Dones #8: Lawsuits, Whistleblowers and ‘problem with sexual behavior’

Part #8 of our series on Susan Dones’ deposition.

Robert Crockett, NXIVM’s lawyer is asking the questions, Dones, a former head trainer of NXIVM answers. Here she tells why she left NXIVM and a little about NXIVM’s lawsuits against whistle blowers.

Crockett Q: Is it correct to say that NXIVM offered expensive training courses?

Dones A: I believe it is expensive.

Q: When anybody (who) left NXIVM speaks out against the organization or its leaders, NXIVM immediately initiates complex lawsuits that are intended to bankrupt the nonbeliever suppressive and destroy their reputations?

A: That is what I believe.

Q: How many students or members do you think NXIVM has had since its inception?

A: …. when I left, it was a little over 6,000, so I would assume that by now it’s probably over 7,000.

Q: And of those 7,000 members, how many of them would you say NXIVM has initiated lawsuits against to destroy their reputations?

A:  …. There’s Barbara Bouchey. There’s me. There’s Kim Woolhouse. There is Toni Natalie, Joe O’Hara, the Plyams, Yuri and Natasha Plyam….  (if) Becca Friedman doesn’t come forward with what they want from her, that they’re going to initiate a lawsuit against her.

Q: …. seven lawsuits of the 7,000 members.

A: … most people are afraid to speak out because of NXIVM’s lawsuits.

Q: Are …you aware of any other lawsuits other than the seven?

A: I’m not aware of any. ….I’m also not aware of anybody who has been vocal and blown the whistle.

Q: …. And what do you need to blow your whistle about?

A: … I was told certain things about Keith … I found out other ….things about him, those are things that then eventually caused me to leave. The one thing is the — what I believe is compulsive gambling ….losing over seventy million dollars of their members’ money in the commodities market and using several NXIVM members to open accounts for him to gamble in. I believe that that’s a problem. Then I also believe that there’s a problem with the sexual behavior. Those two things then caused me to have great concern because I had misrepresented him in relationship to a lot of people that …. trusted me, in that I told them about Keith Raniere’s character. I believe that what I did was the reasonable, ethical, moral thing to do, was to let people know that I had misrepresented him, and in doing so, I blew that whistle on his behavior.

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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.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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