Marc Agnifilo says no one was ever forced to have sex with Keith Raniere.

Marc Agnifilo previews defense in interviews: Women were not branded – they branded themselves; Keith only saw some of the collateral

With lawyers like Marc Agnifilo, who needs a prosecutor?   Well, that’s not really fair.  Marc has a big job defending a crud like Keith Raniere and despite the money – Agnifilo is said to charge as much as $2,500 per hour – this guy is hard to like and harder to defend.

Still, some things Agnifilo said about Raniere would be – if he said them about me – cause to fire him.  But Raniere is a different kind of animal.

As an example, I loved this line in a CBC story:  “Agnifilo has experience representing men who claim to be brilliant but find themselves in a legal mess. He previously represented Martin Shkreli, the convicted securities fraudster who became an international pariah for hiking the price of a potentially life-saving drug by more than 5,000 percent.

“‘So this is probably my 10th client who is the smartest man in the world,’ Agnifilo says.”

MK10ART

That seems tantamount to him mocking Keith.  But Agnifilo redeems himself a little in the same article. Referring to Raniere, he says, “He’s very smart. He studies a great deal. He has a lot of ideas about his case. He’s adamant about his innocence. And I think that’s part of what animates him.”

Speaking of put-downs, Agnifilo also spoke about Raniere with Megan Kelly and famously called him “soft.”

He said, “I don’t know why anyone could feel that they’re physically threatened by Keith Raniere or anyone in NXIVM. Keith Raniere is a remarkably – he might get mad at me for saying it – soft man….  He’s just soft. He is not a big, strong masculine force. He just isn’t. He is pretty much the exact opposite. He is not physically imposing in the least.”

After he said that about me, I would have had to fire him. But then again Raniere is rather soft.

Maybe he didn’t mind.

***

In any event, Agnifilo is a damn good lawyer and is persuasive.  He is not shy about speaking to the media and in a sense previewing the defense. That may have some advantages.

 

NO VICTIMS HERE

Agnifilo has made it clear he plans to challenge the prosecution’s claim that DOS women were victims.  Women were taught in  NXIVM that there are no ultimate victims.

“And people are now saying, ‘Well, I was manipulated,'” Agnifilo said incredulously. “Wow. I mean, to sort of say that I was exposed to these concepts and somehow I was manipulated or coerced. Man, you’re going to have to prove that to me because I don’t see it.”

Agnifilo told CBC:  “I don’t think there’s such thing as brainwashing. It went out with the Cold War. It’s like a relic of the ’70s. I mean, it just doesn’t exist….  It’s a self-help group. It’s a group that preaches a pretty fundamental idea … there are no victims.

“The NXIVM philosophy… is just take victimhood out of the equation. Everything in your life is something that you chose. I’m talking about people who live in first-world countries who have choices and economic opportunity.”

 

MK10ART

RANIERE DID NOT RUN DOS

Agnifilo also argues that “Keith is not the leader of DOS. DOS doesn’t really have a leader in that sense. It is not a corporate structure.”

No he says, Raniere did not run DOS.  “Women ran DOS….  they made their own choices…. They voluntarily handed over potentially life-ruining material — to other women – not to Raniere – to demonstrate their commitment. And they chose to brand themselves.”

And loved it.

Agnifilo said he spoke with a dozen members of DOS and “they say it’s the greatest thing they ever did.”

He admits Raniere, “knew about every part of [DOS]…  I don’t think he enjoyed [the branding]. I think that it was something that the women wanted to do and that he thought was not inappropriate if that’s what they wanted to do….  It was a little extreme, it was a little dangerous, it was a little edgy, it was all those things. That’s why they wanted it.”

MK10ARt

WOMEN BRANDED THEMSELVES

Most importantly, is the distinction Marc made about the branding:  “Women in DOS branded themselves. They weren’t branded. They branded themselves.”

He told Megan Kelly that NXIVM and DOS are “two separate things.” The women of DOS “were called masters and slaves. That’s what the women wanted to call them. DOS is a sorority, a group of women and it’s only women. The women of DOS had decided is ‘We’re going to have this group of women and we’re going have some extreme protocols. Admittedly. We are going to – some of us are going to brand ourselves. Absolutely, 100 percent voluntarily.”

Agnifilo told the New York Times, “A lot of adult, strong-minded, free-willed women made decisions for their own lives.”

KEITH BARELY TOUCHED THE COLLATERAL

As for collateral, Agnifilo admits Keith held onto a little bit of it. I suppose he might have had to admit it since the government likely seized it from Raniere’s sex lair when they raided it.

Agnifilo said, “Some of [the collateral] went to Keith. I think most of it was retained by the woman master who brought the person in. …. Keith did not see the vast majority of it. But collateral is a very common principle in NXIVM. The whole kind of concept behind NXIVM is promises matter.”

Agnifilo added, “Let’s live in reality. Let’s stop living in where ‘I’m afraid’, ‘I think’, ‘this might.”, Let’s live in what actually happened. No collateral has been released. Period….  Keith never threatened anybody about anything and I defy any witness to get on the witness stand and say otherwise.”

MK10ART

NO ONE FORCED TO HAVE SEX WITH VANGUARD

As for the crime of sex trafficking, Agnifilo told Dateline, it is “not true on every conceivable level.”

“These were not trafficked women.” Agnifilo said in an interview with Oxygen.com. “They’re actresses who now have the opportunity to be in screenplays. They’re actresses who are now making movies. Trafficked women don’t spend their money on an Amtrak ticket, ride to Albany, hang out for a few days, buy another Amtrak ticket, and go back home when they want to.”

He also said that no women were made to have sex with Raniere.  “It is all nonsense. These are choices that adult, smart, educated women are making. I don’t buy brainwashing. If that is the government’s theory, they are going to lose.”

Agnifilo told CBC: “Keith would go on long walks with these women. He’d hold hands with these women. He would lay down in a bed and she would put her hand on Keith’s heart and he would put his hand on her heart. And that is the totality of the conduct. So how this got transformed into a sex cult, I’ll never know…. If they’re saying that they were coerced to have sex with Keith, I’m saying they’re lying.”

It’s just a warm and gentle group, Agnifilo said: “Some of the women who were in DOS felt that they had issues with intimacy during sex. And that they felt that they could be intimate with Keith. …  Keith is about human connection…. this is more of a cuddle cult than it is a sex cult.”

SOME EX MEMBERS REALLY WANTED TO STEAL THE TECH

Agnifilo told CBC, “A lot of people who broke away from this group, who were once very attached to this group, who were once leaders in this group, who were once teaching the stuff that they’re now saying they were manipulated by, and now they’re angry…. Some of these people who broke away from NXIVM wanted to start a version of it themselves….

GOVERNMENT IS SEXIST 

Agnifilo points out that the government’s case is sexist. Men have joined secret societies for centuries. But when women have a secret group, “all of a sudden we’re quick to say, ‘Oh, poor dears. They must be victims because no right-thinking, free-willed woman would ever want that for herself.'”

Agnifilo told NBC’s “Dateline “Talk to all the football players who have a branding on their arm. Are they all in cults? You know what the difference is? They’re men…  women brand themselves and they’re poor little dears and they’re victims. When men do it, they’re Marines…. I’m not sure how the men were branded and you know why? Because we’ve never bothered to ask. Because they’re men..”

LIFE IN PRISON?

“The government wants to give Keith Raniere life in prison….. That’s what they think a fair resolution of this case would be, that he would get life in prison for this. And so for Keith, everything. I mean, his very livelihood, his life is at stake.

Agnifilo told Vanity Fair “Mr. Raniere will fight these groundless charges and will prevail.”

 

 

MK10ART Keith Raniere is a very soft man. He is one of 10 clients of Marc Agnifilo who are the smartest men in the world.

 

 

 





About the author

Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato is the founder of the FrankReport, publisher and editor-in-chief of Artvoice, The Niagara Falls Reporter, Front Page and the South Buffalo News.

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  • Who was it that said if you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made? Well both defendant and defender sound like they genuinely want us to believe that Raniere’s only problem is with a little light privation going on in nxivm, and even then all in the name of spiritual world peace.

    That and a massive women problem.

    If raniere really is as green as he’s cabbage looking, then it must have been the women that built what is charged as a racketeering cult around his innocent self. Insisted he be called vanguard. Put millions at his disposal, insisted on sharing him – infinitely, and in monogamy. Insisted on branding each other, insisted on starving themselves, insisted on recruiting slaves for him by the half-dozens. Insisted on incarcerating themselves, insisted on everything including midnight volleyball, punching competitions, tree-running, puddle-drinking. Everything, including the appearance of his underwear, and an off shore tax haven – all down to the women.

    Agnifiglio’s gentle mockery of his softly bewildered client is supposed to contrast and underscore the ‘badass’ villainy and ultimately, the guilt, of all these women. If he could walk free by throwing everyone of them under a bus, he would. Fortunately, he won’t find the powers Ms. Penza represents, or the IRS, as devoted and biddable.

    • — if you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it made

      The quote was with “honesty” instead of “sincerity”. And it was an actor, ironically, by the name of Ed Nelson I believe.

  • Theories abound. Time to get real folks. Slice and dice and take your pick of which charges may stick vs. which may not. No jury in the free world is going to let Vanguard and NXIVM walk free with no ramifications. Forget about it. Back to reality. It is commonplace for lawyers to give clients “some” hope, while generating reams of paper (word salad), and conducting lengthy negotiations with parties (rope a dope) for little purpose other than to slightly wear down the prosecution with hopes to get a plea bargain while exhausting every last dime out of the client trust account. A few commenters on this site got it right. Christmas arrived early for the NXIVM lawyers this year who will probably churn the heck out of these defendants right up to the pain threshold where no funds are left, then throw them to the feds with plea deals. You think these lawyers want to try this case and ruin their reputations when Vanguard gets put away for life? Not to mention the legal malpractice suits sure to follow shortly afterwards from Vanguard, Bronfman & Co. You can count on that. No lawyer in her right mind would let this circus get to trial. You’ve got tens of women branded like cattle with the initials of an obvious nut job who calls himself the smartest man in the world. You’ve got accusations of immigration violations. You have young girls forcibly trapped in a room and smuggled across borders. Other federal crimes. You think a jury is going to let Vanguard walk free with zero ramifications? Are you kidding? From the standpoint of defense counsel, it’s all about getting the money, creating the appearance of legal busywork to justify the bills, then eventually using fear of possible lengthy/life sentences to persuade clients to take plea deals. You can bet the plea deals may be accompanied by waivers and settlements for the attorneys themselves, who are incentivized to get the heck out of this mess and hang on to as much of the Bronfman and Mexico cash as possible before the whole thing ends up in a train wreck with the possibility of permanently damaging lawyer reputations, work histories and lawyer bank accounts.

  • Mr. Agnifilo: I dream of the day when your client does or does not take the stand in his own defense. Either way, he loses. If so innocent, why doesn’t he testify? If he testifies, listeners will immediately see through his self aggrandizing blather because KAR will not have had enough time to indoctrinate and brainwash them. Plus, he’ll likely look like shit by then, and be pretty damn cranky to boot after a year in punitive detention. No women to dress him – No women to prepare and serve him healthy foods – No more sleeping past noon – No more airbrushed photo shoots with lip gloss.

  • This is NY court, NY does not want to lose a case a against bigtimers like Keith. I wanna see how this ends, one thing is for sure. NY will keep on coming.

  • I see that Vanguard has done a fine job of brainwashing this attorney. No held anyone down. No 4 women held down one screaming woman while Dr. Danielle seared her flesh for the better part of an hour with Vanguard/Allison’s initial. It had nothing to do with Vanguard.

  • If people want to hear Edmondson’s story, and other stories by some former members, listen to the podcasts by Jason Proctor of CBC News. These were posted around September 19th.

  • Everything Agnifilo says only proves one thing: Premeditation.

    – Agnifio admits that his clients, Keith et al, effectively put a mental gag on future victims by indoctrinating the intended victims daily with the false belief that there are no victims, that none could never consider themselves a “victim” under any circumstances.

    – He admits that Nx pounds their future victims with the false belief that keeping their “promises” — however they may have been tricked into making those “vows” — is more important than even harming themselves and their families by supplying pornographic “collateral,” etc. to “uphold their promises.” The big lie being that words (vows) are more important than deeds however heinous.

    – He admits that however dated or non-existent the practice of “brainwashing” from the 1970’s is, the US Govt. still believes “brainwashing” exists and is being practiced by his clients, Nx, on their victims. On a 10 – 16 hr. daily basis.

    – Agnifilo admits that Keith Raniere is so soft, gentle, effete, short and pudgy that he required stronger, fitter young girls to hold down his victims for their branding. Remarkable that Keith needed the girls help wrestling down the slaves despite his Judo skills and their anorexic size.

    – He admits, presumably because the FBI can prove it, that Keith indeed possessed pornographic collateral material for his own perusal or uses — maybe just as advertising for his international sex trade business since it wasn’t meant to manipulate any slaves or anything — despite convincing the slaves it was a private, girl’s-only sorority society.

    …Which dead slave is paying Agnifilo’s fees, these days? Not Pam Cafritz is it?

    • Sometimes you make insightful comments, just as Frank says.

      But this isn’t one of those times.

      Your comments above, for lack of a better phrase, are little more than “word salad” and really don’t make any important LEGAL points that might be used at trial.

      The teachings of NXIVM about ‘commitments’, ‘vows’ or ‘no victims in the world’ are not relevant legally. They are not evidence of anything at trial. This isn’t a court of ‘philosophy’ which they’re being tried in.

      As adults, if they were brainwashed to think a certain way about those topics it’s not gonna mean JACK SHIT in court since they were adults.

      The only thing that matters is the blackmail collateral. It doesn’t matter why they gave such material to Keith, as it’s illegal to even hold blackmail material over somebody’s head for any reason regardless of how that material came into NXIVM’s possession.

      IMO Agnifilo did just fine on TV and said what needed to be said based upon the evidence.

      He admitted that Keith possessed some collateral since — as you noted — the government already has evidence of this fact (so denying it isn’t an option, but downplaying it is).

      Marc did just fine on TV. I see no admissions there which hurt Keith any more than the evidence at trial will. He did as good as could be expected, given the shitty cards he’s holding.

      You engage in word salad even more than Keith sometimes.

      • Yes, I admit on rereading that was a “word-salad” more philosophical comment. Inspired by Keith’s thoughts expressed by his lawyer. And I have no clue about criminal law whatsoever. Thanks for the legal clarification.

  • I’m not sure Mark addressed identity theft, extortion, forced labor, money laundering, wire fraud, or obstruction of justice. My bet is that tax evasion charges are around the corner.

    It’s not quite as simple as he would like to make it. It’s not all about DOS.

  • I’ve never commented before, but an avid reader of Frank’s Report and NXIVM news, and let me tell you, I don’t know when I have laughed harder at the use of a hashtag. Thanks Pea! LOLOL

    #KeithCuddlesWithMeApril22!

  • It is common for narcissists to continue repeating defective arguments time and time again, because they take ownership of arguments as “theirs,” and that’s the ultimate stamp of approval for a narcissistic mind. When challenged, the author of such arguments may arrange for arguments to be restated in different ways. Yet we must accept the restated arguments for what they are in substance. Furthermore we must expect the same arguments will be stated and restated again all the way up to and during trial. Why? Because the arguments originate with a narcissistic stubborn individual(s) who can only see things his (their) way and repetitious, table-pounding restatement of the same arguments is a telltale sign of narcissists such as Vanguard.

    And the lawyers? The lawyers only want to get paid. You think they care about Vanguard? They care about being paid. God knows if Vanguard–a true master of psychotic deception and manipulation–were to win at trial he’d probably soon start attacking his own counsel with some kind of malpractice or other claims to try to recover money for himself. In the world of insane clients, there’s toxic, abusive, manipulative, self-centered lying clients, and then there’s Vanguard, in a category of his own. KR’s picture would be correctly placed in a law dictionary under the very definition of “Vexatious litigant.” From the perspective of a lawyer, KR would likely qualify as a “Vexatious client.” No thanks!

    No attorney wants to deal with a manipulative narcissist of psychopathic proportions such as Vanguard. At the end of the day Vanguard’s own lawyers probably feel better knowing they’ll be paid in full, and Vanguard will be locked up where he can’t troll them to try to recover funds resulting from what is sure to be a history of aggressive billing. You see, Vanguard promised to bring joy to everyone. And with the knowledge they will first be paid millions of dollars, and that he will likely then go away for a long time where he can’t try to get the money back, Vanguard has brought joy to his lawyers. Viva Executive Success!

    • Well said! It was interesting to hear, in the Uncover podcast, KR’s lawyer say KR often has trouble keeping to the matter at hand during their times together and veers off into other areas eating up all their time. Every click of that clock costs money but KR doesn’t seem to care. I guess it isn’t his money paying the bills. As long as the defense trust keeps paying the lawyer I’m sure he’ll keep listening.

    • Ole’! And where do the Mexican NXIANS lie in this den of greedy, cowardly attorneys?

      Somewhere between “F this case if Salinas is charged” and “make sure he can never cross the border again” maybe?

  • They will follow the money. They will keep facts close. The real truth will be kept for trial, it’s all guesswork until then.

  • Here is what is going to go down

    Now question: how do you take down pedophilia and human trafficking when you know it is ancient, spread all over the world and embraced by a network of powerful people who know how to hide behind layers of puppets and legal protections? Answer: you “Al Caponize” the problem. Everybody knew Al Capone was a murderer and a bootlegger but the system could not prove it. So? They got him through tax evasion

    • Lol, true enough. I just can’t wrap my head around why when Keith — who’s maybe not the smartest man in the world but I never thought was the dumbest either — knew all about Al Capone, the perils of tax evasion, etc. he would preach against paying any taxes to his flock? Did he think everyone but HIM, VANGUARD would disintegrate and go to prison while he got away scot-free and tax-free as a renunciate looking like the world’s Savior?!

      • Probably exactly what he thought. He will swear up and down he never touched a penny.
        They still have plenty of time to prosecute him about lying on his financial forms about his assets.
        He even proved their intent for them by signing it.

  • At last a good post. It’s pretty clear what our line of defense is : I am not an idiot. The women were not idiots. All women are not china dolls. We chose to be branded. We branded ourselves. Case close. Now you see why I say Vangaurd will be free. Now here is a piece of information. Somebody asked for a piece of information that no one else knows. Keith gets the “Crank (not Frank) Report” from his lawyer and is reading every day and he is keeping track of all. He will bring swift justice to Frank. This is not a violent threat in any manner. It is an act of justice and Clare does have the resources to bring justice. That’s why she came into this birth with the money she had to help her master bring justice to the world. We will sue for libel and Frank will reap the harvest of his evil for what he did to Keith. Frank was Attilla the Hun in his last life and he has brought into this life all the same evil. tendencies. #KeithCuddlesWithMeOnApril23!

  • Well football players are never asked to give collateral nor blindfolded and told they will get tattoos instead of being branded. It doesn’t matter to you anyway whether you lose or win the case. Only your fees matter.

  • Agnifilo is going to try to claim facts that completely dispute the claims made by Sarah Edmondson? That’s a pretty stupid defence – WTF? He must have other witnesses who are willing to collaborate this alternative scenario. He must also be willing to claim that Edmondson is maliciously lying and making false statements, and she will obviously be called to testify under oath.

    This is a bizarre way to handle this case… even the lawyers connected to Keith are behaving strangely now. Maybe Keith is brainwashing them in his prison cell!

    • Stupid defense? That’s a classic defense. The prosecution has to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. The defense does not have to prove innocence.

      • Fyi
        It’s true that’s it up to the prosecution to prove guilt, but obviously the defendant needs to defend themselves from the allegations that the prosecution is making against them. So if their defense is that the branding never occurred as claimed by Edmondson, then the defense is claiming that Edmondson is a liar. This is what I think is “stupid” because now the defense will have to prove that she lied.
        Edmondson was able to secure all the files and documents that belonged to the Vancouver branch, and they are currently stored in the offices of a Vancouver law firm. She was able to do this after Clare came to Vancouver in a bid to have Sarah arrested, which was really an attempt for NXIVM to seize these documents.

        This makes it look at though Sarah is the one telling the truth here. So its not going to look good for Agnifilo to paint her as a vindictive liar.

        • The defense doesn’t have to prove she lied – they just have to sow the seeds of doubt. I think Sarah Edmondson is telling the truth but her testimony is going to get spun. I don’t think the defense is saying there was no branding. They are saying the women chose to be branded and they are saying these women are not victims. They are saying this was about empowerment. I am not saying I agree with these statements so don’t attack me. I’m just saying what I’ve heard KR’s lawyer state.

          • How is a reply to your comment an attack? Wtf? You’re the one who argued against my comment. SMH.

            FYI, I can read what the defense is claiming. What I said is that in order to prove their claim is true (that all branding was voluntary and self- inflicted) then they will have to also claim that Edmondson is blatantly lying, correct?

            Even if some women did brand themselves, it still wouldn’t change the facts that some were branded against their will. So the defense will need to cast Edmondson as a liar- and what I said is that I think it’s a stupid way for the defense to play it. That’s my personal opinion…not sure why it offended you so much.
            Are you working for the defense or something?🤣😁😉
            (Satire, Frank)

          • Flowers, I didn’t say a reply to my comment is an attack but the way you comport yourself made me think one would come if I didn’t qualify my statement. I wasted some keystrokes.

          • I don’t “comport” myself. I just stated my opinion on the topic (which was MY OPINION and had nothing to do with you) and you disagreed with it, and then you claimed I was about to “attack” you.
            Who’s the one “comporting”?

          • Read my last post, Scott. I know they don.t need to PROVE it – and it’s usually impossible to prove something like that because it boils down to one person’s word against another persons word.

            But for the defense to create doubt around this issue, they can only do so by casting Edmondson as a vindictive, blatant liar.

            I don’t think that is going to help their case at all. Do you think the jury will believe Edmondson is lying? To make the lies believable, they will need to show that Edmondson had a motive to lie….and they are in the process opening themselves up to another line of questioning….It won’t go well for them.

            I wonder who now has possession of those Vancouver documents? Edmondson thought that NXIVM had wanted to seize the documents.

  • — But collateral is a very common principle in NXIVM. The whole kind of concept behind NXIVM is promises matter.

    “Promises matter”. That’s why VanFraud never promised anything. Why he never put his name on anything. It was just his word and so it was effectively worthless. How many of you women were “the one”? How many avatar babies did he have with you ladies? LOL.

    To highly ethical people, their word is their bond. They don’t make promises they can’t keep, and they keep promises they make. They don’t need collateral to enforce it as the concept of promise is sufficient in itself.

    Collateral and contracts are used in legal transactions, business or otherwise, e.g., marriage, their stipulations are explicitly specified, written down, and agreed upon via signature or notarization to make it legally binding. They are there to give something of equal value in return upon breach, e.g., in the case of the default on a loan, and/or to terminate a contract if either party breaks it, all under the authority of the state.

    Members of DOS writing down lies about themselves and their families and taking pornographic images and videos of themselves as a way to keep themselves from revealing the existence of DOS – a form of self-coercion argued to be given voluntarily – the revelation of which would result in the release of it to their likely public humiliation, is some warped form of “collateral” suggested by Marc Agnifilo.

    If you have to keep your personal relationships secret you shouldn’t be in them.

      • True or false, it doesn’t matter as far as the idea of collateral/blackmail is concerned. Whether false or true, such information was handed over to be a Domocles Sword hanging over the head of the woman. It was given with the explicit intention or purpose to publicly humiliate her if she ever revealed the existence of a secret DOS.

        I would argue that the trade was lopsided because she revealed something far more weighty, while those who told her about DOS revealed nothing but the notion of a “bootcamp for bad-ass” women and no details about what it required. They also misinformed and/or outright lied about it to some as well.

  • Excellent post Frank! It is very important to look at the defence’s arguments and for some reason this guy Anglifilo want us to know everything about it. He shouldn’t be underestimated, because he is used to defending such monsters and twisting it all arround to win their causes like he did in the Strauss-Kahn case. He is simply saying: everything was consensual, there is no brainwashing, collateral was consensual, the branding, all of it these women did to themselves and there is now way to prove KR was behind it all and that is a fellony.

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