BY SARAH BERMAN | VICE.COM
Given the relentless news cycle of 2020, you’d be forgiven for forgetting about NXIVM, the disgraced cult-like self-help company. It was just last summer that the organization’s founder Keith Raniere was convicted of sex trafficking for his role in orchestrating a secret blackmail and branding scheme, but it feels like decades have passed since.
Canadian actress Nicki Clyne (Battlestar Galactica) has not forgotten, and doesn’t seem to want the rest of us to forget, either. She and a handful of other NXIVM associates who remain loyal to Raniere have launched a quick-pivoting “movement” called The Forgotten Ones or We Are As You, depending on what week of July you checked their social feed. The campaign claims to shine a light on terrible prison conditions via nightly dance performances, but only made its connection to Raniere public last week. So far the group’s main accomplishment seems to be having the prison move Raniere to a new cell.
Clyne was named as a co-conspirator at Raniere’s trial, and witnesses testified that she recruited at least three so-called “slaves” who were at first told about a secret women’s empowerment group, propositioned to hand over life-destroying “collateral” to hear the details, and then initiated into a master/slave relationship in which speaking out or going against Clyne’s orders were grounds for collateral release. Clyne has not been charged with any crime in connection with the scheme.
Lauren Salzman, the daughter of NXIVM’s president, told a Brooklyn jury Clyne’s involvement as a “first-line master” of the now-infamous “sex cult” DOS predated Smallville actress Allison Mack’s, and that both Clyne and Mack gave “seduction assignments” to their slaves, in which they were told to have sex with Raniere under the threat of collateral being released. At trial DOS “slaves” said they handed over letters falsely accusing their parents of sexual abuse, deeds to their property, and naked photos as collateral. The so-called collateral, which prosecutors called blackmail material, was leveraged to elicit yet more collateral, Salzman testified.
Clyne and her lawyer did not respond to VICE News’ request for comment.
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