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It was actually a disturbing cult whose sociopathic leader kept sexual slaves and dealt out torture. For the past two years, year-old Canadian actress Sarah Edmondson has been slowly and painfully unpicking her past; trying to understand how she ended up being brainwashed by a cult. And how she became such a key figure in NXIVM that she ended up personally enrolling new members; from that group, women were tricked and coerced into ing a sorority where some were branded like cattle with white hot irons and forced into sexual slavery.
Today, welling up as she begins to speak, Sarah is visibly nervous. Two and a half years ago, Sarah escaped the cult — then helped to bring it down. What was this group promising that was so enticing?
I came for the personal development; I stayed for the skills for business. The course was challenging, but any discomfort she felt was explained away. Sarah ed up for a further 11 days of Explorations of Meanings which focused on a different emotional theme — for example, anger or fear — each day. Inconsistencies were rampant.
Sometimes the meeting would happen at 3am. I loved her coming to Vancouver to train our five-day programmes; my friends would come and relate to her. She was funny and told great stories. Over the years, as her connection with Lauren grew stronger, Sarah thrived professionally and personally, becoming a valued member of NXIVM and meeting her partner, Anthony Ames, who was also a member. They married in and had the first of their two children while still in the cult their second son was born earlier this year. She submitted a naked photo and a letter detailing past indiscretions.
I felt nauseous.
What did she think DOS involved? She would be coaching me. Sarah arrived for her DOS initiation in March believing she was getting a small tattoo. Nothing could have prepared her for what came next. She and four other women were told to undress and take it in turns to lie down on a massage table while the other women held them down. Each branding could take up to 40 minutes. It was horrendous. Mack has since admitted the branding was her idea. Being able to basically abuse other women and lie to them, I think she enjoyed that.
Ironically, it was Mark Vicente, the man who first brought Sarah into the cult, who encouraged her to escape. Raniere, Mack, the Salzmans and other senior figures in the cult were arrested a few months later. Lauren is in every picture, blanked out with a red heart.
However, she tricked me and lied to me, and she needs to be held able. In June this year, Raniere was found guilty on seven counts including sex trafficking, racketeering and conspiracy. He is due to be sentenced on Thursday 25 Septemberand faces a possible life term. We still talk about it daily. But my base assumption was that Keith was good. This month she publishes a memoir of Women want sex Edmonson time in the cult. And as for the haters — those who claim she was stupid for not realising what was really going on? in.
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Get help. YOU Magazine. Home Life. Later this week cult founder Keith Raniere is to be sentenced, potentially to a life term in prison. Allison Mack and Lauren Salzman are also awaiting sentence. Serenata Flowers has launched the first mood-boosting bouquets by a psychology expert. Popular in Life. May 19, January 1, The UK city with the happiest marriages has been revealed July 4, October 28, Popular .Women want sex Edmonson
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‘How did a girl like me end up in a sex cult?’ Sarah Edmondson on life in the NXIVM cult