Madonna is among the many celebrities who attended Berg's Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre,

The founder of the Los Angeles-based Kabbalah Centre, whose A-list members include Madonna and Demi Moore, has died.

Rabbi Philip Berg had reportedly had been in poor health since suffering a stroke in 2004. The centre said he was 86, though public records indicate he was 84.

The leader - known to his followers as Rav - founded the spiritual organisation in 1965 and was credited for popularising the ancient Jewish tradition of mystical interpretation of the Bible.

"The Kabbalah Centre is deeply saddened to announce the passing of our teacher, Rav Berg," a statement on the centre's website read.

"The Rav has left us with incredible knowledge through thousands of hours of teaching, examples of courage that we will never forget, and the comfort of a Kabbalah Centre that we can all call home.

"Kabbalah teaches that the body is an instrument to do the work of the soul in this physical reality. When the body's work is done, the soul travels to the upper worlds to serve without limitation.

"We believe the Rav has begun to share with us from above, and we will all happily remain connected to and inspired by the Rav's soul and his vision."

In recent years, it has attracted celebrity followers including Ashton Kutcher, Britney Spears, Paris Hilton, Mischa Barton, Roseanne Barr and Rosie O'Donnell. The organisation has a presence in more than 40 cities around the world.

Its success has been accompanied by controversy surrounding a tax evasion investigation and scrutiny over a non-profit organisation run by the centre.

The centre has also been criticised for its "New Age" approach to Jewish mysticism.

Berg is survived by his wife, Karen, and two sons, Yehuda and Michael, who are leaders at the Kabbalah Centre.