The guru of the sex slave sect, who marked the initials of fire on women, sentenced to 120 years in prison


Keith Raniere, 60, leader of an exclusive self-help group that has attracted the rich and famous, was found guilty last year of forcing women to have sex with him. During the six-week trial, the jury heard how Raniere’s followers took five-day, five-day self-help courses that cost $ 5,000.

Some women have been financially and sexually exploited and forced to follow a very low calorie diet. Raniere and other women who worked for him asked for intimate documents and photos of the victims, which they kept and then blackmailed them if they wanted to leave the group.

For years, Raniere maintained a harem with 15-20 sex slaves, one of them 15 years old. Some of their victims were marked with a symbol representing their initials, while they were presented by other followers.

After being arrested in a luxury mansion in the Mexican city of Puerto Vallarta in March 2018, Raniere was found guilty in June 2019 of sex trafficking, extortion, organized crime, threats and child abuse by a New York jury.

Established in Albany, capital of the state of New York, NXIVM (pronounced Nexium) had centers in several cities of the United States, Mexico – where Raniere’s partner was Emiliano Salinas, son of former president Carlos Salinas de Gortari (1988-1994) -, Canada and other countries.

In a message posted on Twitter during the lawsuit against Raniere, Salinas said he left NXIVM “immediately” in early 2018, when an acquaintance involved in the cult told him about the “atrocities” he suffered.

The NXIVM scandal is the subject of two TV and film adaptations: a documentary series, “The Vow” on HBO, which insists on the sexual side of the organization, and a Lisa Robinson film, “Escaping the Nxivm Cult”, 2019, on the testimony of a mother who tried to free a daughter from the sect.

Five other people were accused of being linked to the case and all pleaded guilty.

One, the heir to the Seagram distillery empire, Canadian Clare Bronfman, was sentenced on September 30 to more than six years in prison.

In 2019, the daughter of billionaire Edgar Bronfman, 41, pleaded guilty to using more than $ 100 million of her $ 2.6 billion fortune to help Raniere’s organization.

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