For some many months now we’ve followed the exploits and subsequent arrest of former Smallville actress, Allison Mack, in her role as chief lieutenant to a sex and forced labor cult run by Keith Raniere. Both Mack and Raniere are facing serious felony charges for sex trafficking, illegal labor practices, extortion, and various other crimes associated with running a cult that largely sucked in unhappy young women, made them stop eating to become super skinny, then be branded on their pubic region and forced to have sex with Raniere. Good deal for Raniere, pretty bad for everybody else involved.
This week, six additional ladies were indicted in New York in relation to operating the cult, including Clare Bronfman, 39, the youngest daughter of Edgar Bronfman, Jr., also known as the Seagram’s company billionaire from Canada. Both Clare Bronfman and her sister Sarah Bronfman were long time supporters and managers of various activities for Raniere’s NXIVM organization, though it seems only Clare was indicted this week on charges of money laundering, trafficking, forced labor, wire and electronics fraud, and additional serious felony charges. Her involvement with Raniere’s group goes back well over a decade, and includes her bringing a good deal of her own money to the sex cult funding table.
You wonder how a wealthy heiress turns to this kind of life of illicit activities and cultish gross sexual behavior that preyed almost entirely upon vulnerable women. Sure, you expect the guy at the top to go full steam ahead into this kind of entirely self-serving enterprise, but why a rich and educated woman? The answer may be connected to why Bronfman at 39 looks to be going on 65. The inner-demons run strong in that one. Throw in some super skinny 500-calorie a day diet trying to be in the mold of a Raniere girl, and you have the perfect pathology of the broken heiress who Patty Hearsts her way into the nation’s heart.
Naturally, Bronfman found a way to post herself out of jail on $100 million bond pending trial. Some things about being mega rich continue to be helpful.
Photo credit: CTV Montreal