Part 5 [final] Nicole’s Friday Testimony: Nicole Gets Branded

By Dianne Lipson

This is part 5 of Nicole’s Friday testimony.

DOS Slave Nicole Takes Stand – Allison Mack Threatens to Release Her Collateral if She Quits DOS

Part 1: Friday Testimony: Nicole: ‘Raniere blindfolded me, tied me down and had someone perform oral sex on me’

Part 2 Friday Testimony: Allison Tells Nicole, ‘Isn’t It Cool Keith Is Working on My Sexuality Through You?’ 

Nicole Part 3: Keith Threatens Release of Collateral if Nicole Leaves DOS

Nicole Part 4: Allison Mack Took Closeups of Her Slaves’ ‘Pussies’ – Told One ‘You Have a Beautiful “Cunt”‘

As Nicole continued her Friday testimony [examined by Assistant US Attorney Moira Penza], the horrors of DOS continued to be revealed unabated.

There were acts of care that Nicole had to do for Allison.

There was an assignment where she had to tell Alison a secret every hour.

There was a 10-page sex survey, with all kinds of questions – about her first sexual experience, her likes and dislikes.

At one point, there was some humor in the courtroom as Nicole testified.

It was testimony about one of India’s slaves, [a woman named Jay who is expected to testify after Nicole].

Nicole was asked if Jay was India’s slave, did that made Allison her grandmaster.


Then Nicole was then asked what was Keith called?

Was it Great Grandmaster?, Nicole asked, She couldn’t think of the name. She asked Moira Penza what she thought.

Penza said, “No, you tell me.”

There was laughter in the courtroom.

But it soon turned horrific again when we got to the branding.

Danielle Roberts D.O. was in charge. She had already been branded in Brooklyn by a professional. Danielle was learning how to use the cauterizing pen.

Allison told Nicole what the brand meant: Earth, water, fire. One line was the horizon in the mountains and the water and it was sealed by fire [the cauterizing pen].

Allison did not tell Nicole that it was Keith Alan Raniere’s initials.

During the branding session, the slaves were naked in the room. Allison was not naked. She wore a white dress.

They were instructed to say they were giving their lives to their master [Allison] and everything was for their master to help them rebuild their lives.

Then as the white-hot cauterizing pen was about to descend on their pubic region, they were required to say, “Master, please brand me”, this said on a massage table, as the slave was held down by the other slaves – and as Dr. Roberts wielded the painful cauterizing pen, purportedly drawing the mountains and the water and the horizon – that somehow formed the initials K-A-R [for Keith Alan Raniere].

Michelle was in a lot of pain. Then India was branded.  Nicole didn’t want to say what the slaves were supposed to say.

At the ceremony, they read something about showing their love through pain.  Allison said that during the actual pain, Nicole should think of Allison.

Nicole thought “No fucking way.”

She was crying as she testified, and she said, in order to cope with the pain of the branding, she did not think about Allison. She thought about how much pain she would go through for her family.

She testified, “It really, really fucking hurt.”

It hurt so much that Nicole realized she was not as strong as she thought.

And, if this pain didn’t end soon, she didn’t know how she could handle it. It continued and Nicole became disconnected from her body.

Afterward, when it was over, Nicole testified, it was “an adrenaline rush. You kind of feel strong in a weird way. And you can’t believe that you just did it.”

Nicole thought she could treat the brand as an “ancient symbol of strength.” Nicole said she recalled that at the time that it looked like a “cool ancient symbol.”

Nicole later learned it was Keith’s initials.

Penza asked, “Do you still have the brand?”

Nicole started crying for a few moments. Then she said, “Yes, I do.”

[When she said this, I looked at Keith. He was busy as usual. Taking notes, moving, staring at Nicole. He did not show any kind of reaction.]

The testimony continued. There was more pressure to recruit slaves. They were told to find someone with a joy for life, a sparkle in their eyes. [Keith would take that out of them to be sure.]

If there was anyone they were thinking of recruiting, they had to send that woman’s picture to Allison, with the understanding that it would be sent to Keith.  They would have to be okayed by Keith and Allison beforehand.

Keith wanted Nicole to spend more time in Albany. There was pressure for her to remain in Albany for a year.

Nicole testified that there was a pattern with Allison and Jay [India’s slave]. Allison would be really kind and loving toward Jay, then she would undercut her.  Once, Jay went to volleyball with no bra on.

Allison said it was too sexy. It wasn’t okay for Jay to draw attention to her figure.

The women were not supposed to use their sexuality, but they were also ordered to lose weight so they looked good. And there were all these sexual things happening. There were a lot of mixed messages, Nicole felt.

Then came the period when people started leaving Nxivm and DOS. [Spring and Summer 2017]

The first person to leave was Mark Vicente. At first, the party line was that Mark had left in an honorable way. But that changed – and the Nxivm High-Rank started to say that Mark was destructive.

Then Mark Hildreth [the man who brought her into Nxivm] left.

Then she heard how Sarah’s husband, Anthony Ames, had seen his wife’s brand and all hell broke loose at a meeting. Sarah left, giving up her Vancouver Nxivm Center.

Allison said at one point, sarcastically, to Nicole, “You can leave if you want to destroy everything!”

Nicole didn’t think she would be destroying everything if she left but  when Allison said, “It put that [leaving] as a reality in my head.”

Nicole started to pay attention to what was happening in the Nxivm companies. There was disorder in the ranks. People were calling each other. Some left.  Rachel left, then Soukie.

That had a big effect on Nicole because Nicole felt Soukie was in it as deep and as intensely as Nicole. This gave Nicole strength.

Nicole again tried to tell Allison that she wanted to leave. Allison snapped at her.

Allison said, “Why are you still even here? What if you knew your collateral would not be released, would you still remain?”

Nicole thought this was all surreal. She was desperate to get out. She took the first step. Nicole told Allison she didn’t want to work for The Source anymore. Allison said that was okay.

Nicole testified she became aware of a blog called Frank Report. The blog was about Keith and the people in Nxivm. Then Nicole appeared on that blog.

An article said “Nicole was the sex slave of Keith Raniere.” She said reading that gave her that last little bit of courage she needed – that flash of reality. From reading that, she said, she thought about what had happened to her.

It made her think, “She didn’t join a woman’s empowerment group to become a man’s sex slave.”

She told Allison she’s not doing DOS anymore.

It felt nice to say it, but they still had her collateral. Nicole made her resignation letter conciliatory, partly because they had her collateral. And partly because she didn’t want to be mean to Allison or India.

Nicole says she didn’t understand until later how abusive it had been.

Allison pressured Nicole to come in person to tell everybody that she was leaving.

Nicole rented a car and drove to Albany. Before she left, Nicole told her roommate she was going. She rented the car because she had to have control over the situation. She wasn’t going to allow anybody to pick her up at the train.

The roommate took Allison’s address and said she would stay up until Nicole got home.

They met at Allison’s house. Michelle, Danielle Roberts, and India were seated on the floor. Allison said that Nicole had to sit on a chair. “She can’t sit on the floor anymore,” Allison said.

Nicole was asked why she was leaving. She said it was because she wanted to take control of her life.

Allison said her collateral would not be released, “So, you’re choosing to leave.”

Allison added, “Look what you’re doing to India. India has not eaten for days because of this.”

India said, “No, that’s not exactly true.”

Allison told Nicole that she was breaking everything. How could Nicole live with herself? How could she sleep at night?

“You gave your word.”

Nicole sat there and listened. She knew she was leaving.

India made a comment that Keith needed collateral in order to trust people. Nicole knew that didn’t make sense.

Allison had the keys to Nicole’s apartment in New York. She threw them on the table.

Nicole was also supposed to meet Keith and tell him in person.  Keith kept putting off the time. He said he thought it was supposed to be 10 am, not 10 pm.

He said that he could meet her in the early morning. He had volleyball, which ended at 3 am. But then after volleyball, he had something to do.

She waited and waited then finally she decided to drive away.

Keith texted her, “I’m just walking up to meet you.”

Nicole parked her car and met him.

Keith asked how things went with the girls. He said the girls were hurt. Then Keith asked if Nicole was going to give him back the money? [She had taken some money Keith offered when he was pushing her to spend more time in Albany.]

Nicole said she saw flashes of anger on Keith’s face.

Nicole said, “You gave it to me.”

Keith said “It was given to you as my lifetime partner. And now you’re breaking that.”

Then he said, “Will, I ever see you again?”

Nicole said, “Probably not.”

“Will I ever talk to you again?”

“Probably not.”

He asked if Nicole would speak negatively about Nxivm?

Nicole said “No,”.

It was 5 am. She had been up 24 hours. She was tired, emotionally exhausted. But she kept going. She knew she had to get out of Albany once and for all. Her roommate was waiting, to make sure she got home safely. They communicated on the phone.

Keith continued. He said, “You guys think you have it so bad, but this is nothing compared to other subcultures.”

After Nicole left, she didn’t want to cause any problems. She told her parents about the collateral and how it affected her. She had a godmother who was a psychologist and the godmother helped her not to feel bad about what happened.

She did not tell the sex part of DOS and Keith to her parents. They didn’t know about it until they read it. She did tell her roommate and put herself in therapy.

And that’s how her testimony ended on Friday.

Nicole will continue her direct examination on Monday – and then face cross-examination.

It is anticipated that another witness – Jay, India’s slave – will take the stand on Monday as well.

About the author

Frank Parlato


Click here to post a comment

  • Unless you’re am missing it, why is it not being brought up that the brand also contained AM (Alison Mack’s initials)

  • “Allison said that during the actual pain, Nicole should think of Allison.
    Nicole thought “No fucking way.”

    I hope the prisoners in the penitentiary where Allison is sent think of Allison when they render justice to her.
    Particularly the Hispanic women who learn how Allison enslaved other women as concubines in a cult.

  • Frank,

    Orange County Dreams brought up an important point:

    When is the DOJ going to present the tax evasion and other financial crimes?

  • Mr. Parlato, I know you have been through a lot with this blankedty blank blank cult crap, but it must be such a great feeling to know that your report helped this woman have the courage to leave it.

    • “Nicole testified she became aware of a blog called Frank Report. The blog was about Keith and the people in Nxivm. Then Nicole appeared on that blog.

      An article said “Nicole was the sex slave of Keith Raniere.” She said reading that gave her that last little bit of courage she needed – that flash of reality. From reading that, she said, she thought about what had happened to her.”

      Imagine what could have been had the NIXVM 9 and others banded together to start exposing NXIVM for what it is.

  • Hildreth left after Mark Vicente so he had to have known at that point. Did he feel any remorse at all for bringing Nicole in to this mess? Did he try to help her at all? He seems to be going about his life with no concerns at all. I hope he isn’t allowed to duck his involvement with this cult.

  • I think the “Sex Cult” label has been overused. Criminal Enterprise is more apt for an organisation using blackmail and intimidation to force people into a life of sexual slavery. I won’t even mention the rape of children, money laundering, identity theft, and other serious crimes. NXIVM was an organised crime enterprise as much, or more, than it was a cult.

  • In typical fashion, Raniere the scum-bag, purposely delayed meeting Nicole just to fuck her up for every minute of her life, he could still do. What an amazingly obsessive, compulsive, vindictive, amoral specimen he is!!! Just shocking… he never ceases to shock…. never…

  • Another shout out to the FRANK REPORT.

    And once more, all the testimony from the witness corresponds to other testimony, emails, calls, documents, etc. In other words, Keith’s goose is cooked.

    • Yes, Keith’s goose is cooked, and hopefully Mack’s as well, but Bronfman has more than enough money to keep her goose safe. The two Salzmans and Russell will probably get sentences measured in months.

      • And the fact that Nancy and Lauren get off too easy is disgusting.
        Unlike the Bronfmans, they are not the heiresses of criminal Bronfman lucre unless…..does Nancy have more shoe boxes full of $$$$?
        No one has yet responded to how they currently support themselves or how Nancy is paying for her medical treatment.
        How does she buy groceries? Pay Nay’l Grid, etc?
        And what’s it like to be a clerk waiting on Nancy or Lauren? Does one feel one needs to immediately shower?

        • The question of where the money went might be uncovered in a separate investigation and subsequent trials.

          I hope all those financial crimes are uncovered.

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.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

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 premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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