First look at Netflix’s The Vow documents real life sex slave cult NXIVM that sent shockwaves through Hollywood

NETFLIX has released a first look trailer at its new documentary The Vow, which tracks the real life sex cult NXIVM that sent shockwaves through Hollywood.

The creators of the Great Hack – the documentary looking at the Cambridge Analytica scandal – will be turning their eyes on the sexual abuse allegations held against the leaders of supposed self-help group NXIVM.

In 2019, NXIVM's leader Keith Raniere was convicted of sex trafficking and racketeering in relation to running the group.

Meanwhile, former Smallville actress Allison Mack – one of the high-ranking members of the secretive group – pled guilty last year to one count of racketeering conspiracy and one count of racketeering – including extortion and forced labour.

In the trailer, Jahane Noujaim and Karim Amer's doc looks at how people looking for self-improvement were eventually manipulated into signing a lifelong "vow of obedience" to Raniere.

For many, this meant serving him and the inner circle as sex slaves.

NXIVM claims to be a self-help group that gives classes and seminars on personal and professional development.

An organisation called DOS, believed to be short for "dominus obsequious sororium" – Latin for the "master over the slave women" – is allegedly a shady group within NXIVM.

Prosecutors allege that women in DOS were kept on starvation diets, branded with the leader's initials and groomed to have sex with him.


According to former members of the cult, the women are branded below their hip during special ceremonies.

The mark left on the skin shows a symbol made up from the letters K and A, for Keith and Allison.

According to the New York Times exposé, each branding took 20-30 minutes, and muffled screams and the smell of burning tissues would fill the room for hours.

Mack confessed to being part of DOS, admitting that she kept a slave and instructed women in the group "to perform services for me."

She said the system was "designed to make them think they could suffer serious harm" if they didn’t perform the services — because they’d handed over damaging collateral to DOS such as nude photos and financial details.

She continued: “I must take full responsibility for my conduct. I am very sorry for my role in this case.

"I am very sorry to my family and to the good people I hurt through my misguided adherence to [NXIVM leader] Keith Raniere’s teachings.

"I was a member of a secret society founded by Keith Raniere.

"I concealed Keith Raniere’s role as the head of DOS."

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