A post on IsraellyCool...
"I did start to look into the whole Kabbalah thing a while ago, just because my mom was like, 'Maybe you should try it.' And Demi was on the set one day at 70's Show, and it interested me, because they talk about ego and stuff." - Teen actress Lindsay Lohan explaining her profound interest in Kabbalah
One of the interesting things about Scientology, which unfortunately an acquaintance of mine became involved in several years ago (via one of their Israeli chapters, who knew they had Israeli chapters, Hashem Yazo [G-d help us!]), is that it does have a practical effect. Using their pop-psychology techniques that are part of their 'philosophy', they do actually make a difference in peoples lives. One of the draws of their organization is that with little investment and limited personal effort, except of course for financial investment (which is not little), the applicant gets a quick return.
Now we have, Hashem Yazo, Kabbalah-tology (aka The Kabbalah Centre). The Jewish mystical tradition thousands of years old and with limited circulation is hot, hip, and creating it's own line of products...
Got your Kabbalah candle?
How about your Kabbalah water?
Again, with limited personal effort (except of course for financial investment), no actual belief or involvement with G-d, the buyer gets a quick return. All through the Kabbalah Centre (a.k.a. Kabbalah-tology). The difference is, unlike Scientology, a philosophy/religion made up by a science fiction author in the 1950's, Kabbalah is real. Through study, effort, purity, and holiness, one may learn secrets of creation and how to improve ones direction in life and goals for the soul, and align them with the dictates of the Creator.
Through Kabbalah-tology, one may believe what one wishes, do what one wishes, buy a red string, a candle, some water, and a copy of the holy Zohar (large set of books), take some expensive classes, and instantly plug in to the 'light of the creator' (after drinking some water and lighting your candle of course)...
Interview with Yehuda Berg - USA Talk Today/May 27, 2004
Yehuda Berg is the son of Rabbi Philip Berg founder and leader of the Kabbalah Centre. He is also the associate director for communications of The Kabbalah Centres. Yehuda Berg is the author of The 72 Names of God.
Monrovia, California: In the Kabbalah, do you teach obedience and reverence for the 10 commandments? If yes, do you stress the teachings of the Torah and Talmud regarding the sin of homosexuality? Does Madonna and other red string wearers understand their obligation to the law?
Yehuda Berg: Kabbalah teachings of the 10 commandments isn't about just these ten laws there is much more than that. It's not just the laws but the codes hidden inside --They are to restrict our desires, not live in a reactive behavior and live a proactive life.
We teach that people who study spirituality should take responsibility. We are a non-judgmental system so we don't enforce any of the responsibilities.
Atlanta, GA: Is there a specific "higher being" that is worshipped/followed by Kabbalists or is this more of a spiritual mindset?
Yehuda Berg: There is a higher power that is discussed in Kabbalah. But a being could be God, Jehovahx, Allahx, it's all-denominational. Even if a person doesn't believe in God he or she could still benefit from its teachings.
Anaheim, California: What are Kabbalah's principles regarding pre-marital sex and abortion?
Yehuda Berg: The major part of Kabbalah is non judgmental. If a person makes a decision to do either, that's their decision. However in our world together, people have to think about the results, do we really want to have sex or because of outside forces. So we teach to focus on what you really want to do versus outside forces.
Kansas City, Missouri: Does Kabbalah consider Buddhax, Mohammadx, and Jesusx prophets?
Yehuda Berg: Prophets and Kabbalists, yes.
Ahhh, just makes me want to scream. Yet, when examined a little closer two significant points come to light. The first is that the non-judgementalism ("If a person makes a decision to do either, that's their decision") and non-committment ("we don't enforce any of the responsibilities") make it easy for people to get involved. The second is that the basic 'technology' they present is realistic ("restrict our desires, not live in a reactive behavior").
Many of the people becoming involved via this wacked organization, The Kabbalah Centre (which is the route of all of the involved pop stars), are very sincere and become very committed to improving themselves and, gradually, improving others. This leads me to wonder if this is another angle in the great plan of introducing people to the right direction and concepts, so they will recognize the ultimate truth when it becomes apparent to us all. Or, as the Rambam says in Mishneh Torah, Hilchos Melachim uMilchamoteihem, recovered uncensored edition, chapter 11 #4...
The intent of the Creator of the world is not within the power of man to comprehend...All the deeds of Jesusx of Nazareth and that Ishmaelite who arose after him (aka Mohammadx) will only serve to prepare the way for the Messiah's coming and the improvement of the entire world, motivating the nations to serve G-d together...
The entire world has already become filled with mention of the Messiah, Torah and mitzvot. These matters have been spread to the furthermost islands, and to many stubborn-hearted nations, and they discuss these matters and the mtizvot of the Torah. They say: "These mitzvot are true, but were already superseded in the present age and are not applicable for all time."
Others say: "Implied in the mitzvot are hidden concepts that cannot be understood simply. The Messiah has already come and revealed those hidden [truths]."
When the true Messianic King will arise and prove successful, his [position becoming] exalted and uplifted, they will all return...
May it be speedily in our days!
My advice to those who are looking at or involved in The Kabbalah Centre:
Be skeptical of people "selling" the truth. The truly righteous, truly mystical and truly knowledgable aren't selling, they're just quietly speaking.