HBO has set an August 23 premiere date [and released the first teaser] for The Vow, its documentary series about Nxivm.
Emmy-winning and Oscar-nominated directors Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer (The Square, Control Room, Startup.com) are directing the series, which will follow a number of people who joined Nxivm, some of whom defected and helped take the cult down.
The program will take a look at the experiences of Nxivm members, spotlighting their universal desire for personal growth, HBO said.
Noujaim’s interest in the subject began in 2010 when she took NXIVM’s introductory “Executive Success Program” workshop, which I believe was taught by Mark Vicente.
Vicente, his wife Bonnie Piesse, Catherine Oxenberg, Sarah Edmondson, Barbara Bouchey, and other former Nxivm members appear in the series as it traces the story of Nxivm — with some air time devoted to its takedown.
Although never a member of Nxivm, this writer reportedly also appears in the documentary. [I have not seen any of the video of the series except what has been released by HBO. However I was filmed on several occasions – in Niagara Falls and Brooklyn – as I did the work to help bring Keith Alan Raniere to justice prior to his arrest, and when I attended his trial as a reporter.]
The docuseries should be interesting because the filming started before Raniere’s arrest and follows Vicente, Piesse, Oxenberg and, I believe, Sarah Edmondson and her husband, Anthony Ames, in their united efforts to bring down the cult that they formerly supported.
Oxenberg was seeking to get her daughter, India, out of the cult.
Edmondson had been branded and was outraged at the deception – that her brand actually contained the initials of Keith Raniere. She had been told by Lauren Salzman that it was women’s sorority and she was shocked to find that Raniere was the secret leader of the group.
Vicente, who was one of the main whistleblowers, along with Edmondson and their respective spouses, combined with Oxenberg and myself, to create a regular wave of exposure of the nefarious doings of Raniere and his minions. It began on the Frank Report – which led to the New York Times publishing a blockbuster story – which, in turn, inspired the FBI to begin an investigation that led to the arrest and conviction of six Nxivm leaders.
The Vow has the signal advantage of documenting the story from the onset of the resistance movement dating back to 2017.
While I had no role in the production of The Vow and appear only as a journalist and activist working with Nxivm whistleblowers to take down the cult and its leaders, I imagine the series will be pretty interesting and likely to be damn good.
Based on the teaser, there ought to be some never before seen footage of Nxivm members. Vicente was the group’s videographer.
See the teaser here: