Saturday, March 12, 2005

KABBALAH VERSUS KARMA CHAMELEON

We wonder during this week's Pop Papers if any was really that bothered by the wibblings of faded 80s icon Boy George. Well, someone is - that other faded 80s icon, Madonna. Maddy's publicist has issued a not-very-convincing statement:

However, the 46-year-old singer has hit back through her publicist, Liz Rosenberg, who says Madonna has always, and will continually, be committed to her homosexual fans and has not cynically duped them. She told American newspaper the New York Post: "There's not enough room in the paper to respond to Boy George's ridiculous accusations much less list Madonna's long-standing passion, love, commitment and devotion to the gay community which has not changed for 20 years."

Rosenberg also defended her employer's mystical faith insisting it was not homophobic, and told George he should stick to writing some better songs. She added: "It doses not discriminate against homosexuals, nor do they work toward changing anyone's sexual preference. I wish Boy George would go back to writing songs."


Well, we can understand Liz wanting George to not shine a light in the darker corners of the cult-version of Kabbalah, but to wish him making more records seems unfair: why punish the rest of us?

It's been interesting this week to watch various postings popping up on internet message boards from people saying they're "not a kabbalist" and linking through to this clear statement:

While Kabbalah and its cardinal text, the Zohar, has little to say about homosexuality, it is a main focus of The Kabbalah Centre and Kabbalah in general to stay away from judging others for any reason, external or internal, physical or metaphysical. Kabbalah also explains that the most sharing act we can achieve on this planet is childbirth, which is unattainable between two members of the same sex alone. However, that is not to say that two same-gendered people cannot have the same or more loving, rewarding, and lasting relationships as heterosexual couples. Kabbalah is all-inclusive rather than exclusive, and I hope you feel comfortable continuing your study.

So, that would seem to be a fairly conclusive statement: hey, we wish you'd have some pretty babies, but nobody minds homosexuality. Right? Erm... only Kabbalah.com, the kabbalah centre's website, seems to have some different viewpoint - during a webchat, Kaballah spokesperson Billy doesn't seem to be embracing the belief that homosexual relationships can be "loving, rewarding and lasting" - indeed, Kabbalah can help you out:

emanation: Do you think that a person born with a lack of sexual desire for the opposite sex should try to become heterosexual?

Billy: If they feel inclined to embrace the spiritual path of Kabbalah and seek deeper answers to life.

LeahLeah: Are you saying homosexuality can be overcome? I don't understand how this position can be manifesting a superior magnitude of Light. This seems judgmental and doing nothing but instilling self-hatred into those who feel their very nature is a "condition." Have you witnessed someone overcoming their gayness via the Kabbalah teachings--as well as a subsequent depression-free life?

Billy: Yes i have. And the kabbalistic view is not about morals, ethics or judgements. On the contrary, everything about our nature is a condition. Our normal bodily desires are not our true selves. Souls are not heterosexual or homosexual. The truth transcends these limited concepts. Each of us come to this world to achieve enlightenement, growth,correction and transformation. According to ancient Kabbalah, homosexuality, like any other aspect of human behavior or desire is included. This is the view of the Kabbalists. You do not have to accept it. And if Kabbalah cannot offer the complete transformation of anyone's life, then who needs Kabbalah.


... which would seem to be the exact opposite to Madonna's publicist's claims that Kabbalah doesn't want to change anyone's sexuality.

Hmmm. Maybe we should try returning to the source material - here's what Rabbi Chaim Vital has to offer in Kabbala Online:

Sometimes a man may reincarnate into the body of a woman because of a sin, such as homosexuality or something similar. This woman who has received the soul of a man will not be able to conceive and become pregnant.

This is, apparently, part of Gate of Reincarnation Cross-Gender Sould Migration, Chapter 9, Section 2. That seems pretty conclusive to us.

One other point: when Madonna was asked about that chap from the Kabbalah Centre caught by the BBC saying that the Jews killed in the Holocaust had brought it on themselves by not being Kabbalic, the official line was that she was too busy rehearsing for the NBC tsunami concert to comment. Surely now she's got enough idle time on her hands to offer comments on Boy George's Times interview, presumably we're about to hear what Madonna actually thought about that?


10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Boy George is correct in his criticism about the Kabbalah Centre. The Kabbalah Centre is virulently antigay.

Madonna betrayed the gay community because of the Kabbalah Centre. Conspicuously, she is silent about gay marriage! She does NOT support gay marriage because the Kabbalah Centre teaches homosexuality is a sin.

You know, ‘Love the sinner, hate the sin’, ... and all that rhetoric.

The Kabbalah Center cares deeply about its ‘public relations’ and does not use this kind of fundamentalist extremist language in public. But make no mistake, its teachings about homosexuals (especially about gay men) are vicious.

The Kabbalah Centre DOES discriminate against homosexuals, who are not welcome to join the inner circle of ‘Rabbis’ or even ‘chevre’ (unless they’re actively trying to ‘convert’ to become ‘straight’). When the Kabbalah Centre says they don’t discriminate against gays, they mean they are happy to take gay people’s money. However, gays can only remain ‘students’ who pay. They aren’t fit for leadership or teaching.

The Kabbalah Centre teaches that homosexuality is a ‘sin’, which they call a ‘tikkun’, meaning a ‘correction’. A sin is something that needs to be ‘corrected’.

No kidding. THE KABBALAH CENTRE TEACHES THAT GAY MEN GIVE BIRTH TO DEMONS WHENEVER THEY HAVE SEX. The Kabbalah Centre literally demonizes gays.

Moreover, homosexuals don’t have soulmates, according to the Kabbalah Centre, meaning that homosexuals can never achieve spiritual perfection. The concept of a ‘soulmate’ (besheret) is central in Kabbalah. Only the ‘saints’ (tzaddikim) can ‘merit’ enough goodness to finally meet their ‘soulmate’. The soulmate is a person’s ‘other half’. It is necessary to unite with this other half to achieve spiritual wholeness, perfection, escape from the cycle of ‘reincarnation’ (gilgulim), and entry into ‘Paradise’ (Gan Eden). This is the Kabbalah Centre’s equivalent of ‘going to heaven’. Because the soulmate is ALWAYS the opposite sex, gay women and men can never find their soulmate and can never ‘go to heaven’.

For the sake of deception, the Kabbalah Centre may say that people have many ‘soulmates’. So in this larger sense, a gay partner can be one of these many distant soulmates. Nevertheless, ‘THE soulmate’, the person’s ‘other half’, can only be the opposite sex. Gay people must become ‘straight’ in order to ‘find their soulmate’ to achieve spiritual fulfillment. According to the Kabbalah Centre, gays who ‘refuse’ to become ‘straight’ suffer an endless limbo of reincarnation, sinking deeper and deeper into the ‘satanic darkness’ (klipot).

I know two gays who are currently undergoing ‘conversion therapy’ to become ‘heterosexual’ at the Kabbalah Centre, under the direction of one of the Rabbis. Pressure to ‘become straight’ is INTENSE on those gays who become active students in the Kabbalah Centre. Private ‘spiritual counseling’ demonizes homosexuality while presenting heterosexuality as the only way to reach spiritual wholeness. Kabbalah Centre leaders have pressured gay students to marry an other students of the opposite sex, insisted to be their ‘true soulmate’. Official Kabbalah ‘psychics’ have told gay people that they aren’t really gay, only spirituality deluded, and that they would soon discover they are heterosexual and marry someone of the opposite sex.

The Kabbalah Centre antigay, in a way that is totalitarian. Its whispered teachings literally demonize gays with some of the most extreme antigay language I’ve ever come across in my life. Even Nazi propaganda didn’t demonize gays to the extent that the teachings of the Kabbalah Centre do.

Again, you won’t see these antigay teachings in the intro classes. But, antigay teachings are very real in the Kabbalah Centre and deeply influence the leadership. Including Madonna. Moreover, the Kabbalah Centre intentionally deceives gays ‘who aren’t ready to hear the truth yet’. The Kabbalah Centre can make more money if their public face seems tolerant. Gay people are being used.

Anonymous said...

I AM GAY and I Am also a student at the kabbalah center now for 6 years. b.a.h. The center and the teachings are about one hundred percent love and non judgement. There is absolutely zero judgment, hatred or bigotry in anyway towards gays or anyone in kabbalistic teachings. This would be a complete antithesis to the teachings of kabbalah. So what do I say about evidence appointing otherwise? I say that any such evidence came from a teacher or student or member who is not in any authority representing kabbalah.

simon h b said...

Joseph,

It's a case of "hate the sin, love the sinner's money" - but Kabbalah doesn't endorse homosexuality

Take, for example, Rabbi Max Weiman at Kabbalah Made Easy
http://www.kabbalahmadeeasy.com/asktherabbi/asktherabbi11.html

"A male homosexual act is one of the transgressions stated in the Bible. It was a transgression before Christianity existed. Female homosexual acts are considered immoral but not in the same category. Why G-d creates people with a desire to do a transgression is a long and deep subject, not for this email.



Someone who commits homosexual acts and can’t stop is not rejected by G-d. They are still loved by G-d, even though they are making a mistake."

Are you telling me that calling someone a "transgressor" and "making a mistake" and "immoral" isn't judgemental?

Or how about Kabbala Online
http://www.kabbalaonline.org/Safedteachings/gor/Cross-Gender_Soul_Migration_92.asp

"Because of sins such as homosexuality a male soul might reincarnate into a woman's body, and such a woman will not be able to give birth without great merit and the entry of a feminine soul into her as an ibur.

Although women do not reincarnate, they can sometimes come as an ibur into women, together with sparks of new, feminine souls. "

Sounds pretty judgemental against women, homosexuals and transgendered people right there.

Or what of Rabbi David Basri?
http://www.gmax.co.za/look06/03/23-israel.html

"Basri’s son [...] quoted his father, saying “God punishes depravity first through plagues against animals and then in people.” It should be obvious, he concluded, that bird flu is caused by political parties “strengthening and encouraging homosexuality.”"

Gay marriage leads to bird flu punishments? And that's not judgemental.

Anonymous said...

I am absolutely horrified by what i am reading about kabbalah being anti gay. The kabbalah centre has no business saying such thing, in my opinion saying such things is tantamount to a terrible sin. Kabbalah teaches we are not to judge we should not rip other people to pieces this act is next to murder. Any kabbalist who discriminates against gays has not grasped the kabbalah at all and should go back to their study asap, and maybe not listening to egotistical teachers quite so much.
Blessings and Light to ALL

Rachel Summers said...

Intruiging...the apparent difference between the official dogmas of Kabbalah and the beliefs of individual practitioners brings to mind the difference between actual Scientology and the diverging Free Zone Scientologists.

Anonymous said...

Ouch...to those nasty comments made by some about Kabbalah. I am a person that cannot be easily led to any hear says-(by commonly society!!). Therefore I believe the clear evidence of truth lies in experiece & evidence...I am now experiencing the life of being a Kabbalah student; NOTHING MORE FULLFILLING...Those out there judging about Kabbalah teachings....it is CLEAR...there is no foundation OF TRUTH to what is being said about Gayism etc!!!..or EVIDENCE!! again...It is obvious that it is simply an ILL JUDGEMENT what Kabbalah is all about. & THE CENTER does not JUDGE nor the TEACHINGS!!! so how could the negatives comments be from the truth....last but not least....STUDY Kabbalah then make your comments...

Peace & Love to all of you...

simon h b said...

@anonymous
I can see why you might be confused, as the Kabbalah Centre has since overwritten the page where Billy from the Centre says that gay people should try to become straight:

emanation- Do you think that a person born with a lack of sexual desire for the opposite sex should try to become heterosexual?

Billy- If they feel inclined to embrace the spiritual path of Kabbalah and seek deeper answers to life.

If only there was some place online where the page had been archived.

Oh! Hang on:

http://web.archive.org/web/20040113100755/http://www.kabbalah.com/k/index.php/p=community/chat&t=11

Rachel Summers said...

Personally I'm curious about this religion of "Gayism" mentioned. Despite being an atheist, I have to admit that it sounds like a spiffing idea.

Daniel said...

Kabbalah center being directed by rabbis, it is no surprise to see it containing anti-gay opinions. Take a look at JONAH.

I never personaly read or heard such opinions though, but everything I've read so far coming form Kabbalah Centre and teaching about couples never miss to re-emphasize that only man-woman relationships are valuable. No interpretation of "male-female" being spiritual terms is made allowable.

Anonymous said...

The Kaballah Centre seems to be homophobic in the creepiest of ways - they claim to be all love and light and acceptance but truly believe that male homosexuality is wrong and perverse. They slowly try to discourage it in long term students.

Below is a description posted on a kabbalah website which sums up the view on homosexuality, which I have heard before in different words (had to share this; it was posted anonymously). Basically, that gayness is wrong and needs to be corrected, but you have many lifetimes to do that. What a copout.

""THE REAL TRUTH….the answer is yes and no at the same time. In the big picture, yes kabbalah says that all homosexual men are meant to transform their nature to be with a woman and restrict their gay desires. HOWEVER, Kabbalah is based on something called "tikkune"…in english "correction" which means that soul keeps going through a reincarnation process until it corrects EVERYTHING ... We as human are still in that process and the point where we are now most people will not finish their correction in this life…only a few righteous souls in every generation have this merit. So…the ultimate goal is for gay men to transform into straight men, but it does not mean they are supposed to do it in this lifetime. It does not even mean they will have to be gay in their next life, but they will carry "baggage" with them into their next life because they did not overcome their homosexuality.""

I would rather that they just fess up and say that they don't like gayness, rather than this creepy touch-feely bullshit.

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