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.
i have so many questions. what is the best way to communicate with one another? here, email, phone, facebook???
To the author of this blog, THANK YOU!!! You have told the truth. I only found out in the past year of what had transpired in the past. My parents and the others of their group threw their children under the bus. They deserve to be expose for the cowards they are. 4 years ago my father tried to rape another female member of the cult. The elders convinced her not to press charges and he was sent to counselling… With Phil. Go figure. They all deserve prison. Thanks again! Oh and I have an amazing life now, no thanks to the aforementioned heathens.
Glad to hear that you have found peace.
Not peace exactly. We all are like crumpled pieces of paper that can never be fully smoothed out again. But this reality thing is pretty close.
I suggest just posting the question. Then we all know. Maybe we have some of the same questions. Full disclosure. Go for it.
i heard that James Ol— and Art Cott—- are still involved, though they deny it. i’m not sure about A. Zadok (Andy G—–).
I do not think they are involved. Someone else may have more information.
James Ol and Art Cott were seen at a family union in Maine about 1 1/2 ago.
You seem to be asking a question you already have an answer to. That’s funny.
i didn’t see them. someone else said they did. i am asking for confirmation.
I like your articles.
Do you mean in the comments?
Hello, I have never posted on here before, but I have been meaning to for a very long time. My involvement with the Jack Hickman Cult was very traumatic for me and changed the way I see people as a whole in a negative way. I was involved for approximately 7 years and it was a while ago. I was around in the old days from 1997 to about 2005. I have come a long way from how broken I was left and now I have some expertise in areas of psychology and child abuse specifically. My child was a victim of this group. He lived a had life because of them and died tragically. This has been a difficult thing to begin for me but I am glad I am doing it. The following post is more of just putting some of how I feel into a psychological context. I am a Graduate Student of psychology.
Leon Festinger, prominent psychologist coined the term ‘cognitive dissonance after his experience of infiltrating the Marian Keech “Alien Cult”. Marian Keech was a charismatic cult leader in the 1950’s who claimed to have exclusive contact with alien beings from a foreign planet that warned her of impending doom.
In this scenario Miss Keech was beholden of messianic messages of dooms day calamity similar to the Jacob Hicks group who blurs the line between alien and angel. The difference is that Miss Hicks named a time and place for this calamity to occur, and Jack only promised the youth would see it in their life time. So when the end did not come for the Alien Cult there was room for doubt. In The Hickman situation much more time was bought with ambiguity allowing for generations to lay in waiting for the world to end.
The leader of the Alien cult had written messages from the aliens similar to Jack and his angels. Remember the Hovey tapes. Nearing the end the alien cult members left their homes and jobs and sold their belongings like the mass exodus to Maine. The followers believed every word in both scenarios. In the Alien Cult the promise was that aliens ships would take away the believer while Hickmaner’s believed they would be safe hidden in some isolated Northern woods. When the world did not end the Keech followers did not lose faith and when Jack Hickman showed immorality and fled his congregation in New York his followers did not see they should lose faith.
It is an interesting phenomenon when someone is faced with evidence, they choose to discard it in favor of holding on to ridiculous beliefs. They will seek out events to justify their beliefs any where they can. This is the psychological phenomena of cognitive dissonance as described by Leon Festinger after his infiltration into the Alien Cult in 1954.
Ralph R., Rosnow and Robert Rosenthal (2014) Beginning Behavioral Research
I’m sorry that you went through all of what you mentioned. I can only imagine how heartbreaking it is to lose a child.
I spent a lot of time after leaving studying cults. Like all other damaging cults, Hickman’s attempts to exert a high level of control over all aspects of a member’s life and the cult caused members to separate from their families. The cult attempts to control the money of it’s members, their sexuality, who they could date, and many other aspects of their lives. There were many members who no longer spoke to members of their family or the cult had created strained relationships between families.
I tend to think that the sunk cost fallacy applies to the Hickman cult, especially for the older members. Most of the older members have spent most of their lives in the cult. Rather than accepting the available evidence that contradicts much of cult doctrine, they double down on their beliefs. No one wants to believe that they wasted their lives on a damaging belief system.