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NXIVM Guru Keith Raniere ARRESTED for Sex Trafficking

After almost 20 years of raping underage girls, siphoning over $100 million from the Bronfman sisters Seagrams fortune, pushing some women to suicide, and ruining the lives of dozens of people through vindictive court litigation, Kieth Raniere is finally in handcuffs. What led to his fall is in no small part due to the relentless writing of Artvoice owner Frank Parlato. It was the latest Parlato stories about an ultra-secret cult-within-a-cult of women being branded by a hot iron with Keith Raniere’s initials that caught the attention of the New York Times. Parlato had the first public disclosures about the branding and the secret club within NXIVM which he reported last June bin his online blog FrankReport.com. The resulting two-page New York Times article on the cult and the branding of women caught the attention of many other media outlets and eventually the F.B.I.  U.S. attorney’s office in Brooklyn is charging Raniere with multiple counts of sex trafficking and forced labor. However, there may be several more charges coming as there is an ongoing investigation into other allegations against Raniere.

The Albany Times Union reported:

In a letter to a U.S. magistrate judge on Monday, federal prosecutors said that Raniere “was living in Mexico prior to his arrest and has access to vast resources, 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.”

Raniere in Mexico with Claire Bronfman

Raniere fled to Mexico where the son of former Mexican president Carlos Salinas heads a branch of Raniere’s NXIVM organization. For years it has frustrated victims of Raniere that law enforcement refused to act on any of his many crimes. He could have been charged with statutory rape, endangering the welfare of minors, tax evasion, fraud and any number of other crimes. Perhaps the obscene wealth of the Bronfman sisters protected him or perhaps it just took evidence of physical torture like branding women to finally bring the hammer down. In any case, Raniere was captured in Mexico, sent to Texas and is being transported to Brooklyn to appear before a judge. There is no doubt the many people who have feared his retribution, which was often petty and vainglorious, are relieved to see him in handcuffs.

Forbes cover from 2003
Claire and Sarah Bronfman from a 2010 Vanity Fair story The Heiresses and the Cult

About the author

Jamie Moses

Jamie Moses founded Artvoice in 1990

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