Women who belonged to Nxivm cult’s inner circle may testify against their former leader

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(CNN)Keith Raniere was considerably appreciated by the ladies who signed up with Nxivm, the group he established, stated Raniere’s attorney, Marc Agnifilo.

But 5 females in the inner circle at Nxivm– called a pyramid plan by district attorneys and a sex cult by others– might be asked to affirm versus Raniere when his trial starts Tuesday in Brooklyn.
Raniere, 58, has actually been charged with racketeering, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of kids and human trafficking, to name a few offenses. He has actually been kept in federal custody in Brooklyn because his arrest in Mexico in March 2018.

    Nxivm, developed by Raniere in 2003, made use of employees “both sexually and for their labor, to the accuseds’ advantage,” stated United States Attorney Richard DonoghUe.
    An affidavit prepared by an FBI representative that was submitted in assistance of the arrest warrant stated Nxivm (noticable NEX-ium) was based in upstate New York and ran like a multi-level marketing plan, pressing members to take classes that cost as much as $5,000.
    It motivated members to take more classes to go up in the ranks and to hire other members to assist develop more earnings, which left some members in financial obligation to Nxivm itself, the affidavit stated.
    The members in Nxivm called themselves “Nxians,” and used various colored sashes that symbolized their ranks, the affidavit stated. They signed non-disclosure arrangements and guaranteed not to expose specific aspects of Nxivm’s mentors, the affidavit stated.
    Within the group was a secret society called DOS that district attorneys state included lots of ladies who were “masters” or “servants.” The affidavit stated DOS masters pursued employees who were “experiencing troubles” in their lives.
    While hiring them, the masters would firmly insist the employees offer details about themselves as “security,” to motivate the employees to keep info about DOS a trick, the affidavit stated.
    The security consisted of raunchy pictures, videos in which the member informs destructive stories about themselves and letters making harmful declarations versus good friends or household, the affidavit stated.
    DOS had a pyramid structure, with Raniere on top as the greatest master and the only male, the affidavit stated.
    Women who acted as “servants” were anticipated to finish jobs for their masters, and might be penalized if they stopped working, the affidavit stated. Since Rainere liked thin ladies, the affidavit stated some servants were anticipated to have sex with Raniere and stick to incredibly low-calorie diet plans to remain thin–.
    In among the most strange accusations, some DOS members were branded with a cauterizing pen on their pubic areas in events that were tape-recorded and might take half an hour, the affidavit stated.
    “Some DOS victims were informed that the brand name represented the 4 components (the lines represented earth, air, and water and the cauterizing pen represented sealing with fire),” the affidavit stated. “Based on details gotten throughout the course of the examination, nevertheless, it is clear that the brand name in reality included Rainere’s initials.”

    The guy on top

    Raniere is a guy whose objective was teaching others about how to accomplish real joy, stated his attorney, Agnifilo.
    “Part of what I feel I need to show is that Keith Raniere is not a beast,” Agnifilo stated. “He’s a well-intentioned individual who invested a lot of time attempting to determine how to assist individuals be better.”
    Raniere rejects Nxivm is a cult, Agnifilo stated.
    “He’s anxious that the case has actually produced a great deal of what he deems sort of bias versus him and his concepts,” Angifilo stated. “He securely thinks his concepts are sound concepts, are excellent concepts, are humanitarian concepts.
    “He believes DOS is a great concept and is a pro-woman group. He developed it to have females have their own society … where males would play no function.”
    Before beginning Nxivm, Raniere had actually established a business called Executive Success Programs which was expected to “actualize human capacity,” stated the affidavit.

    Is Nxivm truly a cult?

    Prosecutors do not reach to call the group a cult in court filings.
    But cult professional and previous cult member Janja Lalich– who was not a member of Nxivm and is not a witness in the trial– states it “definitely” is a cult, which she specifies as a group or social motion with a shared commitment to a charming, authoritarian leader that’s structured in such a method that it asserts impact and control over its members to keep them under their control. She thinks this is the greatest trial of a supposed cult leader in almost a years.
    “The Nxivm courses were utilized as a method to draw individuals into the more limited and more perverse inner circles, consisting of DOS,” Lalich stated. “In a sense, Nxivm is a front to draw individuals in to be able to target particular individuals and pull them in even more and even more.”
    Lalich stated that the majority of people who end up being included with cults were hired as members by friend or family. And as soon as within, it ended up being tough to leave.
    Actress Catherine Oxenberg, a previous star on the TELEVISION program “Dynasty,” likewise believes Nxivm is a cult. Oxenberg had the ability to get her child, India, out of the group. If India was asked to affirm in the trial, she had no remark on.
    Mother and child began taking Nxivm classes in 2011, believing they would learn more about entrepreneurship, Catherine Oxenberg stated in an e-mail to CNN. India ended up being more immersed in the classes and moved from Los Angeles to Nxivm’s upstate New York head office, her mom stated.
    “One of the most deeply wicked techniques of cults, Nxivm/DOS in specific, is that they conceal behind the veneer of option, even options numerous appropriately state are virtuous,” Catherine Oxenberg stated. “But in cults such ‘options’ only serve the perverted objectives of the leader.”

    Testifying might be ’em ravaging however powering’

    Bronfman, Mack, Russell, Lauren Salzman and Nancy Salzman were implicated of severe criminal offenses of their own, consisting of district attorneys’ accusation that they “understood and assisted in Raniere’s sexual relationship with 2 minor victims,” consisting of a 15-year-old woman. Lots of kid porn images belong to the proof.

    Mack, 36, pleaded guilty in April to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges and confronts 40 years in jail. She was a DOS master and assisted co-found DOS, which was targeted towards stars, district attorneys stated.
    Bronfman, who served on Nxivm’s executive board for almost a years, utilized her wealth to assist fund Nxivm’s activities, district attorneys stated. She tearfully pleaded guilty in April to hiding and harboring undocumented immigrants for monetary gain and deceptive usage of recognition. She confronts 27 months in jail and consented to pay $6 million in forfeit to the federal government.
    Lalich stated she has actually spoken to about a lots previous Nxivm members, and thinks it will be tough for Raniere’s previous fans to face him in court, particularly those who have actually just recently pleaded guilty.
    “It’ll feel empowering however it’ll likewise be ravaging,” Lalich stated. “I’m hoping that the lawyers have an excellent support group established for all of those females.”
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