There were 15 victims statements heard at the sentencing of Keith Alan Raniere on October 27, 2020.
The first victim was Camila, who spoke inside the courtroom to much dramatic effect. It was the first time she was ever heard.
Following Camila was Sarah Edmondson, a woman who many have heard from before and whose story is well known. Sarah appeared via video.
While Camila’s story was new, it was fitting that Edmondson should be heard from next, for she was the first of all victims – the first to come out publicly and say she was branded. It took incredible courage, in my book, to tell the world – in her own complete name – that she had the mark of a man she considered a beast on her body.
She not only admitted it, she showed the world the brand itself on her person. This more than any single gesture solidified the story – and in an instant, everyone knew that the branding was true. I doubt that anyone would have believed it had not Sarah done this one incredibly intrepid and reckless, daring, courageous, outrageous act.
She showed her brand. And within days Keith Raniere was a hunted man.
If anybody thinks that the takedown of Keith Raniere has any value in this world, that it is a victory for justice and goodness that the system can stop such as her, then start by thanking Sarah Edmondson.
She did it.
Even my work would have been nothing had it not been for her – verifying the truth of the story and smashing her Vancouver Center to pieces, an organization she spent years to build and from which she got her sole living.
Encouraged by Mark Vicente, together they chose to tell the story of abuse of women – and not hide. It was daring, it was valiant. When carping critics try to condemn the fact that Sarah or Mark made money, that they were believers, that they recruited, keep in mind that when they saw the real abuse that was DOS, they forsook their very livelihood, threw away their lucrative businesses in Nxivm, and risked the wrath of the Bronfman millions.
Cut them a break. People evolve. And sometimes when the moment comes, they have the choice to be brave or cowardly. Sarah and Mark chose to be brave when peril struck.
Let us now hear from a woman who has earned her laurels.
By Sarah Edmondson
This is not a victim impact statement. This is a survivor statement. Keith, you tried to steal me from my husband. You tried to blackmail me. You tried to enslave me. You tried to ruin my life and the lives of my friends, but you failed.
Your brand of your initials on my body is gone. I had it removed with plastic surgery.
But I can’t help but wonder what would have happened if I spent my 30s in a legitimate organization; one led by a true humanitarian. Instead of a monster who demonstrated his entire life mission is to destroy as many people as possible.
You used the trust that people had in me and my bright light as a recruitment tool for your personal harem and your insatiable desire for destruction.
In a curriculum that you said taught personal responsibility, you have taken none. You are not a leader or a mentor or a guru. You are a liar, a parasite, and a grifter; all the things that’s projected onto women.
Despite what you tried to teach us in the curriculum, it turns out there is a definition of evil. It’s you, what you have done and continue to do from prison and in this very moment. But your con has come to an end. The world sees your lies. And if there is ever any justice, the world will never see your face in public again.
Thank you to the Court for your time. Your Honor, you’ve saved many lives and my husband and I thank you very much.
End of Sarah’s statement.
Short and sweet and a fitting last statement to the man who took a spectacular fall while she took a corresponding rise in fame and esteem.
Viva Executive Success!