I personally think that all these women are victims to an extent.
What Sarah Edmonson did ultimately was very brave, I’m not questioning that. But it took her months to understand the darker side of what DOS was, and from I’ve heard, discussing it with multiple people outside the group.
So my question is more, how clear would it be to a ‘reasonable’ member of DOS that what was going on was illegal?
I find it incredibly irritating when Shadow singles out Allison Mack without anything that seems credible. If I saw a video of her beating or torturing somebody, I wouldn’t be writing this. If I saw evidence of her being a pedo or selling children, I certainly wouldn’t be writing this. But so far, what I’ve gotten is that she bullied one or two people (adults) into sex.
DOS was supposed to help the women overcome their fears, right? Or at least the women believed that? Is there any indication that Allison believed otherwise? Was she ever paid specifically for anything relating to sex? Was she paid for anything in DOS at all?
I have no trouble picturing Vantard coming along and billing sex with himself as a healing technique for fears of intimacy or childhood trauma or whatever. And I could even picture Allison pressuring others to have sex with him, believing it to be for their benefit. But that’s still him exploiting everyone, including her, and her desire to help people overcome fears or whatever.
Look at the sex ring that got busted in Florida a few weeks ago. They allegedly had women locked in the back room of a massage parlor, forbidden to leave. The health inspector only had to walk through the building a couple times to see what was going on. It was obvious what was going on. It didn’t take months to figure it out. The smoking gun was right there. That’s what sex trafficking looks like. It can exist in more subtle forms too, but again my point is whether DOS members were aware of what they were participating in.
But what about the branding?
Well Allison never branded anyone, and she didn’t even recruit Edmondson into DOS.
And if branding was the crime, Dr. Danielle Roberts, who did the actual branding, would have been charged. The charges are about forced sex, and it sounds like the whole point of DOS and ESP and all of these other groups is people pushing each other’s limits.
Allison probably got bullied into sex as well. Again, I’m not condoning pressuring anyone into sex, but the difference between this group and and the sex ring mentioned above are a difference of magnitude. It just pisses me off that the DOJ charged her so much more harshly than anyone else in DOS.