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​Sex Cult Victim Speaks Out For First Time In New True Crime Docuseries

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​Sex Cult Victim Speaks Out For First Time In New True Crime Docuseries

A woman has spoken out about her horrific ordeal inside a cult as part of new true crime documentary series Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult.

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India Oxenberg was just 19 when she was lured into NXIVM in 2011, having been drawn in by its promises of self-empowerment.

Little did she know that beneath the façade of a business programme and self-help group, NXIVM (pronounced 'Nexium') had another, much darker purpose as a sex cult, with a secret society dubbed DOS serving to please the group's leader and co-founder Keith Raniere - with members being forced into sex acts, sending Raniere intimate photos and having their crotch branded with his initials.

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Keith Raniere. Credit: Starz
Keith Raniere. Credit: Starz

A synopsis says: "Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult chronicles the extraordinary and harrowing journey of India Oxenberg - the daughter of Hollywood actress Catherine Oxenberg and a descendant of European royalty - who was seduced into the modern-day sex-slave cult NXIVM.

"More than 17,000 people, including India, enrolled in NXIVM's 'Executive Success Programs', a front for the cult and a hunting ground for its leader, master predator Keith Raniere.

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"Women in DOS, a secret master-slave society within NXIVM, were sex-trafficked and branded with a cauterizing iron."

India Oxenberg. Credit: Starz
India Oxenberg. Credit: Starz

Now Oxenberg is speaking about her experiences for the first time in the new four-part documentary, which premieres on 18 October on Starz.

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"I was in a cult for seven years," Oxenberg says in the trailer, explaining how she had to 'ask for permission to eat'.

"When I was a child, I felt very loved, but I grew up looking for a more purposeful life.

"NXIVM was a programme to make people's lives better."

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Credit: Starz
Credit: Starz

Raniere - who was a person Oxenberg 'really trusted' - had the help of Smallville actor Allison Mack, who would often use her connections in Hollywood to introduce others into the sex-trafficking ring.

The two of them ended up being investigated after Oxenberg eventually left the group with the help of her mother in 2018.

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In 2019, Raniere was found guilty for a series of crimes relating to the cult, including sex exploitation of a child, sex trafficking, racketeering, identify theft and possession of child pornography, and is scheduled to be sentenced on 27 October 2020.

Mack, meanwhile, plead guilty to her involvement, and was charged with a series of racketeering offences. She is also awaiting sentencing.

Allison Mack in 2006. Credit: PA
Allison Mack in 2006. Credit: PA

While other documentaries have explored NXIVM, the new Starz series marks the first time Oxenberg has fully discussed what happened to her, with never-seen-before footage showing what life was like inside the group.

Speaking to Variety, Oxenberg said: "I felt like it was my chance to take the story back into my own hands and say, 'Hey, there's a person here! Not just branded, sex slave, cult girl - a human being'."

She added: "I did not see what was happening to me as sexual abuse or rape at all. That took me six months after I left NXIVM, working with the FBI - six people around me, questioning me for days on end - to admit that I was sexually abused. I couldn't get it out of my throat."

You can watch Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult on Starz from 18 October.

Featured Image Credit: Starz

Topics: Entertainment, TV and Film, True Crime, Documentary

Jess Hardiman
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