Dani's privacy is being protected by the court during the trial and we are supporting this goal by using her first name only - as is the policy of the court..

Dani’s Testimony Part 1 – How She Got Into Nxivm and How Keith ‘Helped Her

[While more than 70 media outlets are reporting on the trial of Keith Raniere, at Frank Report, we believe we are providing the most comprehensive coverage. We are not always first to report [though we have broken many stories – we will give readers a thorough report on the trial and its import. Daniela testified today and she is expected to resume testimony on Tuesday when the trial resumes. She spoke for the whole day and the following is part 1 of a summary of what she said.]

By Dianne Lipson

Daniela [or Dani] is the Mexican woman who was confined to a room for nearly two years from 2010-2012. She testified on Thursday in the trial of Keith Raniere.

She was wearing a grey blazer, blue blouse, and black slacks. She is 33; seems to be about 5’7”, and is fairly slender.  Her last name is not being used in court though many Nxivm members know it.

Sketch artists are not permitted to draw her face.

[BTW The judge started the day by saying the motion for a mistrial is denied. He also advised Raniere and his defense team that he could hear their conversations at the defense table. He said he didn’t want to hear conversation and told the defense, if they wish to communicate, to write things down and pass notes to each other.]

Daniela began a day of testimony starting with her family background.

She also stated her four milestones in her involvement with Nxivm.

  1. Sex with Keith, when she was 18 [he was 42].
  2. Crossing into the US illegally.
  3. A fight with Keith
  4. Being confined to a room at 12 Wilton Court in Clifton Park, from 2010 to 2012.

As for background, Daniela was born in Mexico. Her family is affluent. Her older sister was her best friend. [Her name is Mariana, and is mother of Keith’s youngest child. Daniela is also the older sister of Camilia, who is central to this case, being the women who was photographed nude when she was 15].

Daniela had dreams growing up. She wanted to be a biologist. She had perfect grades. She was fascinated by learning and loved to read the encyclopedia. She played tennis and because of her father’s influence, the whole family took English classes every day. She did well in high school and scored highest in her class.

For a time, she lived away from home with her sister Mariana – who developed an eating disorder. Mariana also was partying and drinking too much. Daniela was taking care of her older sister and went to nightclubs with Mariana to make sure she was safe.

Daniela applied to an expensive high school in Switzerland and was offered a scholarship. They only gave one scholarship away per year.

At this time, she got as a gift from her father, a paid-for 16 day Nxivm intensive. Her parents had already gone to an intensive and loved it.

Dani said,  “I heard about NXIVM for the first time in the second semester of high school. My parents were always doing self-help programs and they dragged me to a few of those. While my parents were taking it, they kept talking about how the program wasn’t self-help but scientific and Raniere was the smartest man in the world.”

Daniella went to the 16-day intensive. Lauren Salzman was head trainer. Daniela’s impression of Lauren was that she was smart, bubbly and likable. But Daniela, who was 16, was intimidated by the many sophisticated. wealthy and successful people in the intensive.  The fact that so many impressive people were at the intensive lent validity to the Nxivm program in her mind.

During the intensive, Keith was spoken about a lot with reverence. He was a scientist; he was unified. He was the world’s smartest man.

The prosecution asked her to define “unified.”

She said that it meant that someone had no disintegrations, the end point of what you were supposed to achieve. It meant you were no longer reacting to the external world. Only Keith was unified.

She understood at that time that he was a renunciate, living a simple life, like a monk. There was no sort of any kind of sexuality around Keith.

She also learned that, because people trying to better the world were, unlike Keith, disintegrated, the only real way to help the world was through [Nxivm] Executive Success Programs.

She learned about an important mathematical calculation which showed that unless more people become integrated, the world’s going to end in 15 years. [That was 2002 which means the world ended in 2017].

Dani had a mental image of Keith as a simple guy, a nerdy guy.

By the end of the intensive, Dani was having conversations with Lauren, who invited her to come and work for Nxivm.

Daniela was wondering what she could do She had studied programming, maybe that’s what she could do.

Subsequently, Dani was put in touch with Karen Unterreiner. Her parents felt that Keith was a great man doing great things. Dani was excited to take a year off school to go to Albany, even if she would lose here scholarship in Switzerland. Her parents were happy about her decision. She went to Albany, when she was almost 17. She turned 17 in October 2002.

Soon Dani met Keith. He was exactly what she expected. He looked smart. But there was something a little off about him. But she hadn’t met enough smart people to know ow peculiar he was.

When they first met, Keith called her by her name. He said she was very smart. He was attentive to her. She was flattered.

Now she feels like it was all a lie.

Her impression of Nancy Salzman was that she was energetic, loud and pushy. She was a little scared of Nancy. However, Karen was sweet and she felt comfortable with her.

Karen went on to become Dani’s boss. Karen was in charge of the administration office and maintained the computer systems of all the companies. Dani was impressed with Karen because she was very educated and had some high math degree.

At first Dani stayed in a room in an apartment of Edgar Boone’s. Sometimes he lived there. Sometimes he didn’t but she lived there with Loreta Garza. She was a teenager living with adults.

Dani did basic administrative work, entering data about new enrollees. She did other things like cleaning and organizing stuff. She felt shame that she couldn’t contribute more. She was not paid for her work at this time. But she understood she would get paid later.

In time, her sister Mariana took time off from school. She had a fantasy of being a model. She took a job as a waitress. She wasn’t living a good lifestyle. Her parents said Marianna was depressed and was drinking.

Daniela said, “Why not have Mariana join me?” “Mariana could take classes,” Daniela thought. “These could straighten Mariana out.”

Mariana came to Albany and stayed with Daniela at the Howard Johnson hotel. Mariana was depressed; she wouldn’t get out of bed some days; she spent almost the whole day in bed. Dani and Mariana would go to Nxivm classes together then Mariana would go right back to bed.

Somehow, Mariana made contact with Pam Cafritz and Pam took Mariana under her wing.

They became close. Pam started giving gifts to Mariana and brought her out of her depression. Mariana was doing better and not sleeping so much.

One day at volleyball, Dani got up the courage to approach Keith to tell him she was disappointed with her work. She was troubled by not being able to do more meaningful work.

She worked in NXIVM’s administration office inputting data.

She was not “changing the world” like she was promised. Dani wanted to go back to school and wanted Keith’s opinion.

Keith was attentive. He gave her practice math problems and told her to get back to him. Daniella felt flattered.  She wanted to impress Keith.

Keith did not want her to go to school. He would teach her.

Raniere told her that “she was [a] genius” and promised “he could teach her”.

She kept working at the administrative office and learned how to set up checks and credit cards which were entered into the data. Cash wasn’t entered in, though there was a space for it to be entered. When a person paid by cash for Nxivm classes, they were listed as having been given a scholarship and the cash was put in a drawer. Dani understood the reason for this was that they wouldn’t pay taxes on the cash. And that the people who paid cash were not actually getting a Nxivm scholarship.

At one point, Dani stole a few thousand dollars of the cash. She felt terrible about taking this money. She began to feel paranoid. Her heart was racing. She couldn’t sleep.  And while it was still in her possession, she put all of it back. She didn’t tell anyone. No one knew she had taken the money and put it back.

Dani eventually told Keith. She told him because she wanted to get some relief. She had started trust Keith. Keith might help her understand what she did.

Keith told her that he already knew she had taken this cash and returned it.

Her first reaction was “Oh, Keith has eyes everywhere.” But afterward she didn’t really believe that was true. She didn’t confront Keith on this. Dani didn’t feel like she had it in her or had the right to confront Keith.

Dani was not an equal.

But Daniela now had concerns about the core of herself. She felt she was not an honest person.

Keith said, “You’re a person who stole but chose not to steal and now you know more than other people about this aspect of yourself.”

Keith made her feel like it wasn’t the end of the world.

He said he would be there for her.

But Nancy came to find out about it. [From Keith] Nancy confronted Dani, asking her “How are you going to fix this?” [the taking of money and returning it].

Nancy was aggressive. This was like punishment. Dani felt shame. Barbara Jeske brought it up also-  in front of people. Dani thought she deserved this treatment.

They spoke to Dani’s parents about it. This was terrible for Dani because her father, Hector, was an extremely honorable man. This was very humiliating for her.

When Nancy was talking to her, she was saying things like, “Why are you smiling? Is this funny to you?”

The word “suppressive” was brought up.

Dani thought she was in fact a suppressive.

AUSA Penza asked “what’s a suppressive?”

Daniela said “a suppressive wants to squash the good in the world, to destroy the world.”

Dani had a fear of being a suppressive, being called a suppressive was a serious accusation. Daniela was fired from the office. She didn’t know what to do. She was doing errands, looking for work.

After this, Daniela became closer to Keith. Keith was the one there for her, a shoulder to cry on. She felt like he was the only person who was on her side, who understood how Daniela felt.

Looking back, Daniela now feels that Keith set her up so that he would be the hero and make her dependent on him.


Stay tuned for part 2 of Dani’s testimony.

About the author

Frank Parlato

Frank Report’s founder and lead writer Frank Parlato is one of the internet’s most decorated investigative journalists. His writing and investigations have helped expose major criminal organizations and scandals.

Frank’s work has been cited in major publications all over the world, including The New York Times, New York Post, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CNN, Rolling Stone, and more.

He is also the publisher and editor-in-chief of Artvoice, The Niagara Falls Reporter, Front Page and the South Buffalo News.


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  • Let’s see.
    Al Gore said the world would be inundated by the ice melt some 10 years ago.
    Keith said unless everyone follows NXUVM tech the world would end in 15 years. That would be in 2017 the world would end.
    AOC says we have15 years left.
    Tje JW’S said 1975 Jesus would return and our current system of things would end.

    Everyone keeps predicting the end of the world, throughout time and yet we are still here.
    PT Barnum was right. There’s a sucker born wvery minute!

    Wonder what Nostradamus predicted? Let me check. Lol

  • A Canadian vlogger named Polly used Daniela’s full name and drawing the conclusion that Dr. Salzman’s current wife and Dani are related somehow implying Dr. Salzman may be more involved with NXIVM, outside of ex wife and daughters involved, that he is, or has been, involved in NXIVM.

  • We were led to believe that the actual branding (the time the hot pen was on flesh) was about 30 minutes. But it is clear it is just 3 seconds or so for each line of the logo. And there was no screaming in pain and no struggle. WTF

  • Didn’t Jane of GBD say that her slave master, Allison did NOT have a brand? But it seems she did. So, was Jane lying or a fake or just mistaken.

  • I knew Daniela, I feel terrible of how she was taken advantage of but her account of her academic situation was either embellished on purpose or misunderstood. She wasn’t going to school in Switzerland, she was granted admission in Tec de Monterrey’s IB Program (a Swiss accreditation to be completed in Monterrey Mexico), also it wasn’t the only scholarship they gave out. It was likely the only one given to her school year, but many schools in many places grant such scholarship. Other kids in the country were receiving it, so it’s not precisely as it was framed in her testimony.

    She always prided herself in being smarter, so I can see why she was manipulated by his flattery of her purported intellect. But this is a distortion of what her academic opportunities truly were at 15 years old, whether it’s misreporting or a self-aggrandizing account on her part.

    • Anonymex: It was very clear from the testimony, Daniela went to school in Monterrey first, at the school you refer to. Her sister joined her there for a time. She subsequently applied to and was accepted by a different school in Switzerland, which was very academically rigorous, and situated in a beautiful Alpine region. The school in Switzerland only gave out one scholarship a year and offered it to Daniela. It was a very expensive school and even her affluent father couldn’t afford it without help. A rep from the school met with Danila’s father to verify his finances and work out the details. Daniela gave up the scholarship when she decided to take a year off and go to Albany. Representatives form the school in Switzerland asked Daniela to take time to think about it, but Daniela ended up going to Albany.

      • Ugh. That is so devastating. Thanks for clarifying, Dianne. Gave up a good education for fakery. Poor girl.

      • She only coursed the first year of the high school IB Program by the time she decided to go to Albany instead of continuing, there’s no way she was going to Switzerland to do some other degree before completing IB, it’s not how that accreditation works. The IB Program is academically rigorous, it’s a Swiss accreditation, more expensive than the other Tec programs (Bilingual and Bicultural). She was granted a scholarship to attend there (In Monterrey) when she was 15 so I’m positive this is the one she is referring to, not outright lying but certainly overplaying. That’s what I mean by embellished, If she was quoted correctly then she wants to make it sound more prestigious and rare, perhaps so her loss holds more weight at court.

        And don’t get me wrong, she missed very important developmental years and that’s extremely unfortunate, it’s absolutely tragic that she was IMPRISONED with her family right there outside that room not helping her. It’s just jarring to see that she might be misrepresenting her situation back then at age 16.

        • Daniela’s testimony about her acceptance to the school in Switzerland was more detailed than what is written here. The whole account around the school in Switzerland, took up a chunk of time in that morning’s testimony. While in Monterrey, she applied to many schools in Switzerland. She heard back from one school, which was located in the Alps. After reps from the school interviewed both her father (because of finances) and her, she was accepted and offered their one scholarship per year. When she contacted the school to say she was going to ‘take a year off’, they asked her to take more time to think about it. But she didn’t change her mind. Sadly, we know she went to Albany.

          Any connection that the school in Monterrey had to Switzerland, is entirely separate from, and not relevant to, the school in Switzerland that she was accepted at and planned to attend.

          • Fair enough. On another site I read she was intending to take courses in Switzerland which makes more sense than what I was thinking (a full degree of sorts). Thank you for your responses.

          • There’s also other connections she could have had to Switzerland through cousins and not her high school program that I had failed to take into account in the first place. Please feel free to delete my original comment and subsequent thread, as it’s misinformed.

    • Dani spent one year in the IB program at Techno Monterrey and then received a one year study abroad scholarship to attend Leysin American School, in Leysin, Vaud, Switzerland. She embellished nothing.

  • From Slate:
    “One would think that given the number and nature of Raniere’s Mexican associates, the story would have caught fire in Mexico. In fact, the opposite happened. Raniere’s deep Mexican connections have been conspicuously underreported by the country’s press. Different media outlets offered Salinas, an eloquent speaker whose father served as president from 1988 to 1994, softball interviews and numerous other opportunities to distance himself from Raniere, a man he had defended vehemently in the past, calling him “heroic.”

  • I can understand how someone, age 16, who hadn’t even finished school, could be sucked into this scam. I have trouble understanding how any adult with a functioning brain could be. And it seems that Dani, young and inexperienced as she was, figured out pretty quickly that there was something seriously fishy about this operation.

    Cash not entered into the books. Put in a drawer. That, right there, is hard evidence that NXIVM is a racket and that Raniere, who was running the operation, is guilty of racketeering. It seems she was promised pay and not paid, which gets into the forced labor felony act.

    This is the first I’ve heard of the Apocalypse Equation. The world supposed to end in 2017. This is pure cult stuff; and the fools continue to believe in their dime-store messiah. Well, there’s no cure for stupid.

    The idea that Raniere was ‘unified’, that blissful state of not reacting to the external world, sounds an awful lot like Nietzsche’s conception of the Ubermensch. Raniere seems not to have ever had an original idea; most of his supposed world-changing ‘philosophy’ seems to be cribbed from Nietzsche via Ayn Rand. One of Nietsche’s most infamous aphorisms, from Thus Spake Zarathustra, is ‘goest thou to woman? Do not forget thy whip’, which ties right in with Raniere’s sleazy S&M dungeon fantasies. Then there’s his idea of a new morality which is straight out of Beyond Good and Evil. Thing is, both Nietzsche and his imitator Ayn Rand are favorite reading materials of your stereotypical curious sophomore; easily accessible, popular, intellectually undemanding. There’s a frisson of rebelliousness about reading Nietzsche that appeals to many clever adolescents, those not clever enough to read really challenging philosophers like Kant or Schopenhauer.

    Which makes me even more puzzled that so many people thought Raniere a genius or even paid for a NXIVM ‘course’. His schtick was cribbed from the most obvious sources. A little Buddhism, a little Nietzsche, a bit of pop psychology. People paid thousands of dollars for this junk? And kept coming back for more? Thought he was the world’s smartest man? This goofball with his end-of-the-world predictions with expired expiration dates?

    These people are idiots. Led by a con man. Well, he’s in jail and then off to prison with him. They’re left sad and cheated and ripe for the next vulture. Well, that’s the way of the world, innit?

    • Very well said. Thanks for the commnet. Also, the Suppressive thing is lifted straight Hubbard/Scientology.

    • Great points.

      Dani may be an example of someone – the many, really – who if she hadn’t been sort of born or raised in the group, would either not have gotten involved or would have gotten out before long. But those family connections are also often pivotal in these sorts of groups; it’s why for instance women and children remain in the FLDS, and even resist attempts to get them to leave, not knowing anything else, and having all their family ties there.

      I also see a lot of similarities to Scientology here. Much of that is just because high control groups or cults, and their frequently narcissistic and psychopathic leaders, tend to tap in to certain patterns of human behavior, and weaknesses. Some of it is because Hubbard tapped some similar sources as Raniere, like Nietzsche (through Aleister Crowley) and Buddhism, plus hypnosis. On top of that there was some deliberate copying as well, and the involvement early on of people who had been involved in Scientology or one of its offshoots, though the connections and the extent of it are unclear. Cults are often apocalyptic, and early on Scientology used claims that the world would end in 5 or 10 years unless saved from itself, to recruit many of the idealistic young baby boomers who still account for much of their now-aging membership, and then to get them to buy into and act on an end-justifies-the-means ideology; though they have since moved on to other tactics, such as essentially exploiting the fear of death though their strangely qualified take on reincarnation.

      The idea that “unified” (or “integrated”) means not reacting to the external world, also sounds like the characteristics of a psychopath; some of the tests and measures of psychopathy involve gauging whether individuals lack normal responses and reactions. It’s also typical of these groups, that the leader’s personality – often flawed if not pathological – gets held up as the ideal, and imposed on followers. And the idea of some sort of Raniere having attained some sort of personal wholeness stands in contrast to the fact that internally, he is obviously driven by unresolved issues and fixations from his youth.

      Experts in the field always say that people drawn to these kinds of groups, can’t be dismissed as unintelligent or uneducated – in fact they are often actually slightly above average in intelligence, in some cases more educated, but typically idealistic. I suspect that they tend to be more gullible or vulnerable, though what research there is suggests it is a complex confluence of factors, including situational vulnerability – times in people’s lives, typical but not exclusive to youth, when they are in turmoil and seeking answers. It also may be that at the highest levels, and in the inner circles, such as we’re seeing here, those involved are a very select group with particular characteristics and weaknesses.

    • I agree.

      The more personally you dealt with KAR, the more of a fraud you should have seen him as. However,, many of these people who join such groups are in a vulnerable state to begin with, e.g., they have self-esteem issues, they are at a low point in their lives, members of their family or closest friends are involved, etc., so they are easier to manipulate in terms of the card of the “tech is not working because of you” which is easier to believe due to their lack of self-esteem or peer pressure, and they suppress any cognitive dissonance they have because of it, like Dani seems to have done. Of course, this reason is bullshit, but such a conclusion is easier drawn from a distance when you have a skeptical and less agreeable personality type, you’ve been raised right, or you don’t suffer from these issues.

      The biggest dicks of the followers of KAR are the inner circle enablers of him, who witnessed first hand such sordid behavior, i.e., members of his inner circle, starting with Nancy Sleazeman. I’m sorry Nancy, I don’t believe at all your after the fact rationalization that you thought you were doing good. You knew exactly what you were doing.

      There comes a point in everyone’s lives where they have to understand the meaning behind the following quote: “Don’t blame a clown for acting like a clown. Ask yourself why you keep going to the circus.”

      Many of these people, including celebrities, continued to remain on despite knowing exactly what they were doing. And even if they had doubts, they kept ignoring all of the third party evidence that kept coming out that showed that KAR wasn’t who he claimed to be. Some of the people including the small time celebrities saw the light and left earlier than others, e.g., the NXIVM 9, Kristen Kreuk, while others further enabled KAR’s behavior, e.g., the Bronfmans, Salzmans, Allison Mack, Nicki Clyne, Mark Hildreth, Mark Vicente, Sarah Edmondson, etc. The latter two did help to rectify what they enabled for so long.

      Ignoble people like Raniere don’t care. After they’ve manipulated and used you, they’ve moved on and effectively thrown you away. You are just game and a game to them. If you leave, they only go after you because they don’t want others to learn about who they really are from you because then the myth surrounding them falls apart and jig is up.

      Just like it is now for VanClown, aka VanFraud, aka VanDouche.

  • The poor girl. I hope she can get back into education eg such a pity to lose the Swiss scholarship. What a waste.
    i didn’t realise they were being told the world might end. Classic cult stuff there.

  • A splendid example demonstrating Nancy’s humanity. Again. You can’t help not loving her: psychologically deep stabbing a defenceless innocent teen.

  • From Slate:
    “One would think that given the number and nature of Raniere’s Mexican associates, the story would have caught fire in Mexico. In fact, the opposite happened. Raniere’s deep Mexican connections have been conspicuously underreported by the country’s press. Different media outlets offered Salinas, an eloquent speaker whose father served as president from 1988 to 1994, softball interviews and numerous other opportunities to distance himself from Raniere, a man he had defended vehemently in the past, calling him “heroic.”

  • Keith is a disgusting being. The vast majority of these inner circle people are including Nancy. ‘I was trying to do good in the world.’ No you fucking weren’t Nancy. You were the worst enabler of them all.

    To be so manipulative to take advantage of a young, inexperienced woman for the ego and sexual proclivities of a midget in stature, heart, and mentality. And Dani’s story is just a microcosm of a pattern established since Rhiannon.

    Honey, you should’ve gone to Switzerland. These people knew it but they didn’t have your best interest in mind because they only had their best interest in mind. They deserve every fucking retribution that happens to them for their past behavior.

    • “At this time, she got as a gift from her father, a paid-for 16 day Nxivm intensive. Her parents had already gone to an intensive and loved it.”

  • Raniere would have been nothing without his faithful PIMPs.

    Who were those PIMPS in the case of this young Mexican woman confined for over a year-


    And perhaps Karen Unterreiner

  • Frank your doing a great job i hsve everyome follow your post this is not far from me this makes me sick i lived 19byears my familt was here i feel knoxwoods will never ne the same for me keep up tje good work

  • Ha! When I took ESP classes when they first started back in 1998, they said the world had ten years. So the world was supposed to crash and burn and go to war, etc. etc. In 2008.

  • Do you see how many people knew that NXIVM didn’t pay taxes- All these morons who claim they had no idea about anything wrong whatsoever are full of shit. If you were on the striped path, there is no way you didn’t know something. If you were coaching classes that made money and some of it was cash, some not, you knew why.

    Siohaban Hotaling was said to of been a money mule between Canada and the US. Laundering cash for the purpose of not paying taxes.

    • Huh-
      The testimony shows that if you worked in the Admin office you knew.
      How many worked there-

    • Not everyone took cash for course work. Mexico and Albany did.

      Many people who left NXIVM attempted to contact the IRS about NXIVM and its many companies and officials were not paying taxes. No one cares.

      When a system is broken because of political influence and favoritism you cannot blame those who have attempted for over a decade to take these bastards down.

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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