The sentences for members of the cult NXIVM — whose exploits were detailed in both The Vow on HBO and Starz’s Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult — are still being doled out. Last week saw Allison Mack, one of its top brass, given three years for her role in the organization. Its leader, Keith Raniere, was sentenced last fall, and to a very long stint. But now, several months later, he’s been given an extra form of punishment.
As per The New York Times, Raniere, who was sentenced to a whopping 120 years in prison, was ordered on Tuesday to pay $3.4 million to a total of 21 victims. The court had seen about 100 people submit requests for restitution, which would have totaled some $33 million. At one point the court had whittled that number down to 25.
Of the remaining 22, 17 were deemed to be deserving of restitution under the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, which applies to crimes of forced labor, sex trafficking, and document servitude. The other four were part of the Mandatory Victim Restitution Act of 1996, which applies to crimes including racketeering and wire fraud conspiracy.
The victims include people who had been coerced into joining a secret cult then known as The Vow, or D.O.S., details of which — contained in letters that had been sealed in envelopes, in the hopes of protecting the privacy of those involved — were finally made public. As per NYT:
D.O.S. members, known as “slaves,” were required to provide to “masters” sensitive or embarrassing personal material called “collateral,” according to court documents and testimony in the case. That material was then used to coerce compliance with orders, including some to “seduce” Mr. Raniere.
Some were branded with Raniere’s initials. The court-ordered payments would, in part, include attempts to have those brandings removed.
Because Raniere has long presented himself as a “renunciate,” someone who shuns material possessions, it is unclear if he will be able to pay the large sum courts believe he owes his victims.