What could very well be the trial of the century that kicks off a number of potentially embarrassing revelations for a number of household names, in New York, Keith Rainiere, alleged ringleader of a sex cult group known as NXIVM, is on trial for a laundry list of crimes usually associated with the mob.
On Sunday, the New York Times published confirmation of a witness in the trial who claimed that the sex cult group gathered information on anyone who was critical of them in public, including elected officials.
The cache of documents surfaced in 2018 when the F.B.I. searched the home of a senior member of the cultlike group Nxivm.
Photographs from the search showed agents had found a clear plastic box with a red lid in the basement of a home belonging to Nancy Salzman, Nxivm’s co-founder, who was known as “Prefect.”
Inside, agents said, were folders of financial reports labeled with names of journalists, judges, cult experts and others, including Senator Chuck Schumer; the then state attorney general, Eliot Spitzer; and the State Senate majority leader, Joseph L. Bruno.
Most, if not all, of the financial material was inaccurate, an F.B.I. agent, Michael Weniger, said. But Nxivm members appeared to be making a genuine effort to gather information on the targets.
“The vast majority of the individuals that had folders inside the box were individuals that had some type of criticism of Nxivm and or the defendant,” he testified on Thursday in the racketeering and sex trafficking case of the group’s leader, Keith Raniere.
Why they were gathering information on these individuals is not hard to figure out. In the circles of power, getting elected officials to turn a blind eye or play along is as simple as threatening bad publicity.
What is interesting here is that the information was wrong meaning that there were no inside sources getting it for them.
Where the trial in question goes from here is a matter of sentencing. The evidence seems to be overwhelming that a sex cult with tortuous practices targeted and exploited young women for clients looking for some kink in their lives. The people leading the charge are now facing justice.