THE leader of the Nxivm “sex cult” Keith Raniere has made a last ditch plea for help from behind bars as he tries to have his conviction overturned just days before his sentencing, The Sun can reveal.
In a bizarre voice recording, shared with The Sun, moaning Raniere asks his “nemesis” Frank Parlato – the man widely credited with destroying Nxivm and bringing him to justice – for help.
The cult leader claims he is facing a huge “injustice” and “oppression” and that they need to unite for the “greater” good.
He is accused of running a sinister master-slave group called DOS where women were starved, branded on their groins, forced into sexual acts and made to hand over damaging collateral such as naked pictures.
Raniere – who followers called “Vanguard” – was also found guilty of acts of extortion, identity theft and the production and possession of child pornography.
Now Raniere and a group of his remaining die-hard followers dubbed the “Nxivm-5” – which include actress Nicki Clyne – have come to Parlato for help, claiming they have evidence of “misconduct” by prosecutors.
The group – who many believe are still brainwashed by Raniere – claim their leader was wrongly convicted and that they have videos and other evidence allegedly showing how evidence was tampered with and witnesses were threatened.
In the bombshell recording, Raniere, who hasn’t spoken publicly since before his March 2018 arrest, said: “I pondered, it’s interesting, that Frank Parlato might want to form an unified effort with respect to this injustice of my case…
“I’ve mentioned that what would be best is someone who is absolutely oppositional to me coming forth and going with this.. maybe some of the opposition.. maybe a witness who realized what the prosecution did was wrongful.
“And I think Frank is probably the quintessential person to do this, because in so many ways we are different … so there would be no personal interest in his creating a justice scenario where I would be off the case, so to speak, or the charges would be dropped, because he thinks I’m bad, he thinks I’m evil but he sees this is wrong…
“He’s not condoning his view of me, the things I did or whatever he thinks I did – and I don’t condone the things, his methods, either.
“But that’s not what’s at issue, there’s something greater at issue, which is an oppression that faces all of us, and an oppression that is invisible.”
In the audio recording from the Metropolitan Detention Center, Brooklyn, New York, Raniere claims that Parlato could help him to delay sentencing and even “change the course” of his case and somehow affect the entire US justice system.
Sounding strangely calm and self-assured, the convicted sex trafficker said: “I think that it’s important that two people that are opposites, literally diametrically opposed in their opinions about each other, would unite in a greater cause which is justice…
“That would be a wonderful way to go forward, and it could change the course of this – I’m a believer of that.
“If the sentencing were put off because of this, within a matter of weeks, because there’s an exposure of the prosecution and their wrongdoing, every prosecutor in the United States would be affected in a positive way.”
One of the Nxivm-5 members, Marc Elliot, claims that the prosecution in the case against Raniere and Nxivm “lied to the court, threatened potential witnesses, allowed perjury and tampered with evidence” in a video posted on YouTube.
He said: “I don’t care who thinks I’m in a cult or that I’m brainwashed or that I support a convicted sex trafficker.
“What I’m worried about is something much worse – that we live in a country in which prosecutors can commit crimes to convict people.”
The group say they have evidence and videos to prove all of their claims.
Parlato told The Sun he was willing to review the group’s evidence – but made it clear that didn’t mean he was condoning Raniere, saying he would fight for a fair justice process even for the “devil himself”.
“I take very seriously claims of prosecutorial misconduct in any case – even in the case of my longtime nemesis, Keith Raniere, of whom some say I was responsible for bringing him to justice,” Parlato said.
“I am not saying Keith Raniere is innocent. I have long accused him of being guilty.
“All I have agreed to do is review evidence his supporters claim they have of prosecutorial misconduct.
“I will publish the results of my findings. If I find there is evidence I will publish it and if there is no evidence I will publish that also. That does not mean I condone Raniere or his actions.
“However, in a nation where prosecutorial misconduct has reached epidemic proportions, I think it is important to be concerned with due process even for those defendants who society abhors – and insist on due process for our enemies.
“I would fight for due process for even the devil himself.”
As well as Battlestar Galactica star Clyne, the Nxivm-5 group consists of Eduardo Asunsolo, Marc Elliot, Suneel Chakravorty and Michele Hatchette. They call themselves Make Justice Blind and the Forgotten Ones.
Members of the Nxivm-5 have been dancing on Friday nights in front of the prison where Raniere is held awaiting sentencing.
They have also presented an affidavit to prosecutors, asking them to swear they did not commit prosecutorial misconduct in Raniere’s case.
To date prosecutors have declined to sign the affidavit – but they are not required to sign any affidavit presented by the public or the defendant.
The Nxivm-5 are also planning a podcast that features the voice of Raniere in a last minute bid to try and claim he is innocent.
They have even launched a contest with a series of $35,000 prizes for writers who can make legal arguments that might lead to overturning Raniere’s conviction leading to retrial.
Attorneys will judge the winners of the prizes.
The Sun reached out to the US Attorney’s Office, which brought the case against Raniere and Nxivm, for comment on Raniere and his supporter’s claims.
Back in June, United States Attorney Richard Donoghue said: “As found by the jury, Keith Raniere masqueraded as a self-help guru to gain the trust of his followers, and then exploited them for his own financial gain and sexual gratification.
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“Raniere and his co-conspirators will now face the consequences for the serious crimes they committed and the profound harm they have caused their victims.”
FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney added: “Keith Raniere preyed on the vulnerabilities of his many female victims, sold them lies and other falsehoods, and committed horrifying acts of coercion.
“This guilty verdict is a welcome end to a case that highlighted the many avenues of criminal activity pursued by a man whose intentions were deplorable beyond belief.”