Keith Raniere, The Leader of a Sex Cult Pyramid Scheme, Has Been Charged with Sex Trafficking
Late last year, we wrote about former Smallville actress Alison Mack’s involvement with NXIVM, which is a multi-level marketing scheme. Within NXIVM, there’s a “secret society” called DOS, operated by “self-help guru” Keith Raniere, known within the cult as The Vanguard. Allison Mack was allegedly his top assistant.
Basically, DOS is a sex-cult pyramid scheme, which is to say: Recruits have to recruit more “slaves” into a harem, and the women are branded (with Keith Raniere’s initials), and they have to divulge some huge personal secret so that the cult will have leverage over them, which prevents them from telling anyone about the sex cult.
The NYTimes began looking into the secret sex cult last year, prompting Raniere to flee the country. Buzzfeed is now reporting that Raniere was picked up in Mexico and brought back to the United States, where he was arraigned on charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor.
The Sun is additionally reporting (with accompanying video) that after his arrest, Allison Mack and another Hollywood actress, Nicki Clyne — who were holed up in Mexico with Rainier — attempted to follow police after his arrest.
Raniere recruited almost exclusively young and thin women who were having difficulties in their lives, according to the complaint.
The complaint also stated that “many victims participated in videotaped ceremonies where they were branded in their pelvic area with a symbol featuring Mr. Raniere’s initials.
“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.
Investigators said Mr. Raniere preferred exceptionally thin women, so “slaves” had to stick to very low-calorie diets and document every food they ate. As punishment for not following orders, women were forced to attend classes where they were “forced to wear fake cow udders over their breasts while people called them derogatory names,” or threatened with being put in cages, court papers said.
Mack and the other women, obviously, were victims of Raniere. If convicted, he faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison.
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