A shocking testimonial from an ex-Bnei Baruch false kabbalah cult member:
“So whoever wants to tell a lie will first lay a foundation of truth and then construct the lie.” (Zohar I:2b)
“This, in a nutshell, has been my experience with Michael Laitman and Bnei Baruch. If you should have the patience to read my story, you will understand why I am sharing it.
Some background…I was initially drawn to Kabbalah by Ramban (Rabbi Moshe ben Nachman-Nachmanides), who shared a hint of his Kabbalistic insights in his Commentary to the Pentateuch. This led me to searching The Zohar and additional books by contemporary scholars and Rabbis blending Jewish theology and mysticism. Thus, when I came across an online invitation to a Kabbalah lecture given by Michael Laitman in the fall of 2007, I attended the lecture and purchased two books for further study.
In January 2008, I began the ARI online Kabbalah classes. Shortly thereafter, I received an email concerning a comment that I had posted on a Kabbalah & Spirituality Meetup (not founded by Bnei Baruch) from a woman saying that she had intuited from my comment that I was studying with BB and inviting me to meet her for lunch. A few months later (4 to be exact), I was introduced to the local men’s group and asked to contribute $100 per month to help support the local study center. I attended my first Kabbalah congress in May 2008 and got involved with the BB Internet dissemination team writing articles for Internet dissemination and the Kabbalah Today newspaper. I was active in local dissemination and in 2010 became more involved with the learning center, editing and deploying the English Department newsletters and student retention emails. I also began editing children’s materials and contributed five stories to the English children’s book.
Throughout this whole time, local maintenance dues were coming from my husband – I was not employed outside the home except to help occasionally in my husband’s business and various temporary jobs (from which I paid the maaser). My husband also became involved with BB studying and attending several congresses; he enjoyed the social aspect of the group for a time but stopped driving to the center for daily lessons as the blaring audio in Russian made it difficult for him to follow the lesson using the headphones for translation.
Fast forward to 2011-2012 when Laitman began denigrating American Jews on a regular basis, disseminating a social-political agenda without mentioning Kabbalah, and sending emails “ordering” Americans to vote for Romney, at this point my husband was pretty much DONE with BB. I had gone back to work full-time, continued listening to the daily lessons at home and working a few hours per week on the new Internet dissemination Project World Events. Several months passed and I agreed to meet with the local BB women at a restaurant for dinner where most of the conversation was devoted to their asking me questions about my husband: What can they do to bring him back to the group? Did the men do something wrong that upset him? Who should call him? Etc. with all of them telling me how much they miss my husband. As we were leaving the restaurant, they reminded me to vote for Romney, explaining to me “Rav said that we MUST vote for Romney.” When I shrugged it off, they really pushed me for an answer about it, which I politely declined (I don’t vote and tell).
Still I kept plugging along and decided to really give it my best effort, to prepare my intention for the One Global Woman convention. The convention was as usual Russian audio blaring so loudly that I could barely hear the English translation through the headphones, with the added bonus of women drinking shots of vodka at 9:00 in the morning, but most surprising was the roundtable discussion. When I contributed a comment about the candle flame as metaphor for unification (Baal Hasulam, Introduction to the Study of the Ten Sefirot, Item 134) it was apparently considered some sort of problem or challenge to the groupthink, which prompted one woman to quite loudly and forcefully direct her comment to me personally, reminding me that women should only support and push the men to unification.
The final break for me was a post at Laitman.com on March 29, 2013, “Monolithic Unity of the Team”, wherein Laitman himself reveals the lie. Speaking about our children’s future Laitman admits that what he is promoting is NOT Kabbalah; rather, Laitman says, “This is psychology.” In this blog post Laitman, who is not a psychologist, promotes what he calls, “psychological training” for our children. “We can teach this [monolithic unity] to kids so that they will think, feel, and behave that way,” he says, explaining the monolithic unity by the following gruesome example:
“There is even a tragic example of a submarine that was sinking and half the crew could have saved themselves, but the other half could not. So, the first half refused to leave the submarine, and eventually they all died. They felt that they were so connected that they could not leave their friends!”
Laitman’s promotion of mass suicide as an example for children to emulate is truly terrifying. It is most certainly NOT Kabbalah. In fact, it is completely contrary to Kabbalah (Zohar 208b: “Whoever sustains one soul in the world merits life and merits to be united with the Tree of Life”) and it is completely contrary to Judaism (Jerusalem Talmud, Sanhedrin 4:1 (22a): “Whoever destroys a soul, it is considered as if he destroyed an entire world. And whoever saves a life, it is considered as if he saved an entire world.”).
I am brokenhearted and deeply sorry that several of my stories for children have been linked to Laitman Kabbalah Publishers. I sincerely hope and pray that my stories will be received with the intention I had in writing them: to share my experience of God’s infinite love, the wondrous blessing of life, and the beauty of creation.
As it is written (Deut. 30:19): “I call heaven and earth to witness you today: I have put before you life and death, blessing and curse–therefore choose life!”
Question: The children are our future and the world’s future. They work on connection by playing games, but sometimes they get tired of the connection games and say, “That’s it, enough! We want someone to finally win.” What can we do in situations like this?
Answer: It is a problem when someone in the group wants to win. It means that the game isn’t managed correctly. Of course, both grownups and children always wish to win. It is a psychological urge that exists in each of us to some extent. However, education is about teaching a child gradually to think that it is impossible to win alone but only together, and then a habit becomes a second nature.
This is psychology. This is how many groups around the world are trained, such as divers, athletes, and so on. It is psychological training. When a person understands that, even if he succeeds in something, it is still thanks to the group. So, this is something that must be learned. We can teach this to kids so that they will think, feel, and behave that way.
There is even a tragic example of a submarine that was sinking and half the crew could have saved themselves, but the other half could not. So, the first half refused to leave the submarine, and eventually they all died. They felt that they were so connected that they could not leave their friends!
This example shows to what extent the preparation for connection—for the feeling of “we” without which there is no “I”—is developed in a person.”
From Michael Laitman’s personal blog, “Laitman.com”