Picture Supply: Getty / Amy Luke
HBO’s newest documentary, The Vow, pulls again the curtain on the horrifying world of NXIVM and its founder Keith Raniere, who was accused of operating an abusive intercourse cult via the Albany-based “self-help” group. The nine-episode collection reveals most of the cults inside workings, which included a subgroup named DOS (Dominus Obsequious Sororium) that was recognized for branding its members.
The key women-only inside circle was typically described as a “sorority” by its members, which famously included Smallville actress Allison Mack, who was Raniere’s go-to for recruiting new members. One of many methods the ladies pledged their loyalty to the group was by getting Rainiere and Mack’s initials branded with a cauterizing pen in a ritual ceremony. In a earlier interview with ABC’s Nightline, former NXIVM member Sarah Edmondson stated the branding was Mack’s concept and that they had been initially instructed the design was a Latin image, although she later realized that wasn’t the case. “The 4 components had been Keith’s initials from one facet and ‘AM’ for Allison Mack from lifeless on,” Edmondson defined. “However I did not see that on the time.”
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“Think about any individual taking a lit match to probably the most delicate space of your physique and dragging it throughout your flesh slowly,” Edmondson later instructed Inside Version, including that the branding lasted between 20 to 30 minutes. “It was horrific. The entire level was to expertise ache and to beat the ache to be actually robust, in order that they reduce our flesh open with out anesthetic.”
Along with the branding, different technique of proving ones sisterhood concerned sleeping with Raniere, extreme weight-reduction plan, and giving up a type of “collateral,” similar to a significant secret confession or express images, to make sure that members would not reveal any of the sorority’s secrets and techniques.