We are India Oxenberg (advocate, author, and former member of the NXIVM cult) and Rachel Bernstein (therapist and cult specialist). We’re here to talk about NXIVM and the STARZ series Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult. AMA.
UPDATE: That’s all the time we have but thank you so much for all of your questions. We hope you’ll tune in to the finale of “Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult” Sunday on STARZ to hear not only our stories, but the stories of so many other brave women. Learn more about the show here.
You can follow the show and us on social media:
We also want to use our platform to promote resources for those who are in a cult, high-control group, or coercive relationship, or know someone who might be. Bringing awareness to this issue and being able to help others in similar situations has been a silver lining to this journey. We, and many of the incredible other women on this project, have collaborated on http://seduceddocumentary.com, which we hope will be a safe space for those who need it to tell their stories and get help.
I’m India Oxenberg—advocate, author of “Still Learning” on Audible, and former member of NXIVM—and I’m here to answer your questions. I’m joined by Rachel Bernstein, a family therapist, cult specialist, educator, and host of the podcast IndoctriNation, who has been integral to my journey of recovery. Together we both appear in the four-part STARZ docu-series “Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult.”
I spent seven years in NXIVM, starting at age 19. At the time I joined, I didn’t recognize that it was a cult. I was unknowingly being groomed by the group's leader, Keith Raniere (who was just sentenced to 120 years in prison last week) and his inner circle of enablers.
Coming to terms with what happened to me—discovering what was true as opposed to what I was indoctrinated to believe—has been a long process. And it didn’t begin until Keith was arrested and I began cooperating with the FBI. My life had been hijacked and my free will systematically manipulated by the organization’s secret Master slave group, DOS.
People often ask, “How could this have happened?” The answers aren’t simple and telling my story for the first time in the series wasn’t easy, but I’m doing it in the hopes that abusers of power like this will be stopped and held accountable—and so that this never happens to anyone else.