By William T Brando
NXIVM’s “Executive Success Programs” [ESP] was promoted as training that could make any student a millionaire.
As a long-time reader and occasional commenter on this site, I don’t recall any stories of any ESP student becoming a millionaire. And surely NXIVM would have touted that to recruitment prospects in the multi-level marketing scheme that ESP was.
Yes, some of the ESP students were ALREADY millionaires, particularly Bronfmans and some of the Mexicans, but as far as I recall reading, they all LOST money supporting Raniere.
And even Raniere lost millions (questionably transferred from ESP students) in the commodities futures markets, and Los Angeles real-estate markets.
But I think there is one case of ESP actually creating a millionaire: Sarah Edmondson. She was an actress in Vancouver Canada, barely breaking even, until she met producer/director/cinematographer Mark Vicente, who sold her on ESP. They jointly opened the Vancouver Canada ESP centre, which was probably the most successful ESP centre outside of Mexico. Ms. Edmondson recruited about 2000 students to ESP, and maintained what was, by all accounts that I know about, a safe and sincere (if vastly overpriced) mutual self-help network.
Most of the student fees I assume went back to NXIVM in Albany, but over about a decade her share was likely considerably more than a million (Canadian) dollars. Which allowed her to buy a nice condo in a nice neighborhood in Vancouver Canada. Those cost more than a million dollars.
My own opinion on Sarah Edmondson’s ethics is mixed. I don’t doubt her sincerity in believing and promoting the value of the entry-level ESP modules; they were constructed to be such, by plagiarizing Scientology and [Werner] Erhard Seminars Training (known as EST in the 1970’s, now re-branded as Landmark) and other self-help programs. Over her involvement with NXIVM (more than a decade) it’s hard to believe that she didn’t realize that no one ever “graduated” from ESP into becoming an independent “Executive Success.” All that ever happened was students were persuaded to recruit more students, and teach them the ESP modules, without being paid themselves.
But Sarah Edmondson herself DID become a millionaire. And I think that she is the only one that ESP ever produced.