The Trailer for Escaping the NXIVM Cult Looks Very Lifetime


There is a formula to the majority of all Lifetime movies: a mother discovers a terrifying sex secret and will stop at nothing until…something happens. It doesn’t really matter because the first hour, when the mother slowly discovers the terrifying sex secret, is the only part most viewers remember.

The trailer for a movie that is either called Escaping the NXIVM Cult, as per text in the trailer, or The NXIVM Cult: A Mother’s Nightmare, as per IMDB, suggests that the network is not going to stray too far from the formula derived from such classics as Mother May I Sleep With Danger to tell the story of NXIVM.

In case you’re unfamiliar, NXIVM was a false “self-improvement” multi-level marketing scheme that separated wealthy people from their families and money. The arrest of its leaders captured national attention in recent years because of allegations that NXIVM was also a secret “sex cult.” The trailer for the Lifetime movie predictably focuses mostly on the sex cult part of the story and promises a “ripped from the headlines feature” wherein sexy scenes are juxtaposed with images of torture and money as a female voice repeats “Yes, master” and a louder, stronger female voice insists “I want my daughter back.” Honestly, Lifetime executives probably already had the script for this lying around the network offices somewhere and pulled it out of the vault when the first NXIVM headlines appeared.

The only actor I recognize is Twilight’s Peter Facinelli, who plays Keith Raniere, the leader behind the fake self-improvement cult, who was recently convicted on charges of sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, and racketeering, among other things. Someone called Sara Fletcher, a Days of Our Lives alum, will play Allison Mack, the Smallville actress accused of helping Raniere recruit new members before luring young women into a “women’s empowerment group” that was actually a cult within a cult, providing “sex slaves” for Raniere.

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