Recap from last week: I was hired as a consultant by NXIVM, in September 2007 when the company was embroiled in multiple lawsuits and several press articles accused it of being a cult. One of my tasks was to stop the negative publicity.
But I soon observed that Keith Raniere, the founder and leader of NXIVM, had a secret harem of a dozen or more women, although NXIVM students were led to believe he lived like a celibate monk. I also discovered that Raniere had “lost” $65.6 million of the Seagram’s heiresses Clare and Sara Bronfman’s money in the commodities market and that he advised the sisters to invest another $26.3 million in a real estate deal in Los Angeles. And I recognized that the lawsuits and the bad press were a tool Raniere used to keep his harem women in a constant state of crisis, forever circling the wagons to protect him.
I was employed by a liar, a master manipulator, sex deviant and possibly a thief on a grand scale of millions. When I exposed the real estate deal was a scam and the developer stole $10 million I was fired.
Subsequent testimony by former high ranking NXIVM members in a court case suggest that Raniere has a gambling problem (using other people’s money) and that he’s both a sex addict and a sexual predator. And that the adoring harem that services Raniere is not enough for his sexual appetite. In fact, he enlists his harem women to act as wing women – to procure more and more women for his enjoyment.
During the day Raniere would sleep. Once awake he would usually consult with girlfriend and NXIVM member Kristen Keeffe about various ways to keep the lawsuits alive. They would also discuss ways of punishing NXIVM enemies.
After meeting with Keeffe, Raniere would often meet with Clare Bronfman and with earnest gravity unload his great ethical teachings on her and any other women who might be around. Then he might take a walk over to Nancy Salzman’s house where she would cook dinner and wait on him. Salzman was his chief assistant, the president of NVIVM and like Keith an expert at hypnotism and Neuro Linguistic Programming.
After dinner, Raniere would decide what woman or women he would bed that night.
He had a lot of options. He could stay home and sleep with one or both of the two women that lived with him – the beautiful Mariana Fernandez, an illegal Mexican alien, and Pam Cafritz, an aging but still attractive, slavish devotee. Cafritz served as his main wing woman procuring him new females. He could also go next door to visit Karen Unterreiner his long time harem slave who willingly put businesses in her name to make certain Raniere would not be on the hook for any tax fraud.
Living with Karen was Camilia the younger sister of Raniere’s Mexican beauty Marianna. Camilia was underage or barely of age and was also here illegally.
If none of the regular women were satisfactory, Raniere might go a-calling on any one of a dozen other NXIVM women who would drop everything – even NXIVM classes they taught – if Raniere chose to bed them that night.
If none of his regulars were of interest on a given night he might spy some new lovely among the ranks of students and begin grooming her – or Pam would – getting her ready for a magical night. A female student would be told she was the one who was growing the most spiritually, and while it was a sacrifice for him to sleep with the lady, it was also a sign of her honor and privilege.
Eventually the time came when Raniere wanted to prey on Salzman’s two young daughters. How he pulled it off is classic Raniere.
Ex-NXIVM member, Becca Friedman recalled:
“During a seminar [for women] Nancy Salzman talked about how men [fathers] become attracted to their daughters when they hit teenage-hood, because the kids look so much like their mothers. This was totally disgusting and really turned a lot of people off. Most of us could not understand what she was talking about, why and what it had to do with feeling empowered as a woman.”
Salzman spoke about this father-to-daughter attraction at the seminar because Raniere introduced the concept to her, most likely in order to accomplish his own plan to sleep with Salzman’s daughters.
Here is how I think he worked it: Raniere tells Salzman that fathers are attracted sexually to their daughters because it reminds them of their wife when the father first met her and fell in love. A mother should be flattered, Raniere says, and not have conventional, unenlightened disdain for this ‘normal,’ incestuous attraction.
Ex harem member, Toni Natalie recalled that Raniere was not opposed to incest.
The Albany Times Union wrote, “When [Natalie’s] conservative Catholic upbringing made her reluctant to engage in oral sex [with Raniere], she was invited to attend a class Raniere created on the subject. She said he told the students, including Natalie, that mothers in some developing nations perform oral sex on their children to soothe them. She suspects the class was organized just for her.”
Another ex-harem member told me that Raniere did not organize the class for Natalie but taught this tribal mother – son oral sex concept before and after and that Raniere teaches that sex with children is acceptable as long as there is no pain involved.
Raniere also practiced what he preached. Several women who are now adults have publicly claimed that Raniere had sex with them when they were under the age of consent.
One of the more shocking stories was reported in the Albany Times Union. Raniere was 30 then. He is now 55. A mother was working as a saleswomen for him and she had a 12-year old daughter, Rhiannon.
When Raniere offered free tutoring to the girl, her mother was pleased since she thought Raniere was like an Einstein who could teach her daughter as no one else could. To encourage more frequent rendezvous, his wing woman Pam Cafritz hired the child to walk her dog. This brought her over to the house.
“He was supposed to teach her Latin and algebra,” The Albany Times Union reported following interviews with mother and daughter. “Instead, [the daughter] said, he told her she hugged like a child, her arms wrapped around him but her hips pushed away. He taught her to hug the way adults do, pelvis-to-pelvis.”
Rhiannon recalled that Raniere had sex with her in his townhouse, in empty offices, in an elevator, and a broom closet. After about 60 encounters, she ran away from home.
“He took my innocence,” she told the Times Union. ‘I can never get that back.” She said she spent 20 years in counseling.
Raniere has also been observed flirting with other student’s teenage daughters. According to a court filing, Peter Fallon, a prominent Albany area pharmacist and NXIVM student, attended a Halloween party at Salzman’s house. He was one of only two or three men at the party.
When he saw Keith costumed in a bathrobe with a large, artificial penis sticking out, he realized, “oh, my God, he’s having sex probably with most of the women in this room.”
That was not all that troubled him. He had a daughter in her late teens. Raniere “was flirting and making intimate gestures towards her.” He and his daughter left the organization.
According to the New York Observer [“Poor Little Rich Girls” August 10, 2010] Raniere has a “revolving cast of disciples-cum-girlfriends-currently said to include Sara Bronfman and Ms. Salzman’s daughters Lauren and Michelle.”
Which brings us back to Nancy Salzman talking at the seminar about fathers becoming attracted to their teenage daughters because they look like their mothers.
I can easily envision it: Raniere speaking lovingly to Salzman about when he first met her, and how attracted he was to her, and how his daughters look just like she looked then and ….
A harem member who fled and returned to her homeland told me that Raniere, “tells women that sex is an opportunity for him to teach in a way that words won’t. The women have to come to believe he is doing them a great spiritual favor when he has sex with them.”
Several harem women told me that Salzman handed her daughters to Raniere to be taught this way.
If true, this shows how Raniere used his connivance skills to persuade a mother he was/is sleeping with to approve and encourage sleeping with her own daughters.
Women I spoke to point out an even darker side to Raniere. They allege he tells women he has supernatural powers to trick them into sex; that he has slept with illegal Mexicans under the age of consent [Mexico’s age of consent is 12]; that Raniere had an underage Mexican boy film him having sex with the boy’s sisters; that sleeping with lesbians is a trophy accomplishment; that from ‘guilting’ her, he sexually enslaved Clare Bronfman; he sexually enslaved a woman whose rich and well known husband impotently watches and donates millions to Raniere; four well known TV actresses – his students – have been favored by being allowed to come into his bedroom for special teaching sessions; a third Fernandez sister, Daniela, refused to cooperate with Raniere’s sexual plans and illegal computer hacking, and was imprisoned in a house owned by NXIVM. After more than a year she escaped and left her two sisters in Raniere’s harem and returned to Mexico; and finally and saddest, that he encouraged two women to commit suicide and they did.
Normally the type of allegations made against Raniere by these women who were close to him would initiate an arrest or commitment to an asylum. But Raniere is said to have control of Clare Bronfman’s money – which makes him a very rich man [and now control of the husband-millionaire of one of his sex devotees] – and he has no problem paying top lawyers, offering money through his harem to elected officials and making job offers to government prosecutors at salaries that dwarf what they make as public servants.
Raniere is proof that you can buy you own lifestyle, crook the courts, and spend and control millions in America without paying a dime in taxes and no law enforcement agency is going to take you down.
There’s something worse, though. Not only is he immune from prosecution, he directs prosecution anywhere he likes. He has had most of his enemies, including harem members who left him, indicted on trumped up charges. It has cost him millions to do it, but he has millions at his disposal.
Next week we will put some of the women on the record for the first time, as I take on the Cult of NXIVM, which is in fact nothing more than the cult of a diabolical genius who pretends to be a saint, named Keith Raniere.
To be continued….