NXIVM is an Albany, NY-based multi-level marketing company that offers personal and professional development seminars through its “Executive Success Programs”. NXIVM has been labeled as a pyramid scheme, a sex trafficking operation, and even a sex cult. A report for the Ross Institute described its seminars as “expensive brainwashing”.
NXIVM has also been accused of being a recruiting platform for a cult operating within it (variously called “DOS” or “The Vow”) in which women were forced into sexual slavery and branded.
In early 2018, NXIVM founder Keith Raniere and associate Allison Mack were arrested and indicted on federal charges related to DOS, including sex trafficking. A trial has been scheduled for October 2018. As of May 2018, the company’s operations have been suspended.
In 2010, Mack was reported to have been recruited to the Vancouver chapter of the multi-level marketing organization NXIVM, along with her Smallville co-star Kristin Kreuk. In a 2003 article from Forbes, advocates of NXIVM portrayed it as an organization focused on inspirational executive coaching, “like a practical M.B.A.”, while detractors accused the founder Keith Raniere of running “a cult-like program aimed at breaking down his subjects psychologically”.
Former NXIVM member Sarah Edmondson stated in a 2017 New York Times exposé and a 2018 A&E special on cults that Mack recruited her into an enclave within Jness,
“DOS,” and that she had been branded in an initiation ceremony at Mack’s house under Mack’s supervision.
Actress Samia Shoaib said in Megyn Kelly Today that after she met Allison Mack in a casting audition in 2013, Allison kept love-bombing and mirroring her and sending her e-mails to make her join the cult. Samia also said that at the moment she was struggling with alcoholism after a traumatic experience and since both seemed to agree Alcoholics Anonymous had too much male energy, Allison invited her to a “feminist alternative”. Samia said Allison had her speak with “Edgar” on a phone and that he said generic things about self-help groups. According to Samia, Allison invited her to dinner and brought a quiet young lady as a friend, who Samia is uncertain if she is India Oxenberg (a NXVIM member), and that Allison went from being friendly to being moody.
Mack was arrested in Brooklyn by the FBI on April 20, 2018, on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy. During her arraignment, proceedings, prosecutors stated that she had married Nicki Clyne, evidenced by “documents exclusively obtained” by Grindr’s media property, Into. According to prosecutors, after she recruited women to join the organization, she used tactics such as blackmail to force them into engaging in sexual activity with Raniere against their wishes and enslaved them to do menial tasks, for which Raniere allegedly paid Mack. Mack is said to be second-in-command of NXIVM after Raniere.
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An indispensable guide, Cults, Conspiracies, and Secret Societies connects the dots and sets the record straight on a host of greedy gurus and murderous messiahs, crepuscular cabals and suspicious coincidences. Some topics are familiar—the Kennedy assassinations, the Bilderberg Group, the Illuminati, the People’s Temple and Heaven’s Gate—and some surprising, like Oulipo, a select group of intellectuals who created wild formulas for creating literary masterpieces, and the Chauffeurs, an eighteenth-century society of French home invaders, who set fire to their victims’ feet.