A New York cult leader who called women his “slaves,” branded them with his initials and coerced them into sex acts was arrested in Mexico on sex-trafficking charges, authorities said Monday.
Keith Raniere, the co-founder of the Nxivm cult that began more than two decades ago, was taken into custody after Mexican immigration officials found him in a luxury Mexican villa near Puerto Vallarta, the Albany Times Union reported. He was reportedly staying at the $10,000-a-week villa with several women.
Raniere returned to Texas on Monday. He is expected to appear in court Tuesday in Fort Worth on the charges filed by federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.
Authorities said Raniere, who is known as “Vanguard” in the organization, formed a secretive group within NXIVM that had women join a slave-master club called “Dominus Obsequious Sororium,” which translates to “Master Over the Slave Woman.”
The women — usually thin because they stuck to low-calorie diets — were allegedly brainwashed into thinking the best way to advance was to become a “slave.” Raniere coerced the women into having sex with him and doing menial chores for “masters,” the criminal complaint stated.
The women also partook in videotaped branding ceremonies in which they had Raniere’s initials burned into their pelvic area.
“During the branding ceremonies, slaves were required to be fully naked, and the master would order one slave to film while the other held down the slave being branded,” the complaint said.
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SOURCE: Fox News, Katherine Lam