Kabbalah Centre Sued for Fraud


Well here’s a shock. That completely ridiculous kaballah group started by Karen Berg and her family is being sued for fraud after soliciting huge amounts of money to build a headquarters and a charity and then apparently absconding with the money.

The Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre is being sued for over $1 million by former followers in two lawsuits alleging fraud and misuse of funds.

Both suits were filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Nov. 27 and claim that the Centre pressured the plaintiffs “to give money until it hurts,” in order to receive “the light” from its leaders, Karen Berg and her adult sons Yehuda and Michael.

Carolyn Cohen, a San Diego real estate broker, said that she and one of her companies lost some $810,000 to the Centre, which, she claimed, “engages in a pattern and practice of raising funds … for the purpose of enriching itself.”

San Diego business owners Randi and Charles Wax, the other plaintiffs, alleged losses of $326,000. In both cases, the plaintiffs said they were told that the donations were earmarked for a new Kabbalah Centre building in San Diego and for a children’s charity.

But, they said, the new center was never built and the charity abruptly ceased operation.

Now I know what I’m about to say isn’t a sophisticated analysis but I think it works well as a rule of thumb: If a religious group starts selling magic water and is endorsed by Madonna and Ashton Kutcher, there’s a very high probability that it’s a massive steaming pile of bullshit. See: Scientology.

Comments

  1. colnago80 says

    Just to make it perfectly clear so that there be no misunderstanding, it is my information that either Madonna or Kutcher are Jewish.

  2. says

    “engages in a pattern and practice of raising funds … for the purpose of enriching itself.”

    Wow, no religion has ever done that before. Apres eux, la deluge!

  3. captain_spleen says

    A million dollars?

    Scientology thinks that’s adorable.

    They probably raised two hundred times that for their “Super Power” building in Clearwater, which finally had an opening ceremony recently, despite the project having started in 1998.

  4. Sastra says

    Both suits were filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court on Nov. 27 and claim that the Centre pressured the plaintiffs “to give money until it hurts,” in order to receive “the light” from its leaders, Karen Berg and her adult sons Yehuda and Michael.

    Sounds to me like the plaintiffs did indeed finally see “the light.”

    I like to believe that the only mistake the Kabbalah Centre made was pressuring their flock for money intended for a purpose too clear, obvious, and secular — like a new building and a children’s charity — and they would have had just as much success if they invoked more esoteric, vague, and spiritual promises. But I’m probably being unfair to the believers. They’d give SOME money for mystical results, sure — but probably not as much. Cash isn’t very transcendent.

    Besides, if it were that easy, the Kabbalah Centre leaders would have had the wisdom to know that, no doubt.

  5. MattieF says

    Given the iconography used by the Wax brothers’ business (Waxie Sanitary Supply), I always assumed they were Mormon – I’m surprised to see their names come up in connection to Kabbalah.

  6. says

    Madonna isn’t from a Jewish background either, but is the biggest celeb associated with the Center. It’s simply a case of someone using a Jewish sect to shill New Age woo, instead of the usual ripoffs of Buddhism or Hinduism, and finding big bucks sheep to fleece.

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