Keith Raniere, Claire Bronfman, Kristin Keeffe, and the NXIVM cult

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Wrong Guy, Oct 18, 2015.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    NXIVM (pronounced Nexium) is a company led by Keith Raniere, and based in Albany County, New York.

    Here's some background. This article is from 2010:

    The Heiresses and the Cult | Vanity Fair

    To family friends, Seagram heiresses Sara and Clare Bronfman are victims of a frightening, secretive “cult” called NXIVM, which has swallowed as much as $150 million of their fortune. But the organization’s leader, Keith Raniere, seems also to have tapped into a complex emotional rift between the sisters and their father, billionaire philanthropist Edgar Bronfman Sr. The author investigates the accusations that are now flying — blackmail, perjury, forgery — in a many-sided legal war.

    The next two are from 2014:

    How a Strange, Secretive, Cult-like Company Is Waging Legal War Against Journalists | The Nation

    The lawsuit filed by the NXIVM company against a Vanity Fair writer and a local reporter invokes the same computer hacking law used against Aaron Swartz.

    Journalist on leave after tangle with secretive 'NXIVM' group | POLITICO

    Respected Albany reporter James Odato has taken a leave of absence from the city’s Times Union newspaper — a move that appears to be related to a lawsuit involving his in-depth coverage of a secretive personal development organization.

    For several years, the long-serving Times Union investigative journalist has produced a series of articles about the company, called NXIVM.

    Here are two articles that were published today:

    NXIVM Officials Exposed In Computer Hacking Court Case | Hacked News

    Recent court documents state that officials within the company hacked the computer of the late Edgar M. Bronfman Sr. According to court documents Bronfman’s daughter, Clare W. Bronfman implanted the key-stroke logger virus onto her father’s computer. The virus allowed officials within NXIVM to covertly monitor Edgar M. Bronfman’s email communications with clients, business associates and world leaders, including US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

    Claire W. Bronfman is the 36 year old heiress to the extensive Seagram Company business holdings. She is a horse ranch owner and the self -described NXIVM operations director. At the time of this article, she had not responded to the press with any comments. The virus allegedly implanted on her father’s computer monitored all his communications for about a year.

    Kristin Keeffe is the former NXIVM member making the allegations. She had stated that NXIVM officials engaged in various types of computer hacking and also plotted to have adversarial opponents of the corporation lured to Mexico, where they would be imprisoned. Keeffe parted ways from NXIVM in February 2014, but was known to have been tied to the corporate inner circle with Keith Raniere, NXIVM’s original founder.

    Continued here:

    Judge tosses NXIVM hacking lawsuit | Times Union

    Missed filing deadline sinks case against journalists, critics

    NXIVM has been mentioned previously in these threads:





    Here are some searches: Scientology
    • Like Like x 3
  2. DeathHamster Member
    Cross David Koresh with the skeeviest Pick-Up Artist, sprinkle on some LRH.

    Fuck that guy!

    • Like Like x 1
  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    DailyMailTV EXCLUSIVE - ' I think she's in danger': Catherine Oxenberg details how 'insane' cult has 'brainwashed' and 'branded' her 26-year-old daughter
    • Dynasty star Catherine Oxenberg told DailyMailTV on Friday that her 26-year-old daughter India has been 'brainwashed' by a cult
    • Oxenberg, 56, described NXIVM, the group her daughter is part of, as a cross between Scientology and Warren Jeffs' polygamist Mormon sect
    • India moved to Albany, New York last year where the group is headquartered
    • The last time her mother saw her was in May, when India flew home for a visit
    • When she saw how much weight her already thin daughter had lost, she confronted her about the group
    • 'I said, "You know you're brainwashed." And she said, "No, I'm not brainwashed." And she went on a plane that night,' Oxenberg said
    • Oxenberg learned from an ex-member that her daughter had been initiated into a secret society within the organization
    • Members are branded with the initials of leader Keith Raniere, are made to serve 'masters' and are kept on a strict 500- to 800-calorie-a-day diet, she said
    • 'Apparently [Raniere] was having sex with all of them,' Oxenberg said
    • Oxenberg says she thinks Raniere 'is a dangerous psychopath' and is speaking out in hopes of stopping the group from recruiting more people

    'A woman who had defected from the organization called me up out of the blue and she said there's this secret organization within the organization' that India had joined called DOS, Oxenberg said.

    'I think it stands for Dominant Over Slave. It's a master-slave kind of hierarchy. The master has five or six slaves and they have to recruit those six slaves. If they don't they're punished.

    'And they have to give damaging collateral, about themselves or their families. The purpose of this collateral is to have some form of leverage that would supposedly be revealed if they broke their word,' Oxenberg explained.

    More at
  4. The Wrong Guy Member

    Man accused of running secret sex society to be arraigned in NYC court. | WRGB


    The man accused on sex trafficking charges has been transported from Oklahoma to be arraigned in a Brooklyn court.

    Keith Raniere, the leader of NXIVM, was arrested in Mexico last month. He’s been accused of branding female followers as part of an initiation ceremony has been charged with sex-trafficking.

    Raniere left the United States last year after The New York Times reported some women who joined a secret sorority within his Albany-based group were branded with a symbol that included his initials, according to the Associated Press.

    A home in Halfmoon was raided back on March 27, tax rolls say the home belonged to Nancy Salzman, who, according to her own personal website and NXIVM's, is co-founder of the organization.

    Raniere is scheduled to be arraigned on April 13th.


  5. The Wrong Guy Member

    Smallville star Allison Mack pleads not guilty to trafficking after women say she forced them to become branded sex slaves in Nxivm cult by threatening to release compromising photos and steal their assets
    • Allison Mack was arrested by the FBI after a grand jury voted to indict her on two counts of sex trafficking and one of conspiracy to commit false labor
    • She was arraigned in federal court for the Eastern District of New York and will now join Nxivm founder Keith Rainere behind bars after pleading not guilty
    • Mack, 35, is also accused of knowingly and intentionally conspiring to provide and obtain the labor and services of a person .... by means of serious harm'
    • She would force women to become sex slaves after they joined the cult by threatening to drain their assets or release compromising photos claim docs
    • Once under her control, those women would be made to have sex with Raniere and get branded with Mack and Rainiere's initials
    • The Smallville star is facing life in prison if convicted on the charges, which the grand jury voted on after hearing testimony from two former cult members
  6. DeathHamster Member

    Smallville's Allison Mack was allegedly a 'top member' of cult that abused women April 22, 2018, Edward Helmore, The Guardian
    Nice to see a cult going down, but it's a shame that the press and law enforcement "get" a small sex cult, but have trouble with larger, more industrial abuse.
  7. She's coming across as a completely perverted woman with all the taking pics of women's private parts and the hands on breasts thing.
    It is something she's enjoying too much of or is it the brainwashing?

    Either way she's got nothing to smile about.
  8. Triumph Member

    Allison Mack Pitched Emma Watson, Kelly Clarkson to Join NXIVM Group Accused of Sex Trafficking

    Itay Hod
    The WrapApril 23, 2018
    Actress Allison Mack appears to have tried to recruit actress Emma Watson and “The Voice” judge Kelly Clarkson into a self-help group authorities say is a sex cult, according to several tweets first unearthed by Business Insider.
    Mack, best known for the superhero TV series “Smallville,” was arrested Friday for her involvement in the organization NXIVM. Her indictment follows that of NXIVM founder Keith Raniere, who was arrested in Mexico last month and has been charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and conspiracy to commit forced labor.
    In a statement Friday, U.S. attorney Richard P. Donoghue said that Mack recruited women for Raniere, and that the women were “exploited, both sexually and for their labor.” He said Mack, who was arrested in Brooklyn, New York, is accused of “directly or implicitly” requiring women “to engage in sexual activity with Raniere. In exchange for this, Mack received financial and other benefits from Raniere.”
    more @ link

  9. Her parents must be real proud of her.
  10. Triumph Member

    Tampa Tribune
    Smallville' actress granted bail in NXIVM case


    NEW YORK (AP) — An actress best known for playing a young Superman's friend has been granted bail while fighting charges that she helped recruit women into a cult-like group.
    A federal judge in Brooklyn agreed Tuesday to release Allison Mack on $5 million bond and place her under home detention in California. She'll be living with her parents.
    More @ link

  11. The Wrong Guy Member

    Former NXIVM Member Sarah Edmondson To Star In Documentary Series | Deadline


    EXCLUSIVE: NXIVM has been making headlines the past few weeks with the high-profile arrests of founder Keith Raniere and one of his top lieutenants, Smallville actress Allison Mack, on charges of sex trafficking as the so called self-help organization has been called by prosecutors a sex cult that has been keeping women as “slaves,” and branding them with Raniere’s initials.

    One of those branded women is Canadian actress Sarah Edmondson (Psych, Edgemont) who last fall became the first to speak out about the alleged abuse after a decade inside NXIVM along with her husband, Anthony Ames, a fellow actor and former Ivy-League Quarterback.

    Edmondson and Ames are now slated to headline a documentary TV series. Set against the ongoing legal drama involving the leaders of NXIVM, the series will follow the duo as they, under the guidance of renowned cult expert and deprogrammer Rick Alan Ross, head of the Cult Education Institute, work to reacclimate into society while also helping others (many of whom they had recruited) leave NXIVM and the DOS secret society within it, which the U.S. Attorney’s Office said operated with levels of women “slaves” headed by “masters.”

    Continued at

    Allison Mack Sex Cult, NXIVM, Is Getting a Documentary | Vulture

    Get ready for a documentary about the Allison Mack alleged sex cult | Mashable
  12. DeathHamster Member

    That's going to burn after they tried so hard to crush him.

    Legal papers: NXIVM officials probed finances of 6 federal judges, Senator Schumer, others September 20, 2015, Brendan J. Lyons, Albany Times Union
    • Like Like x 1
  13. Triumph Member

    Shira Weiss: NXIVM Sex Cult Leader’s Girlfriend Speaks

    “No one joins a cult thinking they’re joining a cult.”
    by SHIRA WEISS || Not many women can say they were the live-in love of a cult leader for eight years. Certainly not a charismatic leader who began a multilevel marketing company that would give rise to an unexpected subsidiary, a sexual slavery sorority fronting as an exclusive women’s empowerment group. Toni Natalie is unique in that sense. She is the ex-girlfriend of NXIVM’s Keith Raniere. Pronounced like “the purple pill” for heartburn, NXIVM (Nexium) began as an Albany, New York based company devoted to professional and personal development. In recent years, the group offered courses similar to what one can expect at the Scientology Center in Los Angeles. It is alleged that Richard Branson was among the celebrities to take some of those courses. At its outset in the early 1990s, the group was called Consumers Buyline – offering discounts on goods and services for paying members. Similar to an MLM like Amway, Consumers Buyline members received commission for amassing new members.

    Raniere was finally taken into custody last month after the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) began to focus on the charismatic leader’s horrifying tactics which included a branding ceremony as well as brainwashing and starving women.

  14. Triumph Member

  15. Nxivm studied and replicated Scientology.

    The Hollywood Reporter - Her Darkest Role: Actress Allison Mack's Descent From 'Smallville' to Sex Cult

    By Scott Johnson, Rebecca Sun

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Around 2009, one former member close to Raniere says that he actively tried to replicate Scientology's outreach tactics to improve the profile of ESP as a legitimate class. (While Scientology is recognized as a religion in many countries, including the U.S., Nxivm is not.) Nxivm had gotten some bad press that year and saw a wave of defections. Its website was shoddy, the marketing poor. "The group's leaders were studying Scientology and saying they wanted to be more like them — more visually appealing, more streamlined, more like the cool kids," says this former member. "And they wanted people who were attractive and compelling; that's why they went after people like Allison Mack." As Ross says, "She was the Tom Cruise of Nxivm."

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    We Spoke to the Man Who Blew the Whistle On Alleged Sex Cult Inside NXIVM | Vice News


    The story of alleged cult NXIVM has all the makings of a binge-worthy docuseries. A secretive leader who allegedly had women branded with his initials, wealthy heiresses who helped finance the organization, and a Hollywood actress accused of luring in fresh recruits.

    But before all that was public, back in 2007, NXIVM, correctly predicting in advance the firestorm of press that lurked ahead, hired Frank Parlato to help with its public relations.

    They hoped he might go after detractors of the group accusing it of being a cult. He ended up exposing the story that made the alleged cult famous: that it had a secret sorority that was branding female "slaves" with leader Keith Raniere's initials.

    "I turned on an instant and said this is more than a cult. This is a deadly cult. This is more than a kooky group. This is a crazy group, a criminally insane group and it's not just Raniere," Parlato said.

    Raniere and actress Allison Mack have since been arrested and face sex trafficking and forced labor charges. Both have pleaded not guilty. NXIVM denies its a cult and says it's working with the authorities to demonstrate Raniere's innocence.

    Their lawyers wouldn't comment for this piece.

    This segment originally aired May 16, 2018 on VICE News Tonight on HBO.
  17. Triumph Member

    'Cruel and Punitive': Allison Mack Allegedly Told Nxivm Women 'They Were Worth Nothing,' Report Says

    “These slaves said Mack was incredibly intimidating, cruel and punitive,” a source close to two former DOS members told The Hollywood Reporter in a cover story published last Wednesday. The source added that according to the former members, Mack allegedly threatened to release compromising materials she had gathered on the women if they refused sex with Raniere.
    “You made a lifetime vow!” the source alleged Mack screamed at the “slaves” at one point.
    “She berated them and told them they were worth nothing, that they were weak and couldn’t uphold their word,” the source alleged. Mack also allegedly threatened to destroy those who refused her orders, or those who dated other men, according to the source.
    • Like Like x 1
  18. She's one twisted sicko and to look at her butter wouldn't melt.
  19. I approve this message.
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    A Top Trump Aide Worked In Libya With Key Backers Of An Alleged "Sex Cult" | BuzzFeed News

    Joe Hagin saw Libyan expatriate Basit Igtet as a golden goose. Igtet was more than that.


    Joseph Whitehouse Hagin, President Donald Trump’s deputy chief of staff for operations, has a reputation for being the experienced, steady hand amid the chaos in the White House. The 62-year-old Republican has been a Washington insider for almost four decades, operating largely behind the scenes as the ultimate gray man.

    But Hagin put his dreary political life on pause during the Obama years for the world of international influence peddling. That business, the kind of money-soaked dealing Trump lacerated during his presidential campaign, made Hagin and a company he cofounded millions of dollars. It also brought Hagin a lucrative client: an aspiring Libyan expatriate politician with deep pockets and troubling relationships, according to five sources who spoke with BuzzFeed News.

    Basit Igtet, the Libyan client, was an exile eyeing a triumphant comeback at the dawn of the Arab Spring. Hagin and his firm worked with Igtet from 2011 until at least 2013: First, Hagin would help him build support for the rebel government that toppled Muammar al-Qaddafi, and later he and his colleagues would run an international treasure hunt to try to recover Libya’s stolen billions in exchange for a massive payoff for his firm, according to three sources.

    Igtet, however, had other interests outside recovering Libyan riches, including one at the center of a major sex-trafficking case. Igtet was deeply involved in NXIVM, the celebrity “sex cult” whose leadership is now under federal indictment, two sources said. Igtet proselytized for the group, BuzzFeed News has learned, while his wife, the heir Sara Bronfman, reportedly kept the cult afloat with tens of millions of dollars.

    And in 2013 — as Hagin’s future boss was railing against the Obama administration over the 2012 terrorist attack on the US embassy in Benghazi that killed a US ambassador — Igtet met with the man the US believed to be the mastermind of the attack, who has since been convicted on terrorism charges.

    But Hagin’s firm, seeing the chance to reap millions, viewed Igtet as a golden goose and continued to work with the couple even as their associations with NXIVM became increasingly public.

    Continued at

    One Of Trump's Top Aides Is Leaving The White House | BuzzFeed News

    The White House announced Joe Hagin's plan to leave government a day after a BuzzFeed News report.


    Joe Hagin, a top aide to President Donald Trump, will be leaving the White House next month, an announcement that comes a day after BuzzFeed News reported he had previously worked with key backers of an alleged "sex cult."

    Hagin, the deputy chief of staff for operations, played a key role in organizing the president's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore.

    "Joe Hagin has been a huge asset to my administration," Trump said in a statement Tuesday. He added that "We will miss him in the office and even more on the road."

    Hagin had been looking to leave the White House and was eyeing the vacant position of deputy director of the CIA, the Washington Post reported earlier this month. But Hagin is now planning to end his career in federal government and return to the private sector.

    Hagin, an alumnus of both Bush administrations, was seen by many in the Republican Party as the steady hand, given his experience. White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said in a statement Tuesday that Hagin "brought a level of expertise and institutional knowledge that is unrivaled" and he "made every day at the White House run smoother, better, and always more fun." But Trump loyalists increasingly viewed him with suspicion and thought he wasn't loyal enough to the president.

    His last day is expected to be July 6.

    Before he joined the administration, Hagin and a company he cofounded made millions of dollars working in Libya with a lucrative client: an aspiring Libyan expatriate politician with deep pockets and troubling relationships, BuzzFeed News reported Monday.

    The client, Basit Igtet, was deeply involved in NXIVM, the celebrity “sex cult” whose leadership is now under federal indictment, two sources said. Igtet proselytized for the group, while his wife, the heir Sara Bronfman, reportedly kept the cult afloat with tens of millions of dollars. Hagin's firm worked with Igtet from 2011 to at least 2013.

    Hagin told BuzzFeed News he knew of Igtet and Bronfman’s involvement in the organization while he worked with them, and had read about the group. “I remember reading about it,” he said, in a brief phone interview, “and stayed away from it.”

    Continued at
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    NXIVM suspending all operations | WTEN


    NXIVM announced it is suspending all operations until further notice.

    The Capital Region cult says it will be in touch with more information for anyone currently enrolled in upcoming events and programs.

    "While we are disappointed by the interruption of our operations, we believe it is warranted by the extraordinary circumstances facing the company at this time. We continue to believe in the value and importance of our work and look forward to resuming our efforts when these allegations are resolved."

    Actress Allison Mack, 35, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is facing trafficking charges for her involvement in NXIVM.

    Keith Raniere, 57, of Waterford, N.Y., is the leader of the cult that masquerades as a self-group, was arraigned on similar charges.

    According to NXIVM, the company's mission is to "raise human awareness, foster an ethical humanitarian civilization, and celebrate what it means to be human."


    Keith Raniere officially denied bail | WTEN


    Court documents indicate that Keith Raniere has been "officially" denied bail.

    The judge says he believes Raniere would be a flight risk, even if he could come up with the $10 million that his lawyers proposed.

    Raniere is being accused of running a sex cult and committing numerous crimes against women under the NXIVM umbrella.

    NXIVM has denied any wrongdoing.

    • Like Like x 1
  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Keith Raniere’s NXIVM “Sex Cult” Was Patent Pending

    How NXIVM’s founder exploited a common misconception about a tedious bureaucratic process to spread the gospel of his genius.

    By Kenzie Bryant, Vanity Fair, June 27, 2018


    In April, an odd wrinkle complicated the already odd story of NXIVM, the “Executive Success Program” in upstate New York that bills itself as a self-help consortium, but has telltale elements of cults and multi-level marketing schemes. The New York State licensing board charged Brandon Porter, an Albany-based doctor, for moral unfitness to practice medicine, negligence, gross incompetence, and more. He had administered something called a “fright study,” per a complaint filed by Jennifer Kobelt, a former NXIVM member, who claimed he showed her graphic content from films like the curb-stomping scene from American History X and the gang-rape scene from The Accused. The “study” culminated in ostensibly authentic footage of men dismembering four women with machetes. He allegedly filmed her reaction, all without her informed consent. Kobelt estimated Dr. Porter subjected “as many as 100” to the test (Dr. Porter’s lawyer did not respond to multiple requests for comment). His hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, June 27.

    While shocking, the methodology of those alleged “fright studies” have been available through a quick Google search for years. A patent filed in 2007 described, in almost unnecessarily specific detail, how “the Luciferian can be rehabilitated”: show a subject videos of gruesome things—snuff films, dismemberment, worse—and monitor how they react. A “Luciferian” is NXIVM’s preferred term for a type of sociopath, one with “severe behavioral problems that are masked by good psychological adjustment,” who, as described in the patent, “typically experiences pleasure or gratification in situations where ‘normal’ people would be repulsed or disturbed.” One former member speaking on condition of anonymity learned about such a person in a course called “the Fall” (as Lucifer took “the fall” in Milton’s Paradise Lost). She said they were meant to understand those who had left the organization as Luciferians, lost people for whom bad feels good, and good feels bad.

    The patent, officially titled “Determination of whether a Luciferian can be rehabilitated,” last amended in 2013, is still pending. Written in precise, elaborate language, with 17 figures illustrating the process, it is one of many patents filed by Keith Raniere, the recently indicted founder of NXIVM.

    A self-proclaimed genius, Raniere tried to convey an air of intelligence and infallibility, and for many, it worked. In interviews, former devotees recalled being persuaded by his clear vision of the world and apparent intellect and were told he spent much of his days inventing. His patents, which range from a simple “find my iPhone”-type device to a sleep-guidance system, played a subtle, but vital role in NXIVM. For an aspiring movement leader aiming to build credibility, they were fundamental building blocks.

    The tenets of NXIVM (pronounced nex-ee-um), and its women’s empowerment offshoot Jness (pronounced juh-ness), can be difficult to hold in one’s head all at once, in part because, like Scientology and multi-level marketing schemes, it subjected members to different dogma depending on their level of involvement. Prior to Raniere’s arrest in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, in March, and the arrest of his alleged lieutenant and main recruiter, actress Allison Mack, a month later, members had started coming forward with difficult (alleged) stories to tell—like how a doctor branded women with Raniere and Mack’s initials and recruits played “slaves” to their “masters.” Raniere and Mack are both awaiting trial on sex-trafficking charges (both have pleaded not guilty, and one of Raniere’s lawyers, Paul DerOhannesian, told Vanity Fair, “Many independent, smart, curious adult women participated in a search for happiness, fulfillment, and meaning exercising the freedom of choice enjoyed by every United States citizen. The prosecution advances an adventuresome legal theory without precedent to assert the emotionally charged crime of ‘sex-trafficking.’” His lawyer Marc Agnifilo added, “Mr. Raniere will fight these groundless charges and will prevail.” He could not comment on the patents.).

    As more layers are peeled away from the decades-old organization, the convictions of its founder have become the subject of increasing speculation and reporting. But the patent applications that Raniere has filed since 2000 have been available on Google through much of the group’s existence. They open up a window into the mind of the man the group called “Vanguard,” a man who used the dry bureaucracy of the patent and trademark system to build a theater of expertise and authority for his followers.

    “Rational Inquiry,” the behavioral therapy at the center of NXIVM’s public-facing work, is almost always described as a “patent-pending technology” in company literature. Raniere’s bio says he has “147 international patents, including 47 in the United States, in a variety of technical fields.” The claim is debatable. V.F. found about 40 U.S. applications, a little over half of which were granted (applications aren’t made public until after 18 months, so it’s possible he had more to come). Yet this stat comes first in his list of credentials, before his degrees or his books. Not all of them are Luciferian rehabilitation instructionals. In fact, most seem benign, if baffling, like the “Sleep guidance system and related methods” or “Apparatus and method for preventing a vehicle from running out of fuel.” Taken together, the patents are meant to convey that we have a great intellect—and a benevolent one—on our hands.

    One former member, speaking on condition of anonymity, said that patents were “always a conversational piece” among members. They “were touted all the time as, not just what is he working on, but why is he great and why is he so amazing. He’s so humanitarian that he’s building all of these things to help the world.” She gave the example of a type of splint or cast which he developed after hearing a member’s parent had broken a leg, the “Combination wound and injury treatment apparatus.”

    “You hear that and you’re like, ‘Oh my god, not only is he one of the smartest people in the world, he’s using that for good, and in such a diverse field,’” she said. “To hear that he’s helped someone’s parent he knows because he wanted to out of the goodness of his heart? . . . It made me think of him even more altruistically and made me think of him as just someone who devotes his thoughts and energy towards individuals, whether they ask or not. He just knows that they need help, so he does.”

    He filed the patent for the special cast in 2013 and it’s still pending, but that didn’t matter to members. “Patent pending” was a phrase bandied about by those in NXIVM’s highest ranks, and the former follower recalled that it was placed at the bottom of many of the E.S.P. curriculum sheets. She explained, “We took [it] to mean that patent is in effect, he has been proven, this is his invention, you know?” But “patent pending” is an oft-misunderstood concept in the public, not just among NXIVM members; the phrase simply means the patent is in review. Virtually anyone with some know-how of the system can file an application that’s deemed “patent pending.” But even when the U.S.P.T.O. granted patents to Raniere for his inventions (which they did for over 20), it shouldn’t necessarily be considered proof of brilliance, according to Daniel Nazer, attorney and Mark Cuban Chair to Eliminate Stupid Patents at the Electronic Frontier Foundation. Nazer said, “If your whole shtick is going around and convincing people that you’re this genius, then the patent system is a way to buttress that. Because [the United States Patent and Trademark Office] will hand out nonsense to people like Keith Raniere.”


    Jeff Trexler, lawyer and associate director of the Fashion Law Institute, puts it another way. “Let’s strip it down to the basics. He’s just a guy, alright? He’s just a guy. You have to think about how you’re going to accumulate authority when you don’t have an authority structure giving it to you.”

    Trexler, who also received a PhD in American Religious History from Duke University, was struck by an overlap in Raniere’s patent habits with those of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. “What L. Ron Hubbard realized—and what Keith realized—is that when you accumulate patents you’re not just accumulating assets,” Trexler said. “It’s a rhetorical move. It’s a way of saying, ‘Look, [the] United States government has looked at me and says that I am an original thinker, I’m a scientific thinker, I am authority. You need to believe me.’”

    Hubbard was not as extensively familiar with the patent office as Raniere, but it was an early interest. In 1966, the E-Meter, the device Scientologists use in auditing, the organization’s question-and-answer sessions that promises to deliver some kind of spiritual relief, was patented. Scientology is recognized as a religion in the U.S., while NXIVM is not, and literature on the Scientology site makes it clear that the E-meter is intended as a “religious artifact used as a spiritual guide in auditing.”

    Hubbard’s successor, David Miscavige, holds a now-expired patent for a lavalier microphone assembly, and Raniere went through an audio phase, applying for “System for videotaping and recording a musical group” (granted) and “Method and device for analyzing resonance” (pending) and “Method on indexing a recordable event from a video recording and searching a database of recordable events on a hard drive of a computer for a recordable event” (pending).

    NXIVM reportedly attempted to attract co-eds with A Cappella Innovations, a festival for college-student groups held in Albany, New York, near NXIVM’s home base. It dispatched recruiters including Mack to M.C. The attempt was unsuccessful, a former member told T.H.R. College kids were too wary.

    While NXIVM has not become the next Scientology in terms of scale, the groups have some common threads: the levels within the organization; the appeal to celebrity. For its part, Scientology said through a spokesperson that there’s “no connection or similarity between the Scientology religion and the NXIVM group. This notion was invented by the media to garner headlines and create controversy. Unfortunately this race for clickbait is done at the expense of members of our religion. Stories you have seen in the media which make this comparison are simply propaganda and have no basis in fact.”

    Raniere did borrow some terms from Scientology like “suppressives,” or those who impede progress up the doctrine ladder. Its higher-ups allegedly wanted to replicate Scientology’s outreach tactics, and tried to streamline the marketing so it was “cool,” according to The Hollywood Reporter. The improbably named Rick Ross, the “cult de-programmer” who has been tracking Raniere for years, told T.H.R., “[Mack] was the Tom Cruise of NXIVM.”

    “The problem is when there are a lot of people trying to do this and not all of them have the same talent level. L. Ron Hubbard was a master. I mean, he was really good at what he did. This organization has lived and continues to grow well after his death,” Trexler said, saying that Raniere is more of a failed multi-level marketer, rather than a movement maker.

    More at
  23. The Wrong Guy Member

  24. Ex-NXIVM student says: “Scientology terms and concepts were being used daily and frequently in the vocabulary and activity, minute by minute.”

    I do not know if the following is accurate. However, as I recall, the Frank Report did a lot of the early reporting on NXIVM.

    Frank Report: Ex-NXIVM Student: The good in NXIVM was the greatness of Nancy Salzman; when she disintegrated, NXIVM fell to pieces

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *


    However, I was in a good position to observe danger because I had left Scientology before that, so I recognized many things that had been directly lifted from Scientology.

    I mean right out of it. Scientology terms and concepts were being used daily and frequently in the vocabulary and activity, minute by minute. In fact, at times, it was a constant déjà vu!

    I asked several teachers about this, but in each case the fact that Keith had used Scientology material was denied. I had no idea if the teachers knew that the material wasn’t original or not.

    When the source was lied about, I knew it was all fishy.

    I saw no bad being done with the material that was taken from Scientology, but that it was being passed off as original was absurd. The exact vocabulary, word use and definitions were often word-by-word from the printed materials in Scientology. Not even an attempt to disguise it!

    I observed some Nxivm members raising their children in a manner similar to Scientology also, in which the children were being treated as adults and being demanded to have adult type responsibilities, and not kindly at that; rather with a strict heartlessness.

    Some say Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard also lifted material and claimed it was original too.

    I found it interesting, but surely knew by the end of the first 5-day intensive, that Keith was claiming he invented the “tech” when he patently had not and instead had directly lifted it from my prior cult leader, L Ron Hubbard!


    There were several new cults created from Scientology materials, such as EST, Landmark, primal scream, and relive birth therapy, gestalt, role playing, hospital procedures of silence during operations and on and on.

    To me, Nxivm was just another practice taken from Scientology, but quite intriguing.


    One can see Nancy’s exceptionally high humanity life force in the recordings, something she would no longer be able to do, and something that Keith could NEVER EVER have begun to create.

    I have often wished I could own her recordings, to this day, in particular, I would wish to own Nancy’s recording about Supressives that is given in the first five days of the intensives offered.

    Yes, it is taken directly from Ron Hubbard. But she explains it better than anyone ever has, even better than Ron Hubbard did.

    Both Scientology and Nxivm totally misused the information about Supressives and both groups, Scientology and Nxivm, have used the concept of “Suppressive” terribly destructive litigating ways.


    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *

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