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Former NXIVM member India Oxenberg says she forgives Allison Mack following her apology for her actions while serving as a top lieutenant within the organization, including recruiting and controlling "slaves" within the group's secret inner sex cult.
Mack, a former high-ranking member of NXIVM and its secret inner sex cult, known as DOS, was sentenced to three years of prison on Wednesday.
Days before her sentencing, Mack publicly apologized to her victims.
“It is now of paramount importance to me to say, from the bottom of my heart, I am so sorry,” Mack wrote in her statement, previously obtained by Oxygen.com. “I threw myself into the teachings of Keith Rainire (sic) with everything I had. I believed, whole-heartedly, that his mentorship was leading me to a better, more enlightened version of myself. I devoted my loyalty, my resources, and, ultimately, my life to him. This was the biggest mistake and greatest regret of my life.”
Oxenberg told People that Mack also sent her, as well as other people she victimized, a personal apology letter.
"I did not expect to get a letter from her, and the tone seemed honest and really sad, and also ... like she has seen the truth of who Keith Raniere really is," Oxenberg told the outlet. "That was validating in itself to know that everything that my mother and I have done and spoke about actually had an effect on her."
Oxenberg joined NXIVM when she was just 19 after taking classes that promised to help her with her career and confidence. Her mother, "Dynasty" star Catherine Oxenberg, introduced her to the group. While NXIVM advertised itself as a self-help organization, embedded within it was a clandestine, cult-like group involving master-slave relationships, sex, blackmail, and human branding. Soon, the young Oxenberg was indoctrinated into that group, where she became Mack’s “slave.”
Mack had Oxenberg put together collateral — in her case personal and damaging information about her family compiled in the format of a media release, which she had to get notarized — and then turn it over to ensure loyalty and subordination. Mack also encouraged Oxenberg to dump her boyfriend and isolate herself from her family in the name of becoming stronger. She did both.
Oxenberg was forced to ask Mack for permission for everything she did, including eating. She was also put on a strict 500-calorie-a-day diet and had to carry a scale around with her. She could be weighed at any time and punished if she wasn't at her "ideal weight," Oxenberg told Oxygen.com last year. She was told the diet was to help her grow but, really, it was because NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, who some of the "slaves" were coerced into having sex with, preferred his women to be very thin.
“It was only for Keith's gratification and sexual desires,” Oxenberg told Oxygen.com. “It had nothing, absolutely nothing, to do with me and my growth as they put it. It was all perverted and I didn’t know that and it was actually damaging me physically and mentally at the time.”
Mack would often give Oxenberg assignments that involved sexually pleasing Raniere.
When Catherine realized what was really going on behind NXIVM’s self-help facade, she worked tirelessly to get her out. She and other former members' efforts were documented in HBO’s docuseries “The Vow.”
Oxenberg told Oxygen.com last year that she felt betrayed by Mack. However, despite the harrowing ordeal, she's is now moving on.
“I don't have any reason not to [accept her apology]," Oxenberg told People. "It doesn't take away everything that has happened to myself and her other victims, but it's definitely something that gives me more peace moving forward."
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