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Kabbalah Centre May Be Responsible for Collapse of Madonna's Malawi Charity

Controversial religious organization blamed for mishandling funds to build school

April 5, 2011 12:35 PM ET
Kabbalah Centre May Be Responsible for Collapse of Madonna's Malawi Charity
AMOS GUMULIRA/AFP/Getty

It looks like much of the blame for the collapse of Madonna's plan to build a $15 million school for girls in Malawi can be pinned on the Kabbalah Centre International, the controversial Jewish mystical organization. According to Newsweek, the vast majority of the $3.8 million spent on the school was used by the Kabbalah Centre's home office under the watch of the center's co-director Michael Berg.

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Newsweek reports that the Kabbalah Centre and Madonna's Raising Malawi organization have been connected all along, despite efforts by others to separate the religious group from the charity.

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The Kabbalah Centre has been widely criticized for the lavish expenses of its founder Philip Berg and his family while allegedly treating its congregants like personal servants with extremely small monthly stipends. The financial abuses alleged by Raising Malawi's auditors are consistent with the center's reputation for handling money.

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