Abraham-Hicks: Cult, Scam, or Legitimate? A Reference Guide

Abraham-Hicks: Cult, Scam, or Legitimate? A Reference Guide

Abraham-Hicks, the popular Law of Attraction ideology, is touted as “The Secret Behind the Secret.” Their bestselling book on manifesting your desires currently has a nearly 4.2 star rating on Goodreads from over 17,000 ratings. But is this actually a legitimate way to unlock the heights of success and human potential? Or is it a cult or scam?

The International Cultic Studies Association (ICSA) has a list of characteristics that are associated with cultic groups. Below, I have included the entire list (in blue text) and given my own description (in black text) of the Abraham-Hicks ideology based on my years involved and my observation of others who were also deeply committed.

I have observed how A-H lures people in with grand promises and coaches followers to replace their natural internal functioning with rules and superstitions that keep them preoccupied. I maintain that the A-H teachings rely on many spiritual ideas that are truthful, established, and helpful. These ideas can benefit many people and have done exactly that. However, Abraham-Hicks mixes these ideas in with falsehoods and partial truths that mislead, confuse, and cause harm.

Despite this and everything I’ve written below, I do not conclusively label Abraham-Hicks as a cult. I agree with ICSA’s statement in their FAQs that, “Tagging a label on a group is not as important as understanding it.” I have compiled the list below to do exactly that: serve as a reference guide that may help others understand the hidden elements of this too-good-to-be-true ideology.

For further reading, my previous articles comparing Abraham-Hicks with cult tactics are as follows:

 

Characteristics Associated with Cultic Groups

The group displays excessively zealous and unquestioning commitment to its leader and (whether he is alive or dead) regards his belief system, ideology, and practices as the Truth, as law.

Questioning, doubt, and dissent are discouraged or even punished.

Mind-altering practices (such as meditation, chanting, speaking in tongues, denunciation sessions, and debilitating work routines) are used in excess and serve to suppress doubts about the group and its leader(s).

The leadership dictates, sometimes in great detail, how members should think, act, and feel (for example, members must get permission to date, change jobs, marry—or leaders prescribe what types of clothes to wear, where to live, whether or not to have children, how to discipline children, and so forth).

The group is elitist, claiming a special, exalted status for itself, its leader(s), and its members (for example, the leader is considered the Messiah, a special being, an avatar—or the group and/or the leader is on a special mission to save humanity).

The group has a polarized us-versus-them mentality, which may cause conflict with the wider society.

The leader is not accountable to any authorities (unlike, for example, teachers, military commanders or ministers, priests, monks, and rabbis of mainstream religious denominations).

The group teaches or implies that its supposedly exalted ends justify whatever means it deems necessary. This may result in members’ participating in behaviors or activities they would have considered reprehensible or unethical before they joined the group (for example, lying to family or friends, or collecting money for bogus charities).

The leadership induces feelings of shame and/or guilt in order to influence and/or control members. Often, this is done through peer pressure and subtle forms of persuasion.

Subservience to the leader or group requires members to cut ties with family and friends and to radically alter the personal goals and activities they had before they joined the group.

The group is preoccupied with bringing in new members.

The group is preoccupied with making money.

Members are expected to devote inordinate amounts of time to the group and group-related activities.

Members are encouraged or required to live and/or socialize only with other group members.

The most loyal members (the “true believers”) feel there can be no life outside the context of the group. They believe there is no other way to be and often fear reprisals to themselves or others if they leave (or even consider leaving) the group.

 

What do you think about these similarities between cultic groups and Abraham-Hicks? Have you noticed these same warning signs or others? Share your thoughts in the comment section.


4 thoughts on “Abraham-Hicks: Cult, Scam, or Legitimate? A Reference Guide

  1. I am sad to see no one has commented here yet. My husband is mentally ill and abusive and I had to leave him earlier this year due to domestic violence. He was introduced to A-H and became obsessed with them. He still is. He began using their teachings as a justification for his abuse of me. They are preying on people and it is a crime. They are frauds and predators who become wealthy from other people’s misfortune. I do not believe for one second they channel anything but narcissistic and sociopathic pathology. I listened to my husband play their teachings over and over and heard all the manipulative and strategic techniques they used. It was blantant psychological persuasion. He tried to force me into joining and used it all to try to control me further. They are not responsible. It is not spirituality. It is a cult.

    1. Serena, what an awful situation. I’m sorry to hear it. Thank you for commenting with your experience. Your strong words are powerful and warranted. It is often the more extreme situations that effectively reveal the danger of something.

      Narcissistic and sociopathic is right. From cheating to other unethical behavior to abuse, people’s worst natures can be called forth through this belief system and then spun into feel-good tales for justification. There is no more right and wrong or accepting responsibility. Hurting others is suddenly the victim’s problem. And all that remains is: “what feels good to me?” And the Aber feels infallible, enlightened, even downright holy.

      On top of that, any “Aber” hearing your story would go through great mental acrobatics to explain your situation in a way that feels better to them and allows them to keep believing this ideology (usually blaming the victim for their point of attraction). Abers are coached to believe ANYTHING that feels better, rather than acknowledge reality or feel appropriate human empathy. This dogma is obviously not changing actual reality, just causing its followers to desensitize themselves to others and sink further into confusion and denial.

      Yes, for whatever reason, people have been shy to comment on this post even though it is the 2nd most viewed article on this blog! Your words here will be read by others, and hopefully inspire more discussion.

      1. Thank you. I appreciate that someone has courage to write publically about these kind of personality cult phenomenon that take advantage of people and try to generate discussion. I am pleased to participate. And yes, it is hard to speak out. I have been silenced due to threats made to my life. It is very hard to move forward in this situation.
        Personally, I do not believe that if any individual had that kind of authentic divine connection they would not charge thousands of dollars for it. It is immoral and unethical.
        While going through the worst time of my life, I have been utterly shocked by the level of support my husband has received in his abuse of me and this has included Abraham Hicks material that people like him interpret in ways that seem like they are telling him to do the things he does. They are not accountable in any way for what they preach and this is unconscionable. Thank you for your support and all the best.
        With regards …

  2. I have a friend who believes pretty strongly in the A-H philosophy, and she has been trying to convince me to adopt it. I’m going through a difficult time right now financially – I had to leave a job for medical reasons and haven’t been able to find a new job since treatment – and she often brings up LOA ideas with the implication that I attracted this misfortune to myself, that I should – rather than discussing what I’m going through for validation or to brainstorm solutions – not even think about it. She also recommends actions – moving out of the place where I currently live, going on trips rather than saving the money I have, purchasing expensive homeopathic or spiritual items – that would put me further in debt, as well as insisting that I shouldn’t continue to visit doctors during my recovery.

    How can I get her to stop doing this? She is a friend of my family from way back; I’ve known her since I was a child. She is much older than me and genuinely seems interested in trying to support me, so I’m hesitant to argue with her over beliefs that I think got her through some really difficult times in her own life. But one of the CDs she gave me had Hicks implying that the Holocaust happened because Jewish people were too negative, and I’m now caught between trying to politely accept that she (my friend) hasn’t given this much thought (I brought it up to her, and her answer was not to worry about that part and focus on the positive), and my disgust that there is someone that people listen to who can insist that people who find themselves in bad situations through no fault of their own somehow ‘attracted’ that to them.

    I was hoping for advice, or a reference to somewhere I can find advice. Like I said, I don’t feel comfortable aggressively calling her out on her beliefs, but that those beliefs lead her to conclude that what has happened to me is a result of my being too negative, and that she keeps insisting this to me, is very emotionally distressing and makes me feel worse. I don’t know how to broach the subject rationally with her without triggering an argument or the response that ‘I just don’t get it’. I do get it; it just doesn’t make any sense.

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