Sunday, August 7, 2011

testing... is this thing on? Published Articles

I've already re-posted the Foibles of Abba article.  See same named post for details.  You can click on the "cult" side link for a quick post. It also happens to be my most popular post, so it can be found in that tab as well.

I'd like to add the bibliography of the other published articles that I have found. I have purchased them for my own use... you can too for a small fee from the publishing website of same named newspapers, unless you live in New York and can go to their office directly or microfiche them from your library.

The goal is same. Transparency.  Here is the information that exists, for people like myself on a journey for truth:

Charismatics Alive and Well on L.I.
Published: December 14, 1975
Copyright © The New York Times
" The Rev. Jack Hickman, pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church in North Massapequa, which, with the Christ Lutheran Church in East Meadow, is active in a Jewish mission, among other services, said that despite the fact that his church worked in the "power of the Holy Spirit," he did not consider St. John's to be a part of the Charismatic movement."  
""From the very beginning," Mr. Hickman said, "we have had to impose disciplines to avoid the many dangers of Charismatic thinking.  Charismatic people, he said, tend to drift from "blessing to blessing." and, in the end, lose sight of what they are supposed to be doing.""

So interesting... considering that is EXACTLY how I feel about Jack. Totally lost sight of whatever he started... maybe that was a good thing, but it sure messed up a lot of kids trying to be "perfect" and never being able to match up to what that meant because it was changing all the time. I wonder what sort of disciplines he was referring to? Was that the "passing of the seed" forced ejaculation parties, or the beatings/whippings for pre-marital sex?

The Jews for Jesus (and others too) are out to get your kids. By A. James and Marcia R. Rudin
Present Tense, the Magazine of World Jewish Affairs.
Summer 1977, Vol 4 (4).
"Onward (Hebrew) Christian Soliders, they're out to grab your kids."
"The Beth Yehoshua Hebrew Christians worship with Reverend Jack Hickman at his St. John's Lutheran Church in Massapequa or his Saturday evening service at the Christ Lutheran Evangelical Church in East Meadow. Several Jewish observers have estimated that at least three-fourths of his followers are Christians. Hickman, whose mother was Jewish, is known as "Pastor Jack" and "Abba" to his followers. He also runs Rebirth, a storefront counseling center, and a coffee house for Jewish teenagers, an elementary school and a retreat center.  Hickman's Hebrew Christian activities have drawn sharp criticism from other Lutheran ministers.  Last year Reverend Ronald Bagnall of Wyandanch, New York and other clergymen termed Hickman's movement "extremely divisive for Lutheran congregations." They accused him of "severe manipulation... sometimes leading to psychological disorder" among the group's members."

A more disturbing picture was the spotlight in the same magazine...
"An Adventure with Jesus"
It is 6 p.m. on a beautiful spring Saturday, moments before Jack Hickman's "Havdalah" service--which, among Jews, marks the end of the Sabbath and the beginning of the new week. Young men carrying walkie-talkies are standing guard around the Lutheran church in East Meadow, Long Island. Inside, other boys, at approximately six-foot intervals, line the walls of its large gymnasium.
About 500 people are there, nearly everyone sitting on the floor. Men and women are segregated. All the men wear yarmulkes; many of the women wear Mogen David necklaces or mezuzas.  One little girl sports in her pierced ears tiny dangling Mogen Davids which match her Mogen David necklace.
The crowd consists primarily of the teenagers, college students and young families with small children. Mothers with tiny babies look down on the proceedings from the glass wall of the nursery room above. (Colored letters spell out "An Adventure with Jesus" on the the nursery wall.) Small children are held on their mothers' laps or sit alone, dispersed throughout the crowd. There are some middle-aged, but only one or two old people. The group is middle-class, wholesome, clean-cut' it contains one black girl and a smattering of Orientals.
Everyone listens raptly and participates enthusiastically in the nearly two-hour service, most faces reflecting joy. Clearly, practically all of these people have been here many times before and know the procedure well.
In the center of the room are a temporary Ark, and a large square platform which functions as a bema, decorated with blue candles at each corner. A band plays Hebrew folk songs; everyone sings along and claps enthusiastically. Dancers leap onto the bema and perform Israeli-style folk dances.
Reverend Jack (Abba) Hickman begins his sermon. He is a heavy-set, bearded, middle-aged man, in an open necked sportshirt. His approach is causal and informal. Several young girls pull out Bibles and notebooks. They take notes as he begins his talk.
Hickman starts with a scripture reading from the New Testament, then rambles on for a half hour. God is a Living God, he says, working miracles in the world. (He frequently refers to God as "Ha Shem" -- "The Name.") God promised that the living Spirit would come into the world, and he has kept that promise. The Commandments and the Law are a means to an end only. One must believe and have faith. God is an exciting God--we never know quite what he is going to do-- "whether he is going to send us to the ovens or part the Red Sea for us." God's purpose can't be realized within the Christian Church or by Jews, but only by people dedicated to His Purpose. We must be ready to do whatever had to be done for the Plan, we must be ready to make any sacrifice, to give ourselves completely, to "proceed with absolute faith."
Jesus is mentioned only once, and then Hickman refers to him as "Yeshua." (Nor are Jesus, or "savior" or "Messiah" mentioned elsewhere in the entire service.)
After the sermon the singing resumes again, and then the audience forms small clusters, holding hands, their arms around each other. They close their eyes and being to pray. Hickman puts a large talis over his head and circles the bema. Then he blesses a large container of wine, and aides pour it into smaller goblets which are passed along to the group. A young man distributes pieces of a huge challah. All eat and sip together communally.
Hickman loudly sings a sort of chant praising and reciting Hebrew names for God. Individuals spontaneously repeat his phrases. One person offers an informal prayer, another quotes a scriptural passage. Everyone sways, eyes closed. Some people hum. Faces reflect ecstasy.
All then turn to face the Ark. It is thrown open; one glimpses the Torahs inside. The band once again plays joyous Hebrew songs. Everyone sings and claps, then raises his arms to the Ark. There is a loud cheer.
The service is over.
Friends greet each other; there is much chatting and laughing. They seem very close. No one approaches to welcome me, an obvious stranger--nor am I given material about the group or solicited to join it. I see a long line and follow it to table containing four bowls, two for general contributions and two labelled "tithes." The bowl is overflow with checks.
Outside, people are still lingering. Children romp on the ample church lawn. The sun is beginning to set.

Creepy. Just Creepy. That's all I've got for that one. I think the author did an excellent job of conveying what she thought was happening there. I think you get a glimpse that it is already a cult, he is already telling people to worship him.  The worst part for me is the part about needing to trust the Plan implicitly... to do whatever must be done. I just tingled all over with that one. Yuck.

2 L.I. Churches Hold Christian and Jewish Services by Irvin Molotsky
Published November 7, 1977
(C) The New York Times.
Has a photo of Jack giving a wedding service, to someone.

Follow up on the News: Accused Churches by Richard Hatch
Published: February 5, 1978
(C) The New York Times.

My favorite quotation of all time to describe the insanity of the group:
"Pastor Smestad comments: "Anything Pastor Hickman says I would just put quotation marks behind.""

And of course the most damaging article of all... bringing out more than just some church that lost its affiliation, but accusing the "pastor" of pedophilia and homosexuality while calling it a spiritual rite of passage:

The Foibles of Abba by Joseph Berger and Alan Finder
Published: August 15, 1982
(c) Newsday

Have more published articles about the Shoresh Yishai/Jack Hickman Cult? Post them to the comments section!


  1. Just read the whole "Foibles" article last night., not sure what to say. Still trying to wrap my mind around THAT plus 20+ years of rather unoriginal crap. Ugh.

  2. When I read it, then I read the Jack Hickman cult forum (see link in right side bar) and I just cried for three days. It shattered what was left of the rose tinted lenses for me, and allowed me to see them as they truly are.

    To steal their lines: just keep walking. Look for information, ask questions, share stories.

  3. Oh, I have questions. I just don't feel like listening to the same bs answers. I already know what the answers will be from anyone I ask here. I have always wanted to read that article, because I had heard enough about it. It was the big Hush Hush thing that no one would really talk about. I actually tried to find it a few years back and couldn't. I think the older generation really thought it would never come out. But they never expected the internet.
    One thing I have learned through the years- no one in this group really cares about what HAPPENS, they care about what comes out. If it doesn't make them look loving and good, it needs to go away. Too many things have just "gone away". An old friend turned me onto these pages. I don't read the Rick ross one much because I can't stand some of the posters. I'm not sure where to go from here. A part of me is pissed, part numb, part just stuck. Just not sure.

  4. please feel free to anonymously post any questions you may have and I'll tell you what I know. Since they seem so hard up on "fact" right now and "proof" I can tell you that there is mostly first hand accounts only, and stories. But any good reporter will always follow the story. There's bound to be some truth in it, and if you ask the right people, you'll get the answers you're looking for. Besides, weren't you all commanded today to not read my "gossip." Shouldn't that tell you something? So... ask away. What do you need to know? Let the angry monster that has been your repressed life rear its ugly head and break free.

  5. Did that actually happen?Everyone was told not to read your blog? Makes me wonder why no one bothered to tell me.
    There were abuses going on in my own family. I would love to know who knew. Who knew and did nothing. I really want to know. Nothing was ever done to change anything. Nothing. I never heard about anything going on in any other families, but I guess I wouldn't have with all the emphasis on gossip, and the "need to know" basis of info. I won't say too much about my own situation because I don't want to give up my identity, but I plan on asking the questions. And I'm pretty sure I know who to ask.

  6. I am TOLD that everyone was told not to read it by someone I consider a reliable source. It's "gossip."
    Anywho... there were abuses in my family too. I'd love to know who the elder was that helped my parents deal with a 10?? year old child who was raped! I'd love to have a little chat with them. Did other people "know." No. The less people know, they less it can squeel. They do a great job of it really.

    Abuse by parents is a whole other story. I feel that like that was condoned. I was so afraid of my father I used to piss my pants when I saw him move the wrong way. I'm not kidding. The last time I remember doing it I was 11 years old. There is something severely wrong with this picture. No one would have interceded.

    We even lived with another family at one point. My father (this is from my sister I didn't witness it) threw my sister down and literally started to beat her. The door was open. The dad from the other family saw it. I believe nothing was said. At all. Nothing at all was said.

    This same man, the man we lived with, was SO AWFUL to his first born daughter that she MOVED OUT, emancipated herself, and lived in foster care when she was still a young teenager.

    If people knew, they didn't ask questions. They didn't want to get involved. There was no one to ask for help. I don't know how often I heard "honor your mother and father" "Respect your elders." A lot. All the time. From all over the place.

    I once asked a prince's daughter something about it... about respecting your parents if they don't deserve it. She said well, there are a lot of definitions or respect aren't there?

  7. Someone just sent me a link to this site today. My first time reading all this stuff and it is quite eye opening.

    You and I are near in age and grew up somewhat away from the family - in PA - but still part of the family. I always felt very restricted by the group and decided to leave on my own in 2004. I had to seek out God on my own and I found my calling. Amazing things have happened along the way.

    My blood family still follows a lot of this stuff and they want to always communicate it to me. I play nice but they know I don't buy into it anymore.

    I am fortunate not to have the same experiences that you have had...really sorry to hear about the abuse you experienced. Sorry to not be a very good friend when we were younger too as I was very self-absorbed. Now that I am trying to recall...I know I was around some of this abuse and I just acted very aloof to it all.

    All the secrecy and elitism definetly marred my life growing up...I think I am about 90% grown out of it now that I have seperated myself from it for many years...however there are still pieces that haunt me...hence I am up late writing this.

    Wish you all the best and I am sincerely praying for your wounds to heal and those of anyone else who has been wounded in similar ways.

  8. Wounds? Wounds to heal? Thank you for the sentiment, but my wounds are fine. It's my sense of justice that is not appeased. My sense of justice is screaming. My sense of right and wrong is aching to be equalized. My wounds, whatever they are, wherever they are, are inconsequential to my sense of justice. My sense of justice says these people should not continue to ruin lives. My sense of justice says if people know about things, they should come forward. My sense of justice says... shit is going to hit the fan and I hope there is nothing, and I mean NOTHING left of this group when it does.

  9. I left Jack Hickman's church and the 'family' in the early 80's. I didn't really think they still existed after the sexual abuse allegations. Newsday magazine section did a big expose. I see you have an 1982 article from Newsday but I am pretty sure it was later than that in the 80's... The magazine section back then was not 'the Parade Magazine' like it is today. It was a regular Sunday Magazine section put out by Newsday itself. If you only left in 2011, I am just horrified they still exist. I am so sorry.

    1. I realize the 1982 article is the same article. after I've had a chance to read it. I am very sad this still exists. I left and cut myself out before this came down. There were rumors of things before I left, and I knew certain people in the inner circle couldn't just leave, they were threatened to be ruined if they did. I just kind of drifted off, never really made an announcement I was leaving. I was a single college student, had been a devoted part of it for about 8 years. I was legally disowned by my father at 18 because he didn't want his money -if he passed- going to a cult. My father called it a cult, but I didn't believe it. When I left I left because I couldn't uphold the Laws, I sinned and the focus on the jewishness didn't really leave room for mercy and repentance. It took me 10 years to come back to God and Jesus and probably about 14 years to get my head back on straight. I am on the other side, you too will eventually be on the other side. This has stolen too much already from you. I am so sorry anyone has to go trough this.