Skip To Content
Fast Forward

Sex Cult Guru Backed By Bronfmans Once Said Leader Was Hitler Reincarnated

The arrested leader of a sex cult backed by heiresses of the prominent Jewish philanthropic Bronfman family reportedly once said that another high-ranking official in the movement was a reincarnation of Adolf Hitler.

Reporter Frank Parlato has heavily covered NXIVM, the movement whose leader, Keith Raniere, has been arrested on sex trafficking charges. Parlato reported last year that Raniere once explained to his followers that one of his duties is to purify the world of the bad karma belonging to past Nazis and make them ethical human beings. Each of his disciples were told by Raniere who they were in a past life. If the women did not obey his orders, they were told they would return to the kind of behavior they exhibited during their Nazi past.

The Hitler in the group was reportedly the NXIVM organization’s president, Nancy Salzman. She had previously been told that she was a Jewish concentration camp victim.

Raniere has since 2003 been the head of NXIVM, which characterizes itself as a self-help organization. Raniere’s promise to participants was to introduce “a new ethical understanding” and “self-determination.” Authorities said that he took advantage of his position of power by branding women, locking them into having a master-slave relationship with him and coercing the women into sex out of fear.

Raniere was arrested in March near a resort in Mexico on sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit forced labor charges. He remains behind bars awaiting trial in Brooklyn. The cult is reportedly still operating in some capacity thanks to Raniere’s most devoted followers.

Salzman, as well as financial supporters Clare and Sara Bronfman, could face their own indictments, cult survivor and expert Steven Hassan told Vice.

Contact Haley Cohen at [email protected]


Republish This Story

Please read before republishing

We’re happy to make this story available to republish for free, unless it originated with JTA, Haaretz or another publication (as indicated on the article) and as long as you follow our guidelines. You must credit the Forward, retain our pixel and preserve our canonical link in Google search.  See our full guidelines for more information, and this guide for detail about canonical URLs.

To republish, copy the HTML by clicking on the yellow button to the right; it includes our tracking pixel, all paragraph styles and hyperlinks, the author byline and credit to the Forward. It does not include images; to avoid copyright violations, you must add them manually, following our guidelines. Please email us at [email protected], subject line “republish,” with any questions or to let us know what stories you’re picking up.

We don't support Internet Explorer

Please use Chrome, Safari, Firefox, or Edge to view this site.