Culture

NXIVM Sex Cult to Get HBO Documentary Series

In the midst of NXIVM’s ongoing legal case, HBO Documentary Films has announced they’re currently working on a documentary series examining the upstate sex cult, which was led in part by former Smallville star Allison Mack.

The docuseries is to be helmed by Emmy-winning directors Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer (The Square, Control Room, Startup.com) and will follow a swath of people who partook in NXIVM’s alleged “self-improvement program.” NXIVM first piqued Noujaim’s interest in 2010 when she participated in their introductory “Executive Success Program” workshop.  

The documentary promises to provide a “deep, nuanced look at experiences of its members, spotlighting their universal desire for personal growth.” It hopes to shed some light on the mysterious group as their trial is making headlines.

NXIVM is a multi-level marketing and professional seminar group that secretly housed a sex cult called “DOS.” While operational, the cult was headquartered in Albany, NY and led by Allison Mack, Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman. It recruited people by promising empowerment, and enticing people to spend thousands of dollars on NXIVM “classes.”

After a handful of classes, Mack or another executive would invite “students” to join the internal sex cult. Once in, “students” turned “slaves” would be branded with Ranire’s initials. After years of rumors, NXIVM’s darker side was formally unveiled in an October 2017 New York Times article. The leadership group was indicted in early 2018 and is currently standing trial in New York City.  

Salzman along with her daughter, Lauren Salzman, pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in early March. In April, Mack was charged and pleaded guilty for manipulating women into becoming sex slaves for Ranire. Mack and Ranire are expected to be tried in federal court later this month.

In addition to sex slavery, NXIVM’s doctor, Brandon Porter has also been accused of illegally experimenting on humans.

HBO has previously released other trenchant cult focused documentaries. In 2015, they released Going Clear, a documentary focusing on Scientology. The film received widespread acclaim from critics and won three Emmy awards. Later, in 2016, HBO aired Tickled, a documentary about an illicit competitive tickling ring run. The film received critical acclaim and spawned a sequel called The Tickle King which released in February 2017.

What do you think of NXIVM? Have you been paying attention to the recent trials? Let us know in the comments below.

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