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.
This article was originally published in 1975 in the New York Times. In the article, Jack Hickman claims that they are not charismatics, yet the New York Times interviews him because they are doing the same practices as other Pentecostal Christians. The only difference is that Jack is adding special cult touches to St. John’s
Pentecostal Lutheran Church.
At the time, Jack and L. started performing tons of exorcisms and the members were doing the speaking in tongues performance regularly.
I am posting this article to help document the history of this doomsday cult. I will later write a few articles that describe their past history and where they are presently.
Charismatics Alive and Well on LI
This is an article that was published in 1977 before some of the larger scandals broke. I would like to point out that even at that point, Lutheran clergymen in the article mention that Jack Hickman used “severe manipulation . . . sometimes leading to pyschological disorder” among those who laid their trust in him.
Jack Hickman always controlled the cult through his favorite tool, fear. The easiest way to manipulate your followers is to make them afraid and tell them that they only way they will be safe is to do what you tell them to do. To this day the cult members are controlled through the use of fear. In upcoming posts I will discuss this in more detail.
The majority of the section that deals with Jack and the cult in this article is on the last page. However, they do discuss the cult on several other pages throughout the article. Here is the link: The Jews for Jesus (and the others too) are out to get your kids