“It includes graphic nude photographs, audio and video confessions of crimes - either fabricated or not, transmittal of assets to be held by the cult, bank account numbers and cheques written to Raniere that will be cashed if people ever leave the cult or reveal its secret practices.

“You are then given certain obligations but it becomes increasingly harrowing and demanding.” Parlato says he was fired by Raniere when he started probing into NXIVM's financial affairs - and is currently still embroiled in a legal battle with the 57-year-old.

Sun Online reached out to Raniere and the Hollywood actress but has received no comment.

It comes just days after Dynasty actress Catherine Oxenberg, who claims the group has brainwashed her young daughter India, met with prosecutors in New York and presented evidence against alleged cult leader Keith Raniere, Page Six reported.

Parlato, who was the first to make claims about the cult's allegedly sordid activities on his website The Frank Report, told Sun Online that the women - apparently including India - are terrified to break free from the cult fearing their secrets will be made public if they ever leave.

If they don’t recruit enough "slaves" or respond to their “masters” fast enough, they're beaten with paddles, Parlato claims.

In one shocking text seen by Sun Online, a desperate member writes: “If I suffer, cry or have any adverse reaction to being hit I get hit more.” New members are later taken by surprise, told to strip naked and then forcibly branded, according to Parlato.

NXIVM claims to be a self-help group but Parlato says there is a secret dark side to the organisation.

The women’s-only group led by Raniere is known as ' DOS', which Parlato says stands for “dominus obsequious sororium" - Latin for “master over the slave women”.

“You are told you are going to get a tiny tattoo and you end up being pinned down, no anesthesia, while a doctor takes a hot iron and slowly brands you with about 50 to 100 strokes of this two inch by two inch brand.

“It looks like a symbol but it is actually Raniere’s initials - KR and the actress’s.” According to Parlato, the Emmy-winning Hollywood actress - who Sun Online has decided not to name for legal reasons - is a key recruiter to the cult and has several “slave pods” of around six women each.

Parlato said: “The worrying part of all this is that there are still women captured in this cult maintaining 500 to 800 calories a day diets, sleep deprived, brainwashed and with the leader of the cult holding blackmail-worthy material in his possession which he has threatened to release if they leave the cult. “I have seen many texts including correspondence between a ‘master’ and a ‘slave’.