Upon the suggestion of a friend who had taken the course I scheduled an appointment with the rabbi who is a "palm and face reader". He [was] visiting [from another center] and evidently is staying here in LA to teach "Course One"--starting sometime in May .
To be brief--my reading with the rabbi was very negative. He first asked me all kinds of questions; like where I lived, worked and how I paid my bills--which made me very suspicious. He then told me I had a heart problem (not true). He also told me I had many personality flaws such as doubt, control issues and that I was very cheap and did not know how to share. He said that if I didn't start sharing he would not help me (?)-- no one would help me and I would only have myself to help me (Talk about alienation). The rabbi said I had a "dark cloud" over my head that would be very hard to remove even for him, but that I should meet with him and he will think of something that will help me. He mentioned I should start coming in to fold flyers before class.
He also said that I should buy the Zohar for $340.00 and start scanning [looking over pages--without actually being able to read text] the appropriate books for my problems. [Somehow it seems--this magically is supposed to help people according to members of the group. However, this is not consistent with the established understanding or actual tradition regarding the Zohar or Kabbalah study.]
I called the Center and told them I was concerned about the "Rabbi" diagnosing without a medical license and that his tactics were similar to that of a gypsy.
I was told that the rabbi tells you what you what "karma" [not a phrase used by traditional Kabbalah students or authorities. The word "karma" is associated with Eastern religions such as Hinduism] you have in this lifetime to work on. And also--that it is better to be told that I have a "dark cloud over me" before it starts to rain--more doom and gloom. One instructor [in LA] is very smooth and believes what he says. He [says he] left a career in medicine to join [Berg's] Kabbalah [Centre] 12 years ago. He started out by selling books just like the article [on your site] said.
I just wanted to share my experience with you because nothing has been said about the LA Center yet. Considering that the rabbi I met came from [a very successful center], he probably thought his tactics would work here in LA.
Thanks again for posting articles [about the "Kabbalah Centre"].