This podcast episode discusses sexual assault, coercive control and living in a cult, This may be triggering to victim survivors. If you need help or someone to talk to, you can call 1800 RESPECT or visit respect.gov.au.
“My name is India Oxenberg. I was in a cult for seven years. I didn't want to be saved,"
This is the harrowing opening line to Stan's four-part docuseries that explores the NXIVM cult. The cult started as a US-based self-improvement group, led by Keith Raniere, but in the end the group was exposed for the dark and disturbing cult that it was.
For 20 years from 1998 and 2018, Raniere recruited thousands of people under the guise of personal development seminars and self improvement sessions even luring in several celebrities and socialites with the most prolific being Smallville star Allison Mack.
Over a long period of time, NXIVM faced a multitude of accusations of systemic sexual abuse of female members by Raniere and members of his inner circle. India was a part of this cult, without knowledge that it was a cult, for 7 years.
The last two of which she was a part of a secret sub group within the cult called DOS, which is a Latin phrase that translates to "Master over Slave Women," It was at this point India was expected to engage in sex acts with Keith Raniere, to act as a slave to Smallville star Allison Mack and to be a master to her own two slaves. It was also here that she was held down naked and branded with Keiths initials on her stomach without anaesthetic and while being filmed.
We are so grateful to have India join us today to personally tell us her story. How she got involved with the group, what life was life inside, the perpetual yet slow grooming, the coercive control, the manipulation and brain washing, the things she was made to do, the collateral she was forced to put down to ensure her silence. She speaks candidly about when things turned sexual, her inhumane branding and eventually how she found her way out and her life after the cult.
You can follow India @indiaoxenberg
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