Publicly available information, numerous sources, and common sense inform me as to at least some of the crimes Bronfman-Raniere likely committed.
Whether or not the FBI is investigating these crimes is not for me to say. I have reported Bronfman-Raniere crimes to law enforcement for years – and like others – I have been ignored. The tipping point may have been branding.
The New York Times and Albany Times Union report that the NXIVM investigation is under the supervision of the U.S. Department Of Justice’s staff in the Eastern District of New York.
Here is Part 4 of crimes I previously reported to law enforcement – long before the cult became better known via the New York Times etc.
In addition to branding women and using blackmail worthy material, Keith Raniere uses a trusted circle of female followers to convince women to have “secret” sexual relationships in return for doing business with NXIVM and/or getting more advanced teachings.
There are women who could truthfully testify that they were told they couldn’t stay in business with Raniere unless they were intimately involved with him.
Under New York Penal law, § 135.60, a person is guilty of coercion in the second degree when they:
- Compels or induces a person to engage in conduct which the latter has a legal right to abstain from engaging in, OR compels or induces a person to join a group, organization or criminal enterprise which such latter person has a right to abstain from joining, by means of instilling in him or her a fear that, if the demand is not complied with, the actor or another will cause
- physical injury, or
- accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against him or her, or,
- expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule.
As an example, Lauren Salzman [Raniere’s top lieutenant] induced Sarah Edmondson to join the secret sorority with promises that initially were non-coercive to Edmondson.
Edmondson then provided potentially damaging and compromising collateral in the form of a nude photograph and a letter, which she gave to Lauren Salzman, a NXIVM and ESP member and her immediate supervisor.
Edmondson did not know that she would be branded and what was to follow. Following this tender of collateral, Edmondson flew to Albany, New York, where she consented to receive a small tattoo as part of the initiation into the top secret sorority of sorts.
Instead of receiving a tattoo, she received a hot-iron brand that consisted of the initials of Raniere and Allison Mack.
Later, Edmondson left the group despite her fear that by not complying with continuous demands of the top secret sorority, her collateral would be released.
While Edmondson may not have been coerced into joining (that’s an interesting legal question), she was coerced into staying, as she feared her collateral would be exposed. Indeed, NXIVM did accuse her of a crime, and did file charges against her after she left.
The crime of Coercion in the First Degree may have been committed under these alleged circumstances.
New York Penal law 135.65 is the same as coercion in the second degree, but additionally requires the perpetrator to
- compel or induce the victim to…cause or attempt to cause physical injury to a person.
Edmondson and other women were never told they would receive a brand and, in most cases, they only consented to a tattoo. This “surprise” came after they provided compromising, personal information to a NXIVM/ESP member.
This branding – plus the subsequent severe calorie-restricted diet that is imposed on all DOS members – constitute a physical injury to women. The branding was sprung on them in a coercive setting, where they were naked and under fear of having their collateral released to the general public.
Each woman in DOS were required to recruit six new slaves. They were placed on extremely low-calorie diets (500-800 calories per day), which have reportedly led to a host of health issues for the female group members.
This obviates willing consent.
For example, because a woman’s collateral was in the hands of certain NXIVM members, and because she feared the consequences of exposure of the collateral, she may have recruited or attempted to recruit new women to the sorority, thereby causing or attempting to cause those women physical injury by branding and a starvation diet. The newly-recruited women, in turn, were coerced into compliance with the diet, and recruiting other women into a potentially endless cycle of branding, proffering collateral, and starvation diets.