Becca Friedman left NXIVM after spending more than two years there.
She gave a taped interview in Sept. 2010 to the Times Union which, to my knowledge, has never been transcribed and is therefore not searchable on the internet.
This is the transcript:
I view NXIVM now as an onion. The outer layers are really very harmless and beneficial.
As a student that’s what you experience are those layers. Because I enrolled three people overall so I was given the Yellow Sash and as we soon as that happened things started to shift.
We were all there because in some way we didn’t feel happy or fulfilled. Basically I was worried I was losing my kids.
He [Edward Kinum, Esther Chiappone’s boyfriend, in an effort to persuade her to leave her children] said, “Well are you happy with your kids?”
I said, “Well Yeah but I feel more happy up here [In Albany]’”
And so it became this [Kinum said] “Well here you are with your kids down in Woodstock and here you are up in Albany on your own and wouldn’t it be doing a disservice to stay in Woodstock with your family and not feel happy? Wouldn’t that be doing a disservice to yourself and your family and all of humanity when you could be up here feeling happy?”
I just remember feeling very Claus trophic all of a sudden, something that had never occurred in an EM or in the cafe area.
He kept saying it, and he kept saying it, because I kept choosing the family one [living in Woodstock with her children].
Finally, I chose [told Raniere] the living alone so that it could be over.
Yeah I think it is a cult. I think that any organization that teaches you do not need to rely on anyone or anything but yourself and the only way you can learn to do that is with that organization is a cult.
I definitely acknowledge that there are good parts. With any efficient cult you have to have a good hook and you have to keep them hooked on the good stuff for a really long time before you can start to do the real brainwashing and they had me hooked, but not enough.