Madonna - Kabbalah - Children
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: August 07, 2004 11:21PM

James Randi on Kabbalah strings for sale


Reader Jeff Trapp sends me an excerpt from an item in the New York Post:

In case anyone needed further proof that Kabbala, the branch of Jewish mysticism embraced by celebs like Madonna, is a money-making venture, look no further than Target. The store is now selling red Kabbala strings — like the ones Madonna, Demi Moore and Britney Spears wear — for $25.99. . . . Many mainstream Jewish leaders have blasted the Kabbala Center's commercial ventures like selling these strings and "Kabbala water."
Wait a moment! Religion — in any of its thousand varieties — is, first and foremost, a money-making business. It always has been. What's this big surprise? Is there much difference among selling holy water, crucifixes, Kabbala strings, mandalas, rosary beads, horoscopes, Buddhist prayer beads, or rabbit's feet as supernatural charms? It's all the same superstitious, simplistic, magical, wishful thinking, in my opinion. This item is just a 72-inch skein of red knitting yarn, no weirder than a cony's pedal extremity on a chain...

Under "Product Description" of this item, Target actually uses this incredible text:
A centuries-old spiritual tool used by Kabbalists, this red string is believed to protect against the evil eye, a negative energy source. What makes this particular piece of string so special is, in part, the fact that it has traveled to Israel, to the ancient tomb of Rachel the Matriarch, and returned, imbued with the essence of protection. The string is tied to the left wrist — the left being the body and soul's receiving side — and worn to essentially deflect the negative energy brought forth by unfriendly and envious stares, unkind glances and looks of ill will. A feeling we've all experienced, the evil eye is considered by Kabbalah to be a powerful force and an influential factor in regards to achieving goals and everyday well-being. The string draws upon the connection to and awareness of Rachel and must be tied on by a loved one and sealed with Rachel's protective energy by reciting the Ben Porat prayer (included on a card). From The Kabbalah Centre.

Madonna wears one, and we all know how perceptive and intellectual she is, so we'd better get in on it. But as I type this, Target reports that they're out of stock! Don't fret. No doubt a boatload of red string is steaming back from a visit to Israel right now, charged with Rachel's essence! We're saved!

Can you imagine what might happen if you had this tied to your right wrist, or had it fastened there by someone who really can't stand you, or it had been taken in error to the tomb of Murray the Barber instead of Rachel? If you got the Ben Porat prayer switched for a nursery rhyme, I can't bear to think of the disasters that would result.

A reader has reminded me that TV's Monty Python had a selling-useless-bits-of-string sketch, years ago. The owner of the string had inherited 122,000 miles of string, and wanted to sell it, so they worked up a commercial. Said the ad agency flack in the sketch:
Wait, I see a television commercial...
There's this nude woman in a bath holding a bit of your string. That's great, great, but we need a doctor, got to have a medical opinion.
There's a nude woman in a bath with a doctor — that's too sexy. Put an archbishop there watching them, that'll take the curse off it. Now, we need children and animals.

There's two kids admiring the string, and a dog admiring the archbishop who's blessing the string. Uhh — international flavor's missing — make the archbishop Greek Orthodox. Why not Archbishop Macarios? No, no, he's dead. Never mind, we'll get his brother, it'll be cheaper. So, there's this nude woman....

But Target didn't even need to write an ad, nor to get a nude woman. They already have a cast of stars voluntarily — one hopes — plugging the string. Madonna supplies the religion angle for them — with her name and her devotion to the Kaballah, Demi Moore has done the nude stuff already and has the kids, and Britney Spears is... well, Britney Spears.

Folks, Target presently has more than 1,500 stores in 47 states. It's a leading American retail outlet that is actually selling Magic String, and proudly features it on its "Hot Buys" list! Will we ever grow up?

Madonna - Kabbalah - Children
Posted by: s weissman ()
Date: August 08, 2004 04:13AM

The latest news is that Madonna is funding a Kabbalah School in NY, fall 2005. Unknown to most, it is already open and has been operating at a smaller location for the past year!

Madonna - Kabbalah - Children
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: August 15, 2004 12:46PM

String update from James Randi...Skeptical Activism can work!(see below from Randi's latest newsletter)


Reader Matt Fields sends us this response received from an executive at Target Stores concerning last week's lead item here on the JREF page:

Your concerns about the Kabbalah string that was sold on have been forwarded to my office.
I wanted you to know that the Kabbalah string is no longer available on our Web site at This item is not sold in Target stores. Please accept my personal apologies for any offense or disappointment this item has caused you.
I hope that you'll continue to shop at and Target stores.
Hallelujah! It looks as if enough people cared to complain about this silly item! Ah, but there's more, from reader Stephen Nicholson:
It looks like there is some (not much, but some) sanity at the United States Patent and Trademark Office after all. Kabbalah Centre International attempted to trademark Kabbalah Red String; the Trademark Office rejected it saying that all that is, is a product description, and thus it can't be trademarked. They also said that calling it a religious artifact is too broad a term, and that they either have to specify a narrower category or describe exactly what it is and what they intend it to do. I can't help but wonder if "pilfering money from unsuspecting people" is acceptable?
This can all be seen at []

Madonna - Kabbalah - Children
Posted by: Lakefield ()
Date: August 22, 2004 03:02PM

Madonna is a demon from hell. Remember that time she got into the whole Indian theme of things when her album was related to it?

Madonna - Kabbalah - Children
Posted by: SeekerOfTruth ()
Date: August 31, 2004 01:17PM

What I don't understand is according to the Bergs' they owned the Trademark for the Red Strings because it came from Rachels' Tomb in Israel.

What the heck???? Did they own the rights to Rachels' Tomb too???

I sure would like to know.

Madonna - Kabbalah - Children
Posted by: sarahsplight ()
Date: September 04, 2004 01:22AM

I have personally seen the destruction of someone I care for who joined the Kabbalah center in New York. They have completely brainswashed him. He acts like a robot. No feelings of compassion. Only coldness and calling everyone "evil".

If anyone has had a similar experience. Someone they know who joined the center and has changed completely, please email me. Let us correspond and see what we can do.

Madonna - Kabbalah - Children
Posted by: Lakefield ()
Date: September 14, 2004 03:16PM

What I don't understand is according to the Bergs' they owned the Trademark for the Red Strings because it came from Rachels' Tomb in Israel.

What the heck???? Did they own the rights to Rachels' Tomb too???

I sure would like to know.

hmm, aren't those things open to everyone and not anyone can trademark it?

Madonna - Kabbalah - Children
Posted by: Lonz Moon ()
Date: October 17, 2004 09:46AM

Poor Madonna. I think she is hated the way Hillary Clinton was: as a threat to conservatives and their values.

Now, I'm not saying she is without fault. I think it odd she tries to reconcile her sluttiness and her religiosity. C'mon, playing the slut, then naming your kid, "Lourdes".

She hit a nail on the head when she said Roman Catholicism is sado-masochistic. But, she was wong to condemn Sinead O'Conners tearing up the Pope's picture on TV (Sinead was mad about the Church's blindness to child abuse, something we now know to be all too true).

Me, I'm an atheist and a skeptic. I don't have problems with people like Madonna wondering about mysticism and religion. The problem is when they FIND the answer, and want to convince the rest of us.
And when they try to reconcile the unreconcilable.


Madonna - Kabbalah - Children
Posted by: neria ()
Date: October 26, 2004 12:31PM

What does having Marla, Demi and Ashton pose nude have anything to do with spirituality? It just gets more and more bizarre.
It made sense to me that celebrities would be drawn to a belief system that promised youth and beauty and was 'lite' on repentence and karma, but why doesn't Philip Berg's stroke show these people that there is something faulty in his theology? If Kaballah Cult can bestow eternal youth and health why is their leader ill?

Madonna - Kabbalah - Children
Posted by: Cosmophilospher ()
Date: October 26, 2004 05:00PM

They will probably explain his stroke as the result of the evil eye, or the evil in the world, etc.

Here is an article that mentions Rick Ross as complimenting Bergs business skills!


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