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The NXIVM sex cult is becoming a film

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Megan Murray
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NXIVM cult: A Mother’s Nightmare is the new Lifetime film telling the story of how a mother fought to keep her daughter from becoming a slave in the sex sorority NXIVM.

When allegations surfaced that former Smallville actor Allison Mack had been recruiting women as sex slaves for the NXIVM cult under the guise of a female empowerment programme, the world’s collective jaw hit the floor. 

Shocking and harrowing, the case that has been playing out since 2018 has garnered much attention in part because of Mack’s celebrity status and all-American image, and also, because of the terrifying nature of cults and the secrecy surrounding them that automatically piques a level of morbid fascination in most. 

So it’s no surprise, really, that the story is now being turned into a film, following a string of other real life cult dramatisations due to hit cinemas this year, such as Once Upon a Time in Hollywood and Charlie Says, which both dramatise the lives of the Manson Family cult.

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Lifetime has announced NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Nightmare as the working title of the film, confirming that the film will focus on the perspective of American actor Catherine Oxenberg, whose daughter India became indoctrinated by the cult. A press release from Lifetime explains that the story line will show Oxenberg fighting to pull her daughter away from the organisation, which starts by capturing India’s attention with self-improvement seminars lead by Keith Reniere who was recently charged with sex-trafficking, racketeering, and conspiracy to commit forced labor.

Although Oxenberg initially attended these seminars with her daughter, the film shows her realisation that something isn’t right as she begins to encourage India to cut ties with NXIVM. Tragically, though, this doesn’t happen as she becomes further involved and eventually is enrolled into a secret sorority of female only members who are expected to perform sexual acts and recruit others to do the same.

NXIVM cult: A Mother's Nightmare film
NXIVM cult: A Mother’s Nightmare will centre around Catherine Oxenberg 

Playing Oxenberg will be Andrea Roth (Rescue Me), while Jasper Polish (Devil’s Whisper) will be portraying her daughter India. Peter Facinelli (Twilight) will be putting in a performace as the charismatic cult leader Reniere, while Mack will be played by Sara Fletcher (Secret Girlfriend).

The film’s announcement comes in the midst of more developments in the real life case, with Reinere’s conviction being delivered as recently as 19 June. Oxenberg was present at the federal courthouse and spoke to the press, saying: “Today was the end of a hellish nightmare.” Back in April, Mack pleaded guilty to two criminal offences and her trial is still ongoing. 

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When will it be released?

So far no exact dates have been released, but it should be in Autumn.

Will NXIVM cult: A Mother’s Nightmare be available to watch in the UK?

Until further details are released we’re not sure what the UK streaming options will be, but we will keep this page updated.

Images: Getty 

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Megan Murray

Megan Murray is a digital journalist for stylist.co.uk, who enjoys writing about London happenings, beautiful places, delicious morsels and generally spreading sparkle wherever she can.

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