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NXIVM survivor India Oxenberg displays on surviving a intercourse cult: ‘I felt disgrace and guilt’

India Oxenberg can vividly recall how she ended up concerned with a cult.

The daughter of actress Catherine Oxenberg was recruited to NXIVM’s master-slave sorority generally known as DOS by “Smallville” alum Allison Mack.

“I used to be 19 years previous after I was recruited by members of a cult referred to as NXIVM,” the 30-year-old informed Folks journal on Thursday. “I felt directionless on the time and was in search of construction and steering. I felt weak and ill-equipped for all times by myself.”

“I assumed I wanted to know sure issues about myself to maneuver ahead with my objectives and desires,” she shared. “I believed that NXIVM, and the folks there, may mentor me towards turning into stronger and extra able to beginning my very own small enterprise and assist me in my very own self-discovery.”


Actress Catherine Oxenberg (L) and daughter India.

Actress Catherine Oxenberg (L) and daughter India. (Charley Gallay/Getty Pictures)

Wanting again at her expertise, Oxenberg mentioned it wasn’t tough to “belief them” initially.

“These folks appeared like that they had all of it collectively,” she defined to the outlet. “They have been clever, profitable, and charismatic. These have been all of the issues I wished for myself. Little did I do know, on the time, that this facade was one in every of many consumer-front merchandise and corporations used to lure, goal, and recruit new members.”


“Focused recruits have been unprotected and malleable, but in addition individuals who offered worth,” mentioned Oxenberg. “The trickier a part of all of it was that from the skin wanting in, a whole lot of it may move as a traditional, seemingly official, firm with on the very least some unconventional practices — or different, as they’d describe them.”

Mack, 38, was as soon as a part of the interior circle of NXIVM chief Keith Raniere, whose group had millionaires and actors amongst its adherents. Prosecutors mentioned she turned a “grasp” for “slaves” she ordered “to carry out labor, take nude pictures, and in some instances, to have interaction in intercourse acts with Raniere.”

According to prosecutors, Allison Mack recruited women to a upstate New York mentorship group titled NXIVM that turned them into sex slaves. 

Based on prosecutors, Allison Mack recruited girls to a upstate New York mentorship group titled NXIVM that turned them into intercourse slaves.  (Photograph by Jemal Countess/Getty Pictures)

Oxenberg mentioned she “was groomed for the chief of NXIVM by his higher-rank members and the schooling that they taught.”

“It wasn’t till I entered into the upper managed group that he truly had sexual entry to me due to the blackmail and the grooming performed by Allison Mack,” mentioned Oxenberg. “It made me a better goal for that sort of abuse as a result of he knew I would not and could not inform anybody something. Two of these years have been spent in a fair greater managed interior circle inside the group that maintained secrecy with using blackmail, extortion, and destabilization of its victims/recruits to the purpose the place we have been incapable of constructing our personal sound selections.”


“For my very own sanity and security, it was simpler to simply accept the lies and never contemplate that it was nefarious or that the ‘lies’ weren’t the reality,” she mentioned. “In different phrases, there’s a normalization and concealment of the perpetrators’ habits in order that outsiders would do not know what they have been getting themselves into.”

At present, Oxenberg mentioned she hopes her story will serve for instance of how anybody may be weak to “manipulation.” One of many largest purple flags, she famous, is when somebody makes an attempt to isolate you from your loved ones and family members. And pressure from a predator isn’t all the time bodily.

Keith Raniere, the ex-leader of NXIVM, was convicted in 2019 of seven counts that included racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and attempted sex trafficking. 

Keith Raniere, the ex-leader of NXIVM, was convicted in 2019 of seven counts that included racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, pressured labor conspiracy, intercourse trafficking, intercourse trafficking conspiracy and tried intercourse trafficking.  (YouTube           )

“When somebody tries to coerce you, it’s tough to really see the fact of the state of affairs if you’re conditioned and gaslighted into questioning your personal instincts,” she mentioned. “This creates confusion and chaos, and it turns into tough to know who to belief when the first particular person — your self — is now not a secure place to return again to. Your entire world turns into about supporting the perpetrators’ lies as they attempt to diminish your worth and confidence in your skill to make selections outdoors of the lies you are being informed.”

“In my expertise, leaders tried to normalize intercourse and intimacy as a part of my duties to the group, telling me that my points needed to do with intimacy and that I did not have the selection to not ‘full the project,’” Oxenberg added.


Oxenberg is on a path to therapeutic – however the street isn’t straightforward.

“After I left NXIVM and processed my experiences, there have been moments the place I felt disgrace and guilt,” she admitted. “These are feelings that many survivors face after experiencing abuse or sexual violence. Folks typically ask: ‘How may this have occurred?’ The solutions aren’t easy, however one of the vital vital issues I’ve discovered, that I need to share with you, is that when abuse occurs, it isn’t your fault. It does not matter what you put on, who you belief, whether or not you drink or are at a celebration, there’s nothing you are able to do to need to expertise violence. The disgrace, the guilt, and the blame all the time belong to the perpetrators.

The NXIVM Executive Success Programs sign outside of the office at 455 New Karner Road on April 26, 2018 in Albany, New York. Keith Raniere, founder of NXIVM, was arrested by the FBI in Mexico in March of 2018. 

The NXIVM Government Success Packages signal outdoors of the workplace at 455 New Karner Highway on April 26, 2018 in Albany, New York. Keith Raniere, founding father of NXIVM, was arrested by the FBI in Mexico in March of 2018.  (Photograph by Amy Luke/Getty Pictures)

“Whether or not you skilled sexual violence in your school campus or with a trusted neighborhood group, it isn’t your fault, and caring for your self after experiencing trauma is vital. Whether or not it occurred lately or years in the past, self-care will help you address the short- and long-term results of trauma like sexual assault.”

In June, Mack was sentenced to a few years in jail on fees she manipulated girls into turning into intercourse slaves for the self-improvement guru. Raniere was sentenced final yr to 120 years in jail for his conviction on intercourse trafficking fees. A 41-year-old inheritor to the Seagram’s fortune, Clare Bronfman, was sentenced to almost seven years in jail in September for her function as Raniere’s unwavering benefactor.

Fox Information’ Melissa Roberto and The Related Press contributed to this report.


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