A neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) therapist pleaded innocent Sunday to charges that he raped three sisters and committed other sexual offenses with them.
Alon Shamir, 50, was arrested two weeks ago and was indicted Sunday in the Jerusalem District Court. He was remanded in custody based on the prosecution’s claim that he may obstruct proceedings if freed.
The indictment alleged that Shamir was very close to the sisters’ family before and during the period of the alleged abuse.
Shamir’s alleged acts were only revealed in 2015 when the sisters spoke with each other about their experiences.
Shamir began working as a guided imagery therapist in 2006 and began treating the eldest sister that same year, when she was 17 years old.
In 2013 he also qualified as an NLP therapist. In 2014 he began treating the second sister and in 2015 the third sister also came to him for therapy.
Today the sisters are aged 20, 25 and 27.
He would meet with his clients in various locations including in his home, in public parks, and in his car.
Shamir was accused of multiple counts of indecent assault, rape, having sexual relations with a client and other charges.
“The indictment itself raises many questions and issues,” Shamir’s lawyer, Shiran Golbary, said in a statement. “This is an innocent man and we are certain that after we have read and gone through the appropriate material matters will become clear.”
There is no scientific evidence to support NLP therapy, and is referred to as “pseudoscience” by experts. Guided imagery therapy was once considered an alternative therapy but is now finding some scientific support.
Shamir was a regular contributor to the Srugim website, offering tips on health and lifestyle.