- Actress Jessica Joan has written a book about her life within the NXIVM sex cult.
- The model, who was once part of NXIVM’s secret group “DOS”, later helped bring down frontman Keith Raniere.
- “The Untouchable Jessica Joan: A Real Life Journey Of Love, Forgiveness And Evolution From The Jane Doe Who Helped Bring The NXIVM Cult To Justice” is now available.
For nearly four years, actress Jessica Joan has remained silent about her involvement in the NXIVM cult and her work to help dismantle it and prosecute its leaders.
Even when she started talking to the FBI, she kept her identity private. In court documents she was known as “Jay”.
Now, in a new book, “The Untouchable Jessica Joan”, she writes about what brought her to join NXIVM and how she was able to escape. In an interview with Insider, she spoke about her own healing and the courage to speak out.
âFor me, sharing my trauma is kind of a way to overcome it. I want to show the world that you can come out smiling,â Joan said. “You can come out a winner and defeat the bad guy.”
It all started when Joan was working as an actress in Los Angeles and getting tired of the superficial nature of the Hollywood scene. She wanted more, she said. Something more meaningful.
One of his best friends told him about a class that was becoming popular around them. It was called ESP, which stood for Executive Success Program, and was part of an organization called NXIVM. Joan found herself at a presentation where ESP coaches spoke about helping people reach their highest human potential.
NXIVM was really good at marketing – they attracted attractive and successful people like Allison Mack from “Smallville” and Kristin Kr euk from “Beauty and the Beast”.
That’s when Joan thought, âWhat’s the worst that can happen? What if this was something that could really help me? ”
She paid about $ 3,000 to enroll in an intensive ESP program.
When Keith Raniere co-founded NXIVM in 1998, it was marketed as an “Executive Success Program” for personal and professional growth. It hosted development seminars and featured different sub-groups, including âThe Sourceâ for artists and performers, âSociety of Protectorsâ for men and âJnessâ for women.
But behind the scenes, they were also recruiting for a secret sorority called DOS, or The Vow, which was led by Mack and where members were coerced and blackmailed into becoming sex slaves.
After the New York Times published a briefing in 2017, more and more victims of NXIVM began to speak out. The following year, Raniere and Mack arrested in Mexico. Raniere is currently serving 120 years in prison for sex trafficking, racketeering, fraud and conspiracy. Mack, who cooperated with prosecutors, received a three-year sentence.
But before discovering NXIVM’s dark underbelly, Joan, who has previously spoken of having experienced a traumatic childhood, saw the group as a positive force in her life.
âIt was something full of light. They were people who had gone through traumatic experiences who wanted to heal themselves and also wanted to help others heal and help humanity,â she said.
After three years with ESP, his members had become his “best friends and some of the closest people in my life.”
It was then that she was invited to join DOS, which Mack said was a women’s empowerment initiative.
Joan would have a “master” and even a “great master” – Mack. But it still seemed innocent enough, “like in karate you have your ‘master’ and in yoga you have your ‘guru’,” he was told.
From there it got even stranger. Members had to send guarantees – pictures, secrets, or anything that could harm their friends or family – in order to continue being a part of The Vow. They were also forced to count and limit their calorie intake, and report everything they did to their “master.”
Privately, however, Joan had her own guarantee: she kept pictures of everything she returned. “I had all of these guarantees and evidence backed up in case something happened,” she said.
A lucky escape
As part of an initiation, members were to attend a “special” ceremony where Raniere and Mack’s initials would be stamped on their pelvic region.
But Joan was unable to attend the ceremony because, she told the group, she had to go home to see her sick grandmother. It won her a hostile reception, she said. In the end, Joan says, she was never marked and she never had sex with Raniere.
âIf I had been in the ceremony, I know I wouldn’t be able to stand here in front of you today,â Joan said. “And to think I’m one of the lucky ones, I don’t have to walk around with a permanent mark on my pelvic area.”
When she left, she started talking to the FBI. She spent the next three years working as a model and waitress while traveling back and forth from Los Angeles to New York to brief authorities on NXIVM. She will eventually serve as a key witness in Raniere’s trial.
âI felt like I was on a mission,â she said. “Because I didn’t have to testify. I didn’t have to do any of those things and risk so much.”
This summer, Joan spent the last of her unemployment check attending Mack’s conviction on June 30. But she said she was surprised and angry at what she considered too lenient a three-year prison sentence for sex trafficking.
Still, she doesn’t regret her cooperation with the authorities and says that after finding her mission and taking the time to heal, she wants to use her story to empower others.