Thank you very much for your feedback, Skippy. I’d like to touch on a couple of things you brought up.
1. I don't see evidence of anyone being openly pushed to disseminate BB material, yet the new members seem to be quite fond of the idea.
No one is officially [i:22d505b045]pushed [/i:22d505b045]to do anything in Bnei Baruch. The problem is, and anyone who has studied at BB knows this, that in order to advance spiritually and “attract the surrounding light” to your endeavors, you need to be involved in dissemination work. Naturally, the more work you do, the more light you attract and the more accelerated your spiritual evolution, just like in the case of late night studying that you mentioned.. There is a subtle but quite perceptible pressure to relentlessly disseminate material.
6. I don't remember which book but the translators do note that Rav Laitman is not a rabbi and that the rav title was given by his students as a sign of respect. It was only one book, but it's something.
I wasn’t aware of this translators note and you’re right it is something but unfortunately it is still falls far short of what I consider to be spiritual or even non-spiritual integrity. One who has not been ordained a rabbi should not be passing himself off as one to unsuspecting audiences - especially when these unsuspecting audiences are interested in acquiring books and CDs. "Rav" is not a "Rav" in the eyes of many unsuspecting people and to state that he is without any disclaimer is very dishonest - pure and simple!
Furthermore, I think it is especially important for spiritual groups to be very clear and forthright about their financial dealings. I think that this is the reason why the moderator was insisting on balance sheets or independent auditors' reports earlier in the discussion. I just can't imagine that BB would really get outside auditors to audit their accounts...if they were members of BB, well maybe then :lol:
In general, I think that secrecy is breeding ground for all kinds of inaccuracies as well as outright lies. Who’s to know which is which? The previous answers provided by BB representatives regarding finances were vague and convoluted.
As an aside, perhaps the moderator would like to ask where the monies collected in the annual Congresses in Israel and throughout the world have been going? Thousands of people came from all over the world to these events and they all paid good money to go. Where did this money go? I am not necessarily implying that BB did anything suspicious with these funds but the fact that there are not officially published and audited (even un-audited!) accounts is a matter of grave concern. The public has a right to know. It's safe to assume that, unless someone from BB clearly indicates to the contrary, there is obviously little or no financial transparency at BB. Is this honest for a spiritual organization that wants to assist all of mankind in its spiritual elevation?
12. Habibi, did you mean Baruch Ashlag? (As Laitman never studied under Yehuda)
You're right, Skippy. Laitman studied under Baruch Ashlag, not Yehuda, since the latter died years before Laitman arrived in Israel. What I meant to say is that I learned that the Ashlagian torch was passed to Simcha Ashlag who is the grandson of Yehuda Ashlag - it didn't go to Michael Laitman as he and BB are fond of saying.
22. I want to argue that BB has its greatest appeal to the less intelligent people.
I'd also like to add, and I have no way of proving this, but I would suspect that people were primed by the parenting and cultures to unquestioningly accept Laitman as their leader. Children who are raised in functional families - and I would gather that many or most of the people at BB were not - would very quickly see through the leader and group manipulation. I know this, because I know people who saw through the game very quickly.
*** A new point: I've seen BB stuff for two years now and I noticed that other than the moderators, there are no consistent members. People come, people get involved, and people leave. I can't find anyone on the boards today who was there even one year ago. So fortunately BB is unable to keep their members, outside of the few in positions of "power."
I believe it. There are still quite a few hangers-on though :) Do you know what happened to the community forum with all the questions people ask about Kabbalah on the kabbalah.info website? I can't seem to find it.