Did Esther Hicks or her late husband Jerry Hicks help — or their “teachings” — precipitate the death of Ari, an artist who turned to the Abraham-Hicks controlled Abe Forum for support?
Here’s the story, pieced together from the accounts of friends outraged over what occurred and efforts to hide the tragedy. If Esther Hicks, Jerry Hicks or, as they are better known, Abraham-Hicks are responsible, at least for neglecting to alert mental health authorities, will criminal or civil charges be pursued or avoided, as so often happens, until a more potent tragedy occurs?
Photo: Esther, Jerry & Abraham Hicks
Jerry Hicks, Esther Hicks and the Abe Forum
For reasons only the owners of Abraham-Hicks Publications, Esther and Jerry Hicks, can honestly explain, they have controlled the content of the Abe Forum from its inception through a paid intermediary, David Gordon, since inception.
(Full disclosure: David Gordon has banned me from the Abe Forum, without explanation, although it was probably because I asked the wrong questions and am well-known as a skeptic. Opinions contrary to the standard gospel of Esther Hicks (posing as Abraham) are taboo as are, of course, open discussions. For the record, I challenged Gordon as a “coward” for doing so, but he did not respond.)
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The main intent of Abe Forum is to promote sales of Abraham-Hicks products based on the “teachings of Abraham,” which Esther Hicks has preached extemporaneously for decades to live audiences and which she has further spread with her late husband, Jerry Hicks, through books and other media.
It isn’t really a forum or place for open discussion. Using moderators like Gordon and other true believers, it controls content so that only comments that reinforce Abraham-Hicks beliefs are allowed and freely deletes everything else, including harmless discussions about other subjects, like sporting events and music other than songs that have what are called “Abe-ish” themes.
I’ll leave it to others to explain what the teachings are in greater detail, but for the uninitiated, Abraham is claimed to be a gathering of about one-hundred “nonphysical entities” who send “blocks of thought” to Esther, which she immediately interprets. She has also claims that they took control of her hands at a typewriter to create manuscripts.
Jesus, Esther has claimed, hoping to keep Christians in her fold, is a member of the Abraham cluster and, now, so is her late husband Jerry, revealed as merry commentator at live events.
The so-called teachings are based on the “Law of Attraction,” a concept invented a hundred years ago in the New Thought Movement, although Esther and Jerry claimed to be originators. (Their trademark claim for the term was shot down for the obvious reasons, and they have since leaned more heavily on their own “Vortex of Attraction,” a clunky term they hope to popularize.)
An important component in attracting audiences is Esther’s claim that she receives those blocks of thought from Abraham who are in direct contact with “Source,” her neutral term for God, and have access to all wisdom existing in the universe. In other words, these are the words of God’s own disciples and only wrong when “limited humans” fail to gain the right perspective to understand them.
Although Esther and Jerry Hicks deny it, this is as much a religiously based platform as any church has and more profound than many.
Ari Joins The Abe Forum
Ari (not her real name, but the one she used on the forum) was an artist, struggling as she went through midlife to sell enough paintings to pay rent and for food and other necessities. She was a cancer survivor whose chemotherapy was so intense she she was to wear a wig because her hair would never go back.
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In her first post on the Abe Forum, Ari responded to a platitude-filled blast of verbiage from “Super Moderator” Jody with this:
“Thanks Jody. I think I listened to Abraham for at least 2 hours a day for two years and I so would expect myself to understand what you mean. But I don’t. I feel like I was doing such a great job with being honest with myself and with seeking alignment. I know it’s not supposed to help to talk about your past, BUT…I‘ve had just about everything that can happen to someone happen…abuse, death of a child, cancer, poverty and aloneness. Yet I am one of those people with a strong spirit who keeps reaching for beauty, love and all the good stuff.”
This and other similar posts about struggling are repeatedly answered with comments and suggestions from other members of the forum which, while consistently well-intended, convey a message that her unhappiness and lifelong battles with depression are her fault. She isn’t thinking the right thoughts, and more important, she is failing at applying the “teachings of Abraham” correctly.
She needs to learn to float “downstream,” instead of “upstream,” she is told.
The analogies are common Abraham-Hicks speak. They are intended to help followers understand that “trying” and “struggling” are mistakes. Abundance, happiness, etc. are easy, if you will only “let go of the oars” and let them come.
While her demons were never far away and each burst of happiness was soon followed by another round of depression, Ari seemed puzzled and frustrated that the teachings of Abraham, repeatedly reinforced on the Abe Forum, weren’t working for her and made struggling and trying impossible to avoid.
These online comments were answered on the Abraham-Hicks controlled forum with suggestions about how she might improve her practices.
A brave woman determined to overcome her repeated bouts of depression, Ari diligently tried to follow the advice, even as that seemed contradictory.
She tried the Abraham-Hicks inspired “focus wheels” and going up the “Emotional Guidance System” (EGS) to find “relief.” These practices failed, and because she’d been taught that she was 100% responsible for her life, all the good or bad things in it, her inability to get better reinforced her sense of failure.
No one in all the transcripts I read ever recommended counseling or other professional help, only practices consistent with the teachings of Abraham-Hicks.
Is The Abraham-Hicks Forum A Lure For The Needy and Depressed?
It’s a hard conclusion to avoid. When you read the transcripts taken from the Ari’s threads on the forum, it’s striking how frequently those reacting to her are struggling with depression themselves. They describe their own struggles and what they have done to achieve periods of escape from the disease.
Taken in total, these read like the repetitious ramblings of cult followers who don’t seem able to think or express themselves freely.
No one seems to have found a permanent cure from depression through the guidance of Abraham-Hicks. A good number report screaming in pain at the teachings before the release of anger led them back to the conclusion that it was all their own fault. This gave them the illusion of control and helped them feel better.
Abraham-Hicks, Suicide And The Death Of Ari
A year and a half after joining and participating heavily in forum discussions, frequently talking about her own illness, but also sweetly encouraging others, Ari wrote this:
“The first time I heard Abraham was their intro cd and I sat in my car and cried. Up until then, I honestly believed I was not supposed to be here…not alive in this world. I was suicidal for most of my life and that is a very painful way to live. I simply could not reconcile all that had happened to me and the belief there was any such thing as a merciful God. I turned to other religions and I still felt like nothing I could do or be was enough to have good things come to me.
“When I started to understand that I created what had happened, (even though at the time that seemed a harsh explanation), it gave me such unbelievable relief.”
Five months later, unable to defeat her demons through all the exercises encouraged by Abraham-Hicks and its paid staff, listening to hundreds of hours of Esther Hicks supposedly translating the eternal wisdom of Abraham from “blocks of thought, and being reinforced about her failures while she “created what had happened,” Ari killed herself.
The response from the Abe forum was instructive.
But before ending her own life, determined to keep trying and to support others suffering depression, Ari addressed a friend on the forum who was in pain this way:
“Dearest beautiful Jacqueline,
“I’ve written many posts on depression and many of them while I was in the deepest darkest holes of despair.
“My only way out has been to embrace the depression. I would do only what I had to do and at times it got scary. I couldn’t even listen to Abe then and usually would fight whatever advice I got. And that was because I had lost myself.
“So soon…I’d get pissed. Like my IB would say…ok I’m here and we are going to rise again! And I’d get angry at EVERYTHING.
“Soon, I’d feel stronger and soon I’d find myself laughing at some sick joke or playing with my dog.
“Then I’d get back on the forum and soon I’d figure out that some stupid old belief was really nagging at me. Like I’d never seen it this clearly. And I’d release it!
“It seemed that everytime (since knowing Abe) I’d come out of the depressions much further DOWNSTREAM! They have been like one Aber put it…very bumpy shortcuts to where I want to go…thru the ghetto, glass on the streets, muddy ruts and finally… OZ.”
Two weeks later, Ari was dead.
How Responsible Was Abraham-Hicks For Ari’s Death?
On the forum, action to erase Ari as much as possible was swift.
For over a year and a half, she’d initiated or joined in many discussions. She was among the forum’s most active members, but shortly after learning of her suicide, the paid Abraham-Hicks moderators reduced her status to “guest,” as if she’d never registered as a member.
What his did was erase her from name searches, obliterate her “lovely” icon (taken from one of her own paintings) and erase both the date of her joining the forum as well as the count of her posts on the forum.
Okay, so, you can understand why a deceased person may no longer be considered active, privacy concerns and all that, but other actions suggested a more sinister motive.
A post alerting forum members, many of whom knew and had interacted frequently with her, of her death was deleted almost immediately.
Moreover, a forum member was told by “Super Moderator” Jody that any discussion involving Ari’s death would be “inappropriate,” even a simple notification.
After months and thousands of words on the forum, Ari was left dangling like a ghost on the threads. What might have been a teaching moment was sacrificed to protect the teachings of Abraham-Hicks from criticism.
Two years later, these same teachings would fail Jerry Hicks as he aged and died from leukemia, another death even Abraham-Hicks, led by Esther, scrambled to cover up.
The Teachings Of Abraham On Death
Draw whatever conclusions you like about whether Ari was totally responsible for her depression, poverty, bad luck in romance and her eventual suicide.
But was she assisted, aided along the way by reinforcement on the Abe Forum that she was a failure?
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Maybe the “teachings of Abraham,” familiar to Ari as a longtime listener to the Abraham-Hicks tapes and CD’s, helped along the way:
“We promise you, the timing of your death is always chosen by you.” – Esther Hicks
“Because we know that life is eternal, and we know that there is no ending to that which you are about, if one of you is killed in an earthquake or crashes your plane, or any number of other very creative ways you have found to make your exit into the Non-Physical, because we know the whole picture, we grieve not a moment for any of you.” – Esther Hicks
El Paso, 2001
“The death experience is always suicide. Always. Every time. Because every death experience is created by Self, no matter how it plays out. Every single one of them is created by Self.” – Esther Hicks
This was spoken as a mocking response about a mother who complained about Abraham-Hicks’s role in the suicide of her son, but the worst is this one:
“‘…death’ is a matter of closing one’s eyes in this dimension and literally opening one’s eyes in the other dimension. And that, truly, is how all death is, no matter how it looks, up to that point.. The re-emergence into Source Energy is always a delightful thing.” – Esther Hicks
This came from Esther at an Abraham-Hicks Workshop, in Buffalo, New York, two weeks to the day after the disastrous terrorist attack on on September 11th, 2001.
Not to worry, Ari. “The death experience is always suicide.”
And, it “is always a delightful thing.”
Did Abraham “teachings,” to which Ari was apparently emotionally addicted, contribute to her suicide? Will the mainstream media continue to ignore dangers to the needy and vulnerable posed by cults? And what about Abraham-Hicks, booster, Oprah Winfrey, who multiple times gave them a public platform to lure followers?
Will anyone speak up for Ari and others or will Esther Hicks and Abraham be allowed to continue without restraint?