A lot of people have been wondering why I keep writing about Toni Natalie. Some have been trying to dissuade me from writing about her and her new book The Program Inside the Mind of Keith Raniere and the Rise and Fall of Nxivm.
They think she should be untouchable because she is a woman and because she had a role in the fight against Nxivm.
I have been calling into question the veracity of some of the claims in her book. There are questions about many of her stories – and others are contradicted by various eyewitnesses.
Some are important, like who really took care of her son – his father or her? [She claimed until I called her on it, that she was a ‘single mother’ when, in reality, she abandoned her son.]
Was her little boy really put on an extreme calorie-reduced diet when Toni took care of him –- under Keith’s abusive command?
Did Keith make her keep a dead puppy in the freezer and then make Toni commit child abuse by making the boy stare at it every day?
Did Keith really hypnotize her to quit smoking that led to her going into a trance for two hours and 45 minutes while her husband waited patiently outside Keith’s office?
Did Toni really quit smoking afterward, as she claimed?
Did Toni stop a mob war as she claims in her book, by getting married when she was 19?
Did her brother commit suicide because of Keith?
Did Keith arrange to poison her German Shepard?
Did her third husband leave her without love for three years – thereby justifying her adultery with Keith [Her third husband, Rusty DeCook, has prepared a special article for Frank Report which we will be publishing shortly.]
These and other questions should be investigated since Toni has claimed them publicly and put them in her book for all to read.
I think it is important that the Nxivm story be told truthfully by everyone who tells the story – including Toni.
Toni Leads the Way on How to Trust or Not Trust Someone
Happily, Toni has given us guidance on how we should judge her.
This comes from page 62 of her new book – where she claims she read an article that showed Keith was lying about his IQ.
An article, she claims, appeared in The Albany Times Union on May 21, 1992, reporting on Keith’s troubled Consumer’s Buyline business – which was then being accused of being a pyramid scheme.
The article, she says, reported that the result of Keith’s IQ test was a score of 178, not 240, as he had claimed.
Toni writes, “Not only did the [newspaper] piece call into question the legality of Keith’s company; it also listed the correct IQ reflected by his Mega Society test score. Why did he feel compelled to tack on 62 extra IQ points? Was 178—still smarter than Einstein—not impressive enough? And if he was willing to lie about something provable, how could he be trusted with anything else?”
Toni caught Keith lying and Toni gives us guidance on how to assess and deal with liars.
She says of Keith “if he was willing to lie about something provable, how could he be trusted with anything else?”
May we hold Toni to the same standard she places on others?
Let’s look at a provable lie
Toni writes in her book in several places that she dropped out of school in the 10th grade.
Here are some examples:
“There was a teacher in my high school: an older gentleman, popular with the kids. Mr. Harris came from money. Every year, he would take a group of his best students to London—his treat. I did not come from money. We never went anywhere on vacation, and I was desperate to travel. I had no special interest in London. I could not have found it on a map. But I really wanted to get out of Rochester.
“The problem was that I was not a good student. I now know that I suffer from severe dyslexia. When I read, the words swim off the page. But when I was in high school, dyslexia was not understood or diagnosed and was generally confused with lack of intelligence.
“After failing out of Mr. Harris’s class freshman year, I enrolled again in tenth grade. I was determined to succeed, because I wanted him to take me to London.
“Two weeks into the first marking period, Mr. Harris called me over at the end of class. ‘Toni,’ he asked, ‘why are you taking this class?’
“I explained that I liked him, I was interested in the subject, and I really wanted to go abroad. He smiled and patted me paternally on the hand. ‘It’s good that you work hard,’ he said, with a note of finality in his voice, ‘and that you’re pretty.’
“Mr. Harris was only trying to let me down gently concerning my hopes for world travel. But I took him at his word. What he was saying, it seemed to me, was that I had no business in a classroom. My purpose on this earth was to work hard and be pretty.
“So, I took his advice. I dropped out and went to beauty school. I made a living as a cosmetologist and an aesthetician, doing sculpture nails and makeup, giving facials. A few years later, my background in beauty provided an opportunity to invest in a day spa—a new concept at the time. I could see that day spas were the wave of the future, and I was right. The business did extremely well.”
Later in the book, she writes about her surprise that Keith Raniere found her attractive and interesting.
Toni writes, “On its face, this didn’t make any sense. He was an honors college graduate, CEO of a million-dollar company, a mega-genius acknowledged by freaking Guinness World Records. I didn’t even finish tenth grade.”
And still later, she quotes Keith chiding her for only having a 10th-grade education.
She writes, “He did not hesitate to hit me where it hurt: ‘What will you do, with your tenth-grade education? Go back to Rochester and make gift baskets?’”
So from her book, it is pretty well established that Toni dropped out of school in the 10th grade.
Toni was born in August 1958.
And here is the peculiar thing. Yearbooks are online. And Toni’s yearbooks – she went to Greece Athena High School – are online.
I did a little searching and found that Toni did not drop out of high school in 10th grade.
How do I know that?
Because in the 1975 yearbook for the Greece Athena High School – which was Toni’s senior year – she was pictured along with other seniors.
How could Toni have dropped out of high school in the 10th grade and still be in high school yearbook in the 12th grade?
I checked with someone who went to high school with Toni and this source told me that Toni was in the 12th grade, but thought she did not graduate.
In other words, she dropped out of 12th grade – with just a couple of months to go before graduation.
So why lie about such a provable thing?
Why say you dropped out of 10th grade when you really dropped out of 12th grade?
I don’t know the answer.
Perhaps a person who drops out of high school in 10th grade seems more like a hard-luck story – like she said of herself in the book.
She was learning disabled.
But a person who drops out of high school in the 12th grade seems more like a fool – like “why didn’t you stay three more months and graduate?”
A person who could make it to 12th grade seems less learning disabled.
So, in a funny kind of way, saying you dropped out in 10th grade, when you are only 15, seems a lot more sympathetic than dropping out in 12th grade – when you are 17.
That may be the reason for her provable lie – simple vanity.
Or perhaps something untoward happened in the 12th grade – something unfortunate or embarrassing – and she dropped out because she had to – and did not want to disclose that in her book.
Either way, it is a provable lie, and like Toni said, “if he [or she] was willing to lie about something provable, how could he be trusted with anything else?”
Other Dubious Claims
By the way – on the topic of lies yet to be proven, Toni [or the Times Union] is wrong about Keith’s IQ score.
She claims she learned from an Albany Times Union story that Keith’s IQ score on his Mega Test was 178 and he had claimed it was 240. Either the Times Union got this wrong or Toni may be lying.
The Mega Society does not grade IQs the same way as most IQ tests which are standardized to a median score of 100.
The highest possible score anyone can get on a Mega Test is 50. Keith scored a 49, tying with two others – and this formed the basis of his claim of being one of the top three problem solvers in the world.
Another dubious statement is the mention of the well-heeled teacher – the kindly Mr. Harris – who took his students to London and told Toni she was pretty, but not really qualified to be in his class.
I checked the Greece Athena yearbooks for the years Toni was in high school and I did not find anyone named Mr. Harris on the faculty.
Perhaps she merely got the name wrong – an error that should have been caught bt the book’s publishers during its fact-checking process.
Finally, Toni says she bought or invested in an extremely successful day spa – but does not give the name. This is problematic.
Since several people who knew her well, including her ex-husband, say that she never owned a day spa.
I asked several of her old friends about this and the closest she ever got, it seems, to even working in a day spa was that she was a nail technician in a successful hair salon in the Rochester area – and at one time she had three nail technicians working under her.
This is not the same thing as owning a day spa.
I also checked with the owner and he confirmed that Toni did not own his salon or invest in it.
By the way, the salon she worked at – as a nail technician – was called Cherizar – and they did have a tanning bed, did facials and hair-styling. And for a time even had a masseuse and a masseur.
But Toni was not the owner of it, and it was not a day spa. She was a nail technician and did acrylic nails for a successful beauty salon.
Perhaps Toni is referring to another day spa she owned – or invested in – at some other time – that was extremely successful. But no one who knows her recalls this and all of them said Toni is lying.
I would be happy to have Toni provide the name of the day spa she owned – and we could check the records of her ownership.
In the meantime, we are left with her improbable story of her dropping out of high school in the 10th grade – while we have online access to her senior picture.
Perhaps the lie is not important but like she said in her book, “if he [or she] was willing to lie about something provable, how could he [or she] be trusted with anything else?”
Can we trust her on other claims, she makes in the rest of the book?
[…] Toni Natalie Provably Lied in Her Book About Dropping Out of High School in the 10th Grade – W… […]
Miss mafia princess looks more like a bangster.
Toni’s downfall is the same as Keith. She believes people are basically stupid and she is a better con-woman than they can see through.
Several times I’ve heard her say “I can sell ice cubes to Eskimos’. Toni Natalie believes she can sell her pile of lies to the general public and get away with it laughing all the way to the bank.
Toni was never as good as Raniere and never built the empire he did. That is really why she hates him so much. She never got to be a cult queen.
Her book is full of lies and Frank, with the help of others, is poking holes in her facts.
Now it’s becoming a delusional woman story of a want-to-be cult leader booted out for her own pride issues of needing to be the top dog.
I’m hesitant to read any of these Nxivm tell-all books by people who were directly involved. They’re all liable to be self-serving and distorted semi-fiction. I’m hoping for a book by someone objective, an outsider, a journalist.
Be careful what you ask for. Chet Hardin, the guy who actually wrote Toni’s book, lists himself as “an award-winning investigative journalist” and that book is the worst of them all. It’s absolutely amazing that Hardin put his name on a book that is chock full of lies and even more amazing that the publisher obviously didn’t fact check anything.
Some people will do anything for a piece of the action/profit. The publisher must have very low standards.
Nice work, Frank. It looks like you’re doing the sort of vetting and fact-checking that Natalie’s publisher should have done.
It’s indeed important, because if people turn out to be in the habit of falsifying or misrepresenting their past, then we really have to question whether their accounts of other or more recent events are true or accurate, spun in self-serving ways or even fabricated.
In the worst of cases, we encounter people who seem hardly able to tell or know what the truth is, including compulsive or even delusional liars who can be very compelling in fabricating fictions about their lives and everything else – such as the claimed “youth judo champion,” “concert-level pianist” and “top problem solver” Raniere; or Scientology’s “Dr.” L. Ron Hubbard, who posed as a Navy war hero and intelligence officer, but who a court ruled was “virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background and achievements” (and recent book further debunked all his Navy career claims, exposing him as a troubled flunky).
Toni was villainous to Keith. She lied to him and cheated on him with Mark and then Scott.
Toni Natalie seems to be suffering from a personality disorder.
Toni’s book seems to be doing quite well.
It’s in the local Barnes and Noble bookstore and in the local library.
Knowing how bizarre America has become, I would not be surprised if all this publicity about NXIVM actually led to a revival of this cult and similar cults.
“There is no such thing as bad publicity.” attributed by PR agent Harry Reichenbach.
Remember Hack Heaven? 🙂
Let’s not forget that ‘Jukt Micronics’ was a bogus company that was invented because a large magazine refused to do it’s due diligence and fact-check one of its authors. LOL.
Let’s not forget that guys like ‘Ian Restil’ and ‘Joe Hiert’ were also invented because a large magazine refused to do it’s due diligence and fact-check one of its authors. LOL.
Methinks that Toni’s book has veracity issues similar to the ‘Hack Heaven’ story, LOL, but that’s just my opinion of course. 🙂
IMO, Frank seems to be exposing her story just like ‘Hack Heaven’ was exposed by Forbes Digital reporter Adam Penenberg.
Frank is simply doing what reporters do. They dig and dig.
Just wanted to add…
All employers must ‘register’ with the state of NY to pay ’employment taxes’ —- including disability, unemployment insurance, etc.
While the tax details are private, the existence of an employment ‘certificate’ during a particular year (or whatever NY may call this document) should be public information.
The same is true for New York ‘sales tax’. Employers must get a sales tax certificate/permit IF they sell tangible items subject to sales tax (I’m guessing that a Day Spa would sell lots of little tangible products to customers before they leave).
If Toni’s business was a ‘sole proprietorship’ or ‘general partnership’ then her name — as an owner or major partner — would likely have been needed on every type of permit/certificate/license that her business applied for.
If it was a corporation — and she was a ‘major owner’ — then she’d likely be liable if the business itself didn’t register and pay all of these taxes each year.
Although some city & county offices might not maintain good business records going back to the 1980’s (before computers were common), I’m guessing that the state’s sales tax authorities have very good records on issues like this.
Although the IRS only has between 3 to 6 years to audit somebody (3 years normally, 6 years if certain major errors are involved) —- this ‘audit period’ never expires IF the business or owner never filed a tax return for a particular year.
Perhaps her publishers have vetted her business already — and can provide Frank with the business name, the years it paid taxes to the IRS and NY tax authorities, etc.?
If not, then how many Day Spas were located in that small area of upstate NY during the 1980’s? I’m sure it can’t be that many.
I know that Toni’s publishers and attorneys are likely very honest people and want to uphold the law and the truth 100% —- so I’m sure they’ll be forthcoming about issues like this. 🙂 🙂
Although a shareholder of a corporation is usually shielded from liability (even tax liabilities) —- the corporate veil may be ‘pierced’ (i.e., the owners may be held liable) IF the company was managed like an alter-ego of its owners, rather than managed like a legit corporation.
Thus, if a corporation existed that didn’t register and pay all appropriate NY state taxes, sales taxes and employment taxes — then it would probably be deemed a ‘sham’ corporation and not be entitled to limited liability.
I’m guessing that she likely didn’t own any company and Frank was right, she probably just made it up out of whole cloth.
People are coming out of the woodwork and the most outlandish claims get a book deal. The ironic thing is that some of the crazy is actually true and provable. The issue will be figuring out which ones are true in a society of liars.
Frank, I think her senior year would have been 1976.
Curious why Natalie was a senior in the 1975 yearbook. I was born just a few months after her and graduated high school, on time, TWO years later in 1977. This would have made her much younger than most of her classmates and probably less physically, mentally, and emotionally developed compared to them, so you can probably add an inferiority complex to her long list of issues.
Perhaps her dyslexia also causes numbers, not just words, to “swim off the page” and the 12 became a 10.
Frank, the hell with Toni Nutalie… where are Patrica (sp?) Neill and Rosalie Ann Morris now? And aren’t we due for an Emiliano Salinas article about now? I need me a gratuitous glance at Miss Ludwika!!
If those people had written a book (or new information was otherwise available about them), I’m sure Frank would do an article about them.
Great article, Frank.
With regard to the Day Spa ownership claim.
If the Day Spa was a general partnership or sole proprietorship, her name should have been required on the DBA (‘doing business as’ form).
If she owned an LLC, Corporation or limited partnership, her name would likely have been needed on various other forms to setup the business — if she was a ‘major’ owner.
Plus the city or county which issues business licenses would likely have needed her name listed as the owner.
Of course, if she owned a ‘successful’ business then her share of the profits would have needed to be reported to the IRS.
You should call the city/county/state offices which handle businesses and ask them to search for Toni’s name (it’s a unique name and I doubt there’s another “Toni Natalie” in New York).
Keith Raniere’s IQ is more like 78, not 178.
Give credit where it is due. This mook got beautiful women to not only sleep with him but to knowingly share him. It definitely wasn’t his looks so there had to be something else at play here and I am guessing he actually is a fairly intelligent (if very evil) man.
Yeah, takes a lot of smarts to get yourself locked up in a Federal Maximum Security Prison.
Charisma can, and often does, exist in place of intelligence.
“If you can’t dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.”
― W.C. Fields
The women weren’t that beautiful, and Raniere got lots of help from his gang of evil women.