Inside Hollywood-Approved Multi-Million Dollar Orgasm Cult
The suggestion that OneTaste was a cult had been raised almost from its inception, with posts appearing on anti-cult sites alleging it was a lucrative operation posing as a therapeutic practice. In 2009, a New York Times article, ‘The pleasure principle‘, spoke with former member Elana Auerbach, who described Daedone’s powerful influence on her members, and how they came to “ exude nudity.’ ‘ The article quoted Auerbach and her husband Bill Press, saying they left OneTaste to lead a life “ centered on the heart rather than the genitals. ”
The couple responded in a letter to the newspaper, stating that they had in fact left because ‘we found the environment manipulative, unhealthy and disgusting’, adding: ‘We do not endorse the programs on offer in any way. by OneTaste or encourage no one to join. ”
Daedone was sensitive to accusations of cult. At one point, she left the OM house to live with her boyfriend, Reese Jones, a Silicon Valley investor who funded OneTaste in its early years, complaining that “ everyone treated me like a guru. I would wake up and people would come and sit on my bed.
When asked directly by Isabel Losada if OneTaste was a cult, Losada says Daedone “ just laughed ”.
A damning investigation
But some people at the heart of the operation saw his missionary zeal turn into something more extreme. Another early member, who wished to remain anonymous, described her to me as “drunk on power” and “narcissistic”, who seemed to want above all “to be worshiped and have lifelong disciples”.
The outward signs of worship became more and more pronounced. In 2015, Daedone hosted a series of events called Magic School, naming a handful of the inner circle as “ priests and priestesses of orgasm. ”
Buddhist teachings hold that the future Buddha will be called Maitreya. Daedone told the group that Maitreya wouldn’t be a person, it would be the OneTaste community, who would “heal the world” through orgasm.
By 2017, OneTaste had grown into a thriving business. The company had some 150 employees, including salespeople, promoting a variety of different courses, including retreats and coaching programs costing up to $ 60,000 per year. The “Nicole Daedone Intensive,” which offers personal petting lessons by Daedone herself, costs up to $ 36,000.
But that year, Daedone resigned as CEO of OneTaste, apparently to work on a book, selling his stake in the company to three OneTaste members. The next year, Bloomberg Businessweek published a survey in which former members described how sales staff, working on commission, sometimes seven days a week, spent hours texting and calling people who had attended a OneTaste event, the pressuring them to sign up for the next, more expensive course.
It was alleged that potential customers were referred to as “brands” – the term used by the grifter to refer to targets. The sellers were “lions” or “fluffers” – a term from the porn industry.
“You wave someone around to make them energetically and emotionally difficult,” a former salesperson told Bloomberg. “You were the hanging bait, like, ‘You can have more if you buy that $ 10,000 course. “”
Potential clients were told the money was just an “ emotional barrier ” and were asked to take out multiple credit cards to pay for the classes. Some have talked about getting into debt up to $ 150,000.
The Bloomberg investigation also found that in 2015, OneTaste paid an out-of-court settlement of $ 325,000 to a former staff member who said she was ordered to sleep with potential male clients and that ‘she had been the victim of sexual assault and harassment, as well as other labor violations. , at work.
OneTaste responded that the settlement was confidential, but never forced an employee to engage in a sexual act. The company said it no longer organized group OMs or rented communal houses in its own name. Once a “forward-thinking lifestyle community” it was now “a legitimate business”.
New allegations of abusive practices
A BBC Radio 4 podcast, The cult of orgasm, launched in November last year, prompted new allegations that sales staff were coerced into having sex with wealthy men to get them to take classes, including an allegation that a young woman was allegedly forced to have sex with multiple partners. A woman in “full power”, it would have been said, should be able to have sex with anyone, “because the orgasm is so strong that it alchimizes everything”. OM-ing and sleeping with strangers might even ‘cure’ childhood trauma – ‘clean your lines’.
“ Nicole was training us to see the world the way she does, ” a former staff member told Nastaran Tavakoli-Far, the podcast’s host. “In his eyes, there is no difference between pleasure and pain; there is no right or wrong. It’s only orgasm. It’s just God. She really doesn’t think she’s done wrong, because she doesn’t see any harm.
Responding to the BBC’s program, a lawyer for OneTaste said: ‘All the allegations of abusive practices are completely false. OneTaste is an organization that has helped individuals improve their health, happiness, and connection through methods that combine mindfulness and sexuality. ”
In October 2018, a few months after the publication of Bloomberg’s briefing, OneTaste announced that it was closing all of its offices in the United States and had stopped offering in-person classes and retreats, claiming instead that it would focus on online education to reach a wider audience.
But the OneTaste website no longer exists. In its place, there is now a new organization, called The Institute of OM, created by former members of OneTaste, which describes itself as “ an educational company dedicated to helping people improve health, happiness and happiness. connection through orgasmic meditation (OM) ”.
The website includes links to Daedone’s TEDx talk and her book Slow Sex; endorsements from satisfied customers – “OM cured me of suicidal depression”; and an introduction to OM-ing theory, practice and etiquette (“Once the strokee is in the nest, the strokee consciously enters the nest by walking over and through the stroke with its left foot and sits next to the strokee… ”).
Anjuli Ayer, formerly one of the owners of OneTaste, was on the list OM Institute website as CEO of the organization. Joanna Van Vleck, who was previously CEO of OneTaste and who previously described it as “ the whole foods of sexuality ”, is listed on her LinkedIn profile as “ director of reach. ” The Telegraph attempted to reach Van Vleck and Ayer, but the OM Institute did not respond to many email inquiries.
And Nicole Daedone? The woman who wanted to open the world by touch is also out of reach. Shortly after the Bloomberg revelations, Daedone disappeared. It was said that she lived for a while in Bali and then in Thailand. She last learned that she was living in Italy with a former OneTaste instructor.
But her orgasm worship continues to thrive. “Learn OM for free,” reads an offer on the IOM website. ‘Start at home with our official guide to orgasmic meditation.’