While some have read Susan Dones deposition (11/23/2010), it bears further study for those who think some Nxivm leaders got off too easily. Dones was the owner of the Tacoma NXIVM Center; a field trainer, proctor, and head trainer for NXIVM.
She has an insider’s view of the organization.
In her deposition, she is being questioned by NXIVM attorney Robert Crockett. Dones was trying to file for bankruptcy and was being opposed by NXIVM. She represented herself in her deposition – and, in doing so, she revealed the seamy underside of Nxivm and several potential crimes of the group. She left after realizing what the group had been doing.
What is true of Raniere and Salzman is probably also true of Clare Bronfman – who took a leading role in Nxivm operations after Dones left Nxivm in 2009.
(Crockett) Q: Do you believe that NXIVM has a twisted view of ethics?
(Dones) A: I do.
Q: And how so?
A: Because they teach ethics, but in my opinion, a lot of things that they teach are not moral. … they’ll teach one thing, and then their behavior shows a completely different thing.
Q: … What do they teach that’s twisted?
A: Well, one of the things that they talk about is …taxes…
Q: Have you ever seen any written course material from NXIVM saying, “Don’t pay taxes”?
A: …. on one of the videos… Nancy Salzman talks about … not paying taxes….
Q: ….Have you ever seen any written materials handed out to students advocating nonpayment of taxes?
A: No, no written materials….. In the case of the Washington State Department of Revenue…. (Nancy Salzman) asked me if I paid my B&O taxes,* and I said, “Of course I pay my B&O taxes**. … Why are you even asking?” She said, “We’re having a problem with the state department of revenue, and I wanted to make sure that you paid your B&O taxes before we dealt with this because we didn’t want to get you in trouble.” And I said, “Well, what’s going on?” She said, “I can’t tell you at this particular time.” And then when we were through with that part of the conversation, she said, “Why do you pay your taxes?” like it was some bad thing to do. Barbara Jeske, [now deceased] the highest-ranking member of NXIVM, brags about the fact that she’s off the radar with the IRS and has not paid taxes for years”….
Q: What other things did you observe that caused you to think that the behavior of the NXIVM officers deviated from what they actually taught?
A: I believe that NXIVM has collected cash that they don’t claim….. They have a cafe. … an unlicensed cafe at their training facility…. They collect cash… I’ve been told by several people that they don’t claim their cash….
Q: Who told you that?
A: One is Nancy Salzman. One is Barbara Bouchey.
Q: Nancy Salzman actually told you they don’t declare -they don’t pay taxes on the cash they collect from their little cafe?
A: Right. She also told me that they bring cash across the border from Mexico that they don’t claim.
Q: Nancy Salzman told you that?
Q: ….(Do) you believe that NXIVM has adopted (Barbara Jeske’s) views of government tax (evasion)?
A: No. I believe that Barbara Jeske has adopted Keith’s
Q: Has she told you that this is what Keith believes
A: Yes. –
Q: We don’t pay taxes?
*Washington State Business and Occupation Tax. The B&O tax is a gross receipts tax. It is measured on the value of products, gross proceeds of sale, or gross income of the business. Washington, unlike many other states, does not have an income tax. Washington’s B&O tax is calculated on the gross income from activities.
** Dones also said in her deposition: I think that Nancy lying, or whoever did to the Washington State Department of Revenue, about licensing their program to third-party people … there’s a cycle of abuse that takes place.
The federal investigation into Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman and other NXIVM co-conspirators on an array of alleged crimes did not include all the crimes they committed in their decades’ long racketeering enterprise.
This may help The Northern District of NY to see how they could proceed in charging them in the NDNY. This next excerpt from Dones refers to Prefect, Nancy Salzman, and Raniere’s concubine, the late Pamela Cafritz, the daughter of Washington DC developers and socialites William and Buffy Cafritz.
When Dones did her deposition, Pam was still alive and had lived with Raniere for years, with numerous women.
Her dedication and loyalty to Raniere are revealed in Done’s deposition – which suggests Pam may have committed a series of felonies in her desire to aide her master, Raniere, and her Prefect, Nancy Salzman.
Crockett Q: Do you believe that Pamela Cafritz is highly skilled at forging signatures?
Dones A: That’s what I was told by Nancy Salzman and Pamela Cafritz.
Q: Pamela Cafritz told you she was highly skilled at forging signatures?
A: She bragged about that to me…. I have found that other people have actually witnessed her doing that.
A: Toni Natalie, Toni Natalie’s mother, and then Barbara Bouchey also said that she knew that Pam had that capacity (to forge signatures)….
Q: So Pamela Cafritz told you specifically that she was a forger?
A; She told me that she was skilled at doing that.
Q: Do you have any reason to believe that she ever forged your signature?
A: Yes, I do. …. a group of … confidentiality forms were missing. I was told that by Nancy Salzman, that they had lost a lot of confidentiality agreements between 2000 and 2003.*
Dones theorized that Cafritz forged hers and other’s signatures to substitute the forgeries for the missing genuine confidentiality agreements.
Marriage based on inner deficiency?
Q: What other teaching method has NXIVM employed that involves a twisted view of ethics?
A; …. they teach … that if somebody is in a marriage that that is just a place of fulfilling your inner deficiencies. And so I believe that NXIVM teaches that a marriage, a primary relationship, is not a good thing to have.
Q: Have you ever seen any written course materials from NXIVM saying that a marriage is not a good thing to have?
A: …. In their relationship module …. they talk about relationships coming from a place of inner deficiency.
Q: …What other conduct did you think was inconsistent with what NXIVM taught in terms of ethics?
A: I think that lying to people about people’s character is a twisted form of ethics. I was told several times that Barbara Bouchey was a full suppressive and that she was crazy…. I was told by Nancy Salzman that her and Keith hypothesized that I was a full suppressive.…. I think that there’s a lot of behavior that goes on within another. …. if you’re asking somebody to come in and pay $6,000 for a course … that the founder and the president of the company don’t even follow, then to me, that’s — that’s consumer fraud…..
Q: What other things does NXIVM do that’s contrary to their written view of ethics?
A: …. I believe that they manipulate people.
Q: What else?
A: ….I believe that they sell a training program as a human development company, but a lot of their behaviors are very cult-like, and it’s my personal opinion that NXIVM is a cult….
Q: In your declaration, you say that NXIVM teaches that, quote, “anything is permissible that is necessary to advance the goals of NXIVM,” unquote. Accurate statement?
A: That’s an accurate statement.
Q: Is there anything in writing where NXIVM says that “anything we do is permissible”?
A: It’s not in their writing. It’s in their behavior. … I was lied to about Barbara Bouchey… … I believe I was lied to about Toni Natalie; …. I believe that they spread rumors about me that were not true…. Nancy told me (Bouchey) was a full suppressive and she was crazy.
Q: Is that the only basis you have for thinking that NXIVM has lied to you about Barbara Bouchey? …that Nancy said to you, “I think that she’s crazy, that she’s a full suppressive”? What else has NXIVM done to lead you to believe that you’ve been lied to about Barbara Bouchey?
A: …There was a period of time where Keith Raniere had stopped talking to Barbara Bouchey, and what was happening was people were going around and saying, “What do you think Barbara did that was so bad that even Keith won’t talk to her?” … I went to Barbara, and she said, “All I can tell you is I’m renegotiating my contract with him.” That’s all she could say until a much later date, and then she disclosed that she’d been in a long-term relationship with him; she told me the reason Keith stopped talking to her is because Barbara broke up with him. And so I believe they were trying to portray this bad thing that Barbara had done because they keep secrets of everybody that Keith is in a relationship with…..
Q: ….When did Barbara Bouchey first tell you that she was dissatisfied with NXIVM or Keith Raniere?
A: About six months before we left. …. she didn’t disclose the whole sexual relationship with Keith until April of 2009, but a part of what we talked about was Nancy’s behavior, that Nancy was what we both considered and had experienced — very abusive….
Q: Did Barbara Bouchey tell you in 2008 that she wasn’t happy that Keith Raniere was having sex with multiple women without telling her?
A: She didn’t tell me that until April of 2009.
Fraud in the inducement to take classes
Crockett: You say, “I [Dones] was informed and believed that NXIVM had lied to me about many of Raniere’s/Vanguard’s supernatural abilities.” How did you figure out that you had been lied to about Keith Raniere’s supernatural abilities?
Dones: Because we can’t find any proof of … him breaking the hundred yard dash — he doesn’t physically have the body type to do that — him winning the East Coast Judo Championship when he was 12; his ability to teach himself high school math in a day and a half when he was … 12 — that he has a 240 IQ; that he’s the third top problem solver in the world….
Q: So because you can’t find proof of that, you think he’s lied to you?
Editor’s note: There will be more on the racketeering acts Keith Alan Raniere and his co-conspirators, Nancy Salzman and Clare Bronfman, committed over the years in the Northern District of New York.
Although Raniere may be going to prison for life – and so some might say – what is the good of prosecuting him further? – there is still Bronfman and her sister Sara – from whom the NDNY can collect tens of millions as they buy down their sentences.
In addition, there are some who think Nancy Salzman is getting off way too easy for her decades of punishing others. Indeed, Nancy got a better plea deal than her own daughter, Lauren, and better than Allison Mack as well.