He is a former haredi yeshiva student and insurance salesman who used ghost writers to make his books appeal to a mass non-Jewish audience. She is his former secretary. They married after having an affair and built a multi-million dollar empire based on selling red strings, holy water, and $360 Zohars and on receiving tithes from followers like Madonna and Demi Moore. And now the IRS is closing in on what may be an empire that rests on large scale tax evasion.
The LA Times has part one of a two part profile of the Kabbalah Centre and its founders, Philip and Karen Berg.
The organization, which has many high profile non-Jewish adherents like Madonna and Demi Moore, is in serious trouble with the IRS and is considered a cult by some mainstream Jewish organizations.
Here's part one.
Part two is scheduled to be published Tuesday.
Update 10-18-2011 – Here's part two.