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Convicted NXIVM Cult Leader Keith Raniere Plans To Stop Prison Transfer To 'Guantanamo North' Facility

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Feb. 9 2023, Published 3:30 p.m. ET

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Convicted criminal and ex-cult leader Keith Raniere has attempted to stop his scheduled transfer to the Federal Bureau of Prison's Communication Management Units dubbed "Guantanamo North," has learned.

Raniere, 62, who was the co-founder of the NXIVM Corporation, a personal development company that recruited members based on a multi-level marketing approach. At the height of NXIVM, 700 individuals followed the personality cult, including members of Hollywood and other high-profile professions.

After the sick and twisted underworld of NXIVM was exposed, Raniere was sentenced to 120 years in prison in 2019 on federal charges that included sex trafficking, racketeering, and possession of child pornography, among other offenses.

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In January 2021, Raniere was sent to a federal penitentiary in Tuscon, Arizona. While at the Arizona facility, the former NXIVM leader was brutally attacked by fellow inmates in September 2022.

The attack prompted Raniere's separation from the general population unit and he was sent to a segregated housing unit for 200 days.

While the conditions of the Tuscon facility were described as "torturous," Raniere attempted to stop his transfer from the Southwestern prison to the specialized CMU.

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Source: mega
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Raniere faced a transfer to either Terre Haute, Indiana, or Marion, Illinois. Both locations are the site of a CMU, where inmates are indefinitely isolated from each other — and the outside world.

Inmates sent to these specialized facilities "require increased monitoring of communications with persons in the community to protect the safety, security and orderly operation of Bureau facilities and the public," according to the Daily Mail.

Raniere and his power-of-attorney Suneel Chakravorty opposed the transfer and claimed the move was retaliation from the FBI.

The ex-cult leader challenged his conviction and accused the Bureau of "tampering" with the evidence associated with his case.

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"CMUs are designed to clamp down on inmate communication," Chakravorty told the outlet. "At this point, we have seven computer forensics experts, including four former FBI examiners, willing to testify about clear evidence of FBI wrongdoing."

CMU facilities prohibit inmates from physical contact with visitors and closely monitors and manages all outside communication delivered to prisoners.

The power-of-attorney also claimed Raniere was subjected to cruel treatment at his current prison in Arizona.

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"For the last 196 days, Keith Raniere has been kept in a windowless cell for 23 hours a day," the power-of-attorney claimed. "He was placed there after he was the victim of an unprovoked attack."

"While his attacker is no longer at the prison, Keith has been kept in these torturous conditions ever since with no true explanation," Chakravorty continued. "His legal team has attempted to have him placed back in the general population but the treatment has continued for months months, and now a judge has ordered the prison to provide an explanation."

Raniere planned to file a 2241 habeas petition, which requested intervention in the scheduled transfer from a judge.

Although the petition could be filed, it would ultimately be left to the discretion of the Federal Bureau of Prisons to rule whether or not Raniere would be sent to a lower-grade facility.



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