April 21, 2018

This NY Post cover seems not to be taking this "sex cult" — with "a perv" and "a slave" — very seriously.

But it caught my attention because I'm having my own trouble understanding what's wrong with a sex cult. People are allowed to enter into voluntary relationships in which they adopt a slave role, aren't they? The crimes are, we're told, sex trafficking and forced labor. The Post article doesn't work terribly hard at framing this as a crime (other than using the word "forced" and "made" (and note that what is "forced" is labor, not sex):
The actress first lured the women into the secret society within Nxivm known as “The Vow” — and cajoled them into providing “collateral” like embarrassing photos and statements to use as blackmail, federal prosecutors allege. She then allegedly groomed the slaves for sex with [Keith] Raniere — ordering them to adhere to extremely restrictive diets, refrain from removing their pubic hair, and to stay celibate, according to court documents. She also forced them to pose naked for photos — “including on one occasion close-up pictures of their vaginas” — which were given to Raniere and also used as collateral, the feds charge. Mack and other slave “masters” allegedly made their slaves participate in “readiness” drills, requiring them to respond to requests at any time of the day or night so they were “seriously sleep-deprived.”...
I'm switching to the Washington Post article:
Raniere is the founder of NXIVM, which bills itself as a self-help and empowerment organization, but is described by authorities as a cultlike group whose members recruited women to be sex slaves, and branded their pubic regions with Raniere’s initials.... Mack, 35, is alleged by prosecutors to have recruited slaves for pay...
I think that means Mack got paid, not that the slaves were paid. Terrible writing.
... forcing the women to have sex with Raniere, and using explicit photos and damaging information to ensure their compliance.... “Mack and other … masters recruited … slaves by telling them that they were joining a women-only organization that would empower them and eradicate purported weaknesses the NVIVM curriculum taught were common in women,” prosecutors said. But “the victims were then exploited, both sexually and for their labor to the defendants’ benefit,” said U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue of the Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn.
So the women voluntarily joined a female empowerment group and were persuaded to think that having sex with Raniere would eradicate their weakness?

I'm not approving of the Post cover or brushing off the significance of sex crimes. I'd just like to see the law explained. Was fraud charged? Rape?


gilbar said...

i thought they could have given better instructions, on how one goes about setting this up. you know, just for science's sake

langford peel said...

I remember her from Smallville.

She was always Supermans sidekick who was in love with him since they were kids but never got to fuck him.

She did pimp out her cousin Lois Lane to him.

Life imitates art.

buwaya said...

Way too pretty for a sex cult.

We actually used to see the sex cultists associated with Marion Zimmer Bradley show up at Science Fiction conventions, in costume, @25+ years ago, and none of them were, well, of that sort.

tcrosse said...

Coming soon to a theatre near you.

MikeD said...

"But it caught my attention because I'm having my own trouble understanding what's wrong with a sex cult. People are allowed to enter into voluntary relationships in which they adopt a slave role, aren't they?" The problem is today's morality dismisses the individual to the accepted groupthink.

Seal Of Lion said...

https://artvoice.com/category/nxivm/ has been covering Mack and the rest of it pretty well.

Oso Negro said...

The charge is "woman's remorse".

wwww said...

"I'm having my own trouble understanding what's wrong with a sex cult."

What is wrong?

Answer: Blackmail. Not legal, nor ethical, nor moral.


photos and statements to use as blackmail, federal prosecutors allege.
using explicit photos and damaging information to ensure their compliance

Assistant Village Idiot said...

Very sad that this exists. That the NY Post did not put much effort into accuracy, playing for the clicks, is also disturbing.

Rabel said...

"Sex trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, obtaining, patronizing, or soliciting of a person for the purposes of a commercial sex act, in which the commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age (22 USC § 7102)."

"The term “commercial sex act” means any sex act on account of which anything of value is given to or received by any person (22 U.S.C. 7102 (4))."

Lots of slack in there. A reasonable prosecutor could make a name for herself with the right jury.

traditionalguy said...

Trafficking women for sex using blackmail on them is clearly a modern version of the old British Navy's press gang enslavement of recruits. The Professor notes that anyone is free to agree to being enslaved. But we would need a public ceremony with family witnesses, rings and a best man to make theses slave vows legal.

Or its the Womens Auxillary of Skull and Bones. That is a close match.

David Begley said...

Good grief, Althouse. Go visit Pacer and read the Complaint.

The Post can’t write a decent story but I still have confidence that the FBI and DOJ have evidence - beyond a reasonable doubt - that serious federal crimes were committed. This was more than just an orgy thing.

Rabel said...

Reading those definitions above, I think a creative prosecutor could probably get Blogger in court for hooking up Althouse and Meade.

But you two should be in the clear individually.

Be said...

Neither Jim Jones, nor Charles Manson, were available for comment.

LordSomber said...

"Man of Steel, Woman of Kleenex"


rhhardin said...

Nothing will make sense thanks to the court decision that a man can rape his wife.

What was special about rape was a violation of feminine modesty. Otherwise the crime is just assault and battery.

Making it otherwise, forgetting that it was a violation of feminine modesty and thinking it must be something else, made it possible to say any something else must deserve the same rage as the violation of feminine modesty.

Just do away with rape entirely, no sex crimes, and just go with assault and battery today.

Then you can get a story straight without wondering what the fuck is this about.

narciso said...

This cult involves a president of Exxon, offspring of both the fox and gortari clans of Mexico Linda Evans, seems like the outfit in eyes wide shot. Also would it surprise you ranieri was a big Clinton foundation owner?

Bruce Hayden said...

Saw something that she was singing like a bird, and that this is the tip of an iceberg. Supposedly a major sex cult. Should be interesting to see if there is anything else there.

narciso said...

Donor, also miss Mack seems to have a certain fascination with the podesta guru marina abramovic

rcocean said...

Post the picture of the man they were all having sex with.

It makes it even more weird - and completely puzzling.

Ray - SoCal said...

What is moral / legal / illegal now days is strange in the area of sex.

In the US Prostitution is still seen as mostly immoral, yet it can be consensual. Backpage was just shut down.

Polygamy is still illegal. I’m not sure for how long.

Pornography is now legal and widely available.

Under 18 sexting between teens is child pornography.

Jupiter said...

OK, NOW can we repeal the 19th Amendment?

wildswan said...

Tammie Jo Shults was "empowered." She could bring a plane down from 32,000 feet on, literally, a wing and a prayer, on one engine and land it safely, saving 148 lives. Then there are women who are looking for thrills and empowerment from sadistic sex. They don't do anything; they get brutalized and exploited; and they have to be saved from their own stupidity. Was there a difference in the beginning between these two kinds of women other than their principles?

Both both probably started looking for thrills but one connected thrills with service and with principles and the other connected them with crazy sex. So the women in the different groups move further and further apart until one is saving lives and the other is a mess, just a question in secular ethics - how stupid should we allow people to be? More correctly, how brutal should we allow people to be to other people if the target of the brutality won't fight back? It's the Monica Lewinsky question. And, if you ask me, we have seen the answer in Harvey Weinstein: if you don't stop brutality early on when the victims are "willing", it escalates going after unwilling victims. Hell doesn't have a bottom.

Bay Area Guy said...

As Merle Haggard once sang - "we don't make no party out of lovin'; we like holdin' hands and pitchin' woo."

Kathryn51 said...

Raniere was big donor to Clinton Foundation (maybe I should make that "alledged" since my current three finger typing means I'm not going to try and find the proof).

But it's probably why only the NYPost is bothering with this story,

OH, and the branding was not voluntary apparently: Sarah Edmondson, one of the participants, said she had been told she would get a small tattoo as part of the initiation. But she was not prepared for what came next.
Each woman was told to undress and lie on a massage table, while three others restrained her legs and shoulders. According to one of them, their “master,” a top Nxivm official named Lauren Salzman, instructed them to say: “Master, please brand me, it would be an honor.”
A female doctor proceeded to use a cauterizing device to sear a two-inch-square symbol below each woman’s hip, a procedure that took 20 to 30 minutes. For hours, muffled screams and the smell of burning tissue filled the room.
“I wept the whole time,” Ms. Edmondson recalled. “I disassociated out of my body.” –New York Times

Freeman Hunt said...

No. They were told that "collateral" was needed to let them in on some secret projects, but once the "collateral" was provided, it was used to blackmail them into having sex with Rainere, among other things.

Adina said...

Cult leaders manipulate their followers to do things they never would have done before joining the cult. It's like the nurse at a nursing home who manipulates the old lady to disinherit her children when drafting a new will. The women who were branded were not informed before the branding what would be happening to them. Also it was done without any anesthesia.

the 4chan Guy who reads Althouse said...

I was going to say something about chicks having a right to fuck up their lives just like men, but then maybe for men fucking shit up is a right but for women it's a privilege. Yeah, I got that far, and then got confused and shit on how I was going to explain myself on that one, so I kinda stopped there. Sorry.

But I think there's something in chicks' wiring about being drawn to, like, cults and shit. Again, I was going to try to elaborate on this some, but realized that basically all I needed to say was 'daddy issues', because that's it, pretty much.

And chicks hate when you say that a lot of chicks have daddy issues, because they think that means there's something wrong with them, and you're like, being patriarchal and shit. And then they go on to prove that they don't have daddy issues by going on about crazy feminist shit and fishes and bicycles and why they could be really good at math and computer programming if, like, they wanted to.

The thing is, if you want to do it, do it. If you don't want to do it, don't. I mean, I'm sorry if your daddy wasn't there for you and shit, or if he expected too much or didn't have expectations for you at all, but when you're an adult chick getting a dude's initials branded above your lunchbox it's all on you.

Oh yeah: I was also going to write about how a sex cult isn't much different than a rock band on tour in the Seventies and Eighties. Like, you have the charismatic cult leader, you have his poster on your wall and shit, you know the lyrics to his songs, it's like he really understands you on a fucking deep-ass level and shit, and if you're in the audience at his show and he chooses you to come backstage then you get to, like, suck his cock or have him bang you in the ass.

Which kinda sounds like the sex cult thing to me, but maybe groupies are different, I don't know. But I remember back in the day some chicks would be at a concert and sit on their boyfriend's shoulders and then, like, flash their tits, and that was cool.

I post my shit here.

Xmas said...

I guess they are leaving out the part where one of Ranier's unwilling sex partners was 12 years old.

Ken B said...

Looks like the criminalization Of BDSM. Every time I mention such things I am told that can never happen.

So forced how? This all seems to have been voluntary.

Google Marv Albert.

PuertoRicoSpaceport.com said...

Blogger wildswan said...

Tammie Jo Shults was "empowered." She could bring a plane down from 32,000 feet on, literally, a wing and a prayer,

She credited her faith in God with keeping her calm. So yes, literally a prayer, along with lots of skill.

Listen to the tapes of her with the tower, it is amazing how calm she was. I get more excited ordering McNuggets at McDonalds.

For those who like strong, empowered, women there's one for you. Also carrier qualified.

She is not unusual, though. All pilots, especially AF pilots and Naval Aviators like her are trained extensively on keeping calm. Tom Wolfe talked about this some in The Right Stuff.

I have a recreation of the Hudson river landing that I play during my Troubleshooting workshops. I use it to make 2 points:

1) The absolute calmness of Sullenberger as he is flying over Manhatten with no engines

2) During the very short time between engine failure and water landing, Jeffery Skiles, the co-pilot was able to pull out a paper copy of the emergency restart checklist and go through the procedure 2-1/2 times.

Not usually as critical when troubleshooting machinery but both really good practices.

John Henry

Ambrose said...

Everything men do is done to get more sex.

Big Mike said...

I think there’s something wrong with a man who wants a sex slave instead of a lover.

eddie willers said...

but I still have confidence that the FBI and DOJ have evidence

After the last few years, if you still believe that, you're a better man than I am, Gunga Din.

William said...

If you sent to Central Casting for a girl to play the role of a recruiter for a sex cult, she would not be the likely choice. She doesn't photograph evil.

Joe said...

"I still have confidence that the FBI and DOJ have evidence"

Interesting, since to me, the FBI has zero integrity. And has worked hard for years to earn that.

MD Greene said...

Doesn't speak well for the general intelligence of women.

Anonymous said...

But it caught my attention because I'm having my own trouble understanding what's wrong with a sex cult.

You mean, legally? I dunno, I don't know the legal particulars here, and apparently the Post article isn't terribly enlightening on that score. I guess there's nothing wrong legally with a nice wholesome sex cult that doesn't automatically include the commission of miscellaneous felonies in the course of getting its cult on.

But in the larger sense of "what's wrong"? Lol. Yeah, there's something wrong with a "sex cult" and the people in it. They're fucked up, broken people.

TWW said...

The fruits of Griswold and Lawrence. As Lou Reed sang, "We shall reap what we sow."

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