- Religion and Philosophy
Why Esther Hicks Never Answers Questions About Jerry's Death
Esther and Jerry Hicks When Things Were Good
Where Was Esther Hicks and Abraham when Jerry Died?
On November 18, 2011, according to an email from Esther Hicks five days later, her husband Jerry Hicks died at the age of 84.
Jerry Hicks' death came just six months after he disclosed in an email that he was hospitalized and receiving chemotherapy.
To most, it’s not surprising that an 84-year-old man might die, but those in the spiritual movement founded by Jerry and Esther Hicks have been unable to come to terms with it. The Abraham-Hicks organization can’t acknowledge that death can be painful and involuntary. That would be inconsistent with the teachings pitched at workshops and in books for twenty-five years.
It seemed likely that Jerry was the actual source of the “eternal wisdom” delivered by a hundred non-living entities that Esther Hicks channeled in the persona of Abraham.
On the Abraham-Hicks Website, Jerry Hicks Lives On
Three years after Esther Hicks announced his death, the Abraham-Hicks website still portrays Jerry Hicks as being in the best of health.
These two fun loving adventure-seekers are currently breathing in huge lungsful of joy as they figure-eight across the United States in their rock star monster bus....
You thought Jerry Hicks died, didn't you? You are wrong.
Don't be at all surprised if—as you pass—you get an enthusiastic smile and a wave from two kids wearing goofy red clown noses.
It's just Jerry & Esther Hicks, on their way to more fun and adventure!
It's right there on the website. "Today, the spring in Jerry's step rivals men half his age."
Esther, Jerry and Abraham wouldn't put out false information like that, would they?
And it isn't just the website. Esther continues to sign off her email blasts with a combination of hers, Jerry's and Abraham's names.
For those who haven’t been following this saga, the website calls Abraham "a group consciousness from the non-physical dimension." Abraham is the source of “the wisdom that is pouring forth through Esther.” The Hicks prefer not to use the word “channeling,” although in reality it's nothing but.
Abraham’s wisdom, summarized on the website, includes twelve points that insist, in clumsy prose and music reputation, that you can control all of what happens to you. Point five, for example, is “Anything that you can imagine is yours to do or be or have.”
The last two points relate to death and illness:
11. You May Appropriately Depart Your Body Without Illness or Pain.
12. You Can Not Die; You Are Everlasting Life.
So, they claim - Abraham claims, Esther claims, Jerry used to claim - that you can have it all, including eternal life, and you can depart your body without illness or pain.
This may explain why, three years after his death, the website Esther Hicks manages has not been able to acknowledge Jerry Hicks' death.
So who, or where, is Abraham now? Or Jerry?
Officially, What is Abraham?
First, the official story is that Abraham is a group of "nonphysical teachers" who have come together as a group to help us understand the universe and its most powerful force, the Law of Attraction.
They jokingly refer to themselves as dead people and claim to have access to all of the wisdom of the universe. They also claim that they can read your mind and understand your problems before you speak to them.
Esther and Jerry Hicks claimed that Abraham, this group of teachers, chose Esther above all others as the perfect outlet for their teachings because she was more openminded and vulnerable than anyone else and, luckily, married to Jerry, "the questioner of all time."
That's the short version, but you can find a more detailed one on my other articles or just by visiting the Abraham-Hicks website and stepping through the marketing mud long enough to find the free downloads of their story, as told by them.
How Jerry and Esther Hicks Created Abraham
Esther and Jerry Hicks were a dynamic pair for decades.
After Sheila Gillette wrote about the wisdom of a group of archangels named THEO (see The Soul Truth: A Guide to Inner Peace) and Jane Roberts wrote about the wisdom of a nonphysical entity called Seth (Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul), Esther and Jerry, incorporating Jerry's experience as a motivational speaker at Amway, invented Abraham.
The Hicks enjoyed immense success as a resource for spiritual inspiration, following the publicity surrounding the book and movie The Secret.
Riding a “Law of Attraction” wave, they saturated the market with books, card decks, recordings and DVDs. They posted numerous YouTube videos to whet appetites for sales on their marketing-heavy website.
True believers and committed followers will hang onto their beliefs about Jerry, Esther and Abraham, just as advocates of Jane Roberts' Seth material did as she was dying, also of cancer, as long as they can retain a flicker of hope that their magical beliefs might be true.
But now that it is widely known that Jerry Hicks lost his battle with cancer, it's a good time to take a retrospective look at Abraham-Hicks and consider whether the performances can continue.
Jerry’s colorful lifetime has included at least five marriages (he is on record saying that there were too many to count, but at least five) and a successful career at the upper levels in the often investigated and successfully sued Amway Corporation, which was the source of his wealth before he launched the Abraham-Hicks operation.
Jerry Hicks' studies in the areas that later coalesced into the Law of Attraction began long before he met Esther.
He was an avid practitioner of Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich and similar feel-good philosophies. In all likelihood, he used this knowledge in pitching Amway dealerships and motivating his recruits. In later years he never mentioned his Amway experience.
His relationship with Esther began while both were married to other people, but they hit it off immediately.
In the biographical material on the website, without much detail, we glimpse them studying Jane Roberts' Seth books, reading together while Jerry tickles Esther's feet.
Then, for no disclosed reason, they are visiting Sheila Gillette for a reading with the entity she channels (THEO, twelve Archangels who rank higher than Abraham, according to them).
For some other inexplicable reason, Esther and Jerry say that, shortly after this visit, they are confronted by a stranger who informs them that Jane Roberts has died.
Although this branch of the story never develops, it's likely that they were considering setting Esther up as Seth's next channel. Seth, though, is dense and hard to understand.
Esther and Jerry Hicks wisely designed a dumbed-down version, Abraham, that was more accessible, but they borrowed from Sheila Gillette's public channeling act featuring THEO, including, at first, an accent for Abraham’s announcements.
Borrowed Wisdom, Learned Performance
Abraham-Hicks never actually produced a new idea, other than marketing initiatives.
"The Law of Attraction" had been used for years before Esther and Jerry Hicks laid claim to that phrase. When their claim was exposed as false, they took up the clunkier term "Vortex of Attraction," which would have failed as a marketing gimmick, if it was what they started with.
For many years, it seemed likely that Abraham-Hicks was always none other than good old Jerry Hicks. Acting out the part, Esther got into her Abraham persona and parroted what she learned from a well-educated master in the teachings made famous by Napoleon Hill.
The impressive amalgamation of sources that resulted in the books (purported to be written by Abraham), the crowd-pleasing stage performances, and the recordings served many people well.
Recently, however, with Jerry’s increasing age and deteriorating health, the message became more muddled. The organization attracted a more cult-like following, and increasingly turned to exclusion as a way of controlling followers.
Abraham's—Esther's—Teachings About Death and Illness
The organization has never been particularly forgiving of illness or death.
You don't die just because you get old, but because you can't control your thoughts. In February of 1998, Esther Hicks, posing as Abraham, said this:
You can live comfortably and joyfully and resiliently and healthfully as long as you have desire that summons life through you. People don't die because they pass through time. They die because they don't allow this arena to stimulate decisions.
For years, Esther Hicks (as Abraham) claimed that her teachings could cure any disease in less than an afternoon. Here is a quote where she gave herself a little more leeway:
But it does take the determination that you're going to put your thoughts upon something that does feel good. And so, here we're going to make a very bold statement: any disease could be healed in a matter of days, any disease, if distraction from it could occur and a different vibration dominate - and the healing time is about how much mix-up there is in all of that. (Workshop #230, Ashland, Oregon, July 20th, 2002)
Esther (Abraham) said that disease will go away given the right attitude.
The very best approach to medicine is, "Well, I see your physical body is sick, what's been bothering you? What are you worried about? What are you angry about? What are you frustrated about?" Because that is what is at the root of all of this. And then say, "Let it go, let it go, let it go." That's the message, and if they could hear you and do that, then they would all be well right away. (Workshop 106, Ashland, Oregon, May 16, 2000)
She (he) said sickness before death is optional, caused by the sufferer himself or herself.
Death is an inevitable cycle. But sickness before death is a symptom of resistance. Most people think they've got to get sick to die. But, you could be like the cat who chooses to get run over. Or, you could just lie down in your bed happily one night, so content and thoughtless, wanting nothing in this physical world; and just reemerge into Pure Positive Energy... You can play it out any way you choose. (Workshop, Sedona, Arizona, August 27th, 2005)
And death should be easy, even “delightful”! Most insensitively, Esther said this just two weeks after the World Trade Center disaster of September 11, 2001, while the American public was quite aware of the suffering of thousands of blameless victims: pregnant women crushed by collapsing towers, workers jumping to avoid being burned alive, mothers on jetliners with babies in their laps.
[D]eath is a matter of closing one's eyes in this dimension and literally opening one's eyes in the other dimension. And that, truly, is how all death is, no matter how it looks, up to that point.. The re-emergence into Source Energy is always a delightful thing. (Workshop, Buffalo, New York, September 25, 2001)
In short, illness comes from thoughts, it can be quickly cured by thoughts, death isn't necessary, and if it should happen, it's delightful. An organization that promotes such beliefs could be seriously embarrassed if its leaders experienced illness and death.
Despite the Teachings, Jerry Became Ill
A year and a half before his death in November 2011, and a year before his May 2011 public announcement that he was undergoing chemotherapy, Jerry Hicks was already losing weight. A friend with medical knowledge and connections inside the organization wondered if he might have been undergoing chemo already by this time.
When he said on May 25, 2011 that he had suddenly fallen ill, he indirectly indicated that it had been going on for some time; he said his chemotherapy had started already and he had already lost 15 pounds from his slight frame.
So, it wasn't really so sudden. Fifteen pounds don't melt off overnight.
Jerry Hicks Resorted to "Heavy Chemotherapy"
On May 25, 2011, Jerry Hicks shocked his followers by stating publicly that he was receiving chemotherapy—a treatment associated with cancer.
Although he blamed his illness on a spider bite or a red ant bite, admissions of an "extremely exaggerated" white blood cell count, a biopsy, "heavy chemotherapy" and a week's intense hospital treatments told the story without using the "C" word.
"This is Jerry. First I wanted to tell you how much I appreciate your messages both telepathically and emaily of encouragement and good cheer. Next, Abraham and I have discussed the chain of thought that brought this about and I'm satisfied that I'm not going to do that again. Next, here's the scenario as I now see it. On March 12, 2011 we flew from Del Mar to Boca Raton, Fl where we slept next to the dock with many yachts from many different parts of the world in the slip right outside our window. When I awakened the next morning I had a large welt on the inside of my wrist that looked like a giant fire ant bite. The most unusual thing about it was instead of the usual circular puss-like head that comes up from many insect bites it was a strangely cube-like head. It looked more like a spider bite. I put a Band-Aid on it and we continued the Panamanian cruise. It seemed to resolve into itself as time went along forming a pea-shaped nodule on my wrist. On April 18, I showed it to a dermatologist in Del Mar and she immediately decided to scrape it off and sent it in for a biopsy. We continued our seminar tour and returned to San Antonio getting ready for our spring East Coast run when we heard back from the biopsy results that there was something amiss relative to my white blood cell count and she put us in touch with a dermatologist in San Antonio who was an old school friend of hers. The subsequent blood test in San Antonio showed that my white blood cell count was extremely exaggerated and the physician insisted that I undergo immediate treatment with no delay. He pointed out a number of options, one of them was to use the "big guns" (heavy chemotherapy) and so we decided to go along with that and checked into the hospital on May 6th.
We were swept up in such an obvious current of amazing "path of least resistance" events unlike anything we've ever experienced before. The strong feeling that we were proceeding in exactly the right direction continued as my response to these "big guns" was a week of no discomfort and none of the highly forewarned side effects. Everyone around us at the hospital kept speaking their surprise at my unusually comfortable experience. We are now in day 18 of a 28 day regimen of bringing my blood counts back into perfect balance.
Until I gain back 15 pounds of energetic flesh and return to my normal zippy do dah self, Esther will continue the workshops held on Saturdays (we cancelled the mid-week events so Esther and I can play together in San Antonio) and she plans to see many of you this weekend in Stamford, CT. Since this is our 3rd Live Global Broadcast I'll be enjoying the event like so many of you around the world (last time you watched from 76 countries and all 50 states) from the blissful comfort of home on my computer. If you'll be joining me in the cyber audience of the Abraham LIVE broadcast and you haven't registered yet, you can click here.
Jerry (and Esther, too)
P.S. One of the most wonderful things that I've experienced was the following revelation that I had while in the hospital with all of those wonderful people taking care of us: Every person with whom we seemingly have a chance encounter while here upon this planet has the potential of exerting a purely angelic influence upon us if we will but allow it."
The language is clumsy and evasive, repeating "next . . . next" at the start, as if an alibi is being plotted out step by step. The unfortunate Jerry makes passing reference to "a chain of thought having brought this about," presumably "this" being cancer, as this organization has long professed that illness is brought about by thought.
The message concludes with the inevitable sales pitch. Even chemotherapy can't stand in the way.
In spring 2011, coincident with Jerry’s declining health, the Abraham-Hicks organization introduced something called Abraham LIVE, actually remote events like webinars: a convenient innovation if, for example, the flow of revenue-producing events needed to continue while Jerry was having difficulty traveling.
A cheery anonymous writer sent this to the Abraham-Hicks Daily Quotes subscriber list, assuring all that Jerry's physical presence wasn't needed:
Jerry watched the live broadcast in San Antonio this past weekend and was delighted to discover that the feeling of the seminar was very much like being right there in the room. Abraham has been telling us for years that this energy transcends time and space and boy oh boy, do we understand that firsthand now!
. . . and boy oh boy, did they ever add a link to let you sign up for the next one, rocket fast.
People may have been able to believe for a while that a spider bite required chemotherapy, but that improbable storyline was not reinforced. Neither spider bites, leukemia, nor any other particular illness was mentioned by the organization until Jerry’s death in November 2011. Oblique references were made to Jerry’s convalescence, always along with a pitch for the next workshop.
Jerry’s Image Out of Focus, Fogged with Shadow
This photograph accompanied a marketing pitch for an upcoming workshop. Esther and Jerry Hicks together, hoping the image will let followers forget Jerry Hicks’s cancer and keep buying tickets.
Either this is the worst publicity photo ever, or they purposely used a picture in which bright sun would obscure Jerry Hicks' features.
As we found out later, Jerry was dragged out for this photo op only weeks before his death. It appears that he went during this period to South Korea for a series of alternative therapies that failed.
A Late Photo Op: Up, Up, and Away!
The PR people finally took over the Abraham Hicks news release email blasts, smoothing out the presentation. No more discussion of illness; Esther and Jerry had made a mess of it, and the organization was trying to get feel-good messages out.
This photo from a news release (with the inevitable pivot to a sales pitch) is supposed to have a "We're all happy" feel, with all the younger family members gathered with Esther and Jerry Hicks in Del Mar to enjoy a balloon ride.
Look at Jerry Hicks, hunkered down in the back corner, hard to see in detail, like the family homunculus, reaching over the rail to wave, some sort of covering on the right side of his head.
Why wasn't he standing with Esther? Was he sitting? Had he become legless? Was he out of the basket? Was he photoshopped in at the end to enhance the marketing impression?
Reality Intrudes: Announcing the Death of Jerry Hicks
On November 23, 2011, in a surprisingly direct email, Esther Hicks announced to followers that Jerry Hicks had died five days earlier, on November 18: “Our sweet Jerry made his transition into Nonphysical last Friday.” The announcement did not include an obituary, though it included a great deal about Esther’s own thoughts and plans. Nor did it include answers to the many questions that were asked about Jerry’s illness and whether it was dealt with in a way consistent with the teachings of Abraham.
One question followers had was why Jerry would have chosen conventional medicine, rather than the approach Esther has advocated (through Abraham) for years. Their cheerful rationale at the time was that they were following "the path of least resistance," which jelled with some of their early teachings. But chemotherapy is harsh and physically demanding; how could that be easier than the two hours in "suspension," or the at worst "a few days" that Abraham, by way of Esther, said would easily be enough to get rid of illness?
The question is, why didn't Jerry just take a quick Abrahamic cure instead of running to conventional medicine and, finally, alternative therapies that may have led them all the way to South Korea at the end?
According to Esther, all he would have needed to do was change his vibration. Esther also said Jerry was the best person in the world at keeping his vibration in control.
But he died, anyway. And what does "vibration" mean in the first place, and if you can't define it (just try), how can you change it?
The couple’s turn to conventional medicine strongly suggested not only that some of the basic teachings of Abraham about health and death were dangerous nonsense, but that the couple knew they were nonsense. When it came to real danger, Esther and Jerry Hicks tossed aside the Teachings of Abraham and chose conventional medicine, just as any sensible person would.
Given the Hicks’ views on medicine—that illness comes because you wish it on yourself—and the centrality of these views to the teachings they espoused, the couple must have been very reluctant to begin conventional therapy. Maybe they tried the easy cures described in the teachings of Abraham, and found them useless.
Nevertheless, if they could have been brave enough to explain clearly what was going on, it would have been a great help to their followers, many of whom trust the Abraham-Hicks teachings to get themselves through illness and other rough spots in life.
Why were they so evasive and, in some instances, simply dishonest about what was going on? If they were going to make a public issue of his illness, as they did in several email blasts, why be so sparing with the truth and allow themselves to seem disingenuous? What was Esther's excuse for turning every update into a sales spin for products and workshops? And then cancelling the workshops without notice or explanation?
When it was clear to everyone who looked at the situation objectively that Jerry was dying, why did they jam him into a gondola full of grinning younger relatives in a desperate PR effort?
This evasion was insensitive and unfair to other cancer sufferers, and to the many followers who had routinely been told by Esther and Jerry Hicks' creation, Abraham, that they give themselves cancer.
Esther Hicks's many rude and callous comments about "croaking" and how good it is when "the old ones go" come to mind.
Jerry Intermittently Reappeared, Speaking Through Esther
In a workshop in early December 2011, Esther did what some had predicted would happen; she attributed some of her spoken wisdom to Jerry, or as people might say, she “channeled” him. After a joke she made, she said, “That was Jerry.” As she did after an audience member observed that a digital clock had stuck at 5:55, one of the numbers that Jerry had said were messages from the spirit world (see the last couple minutes of the video below).
While this channeling offered some sort of resolution concerning whether or where Jerry had gone, it tended to confuse the whole concept of Abraham, which had always been a creation blended from many alleged no-longer-physical beings, without any distinct individual voice. It got complicated. Where the organization’s email for ticket sales were formerly signed off, “Love, Esther and Jerry,” the closing now read, “Our Love, Esther, Abraham/Jerry and our Abraham-Hicks traveling team.”
After introducing the newly non-physical Jerry Hicks in that workshop as a wisecracking associate of "Abraham," Esther reacted to the hail of criticism by leaving him out of the next workshop.
Esther Hicks in Her Own Words on Jerry's Death
Abraham Without Jerry: Less Kindness, More Bad Advice
As Jerry became sicker, Abraham changed; he often said mean things to the most vulnerable seekers who'd paid large ticket prices to see Esther perform her Abraham routine.
Since Jerry’s death, Abraham’s personality has continued to evolve away from empathy and gentleness. Judging from recent workshops, coldness, pettiness, and stupidity are an essential part of his makeup. In an early 2012 workshop, Abraham focused his wisdom on a parking lot collision between a Mustang and Esther’s Cadillac Escalade, discussing insights about driving provided by Esther’s hairdresser.
At another recent workshop, asked by a mother in the hot seat about dealing with her young child who refused to share toys, the wise, all-knowing Esther (as Abraham) told her that her child was in "alignment," enjoying his toys "like Jesus not freaking out about the toylessness of his friends."
Which coldhearted Jesus was that?
Farther along in the conversation, Esther responded to the same mother's worries about her son's habit of kicking their cat. She instructed the mother not to interfere with the abuse of a helpless, trapped animal because the cat was "teaching" her son.
Maybe to become the next Ted Bundy.
One of the failings of Esther and Jerry Hicks’s imaginary Abraham is that "they" don't understand that acts of all kinds require moral judgment (stopping animal abuse, as opposed to standing by and watching passively).
Noninterference is a kind of cheating that masks selfishness. Esther and Jerry have suggested that honoring our crudest impulses is natural, even though years of evolution have trained us to act proactively in the best interests of all.
This is the sickness of narcissism in full bloom. And animal abuse, for those who don't know, has long been recognized as an early warning signal for violent crime in adults.
In any case, anyone who saw this workshop, live or on video, has a moral obligation to contact the ASPCA. Now.
Get that cat out of the house before the kid, guided by Abraham Hicks, seriously injures or kills it.
Even at an organization that specializes in weirdness, this piece of "wisdom" stood out.
Esther Hicks Now Speaks for God, Jesus, Buddha, and Seth
As she wrapped up the San Diego workshop in January 2012, Esther included an ominous statement:
We would like to speak on behalf of Seth and God and Jesus and Buddha and all that have come before, and take it one step further into clarity and say that all of us from non-physical are having this moment.
She'd wandered close to cultism before, but this was the first time in the history of her channeling that she claimed to speak for "God and Jesus and Buddha."
She'd once claimed to be their equal, but this seemed to be a nod toward a whole new direction.
Or, knowing Esther was never the sharpest tool in the Abraham Hicks shed, maybe it was just a stupid bit of narcissistic rambling.
Abraham-Hicks Survived Jerry Hicks
Esther's efforts to resurrect Jerry shortly after his death by claiming to channel him along with Abraham at her workshops didn't help her credibility. Nor did her claims to represent various gods from other cultures, or Abraham’s rambling, petty, mean-spirited advice. But the workshops continue—30 or so a year—the videos continue to be made, and presumably the money rolls in.
The death of Abraham-Hicks is inevitable, because the death-defying collection of entities Jerry and Esther made up was always a fiction. To my surprise, Abraham-Hicks survived Jerry’s death. Possibly there are even hangers-on or support staff in the organization now who could carry on the show after Esther becomes non-physical.
Jerry's role in the organization, colossal as it was, seems to have been filled for the time being. But Jerry himself, in spite of his hopes, does seem—at least to those of us with any reasonable amount of skepticism—to have passed on.
Yes, It's a Duck
The Point Is, You've Got Choices: Other Credible Teachers
If you're on a spiritual journey and, as Wayne Dyer has always suggested, could use a teacher to guide you along the way, here are some alternatives you'll find enlightening.
© 2011 David Stone