Reader: Stop defending Sarah Edmondson

Sarah Edmondson appears in HBO's the Vow.

Editor’s note: I admit that I have defended Sarah Edmondson and believe, to this day, that she did a brave and game changing act – when she alone – of all the women who were branded – agreed to go on the record and in one heroic gesture, proved that what she was saying about DOS was true by showing the world her ‘brand.’

But for that single striking – self effacing – act, I think it unlikely that the world would have paid attention to the NXIVM story.

So whatever else anyone might wish to say about her – and her past – she did something so unique and singular – that it got the world and the Feds to take notice. So, I do defend her and will continue to defend her.

That said, I believe in the free exchange of ideas and allow criticism. I do not bar criticism of myself on this platform. I have observed that a lot of criticism has been hurled at Barbara Bouchey – and now here is a shaft at Sarah Edmondson.


From a reader:

You may publish the following, but please do not publish my name.

I recently read an article of yours defending Sarah Edmondson and her partner, and I think you are very wrong to do so.  As someone who was approached, and aggressively bullied by Sarah and several of her Vancouver Nxivm cronies for a couple years, I and many people I know in Vancouver feel that she and her former Nxivm colleagues in Vancouver (including Marissa Elliott (neé Cepinski), Rebecca Davis, and Alyson Epp (née Warnyca)) need to be held accountable.  I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about.

Please do not attempt to shield these women.  There are many of us, especially former yoga teachers and actors from Vancouver, who maybe never joined Nxivm but faced harassment, bullying and attempted extortion after declining to join at the hands of these women.

Please do not just blindly defend them.


[name redacted]



About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • When one is so passionate and has seen theirs and many of their friends lives improved, filled with peace purpose and joy it is common to go with the intensity to convince others to do the same.
    While some may consider this bullying it’s not uncommon in the business world and she was only doing what was common Within these self-help groups, businesses etc.

  • CH-CHING! Former NXIVM star Sarah Edmundson to star in TV show about NXIVM…following her as she and hubby will likely be asked to testify as the legal proceedings progress. With the Sarah Edmondson series, Brian Graden Media is staying in the docu series space following the success of the company’s six-part Oxygen true crime documentary The Disappearance of Natalie Holloway. At MTV, Graden developed and launched the 1998 documentary series True Life, which tackled such provocative topics as drug use, money issues, parental problems, phobias, sexual proclivities, and unique romantic relationships. He also oversaw countless music-based documentaries for MTV and VH1, such as Behind the Music and VH1 Rock Docs.

    BGM, which launched in 2013, has delivered 17 seasons of television and won an Emmy for Pivot’s HITRecord. The company is repped by WME. Edmonson is repped by Verve. Ross is repped by Foundry Media.

    Dynasty star Catherine Oxenberg has a book, Captive: A Mother’s Crusade to Save Her Daughter From a Terrifying Cult, that chronicles her efforts to get her daughter to leave NXIVM. It is the basis of a documentary, now in the works.

  • I can appreciate the fact that Sarah Edmondson has shown real remorse for all of the people she recruited into the cult–I wish I could say the same for Kreuk and other recruiters who have since left.

    • What remorse? She has made this about her. She even claimed on television she was the first to leave NXIVM! She knows that is bullshit. Has she reimbursed the hundreds of people she recruited into the criminal cult? Is she doing television appearences for free? She only left the cult because she was personally affected. That is bitterness, not remorse.

      You are spot on about Kristin Kreuk. Are you connected to NXIVM?

      • You’re the one that sounds bitter. Have you approached Sarah? Why don’t you talk to her instead of cowering behind a mask and writing defamotory statements on an internet forum?

        Hey? Instead of threatening people and trying to ruin their lives why don’t you just speak with them and ask for an apology?

        Stop taking the fact that someone tried to recruit you into their self development program so personally. They likely attempted to recruit everyone they met (and with good intentions). You’re not special, just angry and unable to move on).

        Get over yourself

        • 1) Never met Sarah Edmondson or anyone else in NXIVM.
          2) There was no “defamatory” statement.
          3) There was literally zero threats of any kind.
          4) “Trying to ruin their lives”!? Really?
          5) “Ask for an apology”?
          6) Was never approached to join NXIVM or any other cult.
          7) Move on from something that literally never happened?

          • BS. Why are you here and what’s your obsession with Sarah? If you don’t know her and you were never approached by NXIVM….?

            You’re an oddball for sure, CB.

      • Hindsight is 2020. Have you gone and made restitution to all of those you’ve hurt in your lifetime through maybe a lie or gossip or just normal human behavior.

    • Literally everyone that was in NXIVM was taught and encouraged to recruit. Are you expecting everyone to contact every single person they pitched and offer an apology? Have you apologised to every single person in your life that you mistakenly provided false information to (with good intentions)?

      What’s your obsession with Kruek? It’s weird to read comments from people with nothing better going on in their own lives so they focus on other people

      • A commentater posted a comment about Edmondson and Kreuk. Another commentater responded. Simple as that. People read Frank Report because they have an interest in the NXIVM story, just like politics, the Hollywood casting couch or a war somewhere.

  • On this blog post, “Was There, Saw That” claimed Sarah Edmondson was involved sexually with Keith Raniere. Is there any truth in that? Does anyone have any information on the possibility of that?

    • I haven’t read anything about that. But does that matter? Many times leaders coerce members to have sex with them. It’s not our business whether Keith sexually abused her or not. If he did, that’s up to her if she wants to share that.

      • Read through the comments of this post and you will find the claim. It was posted July 17th. The person making the claim did not say anything about “sexual abuse”. The person claimed Sarah Edmondson was involved sexually with Keith Raniere.

        • Anonymous, so are you going to believe someone’s “claim” they made in a comments section of an article? I sure hope you don’t believe everything you hear.

          • Elizabeth H, it was a question regarding a claim someone had made. No more, no less.

  • I have a great deal of respect for what Sarah Edmonston has done since leaving, and continues to do.

    People are allowed to grow and improve themselves.

    She is clearly not the same woman she was years ago.

    I just hope for her sake she had made her peace in advance with Canada Revenue and / or the IRS for all the unreported income.

  • Sarah made both penance and an act of contrition by stepping forward. Those who were once her victims need to realize that had she not done so, their own upset would never be made known. Some things are beyond forgiveness, those things being the actions of Keith and the Bronfmans, Allison – Sarah should be forgiven for having become a victimizer after having been made a victim.

    • There’s a huge difference between forgiveness and breaking the law. I haven’t seen any evidence Sarah broke the law, there’s lots of evidence the rest of those you mentioned did. According to the Bible, there is only one sin that is unforgiveable, and Raniere & Co. didn’t commit it as far as I know.

  • shadowstate1958, so what are you suggesting about this photo? That Sarah was secretly Allison’s “slave”?

    I agree this photo is a little odd…if anything they look pretty cozy together here. When I first saw this picture and a couple of others I kind of wondered what was going on. But Sarah barely even mentions Allison in the clips I’ve seen from the A&E special. She talks about Lauren. That was really my only point, that she talks about Lauren and how Lauren is the one who invited her to DOS, collected her collateral, and talked her into the branding ritual. It’s not that Allison has no culpability – that’s not what I’m saying at all. I was specifically referring to the “master/slave” relationship that Sarah herself talks about having with *Lauren*, not Allison.

    It is possible for more than one thing to be true in this very complicated story. We don’t have to assign all blame to a single person. I think we call that “scapegoating.”

  • How does Allison figure in here? Lauren is the one who got Sarah into DOS, according to the A&E special.

    I agree with your overall point that we should blame the perpetrators and not the victims. It just doesn’t seem like Allison was the perpetrator in Sarah’s case.

    • How does Allison figure in here?
      Lauren is the one who got Sarah into DOS, according to the A&E special.

      Allison figures into the story in a number of ways.

      1.) The brand on Sarah Edmondson is K – R – A – M, the combined initials of Keith Raniere and Allison Mack.
      Allison Mack essentially confessed in the New York Times that she came up with the idea of branding women. Mere tattoos were not enough.

      2.)The branding allegedly occurred in a townhouse rented b y Allison.

      3.) Allison had supposedly told Sarah Edmondson that she would only get a tattoo, not a brand.

      4.) And Allison was the leader of the 3 or 4 women who were holding down Sarah Edmondson while the maniac Doctor Danielle Roberts was applying the hot cauterizing iron to Sarah Edmondson’s flesh.

      “The brands were of K-R and A-M, the initials of Keith Raniere and Allison Mack.
      Some women had their ‘A-M’ right side up and others had it ‘crazy’ – or upside down.
      Lauren Salzman – who is one of the most vigorous recruiters and enthusiastic DOS slaves – has her AM upside down.
      The joke is on the fool.
      It is believed that the dunce did not know what the brand symbolized. She found out later that the A-M [upside down, or ‘crazy’, in the parlance of cattle branding ] stood for Allison Mack’s initials.
      She was deeply upset.”

    • The Hollywood Reporter also covers how Allison Pimp Mack ruled the slaves under her direction.
      With an Iron Fist.

      But another woman who spoke with two of Mack’s alleged DOS slaves at length says that during the very same period, Mack was deep into her role as a “master” of DOS and running the organization with brutal efficiency. “These slaves said Mack was incredibly intimidating, cruel and punitive,” says this woman, who declined to speak on the record because of the ongoing case. The slaves told her that Mack threatened to release the collateral she had gathered on them if they didn’t sleep with Raniere. “You made a lifetime vow!” she says Mack screamed at them. “She berated them and told them they were worth nothing, that they were weak and couldn’t uphold their word,” says the woman. She told them if they refused her orders, dated other men, left the group or refused sex with Raniere, they would be destroyed. Both women were in Mack’s “slave pod,” and both were eventually branded.

    • Lauren Salzman is also Allison Mack’s slave.
      Lauren is regarded as a bit to old for Raniere and Allison’s status as a celebrity made Allison more valuable to NXIVM than Lauren.

      “Lauren Salzman, as a member of DOS, has made a vow of lifetime slavery to Mr. Raniere. Sources say she is branded in the pubic region with the initials of Keith Raniere and Allison Mack.
      She is a slave to both Mr. Raniere and Miss Mack – which is a surprising fact since she served longer than Miss Mack.”

      “It is understandable from Mr. Raniere’s perspective why Miss Mack was promoted above her. Miss Mack, with her fame as an actress, can attract young actresses. The presence of beautiful young women are good for business. They present an aura of vivacity, prestige, and excitement.
      In addition Miss Mack is 34, while Miss Salzman is nearly 40.”

      • shadowstate58, my point was simply that Sarah would’ve been in Lauren’s “slave pod” and not Allison’s. Therefore the person more directly responsible *in her specific case* would be Lauren and not Allison. That’s all…

        • But Lauren is Allison’s direct slave just as Allison is Vanguard’s slave.

          In the NXIVM hierarchy even if Sarah were Lauren’s slave she would also be Allison’s slave and Vanguard’s slave.

          Here is what the hierarchy would be under your theory:

          Vanguard Top tier

          Allison Second tier

          Lauren Third tier

          Sarah Slave

          Sarah would be a slave to everyone directly over her.

          And the branding occurred at Allison’s rented townhouse under Allison’s direction.

          “Ex-Nxivm Member Was Branded at Allison Mack’s Home (Exclusive Video)”

          Allison Mack was never shy about lording it over the slaves under her direction.

          • shadowstate1958,

            I see your point about the hierarchy. I guess I do remember reading (I think here) that Lauren is somehow Allison’s “slave.” I guess it doesn’t make sense to me that someone could be both “slave” and “slave master.” If I’m a “slave,” it would be hard for me to take my “slave master” seriously if I know that she is also someone’s slave. (Of course, this entire thing would be impossible for me to take seriously, but that’s because I’m a thinking person who sleeps normally and has a healthy appetite.) This system is obviously incredibly flawed, but since it was at least partially designed and enforced by starving, sleep-deprived women, what else could we expect?

            However….my point about Sarah’s comments in the A&E special still stands. Sarah doesn’t talk about Allison; she talks about Lauren. I guess I think of it in the same way as when I worked for a huge corporation: I had multiple bosses, but I only directly reported to *one.* That boss had the most direct influence over me. Yes, decisions were handed down from above to *that* boss, but that boss was still *my* boss and the one that I dealt with all the time. But not having been in a cult, my thinking on this could be flawed…

            I hope this comment posts in the right place.

  • The wolves are out circling those left weakened by the beat down of NXIVM and need to do more whip ass on those that have left. REALLY!

    Isn’t it more important that Sarah and other finally woke up, got out and help to expose these clowns for who they are?

    Was there information long before that those that just left over the last 18 months totally ignored? Yes, a lot of it and they turned a blinds eye.

    Has Sarah worked on healing herself and others? Yes, Sarah has done a great deal to help with healing.

    Was she the first to expose NXIVM? No, exposure has been going on for a very long time. I think she is the only branded woman to come forward publicly.

    Was she the only one who went to the authorities? No, this has been going on for years

    Is she the only one working with the FBI, No, there are a lot of people who have come forward with information.

    The branding and sex slave issues are the kind of thing the PRESS eats up because of it’s shocking nature

    The reality is, there is so much more that will come to light in the next few months and Raniere and his criminals will be stopped.

    Who did what when is not really the important thing.

    What is important is for those that have left turn over any information they know to the FBI or you could be part of Raniere’s conspiracy.

    If you feel damage by anyone who had left NXIVM and is working to expose the truth, I’d suggest you seek out therapy to work on your own healing. Contact the person you feel harmed you and talk with them now. Your anger towards them is only hurting you at some point.

    Personally, what is important to me is Sarah is out, helping to expose the truth and she is healing herself and helping to heal others.

    • I’m having a difficult time understanding the relevance of what an anonymous person wrote. It sounds like someone may have had a poor experience with Sarah but that doesn’t discount Sarah’s experience of abuse in a cult. I have a difficult time believing that Sarah’s is lying. I don’t know many people who would willing choose to be branded. Not to mention, Sarah isn’t the only one speaking out about this cult. Many others have come forward as well.

      Also anyone can be abused, including mean people and “bullies” as the anonymous person stated… Honestly when I read this article as an outsider, it made me wonder if the unnamed person is actually involved in NXIVM and is trying to defend it… I don’t understand how one can speak for a lot of other anonymous people and be anonymous herself and expect to come off as credible. 🤔

      Please let’s focus on keeping Keith behind bars and exposing NXIVM so that no one goes through this horrific cult experience. I’m not interested in figuring out whether Sarah is a “good” person or not.

  • Let’s not blame Allison Mack and her banshees for torturing Sarah Edmondson.
    Let’s blame Sarah for not leaving NXIVM sooner.

    Blame the victim, not the perpetrators.

      • This doesn’t mean anything. Just because someone still hangs out with NXIVM members after they’ve left doesn’t mean they are still in it. Leaving NXIVM doesn’t necessarily mean you’ve left on bad terms and that you can’t still interact with people in the group in a friendly manner.

        • You clearly don’t know about leaving NXIVM.

          At a minimum, you are shunned.

          If you speak out, you are outright attacked.

          • Kristin Kreuk did not leave NXIVM for moral ethical reasons. She simply moved to Toronto where NXIVM was apparently not established. She was not shunned or attacked by NXIVM because she did not turn her back on them, despite all the evidence out there and likely internal insider knowledge.

          • An ex NXIVM member on this site said Kristin Kreuk would drive for four hours every Saturday from Vancouver to Seattle to teach NXIVM bullshit. While filming Beauty and the Beast in Toronto in 2012, Kreuk was still coaching in Albany. She was definitely in Albany in June 2012.

          • Plenty of people have left NXIVM and had no issues with members who still exist in it. It is only those people who have had insider knowledge about the internal wrongdoings of the cult or had offended Keith in some way, e.g., by having an intimate relationship with him and then later rejecting him like Toni Natalie or Barbara Bouchey, who have had to suffer its wrath through litigation and other means.

          • I’d have thought NXIVM would have put very strong pressure on such a high profile celeb like Kreuk who considers leaving,

          • You can’t make someone stay who hasn’t done any wrongdoing. You have nothing to hold over their head. And if they leave quietly without controversy and have a viable excuse in that work – it is a program for executive success after all – is taking up most of your time, what are they going to do? Start harassing her? Start threatening her? She probably had other friends and other work and personal relationships outside of the cult, so it isn’t like she was just bound to her friendships and relationships there and was now all alone without any other social support. And notwithstanding any debates over what level of celebrity she is, i.e., B, C, etc., she is still one of Canada’s most famous ones. NXIVM couldn’t just start harassing a relatively well known celebrity and not face any consequences. It would be counterproductive. NXIVM had no power over her if she just minded her own business and left quietly without causing it any trouble.

          • “NXIVM has nothing to hold over [Kristin’s] head.”
            Doesn’t NXIVM have something on everyone in the group?
            Isn’t part of their “tech” getting you to reveal your faults, weaknesses and secret shame so you can “improve” yourself, especially in EM’s? And aren’t those personal revelations recorded in some may? And can’t that be used to pressure those they don’t want to leave?
            Maybe someone leaving who, to NXIVM, was just a wallet to lighten could be ignored. But Kristen was the face of the cult, the respectable mini-icon that could draw in others, especially actresses…but if she left that could be a red flag to recruits that something was wrong.

  • You can’t blame Sarah for:

    1. What she didn’t know;
    2. Being gradually sucked into the scam;
    3. Thinking she was delivering a valuable service (and making money from it) that was pure BS; and
    4. Trying to get others involved for something she believed in.

    Is this how Amway and other MLM scams work? BINGO! I wonder where Raniere learned this? Did he just wake up one day and decide to start the NXIVM MLM scam? After all, he was the smartest man on the planet (gag!). Or did he originally learn it with Consumers’ Buyline? Neither. He was in Amway and applied the principles to the rest of his pathetic life. I’m not confused at all, I know EXACTLY how this happened.

  • “As someone who was approached, and aggressively bullied by Sarah and several of her Vancouver Nxivm cronies for a couple years, I and many people I know in Vancouver feel that she and her former Nxivm colleagues in Vancouver (including Marissa Elliott (neé Cepinski), Rebecca Davis, and Alyson Epp (née Warnyca)) need to be held accountable. I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about.” I have no idea what you are talking about. Explain further.

  • Sarah Edmondson joined NXIVM more than a decade ago, and as a rising member recruited 100’s to it’s ranks, including Grace Park, and Kristin Kruek, (who recruited Alison Mack)
    Sarah Edmondson opened the Vancouver site and no-doubt has loads of NXIVM materials, one story printed here suggests she was making 20K a month,
    it seems to me after watching her interviews that she really went off the plantation when she realized she had branded with KR initials, then she quit, and a large number of Vancouver Nexies left and the Vancouver Site closed, I believed Clare Bronfmen was coming after her and I don’t think she had much choice, but to expose the branding,
    Did she go to the police or did she go to the press, is she working with law enforcement as a witness, or is she working a deal to make a movie,
    By her own admission she sat on the arms and legs as others girls were assaulted with the hot iron and shrieking in pain.
    It’s my opinion, every single woman who participated should be charged with assault and brought in for serious questioning and possible arraignment, things might begin to pick up after that

    • According to the 2011 NXIVM coach list revealed by John Tigue of the Saratoga in Decline blog, Kristin Kreuk indeed recruited Allison Mack, but Kristin Kreuk was referred by Mark Hildreth, not Sarah Edmondson.

  • Since Keith Raniere is so fond of Hitler stories I will relate a couple of stories about Hitler and his followers who broke with der Fuehrer.

    One of the industrialists who financed Hitler and the Nazis was Fritz Thyssen who owned a major steel company.
    Thyssen was with Hitler until 1939 until Hitler started World War 2.
    Thyssen openly opposed the war and Hitler sent him to a concentration camp.
    Thyssen managed to survive the wart as a prisoner.

    Is Thyssen a fiend or a hero?

    Another Nazi who broke with Hitler was his close personal friend Ernst Hanfstaenel.
    Hanfstaengel was part American and part German.
    Hanfstaengel even was a Harvard classmate of Franklin Roosevelt.
    Hanfstaengel helped Hitler attain power.
    But ultimately other Nazis, led by Joseph Goebbels, plotted to kill Hanfstaengel by throwing him from an airplane.
    When he learned of the plot Hanfstaengel quickly left Germany and the Nazi party.
    He ended up in America and helped the US government by providing psychological insight into Hitler’s mind.

    Is Hanfstaengel a fiend or a hero?

  • IMO, the fact of the matter is this:

    Sarah helped build NXIVM clientele in Vancouver while Mark Vicente did so in LA. They were partners with each other. They did this for over a decade and probably made quite a bit of money doing so. There were a lot of red flags concerning NXIVM that they simply ignored or overlooked: The opinion of Rick Ross, the harassment through litigation, the many negative articles, many upper level people leaving, Raniere’s business and sexual history, etc. When a lot of money is involved, it’s easy rationalize all of these negatives away and that’s what they did. It’s easier to make excuses to yourself, i.e., to treat someone wrongly or ignore the issues even though your gut tells you otherwise when material benefits are involved, or it is something you really want, like a movie star role where you have to fuck the producer to get it. But it comes even easier when you fall for the teachings of a cult rooted on the self-serving philosophy of Ayn Rand and which was pretty good in its control tactics, mixing in a lot of existing good beliefs and methods that it ripped off from elsewhere in with the secretive bad. However, it’s not like the latter was hidden behind a ten foot think steel vault of the highest security. There was already a lot of controversy surrounding the group, which was most likely overcome by typical cult tactics like love bombing, or in convincing its participants that they were doing something special, and like many movements in the past that brought positive change which faced an uphill battle, controversy, and struggle, that they too were in the same boat. In doing so, it also ingratiated the narcissistic attributes and need for validation that exist in people in various levels.

    Sarah obviously helped take it down, but she’s not some epic hero to me. You can’t see the future, nor can you change the past. She’s just trying to make amends and do the right thing today.

  • Sarah was indoctrinated like most of those still trapped in NXIVM, that she was able to break free, no matter how long or what trigger it took, is to her credit. Like the others the things she may have done son’t magically go away, but everything has to be viewed through that lens. Anything she did was while she was in a fog and being manipulated.

    • Sarah Edmonson knew what she was doing and what she was a part of. Same with Emiliano Salinas, Mark Vicente and all the other cultists. At what point do you take personal responsibility?

      • Wasn’t coming forward and showing everyone her brand and telling her story part of taking personal responsibility? She had to start somewhere. If she hadn’t done that, people would be far less aware of what was going on with this cult. She was not the first to speak out about NXIVM, but her doing so raised a huge amount of awareness about what was going on.

        • Sarah Edmondson only came forward because she was personally affected, not for moral or selfless reasons. In fact, didn’t she only leave the cult after realising whose initials were scorched onto her flesh? That’s not taking personal responsibility for what she has done and been a part of. The NXIVM nine confronted Keith Raniere in 2009(?) and questioned him on how what he preaches and practices are two separate things. That is taking responsibility. It angered Edmondson that this time, she was the one affected by the cult. The New York Times essentially provided enough publicity by running with Edmondson’s story to get the authorities to pull their fingers out of their asses and investigate. If anything, the NYT can lay claim to bringing down NXIVM. What if they wrote a hit piece on the early victims and opponents of NXIVM? Because the press chose to go with this story (DOS), Sarah Edmondson has been thrusted right to the forefront as the face of the anti-NXIVM movement, when others before her, who she ignored, were not given a platform by the mainstream press. Barbara Bouchey, Toni Natalie, Susan Dones, the NXIVM nine, Frank Parlato, John Tigue, Gina Hutchinson, Kristin Snyder, Joseph O’Hara and Rick Ross did not get the press coverage Sarah Edmondson is currently enjoying. It would of been nice if the New York Times did a hit piece on NXIVM and Keith Raniere in 2012 with the Times Union expose. Now, a top NXIVM member who stayed loyal right until NXIVM’s final few months is getting credit that others deserve. There are comments on this site saying Edmondson claimed she was the first to leave! Outrageous.

          • Anonymous, I do totally get your point. And, I won’t pretend to know what Sarah’s true motives were for finally coming forward. It’s entirely possible that it was for selfish purposes only. Even if that’s the case, it still stands that her coming forward *did* bring greatly increased attention to this issue, and at substantial risk to herself. You might say the risk has paid off, or will pay off for her in some way, thereby strengthening the case that she did this entirely for selfish purposes. It’s possible for people to be selfish and still help others, whether intentionally or unintentionally, in the process. And, I think it’s possible that Sarah was given a platform for her story instead of the NXIVM Nine because she’s an actress, and she’s someone that people will pay attention to. The nine people who came forward earlier were not celebrities, and so our wonderful media were not as interested in their story. That’s just unfortunately the way the world works.

        • Kristin Kreuk is the most famous known member of NXIVM. More so than Sarah Edmondson. She was named in the February 2012 Times Union expose that spoke about paedophilia, rape, tax evasion, money laundering, harassment, lawsuit terrorism and more. She stayed in at least another year still coaching in Albany. The press should of made a move in 2012. So many missed opportunities.

  • This has been one of the troubling issues (to me) as this whole story has unfolded.

    Once branded, Fair Sarah made the best of a bad situation. She found herself on the front page of the New York Times. Very hard to believe that any of her work as a “Voice Actress” or bit player on the Hallmark Channel could have gained her so much exposure.

    Ms. Edmondson, as best as I can tell, was drenched in NXIVM Kool Aid until the moment her flesh was seared. Review some of her quotes, about some “veil being lifted” the first time she met Raniere. She confesses to having missed the wedding of a dear friend so that she might attend Vanguard Week.

    Ms. Edmondson’s husband’s reaction to the branding of his wife? An angry email? Whimpering to one of the Salzman girls “How could you do that?” Sorry, if you violate my wife in that way, you are in the hospital and I am composing this post from a penitentiary.

    I do not know if Ms. Edmondson is being paid for appearances on shows such as 20/20 or her A&E appearance. I have read that she and her husband are apparently working on some kind of film treatment of the NXIVM cult.

    I do not know what the current state of “Son of Sam” laws is; I am aware that they have been challenged in some jurisdictions as impairing the artist/author’s First Amendment rights. My opinion is that Ms. Edmondson should not profit from any appearances or productions that are based on her TEN YEARS AT THE TOP OF THE NXIVM VANCOUVER PYRAMID; I know that the victims of the Vancouver NXIVM operation…and to me that would be anyone duped or pressured or bullied into paying for NXIVM pseudo science… could probably be easily identified.

    A commenter who seemed to have a good grasp of the law stated that the notion of a class action against NXIVM as a corporate entity (albeit rather inert at this point) was not practical/ Where then will the proceeds of all of the seized properties of NXIVM go?

    • As wimpy as Sarah’s husband was in reacting to the abuse his wife received, most NXIVM males were even wimpier in dealing with Raniere’s long term use and abuse of their wives.

      The only “Alpha” male allowed in NXIVM is the Vanguard himself.
      The other males range from Beta males all the way down to Omega males.

    • Son of Sam only applies to people convicted of a crime. Sarah is unlikely to even get indicted. If anything she is gonna be a primary witness in the NXIVM trials.
      But I also seriously doubt that she was involved in any of the criminal activities of the inner circle of the NXIVM leadership. Same applies to nearly all NXIVM members.
      It were the ones continuously close to Raniere, the Bronfmans, the Salzmans, and of course the top tier of DOS who were deep into the illegal stuff.

      • Yes Anonymous I jumped the gun with Son of Sam.

        I do not know or dislike Sarah Edmondson. That being said, it seems like there is a distortion of equity (yes, I know, it’s more a financial term than a legal one) if Ms. Edmondson or Mark Vicente or any of the folks at the top of the NXIVM/ESP Pyramid(at any time), folks who made good money and were instructed by their leader in the amorality of paying taxes, profit (tangibly or intangibly) while others were bankrupted and tormented.

  • It’s sad to see people with so much anger towards the former NXIVM members that are all now out.

    You do realize that these people are all victims of Keith? They truly believed that they were doing good when trying to recruit you. I was recruited like everyone else and I don’t harbour any I’ll will towards anyone.

    Threatening FB messages and slanderous letters to Frank are the signs of an angry unbalanced individual with nothing better going on it life.

    Slandering is now a very serious offense and a judge in Vancouver recently awarded $150k to a woman whos busienss was a victim of an online relentless sladering.

    • I feel the same way and I was deep in and harmed. There is nothing good coming from blaming people and using names of other victims. Yes, unbelievably, we all thought we were contributing to good things in the world. Some knew more than others, but if you don’t understand HOW we were programmed and WHAT we were programmed to believe, please save your commentary in this. We were all victims. I too recruited people and pushed to get people enrolled. It is something I HAVE TO LIVE WITH. I’m not sure how one would even quantify apology/making amends. Please, if you aren’t directly involved with this or know myself or my friends directly, stop with your opinions. Frank, this used to be a safe space for us but I have seen it go from expians voicing their news and concerns to people who feel some “need” to comment. I’ve been quite silent on this, but after this post, I can’t any longer. I don’t know any Expians directly involved who go on here anymore let alone comment. So for those who think they are hearing what’s actually going on with us, sadly you aren’t. You are hearing mostly supposition and opinion from those who are fascinated with our stories/lives. If you were hearing from us you would hear how’s broken we feel, how we continue to repair the fucked up pieces of our lives, how we feel about the arrests and pending trials. For me, hearing this would not compel me, as an outsider, to comment anything but, “I hope you heal. I’m sorry for commenting on the rumours and hearsay I’ve heard.”

      • To Mike Drop Out: Very well said and I wish you peace and healing and joy. You got this Mic Drop Out!!. . My message to a former Espian who I had the chance to sit down with was to not look at their time in NXIVM as a mistake but as a life lesson. Do not live your life with regrets.

        Here is a take away from AA’s promises which anyone who is in any form of recovery can use (and that means exiting a High Demand Group such as ESP/NXIVM: We will not regret the past nor wish to shut the door on it.

        And my message to my fellow outsiders it will all do you a lot of good to remember restraint of tongue and pen.

  • While Sarah Edmondson was a high ranking NXIVM member in Vancouver, I have always considered that she might not have been fully aware of what was happening at the NXIVM headquarters near Albany.

    Sarah had no idea that she would be branded in such a brutal, inhumane way.

    Sarah no doubt knew of Raniere’s promiscuous lifestyle but had no idea that Raniere considered his girl friends to be slaves.
    Moreover, Sarah had no idea that Raniere was engaged in sexual relations with children, not just consenting adults.

    Lastly, there are some photos of Sarah Edmondson with Allison Mack in very friendly poses.
    The pictures of Edmondson and Mack show Allison Mack being somewhat possessive of Sarah.
    Perhaps Sarah regarded Allison as a friend but Allison felt that she “owned” Sarah in some fashion.

    All that said until there is contrary information I will consider Sarah Edmondson to be a hero who exposed a wrong at the possible cost of personal embarrassment to herself.

    • Sarah Edmonton stayed in the cult, recruiting for them five years after Keith Raniere exposed as a paedophile. There were plenty of opportunities to leave and publicly condemn the cult. She only did so after she was personally affected. That is why she is being criticised.

      • Some people need to experience a lot before the scales fall from their eyes.

        Maybe Sarah should have done so earlier but at least she spoke out at great risk to her reputation.
        Better late than never.

  • The girl who sent that email to Frank has sent several threatening messages over Facebook to Sarah and others and has also written (anonomously) to former NXIVM members in Vancouver – threatening them to pay her $$$$$ into Bitcoin accounts, otherwise she will attack the person’s friends and family.

    The police are aware of her name and where she lives in Vancouver. They have been provided evidence against her and are waiting for her to take on more sladerous activities before arresting her.

    She uses the exact same language in all of her communication, citing Yoga studios.

    • How would you know if this same woman who emailed Frank also threatened anyone on FB? You have no way to know that. If she threatened anyone using a FB account, shes not very bright, at all. Lol

      And accusations that Sarah had a sexual relationship with Keith? I haven’t heard that before, and you may want to consider the legal implications of saying that, if it’s not true.

      • Hey stupid, yes they do. You know easy it is to get an ISP number and then track someone down. Beware.

        • Apparently you can’t understand my point. How do YOU know who sent this email to Frank? Did Frank phone you and give you the details?

          And no…you can’t just get a street address from someone’s ISP. You can only get that if there is reason to fear for someone’s safety and the police then force the ISP to provide that info. So if this person just recently emailed Frank, and these threats just occurred recently, then what you claim is impossible, and you are lying.
          And I already know the priority the Vancouver RCMP place on threats of this kind. . It’s not too high in their list.

          • Anonymous, are you implying you have the ability to hack into an Internet service providers computer system and steal people’s personal information?

            If I were you, I wouldn’t publicly brag about committing a crime like that. I wonder if that crime will get you jail time or just a hefty fine?

        • Your threat and language is unacceptable on this forum.

  • I personally hold Sarah to the same standard as I have advocated for Barbara Bouchey. Before you get all caught up in telling – and selling – your story, how about doing something for all the people that you hurt, financially and otherwise, while you were extolling the virtues of NXIVM.

    Both of these women rose to a very high rank in NXIVM, recruited a lot of people into the cult, and made a lot of money for doing so. And both had a sexual relationship with Raniere – which continued long after they found out they were not his only paramour (I know Barbara now denies that happened but it’s the truth).

    The other thing I find hard to accept with Sarah is her new claim that she was the “first to leave NXIVM”. WTF are you talking about, Sarah? You know that’s 100% not true.

  • I had no involvement in NXIVM, but I agree that these types of comments could easily be faked, especially at this point in time, when it looks like the shit is about to hit the fan, and a number of NXIVM members are probably very worried.
    Casting anonymous doubt on others may be a way to lash out.

    Anyways, no matter what people may, or may not have done, an investigation should uncover the truth. If this anon emailer is telling the truth, I presume that law enforcement will be in touch with her.

      • Claims of Internet harassment are pretty low priority…so I seriously doubt the police obtained a warrant to force the ISP to give then the personal info on this person.
        My comment about police investigation means that I’m sure the police in Canada will question everyone associated with NXIVM in Vancouver after arrests are made in New York. If there has been harassment, it should come out eventually.

  • Let us be honest here. She stayed in a position of power for many years and profited from being a higher up in a MLM pyramid scheme. She made money there, maybe a lot of it and caused harm to other people who might have ended up in the library. The moment she turned around was when she got physically hurt by NXIVM and not a second earlier.

    • FDC’s facts are valid and can’t be disputed. SE made money, lured others in, and after ignoring years of red flags didn’t speak out till she was hurt personally.
      That said…
      SE was brainwashed by the cult (subjecting herself to the branding proves it) and her coming forward in a publicly humiliating way probably did more to get the truth about NXIVM out to the general public than did years of the Frank Report.
      So pick your side…few whistleblowers are clean as a whistle.

      • She did not subject herself to branding. She spoke about a small tattoo and that is it. She was part of the system or problem as long as it benefitted her. And yes, she did not know every detail of the system but she was a part of it.
        When it comes to that I have to think about the Nuremberg Trials. Being a subordinate and only receiving orders or being part of an unlawful organization without trying to do something is punishable. She was not only a member of such an organization but someone who DIRECTLY benefitted from it. She was someone who did not ask questions until she got physically and mentally hurt.
        And what is happening now? SE became the hero who makes money as she sells the story from a victim’s point of view who was just by accident leader of the NW Canada chapter.

  • Perhaps true and perhaps an attempt to discredit Sara Edmondson who will most probably be a witness in the case against the NXIVM horde and its Vangagmewithaspoon? There are too many of the flying monkeys still out there for me to accept this at face value. After all, Vangagme himself passed for innocuous at face value for too long. Appreciate you expressing your concerns.

  • It is a tough call. I never met Sarah, but we have friends in common. She could be a bit high-strung.

    But at the same time, she did a very brave thing by coming forward. She faced a ton of criticism. And many of us (including me) did not believe her at first. But when the story finally broke fully, it was like a tidal wave that crashed down on NXIVM.

    I don’t know what the right answer is. But for sure, the first step in REDEMPTION is coming forward to help others and admitting your mistakes.

    There were other people in the Vancouver group that engaged in criminal activity. Will their day ever come? Who knows. . .

  • Whatever the truth of this situation is, one thing is worth bearing in mind. Whistleblowers are often not angels themselves. After all, to be a whistleblower you have to have been on the inside.
    We can’t know what is in her mind, but I would imagine that Edmondson is a different person now, than who she was when she was obeying the dictates of the cult.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato,_Jr.

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083