Nxivm cult leader coerced women into sex

Nxivm cult leader coerced women into sex, branded initials on his ‘slaves,’ authorities say

A New York cult leader who called women his “slaves,” branded them with his initials and coerced them into sex acts was arrested in Mexico on sex-trafficking charges, authorities said Monday.

Keith Raniere, the co-founder of the Nxivm cult that began more than two decades ago, was taken into custody after Mexican immigration officials found him in a luxury Mexican villa near Puerto Vallarta, the Albany Times Union reported. He was reportedly staying at the $10,000-a-week villa with several women.

Raniere returned to Texas on Monday. He is expected to appear in court Tuesday in Fort Worth on the charges filed by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.

Authorities said Raniere, who is known as “Vanguard” in the organization, formed a secretive group within NXIVM that had women join a slave-master club called “Dominus Obsequious Sororium,” which translates to “Master Over the Slave Woman.”

The women — usually thin because they stuck to low-calorie diets — were allegedly brainwashed into thinking the best way to advance was to become a “slave.” Raniere coerced the women into having sex with him and doing menial chores for “masters,” the criminal complaint stated.

The women also partook in videotaped branding ceremonies in which they had Raniere’s initials burned into their pelvic area.

“During the branding ceremonies, slaves were required to be fully naked, and the master would order one slave to film while the other held down the slave being branded,” the complaint said.

The women were allegedly threatened with public humiliation if they didn’t keep the arrangement a secret. Raniere punished the women for not following orders by forcing them “to wear fake cow udders over their breasts while people called them derogatory names,” court papers stated.

Other times, they were reportedly stuck in cages.

Raniere fled to Mexico last November after the government began interviewing potential witnesses about the cult leader’s alleged activities. The New York Times published stories of some of the women who defected from their secret sorority.

Federal authorities struggled to find Raniere for months because he used encrypted email and ditched his phone.

“The defendant was uncooperative when immigration authorities arrived and after he was taken into custody, the women chased the car in which the defendant was being transported in their own car at high speed,” court papers stated.

On Tuesday, federal agents raided the home of Nxivm co-founder Nancy Salzman in Oregon Trail, the Albany Times Union reported.

Raniere was promoted as a “scientist, mathematician, philosopher, entrepreneur, educator, inventor and author” who has “devoted his life to studying the human psychodynamic and developing new tools for human empowerment, expression and ethics,” the group’s website says.

Raniere and Nxivm have been the subject of criticism for years, dating back to at least 2012 when the Times Union of Albany published a series of articles examining the organization and the allegations it was like a cult.

Over the years, Nxivm has attracted a following that includes Emmy Award-winning actress Allison Mack. Authorities also say Raniere has been bankrolled by Clare Bronfman, an heiress to the Seagram’s liquor fortune.

Bronfman gave millions of dollars covering expenses such as private air travel costing $65,000 per flight, court papers say.




‘CULT’ ARREST Nxivm ‘sex cult’ leader Keith Raniere arrested ‘for raping girls as young as 12 and forcing followers to become his slaves’

In arrest documents seen by Sun Online, Keith Raniere is accused of raping girls as young as 12, imprisoning a woman for 18 months because she developed feelings for someone else – and forcing one follower to run into a tree and drink from a puddle.

THE leader of a ‘cult’ which is alleged to have branded, blackmailed and brainwashed women has been arrested on allegations of sex trafficking.

In arrest documents seen by Sun Online, Keith Raniere is accused of raping girls as young as 12, imprisoning a woman for 18 months because she developed feelings for someone else – and forcing one follower to run into a tree and drink from a puddle.

Raniere is also alleged to have forced women attending one of his classes to wear fake cow udders over their breasts while people called them “derogatory names”, put women in cages as punishments and spent thousands of dollars on a dead lover’s credit card to fund a luxury lifestyle.

In a federal complaint against the 57-year-old, the US government accuses Raniere of of running a secret society called “DOS” or “The Vow” in which women were recruited as slaves and slave masters, branded with his initials on their pubic areas and forced to hand over highly damaging information abut themselves including naked pictures and rights to their assets.

Sun Online exposed Raniere’s ‘cult’ last year – and was even shown some of the so-called X-rated “collateral” which had been leaked by a former member.

According to the complaint, the alleged “slaves” were ordered to stop waxing or shaving their public hair – because Raniere supposedly prefers women with lots of public hair – and to remain celibate – as he apparently believed women should be monogamous and men polyamorous.

The alleged “slaves” were supposedly recruited from Nxivm – a so-called self improvement group – which authorities now believe may have been a pyramid scheme.

Each woman is said to have been forced to recruit more slaves, who allegedly had to carry out “readiness drills”, be available any time of the day or night – and often have sex with Raniere.

Raniere – known as “Vanguard” to followers – is accused of having a “decades’ long history of abusing women and girls” – including “repeated sexual encounters with multiple teenage girls” as young as 12, according to the document.

“In one instance, the defendant met a fifteen-year-old girl while he was in his 20s and had repeated sexual contact with her,” the document says.

“In another instance, the defendant met a twelve-year-old girl whose mother worked for the defendant and began tutoring her.

“Shortly thereafter, the defendant began having regular sexual intercourse with her, including at his home where he lived with multiple adult sexual partners.”

In indictment documents, the FBI describe Raniere as having “a rotating group of 15 to 20 women with whom he maintains sexual relationships.”

One witness – named in the papers as “Jane Doe 1” – claimed Raniere texted her in the middle of the night and insisted she must meet him and do whatever he asked.

Fearing her “collateral” would be leaked if she did not, the document claims she went to meet Raniere who told her to strip before blindfolding her and driving her to an abandoned “shack”.

Inside she was allegedly tied to a table and someone began giving her oral sex while Raniere walked round the table making comments.

At least two Hollywood actresses are said to have supported the ‘cult’ – Allison Mack and Nicki Clyne, according to Nxivm’s former publicist Frank Parlato.

There is nothing to suggest either Mack or Clyne are involved in the alleged sex crimes in any way.

Parlato has been campaigning tirelessly to expose Raniere’s alleged wrongdoing and claims he may have up to 1,000 victims.

He told Sun Online: “Keith Raniere has been abusing women for decades and I believe justice is finally going to be served.

“He always thought he was above the law but now this is karma.

“All the people who lived in fear of Keith Raniere can breath easily as he is now in custody and will be unlikely to ever hurt anyone again.

“I would estimate that more than a thousand people have deeply hurt by him – and about 200 women have been abused physically, sexually, coerced, black mailed, hypnotized and brainwashed on a basis that was so severe it affected adversely the rest of their lives.

“The authorities are asking that bail be denied and Raniere could face his whole life behind bars – he may never see freedom again and in my opinion this is absolutely deserved.”

Raniere is due to appear at court in Texas on Tuesday on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and conspiracy to commit forced labour.

Authorities have requested that bail be denied as he is considered a flight risk and a danger to the community.




Women say they were branded, traumatized by group’s doctors

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — Women say they were branded and traumatized by doctors in a secretive group, and state officials will review why authorities didn’t act sooner on the women’s reports, a spokesman for Gov. Andrew Cuomo said Friday.

State officials will examine whether the women’s complaints warrant an investigation now, the Democratic governor’s spokesman Richard Azzopardi said.

The action comes after The New York Times reported on complaints about a group affiliated with the self-help organization NXIVM, which is based in suburban Albany and has chapters across the country. NXIVM, on its website, calls the women’s complaints “lies.”

In a complaint filed with the state Department of Health over the summer and shared with the Times, a woman said Dr. Brandon Porter, of the Albany suburb Clifton Park, did studies on behalf of NXIVM’s personal development program. In one study, she said, Porter connected her to brainwave monitoring equipment and without warning showed her film clips depicting extreme violence including gang rape. She said she has been haunted by the images for almost a year.

Other women complained to the health department that Dr. Danielle Roberts, a family doctor in Clifton Park, used a surgical device to burn brands on women’s lower abdomens during their initiations into a secret sorority within NXIVM.

Porter resigned his position as a general practitioner at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany after the Times story was published, a hospital spokesman said.

Roberts didn’t respond to a phone message Friday, and Porter’s phone number is unlisted. The Times said neither doctor responded to repeated inquiries seeking comment.

The Times story said several former NXIVM members described the painful initiation into a secret sisterhood within the self-help group. One said she was told she would get a small tattoo but instead was held down by three women while a 2-inch-wide (5-centimeter-wide) symbol including NXIVM founder Keith Raniere’s initials was seared into her skin. She said group members were sworn to secrecy.

NXIVM posted a statement on its website saying a media outlet had incorrectly linked it to a “social group.” It called the allegations “lies” and “a criminal product of criminal minds.”

In an investigative story by the Albany Times Union in 2012, critics described NXIVM as a multilevel marketing business and Raniere as a cult leader who has drawn more than 10,000 followers to his self-improvement philosophy.

The New York Times said Raniere and other NXIVM officials didn’t respond to repeated requests for comment.

NXIVM’s website says its mission is to “help transform and, ultimately, be an expression of the noble civilization of humans.”