Paris Hilton and many Orthodox Jewish women from Brooklyn’s Boro Park share at least one fashion accessory — a little red string tied around their left wrists. Known as a “bindle” by traditional Jews, the string is intended to remind wearers of a worm, and thus their own lowly status in the universe. But Hilton — and other celebs who come across their red strings by way of The Kabbalah Centre – isn’t so humble. The Smoking Gun reports that The Kabbalah Centre has been marketing the strings as amulets against “envious eyes,” and finding so many takers that the Centre tried to trademark the bindle as the new-and-improved “Kabbalah Red String.” (Memo to Jesus Seminar: Get a patent application in on that catchy crown of thorns, now.) Patent Office says… rejected.

Forward‘s Steven I. Weiss follows up with a story about the affair that points other reporters, eager to go a-bindling on their own beats, to the more reliable Kabbalah authority,Kavvanah. Or go straight for the dirt with The Ross Institute, one of several organizations that accuse The Kabbalah Centre of being a cult.