Cult following Brissie band doesn’t want
Brisbane band Sheppard has been left outraged after their signature hit was used to promote a mysterious American cult at the centre of a horrifying sex scandal.
NXIVM is the subject of a documentary series currently airing on Stan, with footage of the first episode showing a promotional video for the controversial organisation accompanied by Sheppard's smash hit Geronimo.
Sheppard, still riding high after their performance at last month's AFL grand final, are one of Australia's most wholesome acts, with the band's inclusion on the NXIVM video raising eyebrows among fans watching the confronting series.
Sheppard yesterday came out swinging, instructing management to address the matter urgently and labelling NXIVM "reprehensible".
Founded in 1998, NXIVM presented itself as a professional development company, but it has since been widely condemned as a cult linked to secret societies and sex slaves.
Founder Keith Raniere was last month sentenced to 120 years jail by a US District Court Judge for sex trafficking in a scandal which also led to the arrest of former Hollywood actress Allison Mack over allegations she recruited women for a sex cult under the guise of joining a self-help group.
Her case is still before the courts.
The sordid scandal is a world away from the squeaky clean image of Sheppard, the Brisbane-based siblings behind chart-toppers Geronimo, Let Me Down Easy and Coming Home.
Amy Sheppard has been a vocal role model to promote healthy body image while siblings George and Emma have promoted charitable causes including bushfire victim support.
Yesterday, George Sheppard said he was shocked to discover the song had been used in the video.
"We haven't and would never have allowed our music to be featured by NXIVM in their promotional video, and we were not approached by the documentary to have this unauthorised usage featured in the program," he said.
"We have instructed our management to address this matter urgently with the filmmakers … It goes without saying that the allegations and charges surrounding the NXIVM cult are reprehensible and in no way would we want our music associated with such an organisation or for it to be implied by the documentary makers that we have approved this usage."
Originally published as Cult following Brissie band doesn't want