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Don't Call it a Cult

The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of NXIVM

Sarah Berman



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Steerforth Press
01 May 2021
They draw you in with the promise of empowerment, self-discovery, women helping women. The more secretive those connections are, the more exclusive you feel. Little did you know, you just joined a cult.

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.

Don't Call It a Cult shows these abuses looked very different from the inside, where women, and sometimes underage girls, initially received mentorship and protection. Through top experts on high-control groups, as well as the accounts of Raniere's former acolytes, Berman explores the deep spiritual experiences that members of NXIVM's inner circle shared, and their strong resistance to leaving even months after the FBI made its first arrests. If any members became disillusioned or complained to the authorities, wealthy members with deep pockets dealt with the problem. Don't Call It a Cult is a riveting account of NXIVM's rise to power, its ability to evade prosecution for decades, and the investigation that finally revealed its dark secrets to the world.
By:   Sarah Berman
Imprint:   Steerforth Press
Dimensions:   Height: 229mm,  Width: 152mm, 
Weight:   369g
ISBN:   9781586422752
ISBN 10:   1586422758
Pages:   320
Publication Date:   01 May 2021
Audience:   General/trade ,  ELT Advanced
Format:   Paperback
Publisher's Status:   Active

SARAH BERMAN is an investigative journalist based in Vancouver covering crime, drugs, cults, politics, and culture. She is a former senior editor at VICE and past contributor to Adbusters, Maclean's, The Globe and Mail, the Vancouver Sun and other publications.

Reviews for Don't Call it a Cult: The Shocking Story of Keith Raniere and the Women of NXIVM

...investigative journalist Berman front-loads her startling, comprehensive expose on the NXIVM group with key information on how the association became popular yet remained elusive to law enforcement...the author's engrossing reportage meticulously reveals the tumultuous rise and fall of NXIVM after numerous criminal indictments and prosecutions...File this alongside Lawrence Wright's Going Clear and Jeff Guinn's The Road to Jonestown...An incendiary, serpentine report on criminal manipulation of staggering proportions. --Kirkus Reviews (starred review) Investigative journalist Berman debuts with the definitive look at the NXIVM cult, which victimized dozens of women for more than a decade ... This deep dive behind the headlines isn't to be missed. --Publishers Weekly (starred review) 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. --Booklist 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...Don't Call It a Cult is the nightmarish, unflinching true story of the women who survived NXIVM--and the women who didn't. --Foreword Reviews (starred review)

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