Keith Raniere, the mastermind behind the NXIVM organization that recruited women as sex slaves, is going to jail. He’s been found guilty of racketeering, sex trafficking, forced labor, and more.
A jury in Brooklyn federal court found Keith Raniere, 58, guilty on June 19 after less than five hours of deliberations. The NXIVM founder and leader of the Upstate New York sex cult was convicted of racketeering and other counts, according to the New York Post. Keither reportedly mumbled under his breath as the foreperson read aloud all seven guilty verdicts, but the Post states he didn’t show any other emotion during as he learned his fate. However, Catherine Oxenberg, 57, the former Dynasty star who was one of the first people who drew attention to NXIVM after it ensnared her daughter, wept openly during the entire proceedings while sitting in the back of the courtroom.
Keith will be sentenced on Sept. 25. Since being convicted of racketeering, he could never breathe the air of a free man, as that charge alone could put him away for life. Add on the six other guilty charges — racketeering conspiracy, sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, attempted sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy, and wire fraud conspiracy – and it’s apparent that this former “self-help guru” will be locked away for a very, very long time. Keith, who was referred to as “Grandmaster” and “Vanguard” by his slaves, did not testify during the seven-week-long trial.
“Over the last seven weeks, this trial has revealed that Raniere, who portrayed himself as a savant and a genius, was in fact a massive manipulator, a con man and the crime boss of a cult-like organization involving sex trafficking, child pornography, extortion compelled abortions, branding, degradation, and humiliation,” Brooklyn US Attorney Richard Donoghue said outside the courthouse once the verdict was read. “The evidence proved that Raniere was truly a modern-day Svengali.”
Within the NXIVM organization, Keith ran a secret society called DOS (“Dominant Over Submissive”) in which women were tasked with recruiting other women as sex slaves. Those ensnarled within this organization were routinely starved, branded like cattle with Keith’s initials, and forced to engage in sexual acts with Keith, according to testimony. Other members of the organization were charged alongside with NXIVM’s founder: the organization’s president, Nancy Salzman; her daughter, Lauren Salzman; Smallville actress Allison Mack; and Claire Bronfman, the Seagram liquor heiress who has financed NXIVM for years. They have all pleaded guilty for their parts in this cult.
Keith was arrested in Mexico in March 2018. Allison Mack, considered a higher-up in the NXIVM organization, was apprehended a month later and charged with racketeering conspiracy and one count of racketeering (including extortion and forced labor.)
“I hope the arrest of Ms. Mack will continue to expose what NXIVM is — a dangerous cult — and the members, including my daughter, will come to that realization and find their way back to their loved ones,” Catherine Oxenberg, who first spoke out against NXIVM in 2017 after the cult recruited her daughter, India Oxenberg, 28, told HollywoodLife after Alison’s arrest. The former Smallville actress pleaded guilty in April 2019. She faces up to 20 years in prison.