The Current

What new CBC podcast Uncover: Escaping NXIVM reveals about the alleged cult

A new CBC investigative podcast exploring the alleged cult NXIVM is a deep dive into how groups like this can indoctrinate people and make them act against their own instincts, according to its producer.

CBC podcast explores how groups like NXIVM can make people act against their own instincts

Sarah Edmondson shows the scar she says was left after she participated in a branding ceremony at a private residence near Clifton Park, N.Y., with a small group of other women. (Sarah Edmondson)
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A new CBC investigative podcast exploring the alleged cult NXIVM is a deep dive into how groups like this can indoctrinate people and make them act against their own instincts, according to its producer.

"They keep them hungry till the end of the day, they talk to them until they can't think straight anymore, and then they send them home and then they bring them back," said Kathleen Goldhar, who is also executive producer of The Current.

The FBI describes NXIVM as a cult, and its leader Keith Raniere sits in a federal prison awaiting trial

  • Listen and subscribe to the podcast at cbc.ca/uncover or on iTunes.
  • Look for new episodes every Wednesday.

Uncover: Escaping NXIVM, produced by Godlhar and The Current's producer Josh Bloch, details the journey of Sarah Edmondson. She was a member of the group for 12 years, but left the group after Raniere's initials were branded into her flesh in an initiation ceremony. She previously told The Current that the day of Raniere's arrest was better than her wedding day.

"There's so much more to this story than the absolutely horrific evening where she had a cauterizing pen burn into her flesh for 25-30 minutes," said Goldhar.

"When she became a real NXIVM insider, she was still developing, I think, as an adult and as a person."

"So who is she today? That's one of the things we really explore."

Listen to the conversation near the top of this page.

(Ben Shannon/CBC)

Josh Bloch and Kathleen Goldhar are co-creators of CBC's new investigative podcast series Uncover: Escaping NXIVM. The first two episodes of the series are now available. You can subscribe to the podcast for free by going to the CBC Podcast page or wherever you get your podcasts. 

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