'The Vow' Episode 8 Preview: HBO miniseries to uncover more of Keith Raniere's manipulations in penultimate run

'The Vow' is set to perhaps make your opinion of Keith Raniere worse as the upcoming episode will delve into the depth of the manipulations that he would get to


                            'The Vow' Episode 8 Preview: HBO miniseries to uncover more of Keith Raniere's manipulations in penultimate run
Keith Raniere (Keith Raniere Conversations/YouTube)
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If HBO's latest miniseries 'The Vow' has done anything, it is that it has helped demystify how so many people became involved with NXIVM (pronounced Nex-i-um), the self-help organization that overtook headlines when it was discovered that a secret sex cult which recruited women as sex slaves for its head. Both the founder, Keith Raniere, and actress 'Smallville' Allison Mack — a prominent member of the group — were arrested on trafficking charges among others in 2018.

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Raniere was convicted in June 2019 of charges, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and attempted sex trafficking. Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in April 2019 and is awaiting sentencing.

The show's previous episodes have taken us through the experiences of actresses Bonnie Piesse and Sarah Edmondson, and filmmaker Mark Vicente, who had all joined NXIVM in the 2000s. Piesse was the first to leave followed by Vicente, to whom she is married. Edmondson was later recruited into DOS — the "master/slave" secret society — though rather than to have sex with Raniere, Edmondson believed she was recruited to bring in more people. We also met the 1980s soap opera 'Dynasty' actress, Catherine Oxenberg, who worked with them to free her daughter, India Oxenberg who had also become a part of DOS.

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Now, the episodes so far might have painted a pretty good picture of Raniere already — everything from how he used volleyball sessions to meet his "fans" and how he was portrayed as a godlike figure, something he nurtured himself, and how he tried to get to the Dalai Lama to "legitimize" NXIVM and its operations. However, 'The Vow' is set to perhaps make your opinion of Raniere worse as the upcoming episode will delve into the depth of the manipulations that he would get to.

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For instance, he believed that women were protected all their lives and were therefore prideful, whereas men were humiliated as children and in locker rooms. Raniere also says that abuse is a "made up human construct" and that the ones who are on the receiving end only decide they are victims when they accept that. In fact, it goes much beyond this. One word that could be used to describe how Raniere operated NXIVM and its associated programs would be "gaslighting" because, for the most part, he just tells his female followers that any suffering they went through is not really suffering.

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To know more about how Raniere used Jness, and other groups within NXIVM, and how he designed sessions to make women more vulnerable and follow his words, watch the latest episode of 'The Vow'. 'The Vow' airs on HBO on Sunday nights at 10/9c.