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'Sex, Lies and the College Cult' Producers Talk Larry Ray’s 'Uncanny' Talent For Manipulation
“Sex, Lies and the College Cult” executive producers spoke to Oxygen.com about Larry Ray, whose crimes are the subject of the Peacock series.
Peacock’s new docuseries “Sex, Lies and the College Cult” peels back the curtain on the Sarah Lawrence College cult scandal.
The docuseries’ executive producers George Waldrum and Robert Palumbo spoke to Oxygen.com about Lawrence “Larry” Ray, the enigmatic figure who moved into his daughter’s college dorm room in September 2010 and began ingratiating himself among her friends. Those interactions would morph over the years into what prosecutors described as a cult-like domination. He was convicted in April of racketeering conspiracy, violent crime in aid of racketeering, extortion, sex trafficking, forced labor, tax evasion, and money laundering offenses in April, according to the New York Times.
“He also had this uncanny, instinctive way of using shame and guilt to manipulate people,” Waldrum said of Ray. “Once you’re pulled into the orbit of someone like Larry Ray, who came off as this sort of mercurial and engaging figure, it was very, very hard to get out of that.”
But Ray didn’t just manipulate some of the college students, as prosecutors suggested, with his charm. Palumbo noted he had compromising video footage of some of the students, saying, “He was using some of the video recordings as potential blackmail against the cult members.”
Some of these videos are featured in “Sex, Lies and the College Cult,” though Waldrum said they were careful choosing which footage to highlight out of respect for the people involved. “It was important to us to make sure that there was enough in there to really illustrate the world that these young adults were living in,” Waldrum said. “But equally, it was important that we didn't overstep that line into being there too long.”
To learn more about this case, watch “Sex, Lies and the College Cult,” streaming now on Peacock.