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.

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