This week I had the privilege of speaking to Sarah Edmondson, defector of the NXIVM cult and author of “Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped the Cult that Bound My Life.” In 2005, when NXIVM, a personal and professional development company, promised to provide the tools and insight Sarah needed to reach her potential, she was intrigued. Over her twelve-year tenure, she went from student to coach and eventually operated her own NXIVM center in Vancouver. Questions kept coming up about the organization’s rules and practices, which came to a head in 2017 when she accepted an invitation from her best friend to join DOS, a “secret sisterhood” within NXIVM.
Sarah’s full story as a whistleblower is featured in the CBC podcast “Uncover: Escaping NXIVM” (downloaded over 25 million times) and “The Vow”, the critically acclaimed HBO documentary series on NXIVM. In 2019, Sarah published Scarred: The True Story of How I Escaped NXIVM, the Cult that Bound My Life, with Kristine Gasbarre. In this tell-all memoir, she shares her story from the moment she takes her first seminar to her harrowing fight to get out of NXIVM, collaborate with the FBI, help others, and heal.
Sarah is keeping the conversation via her own podcast, “A Little Bit Culty,” by exploring the fads, beliefs, and trends that blur the line between devotion and dysfunction. Co-hosted by her husband and fellow NXIVM whistleblower Nippy, the podcast is part conversational coffee date and part deep dive on everything from Waco to lululemon. And while there was nothing small about Sarah’s cult experience, “A Little Bit Culty” is grounded in her mission to help people understand, heal from, and avoid abusive situations, one little red flag at a time.
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