It should read - "The Eastern District of New York - Working to Build a Better World" - and succeeding by degrees.

Mark Vicente – In-Depth Review – Part III

This is the third in a series of reports about Mark Vicente’s testimony in the U.S. v. Raniere case (You can access the first report here – and the second report here).

After explaining the way in which NXIVM was organized – and after confirming that there more than 60 separate companies that operated under the NXIVM banner – Vicente was then asked to explain how NXIVM’s Executive Board functioned.

He began by noting that when he joined NXIVM in 2005, the Executive Board consisted of Edgar Boone, Barbara Bouchey, Loreta Garza, Lauren Salzman, and Karen Unterreiner.

But in 2009 – after Bouchey left the company – the Executive Board was reformulated to include Clare Bronfman, Alex Betancourt, Emiliano Salinas, Lauren Salzman, Karen Unterreiner, and Vicente.

*****

Vicente went on to talk about the multiple properties that were purchased on Wakaya Island in Fiji. As it turns out, the three people who owned the ACK Group that purchased those properties were Alex Betancourt, Clare Bronfman, and Keith (I don’t own anything) Raniere.

Wakaya Island

So, as it turns out, our speculation that Allison Mack was the third person with an ownership interest in the properties on Wakaya Island was wrong.

Clare may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier but she was smart enough to ensure that if she and Raniere were forced to run away to Fiji to avoid arrest, she was not bringing Allison along to entertain Raniere while they lived there.

*****

Vicente was then asked about NXIVM’s Legal Department – which he said consisted of Clare Bronfman, Jim DelNegro, Lisa Derks, and, before she defected, Kristin Keeffe.

He then outlined some of the civil lawsuits that NXIVM was involved with during the time he was associated with the cult.

Those included, but were not limited to, the following:
– NXIVM’s lawsuit against Rick Ross, Stephanie Franco, and others;
– NXIVM’s lawsuit against Jim Odato, Suzanne Anderson, Toni Natalie, and Joe O’Hara;
– NXIVM’s attempt to intervene in Susan Dones’ bankruptcy case; and
– NXIVM’s lawsuit against Barbara Bouchey.

He also explained that even the members of the Executive Board were not informed about all of the legal actions involving NXIVM.

As he explained it, Clare played a major role in NXIVM’s Legal Department because “Raniere was training her to be more legally minded. He would explain that, you know, lawyers don’t know how to think so he was teaching her how to think so she could help the lawyers think”.

*****
According to Vicente, Clare also functioned as NXIVM’s Chief Financial Officer – and “was responsible for how monies were spent”.

Clare Bronfman

Which, of course, makes sense since she – along with her sister, Sarah Bronfman-Igtet – was underwriting the entire NXIVM criminal enterprise.

In that capacity, Clare oversaw NXIVM’s Accounting Department – which consisted of Karen Unterreiner, Kathy Russell, and Vicente’s mother.

*****

Vicente then confirmed that he was one of the founding members of the Society of Protectors (SOP)

But, even though he was a founding member of SOP, that entity was actually owned by Pamela Cafritz.

 

The Society of Protectors is a men’s group which teaches men to be polygamous and to ejaculate on a women’s face in order to establish ownership of the woman. One of the teaching tools is Mr. Raniere on a video telling men how ejaculating on a women on her face indicates the woman has accepted the man. [Love me, love my sperm].
Vicente explained how that came about as follows: “When we began the organization we would meet, you know, very, very late at night and at one meeting Raniere asked those of us who founded it with him, do you mind if Pam is the signer, the legal owner of the company, and we said, no, of course not, you know, you’re the boss, whatever you want is fine”.

*****

Next, Vicente talked about the various research projects that were being overseen by Raniere.

These included the “brain studies” that had been going on for several years before Vicente arrived in 2005 – and the ongoing “psychopathy” studies via which Raniere was studying the characteristics of psychopaths and how they differed from sociopaths.

Dr. Brandon Porter with one of his subjects for his human fright experiments. Painting by the brilliant artist, MK10ART. [Compare the expressions of the two faces. In my opinion, this captures the very essence of the fright experiments and the joy and its opposite – terror – it created.
And as it turns out, the overseer of those “brain studies” – the former medical doctor turned insulation salesman, Brandon Porter – actually started taking NXIVM trainings when he was still in medical school (Vicente was his NXIVM Coach).

After he graduated from medical school, Porter moved to Clifton Park, NY to be closer to Raniere.

*****

Vicente then made another attempt to explain how NXIVM’s finances worked. In doing so, he revealed several aspects of the financial side of NXIVM that had not been made public before:
– Karen Unterreiner did monthly calculations to determine how much Raniere was owed from NXIVM’s various companies;

– Jim Del Negro did similar calculations for the SOP;

– How the calculations were made “was a complete and utter mystery” to Vicente;

– The Accounting Department at NXIVM was in a perpetual state of chaos;

– Everyone who worked at NXIVM was an independent contractor (Frank Report actually believes that Nancy Salzman was categorized as an employee);

– No one who worked for NXIVM really understood what their paychecks covered (“We used the term inside the company, you know, we just got a check from the mysterious NXIVM gods. We had no idea what they were for”); and

– NXIVM’s commission structure was extremely complex: “My understanding is there’s a whole commission structure of how monies were dispersed. The gross was coming into head office, it was generally paid into a computer system, and then, you know, the sales force got a portion, proctors got a portion, trainers got a portion, centers got a portion, and then the remainder, which I recall was around 15 percent, I believe, went back to the actual company itself”.

*****
Vicente also recounted Raniere’s explanation for what happened to his first company, Consumer’s Buyline, Inc. (CBI)

Keith may not have invented the internet but he did invent Consumers’ Buyline, Inc.

According to what Raniere told him, CBI was extremely successful and profitable – and allowed many people to become millionaires.

But when the company expanded its operations into Arkansas, representatives from Bill Clinton came to him and demanded kickbacks for allowing the company to operate there.

When Raniere refused to pay, Clinton organized the Attorneys General in several states to go after Raniere – and shut down CBI.

*****

Following the lunch break, Vicente returned to the stand – and explained some of the other projects he was involved with at NXIVM (He had testified earlier about being one of the founding members of the Society of Protectors – and a member of the company’s Executive Board).

In addition to being the co-owner of the NXIVM Centers in Vancouver and Los Angeles, Vicente had a number of other roles in the organization.

He oversaw a Delaware company called “Moving Pixels LLC – which was, in essence, NXIVM’s video department and which was owned by Nancy Salzman.

He was the Director of NXIVM’s Communications Division. Other members of the Communications Division included Chris Brooks, Meghan Mumford, Scott Mumford, Justin Elliott, Ken Kozak, Juan Lopez Fonz, Olivia Kahn, Mike Baker, Souki, and Dan Bratman.

He worked on a number of film projects with Raniere.

He recruited “people in power” in the entertainment and media industries, bringing in more than 50 such recruits.

He also recruited “generally everyday people as well” – and eventually had more than 2,000 people in his organization within NXIVM.

*****

One of the most fascinating aspects of Vicente’s testimony had to do with the way Raniere taught him to deal with potential members who brought up the subject of NXIVM being a cult.

Raniere explained the two different techniques he personally used in that situation – and suggested that Vicente and other NXIVM salespeople could also use them.

In Technique #1, Raniere would respond as follows: “These things you’re reading, do you know that they are actually coming from like really two sources in the world? You know, you may be reading 20, 30 articles, are you aware that there’s two sources? Are you aware that these journalists that write these things have been paid to do this? And don’t you find it strange that you would, in essence, believe the word of somebody you’ve never met over me who you know”.

In Technique #2, Raniere would challenge the person more directly: “Do I look like the kind of person that would get involved in something dangerous? In something nefarious? Doesn’t it seem strange that you would believe a journalist you’ve never met who never even took the program? You have to understand, these people that are saying these things, they’ve never taken the program”.

*****

Vicente also confirmed that Raniere wanted everything he did – and everything he said – recorded. “He wanted a historical record of pretty much everything that was happening” – which is why he had a whole team taking notes every time he spoke about any topic.

And he recounted how Raniere once got very upset when Vicente stopped filming during a “forum” that Raniere was conducting at Apropos.

As Vicente explained the situation, there were three cameras filming from start to finish throughout the forum. Vicente came in during the forum to shoot some extra footage – and then stopped after about an hour.

Mark Vicente

Raniere chastised him for not continuing to film like the other three camera operators were doing because he claimed it sent the message to the participants that what he was saying was unimportant. And so Raniere instructed him that in the future, he should at least pretend to be filming throughout an event if he had turned off his camera.

*****

Vicente was then asked to explain what Vanguard Week was.

In responding, he said it was his understanding that it started out as a 1-day celebration of Raniere’s birthday.

Keith Alan Raniere AKA Vanguard on stage at V-Week talking to his mostly female followers.

Soon, thereafter, it expanded to 3-days – and by the time that Vicente joined NXIVM in 2005, it was up to 7 days (When Vicente left in 2017, it had further expanded to 11-days).

He described Vanguard Week as being “like a corporate retreat” – and said that people at or above the rank of Coach were expected to attend the entire event.

*****

Perhaps the most shocking part of Vicente’s testimony was when he described the filming he did in the town of LeBaron in Mexico.

Although the film was primarily about how the community of LeBaron had risen up to challenge a cartel that had kidnapped one of its members, that was not the most important part of the story.

Rosa Laura Junco’s mansion in Clifton Park where 12 teenage girls were taught the mysteries of Keith Raniere’s lessons for teenage girls.

LeBaron, as it turns out, was a Mormon community that was populated by families that had been kicked out of the Mormon church in Utah because they refused to stop practicing polygamy.

And, never wanting to miss a chance for recruiting more young woman into his cult, Raniere had directed that a special educational program be created for the girls of the LeBaron community.

This special program – which was directed by Rosa Laura Junco – is the program that brought 11 young Mexican girls to Clifton Park, NY in early 2017 to be mentored by Keith Raniere.

Raniere reportedly did his mentoring of these girls in the basement of Rosa Laura’s mansion in Clifton Park – and at his “Library” located at 8 Hale Drive.

And though we may never find out exactly what type of mentoring Raniere was doing with the young girls, we do know they all considered him to be “creepy” – and that they all abruptly returned to Mexico in May 2017.

For more details about these Mexican girls, check out the Frank Report posts from June 22, 2017, September 6, 2017, April 25, 2018, and May 21, 2018.

*****

Editor’s Note: Believe it or not, we’re only a little more than halfway through the transcript from Vicente’s testimony last Thursday – and he’s due to be back on the stand tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. Nevertheless, because we consider him to be such an important witness, we’ll try to report on a few more details of his testimony over the course of the next couple of days.

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K.R. Claviger

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  • “Raniere was training her to be more legally minded. He would explain that, you know, lawyers don’t know how to think so he was teaching her how to think so she could help the lawyers think”.

    😳 all eyes on Agnifilo! Ranierie shrugs sheepishly.

  • “Raniere was training her to be more legally minded. He would explain that, you know, lawyers don’t know how to think so he was teaching her how to think so she could help the lawyers think”.

    😳 all eyes on Agnifilo! Ranierie shrugs sheepishly.

  • The statement that Bill Clinton in Arkansas had anything to do with the demise of CBI is pure, fabricated bullshit. I was there. It was Elliot Spitzer of NY who was was his opponent. Plus all the folks who got double debited for membership fees and the reps who didn’t get paid. What a circus,

  • The statement that Bill Clinton in Arkansas had anything to do with the demise of CBI is pure, fabricated bullshit. I was there. It was Elliot Spitzer of NY who was was his opponent. Plus all the folks who got double debited for membership fees and the reps who didn’t get paid. What a circus,

  • The reason Mark didn’t progress in the EM path was because he is an air head man. Don’t be afraid to say it, he was slower that the average espian.

  • The reason Mark didn’t progress in the EM path was because he is an air head man. Don’t be afraid to say it, he was slower that the average espian.

  • “Vicente also confirmed that Raniere wanted everything he did – and everything he said – recorded. ”

    Smart criminals record NOTHING.
    You can bet when the Salinas Family runs NXIVM very little will be recorded.

  • “Vicente also confirmed that Raniere wanted everything he did – and everything he said – recorded. ”

    Smart criminals record NOTHING.
    You can bet when the Salinas Family runs NXIVM very little will be recorded.

  • The reason no scientist ever got in Nxivm is because they usually “think”. Nxivm is just a compilation of BS.

  • The reason no scientist ever got in Nxivm is because they usually “think”. Nxivm is just a compilation of BS.

  • Why the Mexican news are not talking about that Betancourt co-owned an island, related directly to Emiliano Salinas, son of the former president of Mexico, Carlos Salinas de Gortari-

      • Aristegui start sending information about the trial at the very beginning. I haven’t heard a thing about Mark’s declaration. Actually, she is the only journalist that always points out directly to Emiliano Salinas as one of the main characters of this story. If all the media talks about this, no journalist should be murdered. Aristegui is following the story, believe me.

  • Why the Mexican news are not talking about that Betancourt co-owned an island, related directly to Emiliano Salinas, son of the former president of Mexico, Carlos Salinas de Gortari?

  • If Alex Betancourt was the co-owner of the Wakaya Island, then Emiliano Salinas was the real owner of it. Salinas will never put something with his name as it can be associated directly to all the money his father have stolen from Mexico. Betancourt is only lending the name. Mark Vicente doesn’t want to confront directly to Salinas, it is obvious.

    • You are not well informed. Betancourt’s family is very wealthy, -bankers-, highly coluded with politicians.

        • Roberto Hernández and Alfredo Harp Helú were the biggest investors of Banamex. Yes, Betancourt (Alejandro’s father) was also the owner, but the first two were the biggest.

      • Not as rich as the Salinas Family and not to buy an island. In Mexican Law, the ESP enterprise in Mexico was in Betancourt’s name, not Salinas. And he was the leader of it.

  • If Alex Betancourt was the co-owner of the Wakaya Island, then Emiliano Salinas was the real owner of it. Salinas will never put something with his name as it can be associated directly to all the money his father have stolen from Mexico. Betancourt is only lending the name. Mark Vicente doesn’t want to confront directly to Salinas, it is obvious.

  • “Perhaps the most shocking part of Vicente’s testimony was when he described the filming he did in the town of LeBaron in Mexico”. Actually, his Mexican producer, Antonio Cervantes, shot the footage with a little crew, not Vicente. The guy that was in real danger was Antonio. Vicente was doing stuff about NXIVM courses.

      • The murder of Mormon leader. The area of LeBaron is full of narcs. And when they see a camera, they sent you “hawks” to see what you are doing. They may murder you if you interfere in their place. In some places, you have to ask permission directly to the narcs, not to the people that lives in a certain area. In that moment, mid 2000, Mexico was in a narc war, with lots of murders.

  • “Perhaps the most shocking part of Vicente’s testimony was when he described the filming he did in the town of LeBaron in Mexico”. Actually, his Mexican producer, Antonio Cervantes, shot the footage with a little crew, not Vicente. The guy that was in real danger was Antonio. Vicente was doing stuff about NXIVM courses.

  • That all reminds me of how Scientology operates, in more ways that I can really detail. Generally, there all the corporations designed to hide the founder’s actual ownership and control and to provide legal protections, a flow of money “uplines” that no one seems to really understand, and people paid (generally inadequately) on a basis that is also opaque. High control groups and cults just end up operating in many similar sorts of ways, but NXIVM also deliberately took Scientology as a model in some respects.

    The connection between NXIVM and the LeBaron’s polygamous Mormon colonies in Mexico that are an analog of the FLDS in the US, is quite interesting. It’s another respect in which, though they were drawing membership from places like Vancouver and LA who might be expected to be progressive-minded, the regressive practices of the inner circle were closer to those of rural extreme fundamentalist Christians.

    And I wonder just how much Vicente knew of Raniere’s and Bronfman’s vengeful lawsuits against exes, former members and critics, and what he thought of them at the time.

    • And don’t forget that both NXIVM and Scientology collect blackmail on their members.
      If NXIVM had been less ruled by Raniere’s fetishes, it would be as immune from criminal prosecution as Scientology.

      • That’s another good point, which as far as I am aware has really only just come to light with Vicente’s testimony that at some point he had to make a list of his personal transgressions – and had no idea where that information had ended up. The now-infamous “collateral” required in DOS, and to a lesser extent SOP, was more a sort of expansion on what NIXVM had long been requiring of many lower level participants.

  • That all reminds me of how Scientology operates, in more ways that I can really detail. Generally, there all the corporations designed to hide the founder’s actual ownership and control and to provide legal protections, a flow of money “uplines” that no one seems to really understand, and people paid (generally inadequately) on a basis that is also opaque. High control groups and cults just end up operating in many similar sorts of ways, but NXIVM also deliberately took Scientology as a model in some respects.

    The connection between NXIVM and the LeBaron’s polygamous Mormon colonies in Mexico that are an analog of the FLDS in the US, is quite interesting. It’s another respect in which, though they were drawing membership from places like Vancouver and LA who might be expected to be progressive-minded, the regressive practices of the inner circle were closer to those of rural extreme fundamentalist Christians.

    And I wonder just how much Vicente knew of Raniere’s and Bronfman’s vengeful lawsuits against exes, former members and critics, and what he thought of them at the time.

    • And don’t forget that both NXIVM and Scientology collect blackmail on their members.
      If NXIVM had been less ruled by Raniere’s fetishes, it would be as immune from criminal prosecution as Scientology.

      • That’s another good point, which as far as I am aware has really only just come to light with Vicente’s testimony that at some point he had to make a list of his personal transgressions – and had no idea where that information had ended up. The now-infamous “collateral” required in DOS, and to a lesser extent SOP, was more a sort of expansion on what NIXVM had long been requiring of many lower level participants.

  • Keith ‘The Renunciate’ Raniere:
    ‘Lawyers dont know how to think’
    its official, he’s helping Agnifiglio think!

    This really is golden testimony from Mark Vicente. Clare Bronfman seems even more stupid and culpable.
    Wait -she’s CFO of a company comprised of consultants, that’s running on her own personal money- She doesn’t run her accounts properly, she doesn’t pay taxes, she doesn’t turn a profit- Her assets just fritter away and only the megalomania increases- No wonder no one got paid- its all grace and favour at her heiresses pleasure, for sure this is indentured slavery, Jeez its practically feudal!
    Wonder why Raniere didn’t just marry Clare-

    Do you think the low cal vegan diet was about avoiding not only the large food bill, but also employing canny blue collar catering staff, (low paid workers often don’t have the time for existential problems)who would expect to be paid on time and be regulated by Food Hygiene Standards inspectors-
    Vicente is showing how nxivmthink turns every craven means of exploitation into an example of virtue.

    • springtime asks, “Wonder why Raniere didn’t just marry Clare-”

      Back in the 1970’s, large numbers of young people started living together without being married. Many of our elders counseled us young women that this was a very unwise thing to do, because our live-in boyfriends would have no incentive to marry us. The phrase often used (which would be extremely politically incorrect today), was “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free-”

      That’s the phrase that popped into my head when I read your question above. Raniere already had access her money (and her body) whenever he wanted, so why should he marry her-

      • True, Dianne and I was one of those! I don’t know if Clare signed her assets over to Raniere as completely as Alison Mack, but even if she did he’d still have far greater control over her life as a legal spouse. He could refuse to divorce her, for example.

      • “why should he marry her-”

        As Clare’s husband Raniere might still have a right to some of her money.
        As it stands now Clare has cut Raniere off altogether and he can do nothing about it.

      • there is another version for women who don’t have to marry a guy she just likes having sex with:

        “Why buy the pig when you can get the sausage for free-“

    • “Do you think the low cal vegan diet was about avoiding not only the large food bill, but also employing canny blue collar catering staff, (low paid workers often don’t have the time for existential problems)who would expect to be paid on time and be regulated by Food Hygiene Standards inspectors-”

      This explains the massive food poisoning at V Week 2016.

  • Keith ‘The Renunciate’ Raniere:
    ‘Lawyers dont know how to think’
    its official, he’s helping Agnifiglio think!

    This really is golden testimony from Mark Vicente. Clare Bronfman seems even more stupid and culpable.
    Wait -she’s CFO of a company comprised of consultants, that’s running on her own personal money? She doesn’t run her accounts properly, she doesn’t pay taxes, she doesn’t turn a profit? Her assets just fritter away and only the megalomania increases? No wonder no one got paid- its all grace and favour at her heiresses pleasure, for sure this is indentured slavery, Jeez its practically feudal!
    Wonder why Raniere didn’t just marry Clare?

    Do you think the low cal vegan diet was about avoiding not only the large food bill, but also employing canny blue collar catering staff, (low paid workers often don’t have the time for existential problems)who would expect to be paid on time and be regulated by Food Hygiene Standards inspectors?
    Vicente is showing how nxivmthink turns every craven means of exploitation into an example of virtue.

    • springtime asks, “Wonder why Raniere didn’t just marry Clare?”

      Back in the 1970’s, large numbers of young people started living together without being married. Many of our elders counseled us young women that this was a very unwise thing to do, because our live-in boyfriends would have no incentive to marry us. The phrase often used (which would be extremely politically incorrect today), was “Why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free?”

      That’s the phrase that popped into my head when I read your question above. Raniere already had access her money (and her body) whenever he wanted, so why should he marry her?

      • True, Dianne and I was one of those! I don’t know if Clare signed her assets over to Raniere as completely as Alison Mack, but even if she did he’d still have far greater control over her life as a legal spouse. He could refuse to divorce her, for example.

      • “why should he marry her?”

        As Clare’s husband Raniere might still have a right to some of her money.
        As it stands now Clare has cut Raniere off altogether and he can do nothing about it.

      • there is another version for women who don’t have to marry a guy she just likes having sex with:

        “Why buy the pig when you can get the sausage for free?”

    • “Do you think the low cal vegan diet was about avoiding not only the large food bill, but also employing canny blue collar catering staff, (low paid workers often don’t have the time for existential problems)who would expect to be paid on time and be regulated by Food Hygiene Standards inspectors?”

      This explains the massive food poisoning at V Week 2016.

About Frank Parlato

About Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in major publications all over the world, including The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CNN, Fox News, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, and more.

Frank Report is dedicated to Frank's investigative journalism and the pursuit of truth.

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