HOW I ESCAPED MY CULT NIGHTMARE
Woman’s Day Magazine NZ|November 16, 2020
Weeks after the founder of self-help group NXIVM was finally brought to justice, actress Bonnie Piesse tells of its dark underworld

The founder of self improvement cult NXIVM, Keith Raniere, was finally brought to justice on October 27, after 20 years of brainwashing and manipulation of his devoted followers.

Convicted of sex trafficking, forced labour, child pornography and racketeering conspiracy, Raniere’s 120-year sentence was the “justice” Australian actress Bonnie Piesse had been waiting for since she fled NXIVM, a cult-like life-coaching group, in 2017.

“The last few years have been a sh * t show to say the least… betrayal, heartbreak, horror, upheaval of everything I’ve known,” Bonnie wrote in an Instagram post. “Tonight… goodness really does prevail.”

BRANDED

The disgraced “guru”, who launched NXIVM in 1998, was arrested in Mexico in 2018 after it was uncovered he’d created a secret sorority within NXIVM used to brainwash female followers – some as young as 15 – into becoming sex slaves.

The purported self-help program within NXIVM was called DOS, which stood for “Dominus Obsequious Sororium” or “Dominant Over Submissive”.

The program forced the “slaves” to have sex with Keith, and hand over personal information and compromising photos.

Some of the women were branded like cattle with Keith’s initials, as other members held them down.

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