The so-called “Kabbalah Centre” run by Philip and Karen Berg seems to be more concerned with retail sales and protecting its market share than spirituality.

It was recently revealed that Karen Berg tried to patent the organization’s trademark “Kabbalah Red String” worn by devotees to protect them from the “evil eye.”

However, the US Patents office wasn’t convinced and refused the request reported Smoking

“The Pope nor the Archbishop of Canterbury has ever attempted to trademark the crucifix,” observed The Guardian in a recent follow-up story.

The London newspaper also reported that Michael Jackson wears the red string, like his one-time friend and ardent Berg follower Madonna, to keep away “bad karma.”

Looks like the amulet failed “Wacko Jacko” big time.

But the real question is this; what is the Kabbalah Centre?

It is incorporated as a nonprofit, tax-exempted religious institution in the US, but it seems to operate more like the Berg family business.

Philip Berg once cut himself a check for more than a $1 million dollars some years ago, which effectively moved funds from the religious nonprofit he controls to his personal assets, in payment for intellectual property rights.

The Kabbalah Centre increasingly appears to be the Berg family business.

There is Philip Berg known as “The Rav,” rumored amongst his followers to be the “reincarnation of Moses,” who serves as its titular head.

Then there is Berg’s second wife Karen, the clever patent seeker that seems to run the day-to-day business concerns along with her daughter Leah from a previous marriage, who is the bookkeeper.

Philip and Karen Berg’s two sons are also in the family business, which is headquartered in Los Angeles.

Recently the Berg’s were building three homes in Beverly Hills, California. One for each son and of course another for Mr. and Mrs. Philip Berg. Madonna also bought a house in greater LA for her favorite teacher, one of the Berg’s faithful long-time retainers.

The Bergs have arguably grown quite rich from their Kabbalah Centre, hawking a retail line of books, tapes, amulets and what not to their devoted following.

The Berg product line even includes their very own “Kabbalah Water,” produced for them by a Canadian bottling company, but supposedly somehow imbued with spiritual qualities.

Despite comments from rabbis who say, “there is no such thing as Kabbalah water,” Madonna gulps it down by the gallon.

But should a supposedly religious tax-exempt charity be so brazenly concerned with its brand name?

Madonna’s spiritual teacher in London told The Guardian, “Ethics exist to be good for society. That’s great. But sometimes you don’t want to think about the world, you want to think about yourself. When you learn the Kabbalah you will learn that your real agenda – to do what you want – is actually not contradicting what is good for others.”


Maybe Madonna’s involvement is understandable within such a self-serving moral framework. After all, she once promoted herself as the “Material Girl.”


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