Left Menu
Development News Edition

Nxivm, a sex cult group, leader to go on trial on Friday

Devdiscourse News Desk | New York | Updated: 17-05-2019 19:49 IST | Created: 17-05-2019 17:34 IST
Nxivm, a sex cult group, leader to go on trial on Friday
Witnesses in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn have testified that the leader, Keith Raniere, presented himself as "some kind of god Image Credit: Pixabay

The daughter of a former leader of an alleged New York sex cult is set to testify on Friday at the trial of its founder, who is accused of forcing women into sex, urging them to starve themselves and having some branded with his initials.

Witnesses in U.S. District Court in Brooklyn have testified that the leader, Keith Raniere, presented himself as "some kind of god" and that female member of the group, Nxivm, a purported self-help organization, appeared broken. Lauren Salzman, whose mother, Nancy Salzman, was president of the group, and admitted to recruiting members into the upstate New York group, is expected to detail her role. Both Salzman has pleaded guilty to taking part in the scheme.

If convicted of federal charges including sex trafficking and child pornography, Raniere faces life in prison. His lawyer has argued at trial that the women became members of Nxivm voluntarily and were never coerced into doing anything against their will. Former "Smallville" actress Allison Mack and Seagram liquor heiress Clare Bronfman, also pleaded guilty before trial.

Jurors have heard from one woman who said she submitted unwillingly to Raniere's sexual demands. A 12-year Nxivm veteran, Mark Vicente, testified for several days this week about the inner workings of the group, explaining how Raniere's recruits came to view him as "some kind of god," after a sales pitch describing him as a genius of unparalleled insight.

Vicente told jurors he became concerned that Mack and other young women in the group had become too thin after following a severely restrictive diet at Raniere's request. When Vicente told Raniere that Mack seemed "broken," Raniere responded, "I'm trying to break her," Vicente testified.

Nxivm, which started under another name in 1998 and is pronounced "Nexium," was based in Albany, New York, and operated self-improvement centres across North and Central America.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Rethinking Rural Livelihoods in the Times of COVID-19

The reverse migration caused by COVID 19 pandemic has put an additional burden of about one crore people on Indian villages particularly in the states of Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Bengal and Odisha. Besides increasing the risk of spreading the ...

‘Discounted Deaths’ and COVID 19: Anthropology of Death and Emotions

Death is a social event rather than the mere cessation of biological functions. As seen by anthropologists, death is not just physical but intensely social, cultural, and political....

Indigenous knowledge of communities a must for maximizing impact of community work

Generally, it has been observed that the majority of the academicians in higher education institutions neglect the wisdom of community people and throw their weight around thinking that they know everything and the community knows nothing. ...

In rebuking FBR, Pakistan’s courts take a stand for public health

The system, if implemented effectively, will allow Pakistans revenue service to combat the illicit trade in tobacco products and potentially add hundreds of millions of dollars to the states budget each year. ...

Videos

Latest News

Maha govt yet to issue revised guidelines on lockdown

Even as the Centre has extended the lockdown in COVID-19 containment zones till June 30, the Maharashtra government was yet to revise its guidelines about the restrictions, an official said on Sunday. As per the guidelines issued on May 19 ...

'Neurological symptoms of coronavirus infection decoded'

The most common neurological complaints in COVID-19 are headache, loss of sense of smell and taste, stroke, impairment of consciousness, and seizure, according to a review of studies that may lead to improved clinical outcomes and better tr...

ICAI to develop audit quality indicators; seeks to bolster competence of Indian audit firms

In efforts to strengthen quality of auditing activities, chartered accountants apex body ICAI will develop a framework for audit quality indicators that will also help Indian audit firms and auditors to compete globally. ICAI President Atul...

ITR forms for 2019-20 notified; govt makes mandatory disclosure of electricity bill exceeding Rs 1L

The government has notified forms for filing tax returns for income earned in 2019-20 and made it mandatory for people to file ITR in case their deposits in a current account exceed Rs 1 crore or electricity bill in the fiscal is Rs 1 ...

Give Feedback