The First Episode of "Cults and Extreme Belief" Examines the So-Called Self Help Group NXIVM

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23 May 2018
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Cults and Extreme Beliefs
Courtesy of A&E
"Cults and Extreme Belief"
Premieres Monday and Tuesday, May 28 and 29 at 10 PM ET/PT on A&E
 
          Elizabeth Vargas, alongside former members of controversial organizations, goes on a search to uncover how these sects use their influence to prey upon people’s desperation to create powerful and often destructive belief systems. Each episode will take an immersive look at one currently active group through the eyes of past devotees and get perspective from believers and leaders that are still inside.
 
          In the premiere episode, Vargas examines NXIVM, an organization that sells “self-help” seminars that they claim give people the tools they need to get their lives together and allow them to make a difference in the world. However, the group led by Keith Raniere, referred to by followers as Vanguard, stands accused of drawing supporters down a path of destruction that includes near-starvation diets, sexual assault, forced branding, pseudo-slavery, and blackmail.

 

          Luring in many high profile Hollywood actresses to evangelize for his cause over its 20 year in operation, Raniere was recently arrested in Mexico and charged with sex trafficking among other crimes. Former members of NXIVM share harrowing experiences of manipulation and sexual violation, including Sarah Edmondson who sits down with Vargas to share new details of her ordeal inside the organization which first broke in the New York Times late last year.
 
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