The woman known only as Jane Doe #2 in the case that brought down the former leader of the sex cult NXIVM, Keith Raniere, has revealed her identity for the first time.
In an interview with CBS This Morning, Jessica Joan said how it was like her ‘worst nightmare come to life’ when she realized she had unintentionally joined a cult, and how she began to collect evidence before escaping and speaking to the FBI.
Having joined the group in Los Angeles in 2016 while in her late 20s, Joan said that she was later approached about joining the secret, women-only subsociety of the group known as DOS or The Vow.
Joan said the facade NXIVM created as a self-help organization ‘started crumbling’ when she was tasked with seducing Raniere and getting him to take a naked picture with her.
‘Everything just started crumbling… For me, it was literally my worst nightmare come to life — that I ended up joining a cult and that the leader behind it wanted to sleep with me,’ she told CBS.
Raniere, 60, was sentenced to 120 years in prison in October after a jury found him guilty of seven charges including sex trafficking and racketeering. All charges were linked to DOS.
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Jessica Joan said how it was like her ‘worst nightmare come to life’ when she realized she had unintentionally joined a cult as she gave her first interview to CBS This Morning
Joan joined the group in Los Angeles in 2016 while in her late 20s and working as an actress
Keith Raniere (pictured) was sentenced to 120 years in prison in October for seven charges including sex trafficking and racketeering, all linked to the sex cult NXIVM
Raniere has continued to claim his innocence despite testimony from Joan and other former members.
Joan said she was an actress in L.A. when she joined NXIVM and it came after an abusive childhood that she was trying to recover from.
‘I had a really traumatic childhood. The appeal was that they offered something that they said would help you get rid of all your limitations,’ she told CBS.
She said that shortly after joining, she had been approached by India Oxenberg, the daughter of ‘Dynasty’ actress Catherine Oxenberg, about DOS, saying it was marketed as a special section of the organization full of women who could help her.
‘India described DOS as a secret women’s-only mentorship program, much like a secret society… I wanted to surround myself with powerful women and wanted to do great things in the world,’ Joan explained.
Yet in order to join this secret sect of NXIVM, she had to hand over compromising pictures and videos of herself and was at one point required to eat only 500 calories a day.
Other former members of DOS have claimed that they were also branded with the initials of Raniere and ‘Smallville’ actress Allison Mack, who is the other alleged leader of the group.
Jessica Joan, pictured, said she felt she needed to identify herself now to help with the healing process
Within this secret subsection, the members were organized into levels known as ‘masters’ and ‘slaves’ and some were coerced into having sexual relations with Raniere.
Despite her allegedly drawing Joan into the group, Oxenberg has also since spoken out about her own experience and identified herself as a victim, branding Raniere a pedophile and predator.
‘What I believe [is] DOS was a grooming and filtering system for Keith and his personal desires,’ Oxenberg, who joined the group in 2011 at the age of 20, has said.
Her testimony in Raniere’s trial also was instrumental in putting him behind bars.
Joan said her lightblub moment about the group came when Mack gave her the special assignment of seducing Raniere and she began to plot her escape.
She claimed she now felt ready to release her name into the public sphere to help herself heal and has recently started up a podcast about her experience.
‘I will always stand up for what’s right and no one can ever take my power away,’ Joan said.
She had been known only as Jane Doe #2 when Raniere was brought to trial last year but Joan and the other former members have been credited with helping the FBI in bringing him down.
Joan said she started to collect evidence before making her escape and speaking to the FBI
The former NXIVM member gave testimony against Raniere at his trial last year
Prosecutor Moira Penza told CBS that Joan’s testimony showed ‘her tremendous bravery’.
Joan has said that Raniere ‘got exactly what he deserves’ and that she hopes Mack receives the maximum sentence ‘so she can spend time thinking about her actions and all of the havoc and destruction that she’s caused for myself and many other people’.
Mack already pleaded guilty to racketeering but a court date for her sentencing has not yet been announced.
She was spotted out in California on Sunday for the first time in a year, just days after she filed for divorce from her wife, Nicki Clyne.
Mack is currently under house arrest and could be seen wearing an ankle monitor.
Allison Mack (pictured on Saturday), the disgraced actress who has been charged with being an integral part of the NXIVM sex cult, was spotted for the first time in more than a year on Saturday during an outing in California with one of her friends. Mack, who is still on house arrest, could be seen wearing an ankle monitor (left) as she stepped out of a vehicle
Prosecutors charged Mack with recruiting sex ‘slaves’ to engage in intercourse with Raniere as part of DOS. Oxenberg has alleged that Mack was her ‘master’.
Some reports allege that she only married Clyne as Raniere wanted the Canadian to be able to remain in the US as part of his upstate New-York based organization.
Clyne, an actress who appeared in Battlestar Galactica, avoided any direct charges in connection with her involvement in the cult.
However, she was also an integral part of the nefarious group presenting itself as a self-help organization.
Raniere founded NXIVM in Albany, New York, in 1998 and between then and 2017, recruited more than 17,000 people to it, promising them self-help.
A brand received by a female member of DOS, the alleged secret sex cult within the NXIVM organization. The brand contains the initials of the group’s former leader Keith Raniere – K.A.R
India Oxenberg gave a victim impact statement at the sentencing hearing in the sex trafficking and racketeering case against NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere, pictured
Women in DOS were branded with his initials, starved, sleep deprived and forced to engage in group sex and blackmailed with ‘collateral’ they had provided in the form of incriminating photos, videos or information about them or their families.
Raniere also punished young women including a teenager who prosecutors said he held in a room for two years as punishment because she’d shown a romantic interest in another man.
Last month Raniere claimed that his life ‘may not be long’ and fears he will be killed in prison.
Raniere is currently serving time at the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center. But as the prospect of being moved in with the general population of a maximum-security prison looms, he explained to journalist Frank Parlato, of the Frank Report, that he fears for his life due to his ‘dangerous situation’.
The Bureau of Prisons is in the process of arranging Raniere’s permanent placement where he will serve his sentence for a long list of offenses, including sex trafficking of children and conspiracy to commit forced labor.