Dones #11: ‘A cycle of abuse’

More excerpts of Susan Dones (A)  Nov. 2010 deposition. She is being questioned by Robert Crockett (Q), attorney for NXIVM.

Crockett Q: Do you believe that NXIVM uses the confidentiality (agreement) as a weapon regardless of what the whistleblower’s claim may be?

Dones A: I do

Q: How does NXIVM use the confidentiality agreement as a weapon?

A: Because I believe that I have not disseminated their information, their materials. And what I have mentioned is my personal experience, and I believe that that’s my First Amendment right. And because I’ve shared my personal experience, they’ve come into my bankruptcy court and made several claims against me that I believe are false.

Q: You realize that NXIVM’s contention is that you are using NXIVM material with the press, i.e., the videotape; correct?

A: I don’t believe that that’s their material, so that’s where we differ. And besides that, NXIVM was in my bankruptcy court before that.

Q:  Let me read this statement to you from your declaration. “Moreover, it is also my understanding based upon information and belief that NXIVM’s various lawsuits are primarily based on accusations rather than evidence and that its goal is to force its enemies to concede unless they can find pro bono help or attempt to defend themselves pro se.” Is that an accurate statement?

A: I believe that’s true…..

Q: ….Have you ever seen NXIVM or Salzman or Raniere ever publish anything on the internet or in the press critical of you?

A: ….I have not seen them publish anything, but they talked a lot even before I left and after I left.

Q: How do you know that?

A: I had friends who went to a meeting in Seattle that Nancy Salzman came out to do after I left, and I heard that Nancy had said some very negative things about me.

Q: Who told you that?

A: Several of my friends who were there.

Q: Name one.

A: Barb Bell, Kevin Hlas, Andrew Dallow, Kristi Lahusen, Jeff Johnson.

Q: These are people who heard Nancy Salzman saying negative things about you?

A: Correct.

Q: …. Do you know if NXIVM has ever done what you’ve done to Keith Raniere, that is, go to the press and talk about you, your personal life?

A: I don’t know that they’ve ever gone to the press in regards to that, but they did that within their organization. Nancy Salzman told people that I was a full suppressive.

Q: You consider that an insult?

A: I do. …

Q: … And so you believe that your physical life is in danger because you’ve been told that Keith Raniere has sex with different women?

A: Not just that. I think it’s the manipulation that takes place within the upper leadership of NXIVM. … the lies and the cover-ups …. I see how they treat people within the organization, especially people who won’t kowtow to NXIVM’s policies ….  there is an escalation of the abuse cycle…

Q: So because Keith sleeps with other women and makes the moves on other women, you feel like your life is in danger; is that right?

A: I believe it’s part of the cycle of abuse….  And so I believe that it’s very possible that my life is in danger. I mean, I’ve had strange cars parked across my house, all different kinds of stuff.

Q: And were those strange cars parked across from your house NXIVM cars?

A: No, but I believe that they have hired PIs before to harass people.

Q: Have you ever been harassed by a PI?

Q: No, but I have friends who have been.

Q: Who told you that they were harassed by a NXIVM-hired PI?

A: Angela Ucci, [Name Redacted], Barbara Bouchey’s personal assistant, Mel, Melanie ….Kathy Ethier.

Q: Who was the private investigator?

A: … Steve Rambam, who went around presenting himself as … an investigator for the state of New York, which is very different than “I’m a private investigator licensed in the state of New York”

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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