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Neither Perera nor Sanz responded to messages from New Times this week. But through a spokesperson, the school says that it is now owned by a woman named Patricia Pietra and that Perera is no longer affiliated with Rainbow Cultural Garden Miami.

"Rainbow Cultural Garden Miami is a multicultural tutoring center that has nothing to do with any cult," Pietra said through a spokesperson. "For four years… Rainbow Cultural Garden Miami has run as a tutorial center and has always conformed with all investigative agencies and their respective review of our facility and practices. The Florida Department of Children and Families is conducting an audit, and we are working with them to ensure that all proper licenses are currently in order."

However, as of press time, Perera’s Twitter and Instagram biographies still indicate she is involved with the school. Her Instagram bio contains a link to, one of the central websites for the international chain of schools, which lists the midtown location among its outlets. (Perera posted an Instagram Live story as recently as yesterday afternoon without changing her bio.) Additionally, the Miami chapter shares the same name and logo as all the other Raniere-linked schools around the world.

Perera also told the Spanish newspaper ABC in March 2017 that she "directs" the school. ABC also reported that Perera and Sanz’s young son, Dylan, had learned to speak Russian, Chinese, Arabic, English, and Spanish through the program. (A Rainbow spokesperson did not respond to follow-up questions about when Perera left the school.)

It’s not clear how closely the Rainbow schools are still linked with Raniere. The federal government has not alleged that the Rainbow schools, Perera, Sanz, or Pietra are in any way involved with Raniere’s alleged crimes as a cult leader. But Frank Parlato Jr., a former NXIVM spokesperson-turned-whistleblower credited with first raising concerns about NXIVM, says he believes the schools were a tool to help Raniere and NXIVM members "indoctrinate children" into the cult.

"It’s this huge experimental program that teaches children how to be sociopaths," says Parlato, who says the schools charge up to $10,000 per month. "It’s a random idea that Raniere cooked up to keep the kids of his cult separated from their parents."

Raniere, a former multilevel-marketing entrepreneur from Albany, founded NXIVM in the late 1990s as a self-help organization. NXIVM advertises courses to help people reach “self-fulfillment” and better achieve their goals. More than 16,000 people are estimated to have attended NXIVM classes, and Raniere had particular success in luring celebrity clients such as Richard Branson and former Dynasty star Linda Evans, according to the Albany Times Union.

Raniere founded the original Rainbow Cultural Garden in 2006, according to one of his online biographies. He called it “a revolutionary child development program promoting children’s cultural, linguistic, emotional, physical, and problem-solving potential.” Ariella Menashy, a woman who tried to open a Rainbow Garden branch in Vancouver, told the British newspaper the Sun last December that “Keith Raniere is very much involved” in the day-to-day operations of the Rainbow schools.

Federal prosecutors in New York also allege that Raniere has had sex with underage girls, including one child as young as 12 years old. The feds also alleged that Raniere has complained that age-of-consent laws are too rigid. However, prosecutors have not alleged that there is any connection between Raniere’s alleged crimes and the Rainbow school network.

In 2010, the Times Union dug into NXIVM’s Rainbow project: The newspaper profiled a small child named Gaelen who had been effectively adopted by an NXIVM devotee and was being taught according to Raniere’s plan at a Rainbow school in upstate New York. Linguists and child-development specialists told the newspaper that Raniere’s teaching ideas aren’t necessarily damaging to children but may or may not be successful and will likely be "very difficult" to achieve.

But even as Raniere’s schools and self-help businesses boomed, people close to NXIVM’s headquarters in Albany have long accused Raniere of turning NXIVM into a cult. The group fiercely protected its reputation, helped in part, as Vanity Fair reported in 2010, by as much as $150 million in donations from Sara and Clare Bronfman, the heiresses to the Seagram’s liquor fortune. As allegations mounted, NXIVM officials and benefactors have sued critics and filed criminal complaints against whistleblowers, the New York Times reported.

(The Rainbow Cultural Garden’s U.K. webpage previously listed Sara Bronfman as the chain’s CEO, further illustrating the links between NXIVM’s backers and Rainbow. The webpage has since been deleted, but a cached version of the "Team" page includes Bronfman’s headshot.)

Last October, credible allegations about NXIVM finally went mainstream when multiple women who left the group told the New York Times that Raniere and his team were branding women like cattle and collecting information used to blackmail them into becoming sex slaves. In November, actress and former NXIVM member Sarah Edmondson showed Vice News the brand she says she received while she was in the organization.

The case came to a head at the beginning of 2018, when a federal court for the Eastern District of New York issued a warrant for Raniere’s arrest. The FBI finally apprehended him in Mexico the last week of March. The feds say they found Raniere living in a $10,000-per-week villa near Puerto Vallarta with “several women.”

In an indictment, the FBI says that around 2015, Raniere founded a secret group within NXIVM known alternately as “DOS” or “ the Vow.” The feds described NXIVM as having aspects of “a pyramid scheme” but, in this instance, said the pyramid included sex slavery: Raniere, known as the “vanguard,” sat atop the chain, and an all-female group of “slaves” underneath him allegedly pledged sexual fealty to him while in turn acting as “masters” to their own chains of “slaves.”

The feds wrote that Raniere intentionally targeted “women who were currently experiencing difficulties in their lives." Slaves were forced to provide “collateral” in the form of compromising images or personal information, which the feds say DOS members used to prevent the women from fleeing the group. The feds say the slaves were branded with Raniere’s initials and included photos of at least one alleged branding scar.

(Raniere and NXIVM have denied the government’s charges and say he’ll be vindicated in court. "In response to the allegations against our founder, Keith Raniere, we are currently working with the authorities to demonstrate his innocence and true character," a statement on NXIVM’s website reads.)

None of the federal indictments mention the Rainbow Cultural Garden. But Parlato — who has been entangled in numerous lawsuits with group leaders for years — has warned on his blog, Frank Report, that Rainbow is an offshoot of the alleged cult. He claims the school serves as a way to "fleece" rich NXIVM members by charging exorbitant tuition fees.