To Ears With Love: Escaping NXIVM

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To Ears With Love is a weekly column about our favorite podcasts. Ever listen to a podcast, find it entrancing, only to binge listen to the whole thing and be left with nothing but silence or a Spotify playlist? FangirlNation is here to help with some suggestions.

Editor’s Note: Before we get too far into this article, please be advised that the podcast in question this week deals with the topics of abuse; physical, sexual, and mental. It also deals with cults and multilevel marketing.

To the followers of NXIVM (pronounced Nexium), they were saving the world. To their families and those who left NXIVM it was a horrifying cult. Think if a multilevel marketing scheme hooked up with a motivational speaker who took lessons from Scientology and had a baby organization. Founder Keith Raniere was recently brought to trial to face charges of sex-trafficker and conspiracy to commit forced labor. His lieutenant, actress Allison Mack (Smallville) was responsible for a group called DOS, an off-shoot where women were branded near their pelvises and forced to answer text messages as a slave to their “master.”

Sarah Edmondson was a member of NXIVM, but so much more. She had found a place with them, met her husband through them. Allison Mack sang at her wedding. Edmondson worked to create centers and recruit for the organization with the true belief that they would change the world. This all changed when she was invited to join DOS with her best friend. A few months later, she and her husband would leave the organization and help bring it to light.  When she came into contact with a former friend who worked for CBC News, they greeted each other and she let him know she had escaped a cult. What followed is an incredible and frightening podcast called Uncover: Escaping NXIVM.

I binge listened to this series in a day and a half. I found myself coming up with excuses to run errands and clean up the house so I could continue to listen.  Uncover: Escaping NXIVM is that addictive, and it’s heartbreaking. If you decide to listen to episodes in rapid succession, I request that you have some sort of palate cleanser to follow up. Have a happy playlist, a fun piece of art, or an enjoyable activity to follow up with because in our modern climate with so much going on in the way of sexual abuse coming to light you are going to need it.

Uncover: Escaping NXIVM is on all major podcast streaming services.

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