NXIVM Sex Cult Goes Under the Microscope in Lifetime Movie, Documentary

Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter -Peter Facinelli - Publicity -H 2019
Courtesy of Chris Reardon/Lifetime

The film is a dramatization of former 'Dynasty' actress Catherine Oxenberg’s book 'Captive,' which details how her daughter was exposed to abuse in the cult led by ringleader Keith Raniere.

Based on the NXIVM cult scandal that implicated Smallville actress Allison Mack, Lifetime is airing Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother's Fight to Save Her Daughter on Saturday night, followed by a documentary that dives deeper into the story.

The movie is a dramatization of former Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenberg's book Captive, which details how her daughter India was exposed to mental and physical abuse in the cult.

Lifetime's official synopsis reads, "When Catherine learns about a leadership seminar from a new organization called NXIVM, she decides to take her 20-year-old daughter India to the professional development meeting. Led by the extremely enigmatic Keith Raniere, Catherine can't help but shake the feeling there's more than meets the eye with this self-help organization. Despite Catherine's best efforts, India is drawn deeper into the cult, eventually joining a secret sorority of female members who are branded with the cult leader's initials, ordered to maintain a restricted diet and forced to recruit other women as sex slaves."

Directed by Lisa Robinson (Claire in Motion) and written by Adam Mazer (Empire State), the film stars Sara Fletcher as Mack and Peter Facinelli as Raniere.

In April, Mack pled guilty to multiple charges including manipulating women into becoming sex slaves, and faces a lengthy prison sentence. Ringleader Raniere, who founded the cult group in 1998 with Nancy Salzman, was found guilty of all counts of sex trafficking and awaits sentencing.

Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother's Fight to Save Her Daughter airs at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime, followed by documentary Beyond the Headlines: Escaping the NXIVM Cult With Gretchen Carlson at 10 p.m. ET/PT.