Author: Sarah Berman
Genre: Biographies & Memoirs
Publisher: Steerforth Press
Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Book Description: They draw you in with the promise of empowerment, self-discovery, women helping women. The more secretive those connections are, the more exclusive you feel. Little did you know, you just joined a cult.
Sex trafficking. Self-help coaching. Forced labor. Mentorship. Multi-level marketing. Gaslighting. Investigative journalist Sarah Berman explores the shocking practices of NXIVM, a cult run by Keith Raniere and many enablers. Through the accounts of central NXIVM figures, Berman uncovers how dozens of women seeking creative coaching and networking opportunities instead were blackmailed, literally branded, near-starved, and enslaved.Don’t Call It a Cult is a riveting account of NXIVM’s rise to power, its ability to evade prosecution for decades, and the investigation that finally revealed its dark secrets to the world.
Rating: 3 Stars
Review: This is the in depth story of the women of the NXIVM organization. Over last summer HBO and Starz both released in-depth documentaries on NXIVM, both focused mostly on the same players that brought the cult down. This book has a similar focus, with a much more in-depth look at the sub-group DOS.
When I first started learning about them, they identified as Executive Success Program which businesses would invest in their methods for their employees. I could totally see why people would want to invest more time in them. Then this group quickly moves into what I think is completely deranged, because their leader is now serving a 120 year sentence for sex-trafficking.
What these women were subjected to, is nothing but vile, having to take nude pictures of themselves, engage in sexual acts with multiple partners, call themselves slaves, and brand themselves is just the start of all the issues that occurred.
Sarah Berman is slightly late to the game with this story. For me, this did not add much that I was not already aware of. For people that have not engaged in the documentaries, this book definitely gives justice to what occurred to the women by being members of this cult. This book lays everything out there, and is extremely graphic, but it is an important story to tell.
Thank you NetGalley and Steerforth Press for an Advanced Reader’s Copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.