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Don't Call It a Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of Nxivm
Don't Call It a Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of Nxivm | Sarah Berman
21 posts | 15 read | 27 to read
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.
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Hestapleton
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Pickpick

Audiobooks are the best! I‘ve watched a lot of docs about NXIVM, but this book still offered new information and perspectives, including quotes and testimony from the trial. Absolutely mine-boggling from start to finish. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

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ElizaMarie
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#October2021

So, my favorite genre is #TrueCrime. I love anything #TrueCrime - I like documentaries, podcasts, books, etc. Cults are particularly scary for me... This book, wow! I knew most of the story already (podcasts and documentaries) but ... the book was really well worth it - it has been one I have gifted to a few people.

#12BooksOf2021

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brittanybooks
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Mehso-so

Almost identical to the HBO series “The Vow.” I wish I had read the book first. After having seen the show, I mistakenly assumed this book was written by a featured survivor named Sarah. Overall, very informative. Hard to believe these terrible things were happening in an otherwise quiet suburb. #book47of2021 #memorialbookchallenge #75bookchallenge

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LaurenMags
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Pickpick

Not a light read about Keith Raniere and NXIVM. The control that he had over these women was disgusting. I'm glad he will be behind bars for the rest of his life for destroying all those lives.

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Chrissyreadit
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A huge thank you to @ElizaMarie for this special surprise 😘❤️😘 I‘m so excited! I‘ve really been fascinated by cult mentality lately. This was so thoughtful and really appreciated!

TheKidUpstairs Ooh, I do want to read this one! We were talking about it at work as part of a discussion after viewing LulaRich. 7mo
ElizaMarie I am so glad it got there (and super fast) but yeah, its such a great read! I mean he is so horrible and it just goes into more detail than the HBO special which was also very very good! I am super excited to see what you think of it when you get to it! 7mo
74 likes3 stack adds2 comments
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ElizaMarie
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Pickpick
jb72 Wow that‘s awful! 7mo
DieAReader 😳🤬😤🐂💩 7mo
KCofKaysville I read about him and his followers in a magazine a few months ago. Can't believe what people will fall for. @ElizaMarie 7mo
32 likes3 comments
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ElizaMarie
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Busy relaxing day. Watching the Packers (add to my anxiety) JuJu sleeping on me and me reading about sex cults

💚💛💚💛

BethM My god that game 🤦‍♀️ 7mo
Chrissyreadit I‘m so happy you are resting and relaxing! 💛💛💛 7mo
ElizaMarie @Chrissyreadit thanks! I needed some time ! 7mo
21 likes3 comments
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ElizaMarie
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DieAReader 😡😡😡 7mo
jb72 😠 that‘s awful. 😡 Hell my SO and I had an argument the other day about women and sex trafficking. He just doesn‘t want to understand. 7mo
AkashaVampie Wtf!!! 7mo
See All 6 Comments
ElizaMarie @jb72 ugh! 7mo
Avanders Hey Eliza - I‘m behind this month in shipping #cbbc — I actually was right on time… but the PO‘s *Internet* was down that day so I couldn‘t actually send it. 🤦🏽‍♀️ I haven‘t been able to make it back — but I will as soon as I can!! @Mommamanzi 7mo
ElizaMarie @Avanders Oh don't worry about it. Stuff like that happens all the time! Also, I have a thing where I have limited time so when I try to do errands if it doesn't work out it would take me several days to do things again. So no rush! 7mo
27 likes6 comments
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Chelsea.Poole
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Pickpick

Basically, a review of what I learned from HBO‘s documentary The Vow. The cult of NXIVM, a “self improvement” pyramid scheme led by Keith Raniere, which was big in the news several years ago, was embraced by some semi famous people. Although the documentary heavily features Catherine and India Oxenburg, and this focuses on others like Daniela who was a 16 year old Mexican girl imprisoned in a room by her parents and Keith Raniere, there‘s overlap.

Megabooks I read this before The Vow, and the documentary was at least as complete if not more than this book. 7mo
MicheleinPhilly Did you watch Seduced? It originally aired on Starz but is available, I believe, on Hulu. I thought it was much better than The Vow. 7mo
Chelsea.Poole @Megabooks I have to agree. Now I‘m wondering about the other Seduced, @MicheleinPhilly. I don‘t have access to Starz but I do have Hulu so I‘m going to check for it there. Thanks!! 7mo
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ElizaMarie
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Excited to start this one as I wait for my doctor's appointment (later today)

Fall TBR: September 22nd to December 21st

#FallTBR
#IPromiseToRead
@AkashaVampie

#CrimeADay
@Bookworm54 @AsYouWish @jb72 @DieAReader @Jessinikkip @AnansiGirl @Read4Life

jb72 Sounds interesting 7mo
ElizaMarie @jb72 did you see the HBO documentary on it? 7mo
jb72 @ElizaMarie No I don‘t know much about it at all. And don‘t you have a thing about cults? Like getting sucked into one? 7mo
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DieAReader Ooh!! Sounds intriguing! 7mo
ElizaMarie @jb72 ha yes! I do. I am terrified that I will fall prey to a cult! This one in particular seems like it would have been easy to get in love your head. If you have HBO I really recommend that you watch the documentary 7mo
ElizaMarie @DieAReader I am only 2 chapters in but.... I love it so far! 7mo
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JenniferEgnor
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Pickpick

Keith Raniere was a gross misogynist who preyed on womxn financially, mentally, spiritually and sexually—and he used other womxn to help him do it. Disgusting. I can‘t understand how peoplx don‘t see all the red flags. NXIVM was just another cult. Remember this: cults are heavily centered around sexual abuse. Watch survivors tell their stories: https:/watch.amazon.com/detailasin=B07Q58882Z&territory=US&ref_=share_ios_season&r=web

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Addison_Reads
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Pickpick

#BookSpinBingo @TheAromaofBooks

I'm a fan of a well-researched book and this definitely fits that category. Berman does an excellent job with her investigation into the NXIVM cult.

Raniere reminded me of Manson with his narcissistic manipulative ways. It made me wonder how many other "businesses" like this exist in our world.

JenniferEgnor I just checked this out from the library! 9mo
Addison_Reads @JenniferEgnor I am excited to see your thoughts about this one. 9mo
TheAromaofBooks Woohoo!! 9mo
JenniferEgnor @Addison_Reads I‘ll be starting it soon. I have heard of them before on documentaries…I‘m looking forward to diving in to it more personally! 9mo
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MidnightBookGirl
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Day 1 of #AnyWayYouReadathon and I finished Last Chance Books… which I will not be recommending. Making progress with the tagged book. Cults are crazy, yo! @kimmypete1 @Eggbeater

MegaWhoppingCosmicBookwyrm One of my fav YouTubers has been doing a series on cults and his latest was on this same one. Definitely stacking! 9mo
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kimmypete1
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Pickpick

Raniere reminded me a lot of Manson, with his mind games and manipulation. The things that happened are absolutely horrible and disgusting.

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Eggbeater
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Pickpick

Disturbing. At times I had to put it down. Why don't we ever have female cult leaders with a bunch of male minions running around doing their bidding no matter how nefarious? (Sarcasm, not actually advocating this)

Well written and researced investigative journalism. I thought the author gave the victims a decent platform so that you understood the magnitude. Keith Raniere is Mansonlike and repulsive.

GingerAntics I wondered that after watching the dateline episode about this guy… or really the women. 10mo
52 likes1 comment
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Eggbeater
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Big book haul from my favorite indie bookstore @FountainBookstore . Five are Fountain book club reads, but the Jennifer Armentrout is my pick. I am really looking forward to Don't Call It a Cult and Autonomous. Have you read any of these?

Clare-Dragonfly Ooh, I didn‘t know there was a book about NXIVM. Stacked! 11mo
CaffeineAndCandy Nice 👍🏼 11mo
LeslieO Good haul! 11mo
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abookishbutterfly
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Pickpick

Berman did a fantastic job delving into the cult dynamics of NXIVM, making it easy to understand how people were absorbed by it. She shines a light on our own crippling blind spots in the process, helping readers identify the red flags of a narcissist, the alluring disguise of toxic positivity, and the ease with which weapons are created out of our own silent shame.

My full review: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show/3841838326

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britt_brooke
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Pickpick

⭐️⭐️⭐️ If it coerces like a cult, extorts like a cult, bleeds you dry like a cult ... it‘s probably a cult. Under the guise of a pyramid scheme company and self-help organization, self-proclaimed super genius Keith Raniere created NXIVM, preying on wealthy, vulnerable women including some minor celebrities. Twenty years of systemic abuse, branding (hot iron), and sex trafficking transpired. I‘m gonna need more detail; this was too broad a stoke.

britt_brooke @Megabooks Have you read other books about this group? I‘d love a rec! 12mo
Hestapleton I‘m watching a doc on NXIVM as we speak! So creepy. 12mo
Megabooks Just something about the early part with Toni Natalie. It was just okay. I enjoyed The Vow on HBO about the later part and DOS. 12mo
See All 18 Comments
britt_brooke @Megabooks Thank you! 12mo
britt_brooke @Hestapleton Which one are you watching? 12mo
StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego I watched the doc Seduced with India Oxenberg. So crazy. 12mo
Cinfhen I‘d like to watch the documentary too!!! Please share @Hestapleton 😘 12mo
Hestapleton @britt_brooke @Cinfhen I‘m watching Seduced on Starz! 12mo
Cinfhen Not sure if I get Starz overseas/ need to find out! Thanks @Hestapleton ♥️ (edited) 12mo
Hestapleton @Cinfhen if it helps, I subscribed through Amazon prime. Hopefully you can find it somewhere - it‘s really good. Lots of cult experts and psychologists who break down what‘s going on underneath cause it‘s really sneaky. 12mo
britt_brooke @Hestapleton @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego Thanks! Dang, I don‘t have Starz. I might need to get it just long enough to watch this. 😂 12mo
Cinfhen My Prime doesn‘t work overseas but my son knows how to get Starz so fingers crossed 🤞🏽 thanks @Hestapleton @StillLookingForCarmenSanDiego 12mo
Cinfhen BTW @Hestapleton I just joined Storygraph and I found your “challenges” THANKS SO MUCH for importing all those prompts for #Booked2021 #Pop21 #ReadingAsia21 12mo
CaramelLunacy I have been listening to the Uncovered podcast from (I think) the CBBC about Nxivm. Very interesting so far 12mo
SaunteringVaguelyDownwards A bit of even more random NXIVM weirdness was their brief involvement in a cappella, where one of my colleagues encountered them. Reddit has a good recap of this: https://www.reddit.com/r/HobbyDrama/comments/j8r514/a_cappella_a_cult_tries_to_i... 12mo
britt_brooke @CaramelLunacy I‘ll have to look for that podcast - thanks! 12mo
britt_brooke @SaunteringVaguelyDownwards Thanks for the link! 12mo
85 likes3 stack adds18 comments
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britt_brooke
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🎧🧩 Put the final few pieces in this 1000-piece Frank Lloyd Wright beauty this morning. This puzzle took me longer than I‘d like to admit, but I love the finished product. Might frame it! 🖼

#audiopuzzling

Cathythoughts Pretty amazing 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻 12mo
DivineDiana It is beautiful! ❤️ 12mo
bookseller_cate My housemate and I are doing Starry Night by Van Gogh and having much trouble with it. 😆 12mo
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Klou I love this!! 12mo
Kdgordon88 Absolutely stunning! 12mo
Leftcoastzen Love FLW ! Wonderful puzzle 12mo
quietjenn How striking is this? 😍 12mo
Kimberlone My bf and our roommate did this same puzzle at the beginning of pandemic. It was harder than we were expecting!! 12mo
LeahBergen Wow!! 12mo
BarbaraBB Wonderful puzzle! 12mo
britt_brooke @bookseller_cate Starry Night sounds super tough! I did a 500-piece flower petal version of Starry Night. One of the hardest I‘ve ever done. 😅 12mo
britt_brooke @Kimberlone It‘s SO much harder than it looks. I‘m so happy to be finished. 😅 12mo
Klou @britt_brooke oh you keep yours together and frame them! I love that! 12mo
britt_brooke @Klou This will be the first one! I have glued others, but not done anything with them yet. Maybe one day I‘ll frame those, too. 😊 12mo
Klou @britt_brooke that would be awesome! If I had more room, I'd never break mine apart and I'd frame them all 😂 a room just for jigsaws, wouldn't that be awesome! 12mo
britt_brooke @Klou That would be amazing! #goals 12mo
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review
Megabooks
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Pickpick

This is the most temporally comprehensive account of the cult NXIVM I‘ve read so far. She goes back to Toni Natalie & Consumer Buyline, Keith‘s first venture, to the founding of ESP with Nancy Salzman to DOS and his eventual downfall. She interviews many of the key players and relies heavily on court records from Keith‘s trial. While it goes deeper in the past than The Vow, if you‘ve followed this closely, there may not be enough depth for you.

Megabooks @britt_brooke and @Reviewsbylola this is definitely in your wheelhouse! It might be in yours, too, @Cinfhen 13mo
Cinfhen Thanks for the recommendation💜 13mo
britt_brooke Thanks for the tag! I‘ve never read anything about this. Def stacking! (edited) 13mo
See All 7 Comments
MicheleinPhilly Did you watch Seduced? I thought that series was much better than The Vow. The latter went on for far too long and I found most of the main participants extremely annoying. 13mo
Megabooks @MicheleinPhilly no, I haven‘t. What channel/service was that on? 13mo
rambiepaige Oooooh stacking! @MicheleinPhilly Seduced was absolutely insane! 13mo
rambiepaige @Megabooks I watched it on Starz 13mo
96 likes2 stack adds7 comments
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Lauren.Archer
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Pickpick

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.

66 likes2 stack adds