Dozens of successful young women fell into the NXIVM trap, lured by the promises of Keith Raniere, the s*x-obsessed guru of what was revealed to be a lurid s*x cult.
If this were the plot of a movie, you’d think it far-fetched or downright ridiculous, but the true story of NXIVM is mind-boggling.
Ironically, some well-known actresses accepted a part in this B-movie and gladly accepted to be branded with hot irons with Raniere’s initials.
For two decades, NXIVM presented itself as a self-empowerment organization offering seminars that would help people change their mindset to become more successful and earn more money.
Men were also welcomed into the organization, but Keith Raniere target especially women, young, pretty, and in some cases filthy rich, like the Seagram heiress Clare Bronfman.
20 Years Of Depravity
Keith Raniere founded NXIVM in 1998, in Albany, New York, together with his then-partner Nancy Salzman.
The company offered Executive Success Programs, known as ESP, to help people who felt stuck in their career or personal life to accomplish more.
The programs targeted people who had already achieved some sort of success and could afford to pay thousands of dollars for Raniere’s seminars. That was the legit part of the organization.
However, it was only a fly-trap to attract predominantly young women Raniere would exploit s*xually, and, of course, financially.
Among the most famous of the guru’s victims were Battlestar Galactica star Nicki Clyne, and Smallville actress Allison Mack, who was absolutely enthralled by Raniere.
Together with Clare Bronfman, the actresses were part of the upper echelon. Raniere consulted them on recruitment strategies and how to keep the flock in line.
Branded Like (Cash) Cows
An essential part of enslaving the women was branding them like cattle.
Here’s how the branding was to take place in Keith Raniere’s vision.
“Legs spread straight, like feet being held to the side of the table, hands probably above the head, being held, almost like tied down.”
The victims were not to be coerced, but rather convinced it was an honor.
“She should say, ‘Please brand me. It would be an honor’ — or something like that — ‘an honor I want to wear for the rest of my life.’ They should probably say that before they’re held down, so it doesn’t seem like they were being coerced,” Keith Raniere once told Allison Mack.
As this wasn’t disturbing enough, Mack later claimed branding had been her idea and she considered it a more powerful commitment than a simple tattoo.
“I was like: ‘Y’all, a tattoo? People get drunk and tattooed on their ankle ‘BFF,’ or a tramp stamp. I have two tattoos and they mean nothing.’” Mack later told New York Magazine.