Sir Richard Branson endorsed Raniere; now denies knowing him

The terrifying sex-slaver NXIVM cult held seminars on Sir Richard Branson’s Necker Island in hope of ‘recruiting him into the organisation.

Sir Richard says he does not remember them.

Part of the reason they staged NXIVM seminars on Necker was NXIVM  hoped to recruit Branson into the organisation.  Branson would have been the biggest score they ever had – a billionaire businessman.

Several group members, including co-founder Nancy Salzman, Allison Mack, Kristin Kreuk, Emiliano Salinas and others went to Necker for two seminars in 2007 and 2010.  They partied hard with Branson too.

NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, now being held without bail in the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, on charges of sex trafficking and forced labor, did not attend either Necker Island trip.

Sara and her sister Clare are rabidly devoted followers of NXIVM.

One of Raniere’s co-conspirator’s, “Smallville” actress Allison Mack was indicted along with Raniere on Friday. Both face a minimum 15 years in federal prison if convicted.

Sources say that Clare Bronfman – who may also be indicted soon – is now head of the sex slaver cult with Raniere and Mack in jail.

Branson was never a member of the cult but he did endorse one of Raniere’s events in 2009 permitting his name and a quotation attributed to him to be used in connection with Raniere and his foundation, the World Ethical Foundations Consortium.

The Branson endorsement said this about Raniere’s teachings:

“The tools you have for compassionately dealing with complex ethical and global issues are not only unique, but also extremely valuable. This, along with a program of coordinated, organized resources, makes for an innovative approach to transforming our society. I think your founding event will be extraordinary and potentially world changing!  —Sir Richard Branson Founder, Virgin Group

Federal authorities allege Clare Bronfman orchestrated sending threatening letters to defecting slaves who tried to escape the cult. In doing so, Bronfman posed as a Mexican attorney, issuing “cease and desist” letters.

Branson’s friendship apparently was closer to sex-slave financier, Sara Bronfman, Clare’s sister.

Branson with sex slaver Keith Raniere’s major financiers, Sara Bronfman. The two cuddle on Necker Island during a gathering of sex slave members.


Although Branson may have been unaware of the abuses Raniere’s cult followers suffered, or the sinister inner-cult practices, the “ethical tools” Branson lauded Raniere for employing were in reality fleecing members’ funds by holding himself out to be the world’s smartest man; charging high costs for “intensives,” multi-day courses where members were sleep deprived, placed on semi-starvation diets and hypnotized; and forcing members into unpaid labor and tawdry sex episodes to satisfy debts owed to the cult, and Raniere’s sexual perversions.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

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