This is the second in a series of reports about Mark Vicente’s testimony in the case of the U.S. v. Raniere (You can access the first report here).
After explaining what each of the different color sashes represented on NXIVM’s so-called Stripe Path, Vicente noted that Lauren Salzman was in charge of this part of the organization – and that she had a significant role in determining who got promoted and who didn’t.
He also tried to explain how people got paid for the work they did in NXIVM but even after spending 12 years in the organization, he had a difficult time doing that (Except for the people who performed EMs and were paid an hourly fee, it appears that most of the other payments were generally 10% of some revenue source).
But one thing Vicente was certain about is that even in his dual role as Field Trainer – and as the co-owner of a NXIVM Center – things were always tight financially.
“We were always running close to red all the time”, he noted.
We also learned from Vicente that the NXIVM company was organized around its five operational divisions: Commerce, Communication, Education, Ethics and Humanities.
Each division was headed up by a Senior Proctor – and the five division directors reported directly to NXIVM’s Executive Board.
Vicente also specified the locations where NXIVM had established Centers – and where it was trying to establish Centers – when he was involved with the company.
Not all of these were considered to be “full Centers” at the time he left the company in 2017:
RE: United States
– Albany, NY
– Los Angeles, CA
– Miami, FL
– New York City, NY
– Orange County, CA
– San Francisco, CA
– Seattle-Tacoma, WA (Closed in 2009)
– Guatemala City
– Guadalajara, MX
– Mexico City, MX
– Monterey, MX
One of the more interesting things that Vicente explained was how the NXIVM community used shunning to punish people who spoke out against the company – or, worse yet, against the Vanguard.
Vicente explained that if someone was being shunned, you could not talk to that person. Nor could you talk to anyone else who spoke to that person.
The decision-makers when it came to who would be shunned were Raniere, Nancy Salzman and Lauren Salzman (Presumably, Nancy and Lauren are now being shunned by Raniere – and anyone foolish enough to still be loyal to him).
One person who was shunned was Barbara Bouchey – who left NXIVM in 2009.
Another was Michael Salzman, Nancy’s former husband – and the father of Lauren Salzman and Michelle Salzman.
Another interesting topic concerned “ethical breaches” – a concept that permeated the NXIVM organization.
Originally, the term was used to describe things that someone did that were against their core values – e.g., a member who believed in non-violence but who slapped someone else.
But eventually, the term evolved to simply mean anyone who disagreed with Raniere or who didn’t show him the proper amount of respect that he believed he deserved.
Shortly after Vicente took his second and third intensives, he was promoted to the rank of Coach – and moved to the Knox Woods development in Clifton Park, where he lived with Omar Boone.
According to Vicente, there were – and maybe still are – 30-40 high-ranking members of NXIVM living in and around Clifton Park.
Vicente also testified that Clare and Sara Bronfman own the two office buildings that housed NXIVM’s executive offices: 455 New Karner Road and 457 New Karner Road (The latter housed NXIVM’s Accounting Department and its IT Department).
And he said it was Clare who bought the former Italian restaurant on Route 9 in Clifton Park – and, together with Raniere, renamed it Apropos.
Another interesting tidbit from Vicente concerned the security cameras that were installed on many of the properties that housed NXIVM’s offices – or that were lived in by high-ranking members of NXIVM.
According to him, another NXIVM-related company – Plugged-In – was responsible for installing those cameras and for monitoring who entered and left those buildings (No such company was found in the database of the New York Secretary of State).
Vicente indicated that Plugged-In was a company Raniere had developed in order “to create a mesh network using cell phones and (other) devices to create a communication system that wasn’t necessarily connected to the rest of the internet”.
Despite the fact that Plugged-In spent “an enormous amount of money”, Vicente was unsure if the company had ever developed any marketable products.
The next topic that Vicente was questioned about concerned how “exchanges” were used in NXIVM.
One type of exchange occurred when a member could not afford to pay for a given training session – in which case they would “go into debt with the company” and then work off that debt by performing some sort of service for the company.
Another form of exchange occurred when a member wanted to take a Level 2 training session but could not afford it – in which case they would have to mentor a certain number of other people without getting paid for that work and also take three more Level 2 trainings for which they would have to pay full price.
Vicente also provided some testimony that will almost certainly ensure that Vanguard will shun him for all of eternity.
That occurred when Vicente testified that all of the various NXIVM-related companies were controlled by Raniere.
This was true, Vicente testified, even though those companies listed other people as owners.
People like Pam Cafritz, Jim Del Negro, and Nancy Salzman.
Del Negro, as it turns out, had continued to advance in the company even after he couldn’t remember the names of the companies he had founded while he was being cross-examined in Susan Dones’ bankruptcy case.
He advanced to the rank of Proctor on the Stripe Path, became one of the leaders of the Society of Protectors, took over the company’s Legal Department after Kristin Keeffe departed/escaped, and even became one of the co-owners of the NXIVM Center in Albany, NY.
And last – but certainly not the least for this update on Vicente’s testimony – was his recounting of how Raniere described the intense scrutiny that he was under by various governmental entities because of “his IQ and intelligence and problem-solving ability”.
Although Raniere did not specify the names of these governmental entities, we can certainly identify at least a few that were most certainly NOT scrutinizing anything that he did.
Those would include the following:
– The Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York
– The Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Field Office in Albany, NY
– The Internal Revenue Service
– The U.S. Department of Homeland Security
– The Office of the New York State Attorney General
– The New York State Department of Taxation & Finance
– The New York State Police
– The Office of the Albany County District Attorney
– The Albany County Department of Health
– The Office of the Saratoga County District Attorney
Which, of course, does raise the question as to which “governmental entities” Raniere thought were spying on him.
Maybe we’ll find out if/when Raniere takes the witness stand to explain to the members of the jury why they should acquit him on all charges.