Episode 31: Nxivm Whistleblower Sarah Edmondson

March 9 Episode 31: Nxivm Whistleblower Sarah Edmondson

Leah and Mike 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 cover 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.

Listen Now
View Documents (2)
Scarred - The True Story of How I Escaped Nxivm

A wonderful read containing details and insights not found in TV docs on the subject

A Little Bit Culty podcast

Listen to their new podcast. Leah and Mike will be in upcoming episodes…



  • Skailar says:

    I was in Scientology for a year and it went so well at first but now i’m “too unstable” to receive services. So time to expose the abuse. Im not kidding. I have my screenshots of my last convo with my ethics officer on tiktok and instagram and i want to tell my story of how non-celebs get roped in

  • Tracy says:

    The podcast is so supportive of taking care of yourself and your mental health. This is so helpful right now. Thank you!

  • N Murphy says:

    Great episode as usual! I have never commented before or on anything like this prior but this week I felt compelled to.. going back… I read Leahs book as soon as it came out and I watched every episode of Scientology The aftermath the minute it aired on A&E. Now I get excited every Tuesday morning bc I know there will be a new Fair Game podcast episode to listen to. But the reason I’m writing this is…In the past couple weeks I binge watched the Vow and listened to Toni Nitales book. At the same time in my real life as a professional woman, mom, wife and someone who has never been in a cult I am living my life and have been working on filing my taxes. All of this coming together at the same time gave me an AHHa moment… and I got pissed! I don’t love paying taxes… I don’t love seeing how much of my income is controlled by the government but I tell myself it is my contribution to social programs for those less fortunate. But it also made me pissed off. To think that Scientology is a tax exempt organization and is using their “extra “ money courtesy of the IRS to fair game people… and I just realized too that anyone who donates to them (instead of a legitimate charity) gets a tax exemption… it is ludacris! To think of how outraged people are that the Brofman sisters funded Nixum… yet the IRS is “funding” scientology. I’m so pissed! I wish there was something I could do about it! What can we do? Can we start a # campaign? #ipaidmytaxeswhyisntscientolgy Or something like that??? Just a thought.

    Thank you! I love your show and I love the dynamic between you two!

  • Brad Elliott says:

    Hi Mike and Leah!!!
    What you do is so important. I have a family member in the sea org. (And no, I’m not capitalizing that…)

    I messaged my story to Leah on Instagram on Feb 11, 2019 from @MCM_Home. And I’ve reached out to Mike in the past too.
    I know I’m one of many, and that’s ok. ❤️

    I read/watch/listen to everything I can get my hands on regarding cults and other narcissistic relationships so that I’ll be better prepared than I was last time I saw JD.

    Today I came across a podcast episode you should listen to. There’s a generation coming out now that suffered similar trauma/torture in “troubled teans” facilities popularized in the 80’s. They still operate today without oversight etc…

    The expert interviewed on this episode (Dr Janet Parker) has been working for SO LONG to fight these organizations, understand the angles in taking them and the many resulting loopholes they use.

    Hopefully she will be helpful in exposing/shutting down both scientology, as well as regulating trouble teen facilities.

    As I listened to her, I was shocked with how similar her quest has been to yours. So much so that it feels like you should be in the same fight as a combined force.

    SO many parallels to kids in the sea org.

    Thanks again for all you do!
    Words can’t describe how appreciated you are.

    Here’s the link:


    It’s “Inside the program” season 1 Episode 9


  • Kara P. says:

    Hi! Not sure how to submit a listener question or how to suggest a topic so going to try here. I’m not religious in any way but have become extremely fascinated by all things Scientology since the Aftermath, and really, all things cult-related. Something that really piqued my interest was “the hole” (I think it was called), where Miscavige locked up and abused executives, often for years. I’m curious about the mechanics, procedures, and details of this. What happens in there? Why do people get banished there? How do more people not escape? Has anyone died from mistreatment/malnourishment? Not sure about the privacy laws in the state where the hole exists (or any other Scientology centers) but can someone just fly a drone in to document some of these horrific abuses and send these to law enforcement or mistreatment of reported missing persons? I understand the fact that courts defer to the organization as it labels itself “religious” but if that were caught on tape, I’d have to think there’d be more public outcry.


  • Lisa Marie says:

    I think I am currently being invited to join cultish activity. I’m a waitress and I served a couple on the weekend. As they cashed out, they asked how I arrived where I am and if I am looking for more, gently saying they are expanding their company. . Of course I said yes, gave them my info, and they texted the next day asking if they could speak to me on the phone this week.
    I spoke to the woman Monday, not knowing what to expect but hoping for a job opportunity. She said that initially the couple met their mentor on the West Coast of Canada, a few of the key things I took out of the conversation are as follows: they have a vetting process, seek people who are willing to work, they believe in investing in people, mentorship and coaching, help people to be free thinking, they are not looking for money. If I could upload a photo of my notes during the conversation, I would!
    Listening to this episode I was reminded of the red flags. I will be texting this couple today, and saying no thanks!
    Thank you Leah, Mike, and Sarah!

  • Shannon says:

    I love this podcast and Leah and Mikes chemistry. I have a question you said that people in Scientology are not allowed to do yoga. Jenna Elfman is a Scientologist and was playing a yoga instructor on Dharma and Greg.
    How was she allowed to do that? If it’s not allowed .


    • Mike Rinder says:

      Yes, that is considered OK. Like Laura Prepon plays a lesbian on OISTNB and John Travolta a drug addicted hit man in Pulp Fiction. It’s how they earn the money to hand over to scientology…

  • Jessica says:

    I have been fascinated by cults, but I never have been in one. I have been close to joining a multi level marketing company though. I read Leah’s book and loved it. I also saw some episodes of The Aftermath. When it went off the air, I was a little sad. A few weeks ago I found out about this podcast through my work. I am way behind in episodes, but I have been loving the podcast. Last week I watched The Vow. I didn’t know it was like scientology. It really is like it. I read there is going to be a second season. I hope there is.

  • Lori says:

    I have been watching the other documentaries mentioned in the podcast, and made it through only 1 episode of Seduced. Raneiri made my skin crawl. My heart goes out to all those impacted by his manipulation. May they receive the help and support they need to heal and find some peace.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *