An individual with close ties to sex cult Nxivm has organized nightly dance parties outside the Metropolitan Detention Center federal jail in Brooklyn, where the former cult leader is imprisoned, the New York Post reported.
Organizer Eduardo Asunsolo leads a dance movement with his group the “Forgotten Ones” outside the jail to entertain inmates and call for prison reform, the Post reported. Though admitting to close relationships with the cult in an interview on Wednesday, Asunsolo said dance events are separate from the cult, the Post reported.
“I was a teacher in Nxivm and [Nxivm founder] Keith Raniere is my friend. He’s been my friend for 10 years,” Asunsolo said, the Post reported. “It’s interesting that if you go and you read the news and you judge the people that appear in the news just by what appears in the news, that’s what happens.”
NXIVM members dance for cult leader Keith Raniere outside NY prison https://t.co/G3TnjRi9ju
— syracuse.com (@syracusedotcom) July 13, 2020
Keith Raniere, former leader of Nxivm, has been held in the jail for the last two years, the Albany Times Union reported. At least six of the dance movement’s leaders have been identified as Nxivm members by Mark Vicente, former high-ranking Nxivm member who testified against Raniere last year, the Post reported.
Asunsolo said that seven members of Nxivm were involved in the dance movement, the Post reported. (RELATED: What Is The ‘Sex Cult’ That Kirsten Gillibrand’s Father Allegedly Lobbied For?)
“I just don’t want to make this movement about [Nxivm],” Asunsolo said, the Post reported. “I’m going around trying to get on radio, trying to get on TV, just to bring the focus back on the dance for the people in there,” he said, before adding “why are we talking about sex cults? Why are we talking about things like that?”
Asunsolo claimed the media misrepresented the alleged cult, though he said he would not “defend Nxivm,” the Post reported. He said that news coverage of the dance movement was distorted, equating the reports with systemic racism against black Americans and Nazi Germany, the Post reported.
“That’s why there’s millions of black people in jail because prejudice rendered them defenseless and if we do that again with another group because you call it a sex cult…it’s no different,” Asunsolo said, according to the Post.
Asunsolo claimed Nxivm had “great” human potential, the Post reported. He said OCD programs led by Nxivm fell flat because of a “character assassination” on Raniere, the Post reported.
Raniere was charged with racketeering, sex trafficking and forced labor conspiracy, and faces a potential life sentence, the Post reported.
He was found guilty of managing a sex-slave ring within Nxivm called DOS, the Post reported. Raniere reportedly branded women with his initials and persuaded them to have sex with him.
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