An ex-member of OneTaste says a recent lawsuit attempting to halt the release of a Netflix documentary about the “orgasmic meditation” group may be nothing more than an attempt to silence its victims, some of whom have accused the company of functioning like a cult.
Attorney Paul Nicholas Boylan filed the lawsuit against Netflix and director Sarah Gibson last month on behalf of 14 unidentified plaintiffs who believe they will be shown in Orgasm Inc: The Story of OneTaste. The documentary, which is slated for release on Nov. 5, will focus on the group’s curriculum, which emphasizes the transcendental benefits of extended clitoral stimulation.
But a former OneTaste member who spent multiple years with the company, including some as a teacher, says the lawsuit is a last-ditch effort by OneTaste to protect its reputation, and is “very much in character” with how founder Nicole Daedone operates.
“This is about protecting Nicole Daedone. Their present M.O. around this documentary is to shoot the messengers,” the ex-member tells The Daily Beast.
Boylan is seeking a temporary injunction to prevent Netflix from releasing the film as it stands, saying it could cause irreparable harm to his clients’ reputations. A hearing is set for Friday in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
“These are classes that involved intimate behaviors, intimate contacts,” Boylan tells The Daily Beast. “They were given a safe space to explore sexuality. They’re concerned that nudity may be included in those videos.”
When asked about the ex-teacher’s claims that the lawsuit is simply an attempt to protect OneTaste, Boylan said of his clients, “I don’t believe these people are shilling for OneTaste. I think they’re coming because they genuinely have privacy interests they feel are going to be violated.”
Daedone and OneTaste did not respond to requests for comment from The Daily Beast.
Founded in the mid-2000s by Daedone, OneTaste has been accused of ensnaring its members with ideals of changing the world through orgasmic meditation—so long as they pay exorbitant seminar fees that allegedly topped out at $80,000 per course, according to a former member. The organization briefly went dark after the publication of a bombshell Bloomberg article in 2018, in which some ex-members claimed OneTaste “pushed them into sexual servitude and five-figure debts.” A related group called Institute of Om took its place, but OneTaste appears to have returned in recent months with a new website.
The FBI said it was investigating the organization back in 2018. The bureau did not respond to multiple requests for comment from The Daily Beast about the status of its investigation.
The former OneTaste teacher who spoke to The Daily Beast—who declined to be named out of fear of retaliation from OneTaste and Daedone—said they fully believed in the company’s mission of “bringing the benefits of human connection” through orgasmic meditation to the world until Daedone’s prices began skyrocketing. The company eventually grew to rake in $12 million in 2017, according to Bloomberg.
Boylan believes his clients—who he says are not currently affiliated with OneTaste—simply don’t want to be associated with a controversial organization, especially if the footage shows them in compromising positions.
“These people are all frightened,” he says. “Some are worried this could lead to problems when it comes to child custody. Imagine an angry husband or wife sees you sitting in the crowd and says your association with OneTaste makes you unfit as a parent.”
With the documentary’s premiere date fast approaching, Boylan says he and his clients will move forward with their lawsuit and seek financial damages if the court doesn’t grant the temporary injunction before the film’s release this Saturday.
Gibson, the director, previously defended the use of OneTaste class and seminar footage in the film. In an interview with Netflix-owned publication Tudum, she said it was necessary to show the influence the group had on its sizable following.
“The footage featured in our film was all legally obtained by us and much was already public and had been distributed by OneTaste themselves, or on Youtube, or in past news reports. No one’s rights have been violated by the footage we used,” Gibson said. “When there was more sensitive footage included, we used it sparingly and took immense care and responsibility to edit and crop as to not exploit or sensationalize it.”
Netflix declined to comment for this article.