This was a horrible story that gripped the nation and especially the Capital Region when it came to light there was a sex cult with over 16,000 members being run out of Cohoes.

The NXIVM was described as a sex cult, a self-help group, a pyramid scheme, a cult, and a sex trafficking ring. One of the craziest parts of the entire case was the number of celebrities that were wrapped up in Keith Raniere's Upstate New York sex cult.

Celebrities like, most famously, Allison Mack who's best known for her role in the TV show Smallville. She is often cited as being the second in command for the NXIVM cult, right beneath the leader Keith Raniere. Kristin Kreuk was also an actress on Smallville and was recruited into NXIVM at the same time as Allison Mack. Other actresses named as members of the cult were Sarah Edmondson who worked on Stargate SG1 and two actresses from the TV show Battlestar Galactica, Nicki Clyne, and Grace Park.

It's crazy to think that these actresses and other people could be brought into an alleged sex cult that branded women and forced them into sex slavery. However, most said in interviews once NXIVM was being investigated that they thought it was a self-help group then they first joined the group.

The trailer for "The Vow" was released by HBO and I first saw it on Rolling Stone it includes footage from NXIVM's recruitment video with Keith Raniere talking about “enhancing human experience and behavior,” and then other voices taking a vow of “obedience” and “discipline.” Creepy.

When my family and I moved to Upstate New York we actually looked at a house near where one of the condos that NXIVM used. Our realtor told us it was one of several places that were raided. Needless to say, we focused our home search elsewhere.

According to the HBO press release the "The Vow" will take a deep, nuanced look at the experiences of a number of people deeply involved in NXIVM over the course of several years. The Vow premieres on HBO August 23rd.

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