The founder and a former top executive of a controversial San Francisco-based sexual wellness company have been charged in federal court in Brooklyn with conspiracy to force labor.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, OneTaste founder and former CEO Nicole Daedone and the company’s former sales executive Rachel Cherwitz subjected members to a sex abuse regimen , economic, emotional and psychological for a period of one year. – including surveillance, indoctrination and intimidation.
OneTaste is a company that also runs a commune in Northern California. The venue of the business is to teach adults orgasmic meditation, a form of sexual healing focusing entirely on the clitoris for an extended period of time – without ever touching the male genitalia.
Several former OneTaste members recently sued Netflix over a documentary about the group’s yoni-centric empowerment practices.
More Law&Crime Coverage: ‘Salacious’ Netflix Documentary Features ‘Private Sexually Explicit Materials’ an Ex-Employee ‘Illicitly Obtained’,’ Lawsuit Claims
“Given OneTaste’s culture of individual empowerment, choice and consent, this is totally unwarranted,” current OneTaste CEO Anjuli Ayer told The New York Times, criticizing state and media portrayals of the group. in response to the charges.
Federal prosecutors allege the courses offered by the company were expensive and “ranged from hundreds to tens of thousands of dollars each,” according to a news release announcing the charges.
If the members were given a case of sticker shock, however, the defendants would be there to clear their minds — and always empty their pockets.
“Daedone and Cherwitz pushed OneTaste members into debt and sometimes directly helped OneTaste members open new credit cards to pay them,” the press release reads.
The indictment alleges that between 2004 and 2018, Daedone and Cherwitz “intentionally recruited people who had suffered prior trauma” and “advertised that OneTaste’s courses and teachings could heal past sexual trauma and dysfunctions.” “.
Prosecutors also allege that Daedone and Cherwitz worked to make group members “dependent on OneTaste for their shelter and basic necessities” and sought to limit the members’ “independence and control.”
The indictment claims that while living in communal houses, the members were subject to “constant surveillance” while being asked to “sleep in shared beds and eat, work and travel in groups”.
Dissent from Daedone’s proclaimed ideology was not tolerated, according to the indictment, and members were expected to “exalt” his teachings while offering their “absolute commitment.”
To enforce this worship regimen, prosecutors say, Daedone and Cherwitz “gathered sensitive information about OneTaste members, including, but not limited to, information relating to prior trauma, sexual history, and relationships. members of OneTaste” and isolated them from outsiders – and by “severing the romantic relationships established between the members of OneTaste.”
Prosecutors say failure to follow the rules resulted in “public shame, humiliation and workplace retaliation”.
Once employed by the company and loyal to Daedone, the members would be granted the race for wages and commissions for their work, according to the indictment, with promised funds that were never delivered and settlements. work radically changed unexpectedly.
Then there was sex work.
“As part of their employment with OneTaste, some of the OneTaste members engaged in sexual activity at the direction of defendants Nicole Daedone and Rachel Cherwitz,” the indictment states. “Daedone and Cherwitz, along with their co-conspirators, recruited and trained OneTaste members to engage in sexual acts with current and potential OneTaste investors, customers, employees and beneficiaries, for the financial benefit of OneTaste. and, in turn, defendants. Daedone and Cherwitz also asked OneTaste members to engage in sexual acts they found uncomfortable or repugnant as a condition of gaining “freedom” and “enlightenment” and demonstrating their commitment.
Cherwitz was arrested on Tuesday; Daedone is currently on the run.
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