being said, his brilliance of manipulation of people and institution should be studied and revered. Truly remarkable! Hopefully this can open the doors for Jewish communities to prosecute criminals of all kinds in public courts because clearly the beis din system is not nearly enough. I have been dreaming about the day that school would be shut down since my bar mitzvah. All the best to you! and feel free to message me with more questions. PS If you will quote me in an article, please refrain from using my last name (at least for now). Avi Hack mentioned nibbling a student’s ear and having him in the guest suite. I do remember that happening to me, and it’s gross but not in the same ballpark as what Eli endured. There was another Rabbi that isn’t a Greer or a Hack at that school who was really physical with the kids and was expressing all kinds of infatuations while massaging them and touching their faces in a creepy way. I remember he had an erection while back massaging one of the kids during class one day and he was embarrassed when he realized it was evident. Really nice rabbi otherwise…. Also, the year Eli graduated there was another kid that molested his roommate pretty badly and when Greers / Hacks found out about it, they tried to hush it up and pretend nothing happened until some of the other kids started making noise about it at which point they just expelled the perpetrator silently. I tell ya, that school was a breading ground for foul play… Greer was by far the worst but his actions had ripple effects. What bothers me about the trial is that Mrs. Ledbury, the secretary, definitely saw things and was herself a physically and mentally abused by Greer. I remember clearly how I would pass her office at later hours of the day, which was next to Greer’s, and sometimes I would hear Greer yell curses at her and would hear her cry after smacks. I had zero visuals but it was very audible. He has her under control. She always expressed fear of Rabbi Greer’s bursts of anger when I came by her office. Poor lady. Who knows how many silent victims there were confined to the walls of that institution… I have reached out to Eli in the heat of the scandal and he referred me to Antonio Ponvert III, his lawyer, who didn’t see my testimony as very relevant since I didn’t see anything overtly that I remember. All the best Larry”
I got a second email from this same former student, see below:
“It’s an uphill battle to expose these people because as deranged as they are, they also are pretty smart at navigating “the system.” At least goat got some 12 years and I don’t expect him to survive that long but he is in relatively good shape for his age. In the basement of the yeshiva in between the kitchen and the janitorial room (where Avi Hack had his first rendezvous with the Goat I suppose), was a big room packed with all sorts of booze. There was nothing else in there but that. Somehow I got the key to that room and stole a bunch of bottles on a regular basis and became a bit of an alcoholic sometime between age 12-14. This habit carried over into my life back home and was a struggle to deal with. I think that I needed to deal with the bad vibes of that school in this way. All I can say is that it has affected my development in a negative way. So….. what is a school doing with a massive collection of booze? Actually I remember Avi Hack going room to room one morning and giving everyone a healthy shot of some whisky called something “creek.” I remember the bottles he had. It was a weird thing to do. I honestly can’t remember the occasion but it wasn’t Purim even so go figure. There was a reason though. There were so many abuses that I witnessed at that place that it’s really hard to single out one over the other unless it’s overtly sexual. For example, I was one of the good kids but I was put in an apartment on top of Avi’s apartment for a week for coming to shacharis late 3 days in a row (which usually results in a monetary fine (1$/minute until 5 minutes then the rate goes up) and detention which meant just sitting on the green chairs for countless hours). That apartment upstairs was really really cold (it was winter) and Avi told me that I can’t have the heat turned up. There was nothing in that place but a nasty clogged toilet and a bare nasty mattress with springs coming out. I didn’t have anything more than my white shirt and black pants and I was going crazy in that place with no human contact except for maybe prayer but there was no communication either (I don’t remember if I went to shul or not). It was what I consider a form of solitary confinement. Avi always had a way of justifying things in his own mind but this was a random punishment. I remember all Avi brought me for breakfast was burnt toast and maybe once or twice I was able to pick out some leftovers from dinner. Another totally random thing is that my mom came to New Haven to visit me on my birthday and she took me and my buddies to get kosher pizza from the restaurant on the corner of Elm I think. Avi saw us I guess and when she returned home we were all punished severely for something we couldn’t understand. I think for some political reason Greer had a beef with that restaurant. I remember we weren’t allowed to go to Walgreens either. Last day of school I asked Avi why and he said, “for no particular reason that I can recall.” What was psychologically twisted about that place was that Greer behaved as a bad cop, scaring the shit out of everyone, admin and students, all the while Avi was good cop in always trying to justify things and be fair (although he missed that mark completely). And so in the end there were no adults that could be trusted because even Dov and Eli Greer were just weird. Moreover, the seniors in my first year there (of which Eli Mirlis was a part) all had these privileges and could impose punishments and were mandated to rat out anyone that breathed in the wrong direction. Meanwhile the privileged seniors were doing what they wanted with no punishment whatsoever. I’m sure this was all a calculated effort to dominate and break the soul of the inmate bochurim who couldn’t even trust each other and could only act out violently. I’m telling you this just for context because it was institutionalized terror and abuse on all levels and for everyone to some degree. Obviously it doesn’t compare to sexual abuse but still, who knows how many graduates are blocking out their memories of the nightmare on Elm Street (as you appropriately call it) or are still afraid to come forth. The weird thing about the whole Eli Mirlis story is that he was hanging out with one of the single Hack girls a lot. Everyone assumed that they had a little thing going on while everyone else had curfew. Eli was privileged right? So he didn’t need to account for much and had key access I think to some places. Moreover he was really chummy with Eli Greer and was always comfortably hanging around Avi Hack’s office as if he was also a boss. To be honest with you, I wasn’t so much surprised that sexual abuse was going on at that school, but rather that it happened to Mirlis in particular. The way I think a lot of us understood the power dynamic was that Eli was one of them more than one of us. I’m super proud of Eli to be able to speak out against them and have the courage to bring them to court. And I’m happy you’re actively pursuing their case. So don’t misunderstand the previous paragraph, it’s just a tiny thing that doesn’t seem coherent with what I have observed during my stay… its hard to retroactively piece things together because memory is a fickle thing. I remember a few months after Avi got married and I knew his wife was getting weird vibes as though she unknowingly entered a cult but she trusted Avi so much that she was ignoring her instincts. I remember feeling super bad for her because she was the only one there that still retained some innocence from the outside. Best regards to Eli and thank you for spending your time exposing these twisted people for what they are.”
Sholom Fine: I know and like Jed but I don’t understand this letter. Being a mean guy is not a reason to lock someone up.
- Joseph A. Orlow I was told by a Rabbi who believes Greer is COMPLETELY innocent of the molestation charges that jail is STILL appropriate because of the way Greer treated people. He didn’t use those words, but something close to them. His point was that retribution comes to those who misact even if the criminal justice system bringing the retribution is thoroughly crooked.
- You can’t make this stuff up.
- Again, he didn’t actually say jail is appropriate, but that was the gist of what he told me. It was like, “if he goes to jail, that will be fitting, even though he’s innocent of the charges.”
Sholom Fine sure, I get it. But it’s hardly a legal argument. Would your friend send a letter to the judge saying that?
Jonathan Siegel I think there’s a huge difference between simply being mean and manipulative and committing a crime like Greer was convicted of. I don’t think a long jail sentence is appropriate simply for being mean and manipulative.
Jonathan Siegel As I understand it, until the #metoo movement began changing things, which was quite recently, it was not uncommon for judges to seal documents essentially upon request, especially in trials involving sensitive matters. Mr. Dow and team’s various arguments that Greer should be treated with kid gloves during his appeals etc. might well have worked a decade ago. And a decade ago a jury might have acquitted him and if not a judge might have listened to the various “he’s a great guy” arguments. He, like the rest of us, is in some respects caught up in a wave of social change.
- Jonathan Siegel The Avi Hack deposition was not admitted at the trial and therefore could not have been a basis for conviction.
Joseph A. Orlow I deleted my comment. Because I’m not sure where you are coming from. The evidence at trial was pretty strong. I don’t think this has to do with societal fads. Avi Hack’s deposition was not admitted as evidence at trial but I think the judge could use it at sentencing. Not sure.
Jonathan Siege But the trial occurred many years after the events happened. There was a reason why nobody said anything when the events occurred. What does the evidence presented at trial have to do with the way society was, and what social expectations were, years previously? The reason nobody came forward until fairly recently is precisely because until the #metoo movement, everyone expected that tactics like Mr. Dow’s would work. I think it has a lot to do with social trends.
Joseph A. Orlow I don’t know. You are saying there were few or no convictions of molesters till recently? That’s not my impression.
Joseph A. Orlow “The link between missing and sexually exploited children is a -strong one. For ex-ample, from July 1980 through February 1984, the police / social work team of the Louisville / Jefferson County Exploited and Missing Child Unit (EMCU) in Kentucky investigated approximately 1,400 cases of children suspected of being victims of sexual exploitation. A full 54 percent (756) of the children were found to be victims and an additional 31 percent (434) of the children were considered probable victims. During this time period the EMCU prosecuted hundreds of adults for various crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children. Over 40 major cases resulted in the successful prosecution of adults involved with over 12 children each.”
Lawrence S. Dressler I think Jonathan Siegel is correct about the metoo movement. The catholic church shut down pedophile investigations for many years before metoo. The Brooklyn DAs office rarely brought cases against pedophile Hasidic Jews before metoo. Nobody was investigated in Hollywood either3
Joseph A. Orlow Well, if this is a new phenomenon, as Jonathan Siegel maintains, then all the more reason to take the ball and run with it. The goal of Redeem the Captive is to push protectors in the Rabbinate into a corner and force them to articulate their positions in unambiguous language. If the protectors really feel that innocent Rabbis are being stripped of their freedom by arbitrary prosecutors, judges, and juries, then I want to make a record of that.
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