Who Are Jerry and Esther Hicks, Where Did They Come From?
Esther & Jerry Hicks
Who Are Jerry and Esther Hicks?
Do curve balls that defy everything you think you know excite you? Wasn't that what Abraham-Hicks and the Law of Attraction were to us when they first hit the scene?
At their best, Esther and Jerry Hicks were original, off-beat, outspoken and convincing. It helped them sell the strange story of who they say they are or, in Jerry's case, were.
Blazing a Trail with Abraham-Hicks
Until Jerry's death in November, 2011, Jerry and Esther struck up the band as spiritual pitchmen like nobody else you're likely to find.
They blazed a trail of spiritual teachings previously developed by others and dumbed down for a wider audience, making sales that brought them down-to-earth riches.
Effortless happiness is an easy sale, even to some when the story doesn't add up or make much sense.
A business built on marketing skills polished at Amway and wrapped around run of the mill metaphysics, Abraham-Hicks pulls a group of followers massaged by Esther Hicks' claim that "It's supposed to be easy."
Many say they've benefited, but observable results are hard to come by, an odd fact considering the tons of claims.
But, really, who were Jerry and Esther Hicks? What the heck is Abraham really?
According to them, Abraham is a team of a hundred "nonphysical teachers" (including Jesus) with an interest only in sharing their unified wisdom for the common good (while making Esther and Jerry rich.)
Along the way, Jerry and Esther Hicks worked hard to obscure their personal histories as well as much about their present reality.
Even so, some facts leaked through.
The Strangest Thing About Jerry Hicks
He died, but he didn't.
You can guess at the reasons, but 2 1/2 years after Jerry Hicks died from leukemia, the website he set up with Esther to pitch products and workshops claims they still lead a "fairy-tale life".
What else? Jerry has more spring in his step men half his age, which is and always will be 42, since he died at 84 and isn't getting any older.
How many 42 year olds are less active than a dead man?
The Book that Caught On
Jerry and Esther Hicks
Up To Date
Let's start at the end.
Jerry and Esther Hicks pulled back into an unprecedented and eerie silence.
Workshops and cruises were wiped off their calendar without explanation. Their heavily marketed Abraham LIVE series of webcasts was mothballed.
As anyone who has followed the pair knows, that kind of withdrawal was unprecedented.
What was not unprecedented was Jerry and Esther's refusal to explain to the faithful and curious.
Early email blasts to followers contained upbeat messages about Jerry's condition, and they, too, were used to pivot for ticket sales.
The marketing messages are relentless, and still, scarcely a word comes out of AHP without a pitch.
In one instance, they used a balloon trip with their family as a pitch for the an upcoming Abraham-Hicks workshop. While mentioning how cramped the gondola was, they contrasted it how roomy the space available was for their next workshop.
Then, they segued as they usually do to contact links and telephone numbers.
Jerry Hicks cancer had gone from center stage in their marketing efforts to being eliminated.
Others have said the image was Photoshopped for effect. Whether that's accurate of not, the fact is that the picture is either deliberately obscure and lacking details or the worst publicity photo ever taken.
"I must be aware of bad things, and guarded about bad things, and I must watch out for bad things by trying to guide myself toward good things." You can't do both at the same time. You can't watch out for bad things, and allow good things at the same time. It is vibrationally not possible.
Excerpted from the workshop in Los Angeles, CA on Saturday, March 10th, 2001 # 174
Jerry and Esther Hicks and the Image
What is clear about the picture (and another that followed) is that, in spite Jerry Hicks' leukemia and "heavy chemotherapy," the couple was determined to maintain the illusion of a perfect life they've used as an example to collect followers.
The perfect life is as much a manipulated image as is the photo.
Jerry and Esther Hicks are people, not better or worse than most of us, who found an angle to create a steady stream of revenue by posing Esther as a conduit for Abraham.
Abraham, for the uninitiated, is said to be a collection of approximately one-hundred "nonphysical teachers" who Esther Hicks "brings in" by settling into a quick meditative state.
Once Abraham arrives, they are alleged to feed Esther "blocks of thought," all nonverbal, which she interprets instantly when on stage or at typing speed while punching out a new inspirational, self-help book.
This presentation has worked for twenty-five years and has kept their following growing, in spite of accusations of fraud and being a cult.
Endorsements from popular public figures, like Oprah Winfrey and Wayne Dyer, is certainly among the reasons.
Another is that both Jerry and Esther Hicks are publicly charismatic figures who exude sincerity and good intentions.
Until the last year or so when there have been a series of mean-spirited incidents committed by Esther in the Abraham Hicks workshops, they have consistently preached an upbeat message that values freedom, self-reliance and positive thinking.
There was always another side, but with a few exceptions, Jerry and Esther Hicks managed to avoid exposure.
What's the whole story?
Think Again, Other Sources For Spiritual Learning and Insight
Regardless of what's going on with Abraham Hicks, there are other sources that solid reputations for wisdom and integrity.
So, Historically, Who Are Jerry and Esther Hicks?
Did they have lives before Abraham?
You'd be hard pressed to find figures as public as Jerry and Esther Hicks with so little history on the record. It almost seems as if someone has used an eraser on it.
But we do know some interesting bits about them, before and after Abraham.
Jerry Hicks: From Tough Childhood to A Prosperous Adult
Jerry Hicks as born into a painfully unstable household. He has spoken proudly of his mother who, after poverty forced her to leave him in an orphanage for two years, fought her way back to retrieve him.
The family had a history of violence and, according to what little Jerry opened up about before turning clam again, what sounds like severe mental illness.
Jerry tells his childhood stories publicly in a positive way, but in private, he talks about putting a gun in his mouth with a single bullet in a chamber and pulling the trigger.
He has joked that he may have been married more times but can remember only four wives prior to Esther.
Among Jerry Hicks most attractive characteristics is an inquisitive open-mindedness. He talks openly about learning experiences with a ouija board, for example, and claims many career experiences, including a stint as a circus acrobat in Cuba.
Few of his claims can be verified and some have been refuted by others he has said were associates, but the spirit is clear.
With his fourth wife, Trish, he rose to one of the highest levels in the hierarchy at Amway. Securely wealthy for life, Jerry Hicks left Amway and was divorced from Trish.
Jerry has often said that the biggest change in fortunes for him came when he found Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich, a landmark book about positive thinking, much like Esther Hicks preaches through Abraham.
He frequently talks about trying hard to teach others the secrets of obtaining great wealth and his frustration that so few managed to pull it off, an apparent reference to his days at Amway where inspirational teachings are part of the upper level routine.
In Abraham, he tried to teach by using a new gimmick, his wife's claimed channeling.
Jerry Hicks "is mistrustful and controlling; he's not one to get openly upset, but he carries a grudge for months at a time," according to long time friend, author and former webmaster for AHP, Ahnalira Koan.
Working closely with Jerry and Esther Hicks for a decade, Ahna was also devoted to helping others discover the teachings. She severed her relationship with them earlier this year, partly to set off on projects with her husband without the 24 X 7 demands that often went into working for AHP and partly to square herself spiritually after becoming disillusioned.
"As our understanding of the internal organization dynamics deepened, it also became apparent that to us that - on occasion - Abraham's responses to questions reflected Jerry and Esther's opinion more than the pure concepts of the teaching," she explained.
No disgruntled ex-employee settling scores, Ahna is a certified Jungian therapist and meditation instructor who came into Jerry and Esther Hicks' orbit with her own personal views well-established. She still admires much about what they've accomplished, but she misses the happy, carefree couple Esther and Jerry were before the money changed so much about them.
Where, for someone who knew them well and initially resonated with the teachings, did Abraham end and Esther and Jerry's worldview begin?
Was there ever an Abraham or was it always Jerry Hicks' decades of study in the New Thought Movement, parroted by his adoring, dependent and much younger sidekick, Esther?
Not an easy question to answer.
Another close associate, who went to a first Abraham Hicks workshop around the time Ahna and her husband began working with them, says that his initial skepticism melted when he went to a workshop (with one foot out the door, ready to escape) and was amazed to see auras dropping over Esther as she "brought in" Abraham.
But then, there are the contradictions, errors and episodes of public abuse that seem impossible to square with a loving, all-knowing assembly of spiritual teachers. One of those teachers, according to Esther Hicks, is Jesus.
If Abraham is no more real that the King Arthur legend, then Esther Hicks may be the most effective scam artist after Bernie Madoff.
On the other hand, she is more direct about the limited history she leaves open for conversation, almost all of it after marrying Jerry Hicks.
What she prefers not to disclose is that she was born in Utah to a family of mostly Mormons. Her husband and father of the daughter she and Jerry refer to as their own, Tracy, was also a mormon.
This, of course, contradicts her claim that Abraham came to her, over everyone else, because she was so open and not burdened with firm convictions.
It may tell us something about Jerry and Esther Hicks integrity that, when they first met, Jerry was engaged to another woman and Esther married to Richard. Richard discovered her car in a motel parking lot where she drove it for a rendezvous with Jerry.
Both Esther's marriage and Jerry's engagement ended abruptly and a quick divorce and hurry up marriage in Nevada followed.
Jerry and Esther Hicks are just people, and like the rest of us, they sometimes do things that are questionable and dishonest.
Esther has since condemned her first husband for being too controlling.That reads like a lame excuse for adultery, especially when children are involved.
And, no, Jerry does not speak up about his fiancée, his intended to be wife #5, displaced by Esther. He also has little or nothing to say about the other four.
According to a long time associate, "Esther is emotionally volatile and quick to blame."
The picture you should be getting here is that Jerry and Esther Hicks are not the personas they put up for sale in public.
Jerry and Esther Hicks Snapshots
In the months leading up to his illness, Jerry slept little. He spent hours surfing the internet, searching for comments about himself, Esther or Abraham and sending out associates as sock puppets to counterpunch anonymously. His proxies have also been responsible for glowing, if noticeably shallow and predictable, rave reviews of their books on Amazon.
When the Abe Forum first started, Jerry and Esther Hicks had a moderator who, when harsh comments were made, argued in favor of a laid back approach: "Let the law of attraction sort it out," she said, rather than restrict or control. Jerry and Esther flipped, discharged the original moderator and brought on David Gordon who, to this day, faithfully controls the Abe Forum in a way that supports the Abraham Hicks brand...but not the law of attraction.
(Fair disclosure: David Gordon has banned me from the Abe Forum. Although there are simple ways to get around the restrictions, I am not supposed to able to even read the comments of others. I can, whenever I want, but don't because these are some of the dullest and most cult-like riffs ever clogging up cyberspace.)
In 2007, Jerry and Esther Hicks tried to claim a trademark on "Law of Attraction." It was unwise because they almost certainly knew the phrase had been created by someone else and in the public domain for almost a century. Even so, when they were turned down, rage filled the monster bus, with Jerry pacing up and down the aisle, fuming.
They then demoted "Law of Attraction" in favor of the clunky, but original "Vortex of Attraction."
Jerry and Esther have left a trail of bodies, employees and associates who believed they were intimates but who, with little or no prior notice, found themselves frozen out.
And Abraham isn't brought in just to shill for products. Jerry and Esther Hicks have a standard quote that goes with unpleasant employee reactions: "We talked to Abraham, and they said you'd be okay with this."
According to Jerry and Esther Hicks, Abraham Said...
To Abraham or Not To Abraham
Firing long term business relationships, severing friendships... These are not the only instances in which Abraham has been trotted out to put meat behind a questionable concept.
In 2010, Jerry and Esther Hicks decided to cut back on the road grind and looked for new ways to generate revenue without so much effort. One highly promoted product they came up with was guided meditation DVDs. They flooded their Daily Quotes subscription list with thirty straight days of product pitches. In one unintentionally hilarious moment, Jerry claimed to quote Abraham:
"These will get you into the vortex," he claims the nonphysical entities told him.
But if Abraham can be used to shill for products as well as be the core of the products themselves, is there a limit?
What, I wondered, is Abraham? Did Jerry and Esther Hicks invent them as a gimmick or was there, at least sometimes, a real set of spiritual masters who came through Esther with their only intention to teach unselfishly?
Faking or Shaking?
Whenever I settle on what I believe is the right answer to that question, I get second thoughts because of my friend who is so convinced he saw auras, many of them, descending around Esther. But what does it mean to see auras? Could it have been a clever lighting effect or some sort of optical illusion? And why Esther, of all people?
Then, I realize it's a pretty thin thread on which to hang any faith in Jerry and Esther Hicks' stories about Abraham.
Especially when there is so much to argue against it.
I've gone into extensive detail on my lens, Fifteen Reasons Why You Can't Trust Esther Hicks' Abraham Scam, so here's a quick summary of why the pitch is not believable.
*** The big one skeptics often miss with Jerry and Esther Hicks, as well as others, is the utter lack of their having anything original to say. A minimum requirement for any group claiming a pedigree of such magnitude is that they bring real, original insight or wisdom to their teaching. A clear explanation of how AIDS devastated cultural subgroups before researchers spent millions to uncover the epidemic's secrets one by one; an idea for solving the nightmare of starvation in Africa; a plan for bringing peace to the world--any of these and, honestly, much less would have scored big.
Instead, we get what Jane Roberts converted into the series of Seth Books, dumbed down to capture a wider audience than the challenging insights Seth was reported to render. We get such "wisdom" as this:
"Nothing is more debilitating than to care about something you can't do anything about. And you can't do anything about your adult children. You can want better for them, and maybe even begin to provide something for them, but in the long run, you cannot do anything about someone else's vibration other than hold them in the best light you can, mentally, and then project that to them. And sometimes, distance makes that much more possible than being up close to them."
Excerpted from the workshop in Ashland, OR on Saturday, July 19th, 2003
"Resistance is about believing that you are vulnerable or susceptible to something not wanted and holding a stance of protection - which only holds you in a place of not letting in the Well-being that would be there otherwise. There is nothing big enough to protect you from unwanted things, and there are no unwanted things big enough to get into your experience."
Excerpted from the workshop in Atlanta, GA on Saturday, November 4th, 2000
"We're not wanting to be insensitive to what so many of you are feeling, but we are very much wanting you to put this death thing in the proper perspective: You are all going to die! Except there is no death. You're all going to make your transition into Non-Physical. It is time to stop making your transition into Non-Physical sound like a subject that is uncomfortable and begin acknowledging that it is something that happens to everyone. This death thing is so misunderstood that you use it to torture yourself never-endingly and just absolutely unnecessarily. There are those who feel such fulfillment of life and such Connection to Source Energy, who understand that there is no separation between what is physical and Non-Physical; who understand that there is not even a lapse in consciousness, that "death" 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."
Excerpted from the workshop in Buffalo, NY on Tuesday, September 25th, 2001
*** The Jerry and Esther Hicks story has been too liberally adapted to circumstances. They could still be publishing and selling their first book, A New Beginning I: Handbook For Joyous Survival, published in 1990, except that it is so much in conflict with the books that made them famous a decade later.
In New Beginnings, Abraham comes off as a predictor of impending doom. The world, this book tells us, is entering a cataclysmic phase geographically. Gas masks are advised for everyone. Oops.
Later, they tell you that Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires is the book Abraham declared they would write with Esther. So, why did they write several others first that didn't become best sellers?
Why did the message change until it resonated with people hungering for easy spiritual messages?
*** Jerry and Esther Hicks have always preached that abundance, whatever it is to you, is delivered based on what Esther calls your "vibrational countenance." She, posing as Abraham, has pooh-poohed hard work and making an effort to succeed, saying it accounts for less than ten per cent of results.
Yet, Jerry and Esther Hicks have been well known to exhaust themselves by working seven days a week on workshops and marketing gimmicks. People who know them well will tell you that their happy go lucky, life is supposed to be fun mantra has little relationship to the way they live and work.
© 2011 David Stone