NEW YORK( AP) — Self-help guru Keith Raniere was a taskmaster who expected his female followers to be as obedient as “hungry hounds, ” whether he wanted them to send nude photos to him or buy him groceries paid for out their own pockets, a former follower certified Monday at Raniere’s federal trial.
Lauren Salzman told a Brooklyn jury that as members of a secret master-slave society within an upstate New York group announced NXIVM, women was just so indoctrinated, they would hop at all hours whenever asked for “acts of care.” Among the written instructions for those in the sorority that included Tv actress Allison Mack: “You should be a hungry dog for your master.”
Raniere sometimes said them to paddle one another if they flouted his rulers, Salzman said.
The testimony came in the second week of a inquiry where lawyers for Raniere have insisted his meetings with the women were consensual and meant to help with their personal growth.
Salzman, 42, made the stand as part of a request deal in which she admitted to blames alleging her of making a lower-ranking member of the group stay inside a bedroom for two years as a figure of discipline.
Mack, best knows we her role as my best friend of a young Superman in the “Smallville” series, has also pleaded guilty to participating in the collection of flustering fabric from adherents — announced “collateral” — that the group threatened to make public if they ever tried to defect and break-dance their stillnes about their rehearsals. It was unclear if Mack will testify.
Salzman testified that collateral for the group – sometimes announced “The Vow” – included nude photos with forced smiles that the women took of themselves when they met three times a week in their “sorority house.” Raniere would sometimes ask that they reshoot the photos if they didn’t turn out the style he demanded, she said.
She lent: “The elephant in the room was that he was having sex with lots of these people.”
The brides were labelled as part of the start into the group, but only elderly members were allowed to know that the symbol represented Raniere’s initials, she said.
When she and others expressed concerns about hindering slaves in the dark about the meaning of the brands, Raniere told them, “It shouldn’t matter” and that “we were shaping problems, ” she said.
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