"Alex, God bless him, is lost," A-Rod's ex-pal lamented. "I think he got pulled in by the dark side, if you can say that nicely. He's totally brainwashed."
"[His wife] believes it's what ruined her marriage," Romero added.
A-Rod's first encounters with the Material Mom came through their common friend, Miami nightclub owner Ingrid Casares, Romero said.
Once Madonna and A-Rod started working out together in New York in November 2007, he was under the complete spell of kabbalah's most famous practitioner, the slugger's confidant said.
"He's more infatuated with the fact he's with an icon instead of realizing what's important, which is family and truth," said Romero, 46.
He said A-Rod is going through a kabbalah practice called "cleaning out your vessel," which means getting out the old and taking in the new.
"To me that's a way of saying leave your family and move on," Romero said.
Cynthia has blamed Madonna for getting her husband hooked on the study of the ancient Jewish Zohar scripts, which followers claim have all the answers to the universe.
Kabbalah's 3 million worldwide followers believe that none of people's bad traits are a result of their parents.
Traditionalists, however, have slammed the "religion," arguing it's more of a cult, selling $3 bottles of spiritual water claimed to have miracle healing powers.
-- James Fanelli, reporting on A-Rod's former trainer (and godfather to his two daughters) Dodd Romero - while he (unknowingly) hits all of the usual NewAge buttons - for FOX Sports News.