In a post that I wrote back in July, I indicated that during the course of Keith Raniere’s trial, Toni Natalie made up several lies about Frank Parlato – and when caught, simply refused to admit that she had done so.
Now, with the publication of her book – The Program: Inside The Mind Of Keith Raniere And The Rise And Fall Of NXIVM – Toni has set the standard by which liars should be judged.
In explaining why she stopped believing in Keith, Toni explained that when she read an article that had appeared in the Times Union on May 21, 1992, she realized two things: (1) that Consumer Buyline, Inc. might be a fraudulent pyramid scheme; and (2) that Keith Raniere had lied when he claimed to have an IQ of 240.
She went on to note that if he was willing to lie about something that could be proven to be false, he couldn’t be trusted to tell the truth about anything.
Her exact words on this matter were: “And if he were willing to lie about something provable… how could he be trusted with anything else?”
Oops…Is My Slip Showing?
As Frank and I will soon be documenting in another post, Toni’s book is rife with unsubstantiated claims, gross embellishments and exaggerations, and outright lies.
Some of them are so obvious that it’s hard to understand why the publisher of her book, Grand Central Publishing, didn’t catch them when it fact-checked the manuscript that Toni turned in (Surely they fact-checked it, right?).
Like the claim that when she read the above-cited Times Union article, she knew that Keith could never be trusted because he had lied about provable things.
That’s a really good story – and one that would lead the readers to believe that Toni left Keith as soon as she realized that he was a liar who could be trusted about anything.
Except here’s the problem.
If Toni figured out in 1992 that Keith was totally untrustworthy, then why the hell did she stay with him for another seven years before running off with Scott Foley in 1999?
C’mon, Toni…You can lie better than that.
Didn’t you even read what Chet wrote before you sent the transcript to your publisher?
Had you done so, you would have seen that your tale about the 1992 Times Union story makes absolutely no sense.
The Lies About Frank
Back to the lies that Toni told about Frank during the course of Raniere’s trial.
Toni, while attending the trial, told her friend at the time, Susan Dones two lies about Frank:
(1) that on the previous day one of the witnesses and a former DOS slave named Nicole had testified that Frank had threatened to release her collateral if she didn’t provide him with the names of other members of DOS; and
(2) that FBI agents who were attending the trial would have arrested Frank if he had been in court that day.
Why Toni made up those very provable lies is something I’ll never understand.
Perhaps she was trying to convince Susan not to get involved with Frank in any Nxivm-related projects.
Perhaps she was trying to turn Susan against Frank because he had not agreed to help Toni as much as she wanted with the podcast she was working on.
Perhaps she was just trying to cause some sort of rift between Susan and Frank just because she likes having people communicate with other people only through her.
Whatever her reason was, it doesn’t appear to have been well thought out.
Upon hearing these totally bogus claims from Toni, Susan did something that Toni had not taken into account.
Susan called me to tell me what Toni had told her about Frank.
My response to Susan was that neither of those claims made any sense.
First off, if the FBI wanted to arrest Frank for his alleged attempt to extort Nicole, they wouldn’t camp out in the U.S. District Courthouse in Brooklyn, NY – and wait for him to show up. The FBI has agents located in every city in the USA – and if the FBI wanted to arrest Frank, they certainly knew where to find him.
Secondly, why would Frank attempt to extort Nicole – and then advise her to meet with the FBI? In the entire history of extortion, I don’t think anybody was ever accused of extorting someone to go to law enforcement to report a crime.
Toni’s story made no sense whatsoever.
Lets’ Go to the Transcript
The first time Frank Parlato or the Frank Report came up in Nicole’s testimony at Raniere’s trial, Nicole gave Frank some unusual praise – she credited him [as did many other DOS slaves] for giving her the impetus to leave her enslavement – to stop being a slave.
Here is what she said. She is being questioned by Moira Penza. It is Friday, June 7, 2019, the 19th day of the trial.
Q: Now, at that time, was there any blog coming out that was covering what was happening with DOS?
A: Yeah, there was this blog called The Frank Report that started blogging about all this and blogging about DOS and blogging about different people in the NXIVM community. I guess it had been doing that for a while, but it was not on my radar.
Q: And at some point, did you appear on that blog?
A: Yeah. And right – maybe like two or three days after I officially pulled out of The Source, an article came up online that said that I was a, like, sex slave of Keith Raniere’s.
Q: And, so, what happened after that?
A It was, like – it was just that, like, tiny bit of, like, courage or whatever I needed. It was like that flash of reality and it was just, like, the last little thing and I was like, okay, no. Just no. Like, no. What I – what I thought that I was getting into back then was a women’s empowerment group and now there is something saying that I am somehow a man’s sex slave? I’m like Allison told me in the car that she wasn’t going to release my collateral if I leave. Like, the company is imploding from like the inside out. Like, I think I can do this. Like, I can do this and it will be safe and I’m just going to do it. Like, now is the option. Like, now is this little window when I can get out, and I’m taking it.
And it was just – that was it. That moment, I wrote Allison a letter and I said, I’m not doing this anymore. It’s not for me.
So, Nicole actually credited the blunt, hard truths contained in the Frank Report – which were causing Nxivm to implode back in the summer of 2017 – for giving her the wake-up call she needed to finally realize she was not in a self-empowerment group but in a sex slave cult.
She quit DOS in large part because of Frank Parlato.
The next day, while being cross-examined by Marc Agnifilo, Raniere’s lawyer, Nicole was questioned about her interaction with Frank.
It is Monday, June 10, 2019 – which is Day #20 of the trial.
Q: Do you remember telling the FBI – this is your first interview with them, so it would have been on November 9, 2017, that Frank Parlato was pressuring you to join a lawsuit against NXIVM and also speak with law enforcement regarding NXIVM?
MS. PENZA: Objection, Your Honor.
THE COURT: I will allow it.
A: Yeah, he was. He was scaring me.
Q: All right, so tell us –
A: But not a lawsuit. Sorry. I’m sorry. He was pressuring me to talk to people and to tell him information. He said at one point he had my collateral. It was like – I was – oh, my God. It was incredibly – it was like again? I have to go through this again? Like are you kidding me right now? And at that point I got a lawyer, because I was like I cannot do this again. Someone else cannot be telling me that they have my collateral, like this is unbelievable. So I got scared.
[A sidebar occurs nest which was sealed in the transcripts. Returning to her testimony].
Q: All right. Following up on – just following up, because you – I had asked you initially, and I want you to tell me what you remember and don’t remember, if you had told the FBI that Frank Parlato was pressuring you to join a lawsuit against NXIVM? Do you remember when I asked you that question?
THE COURT: I will allow that question.
A: Yeah, I have no recollection of that.
Q: Now, this is the second question: Do you remember telling that to the FBI? Regardless of whether you remember Frank Parlato saying that to you, do remember telling that to the FBI?
A: I don’t.
Q: Your first interview, you don’t remember?
Q: Second question: Do you remember Frank Parlato telling you that you should go to law enforcement because of what happened to you?
A: Yeah, I do remember him telling me that.
Q: Okay. And you told that to the FBI as well; correct?
So, what Nicole testified to, under oath, is as follows:
– That Frank was pressuring her to talk to others – and to share information she might have with him [about her being a victim of sex trafficking – in order perhaps to help others escape];
– That she got scared when Frank told her that he had received a copy of her collateral;
– That she had no recollection of Frank pressuring her to join a lawsuit against NXIVM; and
– That Frank told her she should go to law enforcement to tell them what Raniere had done to her before she quit the cult.
What Nicole did NOT claim is that Frank had threatened to release her collateral if she did not give him the names of additional members of DOS and/or if she did not join in a lawsuit against NXIVM.
Remember, Nicole was the pivotal witness for what will be Raniere’s extended incarceration. For she and she alone was proven to have been sex trafficked – for which Raniere will go to prison for a minimum of 15 years [the only charge that has a minimum.]
Remember that Nicole, when she called Frank Parlato, had not yet gone to law enforcement. It was Frank’s urging her to go to law enforcement – that prompted her to go to law enforcement and provide her critical testimony to the FBI.
By the way, when Frank told her he had received a leaked copy of hers and others’ collateral, he also told her that he had immediately turned it over to law enforcement!
He said he wanted her to realize that, despite what Allison Mack had told her, her collateral was not secure – and that if he had it, others might also have it. He told her that her best chance of ensuring that Mack or Raniere did not release it, was to go to the FBI.
Which she ultimately did – thanks to Frank. Frank set up a meeting with Nicole and Catherine Oxenberg – and, thereafter, Catherine and Frank made arrangements for a lawyer to represent Nicole for free. a lawyer was arranged to represent her for free –by Catherine and Frank.
Nicole later sent Frank a text which said, she had done as he had asked and gone to the FBI.
So Frank not only inspired Nicole to quit DOS (which she says in her testimony) – but Frank also encouraged her to go to the FBI(which she did).
And Toni Natalie, Frank’s so -called “close friend” – instead of giving Frank some credit – told Susan [and who knows how many others] that Frank was the villain of the Nicole story.
[It is also reported that Nicole’s parents were in the courtroom when their daughter testified and after court had concluded forf the day, had asked several people if Frank Parlato was in the courthouse because they wanted to personally thank him for helping their daughter. Toni stepped in and told them that Frank was not there, but that she was his very good friend and she would take their phone number and convey the message to him. She took the number [perhaps for her podcast] but never told Frank or gave him the number. Instead, she got on the phone with Susan to make Frank appear to be a villain.]
Tony’s Reaction to Being Caught in Her Provable Lies
After reading the transcript of Nicole’s testimony, Susan confronted Toni – and asked her why she had lied about Nicole testifying that Frank had threatened to release her collateral if she didn’t give him the names of more DOS members.
Toni’s response was that she never made any such claim.
When Susan asked Toni why she had lied about FBI agents being ready to arrest Frank if he showed up in court – because of his purported attempted extortion of Nicole – Toni responded by saying that she had not made any such claim.
Later, Frank – who came the very next day to the trial [and obviously was not arrested] – also asked Toni about the claims she had made to Susan about him.
Toni’s response to Frank was, “I don’t know why Susan is making up these lies about me”.
Who Ya Gonna Trust?
Obviously, someone is lying here.
Either Susan made up the whole story about what Toni told her about Frank – or Toni refused to take responsibility for the lies she told Susan about him.
I have known both Susan and Toni for over a decade – and I’ve had numerous interactions with both of them.
Over the course of our interactions, Toni loved to share information that she claims to have found out about people. Most of the information that Toni liked to share would be classified as “dirt” (This included “dirt” about her friends and colleagues like Chet Hardin – and about her sworn enemies like Keith Raniere).
Susan, on the other hand, has rarely volunteered information about other people to me. And when I have asked her directly for such information, she has always been very careful to differentiate between what she “knows” and what she “suspects”.
So, if I have to pick one person to believe in this scenario, I’m going with Susan Dones.
After all, “If Toni were willing to lie about something provable… how could she be trusted with anything else?”