Oh, no. We seem to have caught Toni Natalie in another lie.
This is one she told in US Bankruptcy Court.
It touches on a familiar topic: When Toni dropped out of high school.
When was that by the way?
She wrote in her book, The Program: Inside the Mind of Keith Raniere and the Rise and Fall of Nxivm – that it was 10th grade, which does not seem to be the truth.
Really, they never seem to end. Her lies, that is. So some say, “Why do you keep publishing her lies?”
Only because Toni wants it this way.
Please consider, she asked the public to trust her.
In her book, Toni wants readers to understand what a rascal Keith Raniere is – how dishonest he is. And she provided us with the gold standard for judging trust.
She wrote, about Raniere, after she claims she caught him in a lie, “And if he was willing to lie about something provable… how could he be trusted with anything else?”
So I have written about several of Toni’s provable lies – even small ones, like what grade she was in when she dropped out of high school.
So, before we move on to her next lie – which she told in Bankruptcy Court – let’s recap what we have on the question of when she dropped out of high school.
Toni writes in her book that she dropped out in 10th grade.
Here are some examples from her book:
“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…
“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.’
“…. 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 a genius like Raniere found her 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?’”
According to her book, it is well established that Toni dropped out of school in the 10th grade.
But Toni’s yearbook – she went to Greece Athena High School – is online. It shows Toni did not drop out of high school in 10th grade. In the 1975 yearbook for Greece Athena High School – Toni’s senior year – she is pictured along with other seniors.
I checked with someone who went to high school with Toni and she told me Toni made it to 12th grade but dropped out a couple of months before graduation.
So why lie about it?
As I wrote before, a person who drops out of 10th grade seems more hard-luck. She was learning disabled. That’s part of her yarn.
A person who drops out in 12th grade seems more like a fool – like “Why didn’t you stay three more months and graduate?”
That may be the reason for her provable lie – vanity.
Then again, she told the same story to the bankruptcy court. She told the court, under penalty of perjury, that she dropped out of high school after 9th grade.
Telling this gave her a distinct advantage. Raniere was challenging her on her hidden and undervalued assets.
This is from the United States Bankruptcy Court, Northern District of New York – January 7, 2003 – Case No. 99-16195, Adv. Proc. No. 01-90027 (Bankr. N.D.N.Y. Jan. 7, 2003). It is from US Bankruptcy Judge Robert E. Littlefield Jr.’s Memorandum-Decision Order:
“Of course, sophisticated debtors are held to a higher level of accountability. In re Sethi, 250 B.R. 831 (Bankr.E.D.N.Y. 2000). In the instant case, however, the Debtor has a ninth-grade education and, prior to her involvement with the Plaintiff, the extent of her business practice was selling fruit baskets from her home.”
So I guess it might be fair to say that a 10th-grade dropout has a 9th-grade education [yet somehow appeared as a senior in her yearbook], but here is the troubling part. I don’t know if you caught it. The date is January 7, 2003. Four years after she left Raniere.
She told the court that, “the extent of her business practice was selling fruit baskets from her home”, thus proving she was unsophisticated in business and should be held to a lower standard about such things as the value of her artwork and other secreted assets that Raniere was challenging her on.
All she did was sell fruit baskets in her home prior to meeting Raniere?
Then how come she wrote in her book, “I dropped out [of high school in 10th grade] 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.”
She told Judge Littlefield she was almost an Orphan Annie or Mary the Matchstick Girl – making fruit baskets at home – prior to Raniere.
But in her book, she writes [of the period before Raniere] that she invested in a “day spa” and “the business did extremely well.”
I understand why she lied to the judge. She wanted the judge to think she was an unsophisticated little girl up against the worldly-wise Raniere and his group.
It was a pleasant lie – lied to get an advantage. Just like the 9th-grade education lie. [Nobody was going to check.]
And I understand why maybe she lied in her book – that she invested in a day spa and did very well from that investment – which makes her look kind of smart and ambitious. Not a total loser. More than just a pretty face.
But the problem is both can’t be true.
She cannot have only a 9th-grade education and have her senior picture taken. She had to have graduate from 11th grade at least.
And the extent of her business experience was not merely selling fruit baskets at her home – not f she invested in a day spa and turned it into a very successful business.
By the way, I spoke with someone extremely familiar with her so-called “fruit basket” business. It was not as Toni characterized it in bankruptcy court.
It was actually a sophisticated business and they packaged and sold much more than fruit baskets. It was a premier custom gift baskets business with made-to-order gift baskets for well to do clients – and these included much more than fruit – but designer clothing, expensive gifts – and they had corporate and personal clients.
Not exactly just a little, poor, inexperienced girl putting together an apple, a pear, an orange, and banana and wrapping it in a little basket from her home.
These gift baskets went for upwards of $1,000. They had 3,000 square feet of space for the business.
Ah, Toni. If she is willing to lie about something provable… how can she be trusted with anything else?
We will be exploring many more such lies – in the coming days and weeks.
All of it has a point. This woman has been very destructive to a lot of people. She was a true force of divisiveness. In the fight to take down Raniere, it could be argued that she did more harm than good.
Now she has written a book making herself the heroine of the Nxivm story – and lying about a number of people – to make them look bad and for her to look better than she is. She vastly exaggerates her role both as a victim and a heroine.
I don’t see why I should just allow her lies to go unchallenged. That is not my idea of investigative journalism.
For those who do not want to read about her – it’s easy. I always put her name in the headline – so just skip the story if you are uninterested in how a stone-cold liar can get a book deal with a major publisher and label it nonfiction when it is filled with lies.
A liar writing about another liar – Raniere.
I am beginning to wonder, I really am – who is the bigger liar. No doubt Raniere was more destructive – because he is smarter and had more wealth at his disposal – but the difference between Toni Natalie and Keith Raniere is only a difference in degree, not in kind.
They are so much alike that it’s no wonder they were attracted to each other and why, as when all thieves and liars fall out, they hated each other so fiercely.
Never think that only Keith hated Toni and wanted vengeance. Toni, as much or more than Keith, wanted vengeance too. These two are so alike that they could not help but be attracted and repulsed by each other in sequence.
Raniere has been exposed. Natalie, thanks to her book of lies, is up for her turn now.
[A woman who Toni Natalie has called mentally retarded, Kim Snyder, contributed research and input for this story. The fact that she can offer insight and do internet research suggests to me that Toni has slandered this woman.]