Keith Raniere and NXIVM: Everything You Need to Know About His Crimes and the Trial That Brought Him Down

NXIVM Leader Keith Raniere Sentenced to 120 Years in Prison

Keith Raniere ran NXIVM’s Executive Success program for years, guaranteeing participants that they would discover how to fall any challenges in their path on the roadway to discovering their true north in business and in life.

Though the self-improvement courses attracted some big names in business and home entertainment over the years, there was a far more troubling operation taking place behind the scenes.

In June 2019, Raniere was found guilty of sex trafficking, tried sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, required labor conspiracy, wire scams conspiracy, racketeering and racketeering conspiracy for administering over a trafficking ring in which women were hired as “slaves” by other female members, or “masters,” and controlled into making love with the NXIVM co-founder.

And today, in procedures postponed several times, consisting of previously this year due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison for his crimes.

Raniere has actually insisted he’s innocent, informing  Dateline previously this month in his first interview from jail that he was sorry for the hurt people had actually suffered, however that he had actually been the victim of an unreasonable trial.

“I apologize for my participation in all of this—this pain and suffering,” he stated. “I’ve clearly participated. I’ve been the leader of the community. And it has come to this. Even if it is by oppression, I am absolutely sorry and pained. This is a horrible situation.”

He continued, “This is a horrible tragedy with many, many people being hurt. There is a horrible injustice here. And whether you think I’m the devil or not, the justice process has to be examined.”

On Friday, the judge rejected his latest demand for a new trial.

Earlier last year, 5 women, consisting of Smallville  starlet Allison Mack, pleaded guilty to lower charges, leaving Raniere as the just one who went to trial following a months-long federal examination into NXIVM and DOS—– a secret sorority that consisted of 15 to 20 women hired mainly to be sex partners for Raniere, a dedication (for the women) that consisted of an event in which they were branded with a sign including Raniere and Mack’s initials.

DOS was stated to be an acronym for the Latin “Dominus Obsequious Sororium,” which supposedly approximately equates into “Master of the Obedient Female Companions.”

Inside the Frightening NXIVM Secret Female-Only Society ‘DOS’

“Over the last seven weeks, this trial has revealed that Raniere, who portrayed himself as a savant and a genius, was in fact, a master manipulator, a con man and the crime boss of a cult-like organization involved in sex trafficking, child pornography, extortion, compelled abortions, branding, degradation and humiliation,” stated Richard P. Donoghue, U.S. Lawyer for the Eastern District of New york city, soon after the decision was handed down.

“His crimes, and the crimes of his co-conspirators, ruined marriages, careers, fortunes and lives. The evidence proved that Raniere was truly a modern-day Svengali.”

Neither Raniere nor Mack ended up taking the stand, however several women did—– some recognized just by their first names—–to affirm to the abuses committed by Raniere and those he got to bring out his sordid vision.

Keith Raniere Conversations Youtube

In a movement to have the charges dismissed that was submitted in December 2018, Raniere’s legal team argued that NXIVM was a “wonderful humanitarian organization” whose members have “sought to end the violence in Mexico, have introduced tools useful to people with difficult conditions, such as Tourette’s syndrome, have pioneered multi-linguistic schools for young children, who would become proficient in multiple languages and later multi-cultural adults, and have developed approaches to help people lead happier, more productive, more enriched lives.”

A gated rental property in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, was where FBI representatives had actually tracked Raniere down to arrest him that March, following a months-long examination into the claims raised against him and NXIVM.

Prosecutors declared, on the other hand, that NXIVM—– a supposed self-help organization based in Albany, N.Y., that because its facility in the late 1990s had attracted more than 16,000 people, consisting of stars and business leaders, to its Executive Success Programs and other workshops—– was a pyramid plan in which participants might just move up the ladder by paying more and recruitingmore people To even get the chance to satisfy Raniere, participants normally had to complete a 16-day course that cost $7,500.

Mack, who as soon as called Raniere “a wonderful teacher and mentor” was also initially charged with sex trafficking prior to pleading guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy.

One former DOS member, Nicole, affirmed that she was purchased to address Mack as “Madame Mack,” and was asked to sign a waiver launching NXIVM from liability in the case of events such as “disfigurement” or “physical and psychological injuries.” However Nicole didn’t want to sign and, ultimately, Mack appeared to forget it.

Another lady, Sylvie, affirmed that she signed comparable documents.

A 3rd lady, Jay, affirmed that Mack would also refer to DOS as “The Agency,” since “her slaves were all actresses and models and were beautiful, so it was as if she was running an agency.”

By the way, several women affirmed that Raniere had impotence problems. 

Mark Lennihan/AP/REX/ Shutterstock

Nicole stated in court that she was first drawn to NXIVM’s self-help program as a hopeful starlet looking to jump-start her profession after moving to New York City in 2014. An ex-boyfriend had actually informed her about all the abundant and well-known people, consisting of a number of stars, associated with the organization. 

From the start, Nicole stated, she believed that the general fawning over Raniere—– his yearly birthday celebration was “V-Week,” referring to his label “Vanguard”—– was odd. After a week-long program, she was advised by her ex and Mack to sign up for more classes. She ended up mentor classes to supplement her earnings. When she informed Mack that she was anxious she was making the wrong options, Mack informed her about a society within NXIVM for women called “The Vow,” Nicole remembered. 

The Vow was DOS.

“[Mack] said that she couldn’t let me out no matter how hard I cried because it would show me that if I cried hard enough, I could get out of anything,” Nicole affirmed. She ended up staying in DOS for over ayear When she lastly got Raniere’s attention after sending him several e-mails (at Mack’s command, she stated), Nicole stated that Raniere took her to a cabin in the woods one day where he blindfolded her, had her lie on a table, connected her to the table, and had another lady perform foreplay on her. Nicole stated she didn’t recognize another individual was in the space till it was occurring and Raniere began talking at the very same time.

Prosecutors stated the whole encounter was videotaped.

Nicole stated she lastly liberated herself from NXIVM in 2017. She never ever got her security back. “Once I’d gotten enough separation, there’s not been one moment that I am not grateful that I am no longer in that situation,” she stated on the stand.

The defense didn’t call any witnesses throughout the trial. Raniere’s lawyer Marc Agnifilo informed the jury, “You may find him repulsive, disgusting and offensive. We don’t convict people in this country for being repulsive or offensive. Unpopular ideas aren’t criminal. Disgusting ideas aren’t criminal.”

Up Until his arrest, Raniere had actually been running NXIVM for years in plain sight, promoting his programs as key stepping stones for people who wanted to harness their best selves and recognize their true capacity. Here’s a guide of some of the key players and the functions they played in creating—–and unraveling—– this twisted web:

Keith Ranere Conversations/Youtube

Keith Raniere

On June 19, 2019, the NXIVM co-founder was found guilty of sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, required labor conspiracy, racketeering conspiracy and exploitation of a kid.

The charges against him declared that Raniere, referred to as “Vanguard” within his business, kept a secret sorority called DOS, for which Allison Mack, who had actually increased through the ranks of the NXIVM organization to end up being a “first-line master,” hired other women for the function of making love with him. As part of their initiation, the women would turn over jeopardizing photos or other items and info that might be utilized against them if they disobeyed, and were branded on their hips with an abstract sign that integrated Raniere and Mack’s initials.

“If one woman is having an issue, it hurts Keith, and if he’s hurting, you’re hurting,” a lady recognized as a former member of DOS informed  The Hollywood Press Reporter in 2018. “So if you do something he doesn’t like, you get an army of women, sister wives, coming after you. You get ostracized. No one wants to socialize with you unless you get back in line.”

Though Raniere’s business transactions had attracted legal and journalistic examination prior to, it wasn’t till about a lots people spoke out to the  New York City Times about the ceremonial branding and other worrying practices in 2017 that the FBI released the examination that developed into the current case against him.

In March 2018, FBI tracked Raniere down to a $10,000-a-week rental property in a gated community near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he was remaining with a number of women—– consisting of Mack—–who pursued the Feds’ car in demonstration as they drove Raniere away.

On Oct. 27, 2020, he was sentenced to 120 years in prison and fined $1.75 million.

Drew Angerer/Getty Images

Allison Mack

The starlet, who played press reporter Chloe Sullivan on Smallville for 10 seasons, pleaded guilty in April 2019 to racketeering conspiracy and racketeering acts of state law extortion and required labor. She was initially also charged, as Raniere was, with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy and required labor conspiracy.

She first participated in a NXIVM workshop in Vancouver with her  Smallville co-star  Kristin Kreuk in 2006, a program billed as a “women’s movement” called Jness. Their prominent existences had actually been prepared for, since some of the organization’s top people (those closest to Raniere) flew in for the event. The group placed on an appeal offensive for the newbie and welcomed her to satisfy Raniere, who, they stated, might help her performing profession. Mack accepted, was flown to their Albany, N.Y., location via private jet, and remained for weeks.

“A collective inspiring a community of strong, authentically empowered women to own themselves in a way that has never been seen or understood before?” Mack composed in a since-deleted blog sitepost “It sounded like the perfect blend of what I was looking for! So I took the leap and enrolled in a weekend workshop and within the first few hours I knew I had found my people.”

When she entered her guilty plea on April 18, 2019, Mack informed the court, “I was lost. Through it all, I believed Keith Raniere’s intentions were to help people. I was wrong.” She confessed to offering DOS to prospective employees by explaining it as a female-empowerment group, to making members hand over photos and info for blackmail functions, and to getting “labor and services” from 2 women; she did not state that any women were pushed into making love with Raniere.

A former roomie who lived with Mack after she got included with NXIVM informed  The Hollywood Press Reporter in 2018, “I don’t think she was thinking she was actually trafficking girls. It doesn’t mean she doesn’t deserve punishment, but I think she had drunk enough Kool-Aid to really believe that these girls were going to save the world with his super-sperm.”

Mack wed  Battlestar Galactica starlet  Nicki Clyne in 2017 and remains complimentary on a $5 million bond while she waits for sentencing. She’s facing up to twenty years in prison. 

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Nicki Clyne

Mack’s other half has actually safeguarded NXIVM and says she herself was a member of DOS—–and she items to people labeling the group a “sex cult.”

Clyne stated on  CBS Today in September, “We’re not denying that certain things took place. There is evidence that certain things happened. How they happened, why they happened and why certain people chose them—that’s a whole other conversation.” She added, “I wouldn’t trade my experiences for anything.”

The starlet also stated, nevertheless, that she had not spoken to Mack for a year and a half, part of the terms of her other half’s bail consisting of not being enabled contact with anyone included in NXIVM or the case against Raniere. “This has been the hardest, most humbling experience of my life,” Clyne stated.

Best understood for her regular role as flight deck officer Cally Henderson on  Battlestar Galactica, Clyne basically stopped acting for a years after leaving the show for good in 2008. She chose up again in 2018 as part of the ensemble on the sci-fi webseries  Individual Space, which is currently streaming on Amazon Prime.

Seth Wenig/AP/Shutterstock

Nancy Salzman

After conference Raniere in 1997, the former psychiatric nurse co-founded NXIVM with him in Albany and was understood in the organization as “Prefect.”

Also still waiting for sentencing, Salzman pleaded guilty in March 2019 to a charge of racketeering criminal conspiracy after being implicated of identity theft and falsifying records in relation to a suit submitted against the business.

“I want you to know I am pleading guilty because I am, in fact, guilty,” she stated in court at the time. “I accept that some of the things I did were not just wrong, but sometimes criminal. I justified them by saying that what we were doing was for the greater good.”

In so doing, she also stated, “I compromised my principles.” She’s facing 33 to 41 months in prison.

JUSTIN LANE/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

Lauren Salzman

Nancy’s daughter, she is stated to have hosted DOS members at pre-branding events at her home prior to the women were presumably blindfolded and driven to a various location for the real treatment. Per the  NY Times‘ 2017 report, Lauren would advise the women to state, “Master, please brand me, it would be an honor.”

Lauren Salzman pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy on March 25, 2019, at a hearing that wasn’t on the court docket, the records sealed till parts might be redacted.

In cooperation with prosecutors, Lauren affirmed in federal court that Might. She confessed to assisting Raniere effort to conceal when the FBI robbed the rental property where he was remaining in Mexico—– where she had actually taken a trip with the objective of taking part, along with other DOS members, in a “recommitment ceremony” to re-pledge their commitment to him. 

“Lauren was someone I really looked up to as a rock star within the company,” starlet Sarah Edmondson, a former member who went through the branding routine, remembered to the  Times

She was also one of the leading people dispatched to satisfy Mack in Vancouver in 2006. “By the end of the weekend, Lauren and Allison were like best friends,” former NXIVM member Susan Dones remembered to The Hollywood Press Reporter in 2018.

Lauren remains under house arrest while waiting for sentencing. It’s possible that the judge will take the fact that she was the just one of Raniere’s co-defendants to affirm against him in court into factor to consider.

Mary Altaffer/AP/Shutterstock

Clare Bronfman

The daughter of late business magnate Edgar Bronfman Sr. and heiress to the Seagrams alcohol fortune was implicated of funding what turned out to be unlawful conduct after conference Raniere in 2002 and ending up being, first, a NXIVM acolyte, and eventually a board member in addition to Raniere’s bankroller and legal advocate who would fund claims on his behalf against viewed opponents.

In 2003, her father approximated to Forbes that Clare had actually lent NXIVM $2 million, which she rejected at the time. “I think it’s a cult,” stated Bronfman Sr., who passed away in 2013.

On April 19, 2019, Clare pleaded guilty to conspiring to hide and harbor an undocumented immigrant for financial gain, and deceptive use of recognition, for assisting Raniere use the credit card of somebody who had actually passed away. Part of her sentence calls for her to surrender $6 million.

“I am truly remorseful,” Bronfman informed U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufislast year “I endeavored to do good in the world and help people—however, I have made mistakes.”

She was sentenced on Sept. 30, 2020, to six years and 9 months in prison—– far more than the 21 to 27 months stated to be on the table. In handing down that much more prison time, Garaufis specified that he was “troubled by evidence suggesting that Ms. Bronfman repeatedly and consistently leveraged her wealth and social status as a means of intimidating, controlling, and punishing” people who had left NXIVM or were viewed to be its enemies.

Her attorney stated they would appeal the sentence, calling it an “abomination.”

Mary Altaffer/AP/Shutterstock

Kathy Russell

Right after Clare Bronfman entered her plea, long time NXIVM accountant Russell pleaded guilty to one count of visa scams for assisting to falsify files, according to the  Albany Times Union “I know what I did was wrong,” Russell stated. “I’m very sorry for the trouble I have caused. I have compromised my own principles, and I’m going to have to live with that for the rest of my life.”

Bronfman and Russell were the last of Raniere’s co-defendants to get in pleas, leaving him to stand trial alone. “We don’t believe Ms. Russell and Ms. Bronfman should have been charged, and we are happy they’re out of the case,” his lawyer Mark Agnifilo informed the NY Times

Facing up to ten years in prison, Russell’s sentencing was postponed forever in January 2020, one of several posts ponement given even prior to the COVID-19 pandemic postponed procedures even more.

Alan Davidson/REX/Shutterstock

Sara Bronfman

Clare’s older sibling, here with mama Georgiana, has actually not been charged with anycrime Like her sibling, nevertheless, she was a long time NXIVM member and along with Clare is stated to have actually provided millions to the organization. 

Mark Vicente, a once-devoted NXIVM member who was featured in HBO’s current docu-series about the organization,  The Vow, affirmed that Sara was part of Raniere’s “trusted group.” He also stated that Sara and Clare owned homes in Albany utilized by NXIVM—–and they did. Sara is in line to get a 20 percent share of their selling price, having actually concurred to divest herself of ownership in December 2019 after federal authorities took the homes.

Vanity Fair reported in 2010 that in six years the Bronfman sis had actually taken more than $150 million out of their trusts and bank accounts for NXIVM-related functions, consisting of $66 million to help bail Raniere out of individual financial difficulty, $11 million for a 22-seater jet, and millions to help NXIVM’s legal battles when it would pursue viewed opponents (or “suppressives”) in court. They attempted to hide the huge amount they were investing from their father, the report continued.

“I think there are personal reasons regarding the conflict they have with their family that keep them affiliated with [NXIVM],” a pal of the sis informed the publication. “On some level, I think they feel the affiliation is reinforcing their version of things, in opposition to the opinion of their family. I think all the legal, litigious craziness is all about them trying to win this battle with their father.”

Vice Media

Frank R. Parlato Jr.

Clare and Sara Bronfman worked with the Buffalo-area developer as an expert and in 2011 implicated him of defrauding them of $1 million.

The FBI had actually been examining his business transactions for a number of years and he was prosecuted in New York City in 2015 on charges consisting of wire scams and taking from the Bronfman sis. He has actually rejected all of the charges, and a judge dismissed the ones relating to the sis in Might 2018, according to The Buffalo News. ( A trial on scams and blockage charges has actually been postponed till a minimum of June 2021 at the demand of the defense.)

On The Other Hand, Parlato has actually thoroughly narrated NXIVM’s supposed crimes and the subsequent legal procedures against Raniere, Clare Bronfman and others on his website, Frank Report. Per the NY Times, lots of NXIVM members found out about DOS for the first time from reading his website, especially a post entitled “Branded Slaves and Master Raniere,” triggering more members to reach out to him.

“I am glad to have played a part [in the investigation of NXIVM] through my reporting,” Parlato stated in a declaration in Might 2018. “I have been credited by many organizations across the country with providing the information that led to the indictment against Raniere.”

Raniere provided his first interview from jail to Parlato for  Dateline in October 2020.

Sonia Recchia/WireImage

Sarah Edmondson

The Canadian starlet was one of the first people to open up to the New York City Times  about her experiences, first in NXIVM and then with DOS, that included being branded after being informed she would be getting a small tattoo.

“I wept the whole time,” she informed the paper about the branding, which she stated taken place in March 2017. “I disassociated out of my body.”

Edmondson assisted develop NXIVM’s chapter in Vancouver after signing up with in 2007, which in turn attracted other starlets, consisting of Grace Park and Nicki Clyne, while they were on  Battlestar Galactica, which, like  Smallville, was shotin the area Edmondson had actually been hired by director Mark Vicente, who also spoke to the  Times after disentangling himself fromthe group Like Vicente, Edmonson was plainly featured in HBO’s  The Vow

She has actually stated that Lauren Salzman first informed her about DOS—– after the starlet had actually composed a letter detailing past indiscretions and handed itover Edmondson stated Salzman explained the secret society as a force for good, a way in which women might conquer their society-imposed overemotional natures. “She made it sound like a badass-bitch boot camp,” the starlet remembered.

In Might 2017, she and her husband and fellow NXIVM member Anthony Ames informed Lauren that they were leavingthe program Months later on, NXIVM submitted a criminal report against Edmondson and 2 other women from the Vancouver center, implicating them of mischief and other misbehavior. No charges were ever submitted.

Charley Gallay/Getty Images

Catherine Oxenberg

The former  Dynasty starlet also raised awareness about NXIVM after daughter India Oxenberg signed up with the program—– initially at the instigation of her mama, who believed it was just a self-help course—–and was inducted into the “sorority” that turned out to be DOS.

“She said it was a character-building experience,” Oxenberg informed the  Times, remembering how she ended up being alarmed when India grew scarily thin and informed her mama that she was avoiding durations.

One of Raniere’s declared choices comprehensive in the charges against him was for the women in his hareem to remain skinny. A former member informed  THR that she had run into Mack in 2010 and instantly “knew she was involved romantically and sexually with Keith. She had a gray pallor that was common to Keith’s women because they all start to get a little sickly. I know I did. They drop weight. Their heads get too big for their bodies so they become bobbleheads. It’s scary-looking.”

“I never gave up,” Oxenberg, whose book  Slave: A Mother’s Crusade to Conserve Her Daughter from a Frightening Cult comprehensive her experience, informed E! News in August 2018. “I must be hard-wired as a mom, I’m not capable of giving up. Even in the hopeless moments I just kept persevering and trusting that it would turn around.”

India informed  People just recently that her mother’s assistance has actually been key to herrecovery “She made a safe place for me to talk and she would listen when memories would come flooding back, and I remembered more and more about what happened,” Catherine’s daughter stated. “Sometimes I would have panic attacks and my mom would just hold me and tell me I was safe.”

Good Early Morning America/ABC

India Oxenberg

In 2019, India signed up with 2 of her fellow former members—– recognized by prosecutors just by their first names, Nicole and Jay—–in court to enjoy closing arguments. Jay had actually affirmed throughout the trial that she was one of India’s “slaves,” and the security she turned over consisted of an old sex tape and the discovery that she had actually been molested by an uncle.

Remembering what it was like offering her own security, that included taking naked photos of herself and exposing secrets about her family, India informed  People in a current interview, “In reality, it was like I handed over the keys to lock myself in prison.” 

India, who moved back to Los Angeles after Raniere was jailed in 2018, has actually because spoken out about her experience in the Starz docu-series Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult.  She stated that Mack restricted her diet plan to 500 calories a day so that she would remain slim, per Raniere’s choice. “One of my first commands was to seduce Keith,” India remembered. “Allison said it was to make me feel less vulnerable. And I wanted to believe her.”

She got involved in the series, she informed  People, since she “knew too much about what happened” and had “a moral obligation to make sure it didn’t happen to anyone else.”

India, who also provided a victim effect declaration prior to Raniere’s sentencing, added, “I want to help people and reclaim my voice and be me again and not a headline of ‘cult girl.’ I want people to know who I really am.”

Following sentencing, FBI Assistant Director-in- Charge William F. Sweeney Jr. stated in a declaration, “Raniere’s reign of control over the women he scarred, both physically and mentally, is the making of ahorror story It is impossible to believe of the sexual exploitation, abuse, privacy, and mind control his victims suffered—– at his direction.

” Today the judge has actually provided him 120 years to think of whether the abuse he caused on others for more than a years, and the distress he brought to their households, was worth it in the end.

( Initially released April 27, 2019, at 3 a.m. PT)

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