Keith Raniere: The sex cult leader branded and enslaved his followers
Allison Mack was in a sex cult. That’s pretty much the summary most fans of superheroes know about the case of Keith Raniere. Mack, who played Chloe Sullivan on 10 seasons of Smallville, was one of the prominent members of the NXIVM organization that Raniere ran. As more details about her arrest and the activities of the group came out, the more the details about said sex cult emerged.
Also thrown into the mix sex trafficking and forced labor charges that brought everything about the NXIVM down. The whole disturbing story of Keith Raniere came to light. If all you know is that the actress from Smallville was involved in a sex cult, then here’s what you need to know about the leader, Keith Raniere.
Atmosphere of Suspicion
Raniere was never what you would call a stand-up member of society, despite what he would have you believe. There were always suspicions on the part of law enforcement and family members of those caught in his when.
For example, let’s talk about the disappearance of Kristin Snyder. In Nov. 2002, the environmental consultant enrolled in a 16-day personal development course for NXIVM/ESP led by Nancy Salzman. Snyder would then travel to meet Raniere in Jan. 2003. Snyder then went with her partner Heidi Clifford for another 16-day session in Anchorage.
According to Clifford, Snyder became suicidal and she was convinced not to take her to the hospital. Snyder would disappear after leaving an NXIVM session on Feb. 6, 2003. On Feb. 8, police found a note that said:
“I attended a course called Executive Success Programs . . . based out of Anchorage, AK, and Albany, NY. I was brainwashed and my emotional center of the brain was killed/turned off. I still have feeling in my external skin, but my internal organs are rotting . . . I am sorry life, I didn’t know I was already dead. May we persist into the future.”
On a separate page, she wrote, “No need to search my body.”
A witness at Raniere’s 2019 trial said that he paid $24,000 USD to get Snyder’s password.
That’s just one incident of many that would follow Raniere over the years. Sex with minors, accusations of rape, and the disappearance of his longtime partner all just swirled around him. Eventually, it caught up with him and the members of NXIVM and Raniere in particular.
In 2017, The New York Times published a story about Raniere’s slaves and how he branded them with a hot cauterizing pen. The slaves were to give damaging information and nude photos of themselves if they wanted to join. The symbol they were branded with was Raniere’s initials.
When the article was published, Raniere fled to Mexico with members of his inner circle.
In March 2018, Raniere was arrested at his villa in Mexico. Raniere was indicted on a litany of charges including sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor.
His trial began in May 2019. After five hours of deliberation, the jury found Raniere guilty on the following charges:
Sexual exploitation of a child and possession of child pornography with regard to minor victim “Camila”; Sex trafficking of Nicole, attempted sex trafficking of Jay; Identity theft against Edgar Bronfman, James Loperfido, Ashana Chenoa, “Marianna”, and Pam Cafritz; Trafficking for labor and services of “Daniela”; forced labor of “Nicole”; Conspiracy to alter records for use in an official proceeding; Sex trafficking conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, racketeering conspiracy, and wire fraud conspiracy.
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