The Mormons and Genealogy

Lately I have been reading the blog Bell Out of Order. If you enjoy reading about cults, it is a must read. The author recently posted a partial transcript of the 1996 retreat that was the first big meeting that Jack conducted after he came out of hiding. 

I read the transcript and it reminded me just how easily Jack would slip in lies and spin yarns without anyone challenging him. 

Jack stated that, “In Salt Lake City, records are kept by the Mormons for their own purposes – to prove descendancy from Israelites.” If you have ever studied the beliefs of the LDS Church, you know that what Jack casually attempted to pass off as fact was a complete fabrication.

Here is an excellent explanation from PBS as to why the LDS Church is so interested in genealogy:

“One of the core tenets of Mormon faith is that the dead can be baptized into the faith after their passing. Baptism of the dead evolved from the beliefs that baptism is necessary for salvation and that the family unit can continue to exist together beyond mortal life if all members are baptized.

Mormons trace their family trees to find the names of ancestors who died without learning about the restored Mormon Gospel so that these relatives from past generations can be baptized by proxy in the temple. For Latter-day Saints, genealogy is a way to save more souls and strengthen the eternal family unit.”

Before I left the cult, I would hear Jack’s teachings quoted or the teachings of other high-ranking cult members and notice that much of what they said was completely contrary to readily available facts. It bothered me at the time, but I would rationalize their moronic statements in ways that only cult members or other brainwashed groups can do. It wasn’t until I found out about the abuses that Jack and other members had been involved in that had been hidden from us that I was able to see that all of these statements were created to hold us in a prison of belief. 

Doomsday Cult Questions

A few days ago a reader left the following questions for a research project they are working on about doomsday cults:

Hello all. I’m currently completing year 12, and as a compulsory part of our study, we have to undertake a research project. I’ve chosen to do mine on Religious Doomsday Cults, and was hoping that some of you could please answer a few questions that I have? My specific focus question is “Why do people join Doomsday Cults, and how can this impact on their lives?”
I have to let you know that by answering these questions, you are giving me permission to include the information given in my research, but rest assured that all information will remain confidential at all times.
1. How old were you when you initially joined a doomsday cult?
2. How were you approached/ invited to join?
3. What were your reasons for joining or leaving the cult?
4. How has being a part of a cult impacted on your life?
It would be much appreciated if you could respond to me, preferably via this blog!!!
Thanks!!

 

Please feel free to post your answers in the comments section.

Video

A History of God: Refuting Jack’s Delusions

It is very difficult to refute the evidence in this video. If you are still in the group I hope you will watch this video.

I found that learning about the historical record was personally very cathartic.

But Seriously

But Seriously is a blog written by a former member of the Abensur Family/Shoresh Yishai cult.  In her blog she addresses the humiliation and shame that so many of us felt while being members of this cult.  Her story is personal, provocative, and compelling.  If you are a fan of this site, you will not be disappointed with But Seriously.

How Can You Be Perfect If The Rules Are Always Changing?

I remember attending a meeting that Jack Hickman lectured at where he told us that he brought us into the world to be perfect.  According to Jack, he astrally traveled to this holding pen of souls (Guf) and handpicked our souls because he took over god’s job in our case.  We were told that our souls are special Adomic souls that only get one chance at life and this chance is during the end of days.  Jack said that everyone else reincarnates except the children of the cult members.

If we did not become perfect, we would go to hell (he taught a form of Annihilationism) and Jack literally said that his spirit would dance on our graves if we did not become perfect.

My question to the youth still involved in the cult is this:  How can you be perfect if the rules are always changing?

Jack Hickman and G. the Catspaw took the group through “phases.”  These “phases” were supposed to be necessary because cult followers could not handle the real truth.  Apparently they have never been ready for the truth since the truth always seems to be different from month to month or year to year.

Here are some examples of the “phases”:

1)    Lutheranism Phase.  Lutheranism is a true form of Christianity.  The group is not yet a cult, but the youth minister, Pastor Jack , severely manipulates young people.

2)    Pentecostal/Charismatic Christianity Phase.  Followers are suppose to have righteous experiences that include the need to evangelize and convert others, to be possessed by the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues (glossolalia), and to perform exorcisms that are needed often.

3)    Orthodox Jew Phase.  Follow hundreds of rigid rules, but remember to love Jesus.

4)    Orthodox Secret Bloodline Jews.  Cult members must sign a special contract with extra rules that supersede the torah so they can join Jack’s special secret bloodline and he can become their adopted Daddy.

5)    No Longer Orthodox Jewish Phase.  Jack tells his cult followers that the Rabbis are ignorant, that they do not love people the right way, and that only he knows what the true rules are.

6)    The Way Phase. Cult members are supposed to follow “the Way.”  The Way is a nebulous path that is never clearly explained, except by strange anecdotal stories of Jack’s life that make no sense.  The Way includes becoming Hickman Vegetarians.  Hickman Vegetarianism is a diet where you tell people you are vegetarian, but you eat fish because fish have no souls and are pure because they live in water.  Strangely, Hickman Vegetarianism mirrors the diet prescribed by Jack’s doctor for his diseased heart.

7)    Evil Aliens In The Earth Phase.  Jack said that there are evil aliens trapped inside the earth that must be fed by cult member’s prayers, because Abensur Family members are the only ones that have special souls and that means they have especially tasty prayers.  If you don’t pray enough, god will let the evil aliens (angels are aliens according to cult doctrine in this phase) kill you and the evil aliens will feed off the fumes of your burning corpse.  I am not even joking.

8)    The Book Of The Month Phase.  Jack would read a book that would inspire him and other cult members would be taught the parts from the book that Jack liked best.  The explanations and book passages would often times be vague and contradict other books and cult teachings.

9)    Ripped Off Version Of Transcendental Meditation Phase.  By chanting the name of Jesus in Hebrew, you would become better spiritually.  Certain members were allowed special teachings for completing different tasks.

10) G. And The V. Family Are Prophets Phase.  25% of the money taken from cult members goes to G. and 75% goes to certain members of the V. family.  In exchange for your money, G. and certain V. family members work themselves up through hyperventilation and hysteria (this can cause hallucinations and other altered states) and they give “prophecies” that are vague and meaningless.  God also forgets to tell you everything the first time in a prophecy prayer meaning, even though god says after a prophecy that “it is finished” (the message that is), so stick around until the end of the meeting because you never know what god may have forgotten the first time he spoke during the meeting.

It is hard to believe, yet these are not the only phases!  There are sadly more.

I may explain some of these phases in more detail in another article, including all the books Jack Hickman used to come up with his different phases.  What I have written above is a extremely truncated version.

Our parents like to reminisce and laugh about the Abensur Family cult’s journey.

What legitimate spiritual leader or group constantly changes what they tell you is the truth?  I cannot think of one.  Only other cults do this.

There are only a few real rules that you must abide by in the Abensur Family cult to be considered righteous and these are stressed regularly by the cult leaders, usually subtly.

  • Do whatever the cult leaders tell you.  Even if you do not understand what is being “taught,” pretend to.
  • Do not challenge or seriously question what the cult leaders tell you.
  • Give at least 10% of your yearly income to the cult leaders.
  • Do not criticize anything the cult leaders do or say privately or publicly.  If you do, god will punish you because you are committing lashon hara (one of the few things from Orthodox Judaism that Jack decided to keep) and this is worse than being a murderer.

I spent years feeling guilty for not being “perfect,” until I realized I was twisted and confused by all the opaque teachings that I couldn’t even figure out what “perfect” meant.  G. has tried to throw many of the vague and contradictory teachings together into a patchwork belief system, but the only things that are ever consistent in the cult are the real rules that allow them to maintain control.

The Lost Years

I will leave out most of my personal speculations and keep to the facts that I was able to unearth about what happened to Jack and G. during the period of 1983-1996, the time period that I call the Lost Years.

As most of the readers of this page know, Jack and G. fled Long Island in the early 1980’s.  I have evidence that suggests that it wasn’t just the Foibles article (published in 1983) that caused Jack to flee Long Island. At the time, several investigations were being conducted by law enforcement.  For example, in 1982 the FBI opened up a file on Jack Hickman (they also opened a new file for an investigation in 2002).  Due to the many investigations going on, Jack fled the East and took his catspaw G. with him.

Jack and G., like many others with shady pasts, fled into the American West.  They spent much of the next decade living in and out of cheap motels that could be rented by the week.  By staying in places frequented by other unscrupulous types without permanent addresses, Jack and G. were able to remain hidden.  They could also leave these places at a moments notice.

They spent many of these years in Colorado and eventually moved to California.  As some of you have already guessed, Jack’s escape from New York was not paid for though hard work.  The Lost Years were funded almost completely through Shoresh Yishai and through cult members paying directly for Jack’s rent.  Jack did not work for the rest of his life; he lived off his follower’s money instead.

G. worked during some of the Lost Years and this did allow for Jack to do nothing constructive.  This gave him ample time to spend focusing on G.’s personal brainwashing.  Jack probably called it special teaching.

During that time of trouble, G. did not date women.  He told many members of the cult that he was celibate, just like Jack Hickman had always been!  I do not have details about Jack and G.’s sleeping arrangement when they lived together during the Lost Years.  I just know that a young, good-looking G. lived with Jack who had a sexual history of having sexual affairs with teenage boys and young men.

In the midst of this period, Jack’s slovenly lifestyle and poor eating habits caused him to have a heart attack.  While in the hospital, Jack had several life saving medical procedures performed.  One of those was the insertion of a pacemaker.

Jack Hickman was physically feeble for the rest of his life and had difficulty walking.  He also had very poor circulation after his heart attack.  I believe that his heart condition and poor circulation left him impotent.  Jack’s impotence will become more important in the years after the regrouping of the cult in 1996.

In the 1990’s, Jack and G. began to live in more permanent and expensive residences in Southern California. Like previous properties, his followers paid for Jack’s homes.  I never saw the California homes.  I was told by several sources that did see them that they were situated on prime real estate and were large.  The homes were rented and never became part of the cult’s assets.

It was in California that Jack began to revive the cult.  He had G. call the Clan Heads (Jack’s handpicked men who were in-charge of different families in the cult) and he told their followers that Jack was going to begin teaching their children.  In May of 1996, his loyal followers sent their teenage children to a meeting where Jack would once again begin brainwashing young minds.

A Brief History Up To 1983: Part Three

As I mentioned, things began to get even more twisted and bizarre.  Jack began practicing a strange new sexual ritual with young men in the cult he called “the passing of the seed.”

The new sexual ritual consisted of Jack and another young man in a dark room together that was lit by candlelight.  The young man would touch Jack’s thigh and Jack would masturbate until he ejaculated onto whichever handsome young man was with him at the time.  They would then collect the semen onto special paper and then burn it like incense.

While the passing of seed masturbatory sessions were going on, a culture of violence began to take hold among the cult.  Many men were beaten within the group for a variety of reasons.  Some say that Jack ordered the beatings, others that he just condoned it.  Either way he never spoke out against them publicly.  In fact, some former members claim to have witnessed his presence at least once at one of the more unusual displays of violence.

Several men were beaten for threatening or insulting Jack.  Others ironically were beaten for perceived inappropriate sexual relationships with women.  Two of the young men given the title of prince by Jack received severe beatings.  It is well known by many of the older cult members that these two men, K. U. and P. R., were beaten for having premarital sex with young women.

P. R. had sex with his fiancé, who Jack disapproved of even before finding out about the sex.  As punishment for be caught having premarital sex, P. R. was shaved from head to toe and beaten by a group with sticks.  Many in the group were into something called a nazirite vow. I believe that this beating was just another perversion of Judaism that was used as an excuse.

Finally in the early 1980’s almost everything came out.  Some of Jack’s sexual relationships with teenage boys were exposed, along with the violence, and the passing of the seed ritual that many of the inner circle had participated in.  Jack justified his taking advantage of teenage boys by claiming that the biblical David and Jonathan had a homosexual relationship that transcended normal love.  His relationship with L. and others was like that according to Jack; it was just too spiritual for outsiders to understand.  His apologist followers parroted this message over and over.  When confronted they still say this to this very day.

Jack’s ejaculation on young men was explained through a twisted version of a story about the biblical Isaac and Jacob.  According to Jack, Isaac shot his semen onto Jacob as a blessing.

It doesn’t actually say any of these things in the Bible.  Jack just claimed that he was given this special understanding from angels or his dead brother who was sent to him by God to explain the real meaning of the Bible.  All the angels or dead brothers couldn’t teach Jack to speak Hebrew though, something he claimed to also have a deep knowledge of.

At one of the final cult services, those who were hurt tried to confront Jack about what he had done.  Rather than show remorse for the pain he had caused others, Jack blew up in anger and threatened members of the group.  He told them that their souls were in danger and that if they rejected him, that they rejected the house of David, were now his enemies, that they were the enemies of God, and were condemned for being on the side of evil.

Many left the cult and still have not completely recovered from the mind rape that they experienced.  Others have never recovered from the sexual abuse.

The press began to investigate Hickman and they interviewed many of those who were involved in the cult.  This resulted in the Foibles of Abba expose.  While many of the children of the group were told not to read it and that it was full of lies, for those with the courage to look at it they were able to find out some of the truth that our parents chose to hide from us.

Once the article was published, Jack realized that he had to flee New York.  Before he left though, he told the last of his faithful followers that it was L. who was guilty of all the transgressions that were blamed on Jack.  L. became Jack’s scapegoat and he was tossed aside.

Jack fled Long Island and went west with a younger man than L., G. his new protégé.  G. was now Jack’s right hand and new personal disciple who eventually became his heir.