The New Republic's Yossi Klein Halevi takes a look inside L.A.'s Kabbalah Centre, the mother ship of celeb-courting mystical mumbo-jumbo, and finds...Madonna in a trucker hat. (Ed. note—Any cult worth its tithe has some kind of dress code. Not that Scientology is a cult. We didn't say that, okay? We're just saying they have some great uniforms. They look like funny little sailors! And not in a cult-y way.)
The piece is so jam-packed with great stuff that we find it whizzing by in flashes of telling detail: a dying man fills his pool with blessed Kabbalah water to be cured..."Star Wars spirituality"..."Among the volunteers are two young women wearing black and red paint streaked across their symbolically clad bodies. Both are aspiring actresses; neither is Jewish. 'Some of my friends say this is a cult, but I like calling it ancient wisdom,'"... "There's no motivation to be good for its own sake."..."Don't turn around, but right behind you is Demi Moore."
By the end of the article, Halevi finally gets to the bottom of all of the red-string-wearing, speed meditating foofaraw. It's Kabbalah's largely-unstated pursuit of physical immortality that draws the above-the-title crowd: "For what, after all, is more likely to entice a sex symbol confronting middle age than the promise of eternal youth?"