The NYS Commissioner of Health, Howard A. Zucker MD, on August 20, 2019, informed Brandon Porter MD that he was no longer a licensed physician in the state of New York.
His license was revoked.
Yes, Keith Raniere accomplished what he set out to do – destroy Brandon Porter’s happiness.
The foolish Porter still follows his Vanguard.
But what – actually – did Porter do wrong?
An examination of how Porter violated state law – and abandoned good sense and possibly his conscience – is in order.
Keith has admitted that he felt he had the edge over someone with a conscience – in terms of dominating them. It is unclear if Porter lost his conscience along the way or was just a dupe for Raniere.
Perhaps if we study what he did, we can hazard a guess.
This much is clear: Porter lost what he worked hard for – going through college and medical school and working long days and nights as an intern to become a doctor.
Raniere expertly ruined his happiness – and that of his wife and children too.
The main reason Porter lost his medical license was that he conducted research using human subjects without following the NYS Public Health laws which required him to “establish a human research review committee… composed of not less than five persons, approved by the commissioner, who have such varied backgrounds as to assure the competent, complete and professional review of human research activities…” [PHL § 2444(1).]
Porter chose instead to have an oversight committee of one – Keith Raniere.
The five-person committees, however, serve a function – to protect human subjects being used in research against potential “injury, including physical, psychological or social injury, as a consequence of participating as a subject in any research… which increases the ordinary risk of daily life.” [PHL § 2441(1).]
In lieu of establishing his own committee, Porter could have “affiliate[d] himself with an institution or agency having a human research review committee” [PHL § 2444(3).]
And no, the executive board of Nxivm does not count as a committee.
In addition to this lapse, Porter failed to get “voluntary informed consent” of his subjects, a violation of PHL § 2442.
In fact, Porter did the opposite. He did not tell his subjects in advance what he was going to do with them.
Disease Outbreak at Vanguard Week
In addition to not following the law on human subject experiments, Porter failed to report to the NYS Department of Health an outbreak of disease at Vanguard Week 2016 when hundreds of followers of the Vanguard – including 50 children – got some kind of gastrointestinal illness.
At his hearing, Porter alternately told the board that it might have been food poisoning and that he also suspected it might be a contagious disease.
Porter told the board that the goal of Vanguard Week was for NXIVM members to “be joyful” and celebrate “humanity.”
While attending this joyful event, Porter admitted he became aware that many attendees – including a pregnant woman, infants and young children – became ill with a wide-spread gastrointestinal illness suffering symptoms of nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and abdominal pain.
Porter admitted he suspected the cause of the illness was a virus, possibly Norovirus, which is contagious and can lead to large, quick outbreaks of the disease. Still, he chose not to report it to the NYS Department of Health.
Nxians, workers at Silver Bay and the general public were placed at risk for harm, including pre-term labor for pregnant women, dehydration for neonates and infants, and morbidity for the immunosuppressed or renal compromised.
Pam Caftritz, in particular, was at risk. She had renal cancer and attended that Vanguard Week, her last.
Perhaps Raniere – in his quest to destroy happiness [except his own] – introduced [perhaps with the help of Porter] the virus or food poisoning to help kill her off. She was dying anyway, and Raniere inherited some $8 million when she died just a few months later.
Curiously, most of the High Rank leaders of Nxivm – and Porter himself – seemed to have been immune from the illness. This was explained as their having superior immunity because of the Nxivm tech.
If Porter had no hand in the introduction of the illness, why not report it?
Raniere instructed him and his followers to keep the illness outbreak a complete secret. Reporting it to authorities might have resulted in it getting reported by the media and potentially an investigation by law enforcement which might have disclosed Raniere created the outbreak.
Simply put, Porter lost his medical license for not following the law as it relates to human research and for failing to report an illness outbreak.
Brandon Porter, M.D. was authorized to practice medicine in New York State on June 12, 2009, by the issuance of license number 253486. He had an M.D. and Ph.D. He went to the University of Iowa as part of a Medical Science Training Program.
Beginning in 2001, Porter became a member of NXIVM.
One of his goals of human subject research, he said, was to evaluate whether the NXlVM curriculum produced measurable results.
In fact, that is why Porter relocated from Iowa to Albany – for NXIVM, it 2009, to “measure the program and see how well it’s working.”
Porter told the board “the purpose of NXIVM was to help people build more joy in their lives and achieve self-improvement goals through its programs, which included Executive Success Programs, of which Nancy Salzman was president, the Ethical Science Foundation, funded by Clare Bronfman as president, and the Ethicist, overseen by Daniella Padilla and Lauren Salzman.”
These last two names are extremely important. Lauren Salzman and Dani Padilla were both first-line DOS slave masters in Raniere’s secret group DOS. They were tasked with recruiting slaves. These slaves would have to submit to intense conditions and were to be blackmailed and branded.
These human fright experiments, I suspect, helped these two women – who were both Raniere’s slaves – and Raniere himself – ascertain which women would be able to do the brutal things Raniere wanted from the slaves.
The less frightened, the more suitable for DOS.
Porter, I suspect, did not really want to “measure the program and see how well it’s working.” He wanted to measure the women, to find how helpful they would be to Raniere.
Lost Job Because of Frank Report
To pay his bills, [working for Nxivm does not pay, it costs money] Porter was employed as a hospitalist at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany from 2009 to 2017. His job duties included providing care and treatment to hospital patients and making referrals to specialists.
Following Frank Report’s revelation that Porter was conducting human fright experiments, in September 2017, Porter met with Steven Hanks, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, and his supervisor, Thea Dalfino, M.D., Chief of Hospital Medicine, to discuss his employment amid “reputational concerns”.
Frank Report was first to break the news of the human fright experiments being conducted by Porter.
Porter admitted to the physicians that he was indeed conducting human subject research. One month later, Porter was asked to resign.
Between 20I0 and 2017, Porter performed human subject research on approximately 200 subjects participating in Nxivm courses.
He used an EEG to record the subjects’ brain activity, galvanic skin resistance (GSR) to measure their physiological response, and a video camcorder or audiotape to record their facial or auditory reactions.
Porter claimed his purpose in using these devices was to evaluate subjects’ brainwave and emotional responses to the curriculum.
Between 2012 and 2017, as part of his duties at NXIVM, Porter performed human subject research on ten subjects diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. This involved when counting their tics and having them complete Yule Global Tic Severity Scale surveys to determine the severity of their Tourette’s symptoms.
He also used the EEG, GSR and video camcorder to record their tics and the results of Nancy Saltzman working with them over the course of several sessions.
Porter said the Tourette’s study was to measure improvement or changes of the subjects’ Tourette’s symptoms via a cure a la Salzman.
Between 2012 to 2017, on behalf of NXIVM, Porter performed human subject research on two subjects diagnosed with Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), when he administered Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Scale surveys to measure the severity of their OCD symptoms (OCD study) and used a video camcorder to record the results of Nancy Saltzman working with them.
Human Fright Experiments
Between 2016 through August of 2017, as part of NXIVM’s Ethicist program [led by First Line DOS slaves Lauren Salzman and Daniela Padilla], Porter performed human subject research on approximately 40 human subjects, [mostly, or all females] showing them happy or inspirational, and disturbing or graphically violent scenes from commercials, short films and movie clips.
These clips included a video depicting the actual murders and dismemberment of five women with machetes – and movie scenes showing a gang rape and a racially motivated murder of an African American male.
Porter used the EEG and GSR to record their brainwaves and physiological responses to watching the clips. He also used a video camcorder to record their facial expressions.
Porter collected the data from the EEGs, galvanic skin responses and video recorder and downloaded it to a computer. This included the names of the participants and put it in a locked room of a building used by the Ethical Science Foundation and beyond Porter’s control.
In short, he turned it over to Raniere, Lauren Salzman and Daniela Padilla.
Was this then used to evaluate suitable candidates for DOS?
The NYS board found that Porter exposed his subjects to risks of harm, including psychological and physical anguish, pain and suffering and data breaches of their confidential and sensitive information.
On top of that, the subjects’ responses from the EEGs and other recording devices were never analyzed by Porter, “resulting in studies without results or benefits to science, medicine or humankind.”
What I suspect happened was that Porter made oral reports to Raniere, Lauren Salzman and Padilla about which women could best tolerate the brutal aspects of DOS. Raniere knew better than anyone what he could do with this information.
The violation, however, was clear. The Committee found that Porter “very seriously deviated from the standard of care by performing human subject research without approval from the Commissioner.”
He was also required to get from the subjects “their voluntary, written informed consent” detailing “risks, benefits, the right to withdraw and plans for confidentiality protection and minimization of risks.”
He did not
He also failed to take human subject research training, failed to submit a research protocol, failed to provide informed consent templates, or certificates of human subject research training, and plans for data interpretation and statistical methods for HRRC for review.
At his hearing, Porter brought in an expert witness to say he did not do anything wrong. The testimony of a psychologist, Roxane Cohen Silver, Ph.D. was meant to carry the day.
Dr. Silver’s background includes 40 years’ experience as a research psychologist studying individuals and communities coping with traumatic events and community disasters, academic appointments at the University of California, Irvine, and a fellow to many organizations and awards, including from the American Psychological Association for “distinguished contributions to society,”
The problem with Dr. Silver’s testimony was that she knew almost nothing about the requirements of New York State law. She based her opinions on her background in federal regulations and something she called the “common rule” for research.
Dr. Silver testified that all research Porter conducted fell under the ”common rule”.
This demonstrated to the Committee her unawareness of the requirements for human subject research performed in New York State.
Dr. Silver also failed to review most of the evidence, including the fright videos, prompting the Committee to conclude that ”her level of unpreparedness and steady refusal to recognize the applicability of PHL Article 24-A” to Porter’s human subject research raised credibility concerns for the Hearing Committee.
In addition to Dr. Silver, Porter himself testified and called Nxivm members Delores Wilson, Evan Horowitz – and his own wife, Janie – as character witnesses
When he testified, Porter claimed his studies were “personal” and “outside the practice of medicine’ because “no clinical care and treatment was rendered” to “any of the individuals.”
The Hearing Committee thought differently, arguing that Porter practiced medicine when he evaluated the subjects and hooked them up to an EEG and GSR, which are medical devices, and collected their EEG readings and emotional responses for measurement purposes as part of the human fright experiments, Tourette’s and Nxivm studies.
They also argued that he practiced medicine during the Tourette’s study when he gained clinical information from one subject about her medical illnesses, psychiatric treatment, and medications and performed therapy or counseling.
He also engaged in the practice of medicine when he administered surveys to various subjects to measure their symptoms related to their medical diagnoses, the Committee ruled.
Porter eloquently pleaded his case by saying his goal in “doing science” and “being a physician” was to “help people,’ which he seeks to achieve “in everything (he does).”
Porter also pointed out that he had extensive, respected clinical experience as a hospitalist at St. Peter’s, and his reputation was one of a kind and considerate doctor among staff and patients
Human Fright Did Him in
What probably worked hardest against this kind and considerate medical man was the video clips he showed to women – which subjected them to mental anguish, nightmares, suffering, and exacerbation of prior psychiatric conditions, such as PTSD.
Numerous women who were subjected to the human fright experiment were called to testify against him. They presented a pretty telling and graphic scene as they described the videos and how it impacted them.
One by one, they testified that Porter shocked them by surprising them with graphic, violent film clips depicting the beheading and dismemberment of a group of defenseless women in Mexico, film clips from movies, including Hannibal, where Hannibal removed a person’s skull, cut out parts of the brain and cooked them and fed them to the victim, The Accused, involving a violent gang rape, and American History, depicting a white male as a Neo-Nazi stomping the face of an African American man and killing him.
In his defense, Porter pointed out that he also showed happy or inspirational videos intermixed with the cruel ones. It was a bona fide experiment he said.
Porter admitted that most of the women experienced strong emotions, such as horror, revulsion and deep sadness from the violent and disturbing clips.
He recalled one woman gasping, crying and screaming in response to watching the murder scene in American History and crying at the gang rape scene in The Accused – and another woman as “very emotional” from the real-life murders and dismemberment video and “shocked” from the gang rape scene.
[These women were certainly not good candidates for DOS.]
Committee Rules This Man’s a Fool
After the Committee heard all, they decided that Porter exhibited “gross incompetence involve[ing] an unmitigated lack of the skill or knowledge necessary to perform an act undertaken by the licensee in the practice of medicine.”
The Committee was also troubled by the fact that Porter did not take any steps to interpret and analyze the EEG data he collected.
In his defense, Porter said he “planned” to hire a company or use a mathematician and MATLAB, a computer program, to analyze the EEG data. Somehow, he never made any successful attempts to complete this process.
Porter blamed other NXIVM members for not having the EEG interpreted. But the committee was not convinced it was Lauren Salzman or Dani Padilla’s fault. They felt it was Porter’s duty as the physician to ensure the performance of these procedures.
The Hearing Committee also thought Porter was lying about not knowing what laws governed his human research studies. He was, after all, employed at a New York hospital with an IRB, plus he moved to Albany to conduct research and his Ph.D. involved research.
In addition, Porter told his boss, Dr. Dalfin in September of 2017, when they were considering firing him at St. Peter’s Hospital, that his studies were not subject to IRB review because an IRB would be “too restrictive” and limit his ability to “change things” for the betterment of the whole world.
The Committee unanimously voted that Porter’s conduct constituted practicing the medical profession fraudulently.
In the end, Porter’s love of Raniere and Nxivm worked against him.
The Hearing Committee noted Porter’s ongoing and deep commitment to NXlVM as evidenced by his relocation from Iowa to further its goal of communicating “what they do’ to “encourage people to take the program” and his high ranking coach status.
They expressed concern that he may again be enticed to use his medical license to engage in similar conduct.
At the close of his case, the Committee felt that Porter failed to “show sincere remorse or understanding of the severity of the misconduct and harm associated with the studies which might have suggested the possibility of rehabilitation to justify the imposition of a lesser penalty.”
If he wasn’t so blind to the fact that Nxivm ruined his life – and vowed to not repeat his mistake – they might have considered a suspension. But the Kool-aid drinking imbecile could not admit his mistakes or realize that he was working for a destructive cult, whose leader sought his ruination.
It was another success for Raniere. He destroyed the happiness of Brandon Porter and his family.
And sadly, they don’t even know who to blame. When a media representative from a major publication tried to interview Dr. Porter, his wife answered the door and said that Frank Report and the media destroyed their lives.
She did not know that it was her husband following Keith Raniere that did that.
Viva Executive Success!