NXIVM mastermind Keith Raniere was found guilty on all seven charges relating to his role as leader of NXIVM and DOS – the off-shoot sex cult where Raniere sat at the top of the pyramid of his sex slaves.
During closing arguments, Raniere’s lawyer, Marc Agnifilo, denied that DOS was a cult or Raniere was a cult leader.
Regarding claims that Raniere branded DOS slaves with his initials, forced them to send close-up pictures of their genitals as blackmail, and coerced them into having sex with him, Agnifilo specified: “The conduct, looked at objectively, is pretty out there. But that doesn’t make it a crime.”
Of Raniere’s “out there” behavior and actions with NXIVM, Agnifilo said, “This is just his lifestyle”. Agnifilo suggested DOS was intended to help and support women instead of manipulate and abuse them.
Agnifilo stressed that Raniere’s “disgusting” behavior wasn’t illegal and that just because something seemed strange didn’t make it lawless.
However, Raniere’s illicit and shady misdoings saw him tying up a NXIVM slave and humiliating her during a sexual assault.
Meeting up for simple midnight walks with Raniere, a woman who was only identified by her first name, Nicole, says that it took a sudden turn when Raniere took her to an empty house and was ordered to get undressed while he commented on her body.
From there, Nicole was told to get dressed and put on two blindfolds with Raniere leading her to a car, and driving her to an unknown location 10 minutes away.
“He took me through the woods because I remember branches breaking under my feet,” Nicole said, saying she “imagined [the location] was a small cabin but I don’t know.”
Inside the cabin, Raniere told her to undress and get on the table before tying her hands and feet with cloth. On the table, Nicole said she began to feel somebody perform oral sex on her as Raniere walked around the table and asked her sexually-implicit questions.
After, Raniere helped Nicole get dressed and led her back to the car to go back to the original house they had come from. Once the blindfolds were off, Raniere told her “nothing bad had just happened”.
Allegedly, Allison Mack also starved “Dynasty” star Catherine Oxenberg’s daughter, India. According to Nicole, Mack kept India on a 500-calorie-a-day diet and even threatened to starve her further because Nicole was close friends with Oxenberg’s daughter.
Raniere, who will serve life in prison for his charges, operated a manipulative, depraved sex cult since 1998, lurking in the shadows and recruiting unwitting women for his pyramid scheme. The five other co-defendants in the case have pleaded guilty.
Unsurprisingly, it seems that, a jury did not agree with the notion that Raniere’s “odd” behavior was merely innocent and harmless, instead seeing the toxic and horrid details for what they were – a psychopath attempting to bend and manipulate vulnerable people at the fringes of society, attempting to skirt the law indefinitely.