TV Review: Seduced: Inside The NXVIUM Cult
A jaw dropping inside look at the self help/sex slave cult/MLM.
Survivor India Oxenburg. Source: The Australian
Two of my favourite cultural phenomena are cults and MLMs, because the behaviours of their members are so unfamiliar, so far removed from socially acceptable behaviour. Watching from afar is like watching a Karen throw a tantrum in a retail store near Christmas time. It’s deplorable, but you’ve also got your popcorn out.
NXVIUM is both a cult and an MLM, so you can imagine my squealing delight when I stumbled across a documentary about this called Seduced on Stan in Australia. I’m going to share the story, but not give you any spoilers because the doco series is well worth the watch and the shock of watching it is part of its importance.
Keith Raniere, the absolute biggest piece of sh*t. Source: NYTimes
NXVIUM (pronounced 'Nexium') was positioned as a self-help organisation, skewed towards the entrepreneurially minded (and more importantly the ricccch and vulnerable). It was run by head creep Keith Raniere, who claimed to have one of the highest IQs in the world. Spoiler alert, like another certain Cheeto who too claimed this, he absolutely does not.
India Oxenburg was 19 when she first went to NXVIUM. She had dropped out of college the year before and was unsure what she wanted to do. She was a prime candidate. She was vulnerable and she was rich. Her grandma is a legit princess.
From the first meeting, she was like, ‘This is made for me.’ But I think there’s a bit of confirmation bias, like when you read your star signs and it says that as an Aries, you get angry at people that cut you off in traffic so it must be legit.
Over the next five years, India spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on courses designed to elevate her up the ladder. This is where the MLM element comes in. Even after five years she still wasn’t 'high enough' in NXVIUM to be making any income, but literally had no time and the cult didn't allow her to do anything that earnt her independent money.
She goes to her NXVIUM friend for a D&M, which is when she tells her about DOS: Dominus Obsequious Sororium, which translates to Master of Slave. She accepts under the assumption this will help her break outside her comfort zone and ascend up the ladder. DOS turns out to be a secret subset of NXVIUM which has zero to do with self help and 100% to do with being a sex slave and serving the grandmaster, the all mighty Keith Raniere.
India's mum, actress Catherine Oxenburg, is a Saint. Source: IMDB
The documentary is built with interviews of other defectors, cult experts and features NXVIUM footage that was never meant for the public that will make you want to punch people. Specifically Keith Raniere. The documentary is produced by India herself, so I was wary of any bias, but there just isn’t any way there’s any acceptable rebuttal to this story.
It’s a 9.5/10. Must watch.
P.S If you're looking for a great tv drama about cult MLMS, check out our review of 'On Becoming a God in Central Florida', with everyone's favourite cheerleader Kirsten Dunst.
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