How cult leader Keith Raniere used 'multilevel marketing' techniques to recruit women into a secret 'master-slave' sorority, according to survivor India Oxenberg

  • India Oxenberg was recruited to join the Nxivm cult in 2011 and stayed until 2018. 
  • During her time in the cult, she was forced to complete a "seduction assignment" and was branded with leader Keith Raniere's initials, she says. 
  • Raniere used multilevel marketing-style tactics to draw in followers, like his recruitment style and the type of people he pursued, Oxenberg says. 
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At 19, India Oxenberg was a college dropout with dreams of starting her own catering company in Los Angeles, conscious of her lack of business acumen. But she had connections in the form of her mother, the former "Dynasty" star Catherine Oxenberg. 

"I felt like I was missing a lot of skills," Oxenberg, now 29, told Business Insider. So when her mother took her to a new training program called the "Executive Success Program," run by a group called Nxivm, "It was exactly what I wanted and what I felt like I needed. So I was like, 'Sign me up.'" 

Little did she know, it would launch her on a seven-year journey into one of the most notorious cults in US history, where she said she was psychologically and physically abused and even branded with another human being's initials as part of a "master-slave" secret society. 

Last year, the Nxivm cult leader, Keith Raniere, was convicted of a series of federal charges including sex trafficking, conspiracy for sex trafficking, conspiracy to commit forced labor, and racketeering.

Oxenberg told Business Insider that Raniere used tactics she now recognizes as like those of multilevel-marketing companies, including his recruitment style and the type of person he attracted. "They said I was going to gain the skills that I needed in order to be successful in my life," Oxenberg said.

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