Don't Call it a Cult by Sarah Berman

“Not for the easily rattled, the author’s engrossing reportage meticulously reveals the tumultuous rise and fall of NXIVM after numerous criminal indictments and prosecutions…An incendiary, serpentine report on criminal manipulation of staggering proportions.” — Kirkus Reviews, starred review

“Investigative journalist Berman’s account is a standout. With astute research, court testimonies, and firsthand narratives from inner-circle NXIVM members, she traces the downfall of NXIVM from its roots in Raniere’s first failed multi-level marketing company to the trials of each ringleader. Berman demonstrates the tactics cults use to manipulate and control without casting judgment or blame on the victims. Truly gripping, this is the definitive book on NXIVM.” — Booklist

“…Berman’s rigorously sourced narrative brings this über-creepy story to life, and by waiting to publish until after the conclusion of Raniere’s trial, Berman has produced a more comprehensive account of the case than previous studies. This deep dive behind the headlines isn’t to be missed.” – Publishers Weekly, starred review

Don’t Call It A Cult is the most detailed, well-reported, and nuanced look at NXIVM’s history, its supporters, and those left destroyed in its wake. If you want to understand NXIVM—and other groups like it—reading Sarah Berman’s account is essential.” — Scaachi Koul, bestselling author of One Day We’ll All Be Dead and None of This Will Matter

“Berman lays bare this longest of cons; a dizzying array of lost souls and ambitious young people drawn into NXIVM’s promising vortex, only to become caught up in a deeply disturbing eat-or-be-eaten international cult of mind control, sexual assault, child exploitation, fraud, manipulation, and blackmail. From an undocumented Mexican minor to the trust fund children of a Canadian liquor baron to several rising young actors in Vancouver’s television production community, Berman expertly spools out this too-crazy-for-fiction tale with journalistic precision and a screenwriter’s sense of scene and story. I couldn’t put it down.”” — Lorimer Shenher, author of This One Looks Like a Boy

“Sarah Berman’s reporting on the inner workings of NXIVM and its secret, coercive “women’s group,” DOS, fully elucidates how scores of incredibly talented, smart young women fell under the spell of a mousey, volleyball-playing con man. Don’t Call It a Cult is an incisive, empathetic page-turner.” — andrea bennett, author of Like a Boy but Not a Boy

Don’t Call It a Cult explains Raniere’s dark charisma and why so many people were attracted to NXIVM and stayed on, even as the manipulation, exploitation, and abuse got extreme. A thoughtful, deeply reported take on a sensational story, one that I won’t soon forget.” Rachel Monroe, author of Savage Appetites