Esther and Jerry -- whom Joe "Mr. Fire" Vitale has credited with inspiring him in his own "spiritual marketing" shtick (he says he even wrote the intro to the original edition of their first Sara book) -- have had a smashingly successful imaginary-friends scam going since the late 1980s. As many of you may also recall, they were big stars of the original version of The Secret. Then when The Secret got too big for its bitches...I mean, britches...Rhonda Byrne got greedy and had her lawyers try to manipulate the Hicks into signing away more rights than they were comfortable with signing away. They refused, so she cut them out of the moviemercial entirely and released a new version sans Abe-Hicks. I blogged about this back in December 2006. And on his old blog, Mr. Fire himself wrote that despite the elimination of his dear friends, the new version of The Secret was even better than the original.
At any rate, being ousted from The Secret was no skin off the Hicks' backs. Their initial public proclamations about the incident were the typically "loving" -- that is, euphemistic but secretly seething -- New-Agey pap you might expect, but as time went by they got a bit snippy about it. They even released a revenge DVD. (I may have doctored that cover a little, but not much.) I don't blame them for being p.o.'d at Rhonda, but in the larger scheme of things I also don't think it's as outrageous for scammers to get scammed as it is for regular people to get scammed.
In any case the Hicks continued to rake it in with Gracie's... I mean Esther's... hammy Abe performances. They churned out books and frauducts, they presented workshops, they hosted lavish cruises for their faithful following of seagullibles. And the money just kept streaming in, often surprising even them, according to some of their own comments over the years. Of course I would always read between the lines: "Jeez, we can't BELIEVE we're getting away with this crap." "Jeez, we can't believe we're STILL getting away with this crap." And so on.
But all good scams must come to an end...or must they? Some people are predicting the end of the Abraham-Hicks empire in light of the fact that Jerry Hicks, who first pushed Esther into channeling -- um, I mean "receiving" -- has been undergoing chemotherapy to correct an "exaggerated" white blood cell count. I was first alerted to this by my friend Kyra, who runs a couple of Abe-skeptic sites. She pointed me to her blog post about the matter: http://kyrasdiary.blogspot.com/2011/05/jerry-hicks-undergoing-chemotherapy.html
The problem -- and the point that threatens to shake the Abe-Hicks community to its core (or not) -- is that "Abraham" has consistently advised against resorting to doctors and conventional medical treatment. While some of the "teachings" of Abe seem to take a neutral stance towards medicine, the overall message is that the body knows how to heal itself, and that the Abe teachings can help you prevent or cure any ailment by getting your vibes in tune with health, abundance and joy -- all without medical intervention, thank you very much. To many Abe followers, this apparently translates into a mandate to stay away from doctors and medicine altogether.
Kyra shares a revealing quotation at the beginning of her blog post:
"In reality, we have never encouraged Jerry or Esther to take any sort of medication or medical treatment because we know it is easier to teach them with what they know how to find their vibrational harmony with energy." - Abraham Hicks 03/02/1997 San Francisco, CAIt isn't Schadenfreude that motivates Kyra to write about this matter, and while you may find it hard to believe, that's not my chief motivator in this case either. Let me make it clear: I don't wish illness on anyone, not even a professional scammer like Jerry Hicks.
I do think it's a bit premature to talk about the end of a good scam like Abe-Hicks. On a recent Squidoo conversation Kyra wrote, "I think Jerry and Esther will run out of steam before their gimmick does." And I think she's right. For now, Jerry and Esther seem to be doing what they can to keep the scam alive by framing the entire chemo incident in a casual, lah-de-dah tale of a possible spider bite that may have occurred while the Hicks were camping next to a yacht marina in Florida. (Yep, those foreign yacht spiders will get ya every time. Yet another argument in favor of arachnophobia.)
In a recent update Jerry Hicks wrote -- or, more likely, had someone write for him:
On March 12, 2011 we flew from Del Mar to Boca Raton, Fl where we slept next to the dock with many yachts from many different parts of the world in the slip right outside our window. When I awakened the next morning I had a large welt on the inside of my wrist that looked like a giant fire ant bite. The most unusual thing about it was instead of the usual circular puss-like head that comes up from many insect bites it was a strangely cube-like head. It looked more like a spider bite. I put a Band-Aid on it and we continued the Panamanian cruise. It seemed to resolve into itself as time went along forming a pea-shaped nodule on my wrist. On April 18, I showed it to a dermatologist in Del Mar and she immediately decided to scrape it off and sent it in for a biopsy. We continued our seminar tour and returned to San Antonio getting ready for our spring East Coast run when we heard back from the biopsy results that there was something amiss relative to my white blood cell count and she put us in touch with a dermatologist in San Antonio who was an old school friend of hers. The subsequent blood test in San Antonio showed that my white blood cell count was extremely exaggerated and the physician insisted that I undergo immediate treatment with no delay. He pointed out a number of options, one of them was to use the “big guns” (heavy chemotherapy) and so we decided to go along with that and checked into the hospital on May 6th.
We were swept up in such an obvious current of amazing “path of least resistance” events unlike anything we’ve ever experienced before. The strong feeling that we were proceeding in exactly the right direction continued as my response to these “big guns” was a week of no discomfort and none of the highly forewarned side effects. Everyone around us at the hospital kept speaking their surprise at my unusually comfortable experience. We are now in day 18 of a 28 day regimen of bringing my blood counts back into perfect balance...There's a good discussion about this matter on this Squidoo forum hosted by another Abe-Hicks critic, Dave Stone: http://www.squidoo.com/death-of-abraham-hicks-esther-and-jerry-hicks-creation
...P.S. One of the most wonderful things that I’ve experienced was the following revelation that I had while in the hospital with all of those wonderful people taking care of us: Every person with whom we seemingly have a chance encounter while here upon this planet has the potential of exerting a purely angelic influence upon us if we will but allow it.
- I am not nearly as familiar with the teachings of Abe as Kyra and Dave Stone are. But there does seem to be a disconnect between "Abe's" teachings on conventional medical treatment and Jerry's decision to pursue same -- and many might see this as hypocritical. Even so, true believers will always find a way to rationalize. F'rinstance, there's this comment, from Dave Stone's Squidoo page linked to above:
- Crumb Bukowski May 27, 2011 @ 6:22 pm
- Jerry said in his blog that the chemo trip was a path of least resistance for him. This only implies if he didn't treat the condition with medicine he would've perhaps worried that he couldn't recover his well-being by just aligning his energy. The dude is 80 or older and must've figured he would take the chemo AND do his best to stay in the vortex in order to recover his well-being ASAP. Just because Abraham would not recommend medical treatment doesn't mean either Jerry or Esther or anyone else need follow their recommendation. I admit I was taken aback when Jerry didn't say "Screw the chemo, I'm just gonna chill out from the workshop schedule and do some fishing and trust that the white cell count will return to normal in proportion to how easygoing I make things inside my head." But he sort of emphasizes that the decision was a path of least resistance and that is quite respectable. Who is anyone to criticize or sneer at someone basing a decision on the path of least resistance? Esther and Jerry only ever claim to do their best to benefit from the teachings; they have never claimed to be the ultimate ultra-shining examples of said teachings. Cheers.
Uh, yes, they did. They have access to Abraham, if such an entity exists 24 X 7, and they quote them every step of their lives. Esther has been quoted, posing as Abraham, as saying that the prognosis could be changed in a single afternoon session with Abraham. I can give you the quote, if you insist, but maybe you should wonder why they just didn't do that.But people who want to believe will continue to believe. As Kyra wrote on Dave's forum:
More importantly, you might ask yourself why Jerry doesn't just come clean, instead of dancing evasively all around the point. He has a teaching opportunity here, a chance to genuinely help others. Instead, he's staying on the money track. And, oh, by the way, if you are not one of the A-H emissaries they occasionally float my way in disguise, you are a sucker, ready to concoct rationales to excuse them of questionable conduct.
...I don't think that in the end this will matter to Abers... Seth supporters managed to excuse Jane Robert's slow, painful death and Christian Scientists found ways of diffusing Mary Baker Eddy's morphine addiction. I'm sure that the same thing will happen here. I do have to say, though, I'm relieved because I think this will encourage people who listen to Abraham's teachings to seek traditional medicine when something goes wrong (rather than intending to rely on Abraham processes). At the least, they won't beat up on themselves so much when they get sick. They'll say, if it can happen to Jerry, it can happen to anyone. And that's good to know because one of my biggest worries about the teaching was with people who were trying to use Abraham processes because they didn't want to go the path of traditional medicine.One point seems clear, whether you believe in LOA and Abe or not: Jerry and Esther's long-running imaginary-buddies scam has earned them millions of dollars -- more than enough money, I'd imagine, to buy the very best in medical treatment and after-care. Thanks to thousands upon thousands of gullible souls, Jerry Hicks, former Amway exec and current pimp for Esther's folly, is able to afford to take that "path of least resistance" and employ all of the "big guns" he needs to help him maintain or regain his health, and perhaps even buy him a few more good scamming years.
The same probably cannot be said of many, if not most, of his followers, and, for that matter, millions of other people who can't even afford basic medical care. So in that sense, I guess LOA and imaginary pals work very well indeed for some folks, not so well for others.
Something about that just doesn't seem right.
- Related post: http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2007/07/you-really-gotta-want-it-but-you-better.html
- And here's a song -- still without a tune -- for all of you who wish you, too, could find a scam that really works: http://cosmicconnie.blogspot.com/2009/05/all-thats-missing-is-music.html
(Note: I am not an affiliate -- just a sympathizer.)
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