The terrifying NXIVM sex cult saga is going from headlines to the (small) screen.
Lifetime released the teaser for Escaping the NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Fight to Save Her Daughter on Friday. The movie is based on the book Captive by Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenberg and follows the experiences of her daughter India, who was wrapped up in the cult led by founder and now-convicted sex trafficker Keith Raniere.
In Escaping the NXIVM Cult, Raniere (Peter Facinelli of Twilight fame) and his second-in-command, Smallville actress Allison Mack (Sara Fletcher, doing an eerily good impression), make a compelling pitch to convince India (Jasper Polish) and other women to join the organization.
The movie will likely stick close to the original story — after all, the truth is chilling enough on its own. India was brainwashed by Raniere and eventually joined an “elite” secret sorority of women within NXIVM, where she was starved and tasked with recruiting other women to the cult as “slaves.” Like other women in the organization, India was also branded with Raniere and Mack’s initials and had to “worship” Raniere.
Catherine was reunited with India last summer, several months after the NXIVM cult was exposed. Mack has pleaded guilty to several charges related to the NXIVM case, including sex trafficking, identity fraud, and money laundering. She is scheduled to be sentenced in September, coinciding with the release of Escaping the NXIVM Cult.
Along with the movie, Lifetime is producing the documentary Beyond the Headlines: Escaping the NXIVM Cult with Gretchen Carlson, which is slated to air just after the movie. HBO is also working on a documentary series about the cult.
Escaping the NXIVM Cult premieres September 21 on Lifetime.