Co-Host, A Little Bit Culty
As an aspiring actor and former college athlete, Anthony “Nippy” Ames was drawn to NXIVM’s goals program. In his 12 years with the organization, he rose steadily up the ranks as a teacher, built centers in New York and Vancouver, and even met his now-wife, “A Little Bit Culty” co-host, Sarah Edmondson, there. But when he learned that the company was, in fact, a dangerous cult, he wasted no time in doing exactly what needed to be done: helping burn its carefully constructed public image to the ground.
With NXIVM’s notorious founder now behind bars facing a brisk 120-year sentence, Nippy isn’t planning on going quiet anytime soon. As Executive Producer of the “A Little Bit Culty” podcast, Nippy has come full circle back to what he was born to do: performing, creating, and truth-telling. He’s proving to be an emerging voice in the conversation around what it means to be an upstanding man, husband, and father in 2022.
Sometimes you have to unlearn everything you thought you knew. Nippy Ames joined NXIVM believing that the self-help group was walking the walk when it came to its stated mission of making the world a more ethical place. So when he learned about NXIVM’s Society of Protectors (SOP) —a men-only sub-group focused on encouraging its members to be the best version of themselves—he jumped at the chance to participate, and quickly rose to its highest ranks. But he didn’t realize how misogynistic or sociopathic its founder—or its core teachings—really were. In this compelling keynote, Nippy takes the audience with him on his journey from All American footballer and quintessential ‘Alpha Male,’ to a man reckoning with the moral injuries of being exploited by a toxic con. He shares the most eye-opening lessons he’s learned about the ‘bait and switch’ tactics of predatory organizations, as well as the pervasive attitudes and harmful behaviors that even the most upstanding men too often miss when it comes to being an ally to the women in their lives. He also outlines clear steps you can take to assess whether the causes, companies, and communities that inspire you are everything they’re cracked up to be – or just a front for exploitation and abuse.
Once upon a time, Nippy Ames led an all-male fraternity within the NXIVM self-help organization. But when revelations about NXIVM’s criminality and sex-cult underbelly exposed the blatant misogyny baked into its core teachings, he became one of the loudest whistleblowers in the fight to shut the whole thing down. But he didn’t stop there. He set about understanding how he missed the toxicity that seemed so obvious in retrospect, and then he made it his mission to help other people spot the red flags that his blind spots had once obscured. He also decided to flip a middle finger to the ‘bro code’ and unlock the playbook that predators and sleazebags use in order to make women feel ‘less than.’ In this talk, he shares tips and advice on navigating the worst aspects of bro culture with practical steps and scripts for standing your ground in the face of gaslighting, word salad, and other shady behavior. He also takes live audience questions on everything from ghosting to Tinder swindlers. With anecdotes from his time in NXIVM and audio clips of real-life stories he’s heard from women who’ve been his guests on the hit ‘A Little Bit Culty’ podcast (including his co-host wife and fellow NXIVM whistleblower Sarah Edmondson), Nippy helps you spot and disarm bullying tactics, distortions, and other manipulations. Think of this talk as a counter strike on the pickup artists, love frauds, bad bosses, text stalkers, and Twitter creeps in our midst who wreak daily havoc, but rarely suffer consequences. It’s a smart, helpful and subversive spin on leadership, relationships, and life in the #metoo era.
Sarah Edmondson & Anthony “Nippy” Ames educate their audiences on the dangers of cult life in their popular podcast, A Little Bit Culty. Click here to view more of their topics.