After complaining that Karen had too much power, "we were presented with an ultimatum -- to have us agree that Karen Berg possessed Ru'ah HaKodesh -- Holy Spirit (total obedience to every decision of hers) or that we could no longer work within the Kabbalah Centre.”
The Los Angeles Times has posted the second part of its detailed, well reported two-part series on the Kabbalah Centre. Here's an excerpt from part two:
…[A]fter complaining that Karen had too much power, "we were presented with an ultimatum -- to have us agree that Karen Berg possessed Ru'ah HaKodesh -- Holy Spirit (total obedience to every decision of hers) or that we could no longer work within the Kabbalah Centre.”…Rumors of an affair between [Karen and a follower]…became public in June 2010 when the New York Post's Page Six gossip column published a denial from a Kabbalah Centre spokesman.
…In August 2010, Nicholas Vakkur complained that he was fired as chief financial officer after less than three months because he had uncovered income tax fraud at the center.
"This is very serious business," Vakkur wrote in an email that circulated among center officials. "I have little choice but to cooperate with the IRS and bring down the entire Kabbalah Centre."
Months later, the criminal division of the IRS launched its investigation, focused in part on whether the Bergs enriched themselves with members' donations. Prosecutors subpoenaed financial records from the center and two affiliated charities with links to Madonna.
Among those the IRS agents interviewed were former employees and ex-members. Those questioned in recent months said investigators possessed an impressive knowledge of the Bergs' world, right down to the name of a casino host who arranged free hotel rooms for the couple in Las Vegas.
Celebrity followers have gone silent. Less famous adherents continue to defend the Bergs.
"They have spent their whole lives spreading kabbalah and trying to help people," said Falkenstein, the Toronto volunteer.
Phillips, the longtime friend who participates in a weekly scripture study that the 82-year-old Philip attends, said it is inconceivable that the family has done anything wrong.
"When it comes to honesty, integrity," he said, the Bergs are "infallible -- or they are not kabbalists and there is no Torah."
Read it all here.