When the Vilna Gaon excommunicated the Chassidic movement based on its early cultlike tendencies, one wonders whether he imagined 300 Breslaver Chasidim blindly following their renowned fugitive Rabbi, accused of sex crimes in Israel, from one African country to another, creating one of the greatest Chilulei Hashem of the day.
He certainly was reacting to the specter of thousands of followers of the false Massiach Shabtai Tzvi who followed their leader in his conversion to Islam and his student Jacob Frank into radical sexual permissiveness.
yet we cannot blame Rabbinic sex crimes temselves on Chasidism- we have had more than enough of these scandals spanning the full spectrum of Orthodoxy from modern Orthodoxy and Religious Zionism to Lithuanian and Chasidic Chareidism-
nor do they have the monopoly anymore on blindly following leaders into insanity……
There is something far from healthy in our own backyard, and we dare not ignore it any longer