Keith Raniere was arrested in Mexico after authorities a warrant issued for the leader of a sect more than a month ago.
A New York cult leader, that women are “slaves” branded them with his initials, and forced them into sex, was arrested in Mexico on sex-trafficking charges, authorities said Monday.
Keith Raniere, founder of Nxivm cult that began more than two decades ago, was taken into custody after the Mexican immigration authorities found him in a luxurious Mexican villa in the near of Puerto Vallarta, the Albany Times Union reported. He was reportedly staying in the $10,000-a-week villa with multiple women.
Raniere back to Texas on Monday. He is expected to appear in court Tuesday in Fort Worth on the charges filed by the federal prosecutors in Brooklyn.
Authorities said Raniere, who is known as the “Vanguard” in the organization, formed a closed group within NXIVM that women were to be a member of a slave-master club called “Dominus Submissive Sororium,” which translates to “Master of the Slave.”
The women — usually thin because they are stuck on a low-calorie-diets — were allegedly brainwashed into thinking the best way to advance was to make a ‘slave’. Raniere forced the women into sex with him and doing menial chores for the “masters,” the criminal complaint stated.
The women also took in video branding ceremonies that they had Raniere’s initials burned in their pelvis.
“During the branding ceremonies, slaves were needed to completely naked, and the master would to a slave of the movie, while the other impressions of the slave to be branded,” the complaint said.
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The women were allegedly threatened with public humiliation if they do not keep the scheme a secret. Raniere punished the women for not following orders by forcing them “to wear fake cow udders on their chests, while the people and called them derogatory names,” court papers stated.
Other times, they were allegedly stuck in cages.
Raniere fled to Mexico in November last year after the government started with the interviewing of potential witnesses over the sect leader of the alleged activities. The New York Times published stories of some of the women who have defected from their secret sorority.
The federal government struggled to find Raniere months, because he used encrypted e-mail and ditched his phone.
“The defendant was non-cooperative when the immigration authorities arrived and after he was taken into custody, the women chased the car in which the defendant transported in their own car at high speed,” the court papers stated.
On Tuesday, federal agents raided the home of Nxivm co-founder Nancy Salzman in Oregon Trail, the Albany Times Union reported.
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Raniere was promoted as a “scientist, mathematician, philosopher, entrepreneur, teacher, inventor and author” who “dedicated his life to studying the human psychodynamic and developing new tools for human empowerment, expression and ethics,” the group’s website says.
Raniere and Nxivm have been the subject of criticism for years, dating back to at least 2012, when the Times Union of Albany published a series of articles examines the organization and the accusations it was like a cult.
Through the years, Nxivm has attracted a following includes Emmy Award-winning actress Allison Mack. Authorities also say Raniere is bankrolled by Clare Bronfman, an heir to the Seagram’s liquor fortune.
Bronfman gave millions of dollars to cover its expenses, such as private air travel costs $ 65,000 per flight, court papers say.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Katherine Lam is a breaking and trending news digital producer for Fox News. Follow her on Twitter via @bykatherinelam