In a Brooklyn courtroom, the torrid secrets of a sex cult that ensnared starlets and heiresses alike are finally being revealed.
Kinky sex, torture, brainwashing and branding have been on the daily menu at the trial of Keith Ranierre.
The 58-year-old Svengali is charged with sex trafficking, child pornography and a slew of other charges.
WHO: Keith Raniere. A self-styled sex guru, Ranierre started the self-help group NXIVM in Upstate New York. He attracted a coterie of young women who worshipped him and his teachings.
Among his followers were starlets, Allison Mack of Smallville, Battlestar Gallactica heroine Nicki Clyne and the daughter of British actress Catherine Oxenberg. A number of socialites also became part of the inner circle, including Canadian booze heiresses Clare and Sara Bronfman.
WHAT: Cops say Ranierre wasn’t selling enlightenment: He allegedly sold himself as a sex guru. According to prosecutors, age didn’t appear to bother him. But he had his share of peccadilloes, including branding the sex slaves, keeping them reed thin and not letting them shave. He demanded that he be called “The Master” or “The Vanguard.”
THE SEX: Court heard that Ranierre was effectively running a sex trafficking ring. With the help of his second-banana, Allison Mack, the women were lured into the circle. Everyone had an obligation to have sex with Raniere, apparently with the exception of Clare Bronfman. Last week it was revealed that when the cult leader and his harem were busted in Mexico they were engaged in an oral orgy.
But was it good for you? Lauren Salzman testified that the sex guru suffered from erectile dysfunction. One woman was forced to perform oral sex on the leader on a daily basis but for full sex, she had to lose 20 lbs. because Raniere “couldn’t share his sexual energy with someone like that.” The women frequently engaged in lesbian threesome sex for Raniere’s edification.
THE TORTURE: Falling afoul of Raniere had horrific consequences. One slave was kept locked up for nearly two years. Others were made to stand naked for hours on end and essentially starve themselves. Sweet as peaches Allison Mack was reportedly Ranierre’s most fanatical enforcer.
And then there was the branding. Members of the secret sex slave inner circle, DOS, were held down and branded with the leader’s initials and sometimes Mack’s.
THE FAMILY: Court heard that all three daughters in one Mexican family were all sexually exploited as they sought enlightenment. One named Daniella, now 33, told how The Vanguard told them that sex with Ranierre was necessary to help them grow. Once, the woman testified, Raniere attempted a threesome with herself and another sister.
“I was crying. She was crying. I felt dirty,” the woman said. So Raniere allegedly began having sex with their 15-year-old sister, named Camilla. Prosecutors said cops found nude photos of the girl on Raniere’s computer.
“I deeply regret that I didn’t get her out of there,” Daniela said. Co-operating witness Lauren Salzman confirmed the twisted details.
BLACKMAIL: Raniere et. al. kept a catalogue-thick dossier on members that included sexually compromising photos and their darkest secrets. The threat was allegedly implicit: “If you leave, mom and dad will discover what a dirty girl you are.”
NEXT: Daniella is expected to continue her testimony Tuesday. Rainier has claimed all the sex was consensual.