As many of us know, the victims of Keith Raniere’s NXIVM cult of sexual, physical, emotional, and mental abuse were presented with the bare minimum of justice that the universe could have possibly scraped together, when Keith was found guilty on all counts of running a sex cult. Allison Mack, aka Chloe from Smallville and Keith’s second-in-command, had pleaded guilty to the charges brought against her. Now that the victims no longer live in constant fear of being punished by Keith or Allison for speaking up about the abuse, they can freely talk about their experience. And many of them have, in a new four-part docuseries for STARZ called Seduced: Inside The Nxivm Cult (not to be confused, of course, with HBO’s The Vow, which is also about NXIVM). Like India Oxnberg, one of the more notable victims of the NXIVM cult. India spoke to People magazine about her time in NXIVM, and of course, it sounds like a complete nightmare.
A lot of people knew about India’s involvement in NXIVM, due to her mom being Catherine Oxenberg, aka Amanda Carrington from Dynasty, who wrote a book about trying to free her daughter from the brainwashed clutches of Keith and Co. Catherine claimed that India was trapped deep, and she couldn’t save her daughter, due to NXIVM being extremely secretive and, well, a cult. Catherine actually introduced India to NXIVM, because it appeared to be a self-help group, but Catherine left when things started to feel creepy and cult-y, but India stayed. That’s when she was recruited into the ultra-secret group, DOS (for the Latin phrase Dominus Obsequious Sororium, roughly translated to “Master Over Slave“). After Keith Raniere and Allison Mack were finally busted for running a ring of sex abuse and slavery, India escaped and was reunited with her mom.
India tells People that her transition from NXIVM member to DOS victim was facilitated by, of course, Allison Mack, who we all know was given the job of recruiting women for that creep Keith. Except in a weird twist, it was actually Allison who was India’s master.
“Allison said she had a special program she thought could help me. I felt singled out. I felt special.”
By then, India was deeply entrenched in the group, having endured four years of indoctrination and brainwashing. Mack told India the secret group was called DOS. And within the sinister “sisterhood,” Mack would eventually become India’s master, the one who demanded “ultimate obedience.”
Like most cults that operate on the principle of controlling and harmful behavior, India says that Allison demanded collateral, like family secrets and nude photos, which India says turned into the demand for graphic nude photos. Once Allison had enough material to fully blackmail India, Allison forced her to cook and clean for while starving her down to meet Keith’s skinny standards. India says she was limited to no more than 500 calories a day. Being malnourished caused her to get sleepy and mentally dull, and she says she was unable to think critically during this point in her abuse, which sounds like the end goal for DOS subjects.
What she didn’t realize was that she was being groomed to become a sexual partner for Keith Raniere. “One of my first commands was to seduce Keith,” she says. “Allison said it was to make me feel less vulnerable. And I wanted to believe her.” If she failed in her tasks, India faced punishment, dictated by Mack. “You get so used to this environment of abuse that you believe you’re deserving of it, that it’s good for you,” says India.
As for why India decided to participate in the STARZ docuseries, she says she knew “too much” about what happened in NXIVM, and that she had, “a moral obligation to make sure it didn’t happen to anyone else.” Allison is still awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty last year. Whenever that court date is set, Allison’s lawyers better watch out for any victim impact statements provided by India. Because India more than implies that Allison was no NXIVM victim.
“Allison had a lot of power and control over me and I was always trying to accommodate her. That’s how I protected myself, but now she can’t hurt me anymore.”
Not that India even needs to show up. First of all, that might be too triggering. It would also be unnecessary. The sentencing judge can just cross-reference India’s interview with People. India was already burning through all her energy just trying to chew her one apple a day, and you make her scrub the tub too? On top of scamming her into sex slavery? Good luck in prison, Allison Mack.