How NXIVM’s ‘Spirit’ ‘Lives On’ After Founder Keith Raniere’s Sex Trafficking Conviction


After Keith Raniere’s sex trafficking conviction in 2019, many fans of the HBO Max series The vote you may be wondering if NXIVM is still active in 2022. The self-improvement organization, founded in the 1990s, was revealed to be a pyramid scheme preying on vulnerable women, through a “female empowerment” subgroup of NXIVM known as DOS.

The name of this “sorority”, as Raniere called it, is an abbreviation of a bastard Latin phrase “Dominus Obsequious Sororium” or “master over slaves”. Through this secret sisterhood, the female members were coerced and blackmailed into a slave-master relationship, eventually branded with Raniere’s initials. Despite Raniere’s conviction and the damning evidence presented by prosecutors as well as those who testified, there are still former NXIVM members who I still believe in DOS. This is how they keep the “spirit” of the group alive in a post-Raniere era.

Is NXIVM still active in 2022?

Is NXIVM still active in 2022? No, while Raniere awaited sentencing, the US federal government seized a Delaware company that owned the rights to the NXIVM ideologies, often referred to as “tech.” Prosecutors argued that this “technology,” developed by NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman, who was a practitioner of a pseudoscientific therapy called neuro-linguistic programming, allowed the company to mentally manipulate and condition its members.

The Vow Part II / HBO Max

This manipulation culminated in sexual coercion, blackmail, and Raniere’s initials seared into the flesh of DOS members as a symbol of their “lifelong vow of obedience,” according to The Vow: Part II. “It bothers me that, deep down, all I did was do damage control on Keith’s sex life,” says Nancy Salzman in The Vow: Part II. “I used my authority to build up Keith Raniere and he took the credibility I gave him and abused a lot of people. And I don’t know how to live with that and that’s my cross to bear.”

Raniere was sentenced to 120 years behind bars in October 2020. He was convicted of racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, sex trafficking, attempted sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, and wire fraud conspiracy. At the sentencing hearing, the court heard victim impact statements from 15 people, including “Camila,” the victim who was sexually exploited by Raniere when he was 15 years old.

Despite this, some former DOS members believe there has been a “mischaracterization” of the secret group’s activities. The dossier projectwhich is made up of former NXIVM members, including Battlestar Galactica actor Nicki Clyne and others interviewed on HBO’s The vote, defines DOS as “Master, Allegiance, Sisterhood”, rather than a translation suggesting submission. They are also committed to continuing the “spirit” of the group. “DOS is no more, but the spirit of strong and compassionate women working together lives on!” the group has written in the Frequently Asked Questions of the web.


Courtesy of HBO

“Without our voices, DOS will go down in history as a ‘sex cult.’ Although we never intended DOS to be a matter of public record, we have been put in the difficult position of keeping our promise of confidentiality or setting the record straight. “The lewd narrative surrounding DOS has contributed to criminal indictments, family estrangements, lost or damaged businesses and jobs, the destruction of friendships, and damage to many personal reputations. Since, until now, no one has been willing to ask the hard questions about the allegations, we are here to ask and answer them. The time for silence is over. It’s time to talk.”

The group acknowledged the allegations against Raniere, but endorses NXIVM’s 12-Point Mission Statement, written by the group’s founder, the second of which includes a philosophy that “there are no ultimate victims; therefore, I will choose not to be a victim.” This lines up with Raniere’s defense at trial, which argued that the women at DOS were not coerced but, in fact, consented to being branded and dominated.

nicki clyne

Carole Segal/SCI FI Channel/NBCUPB

“We recognize that extremely negative accounts of DOS have saturated the media narrative, and that is precisely why we are speaking out. We respect and honor everyone’s right to speak their mind, and it is not our intention to diminish or invalidate anyone else’s experience. We just want our stories to be documented, too,” wrote the authors of The Dossier Project. “We are privileged to live in a time and place where women are allowed to speak out and we actively defend this fundamental human right. We also believe that women should take responsibility for their words and actions, and we strive to do just that with the Dossier Project.”

allison mack

fake images

This, however, indicates how deeply the group had been indoctrinated in Raniere’s philosophy, according to experts. “They are what we call true believers,” said Janja Lalich, a sociologist and cult expert who has worked with Nxivm defectors, according to the New York Times. “It shows the depth of his indoctrination and the extent to which they have internalized his rhetoric.”

Clyne was married to fellow DOS member Allison Mack from 2017 to 2020. Mack was a core member of the underground group, recruiting women and even claiming responsibility for the branding ceremony. “Do you think that the person being marked should be completely naked and held up on the table as a kind of, almost, like a sacrifice?” Raniere asked Mack in a recorded conversation, according to the New York Times. “The person should ask to be marked,” Raniere told Mack on another recording. “She should say, ‘Please tag me. It would be an honour’, or something like that, ‘an honor that I want to use for the rest of my life’”.

For her role in NXIVM, Mack was sentenced to three years behind bars, fined $20,000, and received 1,000 hours of community service. She began her three-year sentence on September 13, 2021, after pleading guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges.

The vote is available to stream on Max HBO. Here it is how to watch it for free.

Scarred: The true story of how I escaped from NXIVM, the cult that tied my life

Image: Prism Chronicle.

If you want a first-person account of the inner workings of NXIVM, you should check out Sarah Edmondson’s book. Scarred: The true story of how I escaped from NXIVM, the cult that tied my life. As seen in the HBO Max documentary series The vote, Edmondson spent more than a decade dedicated to the vision of Keith Raniere, having enrolled more than 2,000 members over the course of 12 years. The compelling memories of him joining the organization, his indoctrination into the secret DOS brotherhood, and his heartbreaking struggle to come out and expose Raniere’s abuse.

Our mission at STYLECASTER is to bring style to people, and we only feature products that we think you’ll love as much as we do. Please note that if you purchase something by clicking on a link within this story, we may receive a small commission from the sale.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here