News Article: The Foibles of Abba

For years I refused to read this article.  I was told throughout my childhood that the article was full of lies and that the journalist Joseph Berger was just an opportunist.  It turns out that what was published was indeed true.  If it was truly full of lies, why wouldn’t they have sued the newspaper?

I confronted my parents and many others within the cult about the events described in the article and they confirmed that these things happened:

  • Jack Hickman, the self-proclaimed Abba, had full-blown sexual relationships with two young men who he seduced when they were teenagers.  They are named and at least one was quoted in the article.
  • Jack Hickman had many young men from the cult participate in ritualized, mutual masturbation sessions that were referred to as “the passing of the seed.”
  • Jack Hickman ordered ritualistic beatings of at least several men.
  • Jack Hickman lived an extravagant lifestyle by using cult members “tithe” money (each member was and still is required to give the cult 10% of their earnings).
  • Jack Hickman claimed to be a secret Jew, yet his own family denied that they were Jewish in any way.  Jack’s family told many people that Jack was not mentally well.
  • Aryeh Kaplan, one of the most respected Jewish scholars and translator of many texts on the Kabbalah, stated flatly that Jack knew nothing about Jewish law or the Kabbalah.
Here is the link to the article: The Foibles of Abba

5 responses to “News Article: The Foibles of Abba

  1. Were you going to finish your story??? Part 2?

  2. My parents were in this cult as well but got out when the sexual abuse came out. I was not born yet and my sister was a year old. My sis n I talk all the time about what it would have been like if we had gone to that school n grew up in that life. My parents were deeply scarred after. My father was an elder and would go to Vermont to train for the end of the world. So crazy! He said he was so young and coming from a troubled home, it made him feel important. I remember finding out when I was a teenager, that all of my family friends were from the cult!! It flipped me out soo bad!! None of them had been in it since the sex abuse came out but still. I could not believe they all met through a cult! Everything in that article is true because it was all told to me before by my parents, including the member who went to talk to Hickman’s sister, and everything that she had said. So crazy. Grateful I did not grow up that way!

    • Thanks for sharing a piece of your story. I’m glad to hear that your parents left. Years later, I still find it mind boggling to think about Jack’s followers staying after everything that happened and then all the rationalizing and twisted stories the adults told themselves (and told their children [Jack gave us some more crazy justifications that I haven’ written about]) in order to keep the delusion going.

  3. William Censor

    What were the other “more crazy justifications”? And will you be doing a history post-1983?

    • I’m not sure if you grew up in the cult or not, William. The main justification dealt with the vilification of those who left. If you were around, you might remember Jack’s talk about the “Mixed Multitude”.

      I’m not sure if I will write a post-1983 section on this blog.

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