Published May 17, 2019A few years ago, songwriter Jon Bryant joined a group called NXIVM — an organization that was later reported to be a cult. Now, the Halifax-born/Vancouver-based musician has opened up about his experiences on the album Cult Classic.
The LP is out today via Nettwerk Records, and is now available to stream in full.
Standout songs like "Paradise" and "Cultivated" mix smooth soft rock swagger with an undercurrent of hazy dream pop. The lyrics explore a personal quest for meaning and human connection — themes that take on a very different significance when you consider Bryant's former connection to NXIVM.
Bryant told ET Canada, "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."
A couple of years later, NXIVM became the subject of intense scrutiny, often being referred to as a "sex cult." Founder Keith Raniere and Smallville actor Allison Mack were arrested on federal charges, including sex trafficking.
Listen to Cult Classic in the embedded player below.