The season finale of The Vow on HBO aired Sunday, leaving viewers with questions on what occurred to NXIVM’s key gamers, together with Keith Raniere, Allison Mack, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, India Oxenberg, and Clare Bronfman.
The documentary sequence, about an alleged intercourse cult and multi-level advertising scheme masquerading as a self-help program, ended its first season with the arrest of Keith Raniere. Raniere was the chief of NXIVM and its varied subgroups, together with DOS, a secret girls’s group that assigned its members “grasp” and “slave” roles and branded their pelvic areas with Raniere’s initials.
HBO has renewed The Vow for a second season, to air in 2021, and the Season 1 finale hints that each Raniere and Salzman might have participated within the new episodes; within the finale, a girl who seems to be Salzman is proven carrying a home arrest ankle monitor, and the episode’s ultimate scene incorporates a voice recording of Raniere, apparently agreeing from jail to speak about NXIVM for a documentary. In accordance with HBO, Season 2 will function revelations from the group’s supporters and defectors, and can heart on Keith Raniere’s trial and supreme conviction of crimes together with intercourse trafficking, pressured labor conspiracy, racketeering, and manufacturing and possession of kid pornography. On Oct. 27, Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison.
Viewers do not have to attend for extra episodes of The Vow to study what occurred to NXIVM’s internal circle. Here is a take a look at every of the important thing gamers:
Keith Raniere, 60, has been sentenced to 120 years in jail for intercourse trafficking and different crimes.
The Vow‘s Season 1 finale ends with Raniere, additionally recognized to NXIVM members as “Vanguard,” being arrested in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in March 2018 on charges together with intercourse trafficking.
The primary season of the docuseries would not element the dramatic circumstances surrounding Raniere’s arrest; nevertheless, Lauren Salzman testified in court docket that Mexican authorities interrupted Raniere’s plans for a “recommitment ceremony” involving group intercourse with a number of of the first-line “masters” in Dominus Obsequious Sororium (DOS), the secretive girls’s membership inside NXIVM. (The Latin title is roughly translated as “grasp over slave girls,” and Raniere was the sect’s “grandmaster.”) In accordance with the Albany-based newspaper The Times-Union, Salzman testified that when officers burst into the resort the place the group was staying, Raniere hid in a walk-in closet. “It by no means occurred to me that I’d select Keith — and Keith would select Keith,” Salzman mentioned in court docket.
In Could of 2018, Raniere pleaded not responsible to charges together with intercourse trafficking, intercourse trafficking conspiracy, and compelled labor conspiracy; his attorneys told NBC News that “all the pieces was consensual.” Raniere was held with out bail as a result of he was deemed to be a flight threat. In March of 2019, prosecutors accused Raniere, who’s now 60, of getting intercourse with a 15-year-old woman, The New York Times reported. He was charged with “coercing a toddler to interact in sexual conduct to provide visible depictions of it, and of possessing little one pornography between 2005 and 2018,” in accordance with Reuters.
Raniere’s high-profile trial started in Brooklyn’s Federal District Court docket in Could 2019. In June, after deliberating for less than five hours, a jury discovered Raniere responsible on all counts. He was convicted of intercourse trafficking, pressured labor, manufacturing and possession of kid pornography, racketeering, and wire fraud.
Ready for his sentence, Raniere maintained his innocence, telling Dateline NBC that he apologizes for collaborating in a company that triggered “ache and struggling,” however mentioned he isn’t responsible of any crimes. “I’m harmless,” Raniere mentioned within the jailhouse interview. “It is a horrible tragedy with many, many individuals being damage. There’s a horrible injustice right here. And whether or not you assume I am the satan or not, the justice course of needs to be examined. … I’ve clearly participated. I have been the chief of the group. And it has come to this. Even whether it is by oppression, I’m completely sorry and pained. It is a horrible scenario.”
On Oct. 27, 2020, Senior U.S. District Court docket Decide Nicholas Garaufis sentenced Raniere to 120 years in jail and ordered him to pay a fine of $1,750,000, calling the NXIVM founder “ruthless and unyielding” in “significantly egregious” crimes that focused women and younger girls, the Associated Press reported.
The sentencing was handed down after a morning of listening to statements from 15 of Raniere’s victims, together with sisters who turned concerned with him once they had been youngsters. “I nonetheless hear his voice in my head, and it continues to be a each day wrestle,” mentioned one girl, who was 15 years previous when Raniere started preying on her. The girl’s older sister, who was 16 when she turned concerned with Raniere, was confined to a room for almost two years after she kissed one other man. “You abused my harmless physique, (messed) with my thoughts, and turned my household in opposition to me,” she mentioned, per the Albany Times-Union.
Throughout the sentencing, Raniere informed the court docket, “I do imagine I’m harmless of the costs. It’s true I’m not remorseful of the crimes I don’t imagine I dedicated in any respect.”
Allison Mack, 38, is ready to be sentenced for racketeering and racketeering conspiracy. She faces as much as 40 years in jail (20 years for every depend) and a most fantastic of $250,000.
Allison Mack, the 38-year-old actress finest recognized for her Smallville function as younger Clark Kent’s buddy Chloe was, by many accounts, Keith Raniere’s high lieutenant within the NXIVM secret sorority DOS. The docuseries accuses Mack of recruiting girls to be “slaves”; forcing them handy over compromising materials together with nude images as “collateral” and blackmailing them to maintain them obedient; placing them on excessive weight-loss regimes and assigning them “penance” for errors; and initiating rituals that used a cauterizing pen, with out anesthesia, to model them with an emblem that includes Raniere’s initials and her personal with out their consent.
The Vow Season 1 finale reveals Mack making ready to comply with the authorities who arrested Raniere on the group’s hideout in Mexico in March 2018. In April 2018, Mack herself was arrested in Brooklyn by the FBI on fees of intercourse trafficking, intercourse trafficking conspiracy, and compelled labor conspiracy. Shortly thereafter, she pleaded not responsible to all charges and was launched to her mother and father’ custody on $5 million bail, NBC News reported on the time.
In Could 2018, The New York Times Magazine revealed a function after being given a uncommon tour of NXIVM management and operations earlier within the 12 months, earlier than the arrests. Within the story, Mack defended DOS’s “grasp/slave” dynamic and took full duty for creating the branding ritual, explaining, “I used to be like: ‘Y’all, a tattoo? Folks get drunk and tattooed on their ankle ‘BFF,’ or a tramp stamp. I’ve two tattoos and so they imply nothing.’ ”
In April 2019, a 12 months after she first pleaded not responsible, Mack reversed her plea simply hours earlier than jury choice was set to start, taking a deal that allowed her to keep away from going to trial with Raniere and Clare Bronfman, the Associated Press reported. Throughout her listening to, Mack pleaded responsible to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, tearfully admitted to her crimes — together with acquiring “collateral” from girls and threatening to make it public in the event that they disobeyed her — and apologized to the ladies who had been exploited by NXIVM. “I believed Keith Raniere’s intentions had been to assist individuals, and I used to be improper,” Mack told the judge. “I need to take full duty for my conduct and that’s the reason I’m pleading responsible at this time. I’m and will probably be a greater individual because of this.”
Mack was scheduled to be sentenced in September 2019, however her sentencing was delayed, and he or she has but to obtain a brand new date, partly on account of COVID-19 court docket closures. Within the meantime, Mack wears a monitoring anklet and spends most of her time at her mother and father’ California dwelling.
In an interview with CBS News in September 2020, Mack’s spouse, former Battlestar Galactica actress Nicki Clyne, defended Raniere, NXIVM, and its branding ritual. When requested how Mack was doing, Clyne mentioned, “I have never been in a position to communicate to her for a 12 months and half. A part of the circumstances of her bail is that she will’t communicate to anybody who’s affiliated in any approach with the case or NXIVM. This has been the toughest, most humbling expertise of my life.”
Nancy Salzman, 66, is ready to be sentenced for racketeering. She faces 33 to 41 months in jail and a most fantastic of $250,000.
Earlier than she met Keith Raniere, Nancy Salzman was a former psychiatric nurse, a skilled hypnotist (in accordance with several sources), and a self-proclaimed skilled in neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) — an unproven methodology purported to vary individuals’s ideas through communication strategies.
Salzman and Raniere co-founded NXIVM’s Government Success Packages (ESP) in 1998. The corporate would later turn into NXIVM, however ESP remained its “academic” arm, a self-help program that served as a recruiting floor for the pyramid scheme and gateway to the cult. Salzman, who developed the curriculum for ESP, was recognized to the group’s members as “Prefect” and served as president of NXIVM and second-in-command to Raniere’s “Vanguard.”
Days after Raniere’s arrest in March 2018, federal brokers raided Salzman’s dwelling in Halfmoon, a suburb of Albany, and seized greater than $520,000 in money, a few of it hidden in shoeboxes, in accordance with The New York Times Magazine. 4 months later, in July 2018, Salzman was arrested alongside together with her daughter Lauren Salzman, NXIVM bankroller Clare Bronfman, and NXIVM bookkeeper Kathy Russell. Salzman was charged with racketeering, particularly identification theft and altering information.
In March of 2019, Salzman pleaded responsible, admitting to creating plans to acquire the e-mail person names and passwords of perceived enemies of NXIVM, in addition to modifying recordings and destroying videotapes that the corporate did not wish to hand over in a lawsuit. In accordance with the New York Post, she sobbed in court docket as she apologized for bringing her daughter, Lauren Salzman, into NXIVM. “I need you to know I’m pleading responsible as a result of I’m, in reality, responsible,” Salzman informed the choose. “I settle for that among the issues I did weren’t simply improper, however generally prison. I justified them by saying that what we had been doing was for the better good. I’m deeply sorry for the difficulty I triggered my daughter, the ache I triggered my mother and father. … I nonetheless imagine that a few of what we did was good.”
Salzman was launched on $5 million bail till her sentencing, which has but to be scheduled. She is fitted with an ankle bracelet monitor and reportedly lives together with her different daughter, Michelle, in Waterford, New York whereas she awaits sentencing.
Lauren Salzman, 44, is ready to be sentenced for racketeering and racketeering conspiracy. She faces as much as 40 years in jail (20 years for every depend), however is prone to obtain a lesser sentence for testifying at Raniere’s trial.
The daughter of NXIVM co-founder and president Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman served on NXIVM’s government board, was the corporate’s head of training, and have become one of many “first-line masters” in DOS, the group’s clandestine “grasp/slave” girls’s group.
Lauren Salzman was with Keith Raniere in his Mexico hideout in March 2018, serving to him plan a bunch intercourse recommitment ceremony with a number of of the “first-line” girls, when authorities got here to arrest him, she later testified in court docket. He hid in a closet, leaving Salzman alone to face the officers, who had been wielding machine weapons. “Every part he taught us was this … what males do, what girls do,” Salzman mentioned in court docket. “After which he did not do it — and I did do it.” She referred to as his title — a mistake she mentioned she agonized over for months — and officers burst in to arrest him.
4 months later, in July 2018, Salzman was arrested alongside together with her mom, Nancy Salzman, in addition to NXIVM bankroller Clare Bronfman and NXIVM bookkeeper Kathy Russell. Salzman was charged with wire fraud conspiracy and racketeering, particularly trafficking, pressured labor, and extortion.
In March 2019, Salzman pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy and admitted she had recruited girls to DOS. Two months later, she testified for the prosecution in Raniere’s trial — the one former defendant to take action — and described her personal crimes, the lurid internal workings of the “grasp/slave” intercourse group of which Raniere was “grandmaster,” and the circumstances of his arrest in Mexico. Salzman testified that girls in DOS made vows to turn into lifelong “slaves” to Raniere, The New York Times reported, and had been subjected to brutal punishments equivalent to being whipped with a leather-based strap and standing barefoot within the snow. Salzman admitted to collaborating within the group’s branding rituals, throughout which girls had been pressured to disrobe and have Raniere’s initials branded on their pelvic areas with a cauterizing pen, with out anesthesia. She additionally described the “grasp/slave” pyramid construction and the method for amassing compromising “collateral” from initiates to be able to blackmail them — all a part of a plan to implement “complete obedience and secrecy,” she informed the court docket. Salzman was enlisted to write down a handbook for DOS primarily based on Raniere’s teachings. One of many manifesto’s passages proven in court docket learn, “The perfect slave derives the best pleasure from being her grasp’s final device. You give up your life, thoughts, physique for unconditional use.”
Salzman additionally admitted to coercing a girl to signal over a number of financial institution accounts and a automotive, and extra disturbingly, she confessed to preserving a “slave” captive for 2 years after the girl expressed romantic curiosity in a person who was not Raniere, in accordance with The Times-Union. “Of all of the issues that I did on this case and all of the crimes that I admitted to, this was the worst factor I did,” Salzman mentioned. “What can I say? I saved her in a room for 2 years.” NXIVM leaders deserted the girl on the Mexican border with little cash and no paperwork, Salzman testified.
Salzman, who was launched on bail and required to put on a monitoring anklet, stays underneath home arrest whereas she awaits a sentencing date.
Clare Bronfman, 42, was convicted final month of identification theft and harboring a girl who was delivered to america on a faux work visa so Bronfman might exploit her labor. Bronfman was sentenced to almost seven years in jail, and is being held on the Metropolitan Detention Heart in Brooklyn till the prisons bureau decides the place she is going to serve her sentence. Her attorneys are asking that she stay free whereas she appeals the sentence.
Bronfman is a daughter and heiress of late billionaire Edgar Bronfman Sr., the previous chairman of Seagram’s liquor. Previously a aggressive equestrian, Bronfman was introduced into NXIVM in 2002 by her sister, Sara Bronfman. Quickly thereafter, in accordance with Vanity Fair, the sisters started bankrolling a number of NXIVM initiatives whereas making an attempt to cover their monetary involvement with the group from their father, who disapproved of NXIVM and referred to as it “a cult” in a 2003 interview for a Forbes Magazine function on Keith Raniere.
Clare Bronfman was appointed to NXIVM’s board, and over the following twenty years served because the group’s monetary muscle, sinking some $100 million into the group. She paid for actual property, a personal jet, and lawyer charges, in addition to allegedly overlaying Raniere’s failed bets within the commodities market, Vanity Fair reported.
Following Raniere’s arrest in March 2018, Bronfman took over NXIVM, shifting its headquarters from Albany to Brooklyn, close to the detention heart the place Raniere is being held, the New York Post reported. Three months later, the corporate introduced on its web site that it was suspending its operations.
Bronfman was arrested in July 2018, together with NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman, DOS chief Lauren Salzman, and NXIVM bookkeeper Kathy Russell. Bronfman was charged with racketeering conspiracy, together with identification theft, encouraging and inducing unlawful immigration, and cash laundering. She was launched on $100 million bond and positioned underneath home arrest. In April of 2019, she pleaded responsible to fraudulent use of identification and conspiracy to harbor and conceal immigrants who weren’t in america legally, Reuters reported. Bronfman admitted that she helped Raniere use the bank card of late NXIVM member Pamela Cafritz after she died of most cancers. She additionally confessed to harboring a Mexican girl who was delivered to the nation on a faux work visa in order that she and NXIVM might exploit her labor.
Regardless of her plea deal, Bronfman has remained loyal to Raniere and NXIVM. In a letter to Senior U.S. District Decide Nicholas Garaufis, she wrote, “Many individuals, together with most of my circle of relatives, imagine I ought to disavow Keith and NXIVM, and that I’ve not is difficult for them to grasp and settle for. Nevertheless, for me, NXIVM and Keith significantly modified my life for the higher,” The New York Times reported. She additionally wrote, “I by no means believed I used to be supporting something unhealthy or improper, I by no means wished to protect anybody from prison habits, I by no means supposed to intimidate individuals,” CNN reported.
On Sept. 30, 2020, Bronfman was sentenced to 81 months (6 years and 9 months) in jail, a harsher sentence than prosecutors had requested for. Decide Garaufis condemned Bronfman for serving as Raniere’s “confederate” in NXIVM’s efforts to threaten, silence, and precise revenge on defectors, utilizing “her wealth and privilege as a sword.” Decide Garaufis was unswayed by Bronfman’s attorneys’ arguments that she was less-to-blame as a result of she was ignorant about DOS till media studies uncovered the “grasp/slave” intercourse group. “Ms. Bronfman got here to study particulars about DOS and confronted a selection as to whose pursuits she would shield: Raniere’s or his victims’,” the choose mentioned, per the New York Post. “She selected Raniere unequivocally, and to today she has not clearly apologized.” Along with her jail sentence, Bronfman was ordered to pay a fantastic of $500,000 and greater than $96,000 in restitution to a girl for pressured labor, in addition to to forfeit $6 million in accordance together with her plea deal.
Bronfman was instantly taken to the Metropolitan Detention Heart in Brooklyn, the place Raniere is also being held. However on Oct. 6, 2020, the choose agreed to suggest that Bronfman serve her sentence at a minimum-security facility in Danbury, Connecticut, in accordance with The Times-Union. The prisons bureau will make the ultimate choice. Within the meantime, Bronfman’s attorneys are requesting that she stay free whereas she appeals the sentence, arguing that she has a liver situation that may put her at better threat ought to she contract COVID-19 in jail.
India Oxenberg, 29, left NXIVM after Keith Raniere’s arrest. She particulars her expertise in four-part documentary sequence titled Seduced: Inside The Nxivm Cult, which debuted Sunday on Starz.
Over the course of seven years, India Oxenberg turned shut with Raniere and his internal circle, together with Allison Mack, and was recruited to hitch the key “grasp/slave” sorority DOS in 2015. She handed over nude images and household secrets and techniques as “collateral”; she was branded with what she was informed was a Latin image for the weather however really was a mixture of Raniere and Mack’s initials; and he or she was tasked with seducing Raniere, she informed People Magazine. Oxenberg mentioned she was groomed and indoctrinated, telling Vanity Fair that she believed her punishments from Mack, her hunger food plan, and her prescribed oral intercourse periods with Raniere had been methods for her to show her power and work by means of intimacy points. “I used to be coerced and manipulated and believed what I used to be doing was serving to me after I was actually simply serving Keith,” she informed Folks.
Oxenberg’s mom, Catherine, staged interventions, labored with defectors and journalists to reveal NXIVM’s prison exercise, delivered proof to the FBI, and even wrote a book interesting to her daughter in an try to attract her out of the cult. However the youthful Oxenberg remained loyal to the group, even after Raniere’s arrest in March 2018. When Mack was arrested the next month, Oxenberg packed up Mack’s belongings for her, however held onto a number of issues she thought had been too private to place in storage, together with a field of flash drives, she informed Self-importance Truthful. Months later, after shifting to her mother’s dwelling in Malibu, Oxenberg determined to see what was on the flash drives and found audio recordings of Raniere “masterminding DOS’s darkest particulars,” in accordance with Self-importance Truthful, together with dictating the specifics of the branding rituals and recommending strategies of coercion. “That was an enormous, big second for me,” Oxenberg informed the journal. “After I heard these flash drives, I couldn’t return to considering the best way that I had.”
After she left NXIVM and went to the FBI, Oxenberg carefully guarded her privateness, utilizing the following two years to heal and put a long way between herself and over-simplified headlines that labeled her a “intercourse slave.” She designed a mandala-style tattoo to cowl her model. She obtained a job as a supervisor of a New York eatery and met a chef at one other restaurant, Patrick D’Ignazio, to whom she is now engaged.
Just lately, Oxenberg has begun to open up about her NXIVM expertise. Throughout coronavirus quarantine she wrote a memoir, titled Still Learning, which launched in audio kind on Oct. 27, the identical day Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in jail. And together with filmmakers Cecilia Peck and Inbal B. Lessner, she executive-produced the Starz docuseries Seduced: Inside The NXIVM Cult, which premiered on Oct. 18.
The Starz sequence follows Oxenberg’s personal expertise inside NXIVM, detailing how she slowly turned ensnared.
“I might like to proceed writing and doing work like this,” she informed Self-importance Truthful. “I’ve realized a lot from being an EP, and from working with the opposite girls: It’s very reinvigorated me. … I really feel like if there’s something that you are able to do to heal, it is to take your ache and switch it into one thing constructive.”
The Vow, from the Emmy-winning filmmaking workforce Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, will return for Season 2 in 2021. Season 1 is obtainable to stream on HBO Max. The brand new docuseries Seduced: Inside The Nxivm Cult airs Sundays at 9 p.m. on Starz.