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Jerry Hicks' Secret Life
Jerry and Esther Hicks
How Much Do We Really Know About Jerry Hicks?
Who was Jerry Hicks? Even his biggest fans never really knew.
Simply, Jerry Hicks was a brilliant man who put Esther Hicks, barefoot and dowdy, on stage. He positioned her as an accidental channel for spiritual self-help
That's the public version, anyway, but there's more.
A Little Jerry Hicks Bio
Sending his fifth (or sixth - Jerry said he lost count) wife, Esther, out in public as Abraham, a group of 100 "nonphysical teachers," including Jesus, from who she claimed to receive "blocks of thought," he reinvented spiritual marketing.
Bliss is easy, the couple claimed, little effort beyond focusing on the next best thought required.
It took a while to get there. They started with an apocalyptic message, the kind used to stir fear by many cult leaders, with Abraham forecasting major concurrent earthquakes and advising everyone to get gas masks.
These were published in early books the couple essentially disowned by claiming Ask and It Is Given to be the one Abraham first forced on Esther, hoping the earlier books might be forgotten and, later, pulling out the crazier stuff for new editions.
What Do Find When You Look More Closely?
What do the Abraham-Hicks' teachings really say? Do they make sense? And why won't they come clean about or even admit that Jerry Hicks died in 2011?
Back to the Roots, Where the Ideas Came From
Using marketing experience and Amway-honed selling skills, Jerry and Esther Hicks cobbled together an amalgam of teachings lifted from the New Thought Movement, Jane Robert's Seth material, Napoleon Hill, Sheila Gillette and others, tossed in some spice of their own, and branded it, "The Teachings of Abraham."
It caught on, and Jerry felt strongly enough to make a trademark claim on the "Law of Attraction," the force they claimed to be the most powerful in the universe.
Rejected because the term was invented by someone else and had been in continuous use for a hundred years before "Abraham" came up with it, Jerry went ballistic, storming up and down the aisle on the "monster bus" on which he and Esther then toured.
Resilient, though, they soon invented the clunky substitute, "vortex of attraction," which continues today.
Never mind that little was original and what was original was dull, sometimes dangerous and always geared to marketing. It worked.
It worked for Esther and Jerry, anyway, and they had an explanation ready for those people for whom it didn't.
Followers ponied up millions to watch Esther do her Abraham shtick, millions more to buy the books she wrote (allegedly dictated by Abraham) and Jerry edited and still more for recordings, do-dads and a wide range of pricey products.
Who Is Jerry Hicks and Where Did He Come From? - Jerry's Spiritual Parents
Where did the ideas Jerry Hicks parlayed into such success come from? Were they original or derivative? How much did he add to the story?
Hill's more fully realized book.
Channeled Wisdom Dumbed Down for Abraham
Esther talked of sitting up in bed reading the Seth material while Jerry tickled her feet in their early days together.
This material, later sauced with a lot of Theo, supplied them with the platform for success.
Esther insisted she was an innocent when Abraham seized her, but she had spent hours reading Seth's channeled content and had sat for readings with Theo.
The Curious Afterlife of Jerry Hicks
Dead or Alive?
Although Esther Hicks' isn't the most trustworthy voice in the house, we believed her when she sent an email blast announcing Jerry Hicks death in November, 2011.
Part of the reason was that she, characteristically, made his death, like everything else, about herself.
Even more convincing was her marketing gimmick claim that, after death, Jerry continued to come to her law of attraction workshops, only now as part of the spirit group, Abraham, that she claims to channel. Poor Jerry couldn't quit being Abraham, even in death.
But it's stranger now than ever.
According to the Abraham-Hicks website, three years later, Jerry is still running around the country with Esther in their rock star monster bus. Not just that, he has more spring in his step than men half his age.
Too weird to be true? See for yourself by clicking here.
Jerry Hicks Cancer and The End of An Era
Jerry Hicks, apparently at Esther Hicks' insistence (Who wants to be wife #6?), stopped talking about his personal history after joking in a Guardian interview that he'd been married more times than he could remember.
We may never know enough about this character, but given that the Abraham-Hicks website claims he was a
"...circus performer, juggler, boxer, singer, gymnast, radio show host, comedian, millionaire entrepreneur,"
you're not obliged to accept any of it as more than hot air.
Nothing is documented or available for independent verification. But, hey, the Abraham-Hicks website, for more than two years after his death, still describes him as
"...an adult who enjoys almost perfect health and vitality. Today, the spring in Jerry's step rivals that of men half his age."
So much for credibility.
We do know that Jerry has been an adventurer. His life was so freewheeling that until he settled down with Esther, he was a chameleon with many skins. Through several careers and family connections, his personal experience has been as wide as any of us might hope to have.
I like that about him. Jerry Hicks seemed willing to follow wherever he believed the trails were leading him.
He made his way from poverty to exceptional wealth, sharing a high level partnership with his fourth (fifth?) wife, Trish, at Amway before meeting Esther.
Say what you will about Amway, it has always been a share the wealth platform.
What makes Jerry Hicks unique was his passionate interest in rooting out wisdom from remote corners of human learning.
He has talked unblushingly about what he learned as a young man with a ouija board, and it wasn't the predictable stuff. Whatever spoke to him from the ouija board gave him both useful and ludicrous advice, leading him to two conclusions.
First, he said there are voices trying to reach us from some other dimension, and surprisingly, some of the sources are brilliant while some are as dumb as the dumbest of us. There was never a hint of anything but sincerity in this story.
A turning point came when he stumbled on Napoleon Hill's . Although years would pass before his life became more settled, this first exposure to esoteric understanding led Jerry Hicks on a quest to learn everything that was known about spirit and how spirit and thought interacted to create reality. Think and Grow Rich
Much of what he learned from mainstream texts, like Napoleon Hill's book and Norman Vincent Peale's The Power of Positive Thinking, were covers for much more dense and esoteric teachings like Jane Roberts's Seth Speaks: The Eternal Validity of the Soul.
While Jerry Hicks speaks of getting into many fights as a young man, they were instigated by his desire to defend others who he felt were being abused. Again, a claim never documented.
You can't believe in what's become known as the "law of attraction" and try to teach it to others without getting under the skin of some whose core beliefs seem threatened.
Yet, his willingness to do just that has been determined and unrelenting. A hunger to get back into the money after his divorce from wife #4 or #5, the real cash behind his Amway gig, might have motivated him to come up with some kind of bigger score.
By the time Jerry met Esther Hicks, he'd absorbed all the teachings of what developed out of the New Thought Movement in the early Twentieth Century.
He went on to absorb more recent versions, like the teachings of Seth, and to make them part of his life with Esther.
Finally, they had a hit with this one, but a close reading with an open mind finds it rambling and full of ambiguity and contradiction. It was, however, vastly more positive and hopeful.
Although much of how Jerry Hicks built his life is unusual, it didn't become extraordinary until, in combination with his wife, Abraham was born, enabling the duo to extend the teachings far beyond anyone before them and to loosen the public up to refreshed ways of thinking.
To do that, he tooled up the marketing and sales skills he learned along the way and applied them to the proliferation of spiritual guidance.
Nothing like it had ever happened before.
Who Was Jerry Hicks?
Master Marketer of Spiritual Self-Help and Inspiration
Most of us, including me, would have been too timid to go public with, not just what Jerry Hicks learned from the New Thought Movement, but also with Abraham.
Abraham, briefly, is claimed to be a group of roughly one-hundred "nonphysical teachers" who speak through Esther Hicks by giving her blocks of thought that she much interpret into words and sentences. Since it's not the purpose of this article to discuss the credibility of this idea and because I've heard convincing arguments from both sides, I'll leave it to you to decide if Abraham actually exists in reality or is simply the concoction of Jerry and Esther Hicks.
What interests me is the marketing that Jerry Hicks accomplished in, not just spreading the word, but in having it publicly accepted.
Starting with small groups of listeners, Esther would "bring in" Abraham through a relaxation technique, and Abraham would lecture on specific subjects and answer questions directly from people sitting before them in "the hot seat."
The presentation was convincing enough and the answers helpful enough that audience sizes steadily grew.
In retrospect, the teachings that Abraham presented were never original, but rehashes of previous teachers, like Hill and Peale and, especially, Jane Roberts.
The technique of presentation may have been copied from Sheila Gillette's Theo, a similar nonphysical figure that Esther and Jerry visited before Abraham appeared in their lives.
What was unique about it was the implementation of practices and codification of how the law of attraction actually worked. Week after week, Esther Hicks would repeat,
"Step one is the asking. Step two is not your concern. The universe automatically responds. Step three is your work. You have to let it in."
Not only were useful practices invoked, but a philosophy developed around what one's goal in life ought to be and how best to get there.Workshops began to take on series names like The Art of Deliberate Creation or, popularly, The Art of Allowing, each of which sought to teach you to take responsibility for your thoughts (You get what you think about, whether you want it or not) and for assuming an attitude of grateful appreciation which would allow you to reap the rewards.
Taking personal responsibility for our lives and eschewing blame. Taking a positive approach to appreciation. Both had tremendous appeal to independent thinkers who wanted no part of feeling victimized.
When Rhonda Byrne came along with The Secret, a project that resulted in acrimony between the filmmaker and Esther and Jerry Hicks, it led to immediate piles of cash for them anyway and broadened their follower base
.Online forums sprung up and books began to gush out on an annual schedule.Others may differ, but it seems to me that Jerry Hicks marketing magic then could just as easily have been used to sell brooms or dust mops.
Spiritual charm and warmth seems to have diminished radically and in direction proportion to the accumulation of wealth. Numerous stories have been told and some of them can be found by following the links in this article.
But from the reports of rejected friends and crippled business relationships, we know that Jerry Hicks efforts went from earning abundance through expanding the teachings to help others to helping himself and Esther become richer than Reverend Ike.
Still until that point, the spreading of spiritual wisdom through marketing techniques never applied in similar situations before, Jerry Hicks should get mountains of credit opening minds and broadening hearts.
And The Books He Helped Write - The Teachings of Abraham
Even if Jerry Hicks insisted that their books were channeled directly, word for word, by Abraham, his and Esther's names are listed as authors, not editors, researchers of anything else.Nobody is really sure how the early books got written, unless you are willing to accept the cover story that nonphysical beings seized Esther's hands and forced her to type, but we know that the later books were written by Esther and edited by Jerry.
© 2011 David Stone