Defense takes pains to distinguish ‘Non DOS’ Defendants – Nancy Salzman, Bronfman, Russell from DOS Defendants Mack and Lauren Salzman and Raniere

Clare Bronfman and Allison Mack

In the motion to dismiss papers filed on behalf of Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman, and Kathy Russell, the defense team for these three women has taken considerable pains to distinguish their clients from Allison Mack, Lauren Salzman, and Keith Raniere.

Bronfman, Nancy Salzman, and Russell are called the Non-DOS defendants – whereas Mack and Lauren Salzman are referred to as the DOS defendants and Raniere is…Raniere.

This may be a strategy to set the stage for separate trials based on DOS versus Non-DOS defendants and to try to break the RICO charges in half.

The attorneys for the so-called “Non-DOS” defendants are:

  1. Justine Harris and Amanda Ravich for Kathy Russell
  2. Robert Soloway and David Stern for Nancy Salzman
  3. Alexandra A.E. Shapiro, Fabien M. Thayamballi, Susan Necheles, and Kathleen E. Cassidy for Clare Bronfman


In their “PRELIMINARY STATEMENT” the defense team somewhat ridicules the prosecution’s indictment.

It reads:

“This purported RICO conspiracy is nonsense. It is a fiction concocted by the government to, among other things, avoid serious statute of limitations problems and force all of the Defendants into a highly prejudicial joint trial, pervaded by tales of sex and blackmail. In its zeal to taint every Defendant with the most sordid allegations, the government has stitched together charges in a skeletal indictment that avoids disclosing any of the facts that might support (or, more likely, undermine) its far-fetched RICO theory.”

From here, the defense team for the Non-DOS defendants starts to note the differences between them and the DOS defendants:

They write, “The government does not claim that Ms. Bronfman, Ms. Russell, or Nancy Salzman were conspirators in the sex-and-blackmail schemes it alleges against the other Defendants. … It does not even allege that they knew about these acts. It has, in fact, conceded that they did not.”

In short, the defense attorneys for Non-DOS defendants are claiming the prosecution lumped the defendants together to fabricate a RICO case.

“… the government has not properly charged the Defendants in a single, overarching conspiracy, and it has not adequately alleged the ‘pattern’ of interrelated racketeering acts necessary to invoke RICO. … The charges against these [Non-DOS] Defendants should be dismissed outright….”

In the “Background” section, the Non-DOS defense explains that, as the Indictment alleges,  Keith Raniere was the founder and leader of two organizations: “(1) Nxivm” and “(2)…‘DOS’…they have significant differences…

“NXIVM is a ‘professional business providing educational tools, coaching and trainings…  similar to businesses like Dale Carnegie, Tony Robbins, or Landmark…”

What follows are several paragraphs on NXIVM’s virtues and successes.

Then the Non-DOS lawyers broach DOS, writing,  “DOS is plainly the centerpiece of the government’s case. … the government has described DOS as a hierarchical ‘secret society’ that women were encouraged to join in exchange for ‘collateral’ that took the form of property and blackmail material, which then was allegedly used to extract additional property, labor, and sex from the victims…”

The Non-DOS team continues to narrate in the context of DOS and Non-DOS perspective:

The Non-DOS team writes, “All of the Defendants are joined in a single count charging a RICO conspiracy…According to the Indictment, Raniere and the other Defendants, who were part of Raniere’s ‘inner circle,’ constituted a RICO ‘enterprise’…

“Defendants Allison Mack and Lauren Salzman (the ‘DOS Defendants’) were members of both NXIVM and DOS…By contrast, Defendants Clare Bronfman, Kathy Russell, and Nancy Salzman (the ‘Non-DOS Defendants’) were members only of NXIVM…They are not alleged to have participated in DOS or even to have known about DOS…

The Non-DOS team disputes the indictment allegations that all defendants “’comprised an organized criminal enterprise.'” adding that “the government’s allegations do not actually suggest that the Defendants associated primarily for criminal purposes…   Raniere was the founder of NXIVM; Nancy Salzman was the president of NXIVM; Bronfman and Lauren Salzman served on NXIVM’s Executive Board; Russell was NXIVM’s bookkeeper; and Mack was a high-ranking member of NXIVM…Thus, the Defendants were linked by their official positions…to NXIVM…a legitimate business… despite the RICO charge, the enterprise was not a mafia family, a street gang, a drug cartel, or any other crime syndicate whose very business is racketeering activity. Its members associated for legitimate business purposes, and the RICO charge must be evaluated accordingly.”

The Non-DOS team further evaluates the Non-DOS defendants:

Clare Bronfman

“Ms. Bronfman is a member of NXIVM’s Executive Board….  Her involvement with NXIVM spans almost 16 years, beginning when she was 23 years old and first became a student in NXIVM trainings…After taking a number of NXIVM classes, Ms. Bronfman experienced profound improvements in her life and, therefore, decided to become a coach herself.

“In 2005, she retired from a career as a professional equestrian in order to devote more time to pursuing NXIVM’s mission. Ms. Bronfman eventually managed certain aspects of NXIVM and its affiliates’ business operations…

Sara and Clare Bronfman in Vanity Fair story [Raniere and father Edgar Bronfman Sr. pictured in thumbnail photos]
“Ms. Bronfman has considerable wealth, and she has loaned or invested many millions of dollars over the years to NXIVM or related entities, demonstrating her firm belief in NXIVM’s capacity to improve the lives of others. The notion that she was involved with NXIVM for financial gain is ludicrous.”

“Kathy Russell was first introduced to NXIVM by her hairdresser in 2001, when she was working as the controller of the Alaska Native Village Corporation in Anchorage. She took her first course in Anchorage in June 2001, and later enrolled in a second course in Albany in August of that year. Ms. Russell found the courses empowering and enlightening and participated in additional NXIVM courses and trainings in both Anchorage and Albany. In 2002, Ms. Russell moved to Albany to work for NXVIM and has worked there off and on since. At the time of her arrest, Ms. Russell was making $27 per hour.”

Nancy Salzman is NXIVM’s president and has more than 40 years of experience studying and working in the fields of healthcare and human potential. As a trained nurse, Ms. Salzman became interested in the human potential movement, sought to develop techniques to treat patients suffering from chronic pain, and studied relevant methodologies such as neurolinguistic programming. Ms. Salzman implemented these techniques in her counseling and coaching practice in Albany, eventually also securing contracts to teach human potential and performance courses to workers in large healthcare and industrial organizations, such as Con Edison Company.


Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman at the Dalai Lama speech in 2009.

“In 1997, Ms. Salzman met Keith Raniere, and the following year, they founded together a company called Executive Success Programs, which later became NXIVM…. Ms. Salzman ….  has continuously served as president and is one of NXIVM’s primary practitioners and promoters….”

The Non-DOS team next goes into the charges to show there is a clear difference between the charges of the DOS and Non-DOS defendants.

They write, “The charges …. reflect the distinction between the Defendants who … were members of both NXIVM and DOS (Raniere and the DOS Defendants) and those who were members of NXIVM only (the Non-DOS Defendants). Count One, the alleged RICO conspiracy, is the only count that joins all of the Defendants. This count alleges that Raniere was the leader of the enterprise and charges him in many of the predicate acts of racketeering…

“However, the Indictment does not charge any predicate acts that the Non-DOS Defendants and the DOS Defendants…committed together:…nearly every predicate act was allegedly committed either by a single Defendant or by Raniere and one other Defendant…

“The DOS and Non-DOS Defendants are also charged with committing starkly different types of crimes…the DOS Defendants…[allegedly] engaged in acts of sex trafficking, forced labor, and extortion against…victims…

“The Non-DOS Defendants, on the other hand, are charged with a hodgepodge of white collar crimes that have nothing to do with the alleged sex trafficking, forced labor, or extortion of DOS members (or anyone else)…the Non-DOS Defendants [allegedly] committed predicate acts of identity theft, sometimes for the purpose of evading immigration laws, sometimes to intercept communications, and sometimes to evade taxes; altering records for use in litigation; encouraging the illegal entry of an alien; and money laundering.”

The defense made a chart which shows how different defendants – DOS and Non-DOS defendants are not charged together in any of the 18 predicate actions, with the exception of Raniere, of course, who is charged in most of the predicate acts, both DOS and Non-DOS.



The rest of the motion makes many legal arguments including citations of case law to bolster the argument that the DOS and Non-DOS defendants should not be joined in one big RICO case because the charges against each are not connected [other than Raniere in the middle of most of it].

This argument may augur well for the Non-DOS defendants. There is, however, an 800-pound gorilla in the room – the potential for another superseding indictment, which would render some if not most of this effort moot.

New charges may change the entire landscape and will re-set the clock, may bring in even more defendants, as well as necessitate a whole new round of motions.

That March start date for the trial — or trials — is starting to look less and less likely…



About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Happy Thanksgiving to you Frank and to all your readers. Any chance of an article to inform us about the celebrations at MDC?

  • I suspect the superseding indictments will clear up some of these questions.
    Nancy and Keith starting a MLM company like ESP which has nothing to do with the health care field Nancy was so involved in only leaves her involvement with NLP and any cash on hand as we all know KAR had no income if his own.
    So from conception Keith puts together ESP training using a combination of training programs already out there. Nancy’s job was to teach Keith how to brainwash and to set up the brainwashing techniques used in their lengthy and very pricey trainings.
    Many people associate cost with value, as they kept their trainings secretive, likely to protect them from being sued for stealing the materials elsewhere. They changed them enough to create the techniques that kept espians from a proper diet , lack of sleep and a conditioning method of bowing and referring to Vangaurd and Prefect as special people. Avoiding news articles that were all negative, because the news can say whatever they want.
    What reasoning did Vangaurd give as to why so many were against him? His intelligence? His problem solving skills- wouldn’t you solve these problems first?
    Many did catch on over the years but chose to avoid rather than do something. That’s sad rather than risk phony litigation, they knowingly did nothing while knowing wealthy college students were targeted. A Capella? You had credibility! It’s a shame you did nothing.

  • If Lauren and Michelle Salzman both knew about the woman locked in the room for 18 months, I highly doubt mother Nancy didn’t know

    This Non DOS theory is a big pile of BS.

    The next indictment will pile on enough years to put these people away for many years effectively the rest of their productive lives

    Lauren will be too old to bear her avatar child
    Kathy Russel too old to perform as prima ballerina
    Clair too poor to ever litigate another bogus case
    Allison an actress of yesteryear perhaps she can reprise the Bette Davis role of “Sweet Baby Jane”
    Nancy might never emerge from prison alive due to her reliance on healthcare in the American prison system
    Keith might step on a knife and bleed to death or be disemboweled from too much sexual activity. Hold that thought. Keith will have unlimited sex and never need Viagra ever again. He will never see the light of day

    Viva Exective Success!

    • Most members new about the woman locked up. They were led to believe it was an ethical breach and she was there by choice. Shows how stupid brainwashing makes ordinary people. Others knew the whole truth including her family members and ex lover and participated in keeping her trapped.

    • Many believe it is shadowstate 1958. He probably lives in Cleveland instead of Chicago as he claimed here. Many of the comments remind me of his such as “I call dibs on conjugal visits.”

      • Who are these MANY who believe its Shadow? Its only YOU, anonymous , and all your other fake anonymous identities.
        The rest of are smart enough to know that’s a retarded theory.

        • Bullshit. There are quite a few different people who think shadow is a perv. I post anonymous but rarely comment. Yes I believe shadowstate 1958 is an obsessed perv. I also believe he and Johnson and Flowers post under many names.

          • Well good for you Anon, now you’re a mindreader, too?. Amazing that you know what everyone else thinks,,,especially funny since you’re the one writing the comments as everyone else.
            And I believe that you are Mitchell, G, Heather, and about 10 other names.

          • Ryanne.S , what is the relevance to your post, as you are wrong on at least one account. Your name starts with an A doesn’t it?

        • Thank you, Ryanne S.
          Actually today I enjoyed my typical holiday celebration.
          I eat a big breakfast or lunch and then go to a movie matinee.
          I watched Fantastic Beasts 2: the Crimes of Grimewald with Johnny Depp and Jude Law.
          That’s been my tradition for years.

          Ryanne S, I hope you and your family had a Happy Thanksgiving and I’m wishing you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

  • No way, did those living locally not know about DOS.
    No way were thode living locally not know a young woman was kept, against her will for 18 months because she wouldn’t have sex with Keith.
    They knew, they colluded, they are accomplices.
    More than one participated in money laundering and cooking the books as they say.

    • There’s probably lots of charges and new defendants coming, the ones currently under indictment is just where the FBI/DOJ was in their investigation several months ago. The tax evasion issue alone will probably rope all of the current and probable future defendants into the same corral. Yee-Hah!

      As Frank said, all of these billable hours will have to be redone when the new indictments come out, so Clare & Co. get to pay the work twice. Or perhaps three times. Or more.

    • G,
      When my brother served in the US Army in Germany he visited Munich and the Dachau Concentration Camp about 12 miles away
      The Germans knew about Dachau but dared not talk about it until after the war.
      I believe that the people around Know Woods knew of the branding and sex slavery but out of fear kept quiet.

      That said I wish the people of Clifton Park nothing but the best.
      They now have their community liberated from a terrible scourge.
      They have plenty to be thankful for this Thanksgiving

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