Dones #10: ‘What gives you the right to expose Raniere’s sexual behavior?’

Susan Dones, a former head trainer for NXIVM, gives an insight into NXIVM and its Vanguard, Keith Raniere.

Questions (Q) are asked by Robert Crockett, NXIVM’s lawyer. Dones provides answers (A)

Q: …So your whistleblowing belief is based upon …. two aspects of Keith’s personal life, his compulsive gambling and his sexual behavior?…

A: Correct.

Q: Why do you think you have the right to go to the press and expose anybody’s personal life about their sexual behavior?

A: ….I didn’t do it with the press. I’ve talked to the press a couple of times.

Q: About Keith’s sexual behavior?

A: Correct. But that was already well-known before I ever talked to the press.

Q: What gives you the right to go to the press or any third party to talk about anybody’s sexual behavior?

A: …. Keith represents himself as one thing. And… had he fully disclosed that (sexual promiscuity with multiple women) are activities that he participated in, I would have never bought a program. I would have never opened a center for them….

Q: … You talk about people’s sex lives…. You talk about their gambling addictions.

A; I don’t do that on a general basis.

Q: But you do that on a specific basis.

A: Right, because Keith Raniere is a figurehead — and he runs a company that deals with people on an emotional level, and I believe that those things need to be known.

Q: I can tell you I would find it deeply offensive if somebody talked about my sex life in public. And so when you went and spoke to the press about Keith’s sex life in public, you were attempting to hurt him; correct?

A: No, that’s not true. I was attempting to inform people. And the thing is, is that was already out there….

Q: So you felt justified in talking to the press about Keith’s sex life because others were doing it?

A: I believe that I was informing the public, which is my First Amendment right to do.

Q: Do you believe you had the right to talk about Keith Raniere’s sex life to various reporters because his disgruntled girlfriends were doing the same thing?

A: I believe that I had a right to tell people that because I had sold hundreds of people on Keith’s character. And so I believe that I had a right to warn the public because I would want to know that if I was going to enroll in a program where somebody was selling him as a Buddhist monk kind of figure.

About the author

Frank Parlato

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About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

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