NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

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NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby stefano » Fri Nov 10, 2017 4:05 pm

Weird shit, first I've heard of them. Only two brief mentions on the board, but this is our kind of thing (to learn about I mean). Brainwashing, blackmail and a Bronfman connection.

What follows may be triggering.

Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

By BARRY MEIER OCT. 17, 2017

ALBANY — Last March, five women gathered in a home near here to enter a secret sisterhood they were told was created to empower women.

To gain admission, they were required to give their recruiter — or “master,” as she was called — naked photographs or other compromising material and were warned that such “collateral” might be publicly released if the group’s existence were disclosed.

The women, in their 30s and 40s, belonged to a self-help organization called Nxivm, which is based in Albany and has chapters across the country, Canada and Mexico.

Sarah Edmondson, one of the participants, said she had been told she would get a small tattoo as part of the initiation. But she was not prepared for what came next.

Each woman was told to undress and lie on a massage table, while three others restrained her legs and shoulders. According to one of them, their “master,” a top Nxivm official named Lauren Salzman, instructed them to say: “Master, please brand me, it would be an honor.”

A female doctor proceeded to use a cauterizing device to sear a two-inch-square symbol below each woman’s hip, a procedure that took 20 to 30 minutes. For hours, muffled screams and the smell of burning tissue filled the room.

“I wept the whole time,” Ms. Edmondson recalled. “I disassociated out of my body.”

Since the late 1990s, an estimated 16,000 people have enrolled in courses offered by Nxivm (pronounced Nex-e-um), which it says are designed to bring about greater self-fulfillment by eliminating psychological and emotional barriers. Most participants take some workshops, like the group’s “Executive Success Programs,” and resume their lives. But other people have become drawn more deeply into Nxivm, giving up careers, friends and families to become followers of its leader, Keith Raniere, who is known within the group as “Vanguard.”

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Keith Raniere, founder of Nxivm, in 2009. Credit Patrick Dodson

Both Nxivm and Mr. Raniere, 57, have long attracted controversy. Former members have depicted him as a man who manipulated his adherents, had sex with them and urged women to follow near-starvation diets to achieve the type of physique he found appealing.

Now, as talk about the secret sisterhood and branding has circulated within Nxivm, scores of members are leaving. Interviews with a dozen of them portray a group spinning more deeply into disturbing practices. Many members said they feared that confessions about indiscretions would be used to blackmail them.

Mark Vicente, a filmmaker and former top Nxivm official, said that after hearing about the secret society, he confronted Mr. Raniere.

“I said, ‘Whatever you are doing, you are heading for a blowup,’” Mr. Vicente said.

Several former members have asked state authorities to investigate the group’s practices, but officials have declined to pursue action.

In July, Ms. Edmondson filed a complaint with the New York State Department of Health against Danielle Roberts, a licensed osteopath and follower of Mr. Raniere, who performed the branding, according to Ms. Edmondson and another woman. In a letter, the agency said it would not look into Dr. Roberts because she was not acting as Ms. Edmondson’s doctor when the branding is said to have happened.

Separately, a state police investigator told Ms. Edmondson and two other women that officials would not pursue their criminal complaint against Nxivm because their actions had been consensual, a text message shows. [they make people sign long contracts on their first engagement]

State medical regulators also declined to act on a complaint filed against another Nxivm-affilated physician, Brandon Porter. Dr. Porter, as part of an “experiment,” showed women graphically violent film clips while a brain-wave machine and video camera recorded their reactions, according to two women who took part.

The women said they were not warned that some of the clips were violent, including footage of four women being murdered and dismembered.

“Please look into this ASAP,” a former Nxivm member, Jennifer Kobelt, stated in her complaint. “This man needs to be stopped.”

In September, regulators told Ms. Kobelt they concluded that the allegations against Dr. Porter did not meet the agency’s definition of “medical misconduct,” their letter shows.

Mr. Raniere and other top Nxivm officials, including Lauren Salzman, did not respond to repeated emails, letters or text messages seeking comment. Dr. Roberts and Dr. Porter also did not respond to inquiries.

Former members said that, inside Nxivm, they are being portrayed as defectors who want to destroy the group.

It is not clear how many women were branded or which Nxivm officials were aware of the practice.

A copy of a text message Mr. Raniere sent to a female follower indicates that he knew women were being branded and that the symbol’s design incorporated his initials.

“Not initially intended as my initials but they rearranged it slightly for tribute,” Mr. Raniere wrote, (“if it were abraham lincolns or bill gates initials no one would care.)”

Joining the Sisterhood

Ms. Edmondson, who lives in Vancouver and helped start Nxivm’s chapter there, was thrilled when Lauren Salzman arrived in January to teach workshops.

The women, both in their early 40s, were close and Ms. Edmondson regarded Ms. Salzman as a confidante and mentor.

“Lauren was someone I really looked up to as a rock star within the company,” said Ms. Edmondson, an actress who joined Nxivm about a decade ago.

During her visit, Ms. Salzman said she had something “really amazing” she wanted to share. “It is kind of strange and top secret and in order for me to tell you about it you need to give me something as collateral to make sure you don’t speak about it,” Ms. Edmondson recalled her saying.

The proposition seemed like a test of trust. After Ms. Edmondson wrote a letter detailing past indiscretions, Ms. Salzman told her about the secret sorority.

She said it had been formed as a force for good, one that could grow into a network that could influence events like elections. To become effective, members had to overcome weaknesses that Mr. Raniere taught were common to women — an overemotional nature, a failure to keep promises and an embrace of the role of victim, according to Ms. Edmondson and other members.

Submission and obedience would be used as tools to achieve those goals, several women said. The sisterhood would comprise circles, each led by a “master” who would recruit six “slaves,” according to two women. In time, they would recruit slaves of their own.

“She made it sound like a bad-ass bitch boot camp,” Ms. Edmondson said.

Ms. Edmondson and others said that during training, the women were required to send their master texts that read “Morning M” and “Night M.” During drills, a master texted her slaves “?” and they had 60 seconds to reply “Ready M.”

Trainees who failed had to pay penalties, including fasting, or could face physical punishments, two women said.

In March, Ms. Edmondson arrived for an initiation ceremony at Ms. Salzman’s home in Clifton Park, N.Y., a town about 20 miles north of Albany where Mr. Raniere and some followers live. After undressing, she was led to a candlelit ceremony, where she removed a blindfold and saw Ms. Salzman’s other slaves for the first time. The women were then driven to a nearby house, where the branding took place.

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Sarah Edmondson showed her brand. Credit Ruth Fremson/The New York Times

In the spring, the sorority grew as women joined different circles. Slaves added compromising collateral every month to Dropbox accounts, and a Google Document was used to list a timetable for recruiting new slaves, several women said.

Around the same time, an actress, Catherine Oxenberg, said she learned her daughter had been initiated into the sorority.

“I felt sick to my stomach,” said Ms. Oxenberg, who starred in the 1980s television series “Dynasty.”

Ms. Oxenberg had become increasingly concerned about her 26-year-old daughter, India, who looked emaciated from dieting. She told her mother that she had not had a menstrual period for a year and that her hair was falling out.

Ms. Oxenberg said she invited her daughter home in late May to try to get her away from the group.

When Ms. Oxenberg confronted her about the sorority, her daughter defended its practices.

“She said it was a character-building experience,” Ms. Oxenberg said.

‘Humans Can Be Noble’

By the time the secret group was taking shape, Mark Vicente, the filmmaker, had been a faithful follower of Mr. Raniere for more than a decade.

Mr. Vicente said he had been contacted by Ms. Salzman’s mother, Nancy, a co-founder of Nxivm who is known as “Prefect,” after the 2004 release of a documentary he co-directed that explored spirituality and physics.

Soon, Mr. Vicente was taking courses that he said helped him expose his fears and learn strategies that made him feel more resolute.
New York Today

He also made a documentary called “Encender el Corazón,” or “Ignite the Heart,” which lionized Mr. Raniere’s work in Mexico.

“Keith Raniere is an activist, scientist, philosopher and, above all, humanitarian,” Mr. Vicente says in the film.

Mr. Raniere has used those words to describe himself. On his website, he said he spoke in full sentences by age 1, mastered high school mathematics by 12 and taught himself to play “concert level” piano. At 16, he entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y.

Before Nxivm, he helped run a company called Consumers’ Buyline Inc., which offered discounts to members on groceries and other products.

In the mid-1990s, several state attorneys general investigated it as a suspected pyramid scheme; Mr. Raniere and his associates agreed to shut it down.

Through Nxivm, Mr. Raniere transformed himself into a New Age teacher with long hair and a guru-like manner of speaking.

“Humans can be noble,” he says on his website. “The question is: will we put forth what is necessary?”

By many accounts, Mr. Raniere sleeps during the day and goes out at night to play volleyball or take female followers for long walks. Several women described him as warm, funny and eager to talk about subjects that interested them.

Others saw a different side. Nxivm sued several former members, accusing them of stealing its trade secrets, among other things.

Mr. Vicente said he was aware of the negative publicity, including a 2012 series by The Albany Times-Union that described alleged abuses inside Nxivm.

Mr. Vicente’s views began to change this year after his wife was ostracized when she left Nxivm and he heard rumors about the secret sorority.

Mr. Vicente said he got evasive answers when he asked Mr. Raniere about the group. Mr. Raniere acknowledged giving “five women permission to do something,” but did not elaborate, other than to say he would investigate, Mr. Vicente said.

Mr. Vicente said he suspected Mr. Raniere was lying to him and might have done so before. Suddenly, self-awareness techniques he had learned felt like tools that had been used to control him.

“No one goes in looking to have their personality stripped away,” he said. “You just don’t realize what is happening.”

Followers Start to Flee

In May, Sarah Edmondson began to recoil from her embrace of the secret society.

Her husband, Anthony Ames, who was also a Nxivm member, learned about her branding and the couple both wanted out.

Before quitting, Mr. Ames went to Nxivm’s offices in Albany to collect money he said the group owed him.

He had his cellphone in his pocket and turned on its recorder.

On the recording, Mr. Ames tells another member that Ms. Edmondson was branded and that other women told him about handing over collateral. “This is criminal,” Mr. Ames says.

The voice of a woman — who Mr. Ames said is Lauren Salzman — is heard trying to calm him. “I don’t think you are open to having a conversation,” she said.

“You are absolutely right, I’m not open to having a conversation,” he replied. “My wife got branded.”

A few days later, many of Mr. Raniere’s followers learned of the secret society from a website run by a Buffalo-area businessman, Frank R. Parlato Jr. Mr. Parlato had been locked in a long legal battle with two sisters, Sara and Clare Bronfman, who are members of Nxivm and the daughters of Edgar Bronfman, the deceased chairman of Seagram Company.

In 2011, the Bronfman sisters sued Mr. Parlato, whom they had hired as a consultant, alleging he had defrauded them of $1 million.

Four years later, in 2015, the Justice Department indicted him on charges of fraud and other crimes arising from alleged activities, including defrauding the Bronfmans. Mr. Parlato has denied the claims and the case is pending.

Mr. Parlato started a website, The Frank Report, which he uses to lambaste prosecutors, Mr. Raniere and the Bronfmans. In early June, Mr. Parlato published the first in a torrent of salacious posts under the headline, “Branded Slaves and Master Raniere.”

A Nxivm follower, Soukaina Mehdaoui, said she reached out to Mr. Raniere after reading the post. Ms. Mehdaoui, 25, was a newcomer to Nxivm, but the two had grown close.

She said Mr. Raniere told her the secret sorority began after three women offered damaging collateral to seal lifetime vows of obedience to him.

While Ms. Mehdaoui had joined the sorority, the women in her circle were not branded. She was appalled.

“There are things I didn’t know that I didn’t sign up for, and I’m not even hearing about it from you,” she texted Mr. Raniere.

Mr. Raniere texted back about his initials and the brand.

By then, panic was spreading inside Nxivm. Slaves were ordered to delete encrypted messages between them and erase Google documents, two women said. To those considering breaking away, it was not clear whom they could trust and who were Nxivm loyalists.

Late one night, Ms. Mehdaoui met secretly with another Nxivm member. They took out their cellphones to show they were not recording the conversation.

Both decided to leave Nxivm, despite concerns that the group would retaliate by releasing their “collateral” or suing them.

Ms. Mehdaoui said that when she went to say goodbye to Mr. Raniere, he urged her to stay.

“Do you think, I’m bad, I don’t agree with abuses,” she recalled him saying. He said the group “gives women tools to be powerful, to regain their power for the sake of building love.”

Nxivm recently filed criminal complaints with the Vancouver police against Ms. Edmondson and two other women accusing them of mischief and other crimes in connection with the firm’s now-closed center there, according to Ms. Edmondson. The women have denied the allegations. A spokesman for the Vancouver police declined to comment.

Ms. Edmondson and other former followers of Mr. Raniere said they were focusing on recovering.

“There is no playbook for leaving a cult,” she said.
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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby Cordelia » Tue Mar 27, 2018 11:36 am

Raniere was arrested in Mexico this week, sent to Dallas for arraignment & is to be transferred to N.Y.............


Keith Raniere: Nxivm leader charged with sex trafficking


Keith Raniere, the leader of an elusive US self-help group, has been arrested by the FBI in Mexico and charged with sex trafficking.


Federal prosecutors allege Mr Raniere oversaw a "slave and master" system in his group called Nxivm, where female members were expected to have sex with him and were branded with his initials.

He is expected to appear in court on the charges in Texas on Tuesday.

Mr Raniere left the country last year after former members spoke to US media

More: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-43550908


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"We may not choose the parameters of our destiny. But we give it its content." Dag Hammarskjold ~ 'Waymarks'
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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby Iamwhomiam » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:51 pm

It's about time they arrested this scumbag, Raniere. They've known about his game for more than a dozen years. Enter, the Bronfman sisters...

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/NXIVM-co-founder-Keith-Raniere-charged-in-federal-12782354.php

NXIVM leader Keith Raniere charged with sex trafficking
Raniere, arrested in Mexico, faces at least 15 years in prison if convicted

By Brendan J. Lyons Updated 8:00 pm, Monday, March 26, 2018

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(more photos at link)

Keith Raniere, the co-founder of the NXIVM corporation, a secretive Colonie-based organization that an expert has called an "extreme cult," was arrested in Mexico this week by the FBI based on a federal criminal complaint filed in the Eastern District of New York.

The complaint, filed recently in connection with an ongoing federal grand jury investigation being headed by the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, charges Raniere with multiple counts of sex trafficking and forced labor.

The federal complaint alleges that Raniere, known as "The Vanguard," took part in forming a secretive group within NXIVM in which women said they were coerced into joining a slave-master club and later branded with a design that included the initials of Raniere and Allison Mack, an actress and NXIVM associate who is identified in the complaint as an unnamed co-conspirator.

A warrant for Raniere's arrest was issued more than a month ago. Raniere was taken into custody this week after Mexican immigration officials helped U.S. authorities track him to a luxury, $10,000-a-week villa near Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he was staying with several women, federal officials said.

Raniere flew to Mexico last November after U.S. authorities began interviewing "witnesses and victims" associated with NXIVM and the secret club, authorities said.

But finding Raniere had been difficult, they said, because he "began using end-to-end encrypted email and stopped using his phone."

"The defendant was uncooperative when immigration authorities arrived and after he was taken into custody, the women chased the car in which the defendant was being transported in their own car at high speed," prosecutors said in court papers.

Raniere, who co-founded NXIVM more than two decades ago, is being held in federal custody in Texas and is scheduled to make an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Fort Worth on Tuesday afternoon. Federal prosecutors in Brooklyn have asked a magistrate judge not to set bond and to order Raniere be returned to the Eastern District of New York.

The federal court filings cast Raniere as a manipulative figure who overstated his intelligence and systematically exploited women, including creating a secret slave-master sex club within NXIVM. An affidavit filed by an FBI agent said their investigation found that NXIVM has similarities to a pyramid scheme.

Federal prosecutors, in pressing their case to have Raniere held without bond, said he "has spent his life profiting from his pyramid schemes and has otherwise received financial backing from independently wealthy women."

A person briefed on the case said the federal complaint does not include all of the charges that are being examined by the U.S. attorney's office as part of its ongoing investigation. Raniere faces a mandatory minimum of 15 years in prison if convicted on the sex trafficking charges, according to federal prosecutors.

In a letter to a U.S. magistrate judge on Monday, federal prosecutors said that Raniere "has access to vast resources, (and) poses a significant risk of flight. In addition, his long-standing history of systematically exploiting women through coercive practices for his own financial and sexual benefit demonstrates that, if released, he would pose a danger to the community."

Warning: The document below contains graphic depictions of alleged sexual activity.

https://www.documentcloud.org/documents/4421505-Complaint-and-affidavit-in-support-of-arrest.html#document/p1

Raniere, in statements previously posted on NXIVM's website, had characterized the slave-master group as a consenting, private "sorority" and he said that he and the corporation had no role in it.

But the federal complaint said that emails seized from Raniere's private messaging accounts "support the conclusion that Raniere created" the club, which was known as "Dominus Obsequious Sororium," which means "Master Over the Slave Women."

The women in the group, according to the federal complaint, were lured into the club by other female NXIVM members and required to provide "collateral" in order to join.

"Collateral consisted of material or information that the prospective slave would not want revealed because it would be ruinous to the prospective slave herself and/or someone close to her," states an FBI agent's affidavit filed as part of the complaint. "Collateral provided by prospective slaves included sexually explicit photographs; videos made to look candid in which the prospective slaves told damning stories ( true or untrue) about themselves, close friends and/or family members; and letters making damaging accusations (true or untrue) against friends and family members."

The participants were told the secret club was a "women-only" organization and some were not initially informed that Raniere was the highest member of the organization, the complaint states.

Sarah Edmonson of Vancouver is one of at least 20 women associated with NXIVM who were lured into the club and required them to consent to being branded in their pubic area.

Edmondson said she was never told that the unusual-looking brand was a design that included the initials of Raniere, NXIVM's co-founder, and Mack, a NXIVM associate. In a complaint filed with the New York state Health Department last year, Edmonson identified Mack as having "started" the secret women's group with Raniere.

Edmondson had been associated with NXIVM for 12 years and left the organization in June after she learned the brand that she received contained the initials of Mack and Raniere.

The federal criminal complaint filed against Raniere said the slaves understood that if they left the club, publicly spoke about it, or failed in their obligations, their collateral could be released.

"Some of the masters gave their slaves assignments that either directly or implicitly required them to have sex with Raniere, which they then did," the complaint states. "Other assignments appeared designed to groom slaves sexually for Raniere."

Federal authorities said Raniere does not hold bank accounts in his name, has no driver's license, and for more than a year has used a credit card account associated with a "dead lover" to make purchases.

"In the past year and a half, the defendant and the mother of his child have accessed hundreds of thousands of dollars from a bank account in the same dead lover's name, which contains over $8 million," prosecutors wrote.

Copies of some of the American Express credit card statements associated with that account, which belonged to Pamela Anne Cafritz, who died in November 2016, indicate there were numerous purchases made with that card after her death. The statements, shared with the Times Union last year, indicate the account was used to make purchases from iTunes and Amazon, as well as to make payments to a Saratoga Springs chiropractor.

In their filing that warns a federal magistrate about Raniere's risk of flight, prosecutors noted that Clare W. Bronfman, an heiress of the Seagram Co. business empire who has described herself as the operations director of NXIVM, financially backs Raniere and has paid for private jets — costing up to $65,000 per flight — that have transported him around the world.

"Bronfman also owns a private island in Fiji, which the defendant (Raniere) has visited, and both Bronfman and the defendant have contacts all around the world," prosecutors wrote.

Multiple people who have defected from NXIVM or publicly criticized Raniere have received letters purported to be from Mexican law enforcement officials warning them to "cease and desist" making statements about the organization. Federal prosecutors said that Raniere was behind those letters.

The complaint noted that Raniere was also known to prefer women who are exceptionally thin, and that a number of slaves were "required to adhere to extremely low-calorie diets and to document every food they ate."

The first public disclosures about the branding and the secret club within NXIVM were reported last June by FrankReport.com, an online blog operated by Frank Parlato, who was formerly a publicist for NXIVM. The New York Times later published a story about the secret NXIVM club in October.

But reports about NXIVM's troubling practices are not new. In 2012, the Times Union published an award-winning series — Secrets of NXIVM — that raised questions about NXIVM's inner-workings and also Raniere's questionable dealings with women.

The Times Union reported in December that the Justice Department's ongoing investigation is also examining NXIVM's business dealings, including its practice of recruiting members from abroad. A federal grand jury empaneled in Brooklyn has been reviewing evidence in the case, according to people who testified before the panel.

Among those who provided testimony are women who claimed they were lured into the secret club that required them to consent to being branded.

NXIVM's supporters have insisted it is a self-help group focused on business improvement. NXIVM officials and associates have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and dispute any allegation that it is a cult. Recent efforts to reach NXIVM officials for comment have not been successful.

Dating back years, people with connections to NXIVM have filed complaints with various law enforcement agencies, including the New York state Attorney General, the U.S. attorney's office in Albany, the New York State Police, the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency, the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI.

But law enforcement sources said the federal probe in Brooklyn was the first significant investigation involving either the organization or its leader, Raniere.

The federal court records unsealed Monday also disclose information about Raniere that raise questions about some of his assertions through the years, including boasting that he has one of the highest IQs in the world.

"Nxivm students are also taught that the defendant is the smartest and most ethical man in the world," federal prosecutors wrote in their letter seeking detention for Raniere. "He frequently cited having earned three degrees from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, but a review of his transcript shows that he graduated with a 2.26 GPA, having failed or barely passed many of the upper-level math and science classes he bragged about taking."

On Sunday, the Times Union reported that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office is investigating a nonprofit foundation associated with NXIVM that allegedly sponsored brain-activity and other human behavioral studies without any apparent oversight, according to court records.

The nonprofit Ethical Science Foundation was formed in 2007 by Bronfman, who owns a horse farm in Delanson and is listed in public records as the trustee and donor of the foundation.

A state Supreme Court justice recently signed an order directing Bronfman and Dr. Brandon B. Porter, who is involved with NXIVM and conducted the human studies, to turn over all documentation associated with the research, including any written communications, videos, conclusions, consent forms and the names and addresses of "individuals associated with Ethical Science Foundation who participated in any manner with the studies."

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/NXIVM-co-founder-Keith-Raniere-charged-in-federal-12782354.php
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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby Iamwhomiam » Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:59 pm

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Feds-raid-home-of-NXIVM-co-founder-Nancy-Salzman-12784322.php

Feds raid home of NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman
Search comes day after FBI arrest NXIVM leader Keith Raniere

By Brendan J. Lyons Updated 12:47 pm, Tuesday, March 27, 2018

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FBI Agents on Tuesday raided the Halfmoon home of NXIVM Corporation co-founder and President Nancy Salzman as part of an ongoing federal investigation of the organization. The raid came the day after NXIVM leader and co-founder Keith Raniere was arrested in Mexico on sex trafficking charges.

HALFMOON — The FBI raided the Saratoga County residence of NXIVM Corp. co-founder Nancy Salzman on Tuesday.

The hours-long search of Salzman's single-family residence on Oregon Trail in Halfmoon was taking place a day after Keith Raniere, the leader and a co-founder of the secretive Colonie-based organization, was arrested in Mexico on charges of sex trafficking and forced labor. He was sought by the FBI based on a federal criminal complaint filed the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn, which opened an investigation of Raniere's organization last fall.

Salzman has been a powerful figure in the organization since it was set up more than two decades ago.

The complaint, filed recently in connection with an ongoing federal grand jury investigation the Eastern District of New York, alleges that Raniere, known as "The Vanguard," took part in forming a secretive group within NXIVM that coerced women into joining a slave-master club. The women were also branded on their lower abdomens with a design that included the initials of Raniere and Allison Mack, an actress and NXIVM associate who is referred to in the complaint as an unnamed co-conspirator.

A warrant for Raniere's arrest was issued more than a month ago and he was taken into custody after Mexican immigration officials helped U.S. authorities track him to a luxury, $10,000-a-week villa near Puerto Vallarta, where he was staying with several women, federal officials said.

An expert has called NXIVM an "extreme cult."

On Sunday, the Times Union reported that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office is investigating a nonprofit foundation associated with NXIVM that allegedly sponsored brain-activity and other human behavioral studies without any apparent oversight, according to court records.

The nonprofit Ethical Science Foundation was formed in 2007 by Clare E. Bronfman, who owns a horse farm in Delanson and is listed in public records as the trustee and donor of the foundation.

At the request of the attorney general's office, a state Supreme Court justice recently signed an order directing Bronfman and Dr. Brandon B. Porter, who is involved with NXIVM and conducted the human studies, to turn over all documentation associated with the research, including any written communications, videos, conclusions, consent forms and the names and addresses of "individuals associated with Ethical Science Foundation who participated in any manner with the studies."

A Vancouver woman, Jennifer Kobelt, said in a complaint filed with the state that the experiment she was subjected to took place in a small commercial building in Halfmoon that has been used for years by NXIVM for training and seminars.

Kobelt said she was recruited for the study by an assistant of Salzman, who is NXIVM's president, and that she knew of at least four other women who took part.

https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/Feds-raid-home-of-NXIVM-co-founder-Nancy-Salzman-12784322.php
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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby SonicG » Tue Mar 27, 2018 6:35 pm

Damn.

EXCLUSIVE: Dalai Lama was paid $1 MILLION to endorse women-branding 'sex cult' after secret deal between Buddhist's celibate U.S. emissary and his Seagram billionaire 'lover'
Buddhist leader the Dalai Lama was linked to NXIVM, the controversial self-help organization described by former members as a 'sex cult'
He spoke at an event in Albany, New York, in 2009 and put a Tibetan scarf round the neck of its founder Keith Raniere in what was said to be a 'victory' for NXIVM
DailyMail.com can disclose the Dalai Lama was given $1 million to spend on causes he backs in return for attending the function
The deal to get him to go was made by Sara Bronfman, a billionaire heiress to the Seagram fortune, and Lama Tenzin Dhonden, head of the Dalal Lama's U.S trust
But Bronfman and Lama Tenzin face claims they were lovers, even though the Buddhist cleric took a vow of chastity
NVIVM hailed the Dalai Lama's visit but it is now being hit by claims founder Raniere runs it as a sex cult with a 'harem' of women
The women are branded, call him 'Vanguard' and believe that sleeping with Raniere, 57, will heal them, according to claims made about NXIVM
Raniere denies it is a sex cult but neither NXIVM or the Dalai Lama's office addressed the latest allegations
http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article ... -cult.html


Not much I can find in English, but the Mexican branch is run by Emiliano Salinas, son of former disgraced Mexican president Carlos Salinas...
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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby Cordelia » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:17 pm

fwiw...In 2017,speaking in nonsense Keith Raniere explained to a recruit the 'ethical' side of his and Nancy Salzman’s organization and their Rational Inquiry® using NLP, hypnosis.....


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e4i03j2XBxU

The Ethical Science Foundation is an independent, non-profit organization dedicated to the ethical pursuit of research in science, technology and education. One of the Ethical Science Foundation’s primary endeavors is developing scientific measurement systems to determine the causal relationship between Rational Inquiry® and the results Executive Success Programs and related endeavors continue to observe. As such, part of the foundation’s current work involves the introduction of Rational Inquiry® to the scientific and academic world communities.
http://www.ethicalsciencefoundation.org ... foundation



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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby Iamwhomiam » Tue Mar 27, 2018 7:46 pm

I believe the Albany Time Union's online newspaper has removed their paywall to their special report on NXIVM, so all their past articles are available to those interested in learning more about this cult.

https://www.timesunion.com/nxivm/

In response to SonicG's posting.

All that is known about the branding is that is was supposedly not Raniere who initiated the practice of branding the women, but rather one Lauren Salzman.

From stephano's OP:

"Each woman was told to undress and lie on a massage table, while three others restrained her legs and shoulders. According to one of them, their “master,” a top Nxivm official named Lauren Salzman, instructed them to say: “Master, please brand me, it would be an honor.”

Also, I believe the Dalai Lama story from the Daily Mail is more than a bit sensationalized, and basically, untrue.

http://artvoice.com/issues/v14n51/raniere.html

Cult of NXIVM Part 6: Raniere and the Bronfmans try to buy the Dalai Lama

BY FRANK PARLATO

During my tenure as a press consultant for purported cult leader, Keith Raniere, and his benefactors, Clare and Sara Bronfman (heiresses of the Seagram’s liquor fortune), I was tasked with improving Raniere’s public image and that of his company, NXIVM.

Officially, NXIVM conducts “human potential and ethics” seminars in Albany, Mexico City, Los Angeles and elsewhere. However, several mental health experts have critiqued its trainings, comparing the methodology to “thought reform,” commonly called “brainwashing.”

My work consisted of trying to get positive press and “spin” stories away from NXIVM – the cult - to NXIVM - a business that sells “a comprehensive personal and professional coaching program.” I had success, too. Raniere enjoyed a rare respite from negative press, something he had not seen before or after I left the organization.

It was 2007 and at the time the press did not know Raniere had blown over $100 million of Bronfman sisters’ inheritance on bogus commodities investments, a crooked real estate deal, and paying lawyers to sue his enemies; nor did they know Raniere slept all day and at night had a harem of female devotees who gave their hearts, minds and undressed bodies to him.

These things few knew –including myself – or that the cult was raking in millions – seemingly much of it off the books.

During my tenure, things went well. Albany’s weekly newspaper Metroland published a favorable blurb on Raniere – for the first time; The Times Union wrote a story about NXIVM without using the word “cult” – for the first time in memory. I wrote press releases and announcements, which were published and broadcast and I arranged interviews for NXIVM people to humanize, and demystify them.

GETTING THE DALAI LAMA

The slight improvement in their press coverage may have encouraged Raniere to seek what many commercial operations seek – a celebrity endorsement. In the past he had used the late actor Eddie Albert. He tried for Goldie Hawn once – but failed. This time he wanted a “higher power” endorsement.

His Holiness The Pope was out of the question. Rev. Billy Graham was not likely to make a public endorsement of Raniere – no matter how much the Bronfman sisters were willing to spend.

One day, I got an enthusiastic call from one of Raniere’s inner circle.

“What would you say if we got the Dalai Lama to come to Albany and announce that Keith’s teachings are the solution to the world’s problems?” she asked.

I asked, “Does The Dalai Lama know Keith?”

“No. But Sara and Clare are ready to donate a million to the Dalai Lama. One of the Dalai Lama’s assistants, a monk is here in Albany and Sara is showing him everything. If the Dalai Lama, one of the spiritual leaders of the world, comes to Albany and endorses Keith the press will not say we are a cult; we are cutting edge.”

I believed the Bronfman sisters would be able to procure the services of the Dalai Lama. The Dalai Lama was not only the spiritual leader of Buddhism in Tibet, but the head of the Tibetan Government in exile; he led a refugee government headquartered in Dharamshala, India.

While little is known about the Dalai Lama’s personal wealth or his government-in-exile’s finances - their published budget for 2002-03 amounted to $22 million - a government in exile cannot forcibly tax anyone; the Dalai Lama is dependent on donations.

I advised Raniere that while I was confident a million dollars would lure him, I doubted this would spin well in the press. I was never again asked for help with the media and soon afterward was fired after I discovered and revealed facts about how the Bronfmans lost $100 million at Raniere’s hands.

http://artvoice.com/issues/v14n51/raniere.html


This is a very long, involved blog post. Please visit the site for its continuance.
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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby American Dream » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:00 pm

The Bronfman's are an intriguing family- but not in the sense of World Jewish Conspiracy, more in the sense of Deep Politics or High Strangeness...
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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby Elvis » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:01 pm

For the curious, the "Keith Raniere Conversations" YouTube channel has about 45 videos of him in an interview/conversation setting, including the one Cordelia posted above.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCMWvfA ... shelf_id=0

I couldn't get through more than a minute or so. I'm curious about what he's selling, but not enough to watch more.
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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby Elvis » Tue Mar 27, 2018 9:10 pm

Who is Keith Raniere, the founder of NXIVM: Part 2
ABC News
Published on Dec 16, 2017


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6VoJPEQhSxo
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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby Cordelia » Wed Mar 28, 2018 7:00 am

American Dream » Wed Mar 28, 2018 12:00 am wrote:The Bronfman's are an intriguing family- but not in the sense of World Jewish Conspiracy, more in the sense of Deep Politics or High Strangeness...


Haven't finished reading, but a very interesting in-depth article from 2010 Vanity Fair (which always likes High Strangeness)........

The Heiresses and the Cult

To family friends, Seagram heiresses Sara and Clare Bronfman are victims of a frightening, secretive “cult” called nxivm, which has swallowed as much as $150 million of their fortune. But the organization’s leader, Keith Raniere, seems also to have tapped into a complex emotional rift between the sisters and their father, billionaire philanthropist Edgar Bronfman Sr. The author investigates the accusations that are now flying—blackmail, perjury, forgery—in a many-sided legal war.

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https://www.vanityfair.com/culture/2010 ... man-201011

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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby Sounder » Mon Apr 02, 2018 7:52 am

So many connections, so little time.(artvoice has everything NXIVM related)

https://artvoice.com/2017/09/21/sara-br ... sIY3rgl_6j
All these things will continue as long as coercion remains a central element of our mentality.
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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby Jerky » Mon Apr 02, 2018 10:53 am

It's amazing what autistic mediocrities are capable of when they're willing to shed their humanity and take advantage of people's inclination towards being agreeable and polite.

Anybody here ever read Robert Anton Wilson's Prometheus Rising?

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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby Iamwhomiam » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:08 pm

https://www.timesunion.com/local/article/NXIVM-members-subpoenaed-in-criminal-probe-12796720.php

NXIVM members subpoenaed in criminal probe
Support within NXIVM wavers as Keith Raniere arrested

By Brendan J. Lyons Updated 11:26 am, Monday, April 2, 2018

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Halfmoon

Numerous people involved with NXIVM have been subpoenaed to testify before a federal grand jury in Brooklyn, and a criminal investigation of the Colonie-based organization is intensifying following last week's arrest of its leader, Keith Raniere, according to three people with knowledge of the matter.

The broader investigation is focusing on NXIVM's finances, including allegations of money laundering and tax fraud that have been revealed in unrelated court filings through the years. Investigators with the Internal Revenue Service have joined the probe, and federal agents, led by the FBI, last week searched the Halfmoon residence of Nancy Salzman, NXIVM's president, and carted away dozens of boxes of undisclosed items.

Raniere, whose organization has been described by experts as a cult, was arrested on March 25 at a $10,000-a-week villa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where he fled to last November as the federal investigation took shape. He appeared before a U.S. magistrate judge at a federal courthouse in Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday, and is being held in the custody of U.S. marshals without bond on a federal complaint charging him with sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor. Raniere will be in custody at least until he makes an initial appearance before a U.S. magistrate judge in Brooklyn, where the U.S. attorney's office for the Eastern District of New York is leading the grand jury investigation of Raniere and NXIVM.

There is no date scheduled for Raniere's court appearance in Brooklyn. The U.S. Marshals Service regularly uses buses to transport people in their custody across the United States, and the process can often take several days or longer to return a defendant to another jurisdiction.

The criminal charges accuse Raniere of organizing a secret group within NXIVM in 2015 in which women were lured into a slave-master club and some were allegedly coerced into having sex with Raniere. NXIVM issued a public statement last year denying any connection between the secret club and Raniere or NXIVM, but federal prosecutors allege Raniere founded the club, in which multiple women were branded with the initials of Raniere and Allison Mack, an actress and Raniere's confidante.

NXIVM's secretive business structure, including its finances and tax filings, as well as Raniere's unfettered access to millions of dollars and private jets, are a focus of the broader investigation, according to court records and interviews with people who have provided information to federal prosecutors.

A former NXIVM associate, Kristen M. Keeffe, who defected from the organization several years ago, alleged in 2015 that large amounts of cash had been stored in a safe at Salzman's residence in Halfmoon. Keeffe's allegations were contained in a transcript of a March 2015 telephone conversation between Keeffe and Barbara J. Bouchey, a former NXIVM executive board member who was facing computer trespassing charges at the time. Bouchey and three others were accused by NXIVM of improperly accessing the corporation's website, but the charges against Bouchey and two others were dismissed.

Keeffe, who was part of Raniere's inner circle for many years, told Bouchey that money collected from people who took NXIVM training sessions in Mexico was funneled across the border into the United States. She claimed that Salzman, among others, would allegedly "bring the cash over the border."

The money was funneled through the bank account of a Mexican associate and "logged on the system as a scholarship, and cash was kept in Nancy's house," Keeffe said.

"And the cash for a certain time period, I doubt it's still there, was kept in a safe in Nancy's house," Keeffe said during the recorded conversation. "If Keith ever had to go into hiding it was Keith's off-the-grid fund. And the last time I heard about it, there was two and a half million dollars in it."

In a federal court filing last week, the Justice Department said that for the past 18 months, Raniere had been using a credit card and bank account in the name of a former NXIVM associate and girlfriend, Pamela Cafritz, who died in November 2016. Federal prosecutors said the bank account holds about $8 million.

Raniere's arrest sent shock waves through NXIVM and has led numerous people to quietly leave the organization, while others have rallied to garner support for their embattled leader, who is revered within NXIVM and calls himself "Vanguard."

The supporters circulated a petition letter, dated March 27, and asked their NXIVM associates to sign the one-page document that described the allegations against Raniere as "antithetical to his philosophy and values," according to a copy of the document shared with the Times Union. "Sadly, we have seen justice corrupted by prejudice, lies and hate."

There have also been emergency group meetings with NXIVM, and many of Raniere's supporters have floated a theory that the unfolding prosecution was set up by Raniere as a way to test their loyalty, according to a person briefed on one of those meetings.

Justin Elliot, who became associated with NXIVM along with two of his brothers, Marc and Brian, are among those who have been subpoenaed to testify before the federal grand jury, according to two people with knowledge of the investigation. Justin Elliot has been a close aide to Salzman and other top NXIVM officials. Marc Elliot has given testimonials that treatment in NXIVM programs helped him overcome Tourette's syndrome.

Justin Elliot said "nope ... nope" and hung up the phone when contacted for comment. Marc and Brian Elliot did not return telephone calls seeking comment.

The Times Union reported March 25 that New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman's office is investigating a nonprofit foundation associated with NXIVM that allegedly sponsored brain-activity and other human behavioral studies, including for Tourette's, without proper oversight, according to court records. The nonprofit Ethical Science Foundation was formed in 2007 by Clare W. Bronfman, an heiress of the Seagram Co. business empire who has described herself as NXIVM's operations director and is listed in public records as the trustee and donor of the foundation.

Bronfman has provided Raniere with millions of dollars through the years and also paid for attorneys who filed lawsuits against NXIVM critics, according to the Justice Department.

A state Supreme Court justice recently signed an order directing Bronfman and Dr. Brandon B. Porter, who is involved with NXIVM and conducted the human studies, to turn over all documentation associated with the research.

Multiple commercial and residential properties in Halfmoon that are associated with NXIVM's participants, including Raniere and Salzman, recently had notices taped to the front doors indicating access to the property can be arranged by calling a mobile phone listed on the notice. A man who answered that phone declined to identify himself and hung up.

One of the notices was also taped to the back door of the Lape Road residence of Mack, an actress who is widely known for her role in the television series "Smallville," and is listed in the federal criminal complaint as Raniere's unidentified co-conspirator. Mack was with Raniere in Mexico when he was taken into custody by Mexican federal police officers, who arrested Raniere at the request of U.S. law enforcement authorities.

Last week, in a request that the Justice Department filed asking a judge to hold Raniere without bond, prosecutors described him as a danger to the community and a flight risk, noting he absconded to Mexico when the investigation began and had been using only encrypted email while there. They said Raniere, who co-founded NXIVM more than two decades ago, "has spent his life profiting from his pyramid schemes and has otherwise received financial backing from independently wealthy women."

The federal complaint filed against Raniere said that emails seized from Raniere's private messaging accounts "support the conclusion that Raniere created" the secret club, known as "Dominus Obsequious Sororium," which means "Master Over the Slave Women."

The women in the group, according to the federal complaint, were lured into the club by other female NXIVM members, including Mack, and required to provide "collateral" in order to join.

"Collateral consisted of material or information that the prospective slave would not want revealed because it would be ruinous to the prospective slave herself and/or someone close to her," states an FBI agent's affidavit filed as part of the complaint. "Collateral provided by prospective slaves included sexually explicit photographs; videos made to look candid in which the prospective slaves told damning stories (true or untrue) about themselves, close friends and/or family members; and letters making damaging accusations (true or untrue) against friends and family members."

The federal criminal complaint filed against Raniere said the slaves understood that if they left the club, publicly spoke about it, or failed in their obligations, their collateral could be released.

"Some of the masters gave their slaves assignments that either directly or implicitly required them to have sex with Raniere, which they then did," the complaint states. "Other assignments appeared designed to groom slaves sexually for Raniere."

Women who took part in the branding said it was done by Dr. Danielle Roberts, an osteopath associated with NXIVM.

Multiple people who have defected from NXIVM or publicly criticized Raniere have received letters purported to be from Mexican officials warning them to "cease and desist" making statements about the organization. Federal prosecutors said that Raniere was behind the letters.

NXIVM's supporters have insisted it is a self-help group focused on business improvement. NXIVM officials and associates have repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and dispute any allegation that it is a cult. Recent efforts to reach NXIVM officials for comment have not been successful.

Dating back years, people with connections to NXIVM have filed complaints with various law enforcement agencies, including the New York state attorney general, the U.S. attorney's offices in Albany and Buffalo, the New York State Police, the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Agency, the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI.

The Times Union reported last year that none of those agencies pursued criminal cases. The investigation by the U.S. attorney's office in Brooklyn is the first significant investigation of Raniere and NXIVM.

blyons@timesunion.com • 518-454-5547 • @brendan_lyonstu

https://www.timesunion.com/local/article/NXIVM-members-subpoenaed-in-criminal-probe-12796720.php

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https://frankreport.com/2016/01/19/barbara-bouchey-is-a-hero-who-fought-nxivm-at-great-cost/
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Re: NXIVM Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

Postby seemslikeadream » Mon Apr 02, 2018 6:12 pm

Investigators with the Internal Revenue Service have joined the probe, and federal agents, led by the FBI


I guess that would be the good FBI then? :)
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