Former Dynasty star Catherine Oxenberg thought she was bringing her daughter India to self-help classes for female entrepreneurs in 2011. It would be years before Oxenberg would learn that her daughter had been branded as a sex slave in the cult NXVIM. The 56-year-old actress has written a book, Captive: A Mother’s Crusade to Save Her Daughter From a Terrifying Cult, and appeared on an episode of NBC’s Dateline on August 6, 2018 to discuss her harrowing experience.


Oxenberg told NBC’s Megyn Kelly that she feels “horrendous guilt” for introducing her daughter to NXVIM in the first place. Oxenberg had stopped taking classes with the group in 2013, before it transformed into an alleged sex cult, but her daughter only got more involved. India, now 27, moved from Los Angeles to Albany, New York, to be closer to members of the group. “I did my darnedest to try to get her involved in other things, to try and redirect her interests, to try and get her other jobs. But nothing worked. I couldn’t believe the hold that they had over her,” Oxenberg said.


Eventually, Oxenberg received a phone call from one of India’s friends, urging her to rescue her daughter. The actress remarked that the friend was afraid to say too much on the phone, fearing that she had been wiretapped, but informed Oxenberg that India had made a lifetime vow to the organization. India admitted to her mother that she had been branded, but claimed it was her choice and a form of “character building” and refused to believe that she had been brainwashed. Oxenberg began to research cults and spoke to experts who told her to stop blaming herself. “These cults are well-oiled machines. And India never stood a chance,” they told the distraught mother. According to People, Oxenberg compiled all of her research into a report which she presented to the New York Attorney General and the FBI. This helped lead them to investigate NXVIM and led to several arrests.

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In spite of all of Oxenberg’s attempts to save her daughter, India did not leave NXIVM until the group suspended operations in June, two months after its leaders, Keith Raniere and Allison Mack, had been arrested. India returned home to her mother and is spending time with family and friends. Oxenberg told People, “She is moving forward with her life and will share her story when she is ready. At this time, she has asked for privacy.”

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