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:
Frank — Are you sure you appear in the series? So far IMDB only lists Ames, Edmondson, Oxenberg, Piesse, and Vicente. Maybe once it airs, if you appear, your name will be added along with any others. Maybe right now they are only listing the people who are featured significantly? IMDB isn’t always accurate and sometimes slow to update. https://www.imdb.com/title/tt10222764/?ref_=fn_al_tt_2
You wrote: “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.”
Rather than you speculating, why not check with Vicente directly? And while you are checking with Vicente, maybe see what connection, if any, Karim Amer (the male half of the directing pair) had to NXIVM. According to Oxenberg’s book, Vicente was longtime friends with Karim. Would Vicente have been friends with someone who wasn’t in NXIVM? Or was Karim to Vicente like Josh Bloch was to Edmondson?
I do not know for certain if I appear in the series. I only know I was filmed. Maybe I did not make the final cut.
I wonder why it took all these years to make a little ol teaser. I didn’t catch the date of airing. Will it take 3 more years to see this riveting marketing scheme? And where is Toni Natalie? I don’t think they even mention her.
Duh the date is in the headline 🤪 my bad. I must have been distracted by the face.
To expand on Nice Guy’s comment below:
“Schitt’s Creek is the not the show you would expect to take a ripped-from-the-headlines story and turn it into a plot point. It is not Law and Order: SVU. In fact, Schitt’s Creek mostly seems to belong in an alternate utopian reality where headlines don’t exist at all. And yet, this week, on episode seven of the show’s sixth and final season, Alexis Rose is now a “regional marketing invigorator” for an organization that recruits women and makes them wear creepy muted-toned uniforms for “a total physical and emotional transformation.” (Ronnie’s skeptical face through this entire bit is a whole mood). Aside from the SoulCycle element, “Elevation” is a total NXIVM knockoff, right down to the charismatic male leader (named Citrus — I screamed at this name). Considering the NXIVM cult scandal was such a big and absurd story involving so many Canadians, it makes sense that our big and absurd Canadian sitcom pokes a little fun at it — with less-horrifying details. ”
“Of course, Alexis doesn’t realize her new gig is to lure unsuspecting women into a cult. At first, she just thinks it’s a fun workout class she gets paid to trick her friends into going to. Stevie is only there for a free lunch. Jocelyn is sad she has to change and doesn’t get to show off her “lulu limes” workout gear. Twyla actually seems like the ideal cult recruit: she’s gullible, eager to please hot dudes (remember when she wrote Mutt a song?), and she’s generally a follower. Alexis ignores Stevie’s warnings that the place has a “weird vibe” and they go on with the class.
Like a true SoulCycle instructor, Citrus yells affirmations at the woman and encourages them to “push past demons” and “ascend to the gateway” as they plug away on their ellipticals. After the class, everyone is ready to sign over their lives to Citrus, except Stevie. (Sure, Stevie ends up being right in this scenario, but let’s never forget that she is the girl who works out with her hair down. An unforgivable offence.) After Stevie’s prodding, Alexis finally decides to ask Citrus what the schitt a “gateway” is. He says it’s a “literal gateway into the sky” and that’s when Alexis confirms Elevation is 100% a cult. She breaks the news to the group and they decide to escape through the emergency exit in the change room.”
:”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.”
It’s like bubblegum that has been chewed for an hour.
99% of North America doesn’t know that bubblegum exists.
Unexpected FOODS THAT CONTAIN PIG. Chewing Gum: Stearic acid is used in many chewing gums. It is obtained from animal fats, mostly from a pig’s stomach.” Myans chewed chicle. Other civilizations chewed sap or resen from bark.
Semi-Off-Topic-Tidbit of Interest too Frank:
Frank Report Celebrity Mention
The sitcom TV show “Schitt’s Creek” had a NXIVM based episode.
The writer/producer of the show said he was obsessed with NXIVM and decided an episode loosely based on NXIVM would be funny.
Of interest to FRANK is in an interview the writer/producer mentions “this website was dedicated to NXIVM and I would go there every day for months.”
Hey Nice Guy – do you have a link for that mention or were you ribbing me?
No it’s real. After the episode they aired a short Q& A with the producer.
I’ll look for the link. He mentioned a “website” not Frank Report by name.
I wouldn’t “rib” about something like this. I meant to share it before.
One of the directors of Schitt’s Creek took a NXIVM course back in 2010, probably from Mark Vicente.
That’s not what Frank wrote. Jehane Noujaim — one of the directors of this HBO docu-series, The Vow — took NXIVM’s introductory course in 2010.
Shadow’s post is 1/2 true…
The show when it originally aired on POPtv would have an after segment with Dan Levy the creator/producer/writer of the show. The season 6 episode 7 aired the companion-after-segment where Dan Levy talks about his obsession with NXIVM.
Frank I am trying to find the segment. I’m not “ribbing you”. I bust balls, I wouldn’t be an outright dick to you.
The link below does not contain the companion segment.
I checked Netflix and couldn’t find.
I will find it.
Thanks for finding this…
I don’t know about a Q&A, but they did these little blips called Behind the Scenes, and he said he got the idea from the NXIVM podcast, but didn’t want to go that “dark”.
To Guy – So where did you get this quote from, “This website was dedicated to NXIVM and I would go there every day for months.” On the Behind the Scenes video, Levy says the episode “stemmed from my listening to the NXIVM podcast.”