Ex-leader of Hollywood sex cult NXIVM moved to notorious max-security prison

A cult leader who branded women as being like "cattle" and treated them like slaves has been moved to a top-security prison.

In October, Keith Raniere was jailed for 120 years for running NXIVM, and has now been moved to the United States Penitentiary Tucson.

He was convicted on charges that include alien smuggling, sex trafficking, extortion and obstruction of justice.

The high-security prison has previously housed mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger – who at one point was the US' most wanted person behind Osama bin Laden, Silk Road black market drug operator Ross Ulbricht and former USA Gymnastics team physician and convicted serial rapist Larry Nassar, who was transferred to another facility after he was assaulted by his fellow Tucson inmates.

Bulger is reported to have only made one friend during his time in the Tucson facility, Clement "Chip" Janis, a young convict who was trusted to run art classes for other convicts.

When Bulger arrived at the United States Penitentiary in Tucson there were more famous inmates there, including Montoya Sánchez – the leader of the Norte del Valle drug cartel.

According to Janis, Bulger was attacked by a fellow convict nicknamed "Retro", whose knife pierced Bulger's neck and skull, and sent him to the prison infirmary for a month.

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Retro had no previous ill-will with Bulger, but launched the near-fatal attack solely so he would be put in solitary confinement, where he could put off paying for drugs he had acquired from other convicts.

The facility specialises in housing sex offenders and is one of several nationwide that operates under the Sex Offender Management Program, which is designed to keep inmates safe and more in tune with their treatment by housing a higher percentage of sex offenders, who may be targeted by other inmates at other prisons.

Raniere's organisation, pronounced "Nexium”, was described by prosecutors as a racketeering operation that carried out sex trafficking.

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Nxivm on its website called itself "a community guided by humanitarian principles that seek to empower people and answer important questions about what it means to be human”.

Its 60-year-old leader Raniere, who branded himself as a Ghandi for lost professionals, was in fact a sicko who assaulted young women.

Fifteen women bravely stood up to give victim impact statements during the hearing, among them were former girlfriends and victims.

Raniere founded NXIVM in Albany, New York, in 1998 and between that time and 2017, recruited more than 17,000 people, promising self-help.

But within the organisation, there was a sub-sect named DOS – created in 2015 – where women were treated as sexual slaves.

They were branded with his initials, starved, forced to engage in group sex and sleep-deprived.

They say they were blackmailed with "collateral" they had provided in the form of incrimination photos, videos or information about themselves or their loved ones.

Smallville actress Allison Mack previously pleaded guilty to blackmailing two women while a member of NXIVM.

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