NXIVM founder Keith Raniere says he fears he will be ‘killed’ in prison and describes his ‘dangerous situation’ in recorded messages from jail
NXIVM sex cult leader Keith Raniere claims his life ‘may not be long’ and fears he will be killed in prison.
Raniere, 60, was sentenced to 120 years behind bars for running the cult from 1998 and currently resides at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center.
But as the prospect of being moved in with the general population of a maximum-security prison looms, he explained to journalist Frank Parlato, of the Frank Report, that he fears for his life due to his ‘dangerous situation’.
The Bureau of Prisons is in the process of arranging Raniere’s permanent placement where he will serve his sentence for a long list of offences, including sex trafficking of children and conspiracy to commit forced labor.
Frank Parlato, who is said to have played a crucial role in destroying the sex cult, shared a series of phone call transcripts in which Raniere details his concerns.
Keith Raniere, 60, (pictured) currently resides at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center while the Bureau of Prisons arranges his permanent placement
Raniere told Frank Parlato in a series of recordings that he fears if he is moved from Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center (pictured) in with the general population of a maximum-security prison he will be killed
Frank Parlato (pictured), who is said to have played a crucial role in destroying the sex cult, shared a series of phone call transcripts in which Raniere details his concerns
In one of the recordings he claims a man who is ‘notorious for being vicious’ and said to be involved with the Latin Kings or MS-13 gangs, has told various people that he plans to have Raniere killed.
‘He’s been vicious to even his own family, vicious to anyone where he doesn’t get his way. In a way, he’s seen as a tyrant.
He’s seen as someone who has so much money and so much power, he can always get whatever he wants.’
Raniere continued: ‘He told various people he would put as much money as necessary, literally hundreds of millions of dollars to have me put in jail for the rest of my life, to have me killed, to have me destroyed. To have me, whatever… the worst thing you can imagine.’
Speaking about the future, he predicts he will not live for long if he is put in with the general population in a maximum security prison – something he claims he was warned about years ago.
‘Yeah, I’m looking, you know, I’ll be in here the rest of my life if we don’t do something.
Raniere told Parlato that someone many years ago warned he would be killed, something he fears will happen if he is moved from Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center (pictured) and put in with general population in a maximum security prison
The NXIVM cult leader was sentenced to 120 years behind bars after a dramatic hearing where he was confronted by 15 of his victims
A court sketch of Raniere in June 2019 when he was convicted of seven counts including child porn and sex trafficking
‘The rest of my life may not be that long. Considering the way things are in here, you know, once I get to a destination point, I guess I’ll go to a pen.’
While a judge has not handed Raniere a death penalty sentence, he suggests being sent to penitentiary is a death penalty.
‘Over the next month to two months is a real countdown for me, because once they designate me and either ship me off to the Supermax or ship me off to a pen, things become dangerous for me. And you guys may never get to speak to me again, for all I know.’
Late last month a court heard how the cult-like group kept women on starvation diets, branded them with his initials, and ordered them to have sex with him.
In court, 15 women gave impact statements. Among them were former girlfriends of Raniere and former victims. They labeled him a ‘parasite’ and a ‘psychological terrorist’.
Raniere branded the women who were part of DOS – a sub sect of NXIVM – with his initials
While a judge has not handed Raniere a death penalty sentence, he suggests being sent to penitentiary is a death penalty
Raniere’s lawyers asked that he be sentenced to 15 years. But after telling the judge he had ‘no remorse’ for the crimes because he ‘didn’t commit them’, Judge Nicholas Garaufis handed down the sentence that means he will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Branding Raniere ‘ruthless and unyielding’ in crimes that were ‘particularly egregious’ because he targeted girls and young women, Judge Garaufis said: ‘To him, the brave victims… are liars. Mr. Raniere remains unmoved. … [He] has therefore failed to demonstrate remorse.’
He handed down the unusually high sentence in federal court in Brooklyn after hearing anguished statements by victims of a sex-trafficking conspiracy that resulted in Raniere’s conviction last year, along with unrepentant remarks from the defendant himself.
‘I do believe I am innocent of the charges. … It is true I am not remorseful of the crimes I do not believe I committed at all,’ Raniere said.
Fifteen women gave victim impact statements in court. Among them were former girlfriends of Raniere and former victims. They labeled him a ‘parasite’ and a ‘psychological terrorist’
Raniere receiving a white sash from the Dalai Lama in Albany, New York, in 2009
Raniere founded NXIVM in Albany, New York, in 1998 and between then and 2017, recruited more than 17,000 people to it, promising them self-help.
But within the secretive organization there was an even more clandestine sub-sect which he was the master of.
Named DOS, the sub-sect involved women being his sexual slaves and submitting themselves entirely to his control.
They were branded with his initials, starved, sleep deprived and forced to engage in group sex and blackmailed with ‘collateral’ they had provided in the form of incriminating photos, videos or information about them or their families.
Raniere also punished young women including a teenager who prosecutors said he held in a room for two years as punishment because she’d shown a romantic interest in another man.
A TIMELINE OF NXIVM
1998: NXIVM is founded
Raniere founded Nxivm with Nancy Salzman, a psychiatric nurse. It was designed to be a self-help group and was based out of Albany, New York.
Executive Success Programs, Inc., was another name for the courses. Raniere had, until then, tried and failed multiple times to launch his own business.
He’d grown up in Suffern, New York, with divorced parents, one of whom worked in advertising.
After graduating from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, upstate New York, in 1982 then tried his hand at marketing before launching Nxivm.
At the time he founded the organization, he was in a relationship with Toni Natalie, the woman who introduced him to Salzman. Natalie later recalled Salzman becoming enthralled with Raniere, as many other women who met him did.
2002 Bronfmans recruited
One of the turning points in the cult came in 2002 when Salzman and Raniere recruited members of the influential Bronfman family.
The Bronfmans come from the Seagram liquor empire and are heiresses to billions.
According to his indictment, Raniere tricked Clare Bronfman into giving him millions over the years.
Her sister, Sara, was not as enthusiastically involved. It was through the Bronfman sisters that the first signs of trouble in Nxivm emerged.
In 2003, Clare told their father that she’d loaned Nxivm $2million. He became suspicious and publicly accused Raniere of running a cult in a Forbes article.
For the next several years, they tried to legitimize themselves with wholesome associations, all the while running the cult of sexual servitude to Raniere behind closed doors.
In 2009, the Dalai Lama even appeared on stage with Raniere at an event in Albany, NY.
2011 – Allison Mack and India Oxenberg recruited
In 2011, actresses Allison Mack and India Oxenberg became some of the newest recruits to the group.
Mack rose through the ranks quickly and grew close to Raniere, who was referred to as the ‘Vanguard’ to cult members.
2015 – DOS is created
DOS was the name given to the secret, sub-sect within the cult that involved women being branded with Raniere’s initials and having to perform sexual servitude.
Oxenberg has told in the past how she was enslaved to Mack. Part of the ‘discipline’ training was controlling how many calories people ate.
She would have to ask permission for when she could eat, she has since revealed.
Raniere’s indictment refers to DOS as the a ‘pyramid’.
‘DOS operates as a pyramid with levels of ‘slaves’ headed by ‘masters.’ Slaves are expected to recruit slaves of their own (thus becoming masters themselves), who in tum owe service not only to their own masters but also to masters above them in the DOS pyramid.
‘Raniere alone forms the top of the pyramid as the highest master. Other than Raniere, all participants in DOS are women. Raniere’s status as head of the pyramid was concealed from all newly recruited slaves, other than those directly under Raniere,’ it reads.
2017 – Investigation launched after former members speak out
The Department of Justice started probing Raniere in 2017 after some of its former members made contact to share information about DOS.
He moved from Albany, NY, to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
March 2018: Raniere is arrested in his villa in Mexico
April 2018: Allison Mack is arrested in Brooklyn
July 2018: Clare Bronfman is arrested in New York City
April 2019: Bronfman and Mack both plead guilty to racketeering. Bronfman has been sentenced but Mack has not yet
June 2019: Raniere is found guilty on all counts
October 2020: Raniere is sentenced