The Biggest Revelations From Hulu’s Unsettling Sarah Lawrence Cult Documentary, “Stolen Youth”
Content warning: This post contains mentions of emotional and psychological abuse.
“Stolen Youth,” Hulu’s new docuseries that explores Larry Ray’s reign of psychological terror over a group of Sarah Lawrence college students, is extremely difficult to watch. The three-part series, released on Feb. 8, contains many real videos taken during the students’ time living with Ray, and many feature verbal and physical abuse.
The story of what would become known as the “cult at Sarah Lawrence” first broke when The Cut published an exposé in 2019. It detailed how Ray had moved into his daughter Talia’s dorm at Sarah Lawrence, quickly developing a hold over her roommates by regaling them with self-improvement advice. He claimed his knowledge was drawn from his years in the Marines, but Ray had lied about that – along with many other aspects of his life.
Anyone who followed the story in 2019 knows what happened next. Ray had a group of the students – Talia, Santos Rosario, Daniel Levin, Claudia Drury, and Isabella Pollok – move into his one-bedroom New York City apartment. From there, things escalated into patterns of emotional, physical, and financial abuse. Ray ordered students to sleep with each other; had Santos pay him back thousands of dollars for apparent damage done to the apartment; drew Santos’s two older sisters, Yalitza and Felicia, into his control; and even accepted around $2.5 million from Drury, who had become a sex worker in order to pay him for debts she believed she owed, per The New York Times. (Drury has since testified against Ray in court, though she declined to appear in the Hulu documentary.)
At the time the article was published, Ray was still a free man, and the end of the article found him searching for Drury, who had finally escaped from him. But in September 2022, 63-year-old Ray was sentenced to 60 years in prison on 15 counts, including racketeering, violent assault, sex trafficking, tax evasion, and money laundering.
Five of the original inhabitants of Ray’s New York City apartment – the three Rosario siblings, Levin, and Pollok – appear in the documentary, along with some of their fellow Sarah Lawrence classmates who witnessed the beginning of Ray’s intrusion. In it, they reflect on the devastating events that took away valuable years of their lives.
Ahead, check out some of the revelations from the documentary and find out where the former Sarah Lawrence students, now in their 30s, are today.
Larry Ray Gave the Kids Adderall
The documentary goes into great detail about what actually occurred between Ray and the kids whose lives he controlled, revealing – among other horrifying details – that he drugged them and frequently worked them to the point of exhaustion, forcing them to assist him with organizing and cleaning the apartment and keeping them up late into the night talking. According to Yalitza, Ray used to cut up Adderall, which he would give to the kids to assist them in their tasks.
“He said he had to keep us awake for long periods of time because when we were really exhausted we were like raw nerves, and that made it more possible for him to help us advance,” Levin said.
Ray Locked His Refrigerator Doors to Prevent “Poisoning”
In the documentary, Yalitza reveals that Ray used to hold “interrogations” until 3 or 4 in the morning, asking the kids if they were colluding with Bernie Kerik, Ray’s former friend and former commissioner of the New York Police Department. Ray claimed Kerik was involved in a years-long plot to murder him and some of the kids and even put locks on his refrigerator door in New Jersey in order to prevent the poisoning he believed was occurring.
Felicia Has Reunited With Her Family
After Ray was arrested, Pollok and Felicia lived together in the house they had shared with him in New Jersey. The documentary contains footage of them in the house and directly after Ray’s arrest, at which point they both appear to believe he is innocent.
Later, following the advice of her attorneys, Felicia moved out. Felicia had been on the cusp of becoming a fully fledged doctor when she met Ray but abandoned the field after Ray began telling her there was a conspiracy against their lives. In the documentary, she says Ray even tore up her documents from medical school just before she became a full-fledged doctor. “That just speaks to how evil Larry is,” she says. “That he was willing to so fully destroy someone.”
Living on her own, Felicia started to question Ray’s actions and eventually realized how he had manipulated her. “One of my goals now is figuring out for myself what actually happened, what’s actually true, giving myself a narrative,” she says.
Finding a narrative is part of why she made the documentary in the first place. “It became about just setting the record straight,” Felicia explained in an interview with People. “And then as I got more back into my old me, the real me, the doctor hat came back on and I was like, you know what? This is important for other people to hear. This is important for other people to know. And hopefully I can help other people get better, or get out of these situations that they might be in – or even help stop it from happening to begin with.”
Felicia eventually decided to reunite with her siblings and parents, whom all of the kids had detached from while under Ray’s sway. In the final episode, Santos, Yalitza, Felicia, and their parents share dinner as a family.
Isabella Pollok Supported Larry Ray For Years After His Arrest
Pollok was one of the original Sarah Lawrence students whom Ray started preying upon when he moved in with Talia. Early on in their relationship, he began sleeping in a bedroom with her, telling the other kids “Isabella needs a lot of help” because “she’s in a very vulnerable space.”
Pollok is featured at the end of the documentary, as is her mother, who reveals her daughter hasn’t spoken to her since 2010. In the documentary, Pollok says she still supports and trusts Ray completely.
In 2021, she was charged with racketeering, extortion, and sex trafficking conspiracies and pleaded not guilty, though in 2022, she pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy, per Newsweek. According to the outlet, as of February 2023, Pollok has since admitted to having been “manipulated” by Ray. She faces a maximum of five years in prison, and her sentencing is set for Feb. 22.
Where Are the Sarah Lawrence Cult Kids Now?
Yalitza, Felicia, and Santos all live in New York City. Santos has moved back in with his parents and is working a new job, according to the documentary’s end credits. Yalitza is also at work on an arts career. Pollok is currently facing up to five years in prison. Drury’s whereabouts are not known for certain, though she played a critical role in testifying against Ray in 2022, per The New York Times.
Ray’s daughter Talia moved to North Carolina to live with Ray’s stepfather, according to The Cut, and has since started working as a paralegal at a social justice law firm, per the documentary. Meanwhile, Levin is a poet and writer, and he published a memoir about his experiences in the cult in 2021.
“Stolen Youth” is now streaming on Hulu.
If you or a loved one are experiencing domestic abuse or are at risk, the National Domestic Violence Hotline has several resources and a 24/7 help line at 1-800-799-7233.