Dones #13: Repulsive Aspects of Raniere’s sexual behavior

Keith Raniere, is he an enlightened spiritual being, or a criminal cult leader?

Susan Dones wrote in a declaration that NXIVM’s “Rational Inquiry trainings are used as a venue to stalk their students to who might fit into Raniere’s profile of sexual conquests and who might be willing to give Raniere money.”

She was questioned in a deposition by NXIVM attorney Robert Crockett in November 2010 about how she formed this conclusion.

Here are some excerpts from her deposition which have been slightly edited for clarity and to take out redundancies.

Crockett Q: Is it correct to say that your understanding of the repulsive aspects of Keith’s sexual behavior comes from a former girlfriend?

Dones A: …from Barbara Bouchey … Kathy Ethier, who Keith had made advances on … Angela Ucci, who Keith had made advances on. … and … Toni Natalie….

Q: So you’ve named four women that Keith’s had relationships with or that he’s attempted to have relationships with as the basis for your exploding to the press Keith’s sexual history; is that correct? …

A: ……Keith was never open about who he was dating….. Esther Chiappone… told me personally that she had a sexual relationship with Keith.

Q: So is there something wrong with members of NXIVM having sexual relations with people?

A: ….  my issue is with the founder of the company having …. ‘Setups’… to manipulating women into having relationships. ….he had told Barbara Bouchey that he was her boyfriend without telling Barbara Bouchey that he was having multiple sexual relationships. Same thing with Toni….  that’s deviant …  and lying and manipulation.


Q: (Besides Bouchey) did any other woman tell you that they were unhappy that Keith Raniere was having sex with other women while having sex with them?

A: ….Toni Natalie told me the same thing.

Q: …. Any other woman…?

A: Kathy Ethier told me that she was upset by Keith’s behavior towards her, and Angela Ucci …. believed that she was set up by Pam Cafritz … to [lure her into having sex with] Keith.

Q: So another big whopper you said you heard was that Keith lied about his sexual relations….. Have you ever heard a course taught to the effect that the founder of NXIVM is monogamous?

A: They don’t teach that….

Q: So when you say that Keith Raniere lied about his sexual relationships with women, where did he say he was monogamous or celibate…?

A: … he told people that he was involved with that he was monogamous.

Q:  … based upon information you got from ex-girlfriends –

A: …  there was a situation with Keith and Kathy Ethier that … was inappropriate. …  And then there was a situation with Angela Ucci that ….was inappropriate.

Q: Where he made moves on them?

A: Right.

Q: …. basically, it’s your position because Keith had sexual relations with these two different women and made moves on two others that your life’s in danger?

A: … I think that there’s a cycle of abuse. ….the way that he works women to not talk about it and then when they do find out … he’s having sexual relationships with other women… a group of other women come in — Nancy Salzman, Pam Cafritz, Lauren Salzman — … to work that person’s issues and attachments around ownership of Keith. “Do you own Keith’s penis?” “What’s the difference between Keith sleeping with somebody versus playing the violin?” Those ….are all manipulative.

Q: Has Keith ever come on to you?

A: He knows I’m a lesbian, so he wouldn’t do that.

Q: Has he ever slept with you?

A: No.

Q: Has he ever tried to manipulate you sexually?

A: No. ….(Raniere) was sleeping with all of the women on the board – which I believed was a conflict of interest.….

Q: …. Do you think that NXIVM should tell each potential customer everything about Keith Raniere’s personal life before the customer comes in as a client?

A: ….Keith ….and his company and Nancy Salzman are in people’s emotional lives, and I think that people have a right to know the moral fiber of somebody that they put that trust into.

Q: …  you believe that you’ve been abused and mistreated because you found out that Keith Raniere was not the celibate saint that you thought that he had been portrayed as?

A: It’s not just the celibacy thing….it’s ….the manipulation …. he does with women, and … his members to extract money out of them to gamble in the commodities market. ….

Q: ….Is it correct to say NXIVM takes no position one way or the other as to whether you should be straight or gay or celibate or monogamous…?

A: But they seem to take the position that it’s okay to manipulate people….

Q: …. If NXIVM takes no position on one’s sexuality or orientation…. how (has) Mr. Raniere … engaged in manipulation contrary to the ethics of NXIVM(?)

A: … (He) has taken advantage of women through …. people divulging their emotional issues within the curriculum …

Q: … what other women were …. manipulated by Keith Raniere?

A: Esther Chiappone…. was led to believe that Keith was attracted to her and that she…. was attracted to him. Esther divorced her husband and moved her four kids from Sterling, Alaska, to Albany, New York, to be with Keith.  …. Esther found out that Keith was nonmonogamous, had a reaction to that, and …. Nancy Salzman was sent in to deal with her.

Q: ….Explain to me what you saw Nancy do to Esther….

A: …. Nancy was very abusive to Esther. ….  Yelling, screaming… Esther and I had a conversation the night before….  the next day I was in the bathroom with Nancy, and Nancy came in in a fury asking me about my conversation with Esther. “What did you talk about? I need to know what you talked about.”

Q: ….What did you see Nancy do to Esther that constituted manipulation?

A: I saw Nancy being angry at Esther.

Q: So she was mad at her? …Over what…?

A: … she was afraid Esther was going to spill the beans (about the sexual conduct of Raniere).

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Frank Parlato

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  • Someone on another wordpress blog had posted the following before it was removed, but it was captured in a post on Rick Ross’ website in the forum on LGAT cults in a NXIVM thread:

    Dear Curious Truth Seeker and Others,

    There are people who would like to say exactly who they are when they share data. There are many more who would like to share data and don’t. Maybe you are not aware of this or why?

    Let’s list some reasons.

    1. Don’t want to look foolish for having been part of the group.
    2. They have people who try to threaten, intimidate, lie and defame you to try to silence you. (a.k.a. – [])
    3. Afraid that people will not want to associate with them anymore.
    4. They trump up bogus allegations in a lawsuit against you to try to quiet you and then you spend thousands for years defending yourself to prove the truth.
    5. Those that really know data want to put this behind them and move on with their lives in part because of the reasons stated above.

    How is it known that Keith likes his women with certain hairstyles & weight?
    Here is how.

    1. If you are a woman he is intimately involved with he tells you that he likes your hair long and never to cut any of the length.
    2. If you look at the women closest to him you will observe their hair is long either because they are intimately invovled with him or they want to be.

    1. He tells you in his scientific opinion what your ideal weight should be, which if you reach it you will look very thin.
    2. He tells you if you are heavier than this ideal weight that it has a negative effect on his energy level and it’s hard to be around you.
    3. Because there are other women there is a fear he will not see you and see those that are thinner.
    4. If you are around the women closest to him you will observe they are obsessed with their weight.
    5. You will also observe how often they are on liquid diets, fasting, doing coffee enemas and even some have become bulimic.

    I am curious why the “Curious Truth Seeker” only offered these comments to be either rumors or fanning flames. Why NOT offer them as possible “truths?” By not mentioning this as an option it could influence the reader to not think of them as truths.

    Is it necessary to be “present” to know that data from another source is accurate or true? I pose an example to ponder:

    My neighbor has lived next to me for 20 years. Their house is neat, they are friendly, they buy girl scout cookies, and dress very conservatively. I would consider them a good person. A friend alleges they just raped and beat them. Let’s say there is concrete evidence to prove this. But, you were not “present.” Does that mean it did not happen or that it’s not accurate data?

    I am curious why the “Curious Truth Seeker” asks those that are sharing data if they were present. It could influence the reader to diminish the accuracy of the data being shared. Not being present does not mean the data is any less truthful.

    I hope this information was helpful and I encourage you to continue to seek the truth and be curious what you find.

    Yours truly,

    Curious Truth Revealer

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

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Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083