Abraham Hicks Skeptic

Spiritual Mystery: Was Jerry Hicks’s Cancer Really A Scam?

The Jerry Hicks cancer scam took root in the spring of 2011. Abraham-Hicks followers got a surprising email blast from Jerry saying he was being treated with “the big guns,” that is, “heavy chemotherapy.”

By David Stone

Intro

But not only did his rambling missive dodge the word “cancer,” it artfully implied he was being treated for the aftereffects of a spider bite.

Six months later, at the age of 84, in November of 2011, Jerry Hicks died.

The cause was leukemia, admitted like some sort of crime only after his death.

But strangely, the Abraham-Hicks website acted for years as if he were still alive, romping around the country with Esther, two joy-seekers, on their monster bus.

He signs off on daily email blasts, along with Esther and Abraham.

The way Jerry and Esther Hicks worked to retain and delude followers over the course of his illness is a story in itself.

Jerry Hicks Cancer Scam Evolves

Something new: Jerry and Esther Hicks’ Spiritual Money Tree, Stories Behind the Abraham-Hicks Teachings and the Law of Attraction.

When I wrote this article, I wondered, with Jerry Hicks still alive and battling cancer, where the marketing team would go next in dealing with all the confusion and evasion.

The message grew muddled and a bit startling. Unable or unwilling to deal with the facts, they buried Jerry alive. Figuratively.

(It became even more startling after Jerry Hicks died in November 2011.)

They wanted to disappear Jerry, it seemed, after his first round of chemotherapy failed.

The term “we” was in communications, but Jerry’s name came up much less. But something more radical happened.

Friends knew that Esther Hicks was not the dull, black and white, androgynous character Jerry Hicks designed her to be onstage, stepping barefoot into Abraham mode. But that was private.

Now, she looked a little strange and exhausted, but at least, she finally had some color.

Esther took on some sizzle.

When they pushed Jerry farther into the background, the intelligence that informed workshops went with him.

As a spiritual guide, Jerry Hicks was flat and far from “the leading edge of thought,” but Esther alone sometimes resembled the most tone-deaf big mouth at any dinner party.

Example: At a seminar, Jerry absent, a concerned mother asked Esther what to do about her young son who refused to share toys.

Nothing, Esther advised.

The child was “in alignment,” tuned into his toys by the law of attraction.

She went on to compare the kid to Jesus who didn’t get all worked up over his friends’ “toylessness.”

No joke. She really invented that word and invoked Jesus.

The mother also worried because her son kicked their cat. No problem, says Esther, don’t interfere. The cat is teaching him.

Attendees paid $200 a head to listen to this “spiritual insight” on “the leading edge of thought.” Online attendees got to pay $75 to stare at their screens for a couple of hours of Esther Hicks’s wisdom.

It seemed unlikely that Esther’s entourage expected Jerry to recover and return. What we saw, in the “news bulletins” they sent out, was a gradual erasure of Jerry and, in Esther’s change of appearance, the overthrow of Jerry Hicks and the reinvention of Abraham.

An Abraham with very little of the old wisdom, humor or learning.

What’s Up With Jerry Hicks’s Cancer?

What’s the spin on this high profile scam?

Only a month after the news of Jerry Hicks’s cancer broke, I published How Jerry Hicks Cancer Emerged As An All-New Abraham-Hicks Scam. 

Esther and Jerry Hicks
A month before his death, Jerry took a balloon ride with Esther and the family.

A publicity photo of Jerry Hicks with his wife, Esther (or is it Abraham?), used visual and verbal tricks, obscuring the effects of his illness. 

A Story Unfolds

How To Make The Scam Work…

Jerry and Esther scrambled, hiding Jerry’s cancer, but a family member later revealed it as leukemia.

Initially, they tossed out a fire ant bite as an evasion. They elaborated on this dodge, even after Jerry Hicks was on chemotherapy.

They backed themselves into a corner but couldn’t get out. The problem was two-fold:

  • How to explain the outrageous spider bite fantasies pitched to followers, even after Jerry Hicks was well into a chemotherapy cycle, and…
  • How to explain his having cancer at all, if, as Esther Hicks taught, illness is something you bring on yourself with your thoughts. She also said that any illnesses could be whisked away “Immediately” with a simple, deliberate change in thought or vibration.

Instead of practices Esther Hicks recommended, Jerry chose conventional medicine. 

Why not follow their own — Abraham’s — advice? Didn’t they believe it worked? How to explain the contradictions…?

The tactics were a little frantic at first, then subtly clever.

Jerry Hicks Cancer Scam Hide and Seek

Now You See It, and Now You Don’t

Abraham Hicks Publications and the Hicks family faced problems that extending beyond Jerry Hicks’s illness.

First, how would they keep revenue flowing into the organization? Second, how would they keep the facade of their teachings from falling in from exposure.

Reducing their schedule of workshops to weekly events, since Esther Hicks would now be performing the Abraham shtick solo, they ramped up a new online version, Abraham LIVE, an unintentionally funny title for a presentation of “dead people,” but they took it a step further into weirdness.

They sent out sales pitches disguised as updates on Jerry Hicks illness.

In cynical acts of marketing that would embarrass ordinary people, Esther and Jerry sent out a series of “news bulletins” that commented positively on Jerry’s health (still never using the “C” word) that inevitably pivoted to something like, “Why not join Jerry in enjoying the next workshop live? Call…”

Ridiculed for these clumsy sales pitiches, while still straining to avoid an admission that the teachings being pitched had been exposed as ones even Esther and Jerry wouldn’t follow, Esther, the apparent author, tossed the news release/sales pitch responsibilities over to a more professional public relations specialist.

A miraculous thing happened.

Jerry Hicks cancer disappeared, just like that. 

The twice-weekly “news bulletins” now featured such cheery stories as the family balloon trip, complete with photos of children and grandchildren crowded in the gondola with Esther and Jerry.

But Jerry is back in a corner like the family homunculus.

Hicks Family In Balloon Gondola
In the gondola for a balloon ride, Jerry’s in the rear, apparently seated.

“It sure was crowded in that gondola, but there is plenty of space at our next scheduled workshop…” Esther wrote.

Abraham Hicks, it seems, has found a cure for cancer, at least the dangerous corporate kind.

In a late “news bulletin,” Jerry and Esther are so thrilled at the clarifications and information Abraham spit out at the last workshop, they sat at home and watched the workshop twice.

To be clear, this means that Esther did the Abraham act on stage, then went home and watched herself. Twice.

Narcissism in full bloom. 

Where Will Jerry Hicks Cancer Lead Them?

Keeping A Scam Inflated

Although optimistic messages flowed from Abraham Hicks Publications, indications were that Jerry Hicks’ illness was more serious than acknowledged.

Tellingly, they  cancelled a spring cruise, a big moneymaker for them, and their workshop schedule halted in December, an unusually short extension.

All this suggested an uncertainty, predictable with Jerry Hicks’s age and serious illness.

One thing for sure now. They will not come clean about their activities over the years. Too many people depend too heavily on the cash flow that products and workshops generate. Admitting it was all a mistake, a scam, isn’t imaginable.

37 replies »

  1. This post is so damn negative im suprised you have so much time on your hands to go that far into worrying what someone else is doing instead of using that energy productively to do something more beneficial for you. The fucking state of this post!

    • Sorry, this is neither positive nor negative, just reporting on a topic on which I happen to have a lot of information and resources You view it was negative because you don’t like the facts. And what business is it of yours what I write about? And how are you in a position of knowing what’s “more beneficial” for me?

      You see, you’re going straight against what Esther/Abraham preaches, that is, non-judgment, live and let live, let the law of attraction sort it all out… In other words, if it’s so damn negative, as you claim, what do you care? But it strikes a chord and you know it, and that’s what’s got you so pissed off.

      In the long run, it’ll do you good.

      • Not sure why you say scam? Maybe they wanted to be private about his health crisis. I see no scam with them not wanting to share his details if his health. Find a bigger problem to report Dave

      • Really? They made a big presentation about it and only went silent when challenged about how everything they did contradicted what Esther pitched for years. AND the alternatives they picked also failed, while all along they kept using his illness to sell, never admitting that the poor man was dying. Oh, and thanks for the suggestion, but I wonder why you imagined I’d have any interest in your advice.

      • I mean it wasn’t unbiased… it clearly has biased statements lol… your using adjectives… if you want to remain neutral don’t use unnecessary adjectives. And what exactly is the scam here?? Lol because jerry didn’t know how to cure his cancer with his light work doesn’t mean the whole of their teachings are bs. Your throwing the baby out with the bath water. I will agree with a statement that Ester has some missing components in her material but a lot of it is incredible, and life changing. Also how are you going to decided for other people if they felt their money was well spent? Clearly you font have evidence for that cause you didn’t post any showing massive amounts of complaints and dissatisfaction. That would have been a better point to make in my opinion. A lot of your points are very vague, pseudo, and lacking your personal biast. I suggest for you Shadow Work lol it’s the opposite work as esters and it’s what she’s missing and it’s why jerry couldn’t help his cancer naturally.

  2. Esther hicks has done a lot of good for me. I like her a lot. I understand she is running a business. I don’t care. I don’t give her any money and I wouldn’t go to a workshop but, my life is better because I found her stuff.
    I find teachers, take what is useful from them and then move on and find another teacher.

  3. Wow this is so enlightening. Thank you very much for the information. It is a big deal since the illness was cancer and they were preaching that with their methods you can cure any illness. Guess what: He couldn’t cure it, so it leaves you wondering about the accuracy of all of the teachings.

  4. I respect all skepticism. It’s healthy and helps us get clearer on what we do stand for. In this article, however, “Skeptic” does not accurately reflect the blast of bias, misinformation and assumptions throughout. This sounds like it was written by a person who feels deeply hurt and perhaps personally betrayed by the way Jerry passed. My heart goes out to you if you feel betrayal at his passing. It wasn’t personal. Acceptance brings relief but I know the stages of grief may be more gradual for some. My condolences. Remember, as Jesus teaches, there is no death, only eternal life. 🙏

    • Sorry, Kaitlyn, but the “you must be hurt” gambit as a way of deflecting criticism has been tried before, many times. That’s not it nor should it matter anyway. Deal with the facts and stop judging motive, and you may get somewhere.

      And, just for the record, Jesus did not say anything like that.

      • “Remember, as Jesus teaches, there is no death, only eternal life.”
        “Jesus did not say anything like that.”

        John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

        I read this quote from Melissa Dougherty, “A lot of people don’t know the difference between what is the law of attraction and what is biblical because it uses biblical terms.” And she’s absolutely right.

      • If there’s no death, I wonder what’s in the ground in all those cemeteries around the world… Yeah, some of what Esther says is relatable to scripture, but so what? It wasn’t original in the Bible either.

      • Right, Lester. That came later as the Biblical stories evolved to attract more converts. Jesus was a traditional Jew who, if anything, thought practices should be even more conservative. The modern rendition morphs him into something he never imagined or experienced.

        Thanks.

  5. Yeah, I’m getting back into Abraham Hicks because I like the teachings and they help me but what bothers me is that Jerry would say, quite confidently, that he would live until 110! or 120, I forget!

    So his death was such a shock to me.

    Esther’s repetitiveness of words and her dismissal of some valid cause would bother me. When he died, she stumbled — and very hard.

    But the teachings, I like.

    My theory is that we all have inner demons to face. Maybe each is a struggle. I dunno theirs.

    I mean, Jerry was an old man. Can’t we defy aging if we follow his principles? I dunno… I’m just a curious experimenter who has seen some legit results with these teachings. Not Abraham Hicks specifically, but what they preach in terms of the Law of Attraction.

    • Thanks for your thoughts, Areh. The so-called Abraham Teachings are rooted in the New Thought Movement from around 1920. Some of it, including the law of attraction — which Jerry and Esther did not invent as they claim — have brought results for many. Jerry and Esther borrowed heavily from Napoleon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich.” That’s the element that has been helpful for so many. Esther’s variations are often strange and contradictory, as you’ve noticed. If you can weed out the bad, the good is very good, but you might be better off simply going to the source and reaching your own conclusions.

      Thanks, again.

  6. Well done David… much appreciated. All I really want is the truth. I find so many people become corrupted by the love of money. The so called good, quickly turns to deceit for the so-called better self.

    All said and done, there are a lot of followers out there with a lazy mind… they will continue to follow blindly these false teachers.

  7. The problem with this tirade, is the same as in all religious doctrine – more focus on the messenger (who is human btw, just like you and me), rather than the message. Would you say these same things about Jesus? You do know he ended up being crucified, right? Why didn’t he bring himself right down off that cross, or avoid it altogether? Why did he cry out that God had forsaken him? Or is it just possible that the cross was in his plan all along? We have zero clues as to why Jerry may have chosen to leave this world by the hand of cancer, why it happened so quickly, or why the treatments didn’t work. I do know, business or not, I would have been thrown for a complete loop if my husband and partner of decades got a diagnosis and died from cancer all within six months, and had we had this type of business together, it would have been even harder. There is also the fact that Esther probably very much loved her husband, and had just as difficult a time processing it as any one of us would, being human, as we are. Plus, never have I ever heard Esther Hicks (Abraham) tell anyone not to go to a doctor if they are having issues. I have, in fact, even heard her say that it is difficult to get into a healing alignment from a place of constant pain. I can assure you though that there was a significant nuance of “life experience” meant by Jerry’s transition in the manner in which it happened. But I doubt whatever lesson that was, it was not meant for you. But I do know that when it is your turn to croak, as Esther puts it, you’re not going to be expecting it either. None of us will.

    • All your defensive theorizing to protect your belief system is possible only if everything Esther and Jerry claimed as true were lies. Come on, man, you can’t rewrite history just because the facts don’t fit your presumptions. Well, you can rationalize like crazy as you do here to recreate something other than what really happened, but in fact, you’re just fooling yourself.

      Wouldn’t an honest and open look at reality be better?

      Thanks for your comment.

    • Wow Tammy, I couldn’t have said this better!
      I totally agree with you!
      And maybe just maybe Jerry had found peace in the idea of dying. Some people are just ready to die. He lived a perfect life and had found his purpose. In other words; he had received everything what he wished for and more, ………
      (Sorry David, for my spelling but English is not my first language…..)

      • And Wow, Eva, you’ve invented reality, making excuses for Esther and Jerry. In fact, Jerry repeatedly promised his recovery and his eagerness to get back to work. Was he lying?

        Perfect life? The man had four failed marriages and a fifth fiancee he left hanging when he took Esher out from her first marriage. Her husband caught them in a motel, and at the time, Jerry was engaged to someone else. He was alienated from his only child and, for whatever reason, hid his personal history behind extravagant, unproven claims.That’s a perfect life? You might want to ask some of the people hurt by his behavior as a father, husband and employer.

  8. Your saying that you’re not biased nor negative is just preposterous. Your whole blog is trying to bring down Esther and others in the most sensationalist tabloidesque way possible. It is basically a smear campaign. This particular article is extremely subjective, biased and does not for a moment consider any other possibility than the blatant scam that you are trying to prove (for clickbait reasons I suppose, just like desperate YouTubers). So much for objective journalism. Your tone is bitter, sarcastic and negative throughout the whole article, while your wording is suggestive and manipulative. You don’t even provide sources for the examples of seminar dialogues that you present here. I’ve watched countless of Abraham Hicks videos and listened to countless of their tapes, but never ever have I heard these particular passages. And even if you actually quoted them verbatim, I’m sure those quotes are pretty much out of context, i.e. abbreviated for a reason. Sessions with individuals in the hot seat are rarely that short. We’re talking about 15 minute conversations or longer, usually. In your bad examples that you chose to prove your point you make it seem as if seminars are rapid Q&A sessions that don’t bring any value to the paying audience whatsoever. But again, I’ve never heard anyone on any tape leaving the hot seat unsatisfied. So if you preach in your replies to “live and let live”, I’m wondering why you feel the need to prove “you can’t trust Esther Hicks” to so many who are deeply satisfied with the information and the value they get from these teachings.

    Furthermore, you openly accuse Esther of narcissism in one sentence here. How can you reconcile that accusation with your reply from July 5 where you defend your article as “neither positive nor negative” and merely factual?! Through your overall use of sarcasm it also becomes quite apparent that you don’t even believe nor understand the whole channeling part of this teaching either. Because if you did, then you wouldn’t judge a channel rewatching their channeling session as narcissistic. In a channeling, trance-like state, a channel is not necessarily aware of what is being channelled. They are more in a daydream kind of state. So rewatching their own sessions is in fact not a rewatching, but a simple first-time watching – as they weren’t in the audience to absorb the information while it was being channelled. It doesn’t mean Esther (re-)watches seminars because she’s so in love with herself. She doesn’t even claim ownership of the thoughts she expresses in a seminar. How could anyone take credit for something that they channel from some higher aspect of consciousness or a non-physical collective or whatever the origin is, as long as it’s not their normal waking state? Have you never had an inspiration for your blog or an inspiring dream or said something to a friend and then felt regret that you couldn’t go back and replay that moment in time to remember what you said?

    You fail to acknowledge:

    1) the simple fact that a channel is not automatically a master in the information he or she channels. They are mere students of it as well; or may even reject their own channelled material (as was the case with the late Helen Schucman, channel of A Course In Miracles).

    2) the many, many sessions Esther does in which she is definitely in some kind of altered flow state where she finds astonishingly fresh and wise perspectives so rapidly that it seems almost humanly impossible to fake this. You just couldn’t keep this up at such a level of depth, such a pace and with such coherence.

    3) that ultimately, it doesn’t matter where teachings such as this one actually come from – as long as the information rings true and has a positive impact on people. I and so many others definitely gain a lot of great mind-blowing insights on specific issues from Abraham that you just don’t hear anywhere else. And certainly not in Think And Grow Rich.

    4) that death comes for all of us. It is inevitable. If not even Esther is a master in the teachings of Abraham, how can you assume her husband was. It is none of our business and we simply cannot know what Jerry’s inner state of being or mind was at that time. Upon receiving his diagnosis, he might have been struck with extreme fear and anxiety that he just wasn’t able to conquer, for instance. Or he might have just accepted his diagnosis and found peace with the idea of leaving this world. The point is, what gives you the right to assume that he did not also try to put the teachings of Abraham into practice? Going to a doctor does not rule out the possibility that he also tried to heal himself on the level of thought, mind, frequency and vibration. But again, in a very manipulative and sensationalist way, you just sell it as a fact that Jerry and Esther themselves didn’t trust and believe in the teachings of Abraham – which again proves both the extremely biased nature of your tabloid article and your misunderstanding (or rather, non-existent understanding) of the teachings. You seem to believe that applying the teachings means simply sitting at home and thinking happy thoughts, without taking any kind of action. And as soon as people take action (such as when Jerry went to a doctor and followed professional medical advice regarding chemotherapy), you use that against them to accuse them of not believing and rejecting what New Thought says.

    All we know is that we’re all human. And even though the healing of disease through the mind-body connection is being backed up by research more and more (just look at all the studies done with placebos for instance, or people with multiple personality disorder, where one personality has symptoms that another one does not), no human being is without flaws. I remember watching a clip where Abraham talks about Wayne Dyer’s illness and death. They themselves basically admitted then and there that it can be really hard for someone in physical reality, who gets the frightening diagnosis of a terminal disease, to just ignore symptoms and focus on well-being. Once you’re in this whole machine of doctors running tests on you and giving you a diagnosis, then sending you to other doctors that are reinforcing said diagnosis, ultimately starting a weekly treatment plan etc., isn’t it understandable that, even though you might know how to heal yourself in theory, it may just become almost impossible in practice at some point?

    5) that, since death is inevitable, we also have to consider the fact that none of these teachings claim you can prolong your life indefinitely. Even enlightened masters such as Krishnamurti, Nisargadatta, Ramakrishna or Ramana Maharshi died of cancer. Some way or another, the body will give up the ghost eventually.

    If there’s one thing I cannot stand, it is judging people for how they deal with personal challenges.
    Especially when they suffer from the constant pressure of being in the public eye in such difficult times.
    Your article is the most arrogant and ignorant smear piece I have ever come across online.
    I’ll give you that – but nothing else.

    • Your comments, while still filled with rationalizations and unsupported evaluations of intent, are leagues above the ordinary. Insults aren’t really arguments though, even if the “article is the most arrogant and ignorant smear piece I have ever come across online,” the facts are still the facts. No amount of ranting and rationalizing changes the truth. It still is what it is, and readers will have to decide for themselves, without without your approval.

  9. Thanks for the article Dave. I always thought they were a little “out there” I totally believe/agree with their theory. But not a fan of theirs. I appreciate what I have learned from them but I only take in what I agree with. I leave the rest at the door. And that’s ok! We have something to learn from everyone. Thanks again.

    • Yes, Jennifer. I too learned a lot and benefited from them, although years in the past, and part of what I learned from researching them is that there are better, more responsible teachers, some of whom Esther and Jerry borrowed from. I appreciate the doors they opened for me, but by no means does that require blind faith.

      Thanks and good luck!

  10. I wouldn’t comment anything about the article coz you have free will to write or say anything you like.
    But who are more responsible teachers of LOA in your opinion?

    • Honestly, I doubt anyone focusing just on the “law of attraction” can be successful because it can’t be an isolated phenomenon. And I know that Esther pitches it as the supreme law of the universe, but even if that’s true, it’s still not the only law.

      That said, different spiritual teachers match up with different people, and that varies over time, as well.

      But I started With Eckhart Tolle’s “The Power of Now” and got the most benefit from early Wayne Dyer. And I also got a lot from Esther and Jerry before things changed. A few others helped along the way. I believe it’s true that when the student’s ready, a teacher arrives. Keep and open mind and as I learned early on from Dyer: Be open to everything.

  11. So disturbing that adults listen to this clown and place any value in the nonsense she babbles. The truly sad ones, the real morons who read your article pointing out the obvious hucksterism, becoming so insulted by their own ignorance and attacking you, are the scariest. Esther Hicks is a snake oil saleswoman shilling stupidity cloaked in fantastical horse shit. Grow up you rubes.

    • Whatever their comments are, keep in mind that they wouldn’t be reading at all if they didn’t have serious doubts. I see the reactions as defensive. They don’t want to let go of something they depend on. Hopefully, in time, they’ll find other teachers, but it’s a process that has to run its course. Reading the articles, despite the reactions, is a start on the way out.

      Thanks for your comment.

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