Sex

The Many Homes of the NXIVM Sex Cult

The upstate New York homes of some of the key players in NXIVM, the twisted “sex cult” chronicled in the hit HBO documentary “The Vow,” are likely to go on the market soon. Whether buyers will line up to purchase the Albany-area townhouses, where women were enslaved, brainwashed, and branded, remains to be seen.

The final episode of the nine-part documentary premiered on Sunday. The series gives viewers an inside look at NXIVM, which initially billed itself as a self-improvement group. But beyond its personal and professional development seminars, NXIVM’s charismatic leader Keith Raniere oversaw a shadier subgroup called DOS.

With the help of “Smallville” actress Allison Mack, DOS allegedly recruited female members into “slavery” ultimately answerable to Raniere’s sexual whims. Women were put on extremely low-calorie diets and branded with Raniere’s initials via a cauterizing pen designed to burn flesh. If they tried to leave, DOS would threaten to release embarrassing collateral the women had provided, such as naked photos.

Now, two homes of high-ranking NXIVM members and the group’s headquarters are to be forfeited to the federal government, as punishment for their crimes.

Raniere, who went by the title “Vanguard,” was convicted of racketeering and sex trafficking last year. He now faces up to life in prison. He’s slated to be sentenced on Oct. 27.

Other high-ranking members of the group, including NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman and her daughter, Lauren Salzman, pled guilty along with Mack to charges levied against them. They have yet to be sentenced. But as a result of their pleas, a U.S. District Court judge signed three preliminary forfeiture orders against the women last year. This basically means they have to surrender more than a half-million dollars, a Steinway grand piano valued at $40,000, as well as two townhouses and three commercial

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SJC: Newton home contractor who is Level 3 sex offender does not have to list clients’ addresses

“The defendant … is not an employee but an independent contractor, and publishing his clients’ addresses as though his clients were his employers would mischaracterize the relationship,” Gants wrote.

The SJC ruling was sought by Francis X. Harding Jr. a self-employed home contractor whom the Sex Offender Registry Board has classified as a Level 3 sex offender, the most likely to reoffend.

According to the SJC, Harding pleaded guilty in 2015 to charges of indecent assault and battery on a child under 14 and possession of child pornography and was sentenced to five years of probation among other sanctions in Fall River District Court.

He was required to register as a sex offender and in the years since has listed his Newton home — where he has a workshop — as both his work and home address with the board, the SJC said.

The self-employed contractor has also regularly shared detailed invoices about the homes or businesses where he had worked with probation officers and was considered to be in compliance with his sentence, the SJC said.

But in March 2018, a Revere police officer spotted Harding at a shopping plaza where the officer was conducting a drug investigation, stopped him, and learned he was working at a house in Lynn repairing gutters, the SJC said.

Lynn police confirmed the information and also confirmed an infant child lived there – Harding was barred from working “with’ children under his sentence – leading District Court Judge Cynthia M. Brackett to find that Harding violated his probation.

Harding appealed, drawing support from the Committee for Public Counsel Services and the non-profit Massachusetts Association for the Treatment of Sexual Abusers.

They jointly argued sex offenders already face major problems getting work and the public disclosure would drive drive away potential customers. Steady employment,

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Race and Sex Stereotyping EO Affecting Federal Contractors

On September 22, 2020, President Donald Trump signed an executive order titled “Executive Order on Combating Race and Sex Stereotyping.” The executive order follows a September 4, 2020, memorandum from Russell Vought, director of the Office of Management and Budget, and introduces requirements for government contractors conducting diversity and inclusion (D&I) trainings. It is clear from the order that covered contracts, subcontracts, and grants with the U.S. federal government must control for specific language related to workplace trainings, but the order otherwise lacks guidance about  changes covered contractors must make when training on D&I issues. Additionally, the order will almost certainly elicit constitutional and other legal challenges.

The executive order sets out to prohibit government contractors from, among other things, “stereotyping” and “scapegoating” in their workplace trainings. This language reflecting on D&I workplace trainings comes from section 4(a), “Requirements for Government Contractors,” which directs government contracting agencies to include four numbered paragraphs in non-exempt government contracts. The first numbered paragraph states,

The contractor shall not use any workplace training that inculcates in its employees any form of race or sex stereotyping or any form of race or sex scapegoating, including the concepts that (a) one race or sex is inherently superior to another race or sex; (b) an individual, by virtue of his or her race or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously; (c) an individual should be discriminated against or receive adverse treatment solely or partly because of his or her race or sex; (d) members of one race or sex cannot and should not attempt to treat others without respect to race or sex; (e) an individual’s moral character is necessarily determined by his or her race or sex; (f) an individual, by virtue of his or her race

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