NXIVM, The Vow, and Seduced

Items of interest from my practice and academia, and political or regulatory information about buprenorphine and addiction. If you have something that you would like me to address, send me an e-mail.
Post Reply
User avatar
suboxdoc
Site Admin
Site Admin
Posts: 1682
Joined: Sun Feb 24, 2008 9:03 pm
Contact:

NXIVM, The Vow, and Seduced

Post by suboxdoc » Wed Nov 04, 2020 11:02 am

I posted this on the Synanon thread, but the crazy cult NXIVM deserves a thread of its own.

Some amazing stories out there about the NXIVM cult. Another charismatic leader -- looks like a nerdy 8th grader, but created a harem of women who even branded each other to show their devotion to him.

The Vow is on a premium channel - HBO I think. It shows NXIVM mostly through the eyes of a man who (eventually) found his way out. 'Seduced' is on Starz, which is also a premium channel. But if you have Amazon Prime, you can watch Starz and Seduced for free by choosing the free one-week trial of Starz, bought through Prime. Just remember to cancel before the week ends, or you'll pay $8.99 per month. Watching Seduced is definitely worth $9, but I don't know if you want to pay $9 for each month going forward. How many times can you watch Bloodshot? (I love that movie but even I can't watch it more than 3 times!).

Seduced is much more personal. It follows, in graphic detail, the indoctrination of India Oxenberg, who was a 'slave' to actress Allison Mack. Most fascinating is how so many women fell under the spell of Keith Raniere, often by following promises of personal growth and empowerment. The women were forced onto starvation diets, branded, and made to answer texts 24 hours per day on command -- all to better themselves.

Interesting that the Synanon cult involved people newly recovering from drug addiction -- people who have lost their sense of identity, and who are vulnerable to a charismatic leader offering them great things. Likewise the victims of NXIVM were fragile individuals in their own way. They thought, of course, that they were part of a higher order... but in reality they were obsessed with appearance and social status and considered themselves to be more special than the rest of us. Surely there must be a way for us smart people to find meaning in life, right?! How did they become so misguided to believe that meaning would be found in Keith Raniere?

Post Reply