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.
NXIVM has been the subject of multiple docuseries and podcasts, but investigative journalist Berman’s account is a standout. With astute research, court testimonies, and firsthand narratives from inner-circle NXIVM members, she traces the downfall of NXIVM ... Berman demonstrates the tactics cults use to manipulate and control without casting judgment or blame on the victims. Truly gripping, this is the definitive book on NXIVM.
Journalist Sarah Berman brings her signature gimlet eye and impeccable reporting to the story of the NXIVM women in Don’t Call It a Cult, a chilling true crime account ... The book is a nuanced story that strays into big questions ... The book explores the subtle power exchanges and struggles within the group; it uses victims’ stories to explain how each person became enmeshed in NXIVM.
NXIVM has been covered extensively, but Berman sets her work apart with a deep dive into the history and growth of the organization and an empathetic look at the psychology of the victims. Given the wide interest in this story, this is a strong addition to true crime shelves.