A new A&E series called "Cults and Extreme Belief" will focus it's first episode on the now infamous NXIVM sex cult run by former Smallville star Allison Mack and cult leader Keith Raniere, both of whom are facing charges of sex trafficking. Cult survivor/actress Sarah Edmondson described her ordeal to A&E:
The concept of the master/slave relationship was weird for me, but the main thing was that I didn't want to get a tattoo. I don't have any tattoos, and I don't have any piercings other than my ears—I didn't want to get a tattoo. And Lauren just said, "We'll work with you on that—you just have some fears."... I put the blindfold on, and I hear movement in the house. I know the other girls are coming. And then there I am sitting with four other women. All of them I knew from Nxivm. Not well—I hadn't seen them naked. And now we're just sitting there cross-legged, very much exposed, and very vulnerable. We all thought it weird, but Lauren just said, "Guys, get over it. Get over your body issues. It's no big deal. We're a sorority. We're a sisterhood—relax." ...
And then Dr. [Danielle] Roberts came in, who I also knew from Nxivm. We took turns holding one another down—three would be on them and the fourth would be filming. This is all on camera somewhere. The first woman lay on the table and then the other women and I were sitting on her holding her legs down. With the first cut of her flesh—they burned her flesh—we were crying, we were shaking, we were holding one another. It was horrific. It was like a bad horror movie. We even had these surgical masks on because the smell of flesh was so strong. I felt petrified. I felt—every part of my body was like: Get out of here. Run.
The entire time I was thinking, I don't have a car. I'm naked. I'm in Knox Woods, Clifton Park. What am I going to do, text my husband? Then I'm going to blow this thing up, and I can't do that, because I made a vow of secrecy... How do I do this? And then I just said, F**king do it, just do it. So I watched two other people, then I went. I really believe that the only way to get out is to do what I did—disassociate. I wasn't present mentally. I went somewhere else. I thought about giving birth to my son, I thought about how much I loved him, and I thought about being strong, and I just focused on that. I just brought up a loving state, a really strong loving state. And the pain [of the burn] oh my God, imagine someone taking a lit match to your crotch and drawing a line with it.