By Dianne Lipson
Nicole continued to testify on Friday.
Through answering questions asked by Assistant US Attorney Moira Penza, Nicole continued to tell her story of her life as a DOS slave – under her master, Allison Mack, and her grandmaster, Keith Alan Raniere.
After testifying about her surprise experience being ordered to be tied down, blindfolded and having someone unknown to her perform oral sex on her – as Keith watched and commented – Nicole became frightened about staying in DOS. [By the way, it was Cami, the Mexican woman who Raniere began grooming when she was 15 or younger, who performed the oral sex on Nicole when she was blindfolded and tied – but Nicole did not know it at the time.]
By email, Nicole told Allison she needed a break from traveling to Albany from New York City. She really didn’t want to go to Albany anymore or be part of DOS.
Allison responded by telling Nicole that she needed to come and her aversion was part of her growth process.
Allison told Nicole she was “entitled” and “attached to physical comfort.” Then Allison added endearingly, “I love you and I miss you.”
Nicole came back to Albany. She felt she had to or her collateral might be released.
When she was there, Keith resumed his late night walks with her. One night he took her to his “library.”
Nicole described the library – books, the hot tub, the bed. The windows had black curtains. Keith said he stayed there when he received death threats.
He said he hid there [for there were many who would wish to kill him because of his goodness, he explained.]
Nicole was told by him that she was not to touch, or move anything. At one point, she moved the black curtains over a little to get some light.
Keith freaked out.
Keith admitted [perhaps he bragged] to Nicole that he was the creator of DOS. He revealed that he was Allison’s master and, therefore, Nicole’s Grand Master.
As her Grand Master, he told her, he could have commanded Nicole to have sex with him any time but he didn’t. He didn’t want her to think DOS was all about sex.
But, since he is her Grand Master, she has to do whatever he says at any time.
It finally made sense to Nicole why he knew all about her personal life and secrets. Allison had been telling him everything Nicole had confided to her.
Nicole had to submit to sex with Keith.
At one point, Allison said something very odd to Nicole.
She said, “Isn’t it cool that Keith is working on my sexuality through you?”
Meantime, Nicole did not like being in DOS but was afraid to quit. Sometimes, she showed this to Allison by being upset or angry. Allison would tell her she was not in a “good state.”
One of the things that kept her from being in a good state, was that Nicole had to do “readiness drills”, which she testified were horrible and pointless.
She had to keep a phone with her 24/7 in the event of a readiness drill – which was such that Allison would text her and Nicole had to reply back within 60 seconds or she would fail the drill – which might occasion some punishment [from a cold shower to a paddling].
At her job, however, Nicole was not allowed to carry a cell phone when working. In order to comply with readiness drills, Nicole would hide her phone on her person. but one evening, she had to recharge her phone and did not keep it on her for a few moments.
As luck would have it, there was a readiness drill and by the rules of DOS, slaves have to respond in one minute. Nicole did not since she did not have her phone with her and was unaware of the readiness drill.
Nicole did not respond. A frantic Allison called the manager at Nicole’s job and said there was a family emergency to get he on the phone and to respond. That’s how extreme the readiness drills were, Nicole explained.
Nicole had – reluctantly – entered into a sexual relationship with Keith. First, it was oral sex then she said she had some sexual intercourse with Raniere. She was ordered by him not to talk about this with anybody.
In explaining the sex and his expectations, Keith told Nicole that she was his wife and their relationship was like an arranged marriage.
“You will learn to love me just like people do in an arranged marriage,” he said. And of course, he said, this was done for “her growth.”
Nicole was uncomfortable with having a sexual relationship with Keith. She was not attracted to him.
Keith explained to Nicole that when he first started his sexual relationship with Allison, she had been uncomfortable in the beginning. But Allison really trusted the [wing] women around Keith who all told her that sex with Keith was a good thing, a healing thing – something that would help her growth.
Nicole went to Vanguard Week. At around 4:00 AM, Keith took her to his cabin bedroom. Nicole was really uncomfortable and Keith saw that she was uncomfortable.
He asked her, “Do you want to have sex or go on a walk?”
She said she wanted to go on a walk.
On the walk, Keith told Nicole, she could live an interesting life or she could end up with a white picket fence. [meaning a hum drum common life]. Keith said he was disappointed that she chose to walk instead of having sex.
He told her she was special and that he could train her [using sex] to be extraordinary.
After Vanguard Week [which actually lasts 10 days], Nicole went on a camping trip with her family and brought along a friend. She confided to her friend about Keith.
The friend said, “I don’t care how special this guy [Raniere] thinks you are, if you are uncomfortable, you don’t have to have sex with him.”
Nicole texted Keith, that the master-slave relationship was overwhelming and she wanted out of it.
Keith responded with a long message about how she was difficult for him. And that Nicole didn’t have enough life experience to understand the great gift he was giving to Nicole. It was a shortcut to something wondrous.
Normally, he said, in order to achieve this high state, it had to become sexual quickly.
Nicole’s emotional state was up and down. She was truly conflicted and frightened. She was trying to be in a “good state,” but sometimes it was so frustrating.
When Nicole was having a meltdown, Keith said, “I don’t need you. I’m choosing you. I have plenty of beautiful women I can have sex with.”
When she told Keith she felt broken, he responded by saying that she needed to be broken in order to rebuild her into a strong woman.
Assistant US Attorney Moira Penza asked Nicole, “Did you feel like you were breaking?”
Nicole said, “At times, yes. But I didn’t want to break. It was scary. It was constantly about ‘trust’. I was giving into things but sometimes a voice in my head said ‘no.‘”