Nxivm survivor India Oxenberg on Keith Raniere, multilevel advertising

  • India Oxenberg spent seven years as a member of the Nxivm cult, and after breaking free she says she notices many similarities between the cult and multilevel advertising corporations, together with recruitment type.
  • Throughout the preliminary pitch, Nxivm promised that its Govt Success Program can be like a “sensible MBA,” Oxenberg informed Enterprise Insider. 
  • After becoming a member of, she alleged she was compelled to turn out to be a “slave” to cult chief Keith Raniere and was branded with Raniere’s initials.
  • “They used individuals of notoriety as a way to recruit, they usually additionally used phrase of mouth,” Oxenberg says.
  • Go to Enterprise Insider’s homepage for extra tales.

Proper off the bat, India Oxenberg felt drawn in by Nxivm.

When she attended an preliminary pitch for Nxivm’s Govt Success Program in Los Angeles in 2011, she recalled seeing high-profile entrepreneurs, Harvard grads, and even Hollywood celebrities had been additionally in attendance. She was dazzled by the turnout, and Nxivm’s promise of a shiny future sealed the deal. 

“The best way that they pitched it was that this was going to be a sensible MBA and that it was going to be my model of other training,” India Oxenberg informed Enterprise Insider. “They stated I used to be going to achieve the talents that I wanted as a way to achieve success in my life. And on prime of it, additionally they bought that they’d be capable of take away illogical fears that had been holding you again from going all in on any of your initiatives.” 

However since she broke free from the cult, she’s stated she come to appreciate that lots of the ways Nxivm used had been just like multilevel advertising corporations, which have that identify as a result of their income derives each from fee on gross sales of merchandise and from the gross sales of recruits, known as downline distributing. 

An MLM-style strategy to recruiting

One multilevel advertising tactic utilized by Nxivm, Oxenberg stated, was its recruitment type. 

“They used individuals of notoriety as a way to recruit, they usually additionally used phrase of mouth,” stated Oxenberg, who broke her silence for the primary time on October 13. “They did not truly need to promote as a result of when you had been indoctrinated sufficient into this system … you’ll exit and inform individuals. And since they trusted you, they’d say sure.”

The non-public dynamics have an influence of their very own in an organizational setting, stated Jennifer Chatman, a professor on the Haas College of Enterprise on the College of California, Berkeley, who researches, teaches, and consults on how corporations leverage organizational tradition to enhance company efficiency.

“Two issues can occur,” she informed Enterprise Insider. “One is that the group is form of blessed by your good friend. And the second is that you just stroll in already feeling strain to carry out as a result of it is your pals, who you care about.” 

Oxenberg defined how Nxivm’s chief, Keith Raniere, purposely used ways just like these of multilevel-marketing corporations that in the end reeled her in and received her to remain for over seven years. Throughout her journey, she was recruited right into a secret “master-slave” sorority group inside Nxivm known as DOS, the place she was starved, abused and even branded with Raniere’s initials, she stated. 

Dozens of ladies have since come ahead with harrowing accounts of their involvement with DOS, which stands for “Dominus Obsequious Sororium.” 

Raniere was arrested in March 2018 in connection to DOS, and indicted on a collection of federal fees together with intercourse trafficking, conspiracy for intercourse trafficking, and conspiracy to commit compelled labor. On June 19, 2019, Raniere was convicted of all fees, together with racketeering.

Raniere maintains his innocence. “Mr. Raniere stands by his place at trial that he’s harmless, and he’ll struggle to show his innocence in a courtroom,” his lawyer Marc Agnifilo informed Enterprise Insider.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced on October 27.

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