‘Sense of Hollowness’ Leads Britain’s Wealthiest to Kaballah
by Shiryn Ghermezian
An increasing number of Britain’s richest are turning to Jewish mysticism, Kaballah, to help fill a spiritual void, London’s Evening Standard reported on Friday.
“Fifteen years ago, everyone I knew was on a plane reading the Warren Buffett book on how to become a billionaire,” London nightclub owner Piers Adam, 50, told the paper. “Now, everyone I know is trying to understand this sense of hollowness that they feel.”
Jamie True, a entrepreneur who recently made an estimated £15 million from the sale of mobile app Grapple, said Kaballah offers him a new form of understanding that he appreciates.
“If you go to a church or a synagogue or a mosque, you hear those stories and you think, how’s that going to help me?” the 39-year-old said. “What I find nice about Kaballah is that it takes the big concepts and tells it to you in a way you can understand… You think you’ve got it but then every week there’s another concept and you’re like ‘Wow!’ It’s not small stuff, it’s big.”
Marcus Weston, a spiritual mentor for Kaballah practitioners in Britain, including Adams and True, told the Evening Standard that Kaballah is becoming the preferred religion of Britain’s affluent.
“When I first got into Kaballah I would often be the only person in the class,” he said. “Now we have a footfall of about 1,000 a week. There’s a marked increase in people who are seeking to answer these questions.”
“Honestly, now we get so much scrutiny because we have such high-profile members,” he added. “The Charities Commission, the Inland Revenue — they come with all sorts of allegations but they always find us squeaky clean.”
Weston, 41, began his career at Citibank but left 16 years ago after taking a course under Rabbi Philip Berg, the founder of the Kaballah Center. He now devotes his life to teaching at London’s Kabbalah Centre, proselytizing and charitable works.
Explaining Kaballah’s appeal among the wealthy, Weston said, “It’s the fact that it’s efficient. A successful person hasn’t got time to invest in random hobbies. It has a structure, it’s measurable, in terms of how you feel and how the universe feeds back to you.”