Women say they were "branded and traumatized by doctors" in New York as part of cult ritual

I've never heard of NXIVM. According to Wikipedia, it is "a pyramid selling organization centered on the provision of classes and seminars that encourage clients to pursue a path of personal and professional development. Branding and the "collateral" collection of personal information and/or pictures are recognized parts of the "initiation" into the NXIVM experience." It was co-founded in 1998 by a man named Keith Raniere. Recently a group of women said that they'd been traumatized by medical doctors who belonged to the group. NXIVM says, "This story might be a criminal product of criminal minds who, in the end, are also hurting the victims of the story."

From Time:

In a complaint filed with the [New York] state Department of Health over the summer and shared with the [New York] Times, a woman said Dr. Brandon Porter, of the Albany suburb Clifton Park, did studies on behalf of NXIVM's personal development program. In one study, she said, Porter connected her to brainwave monitoring equipment and without warning showed her film clips depicting extreme violence including gang rape. She said she has been haunted by the images for almost a year.

Other women complained to the health department that Dr. Danielle Roberts, a family doctor in Clifton Park, used a surgical device to burn brands on women's lower abdomens during their initiations into a secret sorority within NXIVM.

From Business Insider: