Controversial Speaker

MSNBC/August 18, 2003
By Jeanette Walls

What's Goldie Hawn doing at the meeting of a controversial group that has been called a cult?

The "Banger Sisters" star is the featured speaker this Saturday at a meeting of the Executive Success Program, a group also known as NXIVM, which has come under serious criticism in certain quarters and which has defended itself against accusations that it's a cult.

"Ms. Hawn should understand that the group is trading on her name to promote its own agenda," charges Rick Ross, who has done battle with the group. "I have received very serious complaints about NXIVM from families and former participants and at least one participant was hospitalized. Mental health professionals have written critical reports about the group's programs." Ross is currently being sued for trademark violation by the group for posting those reports on his Web site.

Executives from the group couldn't be reached for comment, but Hawn's spokesman tells The Scoop that the star is often booked to talk to groups about "the importance of seeking joy in one's life." He adds, "While Goldie has received background information on this and other organizations she is speaking to, she is grateful to you for bringing this aspect of this one to her attention and will certainly look into it further."

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