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Canadian singer Jon Bryant speaks of his time in NXIVM, will release new album called, ‘Cult Classic’

Jon Bryant is a Canadian singer-songwriter.  He was also in NXIVM for about a year.

As a singer songwriter, Bryant has toured North America and Europe and is an artist advocate for World Vision while performing with Canadian music group Starfield.

As a member of NXIVM he took a number of seminars and admits he was brainwashed to a degree for a time. 

Bryant is based in Vancouver and was likely connected to the NXIVM center there under the direction of Sarah Edmondson.

Edmondson was one of the leaders of the anti-NXIVM movement that took the cult down.

Bryant has had some success as a singer-songwriter. His debut album, Two Coasts for Comfort, released in 2009 was iTunes Canada’s “Featured Singer/Songwriter Album of 2009” and garnered a 2011 East Coast Music Award nomination for “Folk Album of the Year”.

That award is actually a higher award than the East Coast Judo Champion, Keith Raniere claims to have won when he was 11.

In 2012, Bryant released his album What Takes You which featured Canadian musicians, including JUNO Award winner Meaghan Smith, and guitarist Jason Mingo.

Jon disclosed on an Cananda Entertainment Tonight report that he was in a “vulnerable place.”

In the Canada Entertainment Tonight report, Jon says:

“I think I was in a vulnerable place and I was just looking for people to hang out with that had similar interests and wanted to learn about themselves and make the world better. Their mandate was empowerment of the human, in the emotional realms specifically  They really targeted your emotions. You’re sleep deprived, you’re food deprived and then you have to go through all these really thought-heavy seminars….

 “I wasn’t surprised that it was a cult, but I was surprised at the degree to which they were exploiting people.” 

When did Jon realize he wanted out? 

“The first day. I felt like when we were reciting a mantra to a living guy, like another human, I was like, ‘this seems weird.’ They were like, “Listen this is why people say we are cult because of, but we’re not really a cult.’ And cults always say that.

“It took me about a year to officially say, ‘Nah, I’m done.’ They kept on asking throughout the year if I would come back. I was brainwashed in a way, to a point, but not enough for me to continue going with it and having that commitment that other people would have had.”

Inspired by his time within NXIVM,  John has a new album called ‘Cult Classes’ scheduled for release in 2019.

The first track is called “Cultivated and is about his experience in NXIVM.

“Throughout that time it had been simmering in my mind that I should definitely write about my experience there.  I wrote ‘Cultivated’ about our need for truth and our need for purpose and community and acceptance and you see it in all aspects of culture. You see it in politics and gaming and fashion.  It’s everywhere in our culture. Cults happen to be very sensational but we are all part of one or two cults, if we can be honest with ourselves.”


Jon Bryant has twice performed at the Juno Awards ceremony.[9]

His discography:

  • 2009: Two Coasts for Comfort[10]
  • 2012: What Takes You[11][12]
  • 2016: Twenty Something

Awards and achievements[edit]

  • East Coast Music Awards
    • 2011 – Folk Album of the Year Two Coasts for Comfort (nomination)
  • Music Nova ScotiaAwards
    • 2010 – Best New Artist (nominated)
    • 2010 – Digital Artist of the Year (nominated)[13]
    • 2010 – Inspirational Artist of the Year (nominated)
  • Covenant Awards
    • 2010 – Best Folk Album Two Coasts For Comfort (nominated)
  • iTunes Canada
    • “Deaf” – iTunes “Single of the Week” – January 2010[14]
    • Two Coasts for Comfort – iTunes Featured Singer/Songwriter Album of 2009[15]
    • iTunes “Indie Spotlight” – February 2010
  • TV/Film Placements

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Jon Bryant claims to have been brainwashed and maybe he was.
    But he is not using brainwashing as a defense to any criminal charges.

    US scientists and the courts reject any notion of brainwashing as a successful criminal defense.
    Brainwashing is a good plot line in movies but does not conform to reality.
    US courts have almost universally rejected the Voodoo science of brainwashing as the basis for creating Voodoo law.
    Brainwashing is being used as a ;last gasp attempt to save the spoiled brat leaders of NXIVM.

    The most famous attempt at the defense came in the Patty Hearst case. Hearst, a 19-year-old heiress to the Hearst publishing fortune, was kidnapped, held in a closet, and tortured for several months by the Symbionese Liberation Army, whom she then joined and aided in several armed robberies. (For a primer on the SLA, click here.) At trial, Hearst’s lawyer F. Lee Bailey advanced a “duress” defense, explaining that she would never have robbed the bank had the SLA not “brainwashed” her. The jury didn’t buy it, even when Robert J. Lifton, one of the earliest scholars in brainwashing, himself testified in her defense. Hearst was sentenced to seven years in prison.

    Hearst’s brainwashing claim ultimately succeeded—not in any court of law, but in the court of public opinion. Six of Hearst’s former jurors joined a massive national movement to commute her sentence, and John Wayne, one of her many famous defenders, declared, after the tragedy in Jonestown, Guyana: “It seems quite odd to me that the American people have immediately accepted the fact that one man can brainwash 900 human beings into mass suicide, but will not accept the fact that a ruthless group, the Symbionese Liberation Army, could brainwash a little girl by torture, degradation and confinement.” President Carter commuted her sentence, and President Clinton granted her a pardon.

    Why does the American public embrace brainwashing as scientific fact, long after the scientific community and the courts have made it clear that the phenomenon is dubious at best? Perhaps because brainwashing became so much a part of mainstream popular culture; perhaps because it offers a “scientific” explanation for religions we cannot accept. Perhaps, more profoundly, if everyone who doesn’t think as we do can be dismissed as “brainwashed,” we can keep asserting cultural and religious supremacy and still appear open-minded and tolerant.

    But every dog has its day, and all junk-science has its limit.
    In 1990 with U.S. v. Fishman, a California federal criminal action in which a defendant put forth an insanity defense in a mail fraud case, alleging that he’d been brainwashed by the Scientologists. The judge tossed the brainwashing testimony, holding that the views did not represent the consensual view of the scientific community.

    More and more, the idea of brainwashing is dismissed by courts as either Cold War hysteria or the anti-cult mania of the ‘70s and ‘80s. With their new affection and tolerance for cults (now respectfully renamed “new religious movements”) and a dearth of empirical evidence that evil geniuses can force innocents to do what they would not normally do, the scientists aren’t around to testify. The most dramatic phenomenon revealed by the current empirical evidence is that something called “social influence” exists. (This is more or less the same thing that makes you buy the Ralph Lauren turtleneck instead of the one from Sears.)

    The proper word to describe a savage act committed at the behest of a charismatic lunatic is not “brainwashed.” It’s evil.



  • I hear Mark Hildreth’s album will drop in January.
    Because of his long time in the cult he has enough material for a double album.
    The cover art will be by MK10ART and have a BDSM theme picturing an unidentified slim brunette.

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