Seasonal hermit.

Well, I’m still deaf.

The good news is that I have invested my life savings in a Liberian mining venture!

If this were true, my posts would be more enthralling. I have to use clickbait-y titles like “Moist Dreams” to entice readers so that they can learn that I sleep with a humidifier turned on. I’ve been waking up feeling dewy fresh, and chaste! I need to ask my landlords to show me how to use the cast iron gas stove to warm up the living room; then, I’ll be in Comfort Central. I’ve been doing most of my riding indoors this month anyway.

I’ve been doing the Alpe du Zwift every week, so I do still indulge in some suffering.

I have the Starz add-on for Crave for October, which means I got to indulge in a new NXIVM docuseries. This one was called Seduced, which centers around India Oxenberg, who left NXIVM after seven years of constant workshops and mouth-kissing. As much of the insider footage for The Vow came from filmmaker Mark Vicente, he likely had some power over his portrayal. In The Vow, Mark played up his background as a weird loner in apartheid-era South Africa. At times he seemed remorseful about his role in NXIVM, but then there were instances of him getting aggressively defensive, such as when he flipped out at Catherine Oxenberg for bringing up his wife’s penance, which was sleeping in a dog bed. So, fuck that guy.

Eminent ex-member Sarah Edmondson’s husband, fellow NXIVM dissenter, Nippy also seemed like a turd. Fuck that guy, also.

Seduced showed more of Keith’s speeches and much less of Mark. I’d have liked to learn some eye-opening, mind-expanding, soul-transforming life advice from one of Keith’s lectures so that I could make sense of why people were paying thousands of dollars to attend these workshops.

I did not get that at all.

Keith’s followers didn’t seem rattled by his pedophile apologist comments nor how their cult fees didn’t entitle them to a more comfortable seating situation:

Listening intently to their midnight volleyball coach.

Had I been there, I would’ve probably been like:

“Mmm… synthesized bile.”

Just sitting there, drinking the guru’s favourite energy drink, unaware of what’s being said because there probably wouldn’t have been an interpreter. If there were an interpreter, perhaps I’d be like this:

I can feel the energy leaving my body and being replaced with confusion.

Keith had a theory about sexually assaulting children maybe not being a bad thing. This was his justification:

Often… a person (unspecified gender) abused (but in air quotes)… the girl (oh, it’s a girl) really (unnecessary superlative!)… loved it?

So much for being articulate.

What point was he trying to make, I’d wonder.

Looking around, wondering if I’m the only one who doesn’t understand what Keith is getting at.

Keith liked to spice up his rape talk by mentioning feline raping.

Sure, that’s a screengrab of one line, but the complete statement wasn’t any less odd.

“Did the interpreter get that right? Isn’t he actually talking about cat wrapping in the context of ancient Egyptians mummifying cats?”

The masses somehow found this empowering.

Soaking in Keith Raniere’s cat-wrapping wisdom.

How was this not going too far:

No, nor do I need to.
“What the devil?”

At least Mark’s wife, Bonnie Piesse (who was the first in her social circle to leave NXIVM) looked uncomfortable here:

Bonnie’s the one on the left with the clenched jaw.

How far is too far?

I’m gonna have to disagree with you there Keith, I don’t think there are degrees of rapability in infants.
“Fuck this shit, I’m going to the LuLaRoe convention next door.”

The NXIVM curriculum benefitted the patriarchy. I could see how the men would enjoy the empowerment promoted by these workshops. (In one of these workshops, one of the men allegedly screamed at India for wearing “sexually suggestive” pink Converses. This was deemed appropriate workshop behaviour.) Mark remained in NXIVM even after his wife Bonnie left–and warned him about all the red flags she saw. Only when Mark and Nippy learned that Keith was banging their wives did they seem to take issue with NXIVM after nearly a decade of volleyball all-nighters and rape talk.

Strangely enough, Nippy was labelled a “hot head” when he lost his shit on Lauren Salzman, the woman responsible for branding his wife. He yells at Lauren, “Don’t try and wrap your head around how this is ok, ok? I’m not here to do that. I don’t want anything more to do with these organizations. I’m out. I’m out. If you think you are doing something good and helping people, the definition of personal growth isn’t getting fucking branded.”

I thought this was a perfectly reasonable reaction. However, after a bit of back and forth with Lauren, Nippy goes on to say, “I’m sorry that you are branding my fucking wife!”

Lauren knew Sarah well. Yet, Nippy felt the need to specify that Sarah was his wife and, therefore, his property.

It’s not that I think I’m immune to indoctrination: I still don’t believe NXIVM could have hooked me in. The workshops seemed dull and devoid of tasty snacks. I dislike volleyball. And, let’s not forget that I wouldn’t have been able to afford it to begin with.

While I would not recommend joining a cult, I would recommend watching both The Vow and Seduced, respectively.

Now, I need documentary recommendations so that I can continue living my best reclusive life. Thanks!

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