Nxivm ‘Sex Cult’ Was Also a Huge Pyramid Scheme, Lawsuit Says 

January 31, 2020 Comments Off on Nxivm ‘Sex Cult’ Was Also a Huge Pyramid Scheme, Lawsuit Says 

Nxivm ‘Sex Cult’ Was Also a Huge Pyramid Scheme, Lawsuit Says        

Eighty people contended that they were bilked out of millions of dollars through a “coercive” scheme by the self-help group.

By Nicole Hong Jan. 29, 2020

The self-help group Nxivm gained a reputation as a “sex cult” last year after its leader, Keith Raniere, was convicted of coercing some of his female followers into sexual servitude, even creating a ritual in which they were branded with his initials.

But a lawsuit filed in federal court in Brooklyn on Tuesday illuminated another unsavory side of Nxivm. Most participants in the group were not Mr. Raniere’s sex slaves, the lawsuit said, but rather victims of an insidious pyramid scheme who were lured by false scientific claims into paying thousands of dollars for classes.

“They get you to not trust your own decision-making process,” said one former member, Sally Brink, who said she paid $145,000 to take Nxivm classes over the years. “They tell you that you need them to make decisions. You start to doubt everything.”

Ms. Brink was among the 80 plaintiffs who sued Mr. Raniere and 14 other associates of Nxivm (pronounced NEX-ee-um).

The 200-page lawsuit details sprawling allegations of fraud and abuse, including that Nxivm’s leaders drew “from methods used in pyramid schemes” to take people’s money and make it “physically and psychologically difficult, and in some cases impossible, to leave the coercive community.”

Ms. Brink, 47, said in an interview that she was introduced to the group in her late 20s. She was struggling as the new co-owner of a restaurant in a Vermont college town, weighed down by 18-hour days.

Her college roommate recommended turning her life around through Nxivm, pitching it as a class that helped entrepreneurs reach their goals. The roommate told her the program had been developed by a brilliant thinker named Keith Raniere.

Ms. Brink flew to Los Angeles in 2004 for a five-day course, hosted at a home in the Hollywood Hills. At first, she found the teachings to be profound. Her relationships with her employees and her family improved.

More than a decade later, however, Ms. Brink was fighting to escape. The worst moment came in 2017, she said, when she was diagnosed with breast cancer. Nxivm associates told her that she had given herself the disease to get her husband’s attention. Instead of spending the money she had raised online for treatment, they urged her to make the ethical decision to die, she added.

Ms. Brink’s allegations of emotional abuse are echoed throughout the lawsuit, which comes seven months after Mr. Raniere, 59, was found guilty of racketeering, sex trafficking and other charges.

Hollywood actors, business executives and professional athletes were among the people who took Nxivm courses, according to former participants. Mr. Raniere’s most fervent followers included Allison Mack, the former “Smallville” actress, and Clare Bronfman, an heiress to the Seagram liquor fortune.

Ms. Mack and Ms. Bronfman were also charged in the racketeering case and pleaded guilty before the trial, along with Nancy Salzman, a former psychiatric nurse who had co-founded the group with Mr. Raniere in Albany, N.Y.

Almost all of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit have hidden their real names, saying their reputations will suffer or they will lose job opportunities if they were to be linked to the group. An estimated 16,000 people have taken Nxivm courses.

Marc Agnifilo, a lawyer for Mr. Raniere, said the lawsuit would allow Mr. Raniere to argue that some former Nxivm members did not provide truthful testimony at his trial.

“As several of the plaintiffs in this lawsuit testified at trial that they were not planning on bringing a lawsuit, Keith’s chances on appeal just increased,” Mr. Agnifilo said in a statement.

Lawyers for Ms. Mack, Ms. Bronfman and Ms. Salzman did not respond to requests for comment.

In painstaking detail, the lawsuit explained how people with college degrees and white-collar jobs got trapped in Mr. Raniere’s system.

Membership in Nxivm was by invitation only, and before the first class, recruits were required to fill out long questionnaires about their views on wealth, religion, children and other topics.

The goal, according to the lawsuit, was to pinpoint their insecurities and weed out skeptics. One former participant said that Nxivm’s recruiters looked for “trust fund babies” and Hollywood actors, and that many Nxivm members had been survivors of sexual assault. Their fears would later be used against them if they tried to leave Nxivm.

Mr. Raniere and Ms. Salzman built a curriculum that they falsely claimed was based in science, the lawsuit alleged. The early courses conditioned students to become emotionally dependent on a system of rewards and punishment. Coaches would break down the students’ self-esteem and scold them for failing to achieve their goals, then lift them up with a positive affirmation.

“That process leaves you wanting more and feeling like they have the answers,” said a former Nxivm member who is participating in the lawsuit.

The group exploited students’ desires for validation, telling them that only Nxivm classes could fix the internal problems hindering their success. If they reached the top of Nxivm, they were told, they could earn income and build a career within the organization.

Yet the leaders continually manipulated the program requirements so that only a fraction of participants ever received income, the lawsuit said. Students were constantly pressured to take more courses and recruit other students.

Many members effectively became indentured servants for Nxivm, working for years without pay and losing their life’s savings, the plaintiffs said….

Nxivm performed illegal human experiments and falsely claimed to cure medical conditions including Tourette’s syndrome and obsessive compulsive disorder, the lawsuit alleged….

The curriculum became increasingly misogynistic over time, according to the plaintiffs. One of the programs taught women that they were sheltered from the consequences of their actions by men, and that they did not deserve equal pay because they had quit their jobs to have children. Women were to be monogamous, while men were to be polygamous, Nxivm taught.

The slow indoctrination laid the foundation for certain women to be groomed as Mr. Raniere’s sexual partners, the lawsuit alleged…..

The sentencings of Mr. Raniere and his associates by a federal judge are still months away. Mr. Raniere could face life in prison.

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/29/nyregion/nxivm-lawsuit-keith-raniere.html

Mexican church leader horrific child sex ring, Singer R. Kelly 11 new counts sex abuse, How Clare Bronfman Wound Up In ‘Cult-Like’ Group Nxivm, Disinfo and DID: Politics of Memory – Brian Moss

June 7, 2019 § Leave a comment

– Mexican church leader charged in horrific child sex ring
“The leader of a Mexican fundamentalist Christian church that boasts more than 1 million worldwide followers was busted in Los Angeles on charges of human trafficking, child rape, child pornography and other crimes, officials said.”

– Singer R. Kelly charged with 11 new counts of sexual abuse
“The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has charged singer R. Kelly with 11 new counts of criminal sexual abuse, The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday, bringing the total number of charges against him in Illinois up to 21.”

– From Heiress To Felon: How Clare Bronfman Wound Up In ‘Cult-Like’ Group Nxivm

– Disinformation and DID: the Politics of Memory – Brian Moss, MA, MFT
Information on the False Memory Syndrome, Mind Control, Dissociative Identity Disorder, The Media, Ritual Abuse, The Nazis and Programming.

– Scientific Evidence that Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder or MPD) is caused by Childhood Trauma

Mexican church leader charged in horrific child sex ring
By Natalie Musumeci June 5, 2019

The leader of a Mexican fundamentalist Christian church that boasts more than 1 million worldwide followers was busted in Los Angeles on charges of human trafficking, child rape, child pornography and other crimes, officials said.

Naasón Joaquín García, the head of La Luz Del Mundo, was charged Tuesday along with a group of other affiliates of the international religious organization for disturbing crimes against three girls and a woman, California Attorney General Xavier Becerra announced.

García, 50, and three co-defendants — Alondra Ocampo, Azalea Rangel Melendez and Susana Medina Oaxaca — allegedly committed 26 felonies in Los Angeles County between 2015 and 2018 while leading La Luz Del Mundo, officials said.

Prosecutors charge that García and his co-defendants allegedly coerced minors into performing sexual acts by telling them that if they went against any of García’s desires or wishes as “the Apostle,” they were defying God.

According to the 19-page criminal complaint filed with the Los Angeles County Superior Court, the victims were forced to perform “flirty dances” for García wearing “as little clothing as possible.”

After they finished the dances, García “gave them a speech about a king having mistresses and stated that an apostle of God can never be judged for his actions,” the complaint says.

The complaint, which states that a child and woman were raped, also charges that Ocampo directed the victims to take off their clothes and touch each other sexually while Ocampo took photos to send to García….

https://nypost.com/2019/06/05/mexican-church-leader-charged-in-horrific-child-sex-ring/

Singer R. Kelly charged with 11 new counts of sexual abuse
Jayme Deerwester, USA TODAY May 30, 2019

The Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office has charged singer R. Kelly with 11 new counts of criminal sexual abuse, The Chicago Tribune and The Chicago Sun-Times reported Thursday, bringing the total number of charges against him in Illinois up to 21.

The new charges, which come months after Kelly was arrested three months ago and charged with 10 counts of aggravated assault, resulted from offenses that allegedly took place in 2010….

According to The Sun-Times, which published the new court documents, the counts are as follows: four counts of aggravated criminal sexual assault, two counts of criminal sexual assault by force, two counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse and three counts of aggravated criminal sexual abuse against a victim who was between the ages of 13 and 17 at the time of her assault.

Three of the four women from the original indictment were minors at the time.

Prosecutors allege that Kelly used force or threatened to do so in order coerce the accuser into sex or to perform oral sex on him. Because she was underage at the time, they say the statute of limitations is extended to 20 years from her 18th birthday….

Over the past two decades, Robert Sylvester Kelly, 52, has faced multiple allegations of sexual abuse of women and girls, including sex with underage girls and accusations that he trapped female fans in a “sex cult” that cut them off from their families and subjected them to degrading abuse.

He has been tried for a sex crime only once, in Chicago, and was acquitted in 2008.

Then, in January of this year, “Surviving R. Kelly,” a series began airing on Lifetime. Over the course of six episodes, scores of women came forward on camera to accuse Kelly of shocking abuse….

https://www.usatoday.com/story/life/people/2019/05/30/r-kelly-charged-11-new-counts-sex-abuse/1289868001/

From Heiress To Felon: How Clare Bronfman Wound Up In ‘Cult-Like’ Group Nxivm
Will Yakowicz, Forbes staff May 31, 2019

Dark Capital is a series that explores the intersection of business, wealth and crime. It’s featured on Sundays.

It’s 4 p.m. on Good Friday and Clare Bronfman stands before a judge in a federal courtroom in Brooklyn already knowing her fate. She has copped a deal with prosecutors and will plead guilty to felony charges related to her role as an executive board member of Nxivm, a cult-like group that federal prosecutors describe as a deeply manipulative pyramid scheme that forced slave-like conditions onto some members. Some were allegedly even coerced to have sex with Nxivm’s founder, Keith Raniere.

But the rail-thin Bronfman, who turned 40 a few days earlier, frequently appears bewildered during the proceedings, wearing a white-and-blue scarf as she steals glances at the journalists and other onlookers who have filed into the courtroom. It’s as though she has the same question as most watching the sordid proceedings: How did an heiress to the multibillion-dollar Seagram’s fortune become central to what’s been called a notorious sex cult….

Then in 2003, Forbes published the first critical article about Raniere and the group, explaining that while it seemed to tap into the “high-profit fad of executive coaching,” critics also saw a “darker and more manipulative side” to Raniere. And the cover story included a whopping charge from Edgar Sr.: “I think it’s a cult.”

The article had immediate repercussions. Raniere, according to Bouchey, blamed Clare for the article, telling her she should have never told her father about the loan. Raniere became convinced that the senior Bronfman had hired a “double agent,” Bouchey says, to infiltrate Nxivm and gather negative information.

From that point forward, Raniere would claim that Clare had committed an “ethical breach”—a cardinal sin in the Nxivm universe, another former member explains. Her father’s scathing criticism, and the unwanted attention the article created, would be used as leverage against her for years to come, former members say….

Both sisters, according to former members, saw their financial support of Nxivm as a way to cleanse their fortune and leave their own philanthropic legacy. “The girls stepped into a role feeling they could make a difference in the world, and this became a very purposeful career path for them,” Bouchey says.

Over time, it was Clare who became more deeply involved with the organization. In court filings, prosecutors say Clare supported Raniere financially over the years by “providing him with millions of dollars and paying for private air travel costing up to approximately $65,000 a flight.”

A major chunk of their money—estimated at about $50 million, says Peter Skolnik, an attorney who battled Nxivm for years—also went toward suing Nxivm’s enemies—both real and perceived—to smithereens. After she quit show jumping, Clare described (on her now-defunct website) her role at Nxivm as focused on “areas of law” and “corporate ethics.” Over 15 years, it is estimated she hired 50 to 60 lawyers from about 30 law firms to pursue cases against nearly a dozen Nxivm critics, Skolnik says. Clare also funded two frivolous cases against AT&T and Microsoft, which alleged the companies infringed on Raniere’s intellectual property. (He lost and was ordered to pay hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover the company’s legal fees.)….

Branding, Sexual Assault And Confinement

Beyond funding projects, the Bronfman wealth and social status played a crucial role in building Nxivm’s credibility, like when the sisters reportedly spent $2 million in order to persuade the Dalai Lama to visit Albany in 2009 and meet Raniere.

For years, it worked. But negative press began to leak out in local outlets, and it turned into a deluge that couldn’t be ignored by October 2017, when the New York Times published a story detailing the alleged horrors of a small, elite inner circle within Nxivm called DOS, which stands for dominus obsequious sororium, or imperfect Latin for “master over submissive women.”

Described as a female empowerment group within Nxivm, DOS allegedly mandated that its recruits, referred to as “slaves,” give their “master” nude photographs and other potentially damaging information as collateral, according to the Times story and later alleged by federal prosecutors and corroborated by witnesses in open court. Some women in DOS were branded, using a cauterizing pen, with Raniere’s initials. (Allison Mack, the Smallville actress and a longtime member of Nxivm and DOS, would later tell the New York Times Magazine that the branding was her idea.)

Some of the “slaves” were often ordered to have sex with Raniere to show their commitment to the group and were expected to follow their “master’s” orders and recruit others, prosecutors allege. The slaves were allegedly kept on strict, low-calorie diets and told to keep their pubic hair long in order to meet Vanguard’s preferred taste in women. The Times described a branding ceremony in which six members were asked to strip naked and lay on a massage table while chanting “Master, please brand me, it would be an honor,” as they were restrained. As a Nxivm member burned the initials into their skin, right below their pelvic bone, the smell of burning flesh was so overwhelming that some women wore surgical masks….
https://www.forbes.com/sites/willyakowicz/2019/05/31/from-heiress-to-felon-how-clare-bronfman-wound-up-in-cult-like-group-nxivm/

Disinformation and DID: the Politics of Memory – Brian Moss, MA, MFT
Information on the False Memory Syndrome, Mind Control, Dissociative Identity Disorder, The Media, Ritual Abuse, The Nazis and Programming.
https://ritualabuse.us/research/did/disinformation-and-did-the-politics-of-memory/

Ability to discern disinformation
Quality disinformation must contain a high degree of truth or it will be rejected outright. The real value of disinformation is to present pieces of the truth in a way that leads to the wrong conclusions. A secondary purpose being obfuscation in general. There is an overwhelming amount of disinformation on the internet and in our media. Who would have guessed that when Orwell’s “Ministry of Truth” finally arrived, we would embrace it as “Wikipedia.”

Scientific Evidence that Dissociative Identity Disorder (Multiple Personality Disorder or MPD) is caused by Childhood Trauma
https://eassurvey.wordpress.com/2014/11/07/evidence-that-dissociative-identity-disorder-multiple-personality-disorder-or-mpd-is-caused-by-childhood-trauma/

SMART Child and Ritual Abuse Newsletter – Issue 142 – September 2018

September 6, 2018 § Leave a comment

SMART Child and Ritual Abuse Newsletter – Issue 142 – September 2018

https://ritualabuse.us/2018/09/issue-142-september-2018/ 

This issue includes information on: Ritual Abuse, Child Abuse Wiki, http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Ritual_Abuse, Ritual Abuse and Mind Control Conference, https://ritualabuse.us, Randy Noblitt, Severe Abuse, Child Abuse Crimes, Neil Brick, Organised Abuse in the UK Conference 2018, Laurie Matthew, Eighteen And Under, Izzy’s Promise, Sarah Nelson, Joseph Lumbasi, Izzy’s Promise, Myth of the Satanic Panic, backlash, sexual harassment, rape, Cult and Ritual Abuse, Satanic ritual killing, sacrifice, Teodora Quispe Ccayllahua, escabroso ritual satánico, Diablo, Larry Nassar, Michigan State, Nxivm Sex-Trafficking Case, Clare Bronfman, pyramid scheme, cult, Keith Raniere, sexual slavery, sex trafficking, Backpage.com, Mike Lacey, John Brunst, pedophiles, darknet, pedophile ring, forced prostitution, religious ritual, Siraj Ibn Wahhaj, demonic spirits, 1000 victims of priest abuse, Roman Catholic priests, systematic cover-up by senior church officials, Vatican, Cardinal Donald Wuerl, Edward Ganster, predator priests, I Am a Killer Interviews, Miguel Martinez, Miguel Venegas, Satan, Maryland private school, Key School in Annapolis Maryland, St. Paul’s School, Nuns charged in Smyllum Park child abuse investigation, satanic rituals, Daughters of Charity of St Vincent de Paul, Sisters of Nazareth, St. Joseph’s orphanage, Pope Francis, CIA Mind Control, CIA Secret Cold War, CIA Secret Experiments, Ewen Cameron, Clergy abuse survivors, statute of limitations

Ritual Abuse – Child Abuse Wiki Ritual abuse exists all over the world. There have been reports, journal articles, web pages and criminal convictions of crimes against children and adults. http://childabusewiki.org/index.php?title=Ritual_Abuse

The 2018 Annual Ritual Abuse, Secretive Organizations and Mind Control Conference https://ritualabuse.us/smart-conference/2018-conference/ 

The Credibility of Ritual Abuse Allegations Presenter: Randy Noblitt, PhD Synopsis: To what extent do mental health and other helping professionals believe the stories of ritual abuse survivors? This presentation systematically reviews the empirical research on the credibility of ritual abuse allegations. After presenting the findings there will be a discussion that welcomes the opinions of the attendees regarding their own conclusions including considerations of the community standard, professional ethics, related forensic questions, and advocacy for extreme abuse survivors.

Randy Noblitt, PhD, is a clinical psychologist (licensed in Texas) and professor of clinical psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University, Los Angeles. In the course of his practice, Randy has treated more than 300 individuals who met the criteria for dissociative identity disorder. He is the principle author of Cult and Ritual Abuse: Its History, Anthropology and Recent Discovery in Contemporary America (Praeger, 1995. 2000), and its third edition, Cult and Ritual Abuse: Narratives, Evidence and Healing Approaches (Praeger, 2014). He is also co-editor and contributing author of the book, Ritual Abuse in the 21st Century: Psychological, Forensic, Social and Political Considerations (Robert Reed, 2008). https://ritualabuse.us/smart-conference/2018-conference/the-credibility-of-ritual-abuse-allegations/

Changes in Awareness of Severe Abuse and Child Abuse Crimes Over Twenty Five Years Presenter: Neil Brick
The awareness of severe abuse and child abuse crimes has changed over the last 25 years. In the early 1990s, severe abuse survivors were often believed and supported. Then a backlash started and severe abuse survivors and their supporters were harassed and attacked. The child abuse survivor movement changed and adapted. Ten years ago, research began again to help expose severe abuse crimes. More recently, first in the UK and Australia and now in the United States, a variety of child abuse, severe abuse, sexual harassment and rape cases are bringing public awareness again to the mainstream media of severe abuse crimes. This presentation will discuss the changes of the last 25 years, with an emphasis on the more recent exposures of organized child abuse crimes and social systems that have been part of the cover up of these crimes.

Neil Brick is a survivor of ritual abuse and mind control. His work continues to educate the public about child abuse, trauma and ritual abuse crimes. His child abuse and ritual abuse newsletter S.M.A.R.T. https://ritualabuse.us has been published for over 22 years. http://neilbrick.com
https://ritualabuse.us/smart-conference/2018-conference/changes-in-awareness-of-severe-abuse-and-child-abuse-crimes-over-twenty-five-years/

Child and Ritual Abuse Conference Helps Educate Survivors and Their Helpers; Speakers included Dr. Randy Noblitt and Neil Brick
Child and Ritual Abuse Conference Speakers Included:
• Dr. Randall Noblitt • Neil Brick
• Jillian Jackson • Manjot Singh Khalsa
• Mike Skinner – Musician
https://www.webwire.com/ViewPressRel.asp?aId=227656

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