Jennifer Aniston once took a NXIVM class, according to the new docuseries Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult. In the premiere episode, which aired Sunday, October 18, former NXIVM cult member India Oxenberg revealed that at her first meeting of the group she was told that the Friends star and then-boyfriend Gerard Butler were just two of the many famous alumni involved in the sex cult.
That was not entirely true.
Aniston, 51, and Butler, 50, did take a class for reasons that are not clear, but the two never got involved in the group. A person who got further along, according to Oxenberg, was Rosario Dawson, who was at the same first meeting she attended — but who also did not invest in the group the way Oxenberg, 29, did at the time.
NXIVM and founder Keith Raniere needed money and star power to see his deranged vision come to life. For the front half of that equation, he had Seagrams heiresses Clare and Sara Bronfman, who pumped close to $200 million into the group. Then there was Allison Mack, the Smallville star, who worked to recruit other Hollywood celebs.
Mack, 38, did not have great luck in her endeavors, reaching out to the likes of Kelly Clarkson and Emma Watson without getting a response. She did manage to win over Raniere, and the two combined to become a living nightmare for the hundreds of women who found themselves invited into the cult's new sect, a secret master-slave sorority known as DOS.
These young women quickly found themselves serving Raniere's every whim and were ordered to make drastic changes in their lives to please the cult leader. For most, this started with their diet, with Raniere limiting the girls to just 900 calories a day so that they weighed under 100 pounds in many cases. He was allowed to have a growing waistline because it showed his "sacrifice for humanity," since he did not have time to work out.
Mack developed a diet for the women, which consisted of several spoonfuls of plain yogurt and fruit and a bite of Kimchi for lunch and dinner. Approved beverages include lemon water with stevia, probiotics and Zevia, a calorie-free sparkling water. Dessert would be some sugarless gum.
Once they had achieved this goal, the blackmail process would begin, and each girl would be branded with a cauterized pen. The brand was the initials of Mack and Raniere, who each controlled a harem of girls. "During the branding ceremonies, slaves were required to be fully naked, and a master would order one slave to film the branding while the others restrained the slave being branded," read a release from the U.S. Attorney's office.
Mack would also collect collateral from these women in the form of damaging secrets that were at times not even true. These would be taped, and the individual would be threatened with the release of those tapes if they refuse sex with Raniere or told anyone they were branded.
Now, she and Raniere will be paying the price for these offenses when they are sentenced later this year.