As seen in the HBO docuseries THE VOW: The shocking and subversive memoir of a 12-year-NXIVM-member-turned-whistleblower, and her inspiring true story of abuse, escape, and redemption.
"'Master, would you brand me? It would be an honor.' From the second I climb onto the table, acutely aware that I am lying in the sweat of my sisters, I will have blocked that out. Lying there completely naked, I am at my most vulnerable but determined to prove my strength. I try to keep my legs closed as my body wills itself to protect my most private area. . . . I tell myself: I am a warrior. I birthed a human. I can handle pain. But nothing could have ever prepared me for the feel of this fire on my skin."
Scarred is Sarah Edmondson's compelling memoir of her recruitment into the NXIVM cult, the 12 years she spent within the organization (during which she enrolled over 2,000 members and entered DOS—NXIVM's "secret sisterhood"), her breaking point, and her harrowing fight to get out, to expose Keith Raniere and the leadership, to help others, and to heal. Complete with personal photographs, Scarred is also an eye-opening story about abuses of power, female trust and friendship, and how sometimes the search to be "better" can override everything else.
• In the tradition of Unorthodox by Deborah Feldman, Escape by Carolyn Jessop, and Troublemaker by Leah Remini • This tell-all follows Sarah from the moment she takes her first NXIVM seminar, to the invitation she accepts from her best friend, Lauren Salzman, into DOS, to her journey toward become a key witness in the federal case against its founders • Evokes questions about friendship, ethics, good and evil, making it a brilliant selection for book clubs
Audio edition read by the author.
About the Author
Sarah Edmondson is an actress and voice-over artist. She is featured in the CBC investigative podcast Uncover: Escaping NXIVM and The Vow, the HBO documentary series on NXIVM.
Kristine Gasbarre is the author of the memoir How to Love an American Man, as well as the co-writer of the #1 New York Times bestselling Etched in Sand by Regina Calcaterra. Her work has been featured in such media outlets as People, Glamour, and the Oprah Winfrey Network.
"Scarred complicates the prevailing belief that cult members are naïve or weak-minded, or from traumatized backgrounds, and reveals this for the oversimplification that it is. The illumination of these manipulation techniques goes a long way to solving the mystery of why people sign up, and why they stay." -The Globe and Mail
"You've probably heard of the alleged sex cult that turned well-intentioned women into sex slaves and was shuttered following an FBI investigation. What you may not know is that the bust may never have happened without Sarah Edmondson." -Refinery29
"Sarah Edmonson wrote a subversive memoir about NXIVM you have to read after The Vow." -Bustle.com
"At once riveting and disturbing, Scarred is a brave but messy stab at redemption." —The New York Times