You may vaguely recall the NXIVM cult in news reports over the past decade. If you don’t, HBO are about to mainline you all the gory details, warts and all, via a nine-part docuseries called The Vow.
For anyone who needs a quick refresh on NXIVM, the company—which was largely looked upon as a cult—promoted themselves as a professional development organisation which ran mass group training known as Executive Success Programs. Over the years, NXIVM has been accused of everything from racketeering, brainwashing to sex trafficking—heavy stuff, and the perfect ingredients for bingeable docuseries.
Unlike a lot of cults, the founder, Keith Raniere, wasn’t so much charismatic as he was goofy and somewhat loveable on first impressions. That, however, unravels at pace to reveal the toxicity of the group and its practices.
Without spoiling all nine episodes of The Vow, NXIVM and Raniere claimed to free people, often women, from their insecurities, destructive emotions and secrets through hard data and facts, but ultimately, this is the information that would be used against the victims to manipulate them emotionally, financially and sexually.
While The Vow doesn’t hold back on any of sickening methodologies behind NXIVM, this revealing docuseries aims to unpack a larger issue around the vulnerabilities of people falling into such traps so often. Set to stream on Sky Go and Neon from 21 October, you'll want to keep the lights on for this one.
Check out everything else worth watching on Neon here.
Image credit: HBO