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5 minutes ago, izabella said:

Bronfman underwrote a lot of it, including the nearly $70M Keith lost in commodities trading in a period of 2-3 years. 

As for the rest, it was a pyramid scheme.  People paid for the week long intensive intro class, and then kept paying and paying and paying for more modules.  As soon as they finished one class, they were told they needed another.  They also recruited people to take classes, and received commissions from the payments that the people they recruited pay for their modules.  The more people they recruited, the more money they made.  Mark recruited India, for example, so he was getting commissions on everything she paid for, and everything HER recruits paid for.    Same with Sarah.  Sarah even opened up a center, and she was getting commissions on all those people taking classes at her center, plus commissions from their recruits and their recruits.

Like all pyramid schemes, only people at the top made big bucks, like Keith, Nancy, Mark and Sarah.

I'm just a little flabbergasted that people would pay a few thousand for a course and then pay several thousand more for more courses. I'm not exactly rich but I'm not poor either and that sounds like too much money even to supposedly better yourself. I'm sure lots fell off and didn't go further but it sounds like too many of these people who did were well off but directionless and not very savvy

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16 minutes ago, DanaK said:

I'm just a little flabbergasted that people would pay a few thousand for a course and then pay several thousand more for more courses. I'm not exactly rich but I'm not poor either and that sounds like too much money even to supposedly better yourself. I'm sure lots fell off and didn't go further but it sounds like too many of these people who did were well off but directionless and not very savvy

Right?  If I had all that extra money, I'd be using it for a good therapist and a great vacation each year, things that would actually help me be healthier.  

I guess they were lured by self-improvement at a time in their lives when they felt stuck or vulnerable.  It's a program that tells them to check their critical thinking and logical beliefs at the door, so if they actually do that, they are already predisposed to accepting the pitch.  They were told the program would make them successful at whatever they wanted in life, and they were the ones standing in their own way from that success.  At some point, I imagine groupthink takes over.  Plus the sunk-cost fallacy where they've already put so much money into it, they might as well put in more to reach that elusive goal because they're "progressing."  Then there's the collateral.  They used collateral from the early stages, though they weren't all as intense and creepy as what they wanted for DOS.

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1 hour ago, DanaK said:

I'm just a little flabbergasted that people would pay a few thousand for a course and then pay several thousand more for more courses. I'm not exactly rich but I'm not poor either and that sounds like too much money even to supposedly better yourself. I'm sure lots fell off and didn't go further but it sounds like too many of these people who did were well off but directionless and not very savvy

Scientology works the same way, but on steroids. People pay not only for classes and whatever else, but they have to buy the entire series of books every time a new edition comes out (even though it's all the same book that shouldn't need to be corrected) for thousands of dollars. Keith definitely got a lot of this stuff from Scientology.

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You should go back and re-watch part 1. I think the Oxenbergs said they paid something like $5k per person for the first 5-7 day program which was after the first class which was several hundred dollars

Right but also thats where the pyramid scheme comes in, you have to keep recruiting people to make money, so you can pay the people above you for the "tech". Everything Sarah made probably ended up in Lauren/Nancy/Keith's pockets, like wise all the people she recruited money ended up in hers. But yes it's baffling same as Scientology, objectively it costs about 100k per person to "cross the bridge"/go clear in Scientology it doesn't seem like Keith priced himself out as he was mostly dealing with Canadian working actors, who could never afford that, but the target demo was upper middle class white people who could definitely afford at least a grand a month to get a new colored scarf. And yeah he basically had huge essentially bottomless benefactors in the Bronfmans. He invested their money to make more money for himself and "esp". 

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2 hours ago, DanaK said:

I'm just a little flabbergasted that people would pay a few thousand for a course and then pay several thousand more for more courses. I'm not exactly rich but I'm not poor either and that sounds like too much money even to supposedly better yourself. I'm sure lots fell off and didn't go further but it sounds like too many of these people who did were well off but directionless and not very savvy

I need to re-watch season 1 as well.  I vaguely remember one woman in part one talking about going into serious debt at the prompting of facilitators in order to take more courses.  They were telling her it was an investment in her self or an investment in her future or some other BS spiel.  I wonder how many other people were like that.

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4 hours ago, DanaK said:

I'm just a little flabbergasted that people would pay a few thousand for a course and then pay several thousand more for more courses.

I semi-facetiously think that many people signed up for continuing classes because they were confused by the psychobabble that was spewed out.  I believe that some of it was not wanting to appear stupid, a lot of the followers figured that they would have an "aha!" moment in the next NEXT NEXT course, when the words would start to make sense.

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On 11/8/2022 at 3:01 AM, kathe5133 said:

These woman are not "victims" of Keith.  Keith is just one of the symptoms of their own low self esteem. 

I agree with low self-esteem, but it doesn't seem fair to say that they aren't victims of Keith.  

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10 hours ago, KLJ said:

I agree with low self-esteem, but it doesn't seem fair to say that they aren't victims of Keith.  

I agree.  Some people walked away and felt privileged enough to weather the collateral coming out should NXVIM decide to release it.  But many clearly did not.  Their decision making was also hampered by very specific grooming.  

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10 hours ago, KLJ said:

I agree with low self-esteem, but it doesn't seem fair to say that they aren't victims of Keith.  

I think the problem viewers have in seeing them as victims is this particular documentary isn't showing or telling much about how they were victimized by this program, and by Keith and Nancy, as well as Mark, Sarah, Lauren, Allison, India and the rest that were at the top of the food chain.  The documentary is not in any way making it clear how people were victimized from the start, and progressively victimized more and more the longer they were in.  The fact they won't even discuss the cost of the classes, and how much Keith, Nancy, Mark and Sarah made, nor how they broke them down mentally and emotionally through abuse in the classes and outside the classes makes it harder to understand them as victims.

Instead, they have Nancy on pretending she knew nothing about anything and this was just a legitimate business that didn't prey on people through manipulation, hypnosis and blackmail.

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1 hour ago, izabella said:

I think the problem viewers have in seeing them as victims is this particular documentary isn't showing or telling much about how they were victimized by this program, and by Keith and Nancy, as well as Mark, Sarah, Lauren, Allison, India and the rest that were at the top of the food chain.  The documentary is not in any way making it clear how people were victimized from the start, and progressively victimized more and more the longer they were in.  The fact they won't even discuss the cost of the classes, and how much Keith, Nancy, Mark and Sarah made, nor how they broke them down mentally and emotionally through abuse in the classes and outside the classes makes it harder to understand them as victims.

Instead, they have Nancy on pretending she knew nothing about anything and this was just a legitimate business that didn't prey on people through manipulation, hypnosis and blackmail.

I think we do see how the victimization worked.  In season 1 there was an episode where they talked about emotions and turning one emotion into its opposite (so you choose what you feel kind of thing).  So even when you are being "abused" you choose how you are going to feel.  So if you feel bad about being mistreated that's on you not the person who is mistreating you.  Someone in this season also talked about how the course manual or mission statement said there is no such thing as a victim.  And that the course was geared toward encouraging people to dismiss their intuition.  Fear is to be overcome.  Negative emotions are to be overcome.  So the course "Oh let me put you in situations that are beyond your comfort zone so that you can grow as a person" really meaning don't complain when you are being abused.  Lauren telling Sarah that she had this great new program but couldn't share it without collateral was abuse.  Lauren used her friendship and the trust Sarah had with her to sell that lie.  There was also that footage from the men's seminar (How hard it is to be a man) that the women participated in that broke people down and really messed with their heads.  I think the information is there imho.

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I do think they’ve played down the pyramid scheme aspect of this to make Mark, etc. more clearly the good guys.  
 

I know it’s not nice to think ill of the dead but any time there’s a glimpse of that creepy Pam Caffritz, especially in that horrid tinsel wig, it’s like nightmare fuel for me.

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Wow, I never believed that Keith didn't know about DOS or the brands but I didn't think there was any evidence of that beyond hearsay. You've got to love the fact that his ego is so big that he thought that everything he said were pearls of wisdom so they must be taped. So many incriminating tapes!!

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1 hour ago, geekgirl921 said:

Wow, I never believed that Keith didn't know about DOS or the brands but I didn't think there was any evidence of that beyond hearsay. You've got to love the fact that his ego is so big that he thought that everything he said were pearls of wisdom so they must be taped. So many incriminating tapes!!

I believe somewhere in Season 1 we were told there was at least one recording of Keith talking to Allison about how to make DOS work, but I don’t recall if the series played it at the time. I can’t believe how much Keith and company recorded and so much of it made them, especially Keith, look bad

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On 10/27/2022 at 6:08 PM, violet and green said:

It is just so odd, this dweeby little man and this woman with bad eyebrows, a cheesy smile and, as I read somewhere, terrible breath, having so much confidence in themselves they conned all these people into handing over tens and hundreds of thousands, and in some cases control of their lives. I guess that's the confidence in con game

That’s the part I’m so perplexed by. Let’s say that you could set aside the fact that this guy looks and sounds like an absolute dork because beauty is subjective yadda, yadda, yadda. How could you also ignore his horrible lack of personal hygiene? Vero said she could smell other women on his hands (ugh!) and that one woman saying he performed a sex act on her while on dirty sheets. Not to mention his nasty long greasy hair. I cannot believe men and women were kissing this troll on the mouth and women were lined up to be impregnated by him. I’d rather have a baby with Gollum.

I did laugh when she was ordered to flirt with Keith and the best she could come up with was, “um..you looked nice in your glasses today.”😂

Edited by charmed1
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I was also dealing with est in my 20’s.  Many of my friends got sucked in and I was all signed up to do “the training” but chickened out at the last minute. Love bombing is what creeped me out the most.  But I can see how people get sucked in.  

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24 minutes ago, DanaK said:

Episode 5: Maaaan, Dani’s story. Just so sad and enraging the way Keith treated and abused her and her family

It seems like the biggest enlightenment this group ever achieved was Dani coming to the conclusion of: Fuck all these people.

And that defense lawyer just can't help but sound so sleazy referring to what Keith was doing as an radical lifestyle. Ick.

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Defense attorney Agnifilo keeps making pitiful excuses for all the things that happened

Did Lauren testify about keeping Dani in the room?

Interesting that the text messages between Keith and Camila are what finally caused Nancy to turn against Keith 

I find the New York Post reporter interesting to listen to as I consider the Post to just be a rag and she seems to be seriously following and reporting the case

Finale next week

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Daniela's story is sad, but I'm a little surprised they framed it almost entirely around her and didn't go all in on the Camila texts, especially since that was what Nancy said made her "wake up." I mean I think Nancy actually knew everything all along (Moira Penza and Susan Dones have been tweeting that she did), BUT I think that's actually the pedophilia stuff that would be most convincing to most people that he really is despicable because she was underage. The room stuff is nuts (and actually make me think Lauren really should've gotten time/a harsher sentence) but Daniela was 24 and the room itself wasn't even locked. I get why she felt she couldn't leave it, because she was brainwashed to the extreme but ... IDK. I feel like Camila's texts were more damning and I'm surprised they didn't focus on those much more. 

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56 minutes ago, taragel said:

I feel like Camila's texts were more damning and I'm surprised they didn't focus on those much more. 

I think next week is going to be a focus on Camila.  I do think The Vow has been great with teasers-not HBO promos but the last few minutes of each ep.  For instance, at the end of last week, they revealed a little bit about Dani to tease this week's episode.  I think the texts at the end of tonight's episode are teasing what we'll get in the finale. If I were binging, it'd make me want the next ep ASAP.  I do think there's a lot let to cover, though so I looked to see how long the final episode is. My cable guide says it is 90 minutes long. 

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On 11/10/2022 at 7:44 AM, blixie said:

but the target demo was upper middle class white people who could definitely afford at least a grand a month to get a new colored scarf

How dumb must they feel realising that was what they'd been chasing, or conditioned to chase, and paying through the nose for, ultimately?! A new colored scarf!

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I find it very interesting that we don’t hear directly from Lauren at all, just via the court testimony and her Mom and sister. I can’t recall if the filmmaker said she just couldn’t convince Lauren to speak to her

You have to wonder how any of these people who perpetuated the scam and/or the abuse will be able to find a job after this, for those not serving time that is

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13 hours ago, DanaK said:

Episode 5: Maaaan, Dani’s story. Just so sad and enraging the way Keith treated and abused her and her family

Oh, this episode was hard to watch. Such a smart, brilliant CHILD, who lost some of her important transitional developmental years to this fucking man and company. Her and her sisters. And her parents!!!! WTF.

And I was already on the fence about Lauren last week, but solidly believed that most of her testimony was BS. But after this episode, there's no doubt in my mind that she's a straight a piece of shit. Her along with Alison and Nicki. Speaking of, very limited info on Alison this season. Maybe as the get into the formation of DOS they speak on her involvement more. 

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4 minutes ago, luckyroll3 said:

Oh, this episode was hard to watch. Such a smart, brilliant CHILD, who lost some of her important transitional developmental years to this fucking man and company. Her and her sisters. And her parents!!!! WTF.

And I was already on the fence about Lauren last week, but solidly believed that most of her testimony was BS. But after this episode, there's no doubt in my mind that she's a straight a piece of shit. Her along with Alison and Nicki. Speaking of, very limited info on Alison this season. Maybe as the get into the formation of DOS they speak on her involvement more. 

The finale is next week, so I doubt they will be getting more into DOS, at least not much more, at least from this filmmaker as it doesn't sound like she wants to do a 3rd season. At least the filmmaker has been getting more into Keith's abusive behavior this season

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The promo alluded to the Camila texts being the beginning of DOS so it seems like there will be more DOS related content in the finale.

I too am surprised by how little there has been about Alison Mack in this series. It makes me wonder if she had lawyers threatening the producers or something.

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16 hours ago, taragel said:

Daniela's story is sad, but I'm a little surprised they framed it almost entirely around her and didn't go all in on the Camila texts, especially since that was what Nancy said made her "wake up." I mean I think Nancy actually knew everything all along (Moira Penza and Susan Dones have been tweeting that she did), BUT I think that's actually the pedophilia stuff that would be most convincing to most people that he really is despicable because she was underage. The room stuff is nuts (and actually make me think Lauren really should've gotten time/a harsher sentence) but Daniela was 24 and the room itself wasn't even locked. I get why she felt she couldn't leave it, because she was brainwashed to the extreme but ... IDK. I feel like Camila's texts were more damning and I'm surprised they didn't focus on those much more. 

16 hours ago, Door County Cherry said:

I think next week is going to be a focus on Camila.  I do think The Vow has been great with teasers-not HBO promos but the last few minutes of each ep.  For instance, at the end of last week, they revealed a little bit about Dani to tease this week's episode.  

Yeah, it seems like the Dani story was a lead up to Camila (or as Keith called her...not repeating what that creep called her). It was so shocking listening to him talk to her mom about how spoiled she was, how she only wanted to do what felt good and her mom admitting to having "created a monster" that she knows has been sitting in a room for a year. Would her mother really have objected to Keith kissing her at 17? Who knows. Makes me want to go back and watch Nancy's other daughter again just for the thrill of watching a teenaged girl speak truth despite creepy adults.

It'll be something listening to Keith's lawyer defense his behavior with Camilla.

I like the person saying how Keith was only interested in sex if there was something transgressive about it--but not kinky, just shaming or humiliating to the other person. 

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23 minutes ago, sistermagpie said:

I like the person saying how Keith was only interested in sex if there was something transgressive about it--but not kinky, just shaming or humiliating to the other person. 

That was Nancy, so it sorta didn't have the impact it should have since she didn't seem to really care about that until she was in trouble lol. But she certainly was right about it.

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30 minutes ago, peachmangosteen said:

That was Nancy, so it sorta didn't have the impact it should have since she didn't seem to really care about that until she was in trouble lol. But she certainly was right about it.

Yes--I totally believed it was true, even if in Nancy's case she was hearing it second hand from her daughter who apparently had sex all over Nancy's house because he liked the idea that poor, stupid, plain Nancy wouldn't know. 

That makes me realize that it surprises me that I can't remember if even one woman has realized that Keith really hates them - because a stunt like that was definitely a way of sticking it to her.

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3 hours ago, DanaK said:

It’s funny, I felt Season 1 was too long and somewhat sloppy at 9 episodes, but I don’t want Season 2 to end so soon at 6 episodes. 

We aren’t being subjected to Mark and Sara. I wonder how much those two knew about what was going on. Sara boo-hooing last week about how much of a victim Lauren was and may be we can be friends again! Bitch, Please! Go show your scar some more. 

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12 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

It'll be something listening to Keith's lawyer defense his behavior with Camilla.

Keith's lawyer!!!!! I just want to kick him in the shins every time he's on screen. I know that everyone deserves a defense and that is his job, but from the interviews he's done post the trial, he seems to really believe the defense he came up with for Keith. It's one thing to sell it in the courtroom and to the media while the trial is ongoing. But for him to still be pushing the narrative that nothing Keith did was wrong, he's just a weirdo is beyond for me.

11 hours ago, sistermagpie said:

That makes me realize that it surprises me that I can't remember if even one woman has realized that Keith really hates them - because a stunt like that was definitely a way of sticking it to her.

This!!! He hates women and wants to punish them through control. Same with taking Daniella to a dilapidated place to have her first sexual experience on a mattress on the floor with dirty sheets. So gross.

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It was bad enough that Daniela’s parents left their children with this slovenly predator, but to hear her mother agreeing with the terrible things he was saying about her own daughter was sick. I’m curious why Keith was so hell-bent on getting Daniela’s father to agree to the abuse. He was clearly trying to manipulate the mother into getting the father to sign off on it. I wonder if Keith was afraid to confront him himself. He’s obviously a coward and has to use manipulative tactics to get what he wants. I wish there was video footage of him cowering in that closet when the police nabbed him.

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15 hours ago, JD5166 said:

We aren’t being subjected to Mark and Sara. I wonder how much those two knew about what was going on. Sara boo-hooing last week about how much of a victim Lauren was and may be we can be friends again! Bitch, Please! Go show your scar some more. 

Yeah, that’s probably a lot of it. The episodes with them at the center were more meandering. This season, they’ve been included but aren’t front and center and the season has a much sharper focus, at least each episode does

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On 11/14/2022 at 10:38 PM, sistermagpie said:

It seems like the biggest enlightenment this group ever achieved was Dani coming to the conclusion of: Fuck all these people.

And that defense lawyer just can't help but sound so sleazy referring to what Keith was doing as an radical lifestyle. Ick.

It's the "poor judgement" part for me. He's referring to statutory rape as "bad facts". The fact of the matter is that when you triangulate against a child to create a situation where you as a 40-year-old man are that child's "best friend" then you constantly position them to become a sexual conquest, it's not poor judgement its being a predator. Add to that the fact that it's not a single child - its multiple children, then it is not bad facts, its bad behavior.

Edited by Rlb8031
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3 hours ago, charmed1 said:

It was bad enough that Daniela’s parents left their children with this slovenly predator, but to hear her mother agreeing with the terrible things he was saying about her own daughter was sick. I’m curious why Keith was so hell-bent on getting Daniela’s father to agree to the abuse. He was clearly trying to manipulate the mother into getting the father to sign off on it. I wonder if Keith was afraid to confront him himself. He’s obviously a coward and has to use manipulative tactics to get what he wants. I wish there was video footage of him cowering in that closet when the police nabbed him.

Keith's kink goes back to his relationship with his single mother. He clearly knows how to manipulate women, but my guess is that he believed that the women would fall into line easier if the men went along. In cases where he wasn't able to neuter the men (like with Daddy Broffman), he just went into full attack mode.

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29 minutes ago, Rlb8031 said:

Keith's kink goes back to his relationship with his single mother. He clearly knows how to manipulate women, but my guess is that he believed that the women would fall into line easier if the men went along. In cases where he wasn't able to neuter the men (like with Daddy Broffman), he just went into full attack mode.

I mean, outside of NXIVM, there's the story of that girl kidnapped and molested several times by a neighbor who also manipulates her parents (and has sex with both of them) so they don't quite get what's going on with their daughter. Here, Keith clearly manipulated Dani's whole family, including having sex with the sisters, so it doesn't surprise me at this point that the parents were talked into siding against their daughter by Keith. I initially was surprised by Keith getting life in prison, but after hearing all this, it's very fitting

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One thing they keep touching on but not really getting into that I wish they would more is the weight obsession. That seems very out in the open in a way that I think would make it hard for people to claim they never knew about. It should have been a huge red flag. 1. It’s creepy. 2. Keeping people on an extremely low calorie diet to make them easier to control is Cult 101. Id be really interested to hear how Nancy and Mark and Sarah justified knowing that women were being pressured to keep their weight dangerously low and just thought that was fine. Or why the women agreed to do it. How that didn’t seem like bullshit to someone like Bonnie or Sarah. Or how Nancy thought that was healthy for her daughters.

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The weight obsession was briefly covered in season 1 - Bonnie did think it was bullshit and a red flag, and was one of the things that helped her wake up. Sarah I think talks about it in her book as something weird but didn’t know it was at Keith’s direction.
 

This season is so focused on the trial but they’ve even left so much out of that - Daniela’s testimony was days apparently, and we never actually heard Lauren’s testimony about her role in Daniela’s imprisonment. The Times Union podcast NXIVM on Trial has been doing some good coverage on what was left out of The Vow and it’s blind spots. 
 

On 11/16/2022 at 7:16 AM, DanaK said:

It’s funny, I felt Season 1 was too long and somewhat sloppy at 9 episodes, but I don’t want Season 2 to end so soon at 6 episodes. 

I can’t believe there’s only one more episode when it feels they’ve barely scratched the surface. 
 

For anyone looking for something more thorough, I also very much recommend Sarah Berman’s book Don’t Call it a Cult. 

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Didn't we hear an excerpt of Lauren saying the worse thing she did was keep Daniela locked up? Lauren was smart to implicate Keith so she got her sentence reduced because I think she should have served some jail time too. I know she was young and got into the cult because of her mother, but she should be held responsible for some of the bad things she did. From what I understand she was one of the leaders of DOS too.

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19 minutes ago, Armchair Critic said:

Didn't we hear an excerpt of Lauren saying the worse thing she did was keep Daniela locked up? Lauren was smart to implicate Keith so she got her sentence reduced because I think she should have served some jail time too. I know she was young and got into the cult because of her mother, but she should be held responsible for some of the bad things she did. From what I understand she was one of the leaders of DOS too.

I thought Lauren or someone said Lauren had only just started to get involved in DOS when things hit the fan and she wasn’t in charge, or am I thinking of someone else?

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6 hours ago, DanaK said:

I thought Lauren or someone said Lauren had only just started to get involved in DOS when things hit the fan and she wasn’t in charge, or am I thinking of someone else?

HER MOTHER! Not like she has a dog in this fight lol She mentioned it in the previous episode that Lauren has add only been in two weeks before Sara. I call BS. 

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19 hours ago, Rlb8031 said:

Keith's kink goes back to his relationship with his single mother. He clearly knows how to manipulate women, but my guess is that he believed that the women would fall into line easier if the men went along. In cases where he wasn't able to neuter the men (like with Daddy Broffman), he just went into full attack mode.

Oh man, I watched Rich & Shameless and laughed when Nancy thought she could muscle Daddy Bronfman into selling their pyramid scheme to all his rich friends. A man whose own father was Al Capone’s homeboy. I believe the quote was, “ I’m not going to shill for you, Nancy.”

Edited by charmed1
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8 hours ago, DanaK said:

I thought Lauren or someone said Lauren had only just started to get involved in DOS when things hit the fan and she wasn’t in charge, or am I thinking of someone else?

1 hour ago, JD5166 said:

HER MOTHER! Not like she has a dog in this fight lol She mentioned it in the previous episode that Lauren has add only been in two weeks before Sara. I call BS. 

Yes, supposedly that's what Lauren told her mom. But I also call BS! 

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On 11/16/2022 at 1:54 PM, FozzyBear said:

One thing they keep touching on but not really getting into that I wish they would more is the weight obsession. That seems very out in the open in a way that I think would make it hard for people to claim they never knew about. It should have been a huge red flag. 1. It’s creepy. 2. Keeping people on an extremely low calorie diet to make them easier to control is Cult 101.

Agree that it's creepy and a red flag. I think on top of making the women easier to control and manipulate it also comes down to Keith's preference for younger women. He talked enough about sex with children being okay, and how it shouldn't be illegal, etc., that I'm convinced his sexual interest truly rests on teen or pre-pubescent girls. Making the women get thinner and thinner meant that they more closely resembled what he really wanted. 

We'll hear from Camilla next week who was not an adult and I'm guessing there may have been one or two others who weren't legal age. But I think too that if the cult had continued, that he would have been seeking out younger and younger.

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