Leader of sex cult NXIVM may have poisoned women in his inner circle, killing two of them, claims documentary

The inner circle of Keith Raniere's sex cult was primarily women, many of whom were diagnosed with cancer


                            Leader of sex cult NXIVM may have poisoned women in his inner circle, killing two of them, claims documentary
Allison Mack (Source : Getty Images)

Keith Raniere's NXIVM was a dark and degrading sex cult that claimed to be a self-help group. The cult was infamous for its sex slavery, money laundering, as well as the torturing of women, though these secrets were closely guarded by the group's loyal and brainwashed members. 

A chilling new documentary released by Investigation Discovery, titled 'The Lost Women of NXIVM', investigates the mysterious disappearance of four women, of which two had been diagnosed with incurable cancers. The documentary looks at whether or not Raniere is responsible for poisoning the women in his inner circle. 

The documentary is led by investigative journalist Frank Parlato who is looking into the deaths of two of Raniere's inner circle members — Pamela Cafritz and Barbara Jeske. As revealed by Dr Janja Lalich, a sociologist, Raniere had created an environment with primarily women around him.

Jeske was the cult's enroller who helped develop the curriculum, while Cafritz had lived with Raniere the longest and was reportedly his favorite. Both the women lived with Raniere at his home in Knox Woods and both were among his inner circle of trusted members. It was reported that Raniere's inner circle had a dark side and many of the women in his inner circle had been diagnosed with incurable cancer. 

As Parlato investigates the case, he comes across a former member of the inner circle who chose to remain anonymous fearing repercussions from Raniere's followers. The former member revealed that she knew Cafritz, whom she described as sweet, funny and uninhibited. The insider also found the deaths of Cafritz and Jeske to be very suspicious, given that many women in the group who lived together had cancer.

Cafritz had been diagnosed with kidney cancer while Jeske was diagnosed with brain cancer. Another member of the circle, Kristin Keeffe, had been diagnosed with cervical cancer. It was also revealed that the executor on Cafritz's will was listed as Raniere himself, leading to the question — did Raniere poison these women?

The insider shared that she had managed to keep a lock of her hair from when she was in Raniere's inner circle and had been diagnosed with bladder cancer. This was a big deal given that Raniere would never allow women to cut their hair. As Parlato shared, Raniere was a fanatic who believed that hair represented an essential aspect of a woman's persona and hence would never let them cut it. The fact that the insider was able to save a lock of her hair from when she was diagnosed with bladder cancer is a miracle.

Keith Raniere was accused of sleeping with women in his inner circle and controlling their every habit (The Lost Women of NXIVM)

Parlato consulted with a forensic scientist, Jason Kolowski, who tested the hair sample saved by the insider and shared the results. Kolowski said hair is a phenomenal time capsule, which allows them to conduct tests to see whether there had been anything in her system at the time she was infected. The hair sample was broken into three strands, all of which came back testing positive for high levels of Barium and Bismuth.

It was also obvious that the insider had been subjected to chronic exposure to these two heavy metals. Barium can be found in a variety of sources such as gun powder, explosives, electronics and rat poison. The fact that it is found in rat poison raises the question of whether Raniere had been poisoning these women over the time that they lived with him, and if so, was it for his financial gain?

The secrets of the inner circle have been closely guarded for years and as the once-loyal insider revealed, "after everything that we've seen this year, the poisoning is quite possible".

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