By a Long Time Observer:
ESP follows the standard LGAT (large group awareness training) model that Werner Erhard’s “est” made famous in the 1970’s (but he copied from many previous emterprises). The model has been tuned to reliably convince anyone that goes through it that they have made breakthroughs in self-knowledge and power.
Sarah Edmondson and Anthony Ames had the expected reaction to their first Intensives: “This was wonderful, I am eager to encourage everyone I know to sign up.”
It’s hard to believe that they did not know that Mr. Raniere was ‘boffing’ every attractive young woman that he could get to Albany. But there isn’t much evidence that the sex was not consensual (although not necessarily above the legal age of consent). The “consent” likely involved “brainwashing,” but the legal system isn’t equipped to deal with that.
And reasonable people could disagree about the moral or “ethical” issues….
Personally, I can’t blame them much if they made money funneling other people through the entry-levels that had helped them.
“Higher” levels of ESP seem, in my judgment, to reverse the usually positive results of the entry level trainings. “Exploration of meaning” sessions “discover” new “issues” faster than they resolve old ones. This is by design, to induce dependency, and thus continue the cash flow.
People like Anthony and Sarah were somewhat naive and/or gullible if they did not realize this was not happening. And they deserve blame if they did realize it but continued enrolling people for personal profit.
There isn’t enough public evidence to make that call.
Whether DOS really was just Allison Mack’s idea, or if Raniere was on board from the start, I can believe that Anthony and Sarah were kept in the dark about the blackmail, slavery, and genital branding of DOS for quite a while. Why tell them?
Of course, the reaction of an adult with actual ethics to revelations about DOS blackmail, slavery, and genital branding is “This isn’t right, you need to stop, right now. And if you don’t, I’m disassociating with you, right now. ”
All available evidence is that Anthony Ames and Sarah Edmondsen did exactly that.