Keith Raniere, founder of the proclaimed woman’s self-help group NXIVM, was arrested after an investigation found the organization to be anything but what it claimed.
In June of last year, Raniere was found guilty of sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, racketeering and possession of child pornography. Since then there have been numerous reports with eye witness counts, testimonies from former members, television specials taking a deeper look into the organization and one network movie.
Now HBO is giving a chilling first look in The Vow. The documentary series is directed by Academy Award and Emmy nominated directors Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer, and follows a range of people who joined the self-improvement group, NXIVM. The organization has been under siege, with various charges including sex trafficking and racketeering conspiracy brought against its highest members – most notably founder Keith Raniere, who is awaiting sentencing. The series takes a deep, nuanced look at the experiences of a number of people deeply involved in NXIVM over the course of several years.
One such individual is actress Allison Mack, who was arrested and charged alongside Raniere, for her part in the organization as a recruiter for what is now seen as a sex slavery ring.
“As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere,” United States Attorney Richard Donoghue said in a statement. “The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit. This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting predators who victimize others through sex trafficking and forced labor.”
While in federal court a repentant Mack accepted a plea deal for her involvement. “I must take full responsibility for my conduct and that is why I am pleading guilty today. I am and will be a better person as a result of this.”
Amidst claims by NXIVM participants of both profound transformation and devastating abuse, the series, like Noujaim and Amer’s previous films, seeks to reveal the issues behind the headlines and explore the emotional toll of unfolding events on these individuals.