Entertainment

The Vow: The Meaning Behind the NXIVM Brand Given to Members Will Send Chills Down Your Spine

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Image Source: Getty / Amy LukeHBO’s latest documentary, The Vow, pulls back the curtain on the horrifying world of NXIVM and its founder, Keith Raniere, who was accused of running an abusive sex cult through the Albany-based “self-help” organization. The nine-episode series reveals many of the cults inner workings, which included a subgroup named DOS that was known for branding its members. The secret women-only inner circle was often described as a “sorority” by its members, which famously included Smallville actress Allison Mack, who was Raniere’s go-to for recruiting new members. One of the ways the women pledged their loyalty to the group was by getting Rainiere and Mack’s initials branded with a cauterizing pen in a ritual ceremony. In a previous interview with ABC’s Nightline, former NXIVM member Sarah Edmondson said the branding was Mack’s idea and that they were initially told the design was a Latin symbol, though she later realized that wasn’t the case. “The four elements were Keith’s initials from one side and ‘AM’ for Allison Mack from dead on,” Edmondson explained. “But I didn’t see that at the time.”

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