When talking about Judaism, they are in fact talking about Jewish culture, not about Torah the Oral and Written Law. To conflate or mix up the two is stupid.
Woe to the innocent fools that go to religious teachers for advice..
To religious teachers religion is about ritualistic behavior and Jewish culture. This appeals to people that are slightly schizo-typal personalities. To others it is all about culture.
To me Torah is about Torah--the oral and written law. Period.
Too many religious teachers are con men that are talented at getting people to believe there is some good deed involved in giving them money. It is because largely they are born into this scam. Their fathers made money by means of using the Torah, so they have to continue in this fraud.
This is very different from those people who in fact learn and teach Torah for its own sake as you find in Lithuanian kinds of yeshivas. But how to tell the difference I am not sure. Or how to give an accurate sign? I experienced the real thing, authentic Torah-in my first two yeshivas Shar Yashuv and the Mir in NY. So I should have been able to tell the difference between the real thing and the frauds and scam artists. But I was not. I am overly naive. Here is a good link to an essay on cults
[These are important ideas that were around in the 1960's but that did not stop problems. Warnings that people did not heed.]