OBill Maher closed the season finale of his long-running HBO series on Friday night Real time by comparing Trump supporters to NXIVM followers – adherents of the Albany-based cult led by Keith Raniere in which many women were starved, branded and treated as sex slaves.
“The challenge for us is how do you get people out of a cult – especially when every time you present evidence of what is an obvious reality, they take it as evidence that you are in a plot to destroy them? And for the answer to that question, we have to turn to Catherine Oxenberg, ”Maher explained, adding,“ She took someone out of a cult – and I know about 70 million other Americans I would love to love. that she speaks.
Maher was referring to socialite India Oxenberg, the subject of the new Starz documentary series Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult, who spent seven years under Raniere’s psychological control, serving as a servant and sex slave. His mother, former Dynasty actress and royal Catherine Oxenberg, spent a number of years trying to get India out of NXIVM, to no avail.
“As I watched this documentary, I couldn’t help but think that Raniere – I mean ‘Vanguard’ – reminded me of someone. But I couldn’t put my number on that. For example, like most cult leaders, Vanguard had an extraordinary need to be surrounded by ass licks to tell him how awesome he was, ”said the comedian.
Next, Maher ran a montage of senior NXIVM officials Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman and Clare Bronfman praising Raniere, followed by a similar montage of Trump officials Mike Pence, Orrin Hatch and other Republicans massaging the the president’s fragile ego. .
According to Maher, Trump and Raniere often insisted they were “geniuses”, with Trump often bragging about it, and Raniere falsely claiming he was even though he graduated from college with it. a 2.26 GPA (Trump’s academic claims are equally dubious.) both also created failed and fraudulent schools – Trump University and Executive Success Programs, NXIVM’s original name. And they falsely presented themselves as huge successes in business even though Trump’s casinos went bankrupt and bailed out with hundreds of millions of dollars in financial trouble by his father, while Raniere was arrested for manage a pyramid scheme.
“And then there’s the fact that both men were so unrepentant about sex that they literally couldn’t help but brag about it,” Maher continued, releasing footage of Raniere talking about “grabbing” women. at will against Trump’s infamous “catch them by”. the cat ” Access Hollywood tape where he boasted of having sexually assaulted women at will because of his fame.
He concluded by saying that we should take a page out of Catherine Oxenberg’s playbook and embrace the Trump followers. “Did you hear the phrase, ‘Hate the sin, love the sinner?’ Well, she practiced, ‘Hate the cult, love the cult. She didn’t yell at her daughter that she was stupid, she didn’t interrupt her, she just kept trying to remind her who she was. I think we need to try this on QAnon.
Here’s the thing: India Oxenberg only left NXIVM long after Keith Raniere and his associates were arrested by federal authorities.
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