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?
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?
Channeled Wisdom Dumbed Down for Abraham
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 Think and Grow Rich. 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.
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.
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
What do you think?
David Stone (author) from New York City on August 28, 2017:
Hey, how are you? Sorry it took two days. I'm in the middle of an extremely busy period, but great to hear from you. Did you know I published "Tangled Up In Abraham Hicks" a few months ago. It was my farewell to Jerry and Esther. There doesn't seem to be much left to say about them
Wayne Williams from Young Harris, GA on August 26, 2017:
Hey Dave: I'm still kickin' in Georgia. I could not resist Rod's comment: "But some of the stuff they teach is good." The word "Stuff" coming from Rod gives the impression that Rod must be a deep, deep, thinker. I wonder if Rod is on the faculty at Harvard or Columbia University. Yes Dave, I am still infected with being a S.A.
I am sure Gary Ridgeway, the Green River killer who killed over 70 women has "some good stuff" in him as well. After all he had a wife and he never strangled her and she loved him." Good Stuff in there somewhere right?
Hey Hitler was a good artist. He just developed a nasty habit of killing several million Jews, that's all. But still, Hitler with all his faults had Good Stuff going on inside him somewhere.
Ted Bundy was a good looking guy and had no trouble in meeting the women. They just didn't live long enough to meet Teddy's parents or experience a second date.
Esther, Jerry, and Abe in my opinion destroy souls, maybe not bodies. But they are predators of a different sort and do an equal amount of damage to people who need real spiritual help and guidance. To this day they are still revered by Hay House and Esther participates in their annual Summit.
Anyway Dave, I am still alive and still plan on commenting on your Binghampton Blog one day. It is a great story.
David Stone (author) from New York City on August 26, 2017:
Much like my experience, Rod, including finding out about A-H from Wayne Dyer. I still listen to some of the podcasts. There's still some gold in there, but you have to work to find it.
Rod Callaghan on August 26, 2017:
You suggested a real teacher could be useful, in another page where I was actually filling in this comment box, it just closed . Here I am again - I just wanted to say the it was actually Wayne Dyer who mentioned Abraham , first time I heard of them - that is how I came upon their their teachings - It was out there and the first book I read, A New Beginning 1, a Hand Book for Joyous Survival, 1988, Abraham Hicks Publications , was Abraham was telling me the world was about the end, ooh that was a bummer - didnt see that coming - later on when it didn't they said well it really looked the end days were here. But some of the stuff they teach is good - just got to separate the fat from the cream, Cheers Rod Callaghan
David Stone (author) from New York City on March 14, 2017:
Thanks for your thoughtful comment. It's very hard to sort out, and there is no question, factually, that Jerry and Esther, even speaking as Abraham, which would imply intent, lied openly at times, especially about the origins. Those were not, on fuller review, though, fatal errors. I haven't paid much attention to anything new from Esther in years, except for the Dyer conversation, which was really just rehashed stuff, but when I go back to workshops from roughly fifteen years ago, there is something there beyond ego and more insightful than Esther was then capable of. Many of us thought, back then, that "Abraham left the building" before Jerry died, but found much of what came before too convincing to discard. I'm exploring all that now in a new book. I'm not sure where I will land, but it's an intriguing mystery.
Lalipa Nilubol on March 14, 2017:
Thank you for your article, and I am so glad I found it!
The fact is that, just because certain information is ‘channelled’ is absolutely no guarantee of its quality. I have been studying channelled material for over 10 years now, and have come to a very hard-earned conclusion that less than 5% of channelled information is ‘clean’. For the most part, the ego really does get in the way, consequently preventing/hindering the streaming of quality information. If we really get down to it, what exactly is channelling? Well, to put it in the broadest terms, channelling is the streaming of information from other dimensions, and then the putting of that information into a perceivable form. That’s all it is! Which means that, basically, everyone channels! So, the ability to channel is not at all ‘exclusive’ to any group of people, because everyone can do it!
As you so accurately pointed out, Jerry and Esther Hicks were just very lucky people who successfully tapped into the right target audience/market. And quite frankly, their messages preach a certain kind of attitude and behaviour that you find prevalent among corporate bullies!
I agree that the question of whether or not Abraham is real is not quite relevant for the purposes of this article. The question that I do think is relevant, however, is the matter of ‘what’ exactly Esther Hicks has been channelling all these long years! In my humble opinion, I don’t think Esther has been channelling anything special at all --- she has only been channelling an aspect of her own ego! To say that she gets into some kind of alternative state of consciousness may well be valid. But it's a bit of stretch to claim that 'state' as 'infinite intelligence'!
David Stone (author) from New York City on September 08, 2016:
Can you offer any proof that this sort of wishful thinking actually produces results? If not, it's just hot air, no more valuable or helpful than a thousand other "special" messages.
Elana on September 07, 2016:
Take what resonates with you and leave the rest. Whether or not you believe in the "channeling" I feel there are some good ideas. If Ester and Jerry made money, that's ok. Prosperity is a ok with Spirit, Don't believe in the ideas if you don't want to. I feel the message is good and that is what I ultimately focus on, I went to one seminar and was inspired to choose better thoughts. That is what matters - choose the better thought and the better thought, and the better thought -that will get you to where you want to be.
David Stone (author) from New York City on July 21, 2016:
I'll look forward to it, Wayne.
Wayne Williams from Young Harris, GA on July 20, 2016:
Thanks Dave for responding to my comment regarding the stress I experience when I react or comment on something I don't like. I too am not a fan of Hay House and have made some pretty negative observations on their Forum. I used to meditate and may have to get back into the routine. Anyway I am going to surprise you in a few days and post a comment to your blog about "Binghampton". This Florida Cracker turned Georgia resident for the past 16 years has his own "Binghampton, NY" story to share with you soon. You are going to love it. It happened in 1988 when I was 31.
David Stone (author) from New York City on July 20, 2016:
Hi, Wayne. Of course I remember you. Sorry you're stressed.
First of all, I haven't written anything new about Abraham-Hicks in a long time. Last year, I published a book, Jerry and Esther Hicks Spiritual Money Tree, but that's the only thing in a few years. I did get some negative stress when I did so much writing about them, years back, and felt combative, too. But it was never to the extent you describe with your own experience. It's my guess that you are probably genetically inclined to have the physical reactions you have. Another factor for me is that I've meditated daily for nearly ten years now, and that makes all bumps in the road easier to absorb and less upsetting.
Even so, I find it's best for me to focus on the positive and constructive in the world. There will always be people like Esther Hicks and Rush Limbaugh in the world. There always have been. I'm not suggesting that we ignore them, but in my experience, there are a hundred better people going about their business everyday for every one of them. They just don't arouse the same attention, but they teach school or write great books or driving buses. It's a better world than the mass media wants you to think.
As for HubPages, we had little choice but to migrate over when Squidoo screwed everyone. HubPages has been a disappointment, and I don't do anything here but reply to comments. Instead, I'm doing a lot of local journalism and publish at least two books a year. There once was a good time for writing sites like this one, but that time has passed. You move on.
Best of luck to you. Check back anytime.
Wayne Williams from Young Harris, GA on July 19, 2016:
Dave this is a personal message to you from me. You don't have to post it here on this blog, that is if Hub Pages gives you that option. Remember me? I am the guy from Georgia who use to follow you on Squidoo when you were pointing out all the lies and untruths being taught by Abraham Hicks. If you recall, I could get really upset and emotional. I don't know any other way to reach you to ask you about something.
I will be honest about Hub Pages. They are difficult to find and it took me considerable time to find you. I never see on Google a reference to Hub Pages when I am browsing. I guess that is why you have not heard from me in so long. I don't feel this site gives the exposure I would want to have in the event I ever wanted to start writing.
Here is what I want to share with you. I find myself even more angry and upset at teachings today in the spiritual community than I did back in 2011 when you were talking about Jerry Hick's Spider Bite Hoax to cover up the real reason he was sick which was cancer. I am on Facebook and I am triggered all the time about all these cops acting like they are the victims instead of looking at all the unarmed people they have killed in the past years. I am also upset regarding a spiritual teacher who calls herself: Teal Swan the spiritual catalyst. I won't go into any details right now. Here is my question: How do you do it? How do you write with such passion and fury without it killing you or making your blood pressure dangerously high. I am a small guy 165 pounds but when I check my blood pressure after responding to a blog it becomes dangerously high in the range of 170/110 instead of being normal which is 120/80. Otherwords I felt inner rage regarding Abraham Hicks back in 2011 but I always felt terrible afterwards with chest pains and high blood pressure. How do you do it. How are you able to express your negative and blunt view points and take all the criticism that comes back to you from the defenders of Abraham Hicks without it killing you? I see lots of authors who express down write hate such as Rush Limbaugh. I don't think you do. How are these people including you able to share your negative comments without it causing you pain. I have been upset for the past three days after someone on Facebook criticized me after I pointed out something I did not agree with that was directed towards me. It goes through me like a bullet. I am having to take blood pressure medication. Thank you, Wayne Williams email@example.com
David Stone (author) from New York City on August 10, 2014:
@conversationswithjerryhicks: Interesting, but I'll reserve judgment. I already know a lot that hasn't been published. One thing I know for sure, if Hay House is the publisher, it is likely to be a white wash.
conversationswithjerryhicks on August 10, 2014:
You might be interested in an ebook that comes out mid september 2014 'Conversations with Jerry Hicks' by another well known channeler, Jerry talks freely about his life prior to meeting Esther and Abraham. The secrets and the reasons. He talks also about his death, why he died in such a manner and how the teachings of Abraham related to his life, incredibly interesting, it seems to fill in all the missing information about his life, All the followers of Abraham Hicks will love it. I overheard the publisher talking about it, I can't wait myself for it to come out,Happy Trails
David Stone (author) from New York City on July 27, 2013:
@Ahnalira: Amen to that, Ahna. Thanks.
Ahnalira on July 27, 2013:
Interesting to come upon this article for me today. I've been thinking about Jerry recently, reflecting upon the years I spent working with him and Esther. What can I say about Jerry? I can say that, above all else, Jerry was a freedom seeker. He did what he wanted to do. In that regard, he was a true embodiment of the "teachings" he marketed. He and I didn't always agree, and it was hard on both our personal and professional relationship that I, too, am (first and foremost) a freedom seeker as well :P When Jerry cared about something, he cared deeply. In that way, we also connected, and both loved to share a good laugh. I think back to the very early days in the late 90's when my partner and I first discovered the "Abraham Venue." We weren't newbies to the concepts taught -- we just enjoyed the light-hearted manner in which Esther as Abraham delivered them, and we believed Jerry and Esther when they said that, for them, it was all about having fun. It was a genius marketing plan! In later years -- after fame found them via The Secret -- I missed that light-hearted couple that originally drew us into the fold and found the layers of secrecy and obfuscation within the organization to be as off-putting as the pretense of 'having fun' throughout the "Abraham culture." The marketing, at some point, stopped working for me. I look around today, though, and the framework that Jerry built in terms of marketing still seems to be driving the show, as it were. So, kudos to Jerry for his genius in this regard.
David Stone (author) from New York City on May 27, 2013:
@anonymous: You may be right, Dimensions. "Gerald L. Hicks" is associated with Jerry Hicks on ancestory sites, but they may have gotten in wrong. Or, it could be wrong. Too iffy though; so, I will change the website today to make it more accurate.Thanks for the tip.
anonymous on May 26, 2013:
I think you have some gaps or possible misinformation in your research. Gerald L Hicks is / was the owner of Blach Distributing Company and he isn't deceased. He now serves on the board and his family continues to run the associated businesses. Don't think they are the same person. They are about the same age. Only thing is Gerald is living and Jerry is deceased.
David Stone (author) from New York City on February 24, 2012:
@anonymous: Thanks, Raphaelo. Nice to see your name pop up.
anonymous on February 24, 2012:
I've never know about Jerry Hicks before, but feel proud to read all details from your great tribute to him here. 5 stars for you.. my friend. Have wonderful times.. always.. Dave :)
Lisa Auch from Scotland on August 11, 2011:
Dave when you talk about how its the "marketing that Jerry Hicks accomplished in, not just spreading the word, but in having it publicly accepted" That's what intrigues me too! this was a man with a plan thoughts, and he "belived it" enough to pass that on to others And will probably be talked and read about for a few years too. Blessed by a passing angel! and always great to read your writings!