In an interview to the New York Daily News, pop singer and Kabbalah devotee Madonna defended her interest in the teachings of the Kabbalah, and said she was angry people found it to be so disturbing.
"It would be less controversial if I joined the Nazi Party," Madonna said.
Madonna's increasing pursuit of Kabbalah has inspired much hostility toward her, which the singer found hard to explain.
"'What do you mean you study the Torah if you're not Jewish?'" she asked rhetorically.
"'What do you mean you pray to God and wear sexy clothes? We don't understand this.' It frightens people. So they try to denigrate it or trivialize it so that it makes more sense," Madonna said.
"I find it very strange that it's so disturbing to people," she continued. "It's not hurting anybody."
Understands Tom Cruise
Madonna also said the attacks on her enabled her to relate to what Hollywood actor Tom Cruise has gone through as a Scientologist.
"If it makes Tom Cruise happy, I don't care if he prays to turtles," Madonna said. "And I don't think anybody else should."
What angered the singer most were accusations that her participation in Kabbalah makes her part of a cult.
"We're all in a cult," she said. "In this cult we're not encouraged to ask questions. And if we do ask questions, we aren't going to get a straight answer. The world's in the cult of celebrity. That's the irony of it," she added.
The interview with Madonna took place after Israeli Kabbalah guru Shaul Youdkevich was arrested Sunday, on suspicions of fraud and deception.
Youdkevitch, one of the main figures in Kabbalah studies worldwide and the man behind Madonna's visit to Israel last year, is suspected he extracted money from a cancer patient, convincing her that if she donates money to the Israeli Kabbalah center, she will recover from her illness.
The woman passed away recently after giving tens of thousands of dollars to the branch, and her husband filed the complaint with the police.