Bnei Baruch
Posted by: joe1234 ()
Date: May 06, 2008 11:27AM


I would just like to add that I have been studying the fundamentals course (I got up to week 5) and began to have many of the same concerns that you guys have had. What made it apparent for me was that I'm gay and when I asked them about this and how this relates to kabbalah the forum moderators just gave me a whole lot of double speak after which I was attacked by the other students in the course for 'expressing my personal opinions' etc. One woman on there told me that the only way forward was to 'correct' my sexuality and marry a woman.

Upon further investigation I discovered that Michael Laitman actually considers homosexuality (or any sexuality that is not strictly hetero) a physical abnormality and defect that is sent to people to create more suffering (as it egotistical) in order to bring them closer to god. On a blog for their NYC Congress a woman that asked about her lesbian desires was left with the impression that it was some kind of illness that needed to be corrected on a spiritual level?!

I think that this is EXTREMELY dangerous as it pathologizes people and gives them a complex about a part of who they are. BB claim that they are aligned with science yet homosexuality was struck off the psychiatric list of illness over 30 years ago. Their views on women are also questionable. I wonder what happens if someone is transgendered? They'd be really screwed.


Those are my thoughts,


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Re: Bnei Baruch
Posted by: joe1234 ()
Date: May 08, 2008 09:37PM

Hi again,

I have discontinued all contact with BB but my close brush has left me pondering on what actually happened in my time online with them. This has prompted me to reflect a bit on my experience and these are the conclusions I have come to,

1) Due to its lineage BB is basically an organization with values akin to orthodox Judaism, hence only married men do the bulk of the work, women are only there to support the men's efforts and there is no real place for people who are gay, lesbian or transgendered or bisexual unless they work to correct (tikkun) these desires, and even then they are to study alone and be sent away from the group. This also leads to the zionist agenda and the exclusion of 'gentiles' which within the context of BB is defined as one who is not on the BB spiritual path. In this way even a born Jew can be defined as a 'gentile'. This is also a far cry from the secular group they claim to be.

2) Their website and network is extremely extensive with many many sophisticated video and audio files as well as newsletters, blogs, Congress sites and personal sites. These are updated very regularly (daily sometimes) which I would imagine might require access to some pretty vast resources. If they don't charge for their material where is this money coming from? Volunteers and some donations perhaps but either way it is an extremely well planned machine that runs very smoothly.

3) In terms of their material being free I think that this is done for two reasons- Firstly it is in their interests to get as many people involved and inducted as quickly as possible and I would imagine $$ would be a barrier to many people becoming involved. Secondly I think they are trying to strategically position themselves as the more credible source of kabbalistic teaching. By not charging they are skillfully differentiating themselves from The Kabbalah Centre. As the fallout and controversy re the KC gains momentum I think they are hoping to get more and more people who have defected from the KC because in comparison they look very open and accessable with all the free information and courses. Also note their constant use of the term 'authentic' kabbalah.

I could be wrong but those are my thoughts.


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Re: Bnei Baruch
Posted by: Vesna ()
Date: June 24, 2008 09:13PM

Hi, my reply is of more general nature and more related to promotional techniques and methods that most of cult and similar organizations are using. BB seems to be using a lot of these. You can see a lot of that in official marketing campaigns of commercial companies.

There some basic scientifically proved principles used for persuading people in doing or supporting some things, which one can always refer to when analysing organizations, companies or people and quicly recognise to what degree they are used.

I will mention some of them that seem to be used most:

- principle fo reciprocity - proved to work in situations when people get favors or gifts - they will always want to "repay" the favor - can certainly explain free classes. You feel obligated to do something for them - that is how human brain/feeel works.

2. consistency - they always insist on certain rules - they want to appear consistent and create tradition or what we would say reputation for being such as such...

3. social proof - thus letters of support all over the sites how much something has helped somebody - or how delighted they are to discover this or that product, service or "knowledge" (for this matter) - btw you never know if these praisal are coming from real people or it is just staged.

4. liking - people trying to sell you stuff or get you into something will always have stories similar to yours: like "oh I have been there, I have done that" so they create impressions that they understand how you feel and what you need.

5. authority - that is why there always try to connect their beliefs or products to already established and respected source (be it a book or person or a science).

and of course

6. scarcity - we are the only ones that can give you this - you can not find it anywhere else - or, in commercial world it is "limited stock - hurry up to pick yours"

There are number of books elaborating on the issue but one that is probably the most readable and very concise is Robert Cialdini, Ph.D.. And, one should never forget - people got to school for years to master these techniques.

Hope this will help everybody to make better evaluation of others or organizations` appearances.


Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/24/2008 09:34PM by Vesna.

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