When I first 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 answer became clear, its message muddled and a little bit startling. Unable or unwilling to deal with the facts, they buried him alive. (It became even more startling after Jerry Hicks died in November 2011.)
They were deliberately disappearing Jerry Hicks, it seemed, after his first round of chemotherapy failed. While the term "we" was used in communications, Jerry's name came up specifically less. Before, you could always take that for granted, but something even more radical happened.
Esther took on some sizzle.
Friends always knew that Esther Hicks was not the dull, black and white, androgynous character Jerry Hicks designed her to be as she stepped barefoot into her Abraham act. But the public didn't see it.
She looked a little strange and exhausted, but at least, she finally had some color.
As Jerry Hicks cancer saw him pushed farther into the background, an important loss was the level of intelligence that informed the workshops.
As a spiritual guide, Jerry Hicks was flat and far from "the leading edge of thought," as he and Esther claimed, but Esther alone sometimes resembled the most tone-deaf, unfeeling and shallow big mouth you'd ever be stuck next to at a dinner party.
Example: At a recent seminar (Jerry Hicks absent) Esther was asked by a concerned mother what to do about her young son who refused to share toys. Nothing, Eshter 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." Not making it up. She really invented that word and invoked Jesus.
The mother then said she was worried that her son had also taken up kicking their cat. No problem, says Esther, don't interfere. The cat is teaching him.
Attendees at this workshop 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 to for a couple of hours of Esther Hicks' wisdom.
It seemed unlikely that Esther's entourage expected Jerry Hicks' cancer to go into remission and allow him to return. What we saw instead, in the "news bulletins" they sent out, was a gradual erasure of Jerry and, in Esther's radical change in appearance, the overthrow of Jerry Hicks and the reinvention of Abraham.
An Abraham with very little of the old wisdom, humor or learning.