If you’re unfamiliar with the controversial cult NXIVM, allow one of its members to sum up her feelings in a teaser for HBO’s docuseries The Vow: “It is manipulative, but it’s a good manipulation.”
Premiering Sunday, Aug. 23, The Vow will take a “deep, nuanced look” at NXIVM, which was co-founded by Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman in 1998. Though the organization claimed to provide personal and professional improvement opportunities to those who joined, it has since made headlines for various charges brought against its leaders, including sex trafficking and racketeering conspiracy.
Raniere, who appears in the above teaser to offer “a methodology for enhancing human experience and behavior,” was convicted of sex trafficking and racketeering in June 2019 and currently awaits sentencing. Smallville alum Allison Mack, one of the cult’s most notable recruiters (who also briefly pops up in the promo), has pleaded guilty to various charges, as well.
Directed by Oscar nominees Jehane Noujaim (Control Room) and Karim Amer (The Great Hack), The Vow “seeks to reveal the issues behind the headlines and explore the emotional toll of unfolding events on these individuals.”
NXIVM was previously the subject of the 2019 Lifetime movie Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter, which starred Peter Facinelli (Nurse Jackie) as Raniere and Sara Fletcher (Mom Tested) as Mack.
Watch the full Vow teaser above, then drop a comment and tell us if you’ll be checking out the docuseries in August.