The Relationship Between Unconditional Freedom and OneTaste

Unconditional Freedom (UF) is a California nonprofit corporation with 501c3 exempt status, founded in 2002. 

Operated by an executive director and overseen by a board of directors, UF currently has five board members, from a diverse range of backgrounds. The board meets quarterly. 

Unconditional Freedom is financially independent and relies on the support of individual donors, foundations, and grants to meet its operating budget for its programs. You can read more about these programs on the UF website.

Media reports have highlighted the links between UF and OneTaste, seeking to paint this as cause for suspicion; in particular, pointing at a single-count, federal indictment of former OneTaste employees Nicole Daedone and Rachel Cherwitz for their activities in the company dating back to over six years ago. Both Daedone and Cherwitz are vigorously defending the single charge, and in January 2024, they filed a motion to dismiss the indictment as constitutionally defective. 

Nicole Daedone is an unpaid volunteer and advisor to UF. She also developed the concepts for many of its programs and is the author of The Art of Soulmaking workbook for the incarcerated, a program that has reached over 35,000 individuals behind bars and is available for free on the UF website. Cherwitz is also an unpaid volunteer and co-leads one of its programs, The Art of Addiction. Cherwitz is a licensed addiction and recovery counselor.

Unconditional Freedom is an entirely independent organization that has never sought to hide its cooperative relationships with any other organizations, including OneTaste, the women-led educational company founded in 2004 by Nicole Daedone that teaches a practice known as Orgasmic Meditation (OM).

Unconditional Freedom was originally known as “Fill Up America” when it was founded by Nicole Daedone and three other individuals in 2002 before she founded OneTaste in 2004. Fill Up America launched by providing food and clothing to the poverty-stricken in San Francisco, particularly to those living in San Francisco’s famous Tenderloin district. Between 2002 and 2019, Fill Up America served more than 500,000 meals around the San Francisco metro area. Ms. Daedone resigned from the non-profit board in 2016. 

Between 2016 to 2017, UF received $150,000 in grants from OneTaste Inc. to fund a groundbreaking research study into OM as part of its expanded mission to provide spiritual and material sustenance. That study was carried out by the University of Pittsburgh, with renowned neuroscientists Dr. Nicole Prause and Dr. Greg Siegle as lead investigators. The study has resulted in three peer-reviewed journal papers to date. In 2018, all work in the area of OM was moved to a newly established, independent nonprofit called the Institute of OM Foundation, and UF’s mission became squarely focused on providing charitable support to those populations on the margins. 

In 2019, just before the start of the COVID pandemic, UF established a range of new programs—in addition to its long-standing food program, Free Food—all which now comprise the core of its content. This includes: 

  • the Prison Monastery program designed to turn prisons into centers for contemplation, reflection, and human transformation
  • the Earth program which is dedicated to restoring the Earth’s ecological health
  • the Art of Addiction substance recovery program

These programs have proliferated and experienced tremendous results since their inception, including a qualitative study on the impact of the Art of Addiction program, a documentary documenting the programs and their impact, and the inclusion of the Prison Monastery curriculum in over 300 prisons throughout the United States.  

In the interest of complete transparency, a list of the UF board members who have or have had professional associations with OneTaste is presented here. 

Anjuli Ayer is the current President of the Board of Directors of UF, and a past UF donor. She is also the CEO and Owner of OneTaste. 

Shawn Sugarman, President of Elephant Cooperation, a unique 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to the preservation of the African Elephant, its habitat, and the communities that live in areas with elephant populations, served as the COO and later, President of OneTaste from 2017 to 2018. 

Various volunteers and employees have previously been employees of OneTaste or its licensees. 

Unconditional Freedom regards its past activities, connections, relationships, and experiences as a source of strength and not weakness. We vigorously object to prior reporting that has sought to portray these links as a matter for shame or ridicule. 

We encourage anyone looking into these issues to reach out with questions. We deeply care about the work we do, and get to see firsthand the impact it has on the communities we serve. As such, we always welcome correspondence.