Has anybody here seen my old friend Abrascam?
As some of you may be aware by now, Jerry Hicks, former Amway superstar and the person who first “inspired” his wife Esther to get in touch with that imaginary collective, Abrascam, has “transitioned to the nonphysical.” A form of leukemia, perhaps related to advanced age (he was in his eighties) took him. He shuffled off this mortal coil on November 18, which as it happens was the same day James Arthur "Death" Ray began his prison ministry tour. Esther apparently waited a few days to announce Jerry's death.
Many folks, both Abe believers and nonbelievers, have had questions about several aspects of this event. A person named Bonnie, writing in a discussion on an older post on the Salty Droid blog (comment date-stamped November 25th, 2011 at 6:04 pm), summed up the issues quite well:
What I really find amazing is that after they outright lied about his [cancer] diagnosis for the longest time, and when he got his diagnosis, he started immediately with aggressive chemotherapy treatments, something they have always claimed that modern medicine of any kind is something that you don’t need (I wonder just how many people they “killed” by people dying rather than seeking out treatment), and then he dies anyway and it takes Esther 5 whole days to notify their suckers, I mean, supporters, because she needs that much time to make up a story to convince their cult that everything is just the way it was supposed to be and Jerry is now where he was supposed to be, and everyone believes it all and is still all wrapped up in the bullsh!t! I mean, doesn’t anyone see the discrepancy between what they teach and the real facts now? Talk about brain washing! I kind of thought that when I saw clips of Esther performing with a bad cold and could barely talk, her voice was so hoarse, on one of their recent video releases, and how she “excused it away” — when what they teach is that if you are in “alignment”, or “in the vortex”, you will not get sick or attract any illness of any kind. I guess Jerry attracted his cancer the same way [James Ray] attracted his downfall. “You attract what you are”.
But no doubt Esther will go on, probably channeling Jerry now as well as Abe. I know, I know, she doesn't call it "channeling." She calls it "receiving." You say receiving, I say channeling, let's call the whole thing off? Not a chance of that; calling it off is apparently the furthest thing from Esther's mind, seeing as how she is already getting messages from Jerry in the Vortex.
And I've been getting bold anonymous messages on one of my old Abrascam blog posts, even though at the time I received them I’d only mentioned Jerry's death briefly on someone else’s post on Facebook. Here's a small sampling, unedited:
...And, they never said NOT to go to doctors and use medicine. Just whatever feels right (positive) to the person. Though of course, in hindsight, taking chemo didn't work for Jerry, overall. But then, he was 84 or so, and had a long, interesting, sucessful life, and maybe had done all he wanted to do in this lifetime?
...Just seems like the ctirics of the Hickses and Abraham are just plain jealous. And they will create a life for themselves, based on this...
Thursday, November 24, 2011 9:39:00 AM
Hmmm... if Jerry had done all he wanted to do in this lifetime, why fight the cancer at all? It seems obvious that Jerry wanted to live a little longer, and who can blame him? The comments following that one were even more loving (pardon the F-words and such):
- Anonymous said...
- ugly bitch. Be happy for someone when their dreams come true. Fucking follower. Go ahead live like your ancestors. Stupid old tired beliefs....why dont you go digging in the dirt for 2000yr old answers to now questions. I hate you. And i did it on purpose. I am not closer to wealth because of hating you. Bitch
- Anonymous said...
- maybe someday I will laugh at your choices in life, create a web-post about it, and use a flattering photo of you-maybe with a dick on you forehead.
Full of love and light to the end, those Abers! Or perhaps it should be that Aber. Frankly, most of those comments read as if they all came from the same deluded soul. By the way, that reference to a dick on my forehead is apparently an angry reaction to my crude photo-composite of Jerry with a big spider on his head. (Originally the Hicks thought Jerry might have been suffering from a spider bite, which, they speculated, he might have received while they were camping out next to a yacht marina.) I could save my critic the trouble and do a Photoshop of myself with a dick on my forehead, but I've written about so many of them on this blog over the years that it would be difficult for me to choose just one, and my forehead will only hold so much.
On that note, Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale, who has long considered himself a friend of Esther and Jerry, weighed in about Jerry's death a couple of days ago. Besides paying tribute to his friend, he attempted to address the controversies surrounding Jerry's illness and death:
Abraham taught you’d always have challenges. As soon as you resolved one issue, you’d attract another. Welcome to the human experience. This doesn’t mean the Law of Attraction doesn’t work. It means it does work. You always get what you unconsciously believe and expect. (Re-read that.) Jerry once told Esther he’d probably depart before her, which proves he had a belief in dying, and maybe a belief in a particular way of passing on.
What Joe doesn't mention is that Jerry told Esther he would probably depart before her because he was so much older than she, and the law of averages would dictate that his time would be up before hers. So Joe's remark that this comment proved Jerry had "a belief in dying" is... well, typical asinine Law of Attraction crapola, to put it most charitably. Joe continued:
I wasn’t with Jerry when he grew ill, so I can’t say what he was thinking. I don’t know why he attracted cancer, or why he chose the modern medicine path to remove it. But if he accepted conventional medicine as a treatment, than he must have felt he attracted it as a possible solution. He was probably reaching for the thought that felt best to him at the time.
But immediately afterward, Joe seemed to contradict himself:
The fact that he got ill and passed on doesn’t mean anything more than he got ill and passed on. Everything else is simply our projecting our beliefs onto his situation.
Perhaps Joe actually meant that the fact that Jerry got ill and passed on doesn't, or shouldn't, mean anything more to Abe-Hicks believers than that he got ill and passed on. After all, the two paragraphs Joe wrote before that sentence would seem to imply that there were indeed deeper reasons for and/or meanings behind Jerry's illness and death. In any case, many of the Abers -- and ex-Abers --do seem to be having problems with apparent contradictions in the Abe-Hicks teachings. As illustrated above, some who seem to be clinging desperately to their beliefs have rationalized that Abe-Hicks never actually taught that one should eschew Western medicine completely. Others contend that yes, Abe-Hicks did teach this, and therefore Jerry Hicks was being hypocritical by choosing chemo.
The larger issue, and one that Joe conveniently overlooked, is that either by accident or design (then again, there are no accidents, right?), Esther and Jerry created a "cult of personality" over the years with their Abe shtick, making themselves the stars as much as their imaginary friends, despite their faux-modest disclaimers that Abe was the real source of the wisdom they shared. So the fact that some of their followers are upset about what they see as contradictions or hypocrisies in the Hicks' own decisions cannot be dismissed merely as the followers' own flaws or projections, although that is Mr. Fire's favorite means of dismissal. People who create and market a public persona -- and represent themselves as an example of how to live -- are setting themselves up for criticism. (Yes, I know I am setting myself up too, and I get plenty of criticism. But I'm not presenting myself as an example of how to live, and I am certainly not making millions of dollars off this snarky shtick.)
I will grant that whatever her motives might have been, it was Esther's right to choose when and how to announce her husband's death. Brilliant cons aside, Jerry was her spouse of many years, and I have no doubt that she loved him, and is grieving for him on a deeply personal level.
At any rate, as I've noted before, I'm not an expert on the Abe-Hicks material, so I'll leave it up to those with a broader and deeper knowledge of the material to argue the particulars about what Esther and Jerry and "Abe" did or didn't teach about health and illness and death. And other folks can argue all they want about whether and how the Law of Attraction "works." That doesn't interest me much. To me, the real issue here is and always has been my opinion that Jerry and Esther made the whole Abraham thing up, originally inspired by the enduring success of Jane Roberts' Seth material. (Some of the back story -- plus some insight into the Hicks' character and business practices -- can be found in this 2007 article from the (UK) Independent.) And while Jerry may have lived a long, interesting, and successful life, as one of my Anon detractors pointed out to me, for much of his life he made his living as a hustler and con artist. Before Abrascam, there was Amway...
But he did leave a legacy, and I have no doubt that even as Jerry joyfully whirls in the sweet by-and-by, the sweet buy-and-buy will go on in this dimension. Esther will be up there on stage channeling Abe, and then...oh, my... Jerry will make an "appearance," bringing tears and laughter to the crowd of gullibles. More books, more DVDs, more workshops, more cruises. And Jerry will be on every one of them. Indeed, it takes more than cancer to kill a cash cow.
* * * * *
Kyra's excellent critical Abe-Hicks blog (I may not know much about the Abe-Hicks teachings, but Kyra certainly does.)
I don't want to forget Dave Stone's Abe-Hicks Squidoo lens. Here he shows an outrageous example, from a recent Abe-Hicks workshop, of the type of amoral teachings of Esther Hicks' imaginary pals (but very real cash cow). Apparently selfishness is a divine, Christ-like attribute, and it's perfectly all right for a child to abuse a pet.
Musings about why it matters more -- or should matter more -- when New-Wage gurus screw up in their lives than when the rest of us do: http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2009/11/lies-that-blind.html