Warning: This article includes spoliers for The Vow Part 2
The Vow Part 2 opens with Nancy Salzman, co-founder of NXIVM in one of her company's videos speaking on how people will try and invalidate a group by calling them a "cult." A clear message to members who might be dealing with family or friends that see NXIVM and its core beliefs as problematic. She refers to those outsiders as "non-critical thinkers" and says if this happens to you ask, "What are they doing that's bad?"
There were certain unanswered questions from Part 1 that producers wanted to cover in Part 2, primarily the trial, but also sitting down with Nancy Salzman and following up with NXIVM supporters and DOS ( Dominus Obsequious Sororium) members who deny any wrongdoing. With half of the season already streaming, I thought it'd be a good time to break down what we have learned so far from The Vow Part 2.
1.The organized crime angle
Moira knew the difficulty in testing the loyalty of Keith's inner circle when it came to finding out more information about the organization. The show quickly depicts why Keith's followers are so enamored with him as any true con artist is able to manipulate and gaslight the people who serve him. Nancy Salzman and others viewed him as one of the smartest people in the world, and someone who was almost a deity with a revolutionary way to live.
2.Keith Raniere still has followers
It's easy to see why these men and women became such big believers in not only Keith but Nancy when you hear how they gained confidence, work ethic, and a sense of place that they didn't have before. The danger in this, though, is when the vulnerabilities that you have shared with people you trust and view as a higher being is then used to shake any and all doubt on issues that you would normally think are wrong or questionable.
3.Nancy Salzman and others still have a blindfold on when it comes to bad results due to NXIVM
In Part 1, we saw how former members spoke about the good that NXIVM provided for their lives. Even though the good didn't end up being sustainable, a lot of times it was due to the treatment in which some members suffered, like being considered a bad person if you questioned any authority or had tics because you suffered from Tourette syndrome.
It's this indoctrination of believing everything is a choice so that when you choose to question authority it is because you aren't a "critical thinker" and you're a "parasite" looking to devalue people. This teaching is something that Nancy and Keith both hammered into members, essentially making them rid of any instincts or doubts that they might have, in order to make them more loyal to the cause and be fearful of being viewed as a parasite.
This show has been gripping and a fresh take among the many docu-series that cover cults. What do you think of this wild story and what did you take away from these first three episodes so far? Let us know in the comments below.
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