It was recently discovered by the UK publication, The Sun, that Nxivm cult members held wild parties and seminars on Sir Richard Branson’s private Caribbean island, Necker, at least twice. According to Frank Parlato a former Nxivm publicist, they hoped to recruit Branson into the organization.

“Several group members, including co-founder Nancy Salzman, visited Necker for two seminars in 2007 and 2010. The cult’s leader, Keith Raniere, did not attend either trip.

At least one of the visits is said to have been paid for by billionaire heiress and Nxivm follower Sara Bronfman, whose late father, businessman Edgar Bronfman Sr., knew Branson.”1

(Although Sara and her sister Clare are committed followers of Nxivm there is nothing to suggest that any of the Bronfman family are involved in or aware of the criminal activities by Raniere or his followers.)

Remember, this is the same group that’s been accused of branding women, sex- trafficking, forced labor and forced sex:

“Keith Raniere, also known as “Vanguard” to members within NXIVM, and Allison Mack, who is best known for her role on the TV series “Smallville,” were both indicted by a grand jury on charges arising from Raniere and Mack’s alleged roles in a secret society within NXIVM. According to the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue, Mack recruited women into what they believed was a ‘female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere.’ Prosecutors say many of the female victims were branded and forced to participate in sex acts with Raniere.”2

According to Parlato, having Branson join the organization would have been “the biggest score they ever had — a billionaire businessman.” 3

Back in 2007, the first time the cult was on the island, Parlato claims he was told by Nancy Salzman- who was present for the seminar- that Branson was there. Classes were supposed to begin every day at 7 a.m. and run until 9 or 10 p.m. but Branson “became increasingly restless and hosted really crazy parties that started earlier and earlier.”4

He was likely restless because he had nothing to do with Nxivm. However, given the information we have available now about how the organization operated, can you imagine had Branson been a part of the group, what might have occurred?

Federal prosecutors captured Raniere, the leader of NXIVM, at the end of March while FBI agents raided a home in New York connected to him. While Raniere himself might have called NXIVM a self-help group, investigators have alleged it was actually a multi-level marketing scheme used as a ruse to enslave and traffic women for sex:

“‘As alleged in the indictment, Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was, in fact, created and led by Keith Raniere. The victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor, to the defendants’ benefit,’ Donoghue said. ‘This Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to prosecuting predators who victimize others through sex trafficking and forced labor.'”5

Raniere allegedly created a secret sub-organization within NXIVM called “DOS” (an acronym for a Latin phrase that loosely translates to “Lord/Master of the Obedient Female Companions,” or “The Vow”) in 2015 and it was this organization that had levels of women “slaves” headed by “masters” in a pyramid scheme, with Raniere at the top and Mack immediately below Raniere.6

“Mack and other DOS masters allegedly recruited DOS slaves by telling them they were joining an empowering women-only organization that would help them overcome their weaknesses. The women allegedly hid that Raniere, the only man in the organization, was at the top of the pyramid.”7

The court filings also state that slaves in DOS were branded in the pelvic region with Raniere’s initials and that while they were being branded they were required to do so naked, on film. It’s also been alleged that women were expected to have sex with Raniere and do menial chores for all the masters.

Responding to this discovery, a Virgin Management spokesman said, “Sir Richard Branson has never heard of Keith Raniere, he has never met him and there is absolutely no association between Sir Richard and the Nxivm group or its leader.”8

I can assure you, Mr. Richard Brason known he dodged a bullet right now (although I imagine he would have been too smart to join an organization like this in the first place). Our hearts go out to all the poor women who were enslaved and abused by Nxivm.

Sources and References

  1. NY Post, April 23, 2018.
  2. ABC News, April 20, 2018.
  3. NY Post, April 23, 2018.
  4. NY Post, April 23, 2018.
  5. CBS News, April 21, 2018.
  6. CBS News, April 21, 2018.
  7. CBS News, April 21, 2018.
  8. NY Post, April 23, 2018.