The curtain is pulled back on secretive cult NXIVM and its enigmatic leader - by one of the people who helped grow it into a powerful organization from the ground up.
We all have one of those friends - the one who kind of disappears, seems really into a weird organization, and maybe tries to sell you on a course, or signing up for multi-level marketing. Usually they’re just trying to sell you some skin cream or diet pills - but not in the case of Sarah Edmondson, who was part of cult NXIVM for 12 years. The Vancouver native shares her story of finding NXIVM through a friend, and attending some of their leadership seminars. She quickly rose through the ranks of the organization, spending thousands of dollars on courses, and encouraging others in her network to do the same, and withdrew from friends and family until she was firmly entrenched in the leadership circle. It takes a shocking event - and her entire world being turned upside down - for her to realize the truth about the organization, and this podcast explores that truth.
It’s a heartbreaking look at how people get sucked into cults, and a warning that it can happen to the girl next door. Don’t Google the organization - or Sarah’s story - until you’ve listened - the updates post-podcast make the story even more compelling.
Erin Bury is the co-founder and CEO at estate planning platform Willful. She’s a podcast enthusiast who listens to at least an hour of podcasts a day, & who has never met a crime podcast she didn’t like.