I got an HBO subscription on Amazon just to watch “The Vow”, the 9-episode series on Nxivm.
It appears to be well done with high production values, but having only seen the first installment I feel like it is premature to comment on it as a reviewer might.
In the first episode [The Science of Joy], the audience is introduced to the main characters, getting some background on them, getting a feel for the official version Nxivm as they presented to the public.
There is much much more to come.
Seeing and hearing Nancy Salzman was the biggest shock so far, for me.
Her shtick in action in the clips from ESP training videos is accurately described by Sarah Edmondson as being very 80s, in a dated un-hip power-suited kind of low budget customer service training video way.
Her brief ESP segments immediately made me think of the equally goofy Consumers’ Buyline advertising.
Not different at all in fact.
Both Nancy and Raniere are so insincere, so artificial and cornball, they barely conceal their base-grasping vulgar natures with overacted faux enthusiasm and the phony spirituality pretense.
Mark Vincente is an odd bird. He is not unlikeable – in fact, he seems quite genuine – but there is something broken about him. Now maybe it was his formative years in South Africa, can’t imagine anyone with a little extra sensitivity walking away from that without some degree of trauma.
But he is also an affable rube who lives up to his first name. In another time and place, he easily would have been a wandering hippie seeker rather than the yuppie creative that he is today.
But even in a different decade, he surely would have wound up in the same place: in a cult.
Nancy and Keith must’ve been slobbering over him when he entered the picture. He was successful, handsome, talented, tall, all the things Keith is not.
He did gloss over Ramtha, which he didn’t need to go into in-depth but it might have added additional context to him as a person and explained a bit about how he managed to spend 12 prime years of his life dedicated to a hard control system.
I’m going to guess that he scared the isht out of Nancy and Keith when he finally blew a gasket and lashed out at them, angrily and loudly jumping ship surely sent them into a panic.
Can’t wait for that part of the story, it will be glorious.
Sarah Edmondson’s story – thus far – is neatly stitched up, but one big missing detail when describing Nxivm expansion was that they were bringing in money, her in particular, in a pyramid structure no less.
Seems from what we know from this blog, if there was doubt in her mind or times when Nxivm dogma wore transparently thin, the money, attention, status, and purpose (of making more money) kept her blinded to the evil nature of what she was involved with and committed to doing.
Finally, the group photos and clips of them with smiles plastered on their faces, their antic jumping and dancing around, the hugging and the image of always having a good time, was nauseating.
There is definitely a personality type that is drawn to and feels comfortable in joining a group, in subsuming one’s own identity to a group in order to fit in and feel a part of something. To see people like Emiliano Salinas and glimpses of some others that we got in Episode 1 makes that color coded t-shirt sorority summer camp crap even more preposterous.
So far, we have yet to get a whiff of sulfur, of the mendacity and depravity and brutality that we know is coming. Mark’s personal pain and shame is the only indication so far of what is to come.