Dynasty star Catherine Oxenberg sat down with DailyMailTV on Friday and spoke about her 26-year-old daughter India, who she says has been ‘brainwashed’ by an ‘insane’ cult.
Last year, India moved to Albany New York, where the self-help group NXIVM is based.
In previously interviews, Oxenberg detailed how she and her daughter got into the group, after the mother and daughter took one of their ‘Executive Success’ classes in 2011.
Catherine Oxenberg spoke to DailyMailTV on Friday about her 26-year-old daughter India, who she says has been ‘brainwashed’ by a cult
India Oxenberg (left) moved to Albany, New York last year to be closer to the headquarters of NXIVM, a self-help group that ex-members say is really a cult. Catherine pictured on the right
NXIVM, led by 57-year-old Keith Raniere brands itself as a program to help people achieve their full potential, but a New York Times report last week painted a picture of an organization more in line with a cult.
While Oxenberg found the group ‘weird and creepy,’ according to People, but her liked it and got more involved.
Today, Oxenberg describes NXIVM as a cross between Scientology and Warren Jeffs’ polygamist Mormon sect.
Oxenberg tried not to interfere with her adult daughter’s life at first, but changed her mind after speaking with an ex-member this past spring.
NXIVM is led by 57-year-old Keith Raniere (pictured). Oxenberg says that Raniere sleeps with the women in his cult and keeps them on a strict 500 to 800-calorie-a-day diet
‘A woman who had defected from the organization called me up out of the blue and she said there’s this secret organization within the organization’ that India had joined called DOS, Oxenberg told DailyMailTV.
‘I think it stands for Dominant Over Slave. It’s a master-slave kind of hierarchy. The master has five or six slaves and they have to recruit those six slaves. If they don’t they’re punished.
Oxenberg grew concerned for her daughter (pictured) when she returned home in May and had lost a dramatic amount of weight
‘And they have to give damaging collateral, about themselves or their families. The purpose of this collateral is to have some form of leverage that would supposedly be revealed if they broke their word,’ Oxenberg explained.
The ex-member also told Oxenberg that women in the group are only allowed to eat 500-800 calories a day.
‘I can only imagine that maybe because [Raniere] likes a certain physique,’ Oxenberg said. ‘Apparently he was having sex with all of them.’
What shocked Oxenberg the most was a horrifying initiation ritual in which women are branded with Raniere’s initials.
‘They’re blindfolded, they’re brought naked, they’re made to lie on a table and made to endure this cauterizing without anesthesia for up to half an hour, screaming. Some of them screamed stop and they still continued.
‘I can’t see the difference between what they went through and sort of a terrorist environment,’ she said.
Concerned for her daughter, Oxenberg invited her home to California in May for her birthday.
But she couldn’t control her emotions when she saw how thin her daughter had become.
‘I said, “You know you’re brainwashed.” And she said, “No, I’m not brainwashed.” So she went back on a plane that night,’ Oxenberg said.
Sarah Edmondson, who left the cult, says women were branded with a symbol that has Raniere’s initials in it
Since then her daughter has cut off all contact.
After the New York Times report on NXIVM was published last week, India took to Facebook to assure her friends and family that she was alright.
‘I’m absolutely fine, great actually. I would never put myself or the people I love into any danger,’ she wrote.
NXIVM also posted a statement on their website denying the existence of any such sub-group, saying they ‘firmly oppose and condemn violence’.
But Oxenberg doesn’t buy it.
She describes her daughter as ‘one of the kindest’ humans, and therefore perhaps more easily manipulated.
After her mother spoke out against the group, India took to Facebook and said she was fine
India (center) is the eldest of Oxenberg’s three daughters. She has never publicized who India’s father is, but her two younger daughters have been with her second husband, Casper Van Diem, who she married in 1999.
‘I feel like she’s easy prey. I think she’s in danger, I really do,’ Oxenberg said.
Oxenberg says she’s speaking out to help bring the group to an end.
‘What could be next? Are we talking about a potential Doomsday scenario here? I mean, where does it end?’ she asks. ‘I believe that Keith Raniere is a dangerous psychopath and I believe that this organization needs to be stopped.’
India is the eldest of Oxenberg’s three daughters. She has never publicized who India’s father is, but her two younger daughters have been with her second husband, Casper Van Diem, who she married in 1999.
Oxenberg is also royalty – a daughter of Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia.
Oxenberg was a star on 80s TV show Dynasty. She played the character Amanda Carrington