I Tried to Make Sense of an Alleged Sex Cult's Bizarre Health Claims - 2018-05-02
Since Keith Raniere's arrest on sex trafficking charges a month ago, large chunks of his global following have disbanded. But a core group of true believers has stuck by the alleged sex cult leader and his teachings—some of whom believe the coursework will help them overcome mental and physical disorders like Tourette's, anxiety, depression, and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
In the same way that Scientology "audits" claim to address mental health disorders with little scientific basis, a series of experimental therapies offered by Nxivm "Prefect" Nancy Salzman are believed by some followers to reduce symptoms of Tourette's and other disorders. In fact, a film that followed a five-person Tourette's "case study" funded by Nxivm without peer review or any academic oversight was screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival in California on Tuesday night.
Tourette's Syndrome is a neurological disorder which results in recurring physical and verbal "tics" like blinking, or in some cases shouting obscenities. The film My Tourette's apparently boasts remarkable 80 percent reductions in tics for all of its subjects—though I can't confirm, because the filmmakers have only allowed me to view the trailer.