Thursday, January 06, 2011

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The Horror of a Kabbalah Cult

Excerpted from A Mother in Israel with permission.  Substantially edited as the author’s order of events was rather confusing, seemingly in the order he thought about them rather than when they happened.

It’s been a while since we’ve spoken about the Kabbalah Cults.  These are organizations that have taken the deepest and most esoteric part of Judaism, kabbalah, and attempted to extract the “holy technology” without it’s religious context or the requirements of those involved being extremely pure and extremely meticulous in their Torah and mitzvot.

The results are dangerous. Dangerous spiritually, mentally, and financially.  A Mother in Israel received a detailed story of one who became entailed in such a cult.  We excerpt and re-order it here, though it’s worth reading the whole thing there.

A bit of kabbalah background to start.  Kabbalah speaks extensively about the energy or “light” of Hashem and how to disseminates throughout creation.  It also speaks of how we can be better receptacles (kelim) for the pure energy of Hashem or, G-d forbid, if not thoroughly following Torah and mitzvot receive such energy in a more back-handed fashion.  Kabbalah cults always focus on “receiving the light” and gaining exceptional abilities by doing so (always omitting the Torah, mitzvot, and purity parts).

IMG_6359

“My Story of Bnei Baruch” (“Free” Kabbalah Centers)

I’ve never been to Israel. (My story takes place over the Internet.)  I’ve met very few people from the center in person and only once went to meet some other local ‘students’ in my region. I was one of those guys ‘studying’ over the internet, exchanging emails and watching lessons live with others while talking on instant messaging programs, bombarding each others with emoticons.

After the first night I kept ‘studying’. I would download every lesson. I would make sure I could watch them live, to my own loss, to the loss of my sleep and health, and to the loss of my other personal affairs. It was normal at that time to cancel meetings with friends and family to watch their broadcasts. Because of the time zones, my schedule had to be significantly altered. They make a big point about watching the thing live, because by this you will ‘draw more light that reforms’ by ‘connecting all your points in the heart at the same time’.

I listened to the lessons on my mp3 everyday. I didn’t think about anything else. I woke up and put on my headphones, I went to sleep with my headphones, listening to Michael Laitman through an interpreter. I wanted so badly to achieve ‘equivalence of form’.

No real explanation is ever given about anything you ask about the study material. Formally, they answer questions with more obscure stuff, but substantially, the answer is always ‘faith above reason’. Faith in what? Faith in the promise that Michael Laitman makes me that I’ll become a ‘god’.

I can only imagine (what) those guys go through, waking up at 3 am in the morning to ‘draw the light that reforms’. Can you imagine … to wake up at 3 am in the morning to read some texts they will NEVER understand, written by some obscure kabbalist years ago, during 3 full hours … in the hopes that by doing this they will become GOD HIMSELF (by giving live kabbalah lessons on the internet?)

(After being focused on nothing but these lessons for a period of time) bigger problems started to appear. I started to hate EVERYTHING and EVERYONE. I disagreed with everyone, and constantly picked arguments with people over meaningless things. People were surely annoyed by me. Deep down in ‘my’ soul, I felt this enormous hate for everyone. I wanted to kill everyone.

I would have gore images flashing in my mind, amputation, death, horrific images. They all looked like they were my own imagination. It didn’t look like hallucinations. No, they were just very vivid imagery. Like, if I say the word ‘elephant’, you will think of an elephant. But the elephants I was seeing in my mind were all monstrous and ugly, and they stomped people, and tortured them in many different ways. And I really enjoyed this. I enjoyed the hate. I would walk in the streets and parks and imagine everyone around me being crushed by evil things, and electrocuted by lighting coming out of my body. I felt so much hate. And those imaginations were very vivid, yet at the same time they looked like my own imagination, it looked like I was just imagining those things because I wanted to, out of fun or boredom. I rarely associated those things with Bnei Baruch or kabbalah. Everyone around me was seen by me as just an egoist, and all the things I had to do, my work and other affairs, all that was just hindering my progress of uniting with, and becoming, the ‘creator’. So I hated everyone, even the ‘group’ and ‘friends’, because they were doing such a poor job and ‘disseminating’ and ‘uniting’. The world was a stumbling block to my progress.

I became careless with my affairs. There was much loss during this period, things I will never recover. Time wasted. So this … ‘study’ is not ‘free’ at all [Bnei Baruch differs significantly from other kabbalah cults in offering all basic lessons for free.]  I became obsessed with some specific people. I wanted to teach them what ‘real love’ was (as if I knew), as opposed to the ‘egoistic love’ they had. Many relationships were lost, and never recovered. I had some very intense urges and desires that are too embarrassing to share. I was turning into a psychopath and I knew this was happening! After all, the ‘kli’ had to grow large enough to contain the ‘light’. I was always evil like that, I thought, I just never noticed it because there was no ‘light’ shining on my mind to show me my evil; my ‘ego’ was just growing because of the influence of the light. This is what they will say to you. You have to think carefully about this: what ‘light’ would make you turn evil? Who would shine this light on you, and why?

You really start to believe all sorts of crazy things trying to understand what are the spiritual things they are talking about. Like people in red are out to get you. Or all sorts of crazy stuff I won’t mention but that just go way beyond the weirdness meter. I believed I would wake up and everyone would reveal to me that the world was just a show, that everyone was the puppet of the ‘creator’, they were pretending to live and could read my mind. Very weird behavior came out of this. Very weird thoughts. Very weird visions and imagery. Very weird concepts. Nothing ever made any sense anymore from then on. This is why Bnei Baruch always insists that people don’t change their habits and jobs and clothes and that they just behave like normal people, not because they are normal, but because it is important to give a positive image of Bnei Baruch (like when they asked students not to smoke in public.)

They have a story about some kabbalist/student of theirs named ‘Shimon form the market’… Essentially, this guy Shimon, they tell, after devoting himself for a long time to the ‘god’ of the kabbalah just had a psychotic break and went around in the local marked doing stupid things he would never do. This is understood to be a sign of amazing progress! They’ll even sing about this, wishing it happens to them! He ‘crossed the machsom (the barrier)’ that day! I don’t know the details, and I really don’t want to research this stuff at this time, but HAVING A PSYCHOTIC BREAK IS THE PURPOSE OF THEIR KABBALAH [teachings]! The whole deal of ‘crossing the machsom’ is about this, you ‘cross the machsom’ when you have your own, personal psychotic break. When you lose track of what is real. This is why you have people fainting at their conferences.

There are only 3 things in the universe, we are told by [this kabbalah cult]. The ‘light’, the ‘vessel’ and the ‘screen’. That is, the Creator (light), the creature (vessel) and… something else. This screen is the magical sixth sense that the ‘creator’ will give you if you read the writings of Baal Hasulam with a big enough desire with the correct group and intention everyday for 3 to 5 years.

[The “Baal HaSulam” is Rabbi Yehuda Ashlag, who wrote a commentary on the Zohar called the Sulam, the Ladder, and a sefer explaining the Sefirot of kabbalah.  For some reason it seems these books are the foundational or conceptual books used by the kaballah cults.]

The ‘massach’ is something that ‘covers’ the ‘kli’, and in fact becomes the new ‘kli’. The ‘kli’ is, in fact, you. Technically, the ‘kli’ is your desires, but since kabbalah understands that we are just pure desires, with even our reason functioning as a slave to our desires, the ‘kli’ is, in fact, you.  Everything is backwards in kabbalah, they call this the principle of ‘inverse relationship between lights and vessels’. That is, white is black and black is white, evil is good and good is evil. But anyway, the screen is the most desired ‘spiritual gift’ you can receive. It allows you to start ‘climbing the ladder’ that ultimately will lead you, and all the ‘friends’, and all humanity eventually, to become GOD. You receive it after your psychotic break, I mean, after ‘crossing the machsom’.

So this thing, this massach, stands between you and the ‘light’ of the creator. Its function is to reject the ‘light of God’. That is because, according to kabbalah, you have to REJECT THE REAL GOD before you can start to work on BECOMING A “GOD”. This is the real meaning of their evil, evil, deceitful doctrine. They teach this story to every new student: The story about the host and the guest: imagine God invites you for dinner. The most perfect dinner ever, right? A normal person would enjoy the meal and have much fun, it would be perfect, or at least an immense honor. Not for the kabbalist! They just feel frustrated that they are not the host, that they are not God. So they throw a tantrum, and reject the food, saying to His face that they will only eat unless the host makes them a “god” too. This intention and attitude is the ‘massach’, or screen is the essence of kabbalah. It is the REJECTION of all the blessings of the real God. It is the rejection of all reality, the belief that everything is just an illusion of our minds, that one day we will all have power over it, when we unite as one mind. The ‘massach’ is like a thick shell that keeps you separate from the real world, and gives ‘you’ a space to ‘create’ your ‘inner light/reality’.

After rejecting God and reality, you can start to correctly receive the ‘light of hochma’, or light of ‘wisdom’. It is the light that will give you understanding and open your eyes, and turn you into a god… The name is interesting. They butchered the meanings of the creation story of Adam and Eve, and in fact, they ask you not to read the Torah (because it is a very old book that was not written for our generation, and we cant understand that when it says ‘donkeys’, it is really talking about some sublime spiritual thing, that is much better explained in the writings of Baal Hasulam). But anyway, isn’t there a story in the Torah about someone who rejected God while craving some tree of ‘hochma’, that would turn you into a ‘god’ too? They have drawings explaining this story… They will draw rectangles divided in the middle, or concentric circles with lines cutting them, or whatever, always quoting their beloved Baal Hasulam, and will explain to you that those things in scripture are all spiritual things, not real things, so Adam and Eve, Abraham, Egypt and all those stories become ‘zat the binah’ or ‘gar de binah’ or the ‘light of adam harishon’ or whatever!

(Once) they get you to believe that those abstract spiritual things are real things, they can supply you with tons of nonsense articles and books and videos trying to explain them to you and how to ‘contact’ or ‘perceive’ those things. You don’t understand the books and articles and videos? That’s because you are not supposed to understand it, you are supposed to ‘feel’ those things, like you feel your hand, so have some faith above reason and a lot of desire, and they will be ‘revealed’ to you.

Can you see the psychological RAPE that is believing all this stuff? If you can’t see it, I can only pray for you. Oh, wait, kabbalists don’t pray like everyone else. A prayer, for them, is just the desires in your heart. Poetic, isn’t it? There is no point in worshiping anything, just in desiring very strongly that we will be spiritually sucked and ‘lifted’ by ‘galgata’, ‘ab’, ‘sag’, ‘ma’ and ‘bon’ into the spiritual world, so we will become like ‘them’. Those are not ‘demons’ or anything like that, they are ‘partzufim’, spiritual entities with no self will, created by the ‘creator’. They are like robots, really.

I also did a lot of ‘dissemination’ back then. I was once trying to explain to some guy about kabbalah. He showed some interest in it. He was a voodoo practitioner, among other ‘black magic’ stuff he studied and ‘practiced’. He asked me what kabbalah is all about. So I told him the story that I heard from Michael Laitman, about the chariot rider and the horse. The ‘creator’ is the chariot rider, and we are the horse. Kabbalah, I said, quoting Laitman, is used to turn us into the chariot rider, while still being the horse. So we will guide creation and our own destinies the way we want, and in the same direction this ‘creator’ wants, while we feel we are ‘him’, too, while still living in this earth. That’s interesting, he said. My voodoo teacher has this story, very similar, to explain voodoo: evil spirits use humans for their own profit, as cattle, as if to ‘plow the fields’. Voodoo is used to put us in the place of the farmer, and the evil spirits in the place of the cattle, to change places, so evil spirits will do our bidding, and harm other people for us.

So you see, voodoo and (kabbalah cults) are basically the same idea, except that in (kabbalah cults), the ‘evil spirits’ already proclaim themselves to be the ‘creator’, and you never get to be the ‘chariot driver’ anyway, you just ‘feel’ like him, you are still the horse! And you don’t have to say you study kabbalah because you want power to harm others, you just do it because ‘you love the others’, and want to accelerate the ‘path of suffering’ of the world… This guy started to study kabbalah because he thought it was more cool than voodoo.

It is interesting to note that you get an immense desire to harm others with these supposed ‘semi-divine’ powers you’ll undoubtedly have, before and after you ‘cross the machssom’. Before you ‘cross’, you just think you’ll have those powers… After you ‘cross’, you really think you can change reality with your mind… Every crisis and earthquake, every plane-crash, every murder… You start to think that those things are the ‘spiritual attack of the creator’ and of the kabbalists, sending pain to the world until it realizes how evil it is… (the cult kabbalists) really enjoy disasters and crisis and wars for this reason, they feel it will draw more people to them.

I know for sure now that supernatural entities do exist, and they can, through organizations like Bnei Baruch, be very evil and deceptive, and will harm you in ways you won’t imagine. Bnei Baruch is a cult, but not just about money or political influence. It really is spiritual sabotage. They say they have a real secret doctrine that came, passing from teacher to student, from Adam and Abraham to Baal Hasulam, and us… But really, their metaphysics and cosmology is no different than voodoo! … Even after separating from them, and trying to forget all this, I still had night terrors, and depression, and anxiety, and suicidal urges, and I wanted to run away, and scream, and I feared everything.

They will make you addicted to their ‘light’. In a sense, it’s like sex. Bnei Baruch even calls it that! We are supposed to have ‘zivug’ with the ‘light’, and the ‘seed’ of the light will grow inside us, and we will give birth to a new ‘kli’. They even say that there is ‘violent zivug’, and ‘consensual zivug’. In a sense, spiritual rape. Both seem to be important. ‘kli’ means ‘vessel’ or ‘desire’, right? No. It means ‘instrument’. Think about that. Do you want to be the ‘instrument’ of this spiritual thing, whitch may or may not be the ‘creator’? Do you think that the real God needs Michael Laitman to speak for Him? Do you want to join the ‘world instrument’ of whatever is it that moves the tongue of Michael Laitman? He has suggested in numerous occasions that it is not him that talks, but a ‘spiritual’ thing that he calls ‘creator’ that talks during the lessons, through him.

The group exists to BRAINWASH you! They mean this LITERALLY!  Their lessons, the live lessons which they encourage everyone to attend live, don’t give them a profit, on the contrary, I’m sure it’s very expensive for them! Would the real Creator of the universe need us to gather over the internet at the same time to change our hearts? Not Him! He could do it anytime. But they worship something else, something limited, who only calls itself ‘creator’, and needs us to gather like sheep at a specific time, to devour us all together.

They also need tithes. You see, they need to bring the ‘science of correction’ to all the peoples of the world. They have at least 3 hours of daily video archived EVERYDAY, since at least the year 2000, on a private server! That’s a lot of data! Why do they need this? Who pays for it? They also have their own TV channel now in Israel. Soon one in the US too? Those guys in the lessons pay for this with tithes? Why the massive archive? If you ask about watching older videos, they will tell you not to do it, but to join in the present lessons, because there is more ‘light’ there.  They started to ‘disseminate’ in China, and said that they don’t really need to translate all the ‘Jewish stuff’ about Moses and all that into Chinese to have students from there, they only need to translate the technical stuff the Baal Hasulam wrote about ‘partzufim, sephirot’ and all that incomprehensible garbage.

I also remember them saying that they only observe Jewish religious customs to ‘lure in’ (aka, fool) religious Jews, because those things really have no meaning in themselves… The important thing is the ‘intention’ (aka, the screen, or masach… The screen IS the intention. This screen is the thing I was talking about above, whose function is to reject God…). 613/620 commandments? No, they are actually 613/620 desires, or ‘klis’, that have to be corrected!… So you have to put a ‘masach’ on each of them? Isn’t that interesting? You have to reject ALL the commandments of God, in your intentions, in order to reach the ’125th step of the spiritual ladder’, and ‘become a god’!

It is my belief that this stuff has nothing to do with Judaism or with God or with good intentions or with altruism. It is a brain-washing cult. Their conferences are meeting places for demons to feast on the pain of miserable people. Their objective is none other but to drive THE WHOLE WORLD INSANE. The more miserable you feel, the better for them.

I hope other people find somewhere else the happiness they are desperately seeking in (a kabbalah cult). Because (a kabbalah cult) will give you just some very euphoric moments, where you will believe you are the ‘creator’, and you are bonding with others… In fact, you are bonding with something else… And its not the creator… All you’ll be able to, and want to do, will be to destroy things, not create, destroy your life and the life of everyone else around you, and those euphoric moments will be surrounded by complete despair, those moments of ‘illumination’ will be collected from you as very heavy price afterwards in the form of total emptiness (they even have articles talking about this, and how this is a good thing, how it is good to suffer to ‘pay’ this ‘creator’…). Its hard to believe that an organization that only talks about love and friendship could be so destructive, but this is the stuff suicides are made off.

Reminder, we’ve edited this for brevity and re-ordered it to reduce the confusion factor.  The original is here.  If you’re interested in learning kabbalah as a Jew, consult your local orthodox rabbi for a program of complete Torah and mitzvot observance and learning, and to be directed to a kosher kabbalah teacher after achieving a solid level of Torah learning and life maturity.  Alternatively learn some chassidus, which presents some of the knowledge of kabbalah but safely wrapped and filtered.  If you’re a non-Jew, kabbalah’s not for you – it’s not even for us if we’re not properly grounded in Torah, mitzvot, and maturity!

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Many years ago, a representative from Bnei Baruch contacted me about advertising on my website. I read their materials written by Mr. Laitman, and was not convinced. My intuition told me to reject this website from being kosher. Kaballah that is being taught to secular people is not kaballah, it's witchcraft, to say the least.

Anonymous said...

there the main form of torah pamphlets distributed to secular jews and gentiles in brookline , ma . theyre free pamphlets are at every grocery store in the city many russians as you know are into it . the red string holy water does god wear lipstick was here too making inroads for 7 years !Its basically kabbalah even shemot mamash the religous should but dont delve into theyre big into the name of 42 and the name of 72 to cure you . with less emphasis on the mitzvot they call it the light

mother in israel said...

Pamphlets are passed out at book sales--there was a long line at their stand at Shavua hasefer in Tel Aviv--and elsewhere.

Anonymous said...

Wow... I read Dr. Laitman's blog every day. I've read all his books and taken the classes. My experience is totally different.

For the record, I could tell you a similar tale about Chabad. But I also know that it was only my perception - not reality.

R. Ben David said...

I have had some experience with some of the kabbalah cults. They take deep Kabbalalistic concepts, distort them some and them give them to people who do not have a "kli" to handle it. How do you get a "kli"? By proper Torah observance, Mitzvoth,and prayer. That is the only why for a Jew. After builing a good mature "kli" can you try to get accepted by a "KOSHER" Kabbalah Yeshiva, which are only in Yrushaliym, as far as I know. The reason I know is that I am currently studying in one as a very mature {age withheld} Torah observant Jew.

Anonymous said...

I HOPE MR. LAITMAN BURN IN HELL!! THEY DISTORT AND DESTROY PEOPLES LIVES. PRETEND THEY STUDY BAAL HASULAM TEACHINGS....THAT MAN IS GETTING RICHER WITH YOUR MONEY....THEY DO NOT ACCEPT YOU GIVING MONEY FOR OTHERS ORGANIZATONS. THEY WILL ACCUSE YOU IF YOU DONT GIBE THE MAASER, AND SAY YOU ARE NOT REACHING SPIRITUALITY. STUPID BNEU BARUCH CULT!!!

Michael Stamler said...

If someone who was not raised in modern society was brought into a hospital operating room and he saw a bunch of people in strange garb with knives in their hands about to cut open a sleeping person he/she might be overwhelmed with dread and disgust. But those that know better know that these people are the angels on our Earth who save lives.

Ignorance has always bred hate, panic and paranoia. I have been involved with Kabblah studies from a variety of religious sources and also have been involved intimately with the Bnei Baruch. I can say unequivocally that this organization is also composed of angels that are simply not understood by people like those who wrote this article.

It is utterly unfair and wrong to paint this organization as demons. They don't force anyone to do anything and they don't make anyone feel guilty about anything. All they want to do is spread the very important message that love of mankind is the supreme value that we must all aspire towards.

The material itself may be very involved and technical but the goals are clear. They are definitely NOT a cult group as they don't force themselves on anyone.

I myself was with them a number of years and decided to withdraw. No one pursued me and no one made me feel guilty in any way whatsoever. Instead, today, I connect to their site, learn from their online lectures and materials at my pace and when I feel like it and I can clearly say that I am personally enhanced by it all.

So enough of this demonizing. Let's see the Bnei Baruch and Dr. Laitman for who they are: beautiful people who are only trying to teach material that has been approved by the Gedolai Hador already. Let's start to love each other and end this hate.

Michael Stamler
michael.hallakstamler@gmail.com

Zohar said...

Im with Michael Stamler.
I too was involved with them for several years. I stopped because it was too much for my personal life and lifestyle.
and I too, am connecting with the material through their web site. ALL is free and open. beautiful lessons.
I was never asked to pay a penny and I've been reading their material for years. In a way I felt supporting their operation by buying hard copies books although those were all available online.

Just because one man telling the story above had psychotic tendencies and obviously went nuts, doesn't mean there's any wrong doing in this organization.

I hope they will continue their sacred mission.
With love,
Zohar

Anonymous said...

"
Four men entered pardes —

Ben Azzai,
Ben Zoma,
Acher (Elisha ben Abuyah),
and Akiba.

-Ben Azzai looked and died;

-Ben Zoma looked and went mad;

-Acher destroyed the plants;

-Akiba entered in peace and departed in peace.

"

... it is neither you nor kaballah, all good things for all, everything in good time ...

BunnyJean said...

I had decided to listen to one of the teachings of Bnei Baruch. Together with my Tanakh and the Shamati I sat down to listen to lessons 8 & 9. I had to stop because I kept hearing a couple of ideologies that were contrary to scripture. I tried to keep an open mind, so I listened again, and again, trying to make sense out of what I heard. It would require me to throw out the truth contained in the Tanakh in order to hold fast to what BB was teaching. Are the principles taught in Kabbalah normally contrary to scripture???

Akiva said...

Contrary, no. Though not always easily reconcilable without in depth knowledge.

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