Huckabee has cult following

December 31, 2007 — Mike Huckabee is being backed by a bizarre upstate group that has been denounced as a cult, The Post has learned.

Records show Huckabee raked in $20,000 from Sara Bronfman, the Seagram liquor heiress and high-profile devotee of the NXIVM group.

Bronfman made the donation to Hope for America, a political action committee set up in Virginia by Huckabee, according to that state’s public records.

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Albany-based NXIVM bills itself as an executive-training program, but detractors have said it is a “cult.”

Its leader, Keith Raniere, was run out of Huckabee’s home state of Arkansas in 1992 after authorities there accused him of running a pyramid scheme. Facing probes in 23 other states, Raniere shuttered his operation.

Bronfman listed herself as an employee of a NXIVM subsidiary when she donated to Huckabee’s PAC in December 2005.

Huckabee shuttered the PAC earlier this year.

Huckabee campaign officials did not respond to requests for comment.

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This post was last updated: Monday, December 31, 2007 at 11:19 AM, Central European Time (CET)