Local Kabbalah Cult?

Kabbalah Center or Cult?

Kabbalah Center or Cult?

“So who is moving into Kiryat Matalon as the older people die out?” I ask the woman I met in the park (let’s call her P). P has just explained that Kiryat Matalon, her upscale neighborhood at the western entrance of Petach Tikvah, no longer has enough kids to justify its own elementary school.

“The private houses are expensive,” P answers. “So the survivors divide them up into rental units. Do you know that storefront on Jabotinsky Street, Kabbalah La’am? The members of that group snatch up all the available rentals.”

“Really?” Whenever I go by the place seems deserted.

“Yes. If you go out at 3am, you see thousands of men headed there, from my neighborhood, Tel Aviv, and other cities. Many are celebrities–singers, models. . .”

This conversation is starting to ring a bell. A year or two ago I saw a response by Rav Aviner to a question about learning kabbalah. He warned the writer about a group claiming to teach kabbalah that is really a cult. His reponse included a former member’s testimony, which appears here. If the testimony is accurate Kabbalah Laam, also known as Bnei Baruch, has all the characteristics of a cult: late-night brainwashing, a charismatic leader, large charitable “contributions,” gradual initiation into an inner circle, secrecy, and ostracism of members who leave.

From the outside it seems to resemble Orthodox Judaism. The page I linked to mentions Shabbat, kashrut, niddah, modest dress for women, and kippot for men. On Sukkot and Pesach they hold huge festivals with large numbers of overseas visitors.

Nana10 has an interview with other former members of Bnei Baruch. One couple was attracted to it because, unlike others offering Jewish studies, the group didn’t object to her Italian-born husband’s non-Jewish status. (The article appears to no longer be available.)

Men are allowed to visit with their families only fifteen minutes a day. When a husband mentioned that his wife objected, his comrades told him to divorce her and get a new wife. They said “It’s like switching one cow for another.”

The woman in the park added more details, which I have no way of verifying. The newspaper article (from 2005) mentions an emphasis on skirts for women. The women in P’s neighborhood wear skirts or pants, and married women cover their hair. They stay with the kids all day through the evening; P doesn’t see fathers with the children. The men volunteer or study at the center during the evenings, and again from 3-6 AM. During Pesach and Sukkot, the men don’t see their wives at all. The women and children attend meals on Shabbat but eat separately.

Once P noticed some of the women eating on Yom Kippur. When questioned the women told her that the Jewish Torah is “shtuyot (nonsense).” They explained that they follow the kabbalah, and come from a lost tribe that had left Egypt with the Jews but never made it to Eretz Yisrael. P claims that the kabbalah center houses scrolls that look like a sefer Torah but contain a different text.

One woman from the group noticed that P’s daughter is overweight. She looked intently at P and said, “There’s nothing wrong with your daughter. It’s you. You have a sickness.” Still, all in all, P. says that the influx of young couples is good for the neighborhood. The kids attend a separate school in a different city, but enroll in local preschools and afterschool activities.

Leader Michael Leitman responded to the claims in the Nana article, saying, “We take 10% tithe like every community synagogue in Bnei Brak.” This is disingenuous. Jewish sources recommend donating at least ten percent of income to charity, but no one expects the shul to get all of it. Former group members report that real numbers are closer to 20%.

Blogger Hezi Amiel writes that the kabbalah center has a sophisticated web presence and high ranking in search engines, making it difficult for potential members to find information critical of the group.

Here’s another useful link with information about kabbalah, cults and Bnei Baruch.

Read this intense personal account: Kabbalah La-Am Victim Shares His Story


  1. My health was none of your concern for a long time.You wished me death more than once.

    btw, if you get to me and find that it is about your love and friendship or world peace and unity ..or smileys check it over so that you wont end up `feeding` people with shit all over again.

  2. Hello to everyone here on this thread. 🙂 I would like to say I enjoy my time I have with my group here in sunny San Diego. I have been studdying the wisdom for two years now and very happy to say that I have had very many meaningful and beautiful experiences through my advancements or breakthroughs following the method that is provided to us through the BB. 🙂 I understand how some people could be afraid by something that appears to be outside of their ability to comprehend but we as one human family must consider that perhaps we are afraid and attack only the things that seem foreign to us. This is quite natural and is ok. I would also like to add that yes there is an element of torture one may experience using the method provided, but this only comes if one is not able to see that it is not the wisdom that is flawed it is our broken perception of our state of awarenes. The most scary thing for us is to look at ourselves and to see what we are. Yes this can feel like torture, but if you can lift your true self up, above the ego, there will be available to the observer a chance to correct the broken ego.
    Damla, there is a very beautiful energy about you that wants to help others, and thank you for this. Continue on your path and love will be with you in complete stillness. 🙂

    As far as Mom, your concern is what a mother is for her child. <3 My mother is always following everything I do, making sure I don't get myself in a rutt. I love her dearly for it. We are all here on earth together trying to find an answer to the meaning of our life, and some of us will do anything to find it. Even if it feels like torture.

    I love my friends at the BB and in my core group. We are just normal everyday people looking for answers. Much love and peace to all truth seekers. Don't give up. Smiles and hearts. I am willing to answer any questions as well, and will pop in every once and a while.


  3. What you are doing is a complete attack on people who fears uncomprehendable and who thinks that the life is a torture without offering anything that will really change it or will clarify it. What you are preaching is bogus just as much as your happiness and smileys.
    There was and is nothing beautiful in my situation with BB that was what I said here and felt all along.
    if it wasnt an attack on your side you would only be sorry about it…and you would at least try to be sincere.

  4. If my pain and suffering sounds “beautiful” to you, I think you must at least come to accept that you are NOT my family.

  5. “Continue on your path and love will be with you in complete stillness”

    You are not a every day normal person. Everyday normal person already knows there is and was no love.
    Only a sadistic personality would speak of love and would send people after it for a search. You are not an everyday normal person.You are a sadistic personality hiding himself after a name or a group and who pretends like he doesnt see the pain before their eyes and talks through them through smileys.

  6. Note to board owner: My early posts relating the Bnei Baruch being a dangerous cult is not accesable.. I dont want to repeat myself. I made my meaning clear enough thus far and It would be convenient if you let my earlier posts be seen. Since there is nothing changing about their approach, there is nothing changing about what it is.

  7. “As far as Mom, your concern is what a mother is for her child.”

    I am not a mother. Simply the reason is that the world is owned and ruled by “your family”.

    I had a mother though, One thing my mother never did was to suggest that I should go out searching for love. it was never her instinct to suggest that. it must have come senselessly to me only after being exposed far too much to “your” family.
    If you are really willing to give your thanks to anything for what I am, try her and see if she is accepting that or not.

  8. “Everyday normal person already knows there is and was no love.”

    “One thing my mother never did was to suggest that I should go out searching for love. it was never her instinct to suggest that.”

    You had a wise mother that gave you accurate and helpful advise. The problem is that just because there is no perception of love, it doesn’t mean that love does not exist. The BIG problem is that as far as you continue focusing on receiving the love of others, Bnei Baruch’s or your mother’s, love will never exist for you, because the nature of love is not receiving, but giving. So if you are not giving, but are just thinking of what you can possibly get from everybody else, and what THEY can give TO YOU, then yes, there is no love in THIS world.

  9. Look miss, there are many people who would mistake pure pain and suffering with love, simply because “they are not given” an option by that famous giver of love in your head who up to his neck is filled with pleasure of giving anything that it irrespectively calls love.

    Just be a giver of your or his sort, I might get a gun, get out and shoot everyone I meet on the street and then can call it love and giving without blinking an eye as yourself.

    you think this is giving. and i think if i ever do this i can only be an “admirer” of edgar allan poe.I am not admiring anything with situation. I am asking for his revenge.

  10. I dont ask you to participate with me in anything with what I do..do as you do, read the sufferings of a dead man whose reason of dying never made clear because he died a hundred times, see it as art and “enjoy” it. it seems this is what best suits your understanding.

    But I ask you to participate in what YOU do and tell the people what it really is. Tell how many suffered and how tremendously they suffered through your techniques and that they still do. if you want to call it love, call it love. Dont expect me to share the same understanding of love with you before you yourself truely participate in what YOU do.

  11. Dear Damla,

    I always participate in what I do, but I don’t participate in what others may want me to do, just like it is not an adult’s place to participate in a child’s demands and temper tantrums. In order to raise children correctly we don’t give in to their whims, instead we provide an environment with our own behavior and choices where they can experience what the correct actions need to be. We cannot tell a child what to think or how to feel, all we can do is give the child an opportunity to let her own qualities grow. Development will take longer in some children than others, as we see in many aspects of human development intellectual, economic, physical, emotional…) but all children will reach the same evolution eventually: love.


  12. For all this `development` to be called love, you have to have none of me.ever.like I have never existed..only then, and if can, you are free to call this development of yours and any out of it as love. it will be anything but love.

  13. I saw a movie the other day about an entire planet that had become vampires because they wanted to defeat death. In doing this they hadn’t realized if they had all become vampires they would eventually run out of food because vampires cannot feed off of other vampires. They had been in an illusion of they’re own self preservation that they weren’t willing to see what they had become. You see a vampire cannot see his own reflection. Just imagine if one of these vampires devised a way in wich he could see what he had become. Would this camper be afraid of his own reflection and run away from himself or would he stay and face himself bravely?

    Anyway back to the movie. The hero in the movie was a vampire who had a desire to reverse his vampirism. He devised a chamber in which to transform himself into a human. The chamber would allow so much sunlight inside so that the vampire within him would dissolve yet the human part would live on.

    Well this process was very painful for the hero but he went through the pain in order to fix his disease.

    If I were to stand before the almighty and see the beauty emanating from him and looked at my self would I be ashamed that I couldn’t offer this beauty back to him?

    Well I will go through whatever it takes to be able to give back to my creator what he has given to me, but sense I can’t do anything but receive his love I have only this love with the proper intentions so that I can stand before him without shame.

    I wish I could take all the pain myself so that we could all stand before the creator and receive his love unashamed but the reason we have been split into so many peices is so that we can share the burden together. United in love so that we may return to our original state of creation. We are made in perfection we just have to be willing to look in that mirror and be brave for our father in “heaven”. Only unselfishly will we return to this perfect state.

    Damla I do want to love you, sincerely, but I do not know how without the creator. I and so many others have this desire to love the right way.

    Anyway I must go back to work. On my lunch break. Chat later. Smile ok?

  14. I watched that movie long ago. You cant even be glad you have your mirror now, arent you,”love” preacher?
    Just place that warning banner about the nature of your techniques and its varying-damaging affects on people’s mental and pysical health, social wellbeing, right on the enterance webpage of your all learning centers where it will be perfectly visible and clear. it is NOT gonna be someting like that “you will be allowed to progress in your own speed”. No, it will be so clear that people will have to reconsider everything before comign again.

    Then I, too, will perhaps begin to reconsider if there is any face that worths seeing on you.

    I havent read your message after a couple of lines, perhaps i will do later.

  15. you are not too clever with nicknames you keep on picking up each time, are you?

    “If I were to stand before the almighty and see the beauty emanating from him and looked at my self would I be ashamed that I couldn’t offer this beauty back to him?”

    before looking at the face of the almighty how about first looking at what you keep on doing to people and paying a little attention to how you are treating them and how about just trying to be ashamed of that first?

    Theoritically speaking,you are too hard on yourself, if you become the man, he would be ashamed not you.
    On the other hand, There is of course no emotion on that level.It is plain brutality. So each time when you speak of love without proof, you are raelly breaking my heart, smile ok?

  16. “Well I will go through whatever it takes to be able to give back to my creator what he has given to me, but sense I can’t do anything but receive his love I have only this love with the proper intentions so that I can stand before him without shame.”

    Yeah, you are right on. I agree with you totally. The problem begins right here where you are a being a cheater as you expose the problem and the answer and put it on the shoulders of people to whom you were throwing smileys..
    Without cheating what I still see is this: There is no love.

  17. “but the reason we have been split into so many peices is so that we can share the burden together. United in love so that we may return to our original state of creation. We are made in perfection we just have to be willing to look in that mirror and be brave for our father in “heaven”. Only unselfishly will we return to this perfect state.”

    I dont know about you but I havent been through all this shit just to let see another having exactly the same. if before sharing its “love”,god cant handle this basic logic and cant find a proper solution, he cant handle me anyway ever as well. As is seen, I am just trying to minimize the pain,with all that paranoid schizoid mind I am given by you. I never thought there can come anything perfect out of the planner of this this thing.it is such a bad joke, perhaps only you will laugh at it.

    Ashamed yet? No?..then let me go from here.. If I had a plain mind, I would just know that you cant minimize the pain of pain. But see that now I have been made into a paranoid schizoid bitch,and there..there.. hallelujah.

  18. “Damla I do want to love you, sincerely, but I do not know how without the creator. I and so many others have this desire to love the right way”

    Good intention. To begin with, I already told you how I would feel loved. Dont push people into pits.You know how the study is going and how are their affects are..just be “sincere” about it as you expose your calling which always states that there will be “no charges” for the learning center.. but never states that they will probably also feel mentally sick, totally wrong,completely lost,full of hate, crazy and dying. Say these as well and see if they are shying away.if they shy away, alas, you will never have your creator, try to be a man and get on with it.you vampires.

  19. I hear you. Thank you for the advise. If we are to tell people in order to remove the cancer, like a doctor would say, there may be surgery in order to remove it. We just have to be patient in order to allow healing. That is why we come together in order to support one another.

    We want to have true love. To sense what one another is going through. This is the only way to truly fix ourself through altruism. We first have to break through our lonely desires and have true concern for our neighbors. We nullify our selves. This could seem painful to take ourselves out of the equasion.

    Just be in peace and watch the healing begin. Like after a workout. While you are working muscle fibers are being torn and broken down. They rebuild themselves through providing the body the right nutrition and rest. This is what we do. We are one body in a higher state of reality. We are uniting. It’s a truly beautiful thing. We just have to form the right sense to feel it happening. Much love.


  20. I dont see how it could take so long to understand that people dont like people to be thrown into pits.I just met two from a reading I did yesterday. They have thrown themselves into caves and died there knowing that this is god of war and hypocricy not god of peace. This is your manner of speaking not manner of your being.It still doeas everything to keep me as a warrior.

  21. Thank you Andre. I don’t know how I would be able to stop my own evil inclination if it wasn’t for the strength you guys give me.


  22. That video just played marie. Sadly, it didnt fit any place…yet. Those two people were St Rosalie and Ahmad Yassavi, if you think that your evil is stronger than theirs, I would only say that you are being wasteful. Dont go wasting your energy on your newbies at your learning center, ok child? it seems you have a spark, perhaps you will get to a place in your vampires ward if you play a bit more fair.

  23. Thank you Marie.

    We must first establish that there is only one. There is none else beside him (echad). Now we must justify everything by faith. To us the world, or some people may feel like the enemy when in truth it is our ego that offers us this illusion. We eat it up. See but that is okay as well because we have been offered as well a way in which to rise above it. With a fully developed heart we can allow into our selves the flow of information that is being sent through a more real form of communication. I can sense that you are well in what you say, Damla. We are one soul operating different organs. The finger cannot disregard it’s self just because it discovers that it is actually a hand. And so on into the discovery of it’s body heart and mind.

    We all have a huge task in uniting, and it is wonderful. I talk too much sorry.

    You guys are great. Thank you Damla for helping me discover your concern. And thank you mother in Israel for this thread. Thank you Marie.

    Now let’s get over this wall and unite for the creator! For true love that you all deserve.

    Shalom and L’Chaim!

  24. I am sorry but I hardly have any will to unite for any creator who builds the walls in the first place and then comes to stand against those with its polite speech but nothing else and still talks about `getting over` those walls just by scattering thanks and greetings..
    Geez, I was thinking that it was I who went mad.
    I dont have any intention of being well for a long time. I repeat that THIS was the exact reason why I started this thread here. I think there is enough proof for anyone to see how and why Bnei Baruch takes lives and replaces them with madness. Do I thank you for the proof? No, absolutely not.you shouldnt have done this and lied to people in the first place.

  25. it is not my god who waits for a time untill people will have no soil left to dig a cave for themselves, will `force` them to get out by all brutal means but death and will eventually call all of this structure as love and perfection.it is madness. Go on, have it yourself `please`.
    if you made any mistake with your presentantion of that `creator` which I learned through your methods and person to be that brutal and cruelsome, `please` go correct that mistake of yours first.

  26. Well I’ll leave it at that. Thank you for your time. You helped me to realize things about myself.


  27. Realize as much late as you can. Have your knowledge, have your manners, have your politeness, have your indoors tourturing. The truth is you either dont have me in your “unity” or you dont have your love.

  28. I’m closing the comments thread for now.

  29. ah, mother in israel..what a creative nickname indeed. you forgot to say hi and greet your friends from bnei baruch.it almost feels like I dont exist in me when you dont push forth your kindness to cover your actuality.

  30. I would like to tell a memory of mine for you mother of israel..good nickname..indeed.. it was in april or may perhaps about two months later I met Bnei Baruch. it was hot, I had this urge to urgently clean up the aquarium of my fish..I noticed there wasnt enough drinking water at home for the change.i went out to get some. it was such a rush that the aquarium needed clean water..There was no explanation for it but it was a matter of life and death that i should make it soon..I was walking on the street wearing that dress, suddenly I noticed that I was naked..I was walking naked in the street I looked down and saw the dress on me, but it was so true I was naked. There was immense pressure in my mind and in my soul. feeling that way and for trying so hard to make things fine for the aquarium..I must have smiled.
    I got home, did the thing. it was such a rush. later on I told my boyfriend that perhaps we should walk naked on the streets and he said that people arent ready for that yet.he must have laughed. that boyfriend left me when I first went dark ..he said he has been expecting me to tell everything to him. it was impossible to tell that hatred to anyone and make it sound as it is.

    so, do you like dying in fire or getting buried alive?

  31. I went countless times dark until there is left no meaning to a smile or to love. I have seen hell. I have been hell. I have been nothing else. This is what these people have thaught me now I believe there is really none else beside it. They will smile and greet you and will say “walk this way”.youd better make your picking before you do..do you like dying in fire or getting buried alive?

  32. everyday people will converse you like they are a god from olympos and when you get to a edge they will push you down.. your boy friend will talk meaningless and with all sorts of symbols and later on will blame you for being an alien whenever you try to talk about what is going on ..then you will be left for not telling everything to him. He must have laughed.
    you will have a deaf father who will never hear what you say and a loving mother who would call each time when you are feeling the whole hatred of the world upon yourself.You will cut yourself, bruise yourself, try to poison yourself. Everyday tasks will never work, single digit numbers wont get added up even with pen and paper.you will lose your mind to all ends and whenever it comes back to you, you will know it is just another begining. you make friend with the dead simply because they cant come to push you down the edges, they just speak like a god from olympos or look through you. They will talk about a game and hapiness all the time when you are sure only the pain is yours.you give up hope on death simply because nobody listens to dead among the living. You will curse every moment that you have hoped a thing.you will get up to go to work each morning simply because you cant have a cave even if you do what will come with you?

    • This is the last comment for now.
      Damla, I am certain that Marie and Andre realize I am not in the least sympathetic to BB. I hope that others will learn from your experience.

  33. Hello,

    I was involved with Bnei Baruch for 5 years. I was one of the original founding members of Bnei Baruch Miami Group. I worked as Assistant Executive Producer in the Education Center and was exposed to the “inner circle” of Bnei Baruch in Israel. This group is without a shadow of a doubt a CULT. It is very concealed especially from the groups outside of Israel. They use the money and volunteers from around the world to build their center in Israel and attract more students in order to entangle them into their web of deceit. Michael Laitman’s interpretations of the original texts are corrupt and twisted to serve his personal agenda. The vulgarization of the kabbalah by Laitman is so severe that it can cause enormous confusion and depression in a person including death. Patrick Legault committed suicide while he was involved in Bnei Baruch as a teacher of their “ka blah blah.” Bnei Baruch does not accept any criticism of their group practices even though criticism is a principle teaching of kabbalah by Baal HaSulam. People from around the world are sharing their very personal experiences regarding Bnei Baruch on the site http://www.bbkabbalah-thetruth.com. I encourage people to contact them and share their experiences. Now BB is fronting a polical party called the Together Party in Petah Tikvah and is concelaing that all the members of this party are BB members who are completely beholden to Michael Laitman. Laitman is maneuvering for power and control and he does it through using others as his political puppets.


  1. […] His Story Posted on Jan 4, 2011 in Cults | 0 comments In April 2009 I wrote a post about the Bnei Baruch Kabbalah Center. Since then the post has had a steady stream of search traffic, along with comments from both […]