What Does NXIVM Stand For And Who Is Allison Mack?

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What Does NXIVM Stand For And Who Is Allison Mack?PA Images/Keith Raniere Conversations/YouTube

Since the news was announced that Allison Mack was handed a three-year prison sentence for her involvement in the ‘sex slave’ cult NXIVM, Google searches around NXIVM, it’s meaning and how Allison Mack was involved have soared.

So, here’s everything you need to know about this shocking case. 


What is NXIVM?

NXIVM (pronounced ‘Nexium’) was a ‘sex slave’ cult established by Keith Raniere in Albany in 1998. For more than 20 years, NXIVM caught the attention of high-profile people, from Hollywood actors to powerful CEOs, and even Prince William’s third cousin, Catherine Oxenberg, according to Expert Reviews

These individuals thought they were paying for a self-improvement course, but it turned out they were being recruited into a cult to act as ‘sex slaves’  for Raniere and endure all kinds of physical and emotional abuse, including so-called ‘branding’ ceremonies. 

Keith Raniere (Keith Raniere Conversations/YouTube)Keith Raniere Conversations/YouTube

It wasn’t until one individual spoke out to the New York Times that NXIVM was exposed for what it really was. 

People would enter the NXIVM programme through the ‘Executive Success Programme’ (EPS),  a set of personal and professional development courses teaching participants to overcome their ‘limiting beliefs’, fears, and anxieties to reach their ‘full potential’.

Who were the leaders of NXIVM?

Keith Raniere was the spiritual leader of the cult. He was known by members as ‘Vanguard’. As the leader of the cult, he would force female members to be his sex slaves. In October, Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison for sex trafficking.


Co-founder Nancy Salzman was also a leader and was known as the organisation’s ‘Prefect’. After pleading guilty to racketeering conspiracy, she is facing between 33 and 41 months in prison along with a fine of up to $250,000, Insider reports.

Who is Allison Mack?

Allison Mack is an actress, best known for her role in the TV series, Smallville.

Allison Mack (PA)PA

She was also one of the recruiters for NXIVM, after reportedly being recruited by the organisation herself, and acted as a ‘master’ for the women, ordering them ‘to perform labor, take nude photographs, and in some cases, to engage in sex acts with Raniere,’ according to prosecutors.

On June 30th, 2021, she was sentenced to three years in prison for racketeering related to her role in NXIVM.

How to watch The Vow documentary without HBO Max:

NXIVM is the subject of a new true-crime documentary on HBO Max called The Vow, which explores the rise and fall of the organisation.


It was after director, Jehane Noujaim, took an NXIVM course and documented her experience inside the cult alongside director Karim Amer.

The docuseries features interviews with former members of the cult as well as its leader, Raniere, who’s now in prison, and other key players in the organisation.

It’s available for US viewers to watch on HBO Max and Amazon Prime Video. For UK viewers, it’s currently streaming on Now TV.

Now TV is a subscription service like Netflix. But if you’re new to the service, you can take advantage of a 30-day free trial to watch the documentary.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Topics: Film and TV, Documentary, True crime, tv and film


Expert Reviews and 1 other
  1. Expert Reviews

    How to watch The Vow NXIVM documentary for free in the UK and abroad

  2. Insider

    Where are they now? All the major players in NXIVM, an alleged sex cult covered up as a self-help group

Laura Sanders
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