HBO’s “The Vow” is renewed: What salacious stories should we expect?
With another season of HBO’s docuseries The Vow, there seems to be more to the NXIVM story than what people originally expected. HBO somewhat surprisingly announced a new season on October 16th, which indicates directors Jehane Noujaim & Karim Amer still have more to share about the infamous sex cult.
While they haven’t revealed too much about what will be in the next season, HBO spilled some details about part two of The Vow. We also have some clues as to who The Vow might feature following the cliffhanger ending of the finale of the first season. Here’s what to look forward to in the next season of The Vow.
What was The Vow about?
If you haven’t seen The Vow yet, the nine-hour docuseries follows the former high-ranking NXIVM members who have escaped the cult and want to expose their nefarious & abusive methods to the world. The series follows the tight-knit group in real time as we see them publish The New York Times expose and even try to help Catherine Oxenberg in her attempt to get her daughter India out of the cult.
Part one of The Vow mainly covered details about NXIVM’s leader, Keith Raniere, & the cult itself. Posing as a self-help group, NXIVM had ESP meetings where members would have a chance to vent their traumatic experiences in front of an audience. Insider spoke to therapist Kelly Scott, who said this “therapy” method was actually showing how vulnerability was a “highly valued currency” at NXIVM.
The Vow explained details about DOS, a subgroup within NXIVM, which one of The Vow’s main contributors, Sarah Edmondson, was indoctrinated in. Edmondson was the NXIVM member who spoke to The New York Times and revealed a branding she was forced to receive upon entering DOS. While Edmondson didn’t participate, DOS was also called Raniere’s harem, as women from DOS were sex trafficked to Raniere.
How will the story continue?
While the NXIVM saga seems to be close to an end, Raniere & other high-ranking NXIVM officials still have to face their sentencing hearings. Only one person in relation to NXIVM has officially been sentenced: Clare Bronfman, who was sentenced to eighty-one months in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to immigration fraud and false identification, according to The New York Times.
Other NXIVM leaders facing charges include NXIVM president & co-founder Nancy Salzman along with her daughter Lauren Salzman, Allison Mack, who had an integral role in the infamously abusive DOS group, and NXIVM employee & bookkeeper Kathy Russell. They all pled guilty early on for their various charges.
Since the first season mainly focused on the ex-members hoping to expose NXIVM, they still haven’t covered the leaders’ trials, so there’s still more to be told, especially since we don’t have public footage of Raniere’s trial nor the footage from Bronfman’s sentencing hearing.
What to expect moving forward
Considering the ending of The Vow, even though Raniere has been quiet since his arrest, it looks like he’s finally ready to speak up, as hinted at in the season finale. Vulture revealed season two will focus on “Rainere’s innermost circle” and “follow the legal and emotional journeys of those involved”. Deadline reported part two will also focus on “NXIVM’s top leadership in the US and Mexico” and the “stories of DOS members”.
In addition, part two of The Vow will include Raniere’s federal trial, which included witnesses like Mark Vicente, Lauren Salzman, and various victims who chose to be anonymous. According to Times-Union, the jury only took five hours to determine Raniere was guilty for multiple charges including sex trafficking, fraud, & sexual exploitation of a minor.
While not confirmed, we might be able to expect footage of Raniere’s sentencing hearing, which is set for October 27th. Prosecutors are seeking a life sentence for Raniere. We’ll also probably get a look at those who are still following Raniere. These vocal followers have been seen dancing outside of Raniere’s prison, according to The New York Post.
Rumors about The Vow: Part Two
Oprah Magazine speculated we won’t only hear from Keith Raniere, but also Nancy Salzman. Before NXIVM, Salzman was a self-proclaimed hypnotist who eventually founded the cult along with Raniere in 1998. Salzman was one of the faces of the ESP meetings where members would reveal personal & traumatic stories about themselves in front of an audience in an exercise called EM.
While Keith was called “Vanguard” by NXIVM members, Salzman was known as “Prefect”, according to Reuters. Salzman already pleaded guilty in 2019 for racketeering criminal conspiracy and is currently awaiting sentencing. During the first season finale of The Vow, we saw an ankle monitor, suggesting we’ll finally hear directly from Salzman, who’s currently under house arrest.
It’s unlikely, but Catherine Oxenberg’s daughter India Oxenberg could make an appearance, as she’s currently telling her story in the Starz docuseries Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult. Since she appears ready to reveal her truth, we might hear more from India in the next season. However, she did tell The Daily Beast she wasn’t comfortable with The Vow’s approach to the NXIVM story, so her involvement is still up in the air.