Home page » Blog » Bnei Baruch Organization and Rav Laitman.

Bnei Baruch Organization and Rav Laitman.

The translated article that published in “Yediot Aharonot” newspaper on the organization Bnei Baruch and Rav Laitman.
The inner secrets of Kabbalah (la’am) Beni Baruch

A libel suit filed by the “Bnei Baruch” organization (or “Kabbalah la’am”) against a man who claimed that it is a cult, that turned into exactly the type of negative exposure which the popular Kabbalistic group tries hard to avoid.  According to a series of affidavits submitted to the court, the group members give one tenth of their salary to the organization, perform long hours of “volunteer” activities, are coerced to marry within the group, undergo constant screams and humiliations, and relate to the person at the top of the pyramid, “Rabbi” Michael Laitman, as an omnipotent guru.  Conversely, the organization  responded with dozens of counter affidavits attacking the dissidents, and describing a completely different image: “these claims are all complete fabrications”

By Liat Bar Stav, Guy Liberman

“It’s very difficult to explain to the outside all the spiritual and psychological control mechanisms that are implemented to influence a person in the group.
I know that during the time I had been there I thought I was free to act as I wished, but in retrospect, after I left the group, I feel as if I didn’t really make my own choices in life, but I let others choose for me. Personally, I feel that I had been brainwashed.”

This is Maxim Diamandi’s confession; he lives in Ashdod, born 38 years ago in Russia, and in 1991 made ‘aliya’ to Israel. Many years in his life revolved around “Bnei Baruch” (or ‘Kabbalah la’am’) – a charismatic Kabalist group, headquartered in Petach Tikvah. Bnei Baruch was established in the 90s by its leader, “Rabbi” Michael Laitman, who chose to name thre group after his mentor, Rabbi Baruch Ashlag. The organization’s website says ” ‘’Kabbalah la’am’ has been established based on the concept that only by spreading the wisdom of the Kabbalah worldwide we will gain full salvation.
Since it was established, the group has gained great power and popularity both in Israel and abroad, especially in Russia. According to Bnei Baruch estimates, it has about 50,000 students in Israel and about two million all over the world. Some of them wake up nighty to attend “Rabbi” Laitman’s classes, which start at 3 AM.

According to the affidavits, Bnei Baruch includes an “inner group” of extreme activists, and a well oiled system made up of volunteers and workers that engage in “spreading the word”: publishing books, newspapers, video broadcasts, internet activity, organizing conventions and public events intended to spread Laitman’s doctrine. The group even operates its own TV channel.

“Below the photo: one of the women who testified against the group. “It is enough to give your wife seven minutes of your time a day”

Despite complaints that began rising over the years against Bnei Baruch and the nature of its operation, not much is known about what is happening inside the group, especially within the few close activists who surround Michael Laitman. However a, fascinating series of affidavits which have been recently filed in court and are published here reveal, according to their writers a, few of the kabalistic group’s secrets – things that Bnei Baruch leaders would never want to be brought to public attention.

The affidavits were filed as part of a Bnei Baruch libel suit against Aaron Applebaum, whose son joined the group. According to Bnei Baruch, Mr Applebaum humiliated them with defamatory publications, including referring the group as a cult in a letter to the Ministry of Education.
This is a routine defamation lawsuit, which has developed surprisingly to a passionate struggle, including harsh allegations and with unexpected dimensions – when alongside the affidavits,….. hundreds of pages long, Bnei Baruch responded last week with filing to court dozens of their group members’ affidavits, presenting a completely different reality, while trying to undermine the credibility of its opponents.

According to Bnei Baruch, “Mr Applebaum is a wealthy businessman who devotes all his energy, time and money, out of personal motives, to try and find flaws in the organizations  activities”. On the other hand attorney Ishay Shneydor, representing Mr Applebaum, accuses Bene Baruch “this lawsuit is simply a case of legal bullying designated to deter people from acting against them in the public arena. This is a cynical utilization of great organizational and economical power used wholly in order to mute critical voices”.

“I had nightmares”

The center of the struggle is the debate on whether it is right to define Bnei Baruch as a cult. One of the main affidavits filed on behalf of Appelbaum is Mr Diamandi’. “I joined Bnei Baruch around 1998, when I was 19″, he says, “I was exposed to Laitman’s book and decided to attend an introductory lecture. I continued attending lectures every week at the Bnei Baruch center and after several months, I moved into what they called “The bachelors apartment” which was adjacent to the Bnei Baruch Center.

He claimed that he did it only in order to join the inner group. “It had been made clear that only inner circle members reach a high spiritual level”, he explained. Later on he started volunteering as a cook in the organization, “about 30 hours a week on average”.

In his affidavit, Mr Diamandi reports of  “heavy peer pressure from Lietman and his close associates to marry other members within the Bnei Baruch group. The heavy pressure was manifested through repeated statements, insinuations and jokes stating that unmarried men cannot be a part of the inner circle and cannot make progress in the spiritual process. I remember that they nicknamed singles using the humiliating term “quarter chicken”.

Later, he says, he was matched with another group member, but the marriage fell apart quickly. We did not make a good match but Laitman encouraged me to marry her, and said he thought that she was right for me. About two months after we met we got married. The marriage lasted only two months during of which I realized it was a huge mistake, and we got divorced “. According to Mr Diamandi, there were many similar cases like his that ended with divorce.

In his affidavit, Mr Diamandi mentions an internal “rebellion” against the organization in 2004, followed by a decision to expel from Bnei Baruch ten of the “inner group” members, including himself. Following this “expulsion” I fell into an immediate and deep depression  he says, “’I had nightmares about Laitman and the group. I was lonely because I had ignored all of the previous social ties that I had before joining Bnei Baruch”.
“At the end of 2007, ” he continues, “I received a message that the people who were expelled in 2004, including myself, were allowed to return to Bnei Baruch… I was very happy and excited to hear the news because although four years had passed, I didn’t let go of the beliefs that I absorbed in the center: that my existence has no meaning and my spiritual rank is inferior, if I‘m not a part of …. and do not participate in spreading of the Beni Baruch gospel worldwide.

As he rejoined the group again, Mr Diamandi, (whose occupation is internet marketing), became an integral part of the organization. “My role was to monitor all the internet publications (especially blogs) that dealt with or mentioned Bnei Baruch and Mr Laitman negatively or critically. Also I was tasked with writing content (talkbacks in blogs and articles, Facebook comments, twitter tweets, etc.) in favor, that contradict these publications or balance their influence on readers” he writes in his affidavit, “in other words, if someone wrote negatively about Mr Laitman or Bnei Baruch, my duty was to post comments and to argue with people in order to defend the organization.

In addition, my job was “fixing” publications that presented Mr Laitman in a negative light. I have written many times, with the publication department’s guidance and coordination, under pseudonyms. It is considered acceptable when writing comments on-line. Bnei Baruch dealt a lot with developing methods of commenting on-line without the comments appearing as Bnei Baruch sponsored publications”.
At one point, he says, he managed a team of about 70 volunteers. “My job was to instruct  them on how to write talkbacks without revealing their affiliation with the Beni Baruch group…”.

Diamandi writes in his affidavit that there is a complete and total cult of personality for Mr Laitman in Bnei Baruch… No one would ever dare to contradict him; people consult with him on their most private affairs and unquestionly obey his orders. He tends to shout daily at senior group members and humiliate them… Bnei Baruch members serve him with everything… Laitman speaks of himself as a superpower…” for example, he gives pills that he made himself which are supposed to have healing power… only by studying Kabbalah directly from him (and no one else) can save the world from destruction… Laitman used to tell anyone that those who didn’t “pass the barrier” (i.e. has arrived at spiritual transcendence) is an ‘animal”(‘behema’).

Mr Diamandi testifies that he left the group after a long process that included both mental health care and alcohol rehab. “The summer of 2013 was a turning point in my crisis of faith”, he claims in his affidavit, “I had been contacted by the American Bnei Baruch people and they told me about a senior member of the group from Canada… who committed suicide…..the American members were upset because right after he committed suicide Mr Laitman… and Bnei Baruch renounced him completely, as if he had never existed”.
Further in this affidavit, Diamandi writes that “Bnei Baruch is a very high stress environment. I personally know two people from the group that developed schizophrenia and required psychiatric hospitalization. In addition, I know of three cases of Bnei Baruch members that committed suicide”.
In his affidavit Mr Diamandi indicates that “As a result of the crack in my faith in Laitman himself, I could no longer deny the rest of the characteristics of the organization’s operation: Mr Laitman’s dictatorship, the control of the board over the inner circle members, the complete subjection of the group members to the organization’s interests and the exploitation and humiliation experienced when participating in the group: complete and total self-deprecation In relation to Laitman and the group, A demeaning attitude toward women, and the paying large sums of money to the group coffers…”.

In his affidavit, Diamandi mentions another issue: the attempts of the Kabbalistic group to influence politically. Two years ago, ‘Yediot Aharonot’ revealed the formation of a political faction in Petach Tikvah, which most of its members have direct connections to Bnei Baruch (this faction named ‘Together’ (beyahad) won in the last election the largest  number of members in the city council).

According to Mr Diamandi’s affidavit, the group is also trying to influence in the national political level as well, through the ‘Likud’ party. “Just before summer 2014 I heard that Bnei Baruch decided to become active members of the Likud so that they can influence Israeli politics from the inside. Three Beni Baruch members called and asked me to join the “Likud” party  in order to vote for their candidate in the Likud primaries”, he says in his affidavit, presenting chat correspondence which he says proves that “Bnei Baruch decided to pressure those who they considered their potential supporters, to motivate them to join the Likud in order to gain more political power in the party for Bnei Baruch”.

In his affidavit Diamandi mentions the investigation “the jobs diary” of the (then)head of staff of the Culture and Sports minister, Miri Regev, that was broadcast a few months ago on Channel 10. In the diary the name Avihu Sofer, a senior in the group, appeared alongside  the theater actor Sasha Demidov – who is considered a student of Lightman himself – as the one who is supposedly meant to be appointed to a plum job in the film Council.

It should be noted that Bnei Baruch also filed a 214 thousand shekels lawsuit against Mr Diamandi for publications that are “defamatory and lack any bit of truth against the plaintiff…With the purpose of presenting it as operating as a cult.” In the documents filed to court in its lawsuit against Mr Diamandi, Bnei Baruch claims that “this person has no ‘key/central role’ in the association, and he was not a member of the group of people that are close to “Rabbi” Laitman”.

Mr Diamandi, it was claimed, was “a member in the group for a period of four and a half years…most of which he spent drinking alcohol and eventually was asked to leave as a result of his non-normative behavior… his temporary membership in the organization undermines the claims of any control or coercion”. Regarding Bnei Baruch online conduct and content distribution through fictitious mail accounts, they claim against Mr Diamandi that “in many ways it was the defendant himself that put this method into practice in the organization.”

Below the photo: Bnei Baruch center in Petach-Tikva. “The fact that they found only five dissatisfied people, proves how much our activity is blessed”.

“Serving Tea preparing food”

Benjamin and Anna Cogan met as activists in Bnei Baruch in Russia. She is a doctor, he has an MA in mathematics. Their wedding, at the beginning of 2008, was held in the Petah Tikva group center that was turned into a banquet hall. Except for four family members, they say, all the other guests, about 200, were Bnei Baruch members. In the affidavits filed to the court, in the suit against Mr Applebaum, the couple describes the control that Laitman had over the members’ life. “Before making the decision to marry I asked Mr Laitman’s approval”, Mr Cogan, who was a member in the inner group, writes in his affidavit, “I guess if Laitman had told me not to marry my wife it would have been very difficult for me”.
Cogan adds later in the affidavit that “there are members of the group whose job is to serve Laitman and take care of all his personal needs: serving tea, making food, personal bodyguards etc. . There is a coordinator responsible for assigning members to the “rabbi’s” 24 hour security shifts”. In his affidavit, Cogan describes the Bnei Baruch rules and regulations of conduct including, the obligation to attend all classes, participating in the dissemination of Bnei Baruch Gospel, paying the group one-tenth of your monthly salary, the obligation of marriage (removed later), mandatory work shifts for the maintenance and upkeep of the Bnei Baruch center, religious rules that applied to the members’ children as well. “There is no one among the members of the inner circle who is not intimately familiar with the rules and regulations…… many times I personally encountered severe humiliating and social sanctions on friends who didn’t obey the rules. I have experienced them personally too”.
Anna Cogan says in her affidavit that “There is a woman in Bnei Baruch whose job is matchmaking members. In many cases, people who divorced married shortly afterward new spouses that were Bnei Baruch members”.  At the same time she says: “During our years in Bnei Baruch the relationship between me and my husband deteriorated… my husband became harsh and aggressive, even toward me… These symptoms gradually disappeared when he left the group”. Later she describes that “In our last year in Bnei Baruch, in the year 2012, I learned that there were 15 divorces in the group. It lit a red light in the spiritual board of directors, the formal leadership of Bnei Baruch group”.
Cogan continues in the affidavit “There are people whose personality structure causes them to devote themselves and develop a dependency towards the group… that person suddenly feels that he has a family of 300 people. The attraction is immense. One of the problems is that Laitman and Bnei Baruch leadership are planting in the members’ mind the idea that Bnei Baruch is the only thing which exists”.
The husband, Benjamin, says that he was expelled from the group because of a personal crisis, as he claims, “As mental pressures exerted on me as part of Bnei Baruch”. In his affidavit, he adds that “as a result of my expulsion, which I experienced as the severest trauma in my life… I started seeing the negative sides in Bnei Baruch activity: the unfair impact on members of the inner circle of the group, the demand for blind obedience to the provisions of “rabbi” Laitman who is kind of the group ‘guru’, the social and psychological pressure manifested to impose obedience, the social sanctions (imposed more than once on me) exerted by the various committees on those perceived as not obedient enough, the seclusion and isolation from the rest of Israeli society that is not part of the group, the requirement to pay substantial amounts of money, the recommendation of  “Rabbi” Laitman to voluntary contribute all leisure hours to the organization’s activities, the brainwashing in that through the ‘dissemination of Bnei Baruch Gospel’ and our membership in the group we will become devoted to the Creator “.
Counter-affidavits by the group’s members filed by Bnei Baruch describe Benny Cogan as having “anger tantrums”. “Extreme behavior was his hallmark between the other students, who have suffered this behavior out of respect for him and the understanding that Bnei Baruch is the only stable framework that he ever had in his life”, claims one of the affidavits. Oded Gudesy, a Bnei Baruch activist, added in his affidavit that “allegations about brainwashing mentioned in Anna Cogan’s affidavit are baseless… there is no brainwashing, but a desire to learn like everything else in life.”

“My children were born inside a Cult environment”

“After I left Bnei Baruch I realized what a mistake I had made in my life… I felt very guilty about the fact that my children that were born into this situation: their father is violent, they were born into a cult environment and I do not have the ability to give them what they deserve”, Says Anna (not her real name) from Petah Tikvah, 30 years old, in her affidavit.
Before joining Bnei Baruch, a decade ago, Anna was a second degree graduate student in Russia. “One day I came across a flyer offered to learn the secrets of the taste of life,” she says, “I went to a class with my spouse…very quickly I arrived every day to the Bnei Baruch center in Moscow. I just wanted to be accepted into the group and ‘pass the barrier’ – i.e. live in two worlds (physical and spiritual) together, as Mr Laitman did… My spouse suspected that Bnei Baruch behaves like a cult… and decided not to come anymore. I was already neck-deep in Bnei Baruch and because he was criticizing Bnei Baruch we had a fight and we parted”.
Anna reports that she devoted herself to the classes and to Bnei Baruch, left her job and started doing volunteer work for the group. Later she moved to Israel and married a group member. “Evgeny (the Bnei Baruch instructor  in Russia – G.l, L.b.s) told me that it is very good for a woman to marry a member of the inner group so it will promote her ‘on the way’. He said it does not matter at all who the man is… There will always be problems in relationships and it does not matter at all who the husband is because the husband is the door to the Creator”.
When she arrived in Israel, tells Anna, she lived in a building full of small apartments in Petah Tikva called “BB Tower”, in which members of Bnei Baruch lived. “At first I was very happy”, she says, “Staying in the center of the Bnei Baruch was all I could ask for in life… all my hours were dedicated to spreading the Bnei Baruch gospel, studying or sleeping.”

Anna says that until she joined Bnei Baruch, she was very close to her family and friends. “Within few months”, she says, “I told my friends that they are not my friends, to my brother that he was not my brother and to my mother that she was not my mother. I told them that I had a new family. ‘New Family’ was the expression of the Bnei Baruch group”.
“Over time”, she says in her affidavit, problems aroused with my husband. he was returning drunk from morning classes. I found that the men were drinking vodka at breakfast after class. When he was drunk, he would talk rudely to me, saying that I should be stronger spiritually”.
“Slowly I began to see things without the ‘rose-tinted glasses’… I saw the people in the group were constantly lying around me. For example, many men used verbal and physical violence against their wives… I also saw that there was a clear hierarchy between men and women in the group. The men were allowed to shout at the women and humiliate them in front of the entire group, and nobody would doing anything about it.
Anna says that during the first pregnancy she felt very depressed, and her husband wanted her to consult with the “rabbi”. “Mr Laitman gave me medications that were supposed to cure the depression. These medications were only colored candy used for cake decorations.  Of course they did nothing at all”, she says in the affidavit.
Anna reports that slowly and secretly she began to reduce her involvement in Bnei Baruch. At the same time, according to the affidavit, her husband became violent. “In 2013”, she says, “He came back after spending an entire day at the center… He was completely drunk. I told him that I had to clean the house for his family and that I was sick and taking care of the children. He attacked me with punches… He had a crazed look in his eyes. He punched me in the face until I fell and then hit me as I lay on the floor. He screamed at me that he would take a hammer and finish me, and I felt that he was going to kill me…

I left the house with wounds all over my body and in shock… I called my best friend in Bnei Baruch. I told her what happened. She told me I mustn’t go to the police no matter what… “.
According to Anna, she was persuaded at the hospital to file a complaint to the police, who arrested her husband for two weeks. “During these two weeks a friend who was a member of Bnei Baruch, called me , and told me not ever to come to the center again. She did not say why, but I understood that I had caused damage to Bnei Baruch reputation by involving the police in an ‘internal’ matter”.

In her affidavit Anna testified that a member of the group approached her, and said that “if I withdraw the police complaint, I could return to the group. At that time Bnei Baruch had invested enormous efforts in promoting the political faction ‘together’ (Beyahad) in order to gain Municipal control of the city of Petch Tikva…. I realized that because of their effort to win the elections at that time they especially feared any negative repercussions and therefore did not want any connection to people who could hurt their reputation …and their party’s election  prospects.

Anna’s marriage ended last year. “Since I left Bnei Baruch”, she says, “I participate in online discussions, especially on Facebook, about Bnei Baruch, in order to increase awareness of the danger of joining the group”.

As part of the counter-affidavits filed by Bnei Baruch, one group member wrote that he read Anna’s affidavit, “and unfortunately, but not surprisingly, her affidavit is simply “a pack of lies and fabrications”. In regards to her husband’s domestic violence he wrote that “there is no doubt that he deserves any disgrace and any penalties in accordance to law”. Nonetheless, the attempt to link their spoiled material relationship to the content being taught or the ‘norms’ which allegedly exist inside of the Bnei Baruch group, is ridiculous and is a mere lie. Nothing could be farther from the truth. ”

“Became a different person”

“This affidavit deals with my impression of my first husband’s changing personality, following his entry to Bnei Baruch… a personality change that led to our divorce”. These words open the story of Yelena (not her real name), a teacher who immigrated to Israel in the 90s’.

She describes a happy family, children and weekends trips. But then her husband, whom she refers to in the affidavit as M’, discovered Bnei Baruch and the kabbalah. “Once M’ joined the young group, his behavior changed drastically. He devoted more and more hours to volunteering in Bnei Baruch, related to Mr Laitman like a god and stopped taking an interest in all other things in life: his family, his parents, his work, his friends and everything else all that filled our lives until that time”, says Yelena in her affidavit, “his attitude toward me changed and he tended to get angry at me and stopped functioning as a partner and a parent … I witnessed my husband becoming a different person”.

She claims that her husband lived according to Bnei Baruch’s schedule. “His schedule consisted of getting up at 2: 30 am for a morning kabbalah class. Between three and six he was at class. Then he drove to his workplace, slept in the car for an hour or two and went to work”.

“… One or two days a week he would go to volunteer at Bnei Baruch after work, coming back home at ten and going to bed. During the rest of the week, he would come home around seven, eat dinner, and at eight we all had to be quiet because M’ went to bed in order to be able to get up for class. He said that this is what Mr Laitman ordered to do. So, for months we did not see him. When I complained, M’ told me that I should not complain because according to Mr Laitman, it is enough give a woman seven minutes of her husbands attention a day”.

Later, Yelena says in her affidavit, her husband began to transfer funds to Baruch. “After entering the inner group M’ decided on his own accord to donate 40 thousand shekels in cash for the construction of a TV channel, Channel 66 – Laitman’s Kabbalah channel… M had a personal saving fund that had just been released and he decided it was the right thing to do… I strongly objected,  but he completely ignored my objections . She also reports that her husband had already “started to pay Bnai Baruch “tithe”, ten percent of his salary every single month”.

Further in the affidavit she says that “the straw that broke the camel’s back and led me out of the marriage took place at the end of August 2008… My mother didn’t feel well and was admitted to an emergency surgery… Of course I was very frightened and I called M’ hysterical and in tears.  M reacted with complete indifference. He wished me luck, did not offer help, offered no empathy, did not try to calm me and didn’t even ask about my mother’s condition, his 15 years mother-in-law. ”

“A Flawless organization”

As a “counter weight” against  the affidavits of Ex Bnei Baruch members in their lawsuit against Mr Applebaum  Bnei Baruch responded by filing more than 30 affidavits of the group’s members, some of them well-educated and in high level positions, affidavits from which rises a completely different reality. “I know the conduct of the Bnei Baruch organization inside out”, wrote Kfir Maimon, studying Kabbalah for nine years, “and I am absolutely sure that this organization is pure, flawless, and can serve as an shining example to many other places.”

Like others, he wrote that, “I am not aware of any rules or regulations that exist in the organization… With regard to the atmosphere of ‘secrecy’, the detachment from family members, differentiation from society , piety, ritual rites, derogatory or offensive attitudes towards women and a inner culture of one member reporting against another for the breaking of rules  – this is the very opposite of the reality of the organization that I know. I read the complaints about  Rabbi Laitman they are particularly outrageous …The Rabbi strongly rejects any attempt to give him the status of a Hasidic leader or something like that. I never met any coercion, brainwashing, bullying, attempts to limit members connections with friends and/or other people”.
Oded Gudasi added in his affidavit that “my impression of Rabbi Laitman is that he is an honest and true man. Every time there is an attempt to imply that he was a saint in the popular meaning of the word is immediately shakes it off and denounces those who think so… there is no cult of personality, but the exact opposite.”
Many members of the Bnei Baruch referred to the dissidents affidavits. “Cogan’s and Diamandi’s claims in their affidavits regarding the encouragement to disconnect from family and friends as having no basis … Throughout my years in Bnei Baruch and also according to Rabbi Laitman, “First of all income and family – and only then the Kaballah”, stated Esther Yitzchaik. Similar things were written in affidavits of other members.

The statements about a requirement to donate a tenth of a members earning or member activities to spread the gospel of Bnei Baruch Kabbalah, were attacked by Bnei Baruch members. “I have never been approached by Bnei Baruch center and asked for a donation, money, tithe. Never. There is a box at the center and those who want or feel a need – can insert. Those who do not – don’t insert. There is no screening or surveillance”, stated Niza Mazuz. “There is no obligation to join the distribution operations. There is an explanation about the importance of a person’s development that comes in contact with other people…”.

Dr. Sharon Clipper wrote in her affidavit that the allegations regarding “poor treatment of  women has no basis. As a woman, I’ve always experienced a respectful attitude and felt that all options are open to me. Tal Mandelbaum stated that the allegations regarding  encouragement to marry Bnei Baruch members have no basis in fact. She says she met her husband in a Bnei Baruch singles meeting. “We chose to live together entirely voluntary. Nobody compelled or forced us to do so”.

Gil Yitzchakov, a Bnei Baruch member, wrote in his affidavit that: “I read the allegations … by which Rabbi Laitman deals and intervenes in personal matters of Bnei Baruch members; the Rabbi cultivates his status as a saint and at higher rank; the Rabbi humiliates his students, the Rabbi giving medications. That Bnei Baruch has a rule of terror encouraging an internal reporting culture; That the students in Bnei Baruch are committed to secrecy, obedience and separatism; That there is pressure on members to transfer funds and assets to the organization. There is a humiliating and degrading attitude towards  women. I declare that to my best knowledge about Bnei Baruch, all these claims are all, without exception, mere fabrications “.

Dr. Yitzhak Orion, active in Bnei Baruch from 2009, declared like others that, “I am convinced that there is no coercion in the way offered by Bnei Baruch, otherwise I would not find any interest in it as I am a researcher who has academic freedom, creative spirit and free will… I have never been exposed to any coercion of any kind, and certainly no intervention in my lifestyle and personal relations between spouses and/or family. I have never been exposed to any ‘secret rules or regulations’ whatsoever.

Bnei Baruch stated that, Rabbi Laitman refrains from involving in his students’ personal lives and withholds giving halachic, business, personal or other advice”. They added that “it is likely that in an association which teaches hundreds of thousands of people it is possible to find dozens and perhaps even hundreds that are not satisfied. The fact that they found five indicates how blessed the association activity is. These are the exceptions do not reflect the norm.

However Law Attorney Mr. Shneydor concludes on the “other side of the fence”.  There is also a message here to various similar strategic plaintiffs engaging in spurious lawsuits, in any matter. There can be a heavy price for filing such a libel suit: it can roll over you and become a subject of widespread public debate. ”

For the original article in Hebrew click here.
For the original article in Hebrew website click here.