In the second amended complaint, an allegation is made concerning plaintiff Maja Miljkovic.
Maja is one of 44 consumer fraud plaintiffs who claim they suffered financial and emotional harm and were placed “at risk of serious psychological injury” by taking NXIVM courses.
Maja’s complaint goes further. She alleges that the NXIVM defendants “forced” her to seduce a man and marry him.
If Maja’s allegations are true, she is a victim. There is another victim, the man who was seduced and tricked into marriage.
The defendants in the lawsuit are Keith Raniere, Nancy Salzman, Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack, Nicki Clyne, Karen Unterreiner, Kathy Russell, Lauren Salzman, Brandon Porter, Danielle Roberts, and Sara Bronfman.
The complaint does not state which defendants allegedly forced Maja to seduce and marry a man or how they forced her to do it.
The Complaint Alleges:
Defendants… took advantage of community members’ fears of failing and being separated from the community, pressuring them to enter into fraudulent marriages.
For example, when Maja Miljkovic found herself this exact circumstance, Defendants forced her to seduce a member of the NXIVM community and marry him so that she might obtain a green card.
In this way, Defendants supposedly “saved” her from having to leave the community, for which she would be forever indebted to the Defendants.
However, after a visit home, Maja Miljkovic realized how badly the marriage would complicate her life and, instead of filing an application for permanent resident status, ended the marriage and remained in her home country.”
In short, it is alleged that defendants:
- exploited Maja’s fears
- forced her to seduce a NXIVM member
- forced her to marry him to get a green card
- expected her to be thankful
- seduced the NXIVM member
- married the NXIVM member
- went back to ‘visit’ her “home country.”
- thought better of being married
- did not apply for a green card
- ended the marriage
Maja’s “home country” is Canada. She lived in Vancouver, where she had been recruited into NXIVM in 2013, and took courses before coming to Albany in 2014.
She wanted to visit Albany to take more NXIVM courses and participate in several new projects Raniere created.
In early 2014, Maja entered the US on a visitor visa which permitted her to stay for six months. Maja was not a member of DOS. This occurred before DOS started. She did not give anyone collateral. She was not branded. She does not claim she had sex with Raniere or that she was anyone’s slave in NXIVM.
While in Albany, she took classes and participated in Ultima, a project Raniere was restarting with offshoot projects, including The Knife of Aristotle and Exo-Eso. Maja was reportedly on the founding development team for The Source, another Raniere project.
The complaint alleges that the NXIVM defendants tried to persuade her not to return to Vancouver and exploited her fears and vulnerabilities. It also alleges that “Defendants forced her to seduce a member of the NXIVM community”.
Forced to Seduce?
While in Albany, Maja attracted the attention of a NXIVM member. I will refer to him as John Doe since he is an alleged victim of seduction and fraudulent marriage.
John Doe told Frank Report he was attracted to Maja and asked her on a date. During the summer of 2014, they dated for two months.
Doe also told Frank Report that he did not believe Maja was “forced to seduce” him. He wanted to be intimate with her.
It has been said that classic seduction is when you make the seduced believe they are the seducer.
His denial of her forced seduction of him might be cognitive dissonance since no victim wants to think someone was forced to have sex with them.
The complaint does not allege Maja gave anyone collateral, the thing that turned seemingly voluntary acts by the women of DOS into sex trafficking and forced labor in the criminal trial of Keith Raniere.
Collateral made anything the DOS women did into a crime, even if they said they were happy since they feared the release of their collateral and had to pretend they were happy.
But Maja does not allege she gave collateral. Was there something else they had that made her claim she was forced to sleep with a man to trick him into marriage?
The lawsuit suggests her “fear of failing” and the desire not to be separated from the NXIVM community forced her to seduce and marry someone.
Forced to Marry?
John Doe said that when Maja’s visitor visa was about to expire, she declared she was going home to Vancouver.
Some of the defendants and others in NXIVM encouraged her to stay, make NXIVM her career, and continue learning and growing from the NXIVM techniques.
Doe wanted her to stay also, for, he said, he was “really into her” and dreamt she might be the right one for him.
The complaint says, “the defendants forced her to… marry him so that she might obtain a green card. In this way, Defendants supposedly ‘saved’ her from having to leave the community, for which she would be forever indebted to the Defendants.”
Doe claims she was not forced to marry him. He said he proposed to her, not vice versa, and he was sincere about marriage.
Where Did They Marry?
The complaint could be easily interpreted to suggest they got married in Albany.
The complaint reads, “after a visit home, Maja Miljkovic realized how badly the marriage would complicate her life and, instead of filing an application for permanent resident status, ended the marriage and remained in her home country.”
The complaint confused her leaving the US after her visitor visa expired to go to Vancouver as “a visit home.”
She did not get married to Doe in Albany and then visit home. When she left Albany, she was not married. She was not visiting home. She lived in Vancouver, some 3,000 miles from Albany, where the defendants lived.
Doe thought Maja loved him. He came to her, and they married in August 2014 in Vancouver.
Wedding Day Ended the Marriage
What happened on the day they married is something that may come out during the trial.
Whether Maja got married thinking she was under duress or thought she would use Doe to get a green card, or something else, she wed the man who traveled thousands of miles to marry her.
Whether Doe saw another side of Maja and he had to face the reality that she did not love him, or whether Maja decided to stop the deception and break free of the coercion of NXIVM, Doe said he knew that it was over on the day they married.
On a day that should be one of joy for bride and groom, as he expected it to be with his new wife, she made it clear to him that she considered the marriage a sham. They were not to live together, as husband and wife, for even a day.
He wanted an annulment. Annulments are usually challenging to obtain in British Columbia, except in cases where the marriage was forced or when one of the partners is unable or unwilling to have sex. Doe and Maja got divorced.
Is It Force?
As this civil case proceeds, it will be interesting to see evidence of how Maja was forced to seduce and marry Doe.
Was Doe, who was used in this scheme, a victim of NXIVM, Maja, or both?
Maja will likely be challenged on the legal standard of what a ‘reasonable person’ would do under the same circumstances.
In law, force usually means physical force, as in violence, or compelling someone to do something against their will by physical means. I am interested in learning how Maja’s actions with Doe were “forced.”
Finally, I am curious how Clare and Sara Bronfman will be held responsible. Did either work with Maja, or is it based on the overarching theory underpinning the entire case: i.e., the Bronfmans’ money was the root of all evil in NXIVM because they funded it — and NXIVM would have been nothing without their money?