NXIVM Cult Leader Keith Raniere Sentenced to 120 Years in Prison | 22 Words

The leader of the self-described multi-level marketing group, NXIVM, has been sentenced to 120 years in prison for his involvement in sexual crimes. According to the Hollywood Reporter, Keith Raniere was convicted of seven felonies relating to a secret group - and what prosecutors called a "sex cult," that was developed inside of the NXIVM organization.

To learn more about Keith Raniere and the NXIVM organization, continue reading below.

The organization purportedly offered classes designed to empower women...

In 2017, The New York Times reported on the self-help organization and its alleged misconduct. The organization purportedly offered classes designed to empower women in their 30s and 40s by teaching them to eliminate psychological and emotional barriers. While in reality, a secret group was formed and those involved were being branded and referred to as "slaves." Since then, former NXIVM members have come out to tell their stories in various interviews, podcasts, and most recently, through a docu-series called, The Vow on Netflix.

At the time, news reports had also revealed that actress Allison Mack was deeply involved in NXIVM, as well as the secret group.

via: Getty

And that she was among its ranks of elite members - with a close connection to Keith Raniere.

You might recognize Mack best from her role on the CW show Smallville. She played the character of Clark Kent/Superman's friend Chloe Sullivan.

via: Getty

However, her actions these days are anything but heroic. According to NXIVM's former publicist, Frank Parlato, Mack was heavily involved in a cult called DOS — believed to be short for "dominus obsequious sororium" (Latin for "master over the slave women"). Parlato, who worked for NXIVM for several months in 2007, says that Mack had recruited as many as 25 women into the slave cult where they are ordered to follow her commands 24 hours a day.

Keith Raniere, the founder of NXIVM and the master of DOS was known within the group as "Vanguard." Mack being one of his slaves.

According to Parlato, the slaves of DOS were told to fast for 12 hours a day, take cold showers, and perform a "daily act to honor" for their master. They were also forced to provide one new piece of collateral — which they simply call "C" — on the first day of every month. The collateral came in the form of nude pictures, videotaped confessions, or financial information, and it would be published if the slave ever tried to escape the group. Parlato claimed that if the slaves failed to follow their master's commands, they'd be beaten with a paddle.

"At first I thought she was second in command of DOS, but now I think she may be third in command," Parlato says of Mack.

As Raniere's slave, Mack was forced to run 40 miles a week while keeping a strict diet of only 500–800 calories per day. She also had to recruit "bed partners" for Raniere. Parlato says that some women who have escaped the cult have told him that they were forced to sleep with Raniere and that Mack became jealous because "she really wants to be with him."

When a woman enters the group, she's branded with her master's initials.

According to the New York Times report on NXIVM, women were told they'll get a small tattoo as part of the initiation process. They were then told to undress and lie down on a massage table, while three people hold down their arms and legs so they couldn't squirm. One woman's master told her to say, "Master, please brand me. It would be an honor." At that point, a female doctor used a cauterizing device to burn a small symbol into the skin below her hip. Sarah Edmondson (seen above) was one of the women who was branded within DOS. She decided to leave NXVIM soon after her experience and went on to tell more of her story in The Vow.

If you want to see a wild video of Keith Raniere and Allison Mack talking about something called "the Authentic Human," you can check it out here:

But we're warning you: It's super strange. It will make you wonder how he was able to lead so many women (and men) down his path.