This post first appeared at Fellowship of the Minds

Flush with money — of a reported $150 million from Seagram heiresses Sara and Clare Bronfman — NXIVM founder/leader Keith Raniere wielded the same method of another cult, Scientology, by aggressively going after apostates and critics with bankrupting lawsuits.

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Writing for Maclean’s in September 2010, Nicholas Köhler gave two examples:

  1. In 2003, when anti-cult consultant/déprogrammer Rick Ross posted on his website a psychiatrist’s assessment of NXIVM’s secret manual on brainwashing, NXIVM launched a $10 million trade-secrets suit that’s yet to be resolved. A year later, NXIVM hired Interfor, a security consultancy firm headed by ex-Mossad agent Juval Aviv to investigate Ross.
  2. When Toni Natalie, a Raniere intimate, left NXIVM in 1999, Raniere sent her passages of a favorite NXIVM text, John Milton’s Paradise Lost— with notations comparing himself to Jesus and Natalie to Lucifer. Natalie said: “I was the chosen one. I was brought in to bear the [Raniere’s] child that would change the world.” NXIVM sued Natalie — an ordeal that lasted over eight years which ended in Natalie filing for bankruptcy. A judge described the lawsuit as “a jilted fellow’s attempt at revenge, with many attempts at tripping her up along the way.”

But NXIVM has done even Scientology one better in another grotesque method used on followers — NXIVM physician Dr. Brandon Porter, 44 — an internist in Albany, NY, affiliated with St. Peter’s Hospital — conducted “fright” experiments on NXIVM women, all the better to intimidate and cower them into submission as mindless sex-slaves.

The New York Post reports, May 5, 2018, that Porter has been charged by a state oversight board, NY Office of Professional Medical Conduct (OPMC), with illegally conducting human experiments.

The action comes 8 months after the New York Health Department had refused to act on a complaint in August 2017 from former cult member, Canadian actress Jennifer Kobelt, who claimed that Dr. Porter had forced her to watch disturbing rape and dismemberment videos for a “fright study” he was conducting. Kobelt says Porter may have performed his “fright study” on as many as 100 people, and that he began showing her violent images without warning:

“He continued to film my reaction for at least 10 minutes as I just sat there, dry heaving like I was going to puke and crying very hard. He failed me, not only as a friend but as the medical practitioner I had trusted on numerous occasions with my health while I was in New York.”

But in a Sept. 6, 2017 letter, the state’s OPMC told Kobelt they would not investigate Porter because “the issues you have described are not medical misconduct.”

Now that the federal government has arrested Raniere and his second-in-command, actress Allison Mack, OMPC is accusing Porter of moral unfitness, gross negligence and gross incompetence among other charges, including:

  • Showing “human subjects an actual video of the horrific and brutal murders and dismemberment of four women by machetes; and violent film clips, including a male African American being viciously stomped by a Nazi; a conscious male being forced to eat a portion of his own brain matter; and a graphic gang rape.
  • Violating state law for improperly conducting studies on obsessive compulsive disorder, Tourette’s syndrome and monitoring the brain waves of those who attended Nxivm programs.
  • Not reporting to health officials that many of the attendees, including children, at a 2016 Nxivm event became ill with an infectious illness that produced flu-like symptoms, vomiting and diarrhea.

A hearing on the charges is scheduled for June 27. If the charges are substantiated, Porter — who received his medical degree from the University of Iowa and got his New York medical license in 2009 — could have his medical license revoked or suspended.