Michael Laitman, the leader of the Bnei Baruch false kabbalah cult, defines maaser or tithing as his members giving a tenth of their gross income only to HIS organization, and that it’s a necessary thing for his cult members to pay maaser but only to his false kabbalah cult if they wish to ‘advance’ (in spirituality). Those who don’t pay are ‘stealing’.
Below is a transcript of Michael Laitman explaining maaser in the following video:
“In short, what I got, and it doesn’t matter if it’s ten pennies or ten million, and it’s a waste for a person, because if he doesn’t do it he can’t advance. If he has this problem of paying then he shouldn’t come to the group. He can disconnect us. Afterwards when he will decide he will, then he’ll do it and he can come. Otherwise, until he meets this condition, that this tenth part of the money goes to dissemination against his own tenth part, then he can’t advance without it…
If you contribute to other goals, if you contribute to other purposes, that doesn’t give you any chance and any connection to kabbalah and you have no reason to come to us. If you think that there’s some other means that can benefit the world besides this method don’t come here. Why are you here if so? If you have other thoughts. There are more organizations, let animals live and stuff like that, so please, leave us and that’s it, we don’t need your money and not you. I’m telling you seriously, this is simply garbage, waste, litter that enters The Group. I’m telling you seriously fully seriously, everyone who doesn’t give to the wisdom of kabbalah is actually stealing. And Baal HaSulam writes in the article, “Peace in the World.” * Right? That’s it.”
THE TRUTH – MAASER IS A MITZVA (PRECEPT), BUT IT’S TO BE GIVEN TO THE NEEDY, NOT TO CULTS OR PLACES THAT TEACH KABBALAH
A former Bnei Baruch false kabbalah cult member who now studies with a former student of Rabash (Rabbi Baruch Ashlag), Rabbi Fievel Okowita, exposes the lie about Michael Laitman’s teaching that maaser or tithing to his cult is necessary in order “to advance” in spirituality:
“As for maaser:
1. According to Laitman one doesn’t have to observe any mitzvos (precepts) as one can’t have proper intentions in this world. Moreover one doesn’t need to observe mitzvos in the physical world but only to operate in the spiritual realm. If that’s the case why can’t one merely have intention to pay maaser rather than actually transferring the funds to Bnei Baruch according to this logic?
2. I spoke with several students of RABASH (Kabbalist Rabbi Baruch Ashlag, who Laitman claims to be the successor of) and they all told me the same thing – ANYONE could have entered the lessons of RABASH freely and maaser directly to Rebbe was NEVER required from anyone! The only time when maaser was ASKED (but not required!) to be brought was when Baal HaSulam was trying to publish his works and he simply had no means to do it. At that time each student TRIED to come up with any possible sum to help publish these books. And only because of these people we now can have these materials. However beside this specific time, it was never a mandatory requirement neither with Baal HaSulam nor with Rabash.
Guys, it’s really simple – if you’re being asked to pay to study Kabbalah, you’re looking to supporting a business rather than actual spiritual growth.
Also: “Maaser as any other mitzva is an obligation and there is no question about it! That said, strict requirement of Maaser to be paid ONLY to the institution that “teaches you Kabbalah” rather than giving it to the needy only shows what goals this institution pursues.”
*Baal HaSulam never wrote that one “who doesn’t give to the wisdom of kabbalah is actually stealing” in his article “Peace in the World” as Michael Laitman claims:
Regarding Laitman’s claim about Baal HaSulam’s article “Peace in the World” that he says states that ‘everyone who doesn’t give to the wisdom of kabbalah is actually stealing’ – this is a straight out LIE. Nowhere in his article does Baal HaSulam mention or even imply such a thing.
What Baal HaSulam discusses in his article is about how the four attributes of mercy, truth, justice and peace are used by all world reformers to achieve the desired attribute of goodness for the individual and the collective but in fact these four attributes in the practical life contradict each other, between each sect and within each person as well.
The solution, Baal HaSulam writes, is the use of the nature of singularity, the root of which extends directly from the Creator to the people. Except that when examined from its upper side, from the side of its equivalence with the Unique One, the nature of singularity works only in the form of bestowal upon others, Baal HaSulam writes, for the Creator is all bestowal and has nothing of the form of reception. Whereas on the other side of that coin, meaning how it actually works in us, we find that the nature of singularity operates in the complete opposite direction, because it operates only in forms of receptions for oneself, such as the desire to be the only great and rich man in the whole world. Hence, the above two sides are as far apart from one another as the East from the West.
Therefore, Baal HaSulam writes, the singularity that extends to us from Him must also act only in forms of bestowal to others, and to receive nothing for ourselves.
Read the article “Peace in the World” by Baal HaSulam
Baal HaSulam writes in his article about acting only in forms of bestowal towards others in using the nature of singularity to achieve the desired attribute of goodness for the individual and the collective and peace in the world. He most certainly does NOT write about giving a tenth of one’s gross income to a false kabbalah cult that demands money from each member or else they will never ‘advance’ in spirituality or they’re ‘stealing’. That’s not even a form of bestowal whatsoever. Coercion, extortion or manipulation, perhaps, but certainly not bestowal according to Baal HaSulam’s definition.
Bestowal must come out of one’s desire to provide contentment to the Creator alone, through having faith above all understanding in Him. This is the nature of singularity when examined from the root, from the side of its equivalence with the Creator. Laitman’s demand for maaser to make people pay a great deal of money for his false teachings by using Baal HaSulam’s teachings in a grossly inaccurate way is just yet another example of his false kabbalah cult corrupting and subverting the teachings of Baal HaSulam.