Starz Docuseries 'Seduced' Goes 'Inside the NXIVM Cult' (VIDEO)
On the heels of HBO's docuseries The Vow, Starz is offering viewers another look at the NXIVM cult with a four-part docuseries of its own.
Beginning Sunday, October 18, Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult will go inside the self-help group turned destructive sex cult with a first-person account. As part of the announcement, Starz released the trailer and poster for the docuseries (below).
The series details the journey of India Oxenberg, who was seduced into the modern-day sex-slave cult and whose mother, actress Catherine Oxenberg fought to get her out. India was one of more than 17,000 who enrolled in NXIVM's "Executive Success Programs," described as "a front for the cult and a hunting ground for its leader, master predator Keith Raniere." Women in the cult's secret master-slave society, DOS, were sex-trafficked and branded with a cauterizing iron
The docuseries also follows the recovery from the trauma, as it chronicles India's seduction, indoctrination, enslavement, escape, and role as a "co-conspirator" helping the U.S. government bring down Raniere. It includes insider footage and exposes Raniere's inner circle of enablers.
"Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult is an intimate, harrowing first-person account of India Oxenberg's seven-year journey through hell as she — like many other young women — was drawn into the clutches of cult leader and sexual predator Keith Raniere," Christina Davis, Starz President of Original Programming, said in a statement. "This is the first time India Oxenberg will speak publicly about her experience with the cult's abuses as she retraces her steps, taking viewers deep inside the cult, meeting with former members, lawyers, therapists and cult analysts."
Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult comes from filmmakers Cecilia Peck and Inbal B. Lessner, and joining them as executive producers are Daniel Voll, Alexandra Milchan, and India Oxenberg.
"I had been targeted for recruitment by NXIVM, so the subject was of personal interest," Peck (who also directs) said. "In many ways, India could be anyone's daughter. She was a young woman victimized by a serial predator, and I wanted to find out how this 19-year-old girl had become indoctrinated. There was a fearless quality to her inquiry that we were drawn to."
"The most common question people have is 'Why didn't she get up and leave when no one was forcing her to stay?'" Lessner (who also serves as lead editor) adds. "The brave women who shared their stories with us have struggled with self-blame and shame for falling prey to this cult. All of their voices were instrumental in telling a very complex story, which we hope shines a light on systematic manipulation and coercion."
Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult, Premiere, Sunday, October 18, 8/7c, Starz