Is Madonna paying for mini-mansions for Kabbalah leaders?
The singer reportedly has asked for a detailed accounting of the millions of dollars she's donated to the Kabbalah Centre -- and she may be surprised to find that some of that cash might have gone into Los Angeles real estate. The controversial branch of Judaism -- whose members include such celebs as Madonna, Britney Spears and Demi Moore -- has been buying up property around its headquarters on South Robertson Boulevard in L.A. according to one Kabbalah watcher, who says that it is involved in "at least a dozen" major real estate purchases in the area. What’s more, "mini-mansions" are being built for the leaders of the Kabbalah Centre on three of those pieces of property, says Rick Ross, a cult expert and frequent critic of the Kabbalah Centre. According to Ross, one of those "mini mansions" will be occupied by Philip Berg, the former insurance sales man who has popularized Kabbalah into a trendy religion that some have accused of being a cult. The other two will house his sons Michael and Yehuda Berg.
A spokesman for the Kabbalah Centre confirms that the group is buying up real estate "because the Kabbalah Centre is expanding" but he said he had no information on any specific purchases.
"Madonna has a reputation for being a savvy businesswoman who knows how to read a balance sheet," Ross tells the Scoop. "I can't imagine that the Bergs really want to show her their bottom line. If Madonna insists on seeing the books, the Bergs may ultimately show her the door" (Jeannette Walls, MSNBC, Sept. 7, 2004).