India Oxenberg, Keith Raniere, and Allison Mack | Photo Credits: Screengrab/HBO; Getty Images

The season finale of The Vow on HBO aired Sunday, leaving viewers with questions about what happened to NXIVM’s key players, including Keith Raniere, Allison Mack, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, India Oxenberg, and Clare Bronfman.

The documentary series, about an alleged sex cult and multi-level marketing scheme masquerading as a self-help program, ended its first season with the arrest of Keith Raniere. Raniere was the leader of NXIVM and its various subgroups including DOS, a secret women’s organization that assigned its members “master” and “slave” roles and branded their pelvic areas with Raniere’s initials.

HBO has renewed The Vow for a second season, to air in 2021, and the Season 1 finale hints that both Raniere and Salzman may have participated in the new episodes; in the finale, a woman who appears to be Salzman is shown wearing a house arrest ankle monitor, and the episode’s final scene features a voice recording of Raniere, apparently agreeing from jail to talk about NXIVM for a documentary. According to HBO, Season 2 will feature revelations from the group’s supporters and defectors, and will center around Keith Raniere’s trial and ultimate conviction of crimes including sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, racketeering, and production and possession of child pornography. Raniere is expected to be sentenced on Oct. 27.

The Vow Review: HBO’s NXIVM Doc Offers an Eye-Opening Look at the Chilling Cult

Viewers don’t have to wait for more episodes of The Vow to learn what happened to Keith Raniere and his NXIVM inner circle. Here’s what happened after the events of The Vow finale.

Keith Raniere

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NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, shown in an episode of HBO’s docuseries The Vow

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Keith Raniere, 60, is waiting to be sentenced for sex trafficking and other crimes. He faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison, and he could receive life in prison.

The Vow finale ends with Raniere, also known to NXIVM members as “Vanguard,” being arrested in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in March 2018 on charges including sex trafficking.

The first season of the docuseries doesn’t detail the dramatic circumstances surrounding Raniere’s arrest, however Lauren Salzman testified in court that Mexican authorities interrupted Raniere’s plans for a “recommitment ceremony” involving group sex with several of the first-line “masters” in Dominus Obsequious Sororium (DOS), the secretive women’s club within NXIVM. (The Latin name is roughly translated as “master over slave women,” and Raniere was the sect’s “grandmaster.”) According to the Albany-based newspaper The Times-Union, Salzman testified that when officers burst into the resort where the group was staying, Raniere hid in a walk-in closet. “It never occurred to me that I would choose Keith — and Keith would choose Keith,” Salzman said in court.

In May of 2018, Raniere pleaded not guilty to charges including sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy; his lawyers told NBC News that “everything was consensual.” Raniere was held without bail because he was deemed to be a flight risk. In March of 2019, prosecutors accused Raniere, who is now 60, of having sex with a 15-year-old girl, The New York Times reported. He was charged with “coercing a child to engage in sexual conduct to produce visual depictions of it, and of possessing child pornography between 2005 and 2018,” according to Reuters.

Raniere’s high-profile trial began in Brooklyn’s Federal District Court in May 2019. In June, after deliberating for less than five hours, a jury found Raniere guilty on all counts. He was convicted of sex trafficking, forced labor, production and possession of child pornography, racketeering, and wire fraud.

Raniere is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn while he awaits sentencing, which is scheduled for Oct. 27, 2020.

Allison Mack

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Allison Mack departs the U.S. Eastern District Court in Brooklyn after a bail hearing on May 4, 2018.

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Allison Mack, 38, is waiting to be sentenced for racketeering and racketeering conspiracy. She faces up to 40 years in prison (20 years for each count) and a maximum fine of $250,000.

Allison Mack, the 38-year-old actress best known for her Smallville role as young Clark Kent’s friend Chloe was, by many accounts, Keith Raniere’s top lieutenant in the NXIVM secret sorority DOS. The docuseries accuses Mack of recruiting women to be “slaves”; forcing them to hand over compromising material including nude photos as “collateral” and blackmailing them to keep them obedient; putting them on extreme weight-loss regimes and assigning them “penance” for mistakes; and initiating rituals that used a cauterizing pen, without anesthesia, to brand them with a symbol that incorporates Raniere’s initials and her own without their consent.

The Vow Season 1 finale shows Mack preparing to follow the authorities who arrested Raniere at the group’s hideout in Mexico in March 2018. In April 2018, Mack herself was arrested in Brooklyn by the FBI on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy. Shortly thereafter, she pleaded not guilty to all charges and was released to her parents’ custody on $5 million bail, NBC News reported at the time.

In May 2018, The New York Times Magazine published a feature after being given a rare tour of NXIVM leadership and operations earlier in the year, before the arrests. In the story, Mack defended DOS’s “master/slave” dynamic and took full responsibility for creating the branding ritual, explaining, “I was like: ‘Y’all, a tattoo? People get drunk and tattooed on their ankle ‘BFF,’ or a tramp stamp. I have two tattoos and they mean nothing.’ ”

In April 2019, a year after she first pleaded not guilty, Mack reversed her plea just hours before jury selection was set to begin, taking a deal that allowed her to avoid going to trial with Raniere and Clare Bronfman, the Associated Press reported. During her hearing, Mack pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy, tearfully admitted to her crimes — including obtaining “collateral” from women and threatening to make it public if they disobeyed her — and apologized to the women who were exploited by NXIVM. “I believed Keith Raniere’s intentions were to help people, and I was wrong,” Mack told the judge. “I must take full responsibility for my conduct and that is why I am pleading guilty today. I am and will be a better person as a result of this.”

Mack was scheduled to be sentenced in September 2019, but her sentencing was delayed, and she has yet to receive a new date, partly due to COVID-19 court closures. In the meantime, Mack wears a monitoring anklet and spends most of her time at her parents’ California home.

In an interview with CBS News in September 2020, Mack’s wife, former Battlestar Galactica actress Nicki Clyne, defended Raniere, NXIVM, and its branding ritual. When asked how Mack was doing, Clyne said, “I haven’t been able to speak to her for a year and half. Part of the conditions of her bail is that she can’t speak to anyone who is affiliated in any way with the case or NXIVM. This has been the hardest, most humbling experience of my life.”

Nancy Salzman

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Nancy Salzman in an episode of The Vow on HBO.

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