Today is a sad, but great day in America. Keith Raniere will be spending 120 years in prison for his role in a sex trafficking, sex cult disguised as a self- help group.
I first heard about this group a few years ago when I saw Allison Mack’s name in the news. Mack played Chloe Sullivan in the popular Superman spin-off, Smallville. I loved the show so when I heard of her involvement, I was heartbroken. Then towards the end of the summer, a podcast I listen to was discussing the cult. That led me to listen to another podcast dedicated to the cult. Just a couple of episodes in, I learned nauseating facts.
The podcast, Escaping NXIVM, breaks down everything that these poor girls went through. The reporter talks to a girl who escaped the cult and the stories she tells are heartbreaking. The group is cleverly disguised as self-help. It markets to people that they can learn how to improve their lives and help others do the same. Think really expensive pyramid scheme. The classes for this group are incredibly expensive but they guilt people into doing them by encouraging that it’s worth a few thousand up front to have the life they’ve always wanted.
It’s a huge lie.
Not too long after joining the group, the girl interviewed in the podcast was invited into a secretive, selective group. This is where it gets weird. She would have a master and serve them. In turn, she would have people serving her as well. It gets weirder. She says the select group was invited to Allison Mack’s house where they were branded- physically. A “doctor” burned a brand into the girl’s skin. They had to strip until they were naked too, instead of just pulling down a part of their clothes, like when someone gets a tattoo.
You can do more research for yourself, but I think you get the point. This “self-help” group is really just a satanic, evil, demonic organization that sought to harm people, not help. In the trial, victims came forward and exposed Raniere for sex slavery, starving them, and rape, among many other charges. And yet, despite the massive amount of witness testimony and proof, Raniere is refusing to accept his guilt.
It is sickening to the highest degree. But not surprising, someone that could do the evil things that he did, and for so long, is not going to demonstrate remorse, because being remorseful, being sorry for wrongdoing, requires having a conscience. This psychopath is filled with evil. He doesn’t have a heart or a soul, just absolute darkness.
When I first heard about the cult, I wondered how the girls didn’t see the red flags, then how and why they didn’t leave. So if you’re like me and wondering the same things, it doesn’t work like that. The women couldn’t just up and leave once integrated. At the beginning? Possibly, but the girl interviewed in the podcast said that though she started to see issues, namely when the branding occurred, the leaders manipulated her into staying.
They prey on these women having fragile confidences. This sick company teaches people that they aren’t living the life they want, so that people will pay them thousands upon thousands of dollars to get the life they want. These people then feel like they are in their debt and trust these “life coaches” so much so that they don’t question sketchy actions.
They use the group to show people how they can be a part of a group. After all, don’t we all want to belong? Don’t we all want to be a part of an inclusive group of people that love us?
Of course we do. But the answer to all of this is God. When we place our confidence in the Lord and know our worth and value as creations of the Lord, we won’t be so easily sucked into schemes that use insecurities and pain to lure people in. If you’re reading this, you are loved. You do belong. You are priceless. Don’t believe a lie that you are less than what you are.
Everyone deserves to feel loved, but this sick group took advantage of a person’s basic need for community and love. I am so glad that this man is being locked up so he can’t hurt anyone else.
If you want to learn more about how to be included into the family of God, or if you’re struggling to understand just why you do have value, feel free to reach out. I’ve linked my Instagram here and will check my messages.
The girls that were lured into this group had everything taken from them, including their sense of self-worth. Join me in praying for them that they receive peace and healing. And if you could use some yourself, shoot me a message.
Never forget your value and that you are loved.