NXIVM is known as the branding cult, and India Oxenberg was the first person to submit her flesh to the irons. She was told the symbol represented the elements, but will now tell her own story of coercion, abuse, and recovery in Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult. The four-part Starz Original docuseries will premiere on Sunday, Oct. 18 at 9 p.m.
Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult centers on India Oxenberg, the daughter of Hollywood actress Catherine Oxenberg and a descendant of European royalty. “This is the first time India Oxenberg will speak publicly about her experience with the cult’s abuses as she retraces her steps, taking viewers deep inside the cult, meeting with former members, lawyers, therapists and cult analysts,” Starz President of Original Programming Christina Davis said in a statement.
The series follows India’s seduction, indoctrination, enslavement, escape — and her role as “co-conspirator” in assisting the U.S. government with bringing down Raniere and his criminal enterprise. Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult is an “intimate, harrowing first-person account of India Oxenberg’s seven-year journey through hell as she — like many other young women — was drawn into the clutches of cult leader and sexual predator Keith Raniere,” Davis said.
India, along with over 17,000 people, enrolled in NXIVM’s “Executive Success Programs,” a front for the cult and its leader Keith Raniere. “Women in DOS, a secret master-slave society within NXIVM, were sex-trafficked and branded with a cauterizing iron,” according to the press statement.” The series presents a “rigorous and unsparing examination of India’s abuse and her own culpability,” according to the statement. It also follows other women who “are still grappling to make sense of their experience.” The series also showcases extensive insider footage and exposes the inner circle of enablers around Keith Raniere.
“I had been targeted for recruitment by NXIVM, so the subject was of personal interest,” director Cecilia Peck said in a statement. “In many ways, India could be anyone’s daughter. She was a young woman victimized by a serial predator, and I wanted to find out how this 19-year-old girl had become indoctrinated. There was a fearless quality to her inquiry that we were drawn to.”
The trailer shows a journey which goes from looking for answers to getting lost in them.
The series is executive produced by Peck and Inbal B. Lessner, his collaborator on Brave Miss World.
“The most common question people have is ‘Why didn’t she get up and leave when no one was forcing her to stay?’” Lessner adds. “The brave women who shared their stories with us have struggled with self-blame and shame for falling prey to this cult. All of their voices were instrumental in telling a very complex story, which we hope shines a light on systematic manipulation and coercion.”
Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult premieres on Sunday, October 18 at 9 p.m. on Starz.