In a bombshell new interview, actress Sarah Edmondson, who has appeared on shows such as Psych, Fringe, Andromeda, and Salvation, has revealed how she recruited hundreds of victims for Keith Raniere and his Nxivm sex slave cult.
Edmondson was involved with Nxivm until early 2017 when she publicly denounced the organization. In May of 2018, Edmondson revealed to the New York Times that supposed self-help organization Nxivm was in actuality a sex slave cult run by Raniere with assistance from former Smallville actress Allison Mack.
She revealed that in order to gain admission, members had to give their “master” (recruiter) naked photographs or other compromising material as insurance to prevent anyone from revealing Nxivm’s existence.
They were also branded with a two-inch-symbol below their hip. Edmondson stated that her brand was Raniere’s and Mack’s initials and she got it at Mack’s home in Albany.
On June 19, 2019, Raniere was convicted of sex trafficking, conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor. He is scheduled to be sentenced on September 25, 2019. Mack, who also played Amanda on the FX series Wilfred, was charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy. In April 2019, she pleaded guilty to racketeering and conspiracy charges charges and is now also awaiting sentencing in September.
During the interview, Edmondson explained how she recruited around 2,000 victims to the cult.
“You don’t attempt any kind of a pitch until you have established a rapport. That’s something that has always come naturally to me, just chit chatting and engaging with people. Part of pitching is that you kind of want to tailor the approach to the specific person and what they’re looking for,” she revealed, as she took the interviewer through a mock recruiting session.
Edmonson then asks her what she wants to achieve in her career and follows that up with, “And what is it that’s getting in the way of that? What are you doing to sabotage yourself?”
At that point she would launch into a sales pitch, “So what if I told you that you could take these classes and they would help you get to the root these problems of and how to work past them? You could stop being part of the problem and start being part of the solution, and you would only have to pay $2,500.”
If the recruit balked at the price, Edmonson would then try to guilt them, saying something like, “Maybe this isn’t for you. Maybe things are working well in your life the way they are.”
Edmondson also spoke about why, like Scientology, Nxivm was so popular with actresses.
“The one I co-founded in Vancouver was called 90210 because of all of the actors whose TV series shot there,” she explained. “The initial seminars help with a lot of the issues actors struggle with in terms of having confidence and needing to be validated. I can say from my own experience that after those early ESP [Executive Success Program] seminars, I felt like things were going really well for me.”
Mack also allegedly tried to entice stars like Emma Watson and Kelly Clarkson into the cult. They did not accept. However, another former Smallville star, Kristen Kreuk, did briefly join, but claimed her involvement with the group was limited to just taking courses.
Now, Edmonson is just glad she got out when she did, saying, “I’m grateful that I had what it took to wake up, I’m angry that they thought they could get away with that, I’m disgusted to have been a part of it, and I’m proud of myself for standing up to them.”
Read the entire fascinating piece over at Refinery 29.