Who Is Esther Hicks?

Esther Hicks is a New York Times best-selling author who claims to communicate for a group of nonphysical beings. These beings, through Esther, give workshops and write books, offering people advice on how to improve their health, wealth, and relationships using various metaphysical laws.

What's so bad about Esther and Jerry's Amway past?

Jerry and Esther have always been hesitant to talk about their Amway past, but it's there whether they like it or not. They discuss it briefly in their interview with The Independent here. And Jerry and his former wife Trish are featured in this Amway publication, listed as Crown level distributors in 1979. I have put a screenshot here for convenience:

They are even listed in Amwaywiki.

I admit, when I was listening to Abraham CDs, I had already heard about Jerry's past with Amway, but I never really understood what that meant. I knew some myths about it being cult-like and the closest thing this country has to a pyramid scheme, but I wasn't sure really what the reasons behind those things were. Amway just seemed like a sweet Avon business, only bigger. Well, why don’t you watch Dateline’s expose on Amway's reincarnation, Quixtar, which maintains Amway’s business tactics to make their millions. You can watch the two parts here:

Dateline Expose Part 2

(I also recommend a really good article at http://www.skepdic.com/amway.html)

As seen in the second part of the expose, Quixtar distributors, like Amway distributors, have an amazing cash cow in selling motivational materials within the company. That’s where the real money is. Not in the selling of products to consumers, but in selling these motivational materials. In an article called "The Hidden Persuaders" by Tony Thompson, Thompson says "The majority of the wealth of the tiny number of top-ranked distributors in this country comes not just from the sale of Amway products but from selling motivational materials and organizing seminars and rallies for the people below them."

In Robert Fitzpatrick's and Joyce K Reynolds's expose on Amway, False Profits, they write, "Amway's largest distributor, Dexter Yager of Charlotte, North Carolina, operates a $35 million-a-year business selling motivational and inspirational tapes to his downline distributors. Dream big. Be persistent and consistent. Avoid negative thinking, the tapes exhort the faithful." One of Yager's former distributors--who filed for bankruptcy after having already lost $30,000 to a rat-hole of motivational materials--reported, "The tapes and books kept me brainwashed. They get you in this frame of mind that you need to feed on the materials in order to survive."

The book Think and Grow Rich is one such "motivational material" that Amway distributors use, and have used for a long time, to profit big off recruits. In Stephen Butterfield's book Amway: Cult of Free Enterprise, he describes it as, "a 'positive attitude' book marketed through the Amway system." In Barbara Ehrenreich's book Bright Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America, she mentions, "In the early 1980s, [Amway] salespeople were expected to buy a book a month from a list including such classics as The Power of Positive Thinking and Napoleon Hill's Think and Grow Rich." The book is even featured in the Dateline expose. Here's the screenshot:

The distributors make tapes, offer courses, and hold seminars to help recruits "understand" materials like Think and Grow Rich, alleging that it led to their own success and if their recruits follow their advice, it will make them filthy rich too.

In Abraham Hicks' Introductory CD, in the segment called "Living Think and Grow Rich," Jerry states that "it [Think and Grow Rich] worked so well for me that in a very brief time I was able to build a multi-national business, touching meaningfully the lives of many thousands. I even began teaching the principles that I was learning from the book." In The Secret Behind the Secret, Esther admits that she met Jerry at a "business presentation" where he was doing just that. She said he was so full of life because of Think and Grow Rich and that he excited her because she liked the idea of earning an extra $400 a month. This is how he became a Crown level with his former wife Trish. Not from selling soaps, appliances, etc. But from selling his motivational courses, tickets to "business presentations", and tapes like so many Amway distributors did before him. I would like to add that Jerry was doing this with Amway before the 1979 FTC investigation (this was when Amway was at it's worst).

Later, in A Message from Jerry & Esther: Jan/Feb/Mar 2002, Esther writes, "We have held conferences at the Asilomar Conference Center many times in our "before we met Abraham" lives." In A New Beginning I, Jerry discusses their lives in the early 80s, pre-Abraham, while residing in Arizona. He writes about how successful his mult-national distributorship [presumably with Amway] had been, and went on to write, "We toured the northwestern states with our motorhome, took repeated trips and cruises to the Virgin, Caribbean, and Hawaiian Islands and all the while, we continued to add to our business" (Beginning 108). From these two excerpts, it is crystal clear that Jerry and Esther were already giving workshops, holding seminars, and touring the country with Jerry's Amway business presentations.

This in mind, read A Message from Jerry & Esther: Oct/Nov/Dec 1997 (from their website, Abraham-Hicks.com): "And then Abraham appeared. And as Abraham began to respond so wisely and unconditionally lovingly to my questions, we wanted to immediately teach what we were now learning to our business associates...but questions soon began to flow from outside of that circle of our business partners...which then drew us outside of that relatively small arena to others who in turn told others who taught others who told others...to whoever told you about us."

They worked for Amway, selling motivational materials to their recruits/distributors (aka "business associates"), and then Abraham mystically happened to them and they just started selling their own Abraham materials to their associates. And as their business associates recruited new people, they sold more, and then, like any Amway "business", it just got bigger and bigger till they decided to take their act on the road, so that now they are on the New York Times Best Seller list.