During his college years, Keith Raniere was seen as highly intelligent and was expected to achieve something significant. Yet, nobody anticipated that he would end up behind bars for establishing NXIVM, one of the largest cult groups in US history.
On July 20, 1988, Raniere founded NXIVM, branding it as a personal development company that provided various techniques for self-improvement. As time passed, it became clear that NXIVM was more than just a personal development company. In 2017, former group members began publicly discussing the group and its operations. Without any delay, the authorities began investigating Raniere and his subordinates in the NXIVM cult case.
After nearly a year of investigation, authorities arrested Raniere in March 2018 for engaging in a pattern of racketeering activity, which included human trafficking, sex offenses, and fraud. Over a year later, in June 2019, the court reportedly found Raniere guilty on all charges and sentenced him to 120 years in prison. He is currently serving his sentence at USP Tucson.
Keith Raniere: NXIVM leader sentenced to prison on multiple charges
Keith Raniere founded NXIVM in 1998, and the group was influenced by the teachings of Ayn Rand, one of Raniere’s favorite authors. However, it didn’t take much time for NXIVM to be on everyone’s radar. In 2003, Forbes exposed the group and called Raniere “the world’s strangest executive coach.” However, it didn’t do much to damage the group and its leader’s credibility.
But in 2017, Raniere’s heinous crimes came to light when former members of the NXIVM group came forward and opened up about a secretive subgroup called The Vow. Before joining the group, every member reportedly had to submit embarrassing information about themselves, including nude photographs. The complaints also claimed that anyone who disclosed the existence of D.O.S. would risk the public release of these photos.
After authorities initiated the investigation, it led to Raniere’s arrest in March 2018. Prosecutors objected to Raniere’s bail, claiming he had a record of mistreating young girls and women. The trial commenced in May 2019, with several women stepping forward to reveal that Raniere and his subordinates had groomed them for a sexual relationship with the founder of NXIVM. The prosecutors labeled him a predator and presented evidence that showed Raniere operated NXIVM as a secretive sex cult.
In July 2019, the court found Keith Raniere guilty of human trafficking, sex offenses, and fraud charges. The court gave the accused a 120-year prison term, and he is now reportedly serving in Tucson, Arizona.