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OneTaste: The Truth About Emotional Abuse (Netflix Documentary)

Published March, 2024

In its attempt to portray OneTaste founder Nicole Daedone as an emotionally abusive sadist, Netflix’s Orgasm Inc. relies on cleverly edited video as well as misinformation related by a primary source.

Documentary Bias

In terms of the footage, a clip is shown at 1:02:18 that shows Nicole, expressionless, speaking seemingly harshly to a man in front of her. She speaks each statement using a neutral tone while the man in front of her replies with a similarly neutral “thank you.” While this exchange seems to confirm what the filmmakers want you to believe about Nicole being cold and abusive, the rest of the footage from that situation paints a strikingly different picture.

Here is the unedited clip where you can see the full context (background faces blurred):

Video Here To Come!!

Obviously, the people in the clip are having fun. And why wouldn’t they be? Many of the people in this course, which was an Advanced Communication course from 2007, live together in a communal dwelling described by Chris Kosley in the film. They ate together, put on events together, and did some of the earliest research into the OMing practice together. The course is called Advanced Communication because it teaches people how to understand themselves and others and to communicate in far more subtle ways than plainspoken English. So, what exactly is going on in this clip?

Participant Selection

As she is prone to do, Nicole begins by cracking a joke. She says that somebody asked for a demonstration of this communication exercise the class is about to do, and she can quietly hear her co-founder, Rob, panicking, saying in his head, “Oh god no, oh god no,” that he would be her demonstration partner.

The room laughs warmly, and Rob makes a joke, asking, “Where is the restroom?” as if he were trying to duck out of the room. During the laughter (eight seconds into the clip), a woman participant suggests using the man who does the demonstration, whom we will refer to as “Saul.” His name has been edited out of the video. It’s important to note here that.

  1. Somebody asked Nicole for this demonstration. She is not on some kind of power trip flexing her muscles at this event.

  2. Somebody else suggests that Saul be the demonstration partner. He was not chosen by Nicole.

Open Invitation

The next thing we see and hear is Nicole turning her head away from the participants in the course while asking Saul if he would like to do the demonstration with her. Nicole’s tone and body language are open and friendly as she asks if he wants to do the exercise with her. “No” was always an acceptable response at OneTaste. Saul says, “Yeah, you can use me, Rob.”

Over the next few seconds, off-camera, Saul pretends to walk towards Nicole, but instead, he turns to Rob as if he were doing the exercise with him, playfully poking at Nicole, who smiles, laughs, and feigning jealousy jokes back and along with him, “What about me, Saul??” The room laughs together. Rob makes another joking comment off-camera as Saul saunters up to Nicole.

It’s important to note that Nicole looks behind her as she views Saul and Rob. This is because the participants in the course are seated in view of the camera while the support staff for the course are seated away and against the wall. Even though the course is “Advanced Communication,” Nicole is still demonstrating with a savvy supporting crew member, not a participant.

Behind The Scenes

Saul approaches Nicole, and they stand facing each other. Nicole is nearly six feet tall, while Saul is quite a few inches shorter than she is. Their height difference, combined with the camera angle, helps give the visual impression that Nicole is “talking down” to him, but this is not at all the case.

Nicole takes a pause, puts on a neutral expression, and then, having realized what is about to come out of her mouth, turns to the course participants and gives them (and Saul) a friendly but firm heads up that what she is about to say is “heavy”, i.e. more intense than what she might usually say. She is acutely aware that what she is doing is sensitive and potent. This is where the Netflix clip begins. Without any of the actual context.

Netflix’s Selective Context

However, Netflix has indeed inserted its own context for its own storytelling purposes. The clip that precedes this one features Chris Kosley talking about his exploits in BDSM, culminating in a display of some of his BDSM implements that he claims used to belong to Nicole. The suggestion is obvious: BDSM implements are used to cause pain between people in a dominant/submissive power dynamic. And then, boom, there she is in the next clip, seemingly standing “above” Saul, speaking in this way that sounds degrading.

The audience is given a suggestion, and another video is cleverly edited to support it. Without any of the love and humor. Then, it ends before she has a chance to say another word.

This is the third clip (first, second) Netflix has used of Nicole that is plucked from an advanced course with advanced participants and recontextualized to meet the needs of the narrative. It’s cheap video editing sleight of hand.

Ok, so what was she really doing?

The True Context

After the demonstration is complete, Nicole makes a few remarks to the audience and comments that Saul was a great demonstration partner because he didn’t “block”. Nicole says she feels more breath and closer to Saul, and then turns to Saul and asks how he is feeling. He makes a joke, and everybody laughs. He affirms, “Nah, it feels good. Yeah.”

What could possibly feel good about somebody saying all those things to you, you might ask? A female participant asks Nicole for us, “So these are things that you do believe are true about him that are also very charged for him to hear?”

Nicole:

“They are things that I believe Saul believes. So, there’s things that Saul is constantly emanating out into the world. I don’t believe anything about anybody’s identity. And I believe it all. Does that make sense? Like, I’m happy to believe anything you’re selling me because it… it’s all fun anyway. But I don’t believe it in such a way that I have to use it as a weapon. Does that make sense?”

Refuting Netflix

This is an important moment to examine because the participant is essentially asking, “So you believe these things are all true about Saul and are saying them even though it might be painful for him to hear them?” as if it really were a kind of verbal flogging where one person hits another with a weaponized judgment in order to cause pain in a one-way power dynamic.

The key point is that Nicole says this is not meant to be used against Saul as some kind of weapon. That is the exact opposite of what Netflix is seeking to portray. Had the clip been allowed to play out, Nicole would have directly refuted the implication made by Netflix from the previous clip of Kosley that she is flogging Saul:

Nicole continues by describing what happens when people do try and use these tools as weapons against each other:

“…because then all that’s happening is his identity is fighting with my identity, which is where most people get stuck. And you don’t have to know somebody to do that. You can look at them and immediately read, immediately read what they’re selling. And you can immediately believe what ineptitudes… immediately read what ineptitudes they’re selling you, right? There’s no question. They sell them so fast. And it’ll come initially in the form of any judgments you have about them. But shockingly…. whatever judgments I have about you tend to be the judgments that you’re selling.”

Saul's Admission

Saul then chimes in, saying, “Yeah, it’s all true. That’s all the stuff I tell myself.”

The participant then gets it, saying, “We’re saying what their [inner] critic is saying to them,” to which Nicole replies, “Exactly.” The class then proceeds with the students all trying the exercise with their partners.

The reason Saul says “it feels good” is because what Nicole does with him is intimate. By “not blocking”, as Nicole remarked post-demonstration, Saul stays open to her as she speaks his own negative thoughts to him. The “not blocking” was not just a remark about Saul; it was an artful suggestion to the other participants in the course on how to relax and get the most out of the exercise.

The look on the participant’s faces was not disgust or dismay at Nicole; they were all having a good time. It was more likely they were uncertain they could be that unflinchingly honest with each other after the bar had been set so high. This is combined with the fact that Nicole revealed that she knows more about Saul than the course participants likely know about their exercise partners. She realizes this, and so she makes sure to say that it doesn’t matter how well we know somebody, we can still hear “what they’re selling”.

The Meaning of “Thank You”

Why does Saul say “Thank you"?

At OneTaste, “thank you” was commonly used as a way of saying “received”. It was used at all levels of our programs from the introductory TurnON communication games nights through the Coaching Program. Generally, it implies nothing about whether the person agrees (or disagrees) with the statement said, just that it was heard.

For instance, in some of our courses, participants would break into dyads where one person would ask the other a question like “What does your heart want to say?” The person being asked would reply with something like, “I want to open up more to my partner” or “I got my feelings hurt yesterday.” The person asking would say “Thank you,” indicating they had heard them, and then ask again, “What does your heart want to say?” They would do this for 5–10 minutes so that it was not a discussion but one person given the opportunity to be witnessed as they honed in on what was true for them.

Related Posts:

OneTaste: The Truth about Nicole’s T-Shirt Comment (Netflix Documentary)

OneTaste: The Truth About "Turning On" 100% Netflix Documentary

OneTase: The Truth About Nicole Daedone’s Whereabouts (Vice/Netflix)

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