The Kabbalah Centre is the largest, leading educational organization on the wisdom of Kabbalah worldwide. Our purpose is to make accessible the ancient wisdom and tools of Kabbalah in order to illuminate the minds and hearts of individuals, groups, and organizations -- regardless of faith, political belief, or race. Motivated by no other desire than the spiritual growth of humankind, The Kabbalah Centre, a not-for-profit organization, transforms people's lives by helping them understand and connect to the spiritual nature of the universe.
There are not many rabbis
in their seventies who can draw a celebrity crowd like Philip Berg.
Rabbi Berg - "the Rav" to his devoted followers - runs the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre, whose unorthodox interpretation of Jewish law gained prominence four years ago when Madonna credited it with "creative guidance" on her Ray Of Light album.
Since then, as she and husband Guy Ritchie have boosted attendance at the centre's thriving London branch, Berg's form of mystical Judaism has attracted fashionable supporters including Normandie Keith and Sabrina Guinness.
But there is another, more worrying side to the Kabbalah Centre that its celebrity followers seem unaware of.
For despite its claim to be "motivated by no other desire than the spiritual growth of humankind", an Evening Standard investigation can reveal growing international concern about its fundraising methods, extraordinary mystical claims and what former members say is its cult-like ability to split up families and undermine marriages.