Did Toni Natalie Leave Raniere Over Being Raped, Losing Her Son, or a Black Wool Sweater?

Toni Natalie with the valuable Ramon Santiago painting of her son Michael.

Heartbreak and a Sweater

The old “sweater in the dryer” story is the reason Toni Natalie broke up with Keith Raniere.

Or so she says in her book.

Unhappily, for Toni’s quest to be believed, one of Toni’s friends says she heard the same sweater story about another boyfriend she broke up with before she met Raniere.

In her book, The Program: Inside the Mind of Keith Raniere and the Rise and Fall of Nxivm, Toni assures us the sweater story happened with Keith.

But why did Toni Natalie really break up with Raniere?

Let’s examine the evidence Toni presents:

She writes, “The situation [with Raniere] was not safe— not for me, and certainly not for Michael [her adopted son]. Above all, I was going to protect my son. I could not risk anything bad happening to him. It broke my heart, but I sent him back to Rochester, to stay with Rusty…  where the escalating situation with Keith was less likely to harm him. It was supposed to be temporary. I figured he’d be back in a month or two, at worst.

“But Michael never moved back. He stayed with Rusty until he graduated from high school.

“That I allowed myself to be separated from my child, far and away the most important person in my life, shows just how afraid I was of Keith Raniere.”

Yes, Toni gave up her son, she says, to protect him from Keith, because she was scared of him – but she did not leave Keith after that. She stayed. Most mothers would have given up the boyfriend first but not Toni Natalie.

Rusty, the boy’s father, says Toni did not give up her son – no, not at all. Instead, their son asked to live with his father, a kind and gentle man who cared more about his child than the lure of success and grandiose opportunity that Raniere promised Natalie.

One of the reasons Michael wanted to live with his father was because Toni kept the 6-8 year old boy on a super low-calorie diet.

Let’s get this straight. Toni did not give up her son because she was seeking to protect him from the monster Keith. She would have kept her son if she had the opportunity to do so. But Michael chose to live with his dad.

Toni’s calorie-restrictive diet was so severe that when the boy came back from summer vacations – which he spent with his father – the first thing Toni did was command the boy to step on a scale to weigh him.

She would frequently weigh the boy and the child was in dread of gaining weight – much like the DOS slaves were under Raniere.

Toni was constantly harassing the boy, leading him to the scale again and again, and scolding him if he gained a single pound. And there were punishments too if he was found to be violating his strict diet.

Even when he was away on summer vacation, Toni would call and harangue his father to ensure the boy did not gain weight and grouse that Rusty so indulgent that he would let the boy eat almost anything he liked, like growing boys are known to do.

Toni’s insanity was possibly, in part, inspired by Raniere who starved or semi-starved women all his life. He used to make oinking sounds whenever a woman who lived with him went to open the refrigerator.

It is not known if he “oinked” at young Michael, but I would suspect he did.

Maybe Keith wanted the boy to be of stunted growth [for who deprives a child of the food necessary to grow?]. And Toni had little to no maternal instincts.  It was a bad combination.

Maybe Toni thought Keith was such a genius that he knew best what a child should eat – limited calories were healthier, perhaps Toni thought, than a robust diet for a child.

Regardless of the reason, if Keith devised it, Toni enforced it. Micheal was punished by Toni and Keith severely when he sneaked some cookies in the basement and ate them and was caught. [The cookies were meant for Keith – which made it a doubly serious offense.]

When I first heard this about Michael, I thought it was unique. I read about countries where food was scarce and children were malnourished but never heard of parents with sufficient money depriving their children of food.

In Toni’s defense, I’m told she thought the boy might become chubby and she wanted him slender, to grow up skinny; thin is desirable in Toni’s world. Fat is no good. No fat, no baby fat, no childhood fat. Lean, that’s the way she likes her men. Lean like her and Keith’s women.

Keith Raniere [l], Michael DeCook [m], and Toni Natalie [r]. The two on the outside made sure the one in the inside did not overeat.
Recently, I heard about another similarly abused boy.

Always plagued by a weight problem, the late Gary Crosby wrote in his book “Going On My Own Way,” that his famous father, Bing Crosby, weighed him once a week and that if he had gained weight, he was ordered to his father’s office for a whipping.

“I had a big, broad ass on me as a kid that used to annoy the hell out of my father,” Gary said, noting his father called him “Bucket Butt.”

“I’d get bent over and my pants taken down and beat till I bled,” he said in his book. He said he endured the pain by dreaming up ways to kill his father.

It is not known if Toni called her son derogatory names or beat the child for gaining weight, but one thing is certain: the boy left Toni and Keith and grew up to be strong and healthy, probably because his father knew that love is a better ingredient for health than any amount of rigid food deprivation.

Michael grew up strong, something he may not have achieved had he stayed with Toni and Keith and their ultra-low cal diet.

But getting back to Toni and her sacrificing her son to save him, Toni claims she was with Keith for eight years.

Michael, according to his father, was only with Toni and Keith for three years – only during the school season. He went home to his dad during summer vacations. After the end of third grade, the boy had enough of Toni and Keith – and asked his dad to let him live with him full time.

Toni quickly agreed.

Yet, Toni remained with Keith afterward. Obviously, if Keith was so terrible, she would have left him and, if she really wanted to be with her son, she would have found a way to do so.

But, it was worse, according to Toni, than anyone could imagine.

Toni wrote in her book, as justification for giving up her son, that Keith “would rape me as my son lay asleep in the next room. [Keith said]… that only through ‘energy exchange’ via intercourse could our relationship fully heal…  I had to spend the night barricaded in a closet, rolled in a fetal ball on a bunch of pillows, to avoid his relentless assault.”

[The story sounds implausible to me – and for anyone who knows Toni, who is no shrinking violet. But for those who trust Toni’s word, that is what happened. She lay rolled up in a closet, in a fetal ball, to avoid Raniere’s rapes as her son lay sleeping in the next room.]

Later in the book, Toni writes about how she explained this to her son.

“I called Michael and told him to come over. He had never heard about the rapes. [Ed. Note: possibly because they never happened]. I didn’t want him to know. I wanted to shield him from all of it. By now, he was twenty-three. He came, he listened to my statement, and he wept. It would’ve been easier for him to believe I left him with Rusty because I was a bad mother. Now he knew the truth.”

The truth then, according to Toni, is that she gave up her son because Keith raped her.

Fair enough. Then why did she stay with Keith for another 5 years?

In reality, Toni only left Keith after she employed Scott Foley, who, she writes in her book, had a “nice ass.”

Toni started having an affair with this married man. She persuaded Scott, who is 10 years younger than her, to leave his wife and daughter, just as she left her son, and took off with Scott to Marathon, Florida in a recreational vehicle.

She blamed it all on Keith [the man she was so afraid of] and not Scott’s nice ass.

In another part of her book, Toni explains that it was not because she was raped – or that she had to give up her son – that she broke up with Keith.

It was because of a fight over a sweater. [Yes, that’s right, we finally got back to the sweater.]

Here’s how Toni tells it:

“We finally broke up because of a sweater. This was in early April of 1999. It may well have been on April Fool’s Day.

“When I left for work that morning, Keith was still in bed. He’d been up late the night before doing God knows what (or whom). Just before I left, I put a load of laundry in the washing machine. I called him at lunch.

“‘Can you please rotate the laundry?’ He reacted like I was speaking Greek. ‘Rotate the laundry?’

“‘Take the clothes out of the washing machine, put them in the dryer, throw in a few dryer sheets, turn the dryer on.’


“‘One thing: my sweater is in the wash, the black wool one. You can’t put that in the dryer or it will shrink.’

“He consented to help me, which was miracle enough, and I hung up the phone. When I got home, the clothes had made it into the dryer. All of them, including my black wool sweater, which was now too small for my dog to wear.

“‘Keith,’ I said, holding up the shrunken garment. ‘What the hell?’

“He looked up from his dog-eared copy of Dianetics. ‘What?’ [Editor’s Note: He just happened to be reading Dianetics – the book by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.]

“‘Why did you put my sweater in the dryer?’

“‘You told me to.’

“‘No, Keith. No, I didn’t.’

“And the Little Prince lost his shit. He cornered me in the laundry room, screaming, spit flying from the corners of his mouth, like a rabid dog. ‘You are wrong, Toni. As usual. You don’t know what you said. I’m the Smartest Man in the World! I have a 240 IQ! Do you really think that you ‘re right, and I’m wrong? Tell me you’re wrong. Do it. Tell me you’re wrong.’


“‘Say it.’


“‘Say you’re wrong.’

“‘Fuck you.’

“For a minute I thought he was going to hit me, but he fought off that impulse. Instead, he stormed out of the house, like a hurricane veering back out to sea.

“He didn’t come back. Instead, he sent Kristin and Pam to the house, to entice me to apologize and beg for reinstatement. I refused. After about four days, I came home from work to find that most of his stuff had been removed from the house.

“Good, I thought. I told my mom. I told my brother. They were delighted. We’d broken up, like a normal couple.”

Among other things, this shows Toni wasn’t really terribly afraid of Keith. She told him “fuck you.”

She sent her son packing, she allowed herself to be raped and hide in a closet from Keith [a man who had a harem at his disposal to have sex with at any time], but it wasn’t until a sweater got shrunken that she stood her ground.

In reality, Toni Natalie left Keith because she started having sex with her married employee, Scott Foley, and when the business she operated with Keith went bust, she ran off with Scott with whatever money she could take from the business – to the Florida Keys.

By the way, Toni’s friend, the one who heard the sweater story before Toni met Keith said that when Toni told her the story of how she broke up with another boyfriend over him putting her sweater in the dryer, it was a red wool sweater, not a black wool sweater – like in the story with Keith.

This raises an interesting point: Did Toni break up with two different boyfriends because each of them didn’t listen to her about her wool sweaters, one ruining a red sweater and Keith, of course, ruining the black sweater?

Unlike rape or losing a child, ruining a perfectly good sweater is nothing to take lightly.

Or is it possible that Toni did break up with an earlier boyfriend over a sweater in a dryer – and she liked the story so much she put it in her book and gave credit to ruining the sweater to Keith?

Toni’s Book Continues to Nose Dive

Maybe because the book is too truthful for anyone to handle or maybe because it is jammed full of distortion, embellishments and outright lies, Toni’s book continues to do poorly. There are few to no buyers.

Amazon, as of press time, ranks her book on Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #121,308 in books. That means it is selling less than one book per day.

BookDepository.com ranks her book as the 1,843,235th best selling book. Which means, if this is accurate, there are almost 2 million books doing better than hers.

In a word, her book has tanked.

I would describe it in this fashion. She meant her book to take off like a Concorde Jet but, in reality, it was only a paper airplane.

Since she is “patient zero” or so she claims – the first one in Nxivm – even before it was called Nxivm [when she was in it, it was called “Executive Success Programs”, I think it only fair to say for Toni and her remarkable book: “Viva Executive Success!”

About the author

Frank Parlato


Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional)

  • How long before Toni NatalLIE get married so she can legally change her last name?

    She is kind of stuck at this point at moving forward with anything due to the fact she is a branded woman now.

    Toni Natalie is a lair
    Toni Foley is a lair

    Anyone thinking of hiring her who Google her is going to say Hell No, How Can I Tust this Bitch.

  • Without proof but thinking of these lost women of Nxivm, it seems likely which ever woman was making his clothes appear could be a murderer or an acomplice.

  • Not buying the whole hiding in the closet/rape story. If anything Toni was probably dying to pound Raniere’s meat every chance she got. In her “me first” mind, probably Toni thought that she could show her new boyfriend what great sex REALLY was and then she could reign supreme.
    The other women could just fall in line and do her laundry, clean the place she had to rent to be near Raniere and take orders from not just Raniere, but also her. She dumped one marriage to get with Raniere and then found that she wasn’t going to be Queen. She was just another set of body parts for Raniere’s groupie harem.

    Who knows if she was tormenting her little boy about eating for Raniere’s sake or for her own, or both? Also, Raniere was not about to do her laundry, ever. His own clean clothes just appeared before him, folded, hung and ready to wear. It would go against his whole master/slave dynamic to do laundry for anybody. I think Toni is trying to present a scene of domesticity which never existed.

    The problem with all of Toni Natalie’s attempts to sound good, wonderful and virtuous is that she is just too smarmy, in general, to be convincing. It wouldn’t be surprising if she let go of Michael, the little boy, because his presence was putting a damper on her sex life. After all, she was already abusing the child, but of course there’s no admissions from her about that. Toni mismanages her details to the point that nearly every word from her reveals who she really is. Her efforts to turn her egotistical façade into virtue-mongering are consistent in only one way.

    She shows her transparency as a liar who lies to herself and is stupid enough to dream that she is fooling anybody. What is surprising is that anyone else signed on to write this fiasco with and for Toni Natalie, but perhaps lots of wine accompanied each writing session, to help lower the level of good taste and inhibitions.

  • Hi! it’s me again! Since none of you have asked any questions. I have decided I will chime in anyway and answer your questions.

    Reading between the lines positively indicates the Frankreport is insinuating Toni Natlie is disingenuous.

    This is all bias-partisan politics muddling the waters and muddling my panties.

    I subscribe to Murphy’s Very Irish law of penile penetration can result in impregnation. Guilty people are guilty of being guilty generally speaking. Facts are facts or appear to be.

    Therefore there is no conspiracy! However, heretofore Toni Natlie caused Vanguard’s impotence. Toni grabs men’s nut sacks!

    I will be back to answer more questions from you idiots in my usual arrogant and obnoxious manner. I frequently offer Hilary Clinton unsolicited and insightful observations. I am a “wonk”!

  • I’ll bet most people not buying Natalie’s book have never heard of the Frank Report. Frank should write a book about Natalie’s lies, it would do much better than her book.

  • Toni probably stole that sweater. The red, black and green ones – and everything else in her house. Here’s a fun game: What in this picture of Toni is bought and what was stolen?

  • Angel face, I understand Raniere should have obeyed you. That sweater cost you a lot of money and, ultimately, your son. It’s not fair.

  • Interesting how You Mr. Parlato always speaks of how others are this or that, sometimes even without clear proof of it being a fact. While you’re about to go to trial in March 2019. Yet it doesn’t seem like you’re being fully honest to your viewers… Justice will come upon you too.

    • Don’t worry I will have a lot to say about the bogus charges against me – and you will observe the corruption of those involved in leveling those charges. By the way, the trial is not in March but May. Stay tuned for that. And thanks for bringing it up. Yes justice will come for me too – I am fighting hard for justice for others and for me as well.

    • Satya

      Satya is the Sansrit (Indian) word for truth.

      “Satya is the Sanskrit word for truth. It also refers to a virtue in Indian religions,”

      Now it’s time for Satya from you.
      Are you one of these NXians who dabbles in Buddhism?
      Are you perchance Sahajo Haertel of the Rainbow Cultural Garden and Allison Mack’s friend?

      • The same thought occurred to me, although “sat” is a common word in Indian names and has many variations, such as Satya, Satyena, Satchitananda and even “Sat Prem.” These are just a few renditions, among many.

        Although “Sat Prem” (“truth love”) happens to be Sahajo’s mother’s moniker, which I saw back when she posted a comment in Sahajo’s defense, rather long ago. I happened to read her comment at Art Voice.

        Plus, recently a photo of Sahajo was shown accompanying an article here, and she looked about as bug-eyed as Clare Bronfman’s mugshot photo, and one could see the glazed look of fanaticism. How unfortunate. Sahajo did not look well.

        A funny word came out of some Housewives franchise years ago, courtesy of the Atlanta gargoyle, Nene Leakes. It is “thot” and stands for “that ‘ho over there.” Not that this reference is all that significant, or is it?

        By the way, one translation of “sahajo” is
        is “spontaneity.”. It soumd as though Sahajo hasn’t been spontaneous at all yet, about riding a dead horse. Still imprisoned?

    • Satya that’s quite a snotty comment. Frank’s been completely forthcoming about the legal troubles he’s been facing for years. Your comment comes at an interesting time. That Canadian, allegedly ‘investigative’ journalist tried to paint Frank as some kind of gangster or shake-down artist not that long ago. Flowers is pretty enamoured with her.

  • So Toni Natalie has to tell three different stories of why she left Keith Raniere in the hope that we might believe one of them?

    If she wanted to be with her son so much, why not move back to her hometown when she left Raniere? Why move to the other end of the east coast? That makes no sense.

    Why would any woman with an ounce of self-respect stay with a man who repeatedly raped her? What power did he have over her? They were not married, she made her own money, she had parents who could take care of her.

    Toni Natalie appears to be a compulsive liar and a nut case.

    • Toni did return to Rochester within a year of leaving Raniere but she never attempted to be part of her son’s life. Until he was about to inherit some money. Then she swooped in and took it. She also kept his painting worth $50,000. The boy worked delivering pizzas to save enough money to go to college and his entry into college was delayed for years. But if he had gotten his inheritance and the painting which was his, he would have graduated by now instead of just starting in 2020.
      I love the way Toni says her son was the most important person in her life. What do you say Gastone Porter MD etc ?

  • You’re doing an excellent job proving Toni Natalie is a liar and not a very good one. She recycles old stories and thinks no one will notice. This really highlights her arrogance. She seems pretty sure people will just accept her words as truth and not believe Michael’s father, her brother’s girlfriend or the proof that Scott Foley did, indeed, leave her for a very real woman. Not a surprise her book of fiction isn’t flying off the shelves. A trip to the bookstore will probably find it on the table of books you can buy for $5.

  • NataLIE should have gotten her story straight about how her son ended up living with his father. Here’s another variation.

    In a Vanity Fair article about the Bronfman’s, NataLIE claims, ” During her years with Raniere she was so broken psychologically that, according to court filings, she gave up the care of her child because Raniere had encouraged her to.”

    Maybe she had one of those shrunken sweaters on and it was cutting off the blood to that pea-sized brain.

  • Toni don’t let these liars get you down. My friend Arthur Franz Hunnicutt is drawing up legal papers as we speak. If you are upset I can fly to meet you and make an examination and prescribe whatever you need my angel.

  • Expect a law suit Mr. Perlato. Please provide your address so I can sue you on behalf of Toni Natalie.

    • Arthur F. Hunnicutt of Dewey, Cheatem and Howe:

      So Mr. Hunnicutt which law office will you use?
      The one in Chicago St. Louis, Joplin, Missouri, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Gallup, New Mexico, Flagstaff, Arizona, Winona, Kingman, Barstow, San Bernardino or Los Angeles, California.

    • To Arthur F. Hunnicutt of Tone, Hunnicutt, Teal and Ladd”

      I am Steve Goodman Esquire of Goodman and Guthrie, LLC an internationally famous law firm with offices in Kankakee, Memphis, Tennessee and New Orleans.

      I demand that you and your associate Dr. Gastone H. Porter MD PhD DDS DD cease and desist from your juvenile efforts to stifle the speech and writings of Frank Parlato, a legitimate member of the press unlike your friends at the Knife of Aristotle.
      Please inform your friend Nicki Lee Clyne of this demand.

  • My money says that Toni left Keith over a black wool sweater.

    As for Gary Crosby and his Jekyll and Hyde father Bing Crosby:
    While celebrities like Bing Crosby, Bill Cosby, Arthur Godfrey, Joan Crawford and Allison Mack can put on a good show as affable people in real life they were and are SOBs.

  • Seriously? Do we really need to beat this dead horse (Natalie) again? You’ve proved your point Frank.

    • Girl Scout Cookies,

      Beat the dead horse? Prove your point?

      Wrong! And wrong again!

      This is what happens when an individual makes up hurtful lies and has their attorney threaten to sue someone. Someone who has been nothing but good to the individual…The End

      “If you stab your friends in the back make sure they are dead or one day they will seek revenge.”

    • Girl Scout Cookies – Yes we do. If people, however few in number, are buying this book, they should be aware of the dishonesty contained within it.

      • Good luck to the fools who buy her book. Anyone who commits to research even a little bit about Natalie will know her words are questionable. The only reason why some may buy her book is for novelty. She’s a turd.

    • Are you really calling Toni Natalie a dead horse? Come on, she maybe rode hard and put up wet but she’s got a little life left in her, buddy.

      At least a couple of posters find her hot to trot and want to take her for a ride. Heck, given the chance, Raniere would have her back in his stable if she just say I’m sorry over the sweater.

      No one here is beating a dead horse, no sir no way. We gots us a lot more to say about Ms. NatalLIE.

    • Girl Scout Cookie, I agree 100%, Enough is Enough. Although i have no love loss for my Ex I am concerned that this nonstop assault will somehow affect my son. How many ways can you call her a liar. I know I’ve had enough.

      • Rusty – the people are clamoring for more Toni Natalie stories. They are extremely popular and her lies provide an important lesson for future writers: If you are going to write a book, tell the truth. Her book is discredited and I believe your son had one lucky thing in his life – his father.

        His mother is truly a narcissistic, self centered woman who never had any love for him or anyone else. I don’t plan to write about her indefinitely – but I do believe if new lies crop up, they deserve to be exposed. What she did to the Snyder family is pretty ruthless, and what she did to me behind my back threatened my ability to get info from sources.

        You may be willing to forgive the ruthless things she did to you for the sake of your son – but her other victims are not satisfied.

        If we had not discredited her book – the record would stand that she was a heroine and you were to blame for your marriage to her falling apart.

      • Just a Dad,

        You are a good and magnanimous man.

        Multiple people had there lives ruined because of Toni Natlie’s lies. Your ex-wife is partially responsible for one man, who had a highly successful consulting business, going to prison for 2 1/2 years. A career he spent decades building is shattered .

        The man I just mentioned had to survive roughly 913 days in Federal prison hell.

        Is it fair to the victims of your ex-wife that she is allowed to go gallivanting around, pretending to be a hero and profiting from it?

        Are a few dozen articles as wicked as the lies Toni told?

        • Frank and Nice Guy: Being away from Toni for 25 plus years and trying to stay as far away from her drama as possible, I was not aware of things that happened after we split. The comment about someone going to jail is terrible. You are certainly aware of things that I am not. Taking care of Mike by myself took everything I had emotionally as well as financially. I was way too busy keeping our lives on track to worry about hers. I guess it would be wise to keep my opinions to myself from this point forward.

          I’m pretty excited that Mike will be joining me in Florida after living so far apart for six and a half years. We will be working together to assure that he reaches his dream of finishing school. Anyway, sorry for adding my two cents when it wasn’t asked for.

          Oh and by the way…
          Mike and I would like to wish everyone a wonderful holiday season.

          • Rusty – your comments are always welcome. How much more we will write about Toni is entirely dependent on what new info comes to light. Her book tanked. There is not likely to be a second edition. I think if she had written a true account instead of lying at every turn, it would be been a good book. There is a lot she could have said that would have been important for readers. Sadly though, she has been lying for so long about her story she may either believe her lies or she has forgotten what really happened.

          • Dear Rusty and Mike, wishing you a very happy thanksgiving and also Rusty, thank you for the great example you set as a father, and Mike all the very best with finishing school, you’re still young, its a great thing you are achieving for your life, and another good example for anyone considering the same thing. Both of you, your goodness really shines through, verily, from lemons you are showing us all how to make first class lemonade. xx

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato


Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com