A court in New York has sentenced 60-year-old Keith Ranier, who is the leader of the Nxivm organization, reports AP. With the help of a special cult and psychological training, Ranier turned women into sexual slavery. He was sentenced to 120 years in prison for racketeering, human trafficking for the purpose of sexual exploitation, extortion and obstruction of justice.
Nxivm was founded in 1998. Ranier created it together with Nancy Saltzman, a nurse who was fond of neurolinguistic programming and hypnosis. Nxivm conducted trainings on personal and professional growth, including for representatives of the business elite. Among the participants in its programs were the owner of the alcohol corporation Seagram Edgar Bronfman with his daughters, the director of the energy company Enron Stephen Cooper, the son of the ex-President of Mexico Emiliano Salinas. Actress Allison Mack, best known for the science fiction series Smallville, was also involved in the organization's activities.
On its website, the Nxivm community promised women to get rid of emotional and physical barriers, gain self-confidence, actualize potential, cognize the inner nature and higher creative power, and develop ethical philanthropy in themselves.
Ranier in the organization was called "Vanguard", and Saltsman - "Prefect". Clients paid $ 10,000 for a five-day training. Those of them who had long participated in Nxivm programs were offered to attract newcomers to the organization for a percentage of their contributions. Ranier's followers argued that he is one of the smartest and most moral people in the world, and his trainings can even cure diabetes and scoliosis, writes Meduza.
However, critics of the "healer" accused him of creating a cult, destroying the psyche of his followers, isolating them from their families and engaging in strange ritual ceremonies.
In 2017, Canadian actress Sarah Edmondson told The New York Times about the existence of a secret community within Nxivm, ostensibly designed to "empower women." The participants underwent a sadomasochistic "initiation rite" during which they had to undress, lie down on the table and ask to be branded. Then they actually got a little stigma on their thighs. In addition, women were required to take nude pictures of them as a guarantee that they would not tell anyone about the community. Edmondson, who went through the "rite of passage", then left Nxivm and went to the police. They refused to open a case, believing that her actions were voluntary.
In 2018, Ranier was detained by law enforcement officers. He was accused of forcing women to have sex. The indictment referred to the secret women's community that Edmondson had talked about. Among its members were "mistresses" and "slaves" who were supposed to carry out various orders - from making coffee and carrying luggage to having sexual contact with Ranier. He also forced slave girls to go on a rigid diet and forbade them to have sex with anyone else. In case of disobedience, the victims were blackmailed by their nude photos, which they passed on to Nxivm.
Ranier had sexual relations with 15-20 women at the same time, investigators said.
15 women who suffered from the actions of the sect leader spoke in court. One of them, named Camilla, said that she became the concubine of the creator of Nxivm when she was 15 and he was 45 years old. Ranier demanded that Camilla be ready for sex at any time. He also made her lose weight up to 45 kilograms and even less.
When Camilla became pregnant, Ranier insisted on an abortion. The sect leader also slept with Camilla's two sisters, one of whom gave birth to a child with him. Camilla herself, according to her, tried to commit suicide. When Ranier grew bored with this relationship, he instructed his followers to find a new "young virgin" for him.
Another victim of Ranier was India Oxenberg, the daughter of actress Catherine Oxenberg, best known for her role in the TV series "Dynasty". "You are a sex maniac and you raped me," Oxenberg said in court, addressing the defendant.
Also in court, a woman named Daniela testified, whom Ranier brought to the United States from Mexico and forced to work for him. She mainly assisted the Nxivm leader with his library and wrote summary notes for him. At the same time, Ranier maintained a sexual relationship with her and her three sisters.
When Daniela found out about this, she decided to end the relationship. After that, on the orders of Ranier, she was kept in isolation for two years. She later managed to leave back to Mexico.
In court, the victims called Ranier a liar, parasite, terrorist, sociopath, racist, sadist, and "a teenager with too much power and zero responsibility."
Five of Ranier's closest associates were also indicted in the Nxivm case, including Smallville actress Allison Mack and Seagram heiress Claire Bronfman. According to the investigation, it was Mack who had the idea to brand the completely naked "slaves", filming this process on video to further intimidate and coerce those who decide to leave the sect. "Concubines" were branded in the groin area with Keith Ranier's initials (KR) and Allison Mack's (AM) initials. According to former PR manager of the Nxivm sect, Frank Parlato, Allison was nicknamed Pimp Mack.
All the defendants, except for Ranier, pleaded guilty. Bronfman received almost seven years in prison in early October, while the rest of the defendants in the case have not yet been sentenced. According to victims, Bronfman has used her inherited fortune for years to silence the victims and hide the truth about the sect.
Assistant U. S. Attorney Tanya Hajar insisted on life imprisonment for Ranier. Otherwise, society will be in danger, and the accused, once free, will commit crimes again, she said.