A Law of Attraction Cult?
It's a little hard to believe at first glance, isn't it?
Claims about an Abraham Hicks cult first stirred after Rhonda Byrne's movie and book, The Secret, became an unexpected hit.
People learned that the movie was inspired by Esther and Jerry Hicks' Law of Attraction workshops and cruises.
They also learned that all the footage involving or mentioning Abraham Hicks had been deleted after a dispute between Byrne and the Hicks, one which was settled with a substantial payout from Byrne.
Esther, Jerry & Abraham Hicks
Quick Look: The Abraham-Hicks Phenomena
Esther Hicks performances as Abraham, a collection of "nonphysical entities" of approximately one-hundred, including Jesus, and, more recently, the deceased Jerry Hicks, earned standing ovations as her popularity spread.
Adulation had her giddy as a school girl. She even called friends late at night, just to tell them about it. "They gave me a standing ovation," she purred to one friend, dropping any pretenses about Abraham.
To herself, Esther Hicks was the star.
There was a huge jump in interest about the Law of Attraction Cult, following the "Teachings of Abraham," the source material used to guide followers, some of whom tithe, like members of established churches. Concerns about a spiritually based cult circulated but, until recently, it seemed unfounded.
Heck, The Secret wasn't a secret anyway, and Esther and Jerry never claimed that the Law of Attraction was one, although they did falsely claim that it was invented by Abraham.
As reported in Kyra's Diary, they made a phony claim they'd originated the idea, a claim rebuffed when they applied for a trademark. The term had been in circulation since the New Thought Movement, early in the Twentieth Century.
Times change, of course.
The marketing focus from Abraham-Hicks Publishing grew fast in response to their widening popularity.
This once simple philosophy of exuberant, feel good abundance based on mental practices was being turned into a self-renewing sales vehicle, enrolling followers in subscriptions for repetitious material and a wide range of offshoot products.
The question is, is the Abraham Hicks Cult being retooled to better capture spiritual seekers and hold them in a web of narcissism for profit?
Following Jerry Hicks' death, in an early, revived workshop series, Esther Hicks hints strongly that she will be steering things hard toward cultism with an expanded claim on who she (as Abraham) is.
Here is what she told a San Diego workshop:
"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."
Speak on behalf of Seth, God, Jesus and Buddha...?
A crazy claim, yes, but who imagines Seth, God, Jesus and Buddha need Esther Hicks to speak for them, unless they wanted to help her secure even more cash?
Some of The Best Teachings Are Ancient
How Intentional Conscious Awareness Expands Your Spirit
Basic Teachings of The Abraham Hicks Cult
The Law of Attraction (now the Vortex of Attraction)
I've listened to the earliest tapes Jerry Hicks made of his conversations with Esther acting as Abraham, who is claimed variously to take over Esther's vocal chords or to relay to her "blocks of thought" to be interpreted as verbal expressions.
When they still talked about Abraham s taking over Esther's voice, the speech was freaky and a bit off-putting, a man-ish voice with a strange, guttural accent, suspiciously like the one Sheila Gillette uses when she channels Theo.
(Esther and Jerry met with Sheila before Abraham came along.)
As their following grew, the accent gradually disappeared and the process went from a physical takeover to those "blocks of thought" that Esther interprets instantly in front of live audiences.
What else evolved were the teachings?
After Esther and Jerry began touring and selling books, the teachings coalesced around a simple three-step process.
First, You Ask
"First comes the asking," as Esther repeated a thousand times. Followers need to ask "the Universe" or "Source," dodging the use of God as a term, for what they want.
This is done by mentally focusing on the desired condition or object, and it was empowered by pressing emotions into the thought.
Often, they were desires as simple as better cars and even parking places, mostly practical things, and good health, money to pay off debts. Think of a big Cadillac and get the feeling of joy in driving it.
That's what worked.
"Step Two is not your work. The universe answers your request every time exactly. No exceptions!"
If you were perplexed because no car showed up in your driveway nor was there instantly a corner store with all your favorite flavors of ice cream just waiting, there was an answer for that: You weren't "lining up" with your desires.
"Step Three is your work. You have to let it in."
Esther Hicks preached something that had resonance for a lot of people.
In what they falsely claim as their first book, which lists "Jerry and Esther Hicks" as authors, the claim was that Abraham seized Esther's hands and forced her to start typing.
Initially, what came out was crude and rough, but the message from Abraham was, "We are going to write a book together."
The Abraham Hicks Cult Messaging
In Esther's Words
The simple message, none of which was really new, but was put together convincingly and with an attractive upbeat quality, was not going to be enough for too many seasons of seminars and cruises.
Elaborations began to be developed that added proactive complexity.
There were focus wheels, workshops and other exercises that Esther and Jerry pitched. More recently, there is the vortex.
As clearly as I can explain it, the vortex is that place where all the things you haven't let in rest in wait for you or, in a new twist, for the right timing.
The Vortex has been the subject of books and seminars, of course, and now, the Abraham-Hicks machine has started hard-selling guided meditations.
In a pitch so transparent it made me laugh a little, Jerry exclaimed:
"Abraham says, 'This will get you into the vortex!'"
So, they now had nonphysical beings shilling products directly.
Abraham-Hicks has the same qualities as other commercial entities. Momentum must be sustained or a collapse starts.
Fresh products and services must be developed and sold. Usually, commercial entities are wrestling for your cash, not your soul, but that's another story.
A strategy seems to be developing that may be geared to corralling their followers into a cult-like gathering.
Because the teachings were always so upbeat, it seemed a less likely direction for them to take.
Then came this: Esther Hicks, speaking as Abraham:
"In other words, those of you who are physical counterparts of the Non-physical family of teachers, in this case, specifically of ABRAHAM, are highly evolved beings who know your power, and so there is this feeling, sometimes, a frustrating one of being trapped in the mundaneness of the physical. It would be like knowing you are an eagle who can soar and then having somebody clip your wings, and say, You are an eagle, but here, eagles don't fly. And so, you're walking around on the ground, knowing, remembering what it was like to fly, but not being able to get off the ground. And that is the whole point of our discussion with you, here."
What was striking initially was that Abraham had always previously expressed envy at the joys of physical life, which they argue is a cutting edge expansion of the nonphysical realm in search of happiness.
Suddenly, we had the "being trapped in the mundaneness of the physical."
The scary part came next when Esther informed followers that they were specially chose...
"physical counterparts of the Non-physical family of teachers, in this case, specifically of ABRAHAM, eagles with their wings clipped."
Setting followers apart as special people who had their "wings clipped," especially as it's a radical departure from what came before seems nothing short of segue into cult-building.
Guided meditations, where good old, every day meditation like the rest of us use and what had for twenty years been more than good enough for Jerry and Esther, now draws in a little of the mind control spice that flavors all cults.
Esther and Jerry Hicks insist that they were "guided" by Abraham, the collection of about one-hundred nonphysical entities, to produce these guided meditations that Abraham says will get you "into the vortex," which they claim is where your real self resides, no longer just your unfulfilled wishes.
Clusters Arrive at The Abraham Hicks Cult
A new twist
As a final note, I'll quote Esther (as Abraham) one more time:
"Also, this is what you're reaching for. It's big, and it's accurate and you know it, and we'll say it anyway.You come forth in clusters with intentions to enhance one another's experience. And when you meet up with your cluster, it's really fun!"
The long established individuality is being replaced with "clusters.""...and you know it..."
Time for Your Opinion
© 2010 David Stone
Is The Abraham Hicks Cult too crazy to debate or what? - Is there germ of truth hidden in all this?
David Stone (author) from New York City on February 10, 2018:
Go out and get yourself some punctuation.
SAN dobson on February 09, 2018:
Come on drop the ego does it hurt anyone who is blind
David Stone (author) from New York City on December 29, 2017:
You will certainly feel differently when you thoroughly consider the issue with an open mind. Esther Hicks is not a solution to anything.
Petra on December 29, 2017:
I agree with Anonymous. I read so much scepticism in this article and its comments by mr. Stone, really! I agree with the Paradigm issue. Some of us are not there yet, to see the light and value of this, and that's fine. There's time. Esther Hicks is a solution, not a problem. Good luck to you all.
David Stone (author) from New York City on March 27, 2017:
That's one of Esther Hicks biggest problems because it leads to absurd results no one ever sees. But there are other times when Esther/Abraham is clear that one gets "a vibrational match," not a replica or a exact copy of what they are thinking hard about. In calmer moments, the message is that words hardly matter, only emotions do. I think she just got mixed up by the money and the need it created to deliver a controlling message. All religions have contradictions, of course, but what she spins out is supposed to be direct from the source, not dictated into a thousands of year old book.
James Clinton from Washington, D.C. on March 27, 2017:
I hate thinking that my mind is controlled. That is the reason why I don't get involved in 'organized' religion and especially cults like this. I am such an individualist that this erasure of individualism flies against everything I believe is true about myself and others.
David Stone (author) from New York City on June 06, 2015:
If it works for you, great. Jerry and Esther culled it from some powerful sources before inventing Abraham to pitch it all dumbed down. The result is that some of the information is, as you say, very good, and a lot of it is incoherent, conflicting and even a dangerous.
Since your comment does not respond directly to the topic and the case you make is very similar to ones showing up in the past, this along with other questionable elements leads me to the suspicion that you are one of the sock puppets sent on a mission to try shoring up Esther Hicks' dealing business.
whatev on June 05, 2015:
I have never been comfortable with how the message is sent or received...but the information has been great and I am a better and more loving person because of it. No one has ever said I have changed for the worse, and many have said I am more pleasant to be around. I have only ever bought one book. The Church wants a new jet. You tell ME where the scam is. Some one can only scam you if you are weak and playing the victim. I have always said; "okay this whole thing is a little weird....but the information is very good"
David Stone (author) from New York City on February 12, 2015:
Interesting thoughts, Blind Followers. You've given me and, I'm sure, others some things to think about. Smart comments help enlighten us all. Thanks.
Blind Followers on February 08, 2015:
Here's the latest business apect of it, that goes to prove how much Esther has digested from teachings that come out of her mouth when she is channeling this entity. They've stopped selling the livestreams for $75/talk because instantly people were making youtube videos of the whole talk so others who don't have the money can listen online, so this is the message they (Esther and her associates) put out today:
LIVESTREAM OPTION DISCONTINUED
"Protecting and policing our intellectual property is exhausting and truly
feels like pushing against. Justifying and explaining our position on
intellectual property rights is also pushing against. So we are taking the
path of least resistance and discontinuing the livestream option."
The path of least resistance would have been to not worry about intellectual property rights if you were a non-physical entity and let people listen to it on you tube because you've already made millions of dollars off of them. This is what they do in the teachings and why it is going to turn into a cult, they manipulate (use) the teachings to support whatever action they want to take. The teachings themselves I don't have as much of a problem with, but the people around them, I don't trust one bit. The only person I trust remotely is Abraham for those 3 hours, after that, no one. No one associated with the group, none of the followers, no one. Not saying they are bad people, they are just as human as me. But their journey is their journey, and my journey is mine, and all I can do if I choose to associate myself with the teaching is just take whatever helps me from the teaching and not get involved with anyone from it. That's the best path for me, as of right now. Not sure if that resonates with anyone here, but just my perspective right now. Thanks.
David Stone (author) from New York City on December 07, 2014:
The voice thing, which she did in the beginning and doesn't anymore, duplicates what Sheila Gillette does with Theo, the channel from which Abraham was derived. It's supposed to be more convincing, but since Esther has always claimed that Abraham gives her "blocks of thought" to interpret, that he does not take over her vocal chords, the voice change made no sense.
If Abraham is what Esther claims, we certainly would expect miracles cures. What less would you expect from a group in direct communication with God? In fact, she used to pop up with miracle cures but they were ridiculous. When even her husband dodged them when he became critically ill, she dropped them. Obviously, they were worthless. And no, you can't learn anything original from Esther Hicks. It's all shortcuts for the spiritually lazy, gambits to get to bliss without trying or finding any spiritual insights. According to Esther, all you ever need to do is "reach for the next best feeling thought" and you're done.
And you probably are, done with contributing much to your family or social circle.
DREAM ON on December 06, 2014:
I am not sure what to believe. I am curious how Esther Hicks changes her voice when she speaks to Abraham. I don't think that could easily be done unless there is something happening there. If her earlier teachings were from the Seth books what is your opinion on them. I find the material useful and motivational. Sometimes in school we have to be told the same thing many different ways before we learn. Couldn't we learn something from Esther Hicks teachings. It doesn't have to be the miracle cure to everything because nothing ever is. Thank you for writing this and making us aware of different views.
ciyakkabi on November 12, 2013:
Their followers may tend to get a very amoral approach towards life. because what matters is always how good they are feeling. Nothing else is important but to feel good. they are thought All is good always no matter what happens.Their followers may tend get detached from life and also because they are thought not to focus on problems. think of anybody at work place not focusing on problems? They turn out to be unrealistic or numb people. because their teachings has great great gaps to what is real dynamic/ growth process in life for an healthy person. Their followers may get away from family members and 'others' because they lose their empathy since they are thought focusing on others people problems/ desires has no benefit whatsoever. A person should only care for how much he/she is feeling good. So I guess you can guess in the long run they will surely tell themselves 'high' from 'OTHERS' and soon will begin to feel themselves like 'vibrational elites' or something to this regard.
David Stone (author) from New York City on May 15, 2013:
@anonymous: It seems to me that what they did was grab some interesting ideas with some credibility someone else developed and ornamented them into sales tools. Users get hooked because they probably do feel better than they did before and are too lacking in self-confidence to leave when it turns flat.
David Stone (author) from New York City on May 15, 2013:
@anonymous: I like that way of looking at it. Thanks.
anonymous on May 15, 2013:
@ChuckBartok: "Success is not measured by what you accomplish but by the opposition you have encountered, and the courage with which you have maintained the struggle against overwhelming odds."Orison Swett Marden
anonymous on May 15, 2013:
A cult is a cult is a cult and doesn't deserve any attention from serious persons! On the other hand, every major religion started as a cult (severely persecuted at first by the religions-of-the day). All religions, all cults for that matter, are called now INSTITUTIONALIZED MASS-HALLUCINATING. Abraham, Abraham, a voice in the clouds made you almost kill your son, like a SOBAn intelligent (?) man insisted that I buy Money and the Law of Attraction by a Hicks couple. I did. The book had also a CD. I heard a woman speak like those shrews on religious TV channels (religious TV men are also in the same delirious-speech category). That book was one of the most disturbing things Ive ever read (but not as bad or The Bible or The Qoran or other old religious scripts!)Positive thinking has a seed of truth: Brainwaves. Especially ALPHA and THETA brainwaves are more conducive to relaxation and enhanced creativity. Simple meditation techniques (e.g. based on breathing) can lead to better and real results that the entire army of scamming Abrahams.
David Stone (author) from New York City on March 10, 2013:
@anonymous: Actually, Beth you can't "find this message in all organized religions," but what difference does that make.Like FracoWell, though, you should be complemented, both of you are sock puppets using formulas similar to what I've been seeing here lately. The Abraham-Hicks proselytizers are getting smarter and less angry. That doesn't change the fact that every one of you makes the same stupid mistake.You go on and on about how Esther Hicks changes your life and you found God and who cares if she's faking if it works and blah, blah, blah, but you never once come up with one concrete example to support your claims. This is, in fact, what cults dothe get their life's breath from unchallenged claims that are little more than puffs of articulated air without much thought behind them.Hey, I notice that you guys are lately claiming to have advanced degrees. Nice touch. In what? Where did you study? What was your year of graduation? Funny the things that are common in normal conversation that get skipped when it's time to try to protect the AHP money mill.
anonymous on March 10, 2013:
I could not agree more with Francowell...I found this article miss the larger point. I think I speak for a lot of people like me. Who found profound clarity in much of the message it resonated with my spiritual journey. I have the power within and I am always on guard of any teaching that has a cult impression. I know a lot of folks who channel. But I am always making an intellectual evaluation of the data. I think when ester says the leading edge it makes sense to me. I find that I discovered not just with ester and Jerry but many other teachers ....what it is like to have a deep and meaning relationship with god. The simplicity of ester thru her channel made the esoteric more accessible. It does not matter their human fault_I believe God can work through anyone. As a person with an advanced degree and a powerful god given ability to determine my truth. I can speak to how profoundly my life has changed by understanding the law of attraction. What makes it real is you can see tangible evidence in your life . It is simple god is love, joy is the emotion of love seek joy, align with the spirit of god within...do it on purpose and see what happens. I bet you can find this message in all organized religions.
David Stone (author) from New York City on January 19, 2013:
@anonymous: FrancoWell, which among "the portion of the teachings that make sense" encouraged you to answer a question that wasn't asked here or did you just decide to bring your own little agenda up to defend your guru? Did you even read anything that came before? Doesn't look like you did.And, of course, like your average run of the mill A-H defender, you never give a single example of your "wonderful life changing experiences." None of you ever do.When you ask, "Does it really matter...?" if the whole thing is a cult, I'm going to take for granted that you were joking.
anonymous on January 19, 2013:
Wether or not Esther Hicks is actually chanelling the Abraham entity seems irrelevant, as does wether or not the whole thing is, or is not a cult. Does it really matter? To me it does not. I'm more concerned with the relevancy of the message. Utilizing the portion of the teachings that make sense to me, has provided some wonderful life changing experiences. For me anyway, the proof is in the pudding.
anonymous on August 12, 2012:
I started off as a total skeptic. Did a bit of research, and stuff started happening based on what I was focused on. I am not a skeptic anymore, I use it everyday. It takes a ton of work, but once you get it...you get it. In the last month: I have been given two tickets -by a total stranger- to a concert i wanted to go to worth $240, was given $2500 by a woman who randomly heard my name, I have received $500 for doing 5 mins of work a day (and in the next few days this is going up to $1500). There is a lot more, but I won't waste your time. Good luck to ya!!!
anonymous on March 14, 2012:
@anonymous: Agree. I think I know everything about the Abraham philosophy by now and I have not spent a cent. It's all on-line.
anonymous on March 14, 2012:
I spent exactly $ 22.98 on 2 books by Esther Hicks and they have given me a whole lot more answers than that huge cult that I had been blindly following for the first 20 years of my life. I don't feel scammed, I don't feel disappointed in the books. They actually teach more of "love thy neighbor" than my previous religion ever did. They give me the tools to take my life in my own hand instead of waiting and relying on some outside influence that never materializes. (And they don't try to keep me in line by scaring me with hell if I don't do as they say...) All that for a fraction of the money I have had to spend on the Christian cult over the years (church tax!!) Plus, there is hours and hours of free material on the internet, you don't have to spend a penny if you want to find out what the Hicks' are all about. Definitely NOT a cult.
anonymous on January 02, 2012:
@anonymous: Well said!
David Stone (author) from New York City on August 27, 2011:
@anonymous: No offense taken, but then, why are you here? One of the AHP sock puppets?
anonymous on July 23, 2011:
Is it too crazy to debate or what? The topic is weird. I lot of time and energy put into this. Interesting read to a point. I became bored with it. So my answer is not something I want to put the energy into debating one way or the other. Is there any truth in any of this? How would I know. I would need to read more material and learn more about this stuff. More energy and time then I would want to put into this stuff. I would rather just live and let live. No offense folks.
David Stone (author) from New York City on July 05, 2011:
@anonymous: And I got the lens rank boost. A double win.
anonymous on July 05, 2011:
I think there has to be a germ of truth in all cults for people to originally be drawn in. It's just sad that it's later perverted to become a vehicle for controlling lives and/or making money. And Dave, when I liked this lens, I got a hundred extra points for my 900th like!
David Stone (author) from New York City on July 05, 2011:
@anonymous: I'll leave this comment up as an example of what cult followers do when assigned, but for the record, it should be noted that KarmaGrace, whoever that might be, lifted the first paragraph almost word for word from Wikipedia.This identical comment was inserted on about a half-dozen articles simultaneously, all of which were critical of Esther Hicks, but not all of which were relevant. Unlikely that the write actually any of what he or she was commenting on. Sloppy work on behalf of the cause.
anonymous on June 28, 2011:
Will there ever come a time in human existence when we will be able to conquer our own fears, cynicism. Will we ever stop hunting witches? Will we ever learn from the past? There was a time when man firmly believed that the Sun revolves around the Earth. Galileo was found "vehemently suspect of heresy", namely of having held the opinions that the Sun lies motionless at the centre of the universe, that the Earth is not at its centre and moves, and that one may hold and defend an opinion as probable after it has been declared contrary to Holy Scripture. He was required to "abjure, curse and detest" those opinions. He was sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition. On the following day this was commuted to house arrest, which he remained under for the rest of his life. His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future.Galileo is today considered to be the Father of Modern Science. During any paradigm shift there is always the severe ridicule, then comes the vehement protest against the shift and finally the acceptance....until the next big shift in human consciousness and awareness.May God have mercy on all who wish these people ill-will, and mock and slander them. I cannot speak for their personal characters, but all I know is that they literally saved my life with a single video clip. May those who point fingers not live to regret their judgments upon others.
David Stone (author) from New York City on June 04, 2011:
@ColorPetGifts: Where there's money to be made, someone will try to make it. But who's really blame? The wizard or the lazy people who'd rather buy into easy magic that do the work of finding themselves.
ColorPetGifts on June 04, 2011:
No, I am glad you're writing these articles and exposing the truth. Sounds like Esther Hicks is just another a false guru of the enlightenment entertainment industryto me.
David Stone (author) from New York City on April 08, 2011:
@kateloving: In The Secret, the producers put a very digestible spin on some fairly odd material, making it easier for mainstream audiences to accept. This helped launch Abraham-Hicks into new territory. They've been reinventing the persona ever since. Getting a little crazy lately, though.
Kate Loving Shenk from Lancaster PA on April 07, 2011:
My favorite part of the Secret was the gentleman who survived the plane crash and WALKED out of the hospital some time later. He was spectacular. For me, everything before him was hashed over Spiritualism, which I am very familiar with.****Blessed****