Warning: This article discusses severe sexual and physical assault. If you or someone you know needs assistance, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732).

The trial of Keith Raniere, co-founder and head of the alleged sex cult NXIVM, has finally begun, and court reports from the trial’s proceedings are detailing the testimonies of the group’s female members’ experiences.

From what’s been heard so far, the women, who were part of a group within the group called ‘DOS‘, were allegedly subjected to torture-level treatment whilst involved in what was marketed to them as a “self-help group.”

As reported by The Cut, several women who were apparently part of the “slave” group – each with their own “master” within the subgroup – explicitly detailed the alleged physical, emotional, and psychological abuse they endured from Keith Raniere and the upper echelons of NXIVM – including disgraced actress, Allison Mack.

Lauren Salzman, former member and daughter of other co-founder Nancy Salzman, testified against Raniere, and talked about how women were forced to take cold showers, stand outside barefoot in the snow, endure whippings, undergo excruciatingly painful brandings, and survive locked in cages if they weren’t subservient to Keith Raniere and his alleged first-tier slaves (all of which were masters to their own slaves.)

Another former member, a 32-year-old British woman who went only by the name of ‘Sylvie‘, testified that slaves had to make “life commitments” to their masters within NXIVM and DOS, and were made to wear dog collars to prove their dedication to their masters.

She also told the court that Keith Raniere took photos of her vagina as “collateral”, which has been previously revealed as tools for blackmail if they attempted to leave the organisation.

A testimony on May 28 alleged that Raniere forced women to get abortions after he had sex with them. One woman known as ‘Daniela‘ alleged that Raniere got her and both her sisters pregnant, and then insisted that they get abortions, to which they complied. Daniela also testified that she was allegedly groomed before she turned 18 so that Raniere could take her virginity, and was made to perform oral sex on him multiple times a week.

The New York Post has reported that ‘Daniela‘ was also heavily manipulated, gaslit, and then assaulted by Keith Raniere after she kissed another man, which then led to her being literally locked away in a room for two years at his request.

The NXIVM trial is ongoing, and Keith Raniere is yet to be sentenced.

Source: The Cut
Image: AP