NXIVM Cult Sex Trafficking Trial

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Maybenaut
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NXIVM Cult Sex Trafficking Trial

#1

Post by Maybenaut » Fri Mar 29, 2019 12:01 pm

I had never heard of this cult or the trial until we started talking about Avenatti and The Swooning :swoon: Seagram's Heiress. It's actually pretty fascinating. The trial is ongoing. One of the defendants, Allison Mack, is an actress perhaps best known for her 10-year run on the TV series Smallville.

Here's the original indictment of Raniere and Mack: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/press ... 1/download

Here's the criminal complaint and arrest warrant for Rainiere: https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/press ... 1/download

Here's the superseding indictment naming Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Mack, Kathy Russell, Lauren Salzman, and Nancy Salzman: https://www.courthousenews.com/wp-conte ... tNXIVM.pdf

Here's the text of a 7/24/2018 DOJ press release explaining the superseding indictment:
Founder Of “Nxivm,” a Purported Self-Help Organization, and Five Others Charged in Superseding Indictment with Racketeering Conspiracy

New Defendants Include the President of Nxivm and Members of its Executive Board

A superseding indictment was unsealed today in federal court in Brooklyn charging Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, Kathy Russell, Lauren Salzman and Nancy Salzman with racketeering conspiracy involving an array of crimes, including identity theft, extortion, forced labor, sex trafficking, money laundering, wire fraud and obstruction of justice. Bronfman, Russell, Lauren Salzman and Nancy Salzman were arrested this morning. Bronfman will be arraigned this afternoon before United States District Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis in Brooklyn. Russell and the Salzmans will be arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge David J. Stewart in Albany, New York. Raniere and Mack were previously arrested on the original indictment and will be arraigned on the superseding indictment tomorrow before Judge Garaufis in Brooklyn.

Raniere, who founded several pyramid-structured organizations including Nxivm, a purported self-help organization for women, and various related entities, and Mack, a high-ranking member of Nxivm, were previously charged with sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy in an indictment filed April 20, 2018. Bronfman, a member of Nxivm’s executive board; Russell, Nxivm’s former bookkeeper; Lauren Salzman, a member of Nxivm’s executive board; and Nancy Salzman, the president of Nxivm, were charged for the first time in the superseding indictment.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), announced the superseding indictment.

“As alleged in the superseding indictment, for over a decade, Keith Raniere was the leader of a racketeering conspiracy in which he and members of his inner circle committed a broad range of serious crimes from identity theft and obstruction of justice to sex trafficking, all to promote and protect Raniere and Nxivm,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “This Office and the FBI will continue to investigate and prosecute those who prey on others to such destructive effect.” Mr. Donoghue expressed his grateful appreciation to the FBI for leading the investigation, and thanked the New York State Police, the FBI Albany Field Office, the New York State Office of the Attorney General, the New York State Department of Health, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, New York Field Office, and the United States Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York for their assistance with the investigation.

“As alleged, this long-running conspiracy crossed multiple avenues of criminal activity, which included, among other things, electronic monitoring; identity theft; extortion; victim smuggling; and illegal trafficking of a victim after a period of unlawful confinement. The details of these alleged crimes become more and more grim as we continue to dig deeper into the conduct of this organization and its intended mission,” stated FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Sweeney. “Today’s superseding indictment highlights our commitment to bringing justice to Nxivm’s many victims.”

The superseding indictment alleges that from at least 2003 through the present, Raniere and his inner circle of co-defendants comprised an organized racketeering enterprise engaged in criminal activities with the aim of promoting, enhancing and protecting Raniere and members of the enterprise by recruiting others into Nxivm and DOS for financial and personal benefits. Those criminal activities included the following:
  • Raniere and Bronfman conspired to commit identity theft arising out of a scheme to obtain the e-mail usernames and passwords of perceived enemies and critics of Raniere in order to monitor their electronic communications.
  • Raniere and Bronfman participated in an identity theft conspiracy involving the use of credit card and banking information belonging to one of Raniere’s sexual partners after her death in November 2016. Bronfman sent Raniere regular emails documenting expenses charged to the woman’s credit card for Raniere’s “review and approval.” Those expenses included payments to a chiropractor for Raniere’s benefit, as well as thousands of dollars’ worth of clothing and shoe purchases for the mother of Raniere’s child.
  • Bronfman encouraged and induced the illegal entry into the United States of an alien for Bronfman’s financial gain, engaging in international wire transfers to make it fraudulently appear that the victim had the financial resources to obtain an investor visa.
  • Raniere and Lauren Salzman trafficked a victim, who was once a sexual partner of Raniere’s, for labor and services. The victim was confined to a room in Clifton Park, New York, for nearly two years as punishment for having romantic feelings for a man who was not Raniere. The victim was told that if she left the room she would be sent to Mexico without any identification documents. As threatened, she was driven to Mexico and her family was instructed by co-conspirators, including Lauren Salzman, not to send the victim her identification documents.
  • Raniere and Lauren Salzman obtained property and services from their slaves through fraud and extortion. After DOS was exposed, Salzman was one of the leaders of a disinformation campaign designed to spread lies about DOS and Nxivm members in order to discredit victims.
  • Nancy Salzman, in her role as second-in-command to Raniere within Nxivm, conspired with Raniere and others to obstruct justice by altering records in connection with a civil lawsuit initiated by Nxivm against a former Nxivm student. As part of the discovery in the former student’s countersuit, Nancy Salzman was ordered to turn over videos of courses the student had taken. Nancy Salzman engaged in a scheme to edit videos of courses she had taught to remove materials that she and her co-conspirators believed would have supported the former student’s claims.
  • Raniere and Russell conspired to commit identity theft as part of a scheme to smuggle an alien into the United States through Canada after the alien was denied entry. Russell provided the alien with an identification card bearing the last name and birthday of a dead woman.
The charges in the superseding indictment are allegations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years’ imprisonment for racketeering conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy and wire fraud conspiracy charges, as well as a maximum of 15 years’ imprisonment for the identity theft conspiracy charge. In addition, Raniere and Mack each face mandatory minimum sentences of 15 years’ imprisonment, and up to life imprisonment, on related charges of sex trafficking and sex trafficking conspiracy.

The government’s investigation is ongoing.

The government’s case is being handled by the office’s Organized Crime and Gangs Section. Assistant United States Attorneys Moira Kim Penza and Tanya Hajjar are in charge of the prosecution. Assistant United States Attorney Karin Orenstein is in charge of forfeiture proceedings in connection with the case.

The Defendants:

KEITH RANIERE (also known as “Vanguard”)
Age: 57
Waterford, New York

CLARE BRONFMAN
Age: 39
Clifton Park, New York

ALLISON MACK
Age: 35
Brooklyn, New York

KATHY RUSSELL
Age: 60
Clifton Park, New York

LAUREN SALZMAN
Age: 42
Clifton Park, New York

NANCY SALZMAN (also known as “Prefect”)
Age: 64
Clifton Park, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 18-CR-204 (NGG) (S-1)
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Re: NXIVM Cult Sex Trafficking Trial

#2

Post by Jeffrey » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:16 pm

Is there a primer on NVIXM somewhere? Been meaning to read about them for a while. Is it an alien cult, religious cult, generic sex cult, new age hippies?

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Re: NXIVM Cult Sex Trafficking Trial

#3

Post by jmj » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:37 pm

Jeffrey wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:16 pm
Is there a primer on NVIXM somewhere? Been meaning to read about them for a while. Is it an alien cult, religious cult, generic sex cult, new age hippies?
I also hadn't heard about it until the Avenatti thread. I'm still a little unclear about what they actually teach, but I got up to speed by reading the Wikipedia page on NVIXM. It gives a decent high-level overview though it doesn't flesh out many details. Supposedly the organization gave "personal and professional development seminars". As well as being a creepy sex cult.

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Re: NXIVM Cult Sex Trafficking Trial

#4

Post by Somerset » Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:42 pm

Jeffrey wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:16 pm
Is there a primer on NVIXM somewhere? Been meaning to read about them for a while. Is it an alien cult, religious cult, generic sex cult, new age hippies?
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/NXIVM

A first glance, est (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Erhard_Seminars_Training) with sex.

Ninja'd by jmj :)

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Re: NXIVM Cult Sex Trafficking Trial

#5

Post by Maybenaut » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:09 pm

Catching up on trial developments as time allows...

Allison Mack is begging for a separate Nxivm trial. She says new allegations of child sexual abuse against co-defendant Reniere will deprive her of a fair trial. Good luck with that, Allison.

Also, Allison Mack is in 'active plea negotiations' to avoid trial for alleged involvement in NXIVM sex cult.

Meanwhile, ‘Slave’ to NXIVM ‘Sex Cult’ Leader Pleads Guilty to Racketeering.
A woman accused of recruiting her best friend into a secret woman-branding “slave” group has pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering, and one count of racketeering conspiracy.

Lauren Salzman is a high-ranking member of NXIVM (pronounced nex-ee-um), a self-help group whose leader Keith Raniere is facing trial for child exploitation, sex trafficking, forced labor, racketeering, and other crimes.

Salzman is the second person to be convicted in the high-profile “sex cult” case, which has also charged Smallville actress Allison Mack with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor. Lauren Salzman’s mother Nancy Salzman, the president and co-founder of NXIVM, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy earlier this month.
ETA: Also, the Albany Times Union has an entire page devoted to NXIVM, with lots of details of the cult (it's a local story there). I haven't read any of the articles about the cult because, well, I don't give a shit about it. But for the people who are interested, there's lots of info on the site. What I don't know is whether you only get so many free articles before you have to subscribe, so...
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Re: NXIVM Cult Sex Trafficking Trial

#6

Post by Dolly » Fri Mar 29, 2019 3:19 pm

I started reading up about this when a Poot (Debra Cochran maybe) was posting about the trial.


NXIVM Leader Keith Raniere Hit With Child Pornography Charges, Co-Founder Nancy Salzman Pleads Guilty to Conspiracy
Maria Sherman
3/14/19 10:15am Filed to: NXIVM < https://jezebel.com/tag/nxivm >
https://jezebel.com/nxivm-leader-keith- ... 1833287834


Keith Raniere
<collection of articles - only 1 recent - but interesting/weird stuff>
https://www.vice.com/en_us/topic/keith-raniere


How NXIVM Used the Strange Power of Patents to Build Its “Sex Cult”
Keith Raniere exploited a common misconception about a tedious bureaucratic process to spread the gospel of his genius.
by KENZIE BRYANT
JUNE 27, 2018 8:02 AM
https://www.vanityfair.com/style/2018/0 ... luciferian
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Re: NXIVM Cult Sex Trafficking Trial

#7

Post by JohnPCapitalist » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:21 am

Jeffrey wrote:
Fri Mar 29, 2019 2:16 pm
Is there a primer on NVIXM somewhere? Been meaning to read about them for a while. Is it an alien cult, religious cult, generic sex cult, new age hippies?
Here are a couple of other articles.

On my blog, I wrote several articles in-depth articles for my audience, mostly concerned with Scientology, to draw parallels between Nxivm and Scientology. Some say that Nxivm dogma was taken wholesale from Scientology; there is hardly any Nxivm course material on the web to assess this, but I think it's less than most suspect. The articles on my blog are here: http://www.reasoned.life/tag/nxivm/

The New York Times article that brought the Nxivm branding episode to a large audience is here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/17/nyre ... lbany.html.

The most content about Nxivm is on a site called Frank Report (http://www.frankreport.com), run by Frank Parlato, a PR cosultant who worked for Nxivm for about a year, but then had a falling-out. They apparently framed him for several things (they litigate aggressively against former members and against critics), and legal action is ongoing. About 80% of Parlato's blog posts are trolling Nxivm management and its former members, but about 20% is solid journalism with some real scoops. Parlato is the first source that brought the branding to light, but the word didn't get out to the universe at large until October 2017.

I recommend the Albany Times Union, which has done some good work in the face of multiple threats from Nxivm, which was headquartered in their backyard.

One of the first major pubs to write about Nxivm was Vanity Fair, which covered the sway Raniere held over the two Bronfman heiress sisters who were his main backers. That's at: https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2010 ... man-201011

Regarding your last sentence, Nxivm appears to have evolved from a "large group awareness" style training program that combined elements of multi-level marketing in its business model. Before founding Nxivm, Raniere ran a company called "Consumers Buyline," which was some sort of multi-level marketing program. It was shut down by regulators in 1997, and the next year, Nxivm appeared in the form of a company called "Executive Success Programs." Over time, Nxivm became the umbrella group for Executive Success Programs and around 100 other corporate entities. Some were front groups to recruit members under deceptive agendas, and many were passive corporate shells to hold assets so they were not traceable to Raniere and to facilitate tax evasion.

It offered week-long training classes and a lot of "coaching" sessions. Coaches who led the one-on-one sessions got paid a significant percentage of the revenue they brought in, and the coaches got highly visible status within the organization. At various pow-wows, people wore sashes denoting rank in the group. This was the start of a process to get people ensnared in the group, because people would be allowed to "borrow" money from Nxivm to take more classes. Some reports suggest that many active members owed tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars to the group for classes they took, which they were working off by signing up more people to take classes.

So if everyone was in debt to Nxivm for classes they couldn't afford, where did all the money come from? Raniere had relatively few members: Nxivm claimed to have had 16,000 people go through at least one class in its 20 years (1998-2018), which is significantly less than Scientology (perhaps 250,000 people 1952-2019) and Landmark Education/the former EST (2+ million since 1972). But Raniere managed to land a lot of scions of wealthy families and absorb them into his inner circle. The two Bronfman heiresses (Clare, who's on trial, and Sarah, who is in something of an exile in France) contributed several hundred million dollars to Raniere's various organizations. But there were also a large number of scions of wealthy families in Mexico, including the son of former Mexican president Carlos Salinas.

Rainere may have ripped off Clare Bronfman for $65 million. Like most cult leaders, Raniere's legitimacy to run the group rests on his infallible brilliance. He claimed to have a system to beat the stock markets, and put some of Bronfman's money to work. At some point, he claimed to have gotten hit with a $65 million margin call, which Bronfman covered. I am highly skeptical that an individual investor can manage to get themselves set up with that much margin debt, unless they had significantly more money in their account to start -- you can't start with $1 million and somehow end up with a market moving against you that exposes you to $65 million in losses without being sold out. Maybe in the 1970s, but I just can't imagine that happening today.

Frank Report also has numerous stories where various low-level Nxivm members were used to shuttle cash from the Mexican operation to Raniere and his inner circle, which would be pretty blatant violations of applicable law, likely including tax evasion. Nxivm was always a for-profit entity, and some of the charges against Raniere are tax evasion, though I don't think they've unraveled the full scope of the financial misdeeds of the organization yet. I'm suspecting that there could be a second indictment focusing on tax evasion that would bring Raniere, his #2, Nancy Salzman, and several other inner circle members back to court -- forensic accounting necessary to prove tax evasion on a large scale take a long time to complete, but I suspect they continue to work on this front even as they're going to trial on the more lurid crimes.

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Re: NXIVM Cult Sex Trafficking Trial

#8

Post by scirreeve » Sat Mar 30, 2019 2:05 am

Thanks for the summary John. I haven't really followed it but looked at it now and then. Saw lots of crap on conspiracy sites about it (and I think some Q nut tweets). Nathan Stolpman (a nut) has been talking about it for a while on his "pedogate" YTs.

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Re: NXIVM Cult Sex Trafficking Trial

#9

Post by Suranis » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:15 am

Rationalwiki has a short bio but lotsa links to the more interesting parts of the NXIVM stuff. Also points out similarities to our favourite Hubbard lovers.

https://rationalwiki.org/wiki/NXIVM
NXIVM is a organisation that provides personal-development seminars. It behaves in a manner rather akin to a litigious cult.[1] It also operates Executive Success Programs, Inc. It was founded by Keith Raniere ("The Vanguard")[2] in 1998. The name is pronounced to rhyme with "Nexium", an over-the-counter 24-hour antacid.

What it claims

NXIVM boasts "a remarkable development in scientific and psychodynamic understanding, education, and technology that can facilitate this transition so the pattern of humanity's rises and falls can actually be broken and transformed."[3]

Former Smallville star Kristin Kreuk allegedly recruited her co-star, Allison Mack, into the cult. She was sent to a self-help retreat which turned out to be one of their recruitment seminars. Kreuk just barely got in and then got out, but Mack did not. She co-founded the sex sect, recruited and kept the women underfed, branded them with her initials, and introduced corporal punishment along with her leader. Grace Park and Nicki Clyne were also involved in the organization in some capacity.[4][5][6] Clearly, Raniere is trying to fuck and brand all the women from your favorite sci-fi shows as a kid. In addition, the guy got two heiresses to give him $60 million.[7]

Response to critics

While gratuitous comparisons to Scientology annoy the experienced cult watcher, it really doesn't help NXIVM's case when they take their moves straight out of said tax-deductible religion's playbook:

They label dissenters "suppressives".
They respond to said dissenters with attempted overwhelming legal force (to the point where judges call them out on it).
They sent private investigators to go through Rick Ross's garbage cans, of all the people to try such a stunt on.[8]
They also tried to sue Ross for copyright violations when he quoted their material to criticise it, which surprisingly enough didn't work out too well for them.[9]

Sorority scandal

The 2018 indictment against Raniere et al.

A secret sorority within the organization was discovered in 2017, with female recruits being non-consensually branded with a mark below their hip after being asked to voluntarily offer naked photographs and other compromising material as "collateral" and a show of trust. The sorority was structured around obedience, with each circle led by a "master" who would recruit six "slaves", who were then expected to recruit slaves of their own. Punishments for lack of strict obedience included fasting and corporal punishments. Over time, more collateral was demanded from its members. Text messages suggest that Raniere was aware of its practices including the brand which incorporated his initials.[10]

In 2018, Raniere was indicted with charges of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and conspiracy to commit forced labor.[2] Allison Mack was arrested and charged with the same crimes on April 20, 2018.[11] Reason has however criticized the charges of "sex trafficking", noticing that what they did at NXIVM can be called several things, it cannot be called "sex trafficking", and that they're calling it so because of sensationalism.[12]
External links

NXIVM
Executive Success Programs
World Ethical Foundations Consortium — another Raniere site; it is not clear whether the Dalai Lama endorses his name and image being all over it
Rick Ross links on NXIVM/ESP
Daily Beast reportage on NXIVM:
Feds: ‘Self-Help’ Guru Kept Women as Sex ‘Slaves,’ Branded Them With His Initials, 27 March 2018
How ‘Smallville’ Actress Allison Mack Became a Women-Branding Cult Leader, 28 March 2018
The Hollywood Followers of NXIVM, a Women-Branding Sex Cult, 30 March 2018

See also

Erhard Seminars Training
Steve Drain

References

Ross Institute 2003 essays on NXIVM
Founder of the secretive self-help group NXIVM charged with sex trafficking (Mar 26, 2018, 7:49 PM ET) ABC News.
Front page, http://www.nxivm.com/
Berman, Sarah, "How a Secret Society That Brands Women Sold Empowerment", Vice (23 November 2017, 12:33pm).
Berman, Sarah, "These Actresses Have Been Linked to an Alleged Sex Cult", Vice (6 April 2018, 6:25pm).
"Sex cult sources: Allison Mack ‘married’ Actress Nicki Clyne to defraud US Immigration", Artvoice 3 April 2018. Time to lock down Katie Sackhoff and everyone from the Stargate franchise.
Andrews, Suzana, "The Heiresses and the Cult", Vanity Fair November 2010.
'NXIVM is a litigation machine' (James M. Odato and Jennifer Gish, Times Union, 13 March 2012)
How to Lose $100 Million (Nicholas Köhler, Maclean's, 13 September 2010)
Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded by Barry Meier, The New York Times, Oct. 17, 2017)
Founder of “NXIVM,” a Purported Self-Help Organization, and Actor Indicted for Sex Trafficking and Forced Labor Conspiracy. United States Department of Justice, 20 April 2018.
Seriously when someone ask you to nand over naked photos and brand you, this might be a clue that they are not really about empowerment.
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Re: NXIVM Cult Sex Trafficking Trial

#10

Post by Hurtzi » Sat Mar 30, 2019 12:56 pm

The FrankReport has all the updates.
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Re: NXIVM Cult Sex Trafficking Trial

#11

Post by neonzx » Wed Jun 19, 2019 10:19 pm

Nxivm leader Keith Raniere found guilty of all counts in sex cult trial
Keith Raniere, the founder of the "Nxivm" self-help company that prosecutors said secretly housed a sex cult, was found guilty of racketeering, sex trafficking and other crimes on Wednesday.

Raniere, 58, was found guilty on all seven counts, including racketeering, racketeering conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and attempted sex trafficking. He was emotionless as the verdict was read and is due to be sentenced on September 25.

Raniere maintains his innocence and plans to appeal the case, his attorneys said after the verdict.
:snippity:
Raniere could be sentenced to life in prison. He has been in federal custody in Brooklyn since he was arrested in Mexico last year.
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