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FBI: NXIVM cult leader accused of keeping women as sex slaves arrested in Mexico

March 28, 2018  |  Posted by: Francesca Falzarano
FBI: NXIVM cult leader accused of keeping women as sex slaves arrested in Mexico

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The head of a secret cult in upstate New York has been apprehended in Mexico on sex trafficking and forced labor charges after he held women as “slaves” and tattooing them with his initials.

Keith Raniere — the co-founder of a torturous and psychologically manipulative cult, NXIVM — was caught by police in the resort city of Puerto Vallarta and was extradited to Texas on Monday, the Brooklyn US Attorney ’s office announced.

“Keith Raniere displayed a disgusting abuse of power to denigrate and manipulate women he considered sex slaves,” FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney stated.

“These crimes against humanity are not only shocking, but disconcerting, to say the least, and we are putting an end to this torture.”

The complaint states that many of the victims had their leaders initials “branded in their pubic regions” with a cauterizing pen in a “tribute” that lasts 30 minutes.

Keith Raniere was charged with sex trafficking, sex-trafficking conspiracy and forced labor conspiracy. He has denied the allegations. Photo courtesy of Nxivm

“During the branding ceremonies, slaves were required to be naked, and the master would order one slave to film while the other held down the slave being branded,” the complaint added.

The cult leader started holding workshops in 2003 on the NXIVM compound roughly 20 miles outside of Albany, CBS News reported.

Some of the man’s workshops taught women about “the need for men to have multiple partners and the need for women to be monogamous.”

This caused Raniere to start a secret group within NXIVM called “DOS” in 2015 — an organization that worked like a pyramid with “slaves” and “masters.”

Raniere, who was the only male, was at the top.

The group would ask women for damaging information, such as sexually explicit pictures— and the information would be released if the women went public with details of the organization.

They were also forced to engage in horrific acts, such as taking cold showers and standing for an hour in the middle of the night, while also being told to practice celibacy and stay “exceptionally thin.”

They were eventually prepared to have sex with Raniere who had a “rotating group of 15 to 20 women” who he had slept with.

The entire plot started to fall apart when a DOS “slave” defected in 2017, which resulted in an article being published in The New York Times.

Ranier, who bolted from the country shortly after the Times report was released, is scheduled to appear in court in Fort Worth, Texas, on Tuesday.

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