This week, Leah and I talk with Sarah Edmondson, featured in The Vow, author of Scarred and host (with her husband Anthony “Nippy” Ames) of a new podcast, A Little Bit Culty.
We talked about the similarities between Nxivm and scientology, the systems of control and even the language are remarkably similar, so much so that there is little doubt in my mind that Keith Raniere studied Hubbard. We talk about The Vow and what recovering from a cult experience is like and the impact of Scientology and The Aftermath had on her. Both Nxivm and scientology use the idea of personal responsibility to pin the blame on victims of abuse, and both engage in Fair Game, so there was plenty to cover.
I recommend Sarah’s book Scarred for anyone who wants a deeper understanding of Nxivm than was provided by The Vow or Seduced.
Sarah and Nippy’s new podcast:
Jessica Petty says
I just started really diving into information on NXIVM and I noticed, just like you mentioned, there are similarities between NXIVM and Scientology. I remember in a previous podcast episode of Fair Game, you and Leah discussed that everything in Scientology is trademarked or copywrite and that using the technology outside of the “church” was a major transgression.
Were there any statements from Scientology or lawsuits or anything really against NXIVM for using the word “Suppressive” to describe someone that was against them or for using, essentially, Scientology technology through their EM? To me, it seemed that EM was very similar to auditing. In Seduced, they even mentioned that if someone started to have doubts, they would tell them they need to go get EM. And if I remember correctly, it is the same in Scientology. If you have doubts or start to question, they tell you to get auditing.
Just didn’t know if there were any allegations/statements against NXIVM from Scientology.
Thank you so much for everything that you and Leah do!
Great episode! Both Sarah and Leah mentioned some book recommendations. Where do I find these? A link was mentioned, but I don’t know where that is. I’d love to read the books mentioned.
After this podcast I immediately subscribed to HBO and am on Episode 3. This was a very impactful episode for me and I am blown away that they had all this video and audio on the leader — something many whistleblowers from Scientology just could not get. Video and audio is so powerful. Agree with you Mike, he just didn’t call himself a religion so was not afforded that protection.
So thankful for the podcasts, they will reach more and more people until finally someone does something on the IRS level to bring it all tumbling down.
Incredible episode, really loved when Leah and Sarah got going commenting lighting speed back and forth. Totally jam packed episode.
I loved your guest and am now a follower of A LITTLE BIT CULTY. 😊 One of the best things Leah said, is how she is now sticking up for others and helping in everyday life situations. GIVING BACK OF YOURSELF and TREATING OTHERS WITH KINDNESS is definitely needed in this world today. No-one is too insignificant. RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS are necessary. This Scientology abuse is repulsive and messes with people’s chance for an authentic life. Thank goodness for Leah and Mike! Never change Leah…you are the pretty “pitbull” REQUIRED to take these people down. I respect you stating that you’d choose this road vs acting if you had to make that decision. YOU ARE A BAD ASS and you are making BIG strides.
I am so hooked on this movement to take down Scientology and other cults. Keep exposing the LIES and DISCEPTION for DISHONEST GAIN.
Gaining riches through dishonesty is the fleeting fancy of those who seek death!
Got to get the Aftermath back on A & E TV so you can win ANOTHER award.
There are so many stories that needing airing on TV…..I am going to write A & E yet again to request that they bring back a few more episodes.
POD casts are ONE thing, at least the information is getting out there. …the wider & more vast audience would be on the TV screen world wide.
D’Metryus Lacopo says
hi mike, i’ve seen leah’s and your show, and i wanted to thank you and each of the contributors for your bravery in telling your stories. i work a lot with trauma and have ptsd myself, so i understand how difficult telling your story can be, even without scientology’s excessive pressure tactics. i’m glad to see you and leah collaborate with sarah, as i myself have noticed the stark similarities between nxivm and scientology. i think by speaking about the similarities, it could expose scientology’s nature in a different manner to people who could enact some change, and could help clear up how easily scientology’s abuses could be stopped.
When Leah talks about wanting to help people because it makes her feel good, that’s what the Dalai Lama calls “wise selfishness.” I’ve always loved that concept.
Old Surfer Dude says
Damn! You look great in this picture!!
Andy S says
Flaunt that golden globe for all it’s worth Mike. In your face Miscavige!
Mary Kahn says
Andy S says
Sorry I’m not up on these awards, but which ever one it is it must be hurting Miscavige which is a good thing.
Mary Kahn says
Absolutely! TO MA TO – TA Ma TO.
The following is relevant to Mike’s story four days ago
After recently promoting Scientology front-group The Way To Happiness, “Christian Scientologist” Scientology Patron Meritorious Joy Villa is now promoting Scientology front-group Youth For Human Rights.
The link in Villa’s tweet goes to the website for Youth For Human Rights.
Memorialized with two screenshots on ESMBR at:
Christian Universalist says
I am not sure but I heard somewhere that Reiniere was upset that people compared NXVIM to Scientology. Apparently Reiniere was thinking: “How dare they question my integrity by comparing me to Scientology! I just run a sex slave cult!”
Maverick Arbuckle says
Lloyd Evans’s channel might possibly get shut down due to the watchtower. Something needs to be done to make sure that this does not happen.
Lindsay Spence says
I watched the special on Dateline about Nxium recently. It was shocking. Does it feel bittersweet to see the leader held accountable for his crimes when the same thing has not happened to David Miscavige?
Mike Rinder says
Of course. Ranieres big error was not calling himself a religion. Might not be in jail if he had followed Hubbards lead on that. He copied a lot of other things but missed the most crucial to being able to save himself from paying the price for his abuses.