- Former Nxivm cult member India Oxenberg released an audiobook memoir that details her time as a "sex slave" in the cult's secret sorority DOS.
- Oxenberg had to take a cold shower each morning, eat 500 to 800 calories daily, and ask permission from her "master" Allison Mack to do anything, she said.
- If she defied this routine or the rules, she had to do a physically or mentally taxing activity to prove her loyalty, like reading Raniere's teachings for hours or standing outside in the cold at 3 AM, she said in the memoir.
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India Oxenberg spent seven years in alleged sex cult Nxivm, and for two of them she was part of the group's secret "sex-slave" sorority called DOS. While in DOS, Oxenberg said she was branded, forced to restrict her diet, and manipulated into sex with Nxivm founder Keith Raniere.
In her new audiobook memoir "Still Learning," Oxenberg revealed the demeaning practices she said higher-up members brainwashed her into doing, including a daily routine of calorie-counting, cold showers, and reading Raniere's work.
How women were recruited into DOS
DOS was an acronym for Dominus Obsequious Sororium, a Latin phrase that translates to mean "master over slave women."
Raniere, who was recently sentenced to life in prison after being found guilty of child sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor, created DOS, but had women loyal to him say they established the group all on their own as a women's empowerment tool.
That how Allison Mack, a DOS master and Nxivm member who plead guilty to racketeering, pitched the secret sorority to Oxenberg.
In her memoir, Oxenberg said she felt at a standstill in her progress with Nxivm, which was marketed as a self-help multi-level marketing company, and confided in Mack.
That's when Mack said she had a secret that could help Oxenberg, but only if she provided "collateral," or private information that could hold her accountable to keeping the secret, Oxenberg said. In reality, collateral would be used as blackmail for members who left the cult.
Oxenberg said she agreed, telling Mack that her father had been in jail for selling drugs and offering details of an overseas bank account her grandfather had. Soon after joining DOS, Oxenberg realized how insidious it was.
DOS 'masters' allegedly promoted weight loss and unwavering obedience
Oxenberg said in "Still Learning" that DOS masters put their slaves on strict schedules to wear them down and make them easier to manipulate into sex acts.
Oxenberg lived with Mack, her DOS master, in Albany, New York at the time and her life revolved around asking Mack permission to do anything, she said.
Her day would start with waking up and taking a cold shower, Oxenberg said, then weighing herself. Mack allegedly required Oxenberg eat between 500 and 800 calories daily so she could lose weight. Only after leaving Nxivm did Oxenberg realize this was so she could look more child-like in Raniere's eyes.
After her weigh-in, Oxenberg had to check in with Mack and send her proposed schedule for the day so Mack could approve of it. She also had to send Mack a detailed journal of her caloric intake and ask permission to eat for every meal and had to stop eating by 5 PM.
The rest of the day was spent cleaning Mack's home, teaching or taking Nxivm courses at the nearby headquarters, and reading articles Raniere wrote, she said.
Throughout each day, Oxenberg said she had to text Mack for permission to do anything they hadn't previously agreed to, and be ready to respond to any text message Mack sent her "within seconds."
"If I deviated from any of these rules, then Allison [Mack] gave me a penance, which would be any kind of display of pain to show my loyalty and willingness to correct a transgression," Oxenberg said in her memoir.
Penance could be anything from extra readings on Raniere's teachings, or standing in the snow at 3 AM, she said.
According to Oxenberg, these tactics made her wavering self-esteem decrease even more, at which point Raniere and his close followers, like Mack, would indoctrinate Oxenberg and others.
She said they were told that fearing certain sexual experiences, like those with Raniere, were signs they had more self-improvement to do, and following Raniere's teachings and seducing him would help them become more fulfilled.
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