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A cult victim has spoken out about the time she and her two teenage sisters were brought into a sex cult.
The horrific story of NXIVM, a cult run by Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman in Albany, New York, was told in the brand new HBO docuseries The Vow, which revealed that young women had been "brainwashed" and even branded with Raniere's initials.
Viewers identified one particularly harrowing story involving sisters Camila, Daniela and Marianna, from Monterrey, Mexico, who joined NXIVM as teens after their parents became enthralled by Raniere.
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Convicted human trafficker Raniere was able to convince the parents to send Daniela and Marianna to study under him in Albany, New York, leaving behind their "idyllic" upper-middle-class life back home which they had even compared to the Flanders family from the Simpsons.
Daniela, who was just 16 when she left for Albany, had taken an NXIVM class in Monterrey in 2002 before receiving a scholarship to an “elite school” in Switzerland.
Before leaving for Europe her parents signed her up for a 16-day NXIVM intensive learning period, then known as Executive Success Programs (ESP).
It was then that the trouble began, beginning a vile cycle of abuse involving all three sisters.
Once in Albany, Daniela was allegedly convinced by Raniere not to go to Switzerland and instead to stay at NXIVM, under the guise that she could help stop an unspecified apocalyptic event.
The teen's daily tasks included following Raniere around, filming his every move, as well as creating reports on complex scientific books to the cult leader.
When she was 16, Raniere kissed her.
Abuser 'squeezed girl's cheeks together' and 'poured washing-up liquid down her throat'
Testifying later, Daniele said: “He said, ‘I think it’s better that you don’t tell anybody about our kiss. I think that should stay between us.’ And I complied.
"When I look back, I think I could have changed the course of history if I had told my mother. I don’t think she would have been very happy to hear that a 40-year-old man had kissed her 17-year-old daughter.”
Daniela added in her testimony that the pair's conversations “escalated in a sexual way,” though Raniere wouldn’t have sex with her until she turned 18.
Just a week after she turned 18, Raniere told Daniela “it was time” and took her to an office complex, where they had sex in a room with a “dirty mattress” and unwashed sheets.
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It was then that Daniela was then welcomed into Raniere’s inner circle and moved to Flintlock, a residence filled with people who’d had sexual relationships with him.
Around 2004, Daniela found out Raniere was also having sex with her older sister, Marianna.
At one point Raniere said he wanted to take a nap with both sisters, and then attempted to have sex with them.
When he removed his pants, Daniela and Marianna started crying hysterically, so he stopped.
Despite the harrowing nature of their relationship, Raniere was still able to convince Daniela to recruit her younger sister, Camila, giving her the nickname VC – meaning "Virgin Camila."
Daniela later learned Raniere was having sex with Camila when she was just 15.
When Daniela was impregnated by Raniere and forced to have an abortion, it prompted a falling-out between the two.
Daniela was sent to “the room” – a small bedroom with the window blacked out, where her only task was to write letters to Raniere every day pleading with him to forgive her.
She was in the room for more than two years from March 9, 2010, until her eventual escape.
According to prosecutors, the three siblings' recruitment marked the beginning of DOS – a system where Raniere would get his “slaves” to bring in other “slaves” to have sex with him.
Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison On October 27, 2020. He was also ordered to pay $3.46 million to 21 victims and is still embroiled in a civil suit from NXIVM survivors.
He is currently in the process of appealing his sentence.
If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 08 08 16 89 111 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.
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