Former Nxivm member India Oxenberg has broken her silence about her seven-year membership in the sex cult, claiming she was raped by Keith Raniere and branded with his initials while under the thumb of “masters of manipulation.”
Speaking in her first interview, Oxenberg said she was lured to the cult in 2011 under the impression that it could help with self-growth.
“What I thought I was learning was self-help and personal growth. What I was learning was the opposite,” Oxenberg, 29, told “Good Morning America” on Tuesday.
Instead, she said, she was alienated from her family, including her mother, “Dynasty” actress Catherine Oxenberg.
“That’s years of grooming. When you’re unaware it’s so easy to be led astray, especially by people who are masters at manipulation,” she added.
She said the cult’s leader, convicted sex-trafficker Keith Raniere, employed manipulation tactics to groom her.
“If there’s one thing he’s intelligent at, it’s that. He’s a predator,” she said.
India said she eventually became part of a secret subset of the cult called DOS, which was pitched to her by “Smallville” actress and fellow member Allison Mack as a sexual liberation group.
“It was a trap and a ploy for Keith to enslave women for his own sexual desires,” she said. “The relationship took a different turn and became sexual when I was commanded to do a seduction assignment.”
The women in the group were forced to have sex with Raniere and be branded with his initials.
“We were told it was a symbol of the elements and that this was going to be a bonding experience,” she said.
“We were sleep-deprived, we were starved, we were coerced. You don’t just decide to be branded. You are coerced into being branded.”
She said she felt she had no choice about having sex with Raniere because she had given incriminating information about friends and family as “collateral,” which would be released if she didn’t submit to him.
“I would describe that sexual relationship as rape,” she said.
“I had given collateral which automatically removes my choice. I did not have the option to say no. Saying no meant hurting my family or hurting my friends and I wasn’t going to do that.”
She said she eventually fled the cult in 2018 after “stages of revelations.”
“You have to be open to it. You can’t force someone to see the truth. They have to be open to it,” said India, who has since covered up Raniere’s initials with an evil eye and a Latin phrase that means “Still learning.”
Raniere was convicted last year on racketeering and sex-trafficking charges and is awaiting sentencing.
He has maintained no wrongdoing in the cult, claiming that he still “believes he will be vindicated.”
Five members of Nxivm were charged alongside Raniere — including Mack — and have pleaded guilty to various charges, including racketeering and conspiracy.
Seagram’s liquor heiress Clare Bronfman was sentenced last month to more than six years behind bars for her role in the cult.
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