Marc Agnifilo on Keith Raniere – ‘He Was Acting in Good Faith’

Marc Agnifilo

This is Part 2 of a series on Keith Alan Raniere preparatory to his sentencing.

Part 1 AUSA Tanya Hajjar on Keith Raniere – Her Views Seem to Support a Life Sentence for the Nxivm Sex-Trafficker

Raniere is scheduled to be sentenced on May 21.  The sentencing judge, who also presided over his trial, is US District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis.

In our last post, we got a view of Raniere from the prosecution.  In this post, we will get a view of Raniere that his lawyer, Marc Agnifilo presented at his trial.

From Agnifilo’s point of view, Keith should not have been convicted – and now that he has been, he should be sentenced to time served or probation.

The problem with this is that Raniere was convicted of sex trafficking [in addition to sex trafficking conspiracy, attempted sex trafficking, wire fraud conspiracy, forced labor conspiracy, racketeering conspiracy, and racketeering, with predicate acts of identity theft, visa fraud, forced labor, sex trafficking, extortion, money laundering, sexual exploitation of a child, and possession of child pornography.]

The sex trafficking charge alone requires a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years.

Agnifilo could argue that Keith should get the minimum. With time served and time off for good behavior, his sentence could be as low as [another] 11 years. Keith could be free by the time he is 70.

The trial started on May 7, 2019 and on that date, Agnifilo made an opening statement.

Let’s look back at what Agnifilo said about Raniere in his opening statement, to get a glimpse of what his argument for leniency is likely to be.

I suspect the prosecution will seek a life sentence. Anything less than 30 years will be a victory for Raniere.

By Marc Agnifilo

… I submit to you that you haven’t heard much about the truth so far. What you’ve heard is … a lot of conclusions. You’ve heard a lot of slogans. You’ve heard a lot about the names of certain crimes, but …. this case is not about slogans or conclusions that are imposed on you.

They’re certainly about conclusions that you reach on your own after listening to the evidence.

But this case isn’t about labels. It’s not about jargon. It’s not about headlines.…. I’m going to ask you to look at the evidence from his point of view, through his eyes….

One of the things you’re going to hear is intent, a concept called criminal intent.

There is only one criminal intent that is worth anything in this case that matters at all and it’s whether he has it. That’s it. No one else’s intent, no one else’s motivation, no one else’s good faith or bad faith matters a lick. It’s all him.

So one of the things you are going to be doing as the evidence comes in is you are going to be looking at it through his eyes, what does he think about it? What is he doing? And why is he doing it? Never forget to ask why.…

You will hear a tremendous amount about his life. You will hear how he started NXIVM with another person a little over 20 years ago.

Now, the Government says that, well, a lot of people believed in NXIVM and now they don’t.

A lot of the Government witnesses I think are going to take the witness stand and say ‘NXIVM was wonderful, NXIVM helped me.’ And how did it help? Here’s what you’re going to hear in the evidence.

The first thing is I know my colleague with the Government said somehow people are isolated in Clifton Park, New York, outside of Albany. It’s going to be described as idyllic. It’s going to be described as beautiful. It’s going to be described as serene and wonderful. They had barbecues and they played volleyball and they did all these things and I think people are going to say it was really fun.

That’s what they’re going to say: ‘It was fun. I didn’t feel isolated. It was fun.’

The other thing they’re going to say is they got a lot out of it. They got a lot out of NXIVM.

Let me tell you what they’re going to say they got out of it. They’re going to say basically –  and there’s going to be a lot of content on this, but let me give you kind of the basic, if I had to dumb it down, NXIVM for dummies, whatever those books are called, is basically this:

What makes people happy? And the premise of what makes people happy is when they develop a theory of their own ethics, when they have a strong sense of their own ethics.

You want to be happy?

Keep your word.

You want to be happy?

Do what you say you’re going to do.

You want to be happy?

Live up to your responsibilities, because you get a form of self-confidence when you realize you’re being a good person.

On the other hand, happiness is not material items. Happiness isn’t really ‘Oh, I have a nice car, I have a nice house.’ Those things are conveniences. They’re luxuries. Those are not the things that make us happy.

And a lot of what you’re going to hear in the NXIVM curriculum is around this topic area: what makes people happy. And that basically – I don’t know that Keith Raniere invented it. I have no idea if he invented it. I would imagine someone along the lines, someone else said, you know, ‘all this stuff in my life is not making me happy.’

‘How am I going to be happy? Maybe I’ll try to be a better person.’ I mean, religions tell us that, a lot of things tell us that.

A lot of philosophy tells us that.

So I don’t know that anything you’re going to hear in this case is brand, brand new.

We’ve had civilization for a long time. A lot of people have come up with a lot of ideas, so I don’t know that any of this is earth-shattering and new, but the fact is that you’re going to hear that 17,000 people took NXIVM courses, all sorts of successful people: CEO’s, executives, actors, actresses, and they took them not because they were all bamboozled and fooled. They took them because they got something out of them and you’re going to hear this not from me, you’re going to hear this from the witnesses who testify on the stand.

Now, one of the things you’re going to hear a lot about… is satiation.

There’s going to be in the e-mails ‘are you being satiated?’ I’m going to explain it… The idea is everybody is different. And listen, everybody is different and I don’t know who this is true for; I think it’s true for a lot of people. Rather than like working on yourself, rather than like making yourself a better person, you know, ‘I don’t know, I feel a certain way, I think I’ll eat; I’m not really that hungry, but I just want to eat. That will make me feel better.’ Or ‘I’m going to drink,’ or ‘I’m going to go shopping. I don’t really need anything, but I’m going to go shopping because I need something to do and it takes my mind off the other stuff.’

And what you’re going to see… is that’s not seen as a good thing with NXIVM.

I mean, I’m not saying you can’t go shopping and stuff, but that’s not really being on point. And a lot of what you’re going to see, a lot of what I think –people are going to come here and say, ‘look, Raniere is abusing me.’ That’s what they’re saying now.

That’s not what they said at the time. And you know they’re not going to say it at the time because you’re going to see the e-mails.

This is an odd case in one very important respect and let me tell you how. It’s sort an odd case when the defense lawyer says ‘pay attention to the e-mails, look at the e-mails, look at the text messages.’

That’s your reality because a lot of things have happened between 2017 and today and … people have a change in perspective. And one of the things you are going to see about this case, a lot of it is about perspective: ‘I liked it at the time. I was having fun at the time. These were my best friends.’

One of the things about NXIVM, people are going to come in and say ‘these were my best friends. We were in a beautiful place. I was with people that I love and these were my best friends.’

… They can’t say it wasn’t a beautiful place; they can’t say they weren’t best friends, so they’re going to try and say ‘Raniere was hard on us,’ but that’s what they wanted.

Now, one of the things that my colleague with the Government talked about was control; ‘he’s controlling people.’

So I want to talk to you about control for a few minutes because this is a very important theme in the evidence too. Every downhill skier who won a gold medal was controlled by some ski coach.

Every 18-year-old kid who comes from Biloxi, Mississippi or Hauppauge, Long Island who becomes a Marine, is controlled by a drill instructor. The issue isn’t the control; the issue is the intention.

The issue is always the intention, and this is going to be a theme that I come back to again and again. The issue isn’t the control; the issue is the intention.

What’s behind the control?

Control can be very, very bad. Control can also make Marines. Control could also bring gold medal winners.

What’s behind the control?….

Is he being controlling? Well, a lot of times he is, a lot of times he is. Ask the why. What is happening? Why is he doing this? And what you will see is you will see this is something these people signed up for.

They are not there to go shopping and eat cake and do these things. They’re there for a reason and they are there to make their lives better and they have signed on to this.

One of the things that’s going to occur to you at some point during the evidence in this case is ‘what about personal responsibility?’

What role does one’s own personal responsibility have? You heard a lot about someone got recruited and then someone, you know, did something they didn’t want to do and then somehow someone got forced in to do something.

And as you’re listening to the evidence, sit here and think ‘what about personal responsibility?’ What about saying ‘hey, I don’t want to do that or I do want to do that or whatever it is’….

Now, there are a lot of things that … are unusual. Okay.…

There’s …. branding…. that’s an unusual thing. It’s not unheard of, there are certain sports figures that are members of fraternities that get brands. Sometimes you watch a football game and you see a guy who has a big brand on his arm.

The branding here, though, was done only of women. So, I don’t know. I mean, you can’t want a brand….

You’re going to see a video, I expect, of a branding…. one of the things I want you to look for, see if anyone seems forced, see if the women seem forced, or they’re doing it because they want to do it because, in their own words, they want to be ‘badass,’ – their words.

Another thing that you’re going to see … is a lot of naked photos…. One of the themes… is vulnerability, the importance of vulnerability and how vulnerability is not a bad thing and how it can be created and how it can be destroyed.

Now, when we think vulnerability, I think a lot of people say, ‘hum, that’s a bad thing.’

Vulnerability is bad. We don’t want our country vulnerable to attack. And, so, I don’t want my home vulnerable to a burglary and, so, I don’t want to be vulnerable. Vulnerable is bad.

The definition of vulnerable is ‘something capable of being wounded’….. And anybody who I think is or has been a child, or a lover, a parent, a sister, a friend, we all know absolutely 100 percent each and every one of us is capable of being wounded.

I’m not talking physical wounds, I’m talking emotional wounds. It’s just a reality, every one of us is capable of being wounded. It’s not something – I don’t know, maybe guys don’t think about it a lot and that’s going to be one of the themes… how men think as opposed to how women think and I don’t think that, at the end of the day, you’re going to think it is sexist.

I think you’re going to think a lot of it is accurate, but certainly, men don’t like to think ‘I’m wounded.’ I can be wounded but, yes, we can, and we are all the time. We are all the time.

We love somebody; they don’t love us, that’s a wound. As a kid I didn’t get something I really, really needed, that’s a wound. What happens when you’re wounded? You close down. You close down. I open myself up and I got wounded and I’m now closed down.

And what happens, it’s a natural thing that that should happen, but what’s the result? You’re lonely. You’re not with people. You’re not as engaged, you’re not as open, you’re not as out there. So one of the things …  you’re going to see in the evidence, time and again, is sort of lessons in how to be vulnerable.

And why?

Not to be weak, vulnerable is not weak; vulnerable is strong if your insides are strong. If you’re insides are strong, you can love, you can trust, you can do those things because you might get hurt. You might get hurt, but if you do, you’re fine. You’re fine because your insides are strong.

And a lot of what NXIVM teaches is don’t put a shell around a soft core, make a strong core and be vulnerable.

And here’s where the pictures come in. The …naked pictures … are about vulnerability…

No one had pictures taken without their knowledge, that would totally defeat the point, but the idea is that men and women – but for the time being I’m talking mostly about women because the pictures tend to be about women, speaking in generalities – sometimes have issues with their own bodies.

‘I don’t want to think about my body; people don’t like my body, I’m very happy to just cover my body with clothing.’

Is it shameful? Is it bad? Should it be covered up? Is there anything wrong with the body?

No, of course not. Especially not your own body. Why would anyone dislike their own body?

Now, to make the point, there’s a part of the curriculum called Möbius and Möbius is sort of a reference to Augustus Ferdinand Möbius … who was a German mathematician from 200 years ago, and here is what Ferdinand Möbius did, here’s a piece of paper, right, I fold it over. There’s an inside, right, and there’s an outside. There are two sides to my little thing here.

If I fold it 180 degrees, there’s one side. … There is one side, it doesn’t end; you can run your finger along the edge and it never ends because there is only one side.

Here, you can’t do that. You would have to do it once, take your finger off and there is another side. What’s the significance of it? The significance of it for NXIVM isn’t the significance of it for Mr. Möbius, the mathematician. The significance for NXIVM is that your insides are your outsides, there is no distinction; it is all one side.

It is all one side and one of the lessons that they teach in Möbius is something along the following lines: If I was a person doing it, I’d be looking into a mirror, okay, and there would be a person next to me and they would say, ‘tell me something about your face that you don’t like.’

And I would look in the mirror and I would say ‘I have bags under my eyes and I’m self-conscious and, so, part of the reason I wear glasses is so people doesn’t see them.’

And the person next to me would say ‘but aren’t those bags part of your identity, don’t they mean that maybe you worry, you worry about your children, you worry about your life. Maybe it means that your father had bags under his eyes and so you are your father’s son, so you have bags too. You should be proud of them, you should embrace them, they are not shameful.

‘If you want to wear glasses because you can’t see, wear glasses, but don’t wear glasses to cover up those bags under your eyes because it’s part of you.’

And people get paid to do this. The photographs are the same thing. The naked photographs are the same thing. There’s nothing wrong; there’s nothing wrong with your body, there is nothing wrong with you, there’s nothing to be ashamed of and it should be celebrated. It’s not sexual.

And when you look at the pictures, look closely, look at everything, looking at the lighting; there’s nothing that changes sort of the simple fact that this is just a body. That’s all it is; it’s not sexualized, it is none of those things. It is just a body, a natural body in its natural state. That’s what you will see.

All right, let’s talk about DOS for a little bit. DOS was created by Keith Raniere. No doubt about it, it was created by Keith Raniere. He created DOS to be a sisterhood. He created it to be a woman’s organization, yet he did create it. ….

The idea is this, it’s a secret society of women. From the beginning of this country, men have had secret societies; get a dollar bill, turn it over, look at the other side and there is a pyramid with an eye as a homage to the Freemasons, who had a major role in the creation of this country.

All men. All men. Keith Raniere thought that women should have a secret society of their own.

Now, did he create it? Yes, he created it. He created it and what he did, though, is he wanted it to be a sisterhood, he wanted it to last forever, and so there are vows, there is something what they call collateral.

Now, I think some of the witnesses are going to say ‘I was intimidated by the collateral, I was coerced by the collateral.’ I don’t think those are conclusions you’re going to come to, but why collateral?

Why collateral?

Because it backs up your word, and I was trying to think of an example of like collateral in a place where you wouldn’t expect collateral, and I thought of one.

When I was a kid, if I said to somebody ‘I swear to you I climbed that tree to the top,’ they will say ‘No, you didn’t;’ and I would say ‘Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.’ I don’t know if people still say that, but they said it when I was a kid. ‘Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye.’

What are you talking about? It’s a silly way of saying basically ‘No, no, I did do it, I’m standing by my word. Cross my heart, hope to die, stick a needle in my eye,’ No one is going to stick a needle in my eye, I don’t hope to die. It’s a way of showing that I mean it. Sort of a silly example, but it isn’t.

And the collateral is the same thing; if you mean it, put something behind it, put something behind your word. And you’re going to hear that collateral didn’t start with DOS, collateral started way before DOS.

It is a very mainstay concept in a lot of the NXIVM teaching that Raniere then applied to DOS.

It is very simple. I mean let’s say, for instance, I was a guitar player and I wanted to lose weight and, you know, I come to one of you and say, ‘You know what, I’m having the hardest time losing weight, you know, I’m just not doing it.’ And you say to me, ‘You know what, I’ll tell you what, you don’t lose two pounds in a month, give me your guitar.’ That’s collateral, that’s all it is. There’s nothing more than that.

It is a way of basically backing up my promise to something I want to do, and you’re going to hear this; it doesn’t have a bad intention, it has a good intention.

Now, one of the things I think is important, none of the collateral was ever released all this time. You know, some of the women are giving naked photos, some of the women are writing things about, you know, family members that are false or true or whatever.

None of it was ever released ever, not a single bit, not a single time. You know how they say never? I’m saying never; it was never released. …what that means is they never had any intention of releasing it. You can take the fact that it was never released and backfill it to what they were intending to do and it was never released because there was no intention of it ever being released.

Now, there is going to be a lot of talk that this was sex trafficking because women were bringing women into the group. …. These are best friends. These women love each other. They trust each other, they’re best buddies.

For you to believe the Government’s core premise on this, you would have to conclude, somehow, that these best friends, one of their hearts darkened to the other one and rather than being their best friend, rather than looking out for their self-interests, rather than doing this out of love and because they love each other and are close and are best friends, something else entirely, something inexplicable is happening and instead they’re looking to hurt their best friend.

It’s like they become a vampire, you know, now they are looking to harm their best friend; we are not really best friends anymore, now I’m looking to hurt you. … it doesn’t make any sense.

And all of this will make sense. You will listen to all of this, step by step, and if it doesn’t make sense, if it doesn’t make sense, it probably means it didn’t happen that way.

… if it doesn’t make sense to you, it probably didn’t happen that way. And one of the things you will conclude doesn’t make sense is that these best friends would darken on each other and look to hurt each other. It doesn’t make sense and it doesn’t make sense because it didn’t happen that way.

…. there was a family that came from Mexico. It was Dani. There was Cami. There was Marianna. There was Adrian. And there was the dad and the mom. The first one to come was Dani….

Dani… is unusually smart, maybe even brilliant. And she took a NXIVM class in Mexico. She loved it. She had opportunities to study in Switzerland on a scholarship because she was that smart. And she said, you know what, the only thing I ever really kind of took to is this NXIVM and I want to leave Mexico and I want to go to the Albany area and I want to take classes because I really believe in it. I don’t know how old she was, she was 16, 17, she was young, she comes to Albany and she was working in the administrative office, and she is not doing really intellectually challenging work.

It is kind of boring and one day there is a lecture and Keith Raniere throws out like a brain teaser of some sort, and it’s a very difficult brain teaser. Okay, she gets it, she answers it because she is unusually smart. And she and Raniere start a friendship, it starts out as a friendship. He has a lot of respect for her, she has a great deal of respect for him. …  a week after her eighteenth birthday, they do have a sexual relationship.

And, you know, I just want to be upfront about it, I mean, he was in his forties, she was eighteen and it happened. I’m not saying it’s good, bad, or indifferent. I’m just putting it out there, it happened. I think what you will find is that their relationship was not abusive. Their relationship was mutual, their relationship was consensual and I think their relationship meant a lot.

I don’t know that that many people in Dani’s life really took a special interest in her and said, you know what, you’re really smart. And I think she was greatly complimented and it made her feel good that Raniere saw her that way.

Now, as soon as a 40-something-year-old man is with an 18-year old person, I suppose you could spin that all sorts of nefarious ways and this is where I’m going to ask you to look at the evidence in the details. You know, don’t stop at conclusions. Don’t stop at broad brush, you know, labels or things like that.

… One of the things that Dani does at one point, you know, while she and Keith are in this sort of relationship of trust, in a moment of frustration I suppose, she steals money. She works in the administrative office and she steals several thousand dollars – and a few days later, she tells Keith I stole several thousands of dollars.

Keith gets angry; we don’t do that had in this community; you can’t steal. You can’t steal here. And he is mad at her and things start to change.

Dani is a little bit of a precocious person and some of what she does sometimes is she steals; not only that time, other times too; not because she necessarily needs the money, almost just as an I can get away with it, you know. And she also starts a relationship with another person.

Now, she and others will explain to you that there are ground rules, so let’s talk about them right now… There are ground rules for women having a relationship with Keith Raniere so let me tell you what they are. Ground rule number one is, if a woman wants to be with Keith Raniere, she can’t be with anybody else. You want to sign on to that, you’re in; you don’t want to sign on, you’re not.

Ground rule number two, that rule doesn’t apply to Keith Raniere. He can be with multiple people. He can be with whoever he wants. You don’t want to sign up, don’t go. You want to sign up, that’s the rule.

Dani breaks the rule.

That’s it. Dani breaks the rule and she’s kind of in trouble, you know. And what starts out as what’s supposed to be a temporary thing – and she is living in a house with her family. You know, when we say she is in a room, … the room isn’t locked, it’s because the room isn’t locked; she is basically in her family’s house in a bedroom with her family there, okay.

So two days goes to two weeks, goes to two months and ended up being 20 months or 21 months that she is in the room and she is in the room because she is refusing – there’s letters every day between her and Raniere and you’re going to see a lot of them. You know, there’s quite frankly, I think, I mean, hundreds of letters, hundreds of letters. She writes a letter every day, or every other day, for the entire time she is in the room. And she is talking about sometimes I do want to be here, I don’t want to be here.

You know, ‘this is good for me, this is helping me,’ ‘this is not helping me, this is driving me crazy,’ and you will see it all and you will reach your own conclusion as to whether she is a captive.

I mean, I’m not saying it is an easy situation, but it is a situation she could have dealt with differently if she wanted to, but she didn’t want to. What ends up happening, to make this situation even more unusual, at one point her mother decides, ‘you know what, I’m going to go into a bedroom too.’ And so, for a period of time you have Dani in one bedroom, you have the mom in another bedroom, and they are both basically, you know, in the house.

Unlocked doors, but in the house. One of the ways that Keith and Dani got close is that Dani, at one point, confided in Keith it seemed like her parents were headed for divorce and that was a subject of conversation. …. Keith helped her with that. She went to him with that. At one point, the mother has some kind of relationship with an Argentine singer named Facundo Cabral. Facundo Cabral is kind of a famous Argentine singer and Facundo Cabral dies on July 9th, 2011, and the mother says, ‘You know what, I’m going to go to his funeral.’ He is shot to death in Guatemala, there’s going to be a funeral, and she leaves the room. After she leaves the room, Dani realizes she wants to leave the room and she leaves the room.

My point is, when she wanted to leave the room, she left the room. And her father, her father drove – with another woman, drove her to the border where she crossed over the border because, at the time, she was illegal and she didn’t want to get caught – drove her to the border, she crosses the border and then meets up with a business colleague of the father and is fine.

So when she wanted to leave, she left.

So you’re going do hear a lot about life back in the day, life in Clifton Park, 2001 to 2017…

So what happened? This was going along fine. Everybody was fine. Everybody was happy. Everybody was, you know, playing their volleyball and having their picnics and doing.

So what happens? So here’s what happens…. There is a woman who recruits a DOS slave. And there’s something called “Abrahamic Tests” … And for all of you that know your Old Testament, Abraham was given an assignment to take his son Isaac and take Isaac to Mount Moriah and offer him to God.

And Abraham being a man of faith endeavored to do it – and at the last minute, God says, ‘You showed that you’re a man of faith, you don’t have to do it.’ And … Isaac is spared and Abraham becomes a hero in a sense. He’s a biblical hero. He’s the ultimate man of faith.

So one of the things that happened in DOS is the women are given an assignment to seduce Raniere.

Seduce him.

They can be very clear that the assignment was not to have sex with him. The Government said the assignment was to have sex with him. That’s not the case. Let them describe it, okay? The assignment was to seduce Raniere.

This one particular young woman, her name is India, gives the assignment to a second person named Jessica, and Jessica misunderstands the assignment.

… Jessica thinks the assignment is ‘I have to sleep with Raniere.’ Jessica says, ‘I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to do that. That is not something I want to do and I’m not going to do it.’

Someone named Mark Vicente finds out about this…  He loses his mind. He goes off the rails. This is a terrible thing. He goes to India’s mother and does what I am going to describe as, ‘He pushes the mom button.’ He goes to the mom and says, ‘Your daughter is in grave danger. This is really serious. You have to do something.’

And there’s this huge groundswell because of this to basically obliterate DOS, NXIVM. And what you end up having is you have this schism. You have this sort of schism in the family, okay?

There’s one big happy family, now it’s not. Now, it breaks into two.

And I expect that a lot of the people on the Vicente side of the ledger are going to come here and testify and they’re going to talk about what a horrible time they had, I suppose, in NXIVM, and how they were coerced and abused and all these things are terrible.

But you guys will have the e-mails. You guys will have the text messages. You guys will go back in time before their perspectives changed and you see will see the truth because this is the truth.

Now, there are a lot of controversial aspects about this case and I don’t want to lead you to believe for a second that I don’t recognize it, all right?

There’s going to be evidence Keith Raniere had multiple intimate partners over a very long period of time.

He had some intimate partners for 30 years, for 35 years, 40 years. He had some for a couple of years. And basically, what you’re going to see, though, is you’re going to see — do me a favor, evaluate each relationship for itself. You’re going to have to. This is where we have to look beyond kind of a why.

And you’re going to say, ‘I don’t like that. I would never do that. I think it’s morally wrong.’ You are absolutely entitled to that opinion. You’re absolutely entitled to the opinion, ‘I think it’s morally wrong for a man to have multiple intimate partners.’ And that’s your opinion. One of the things that you’re going to find, that’s not charged. That’s not a charge.

That’s not one of the charges.

You’re going to find that he had sex at one time or another with each of the three sisters who came from Mexico, Dani, Cami, and Mariana. You’re going to find he has a baby with Mariana. You might say ‘that’s terrible. For my personal ethics, I think that’s morally wrong.’ Absolutely you should feel that way if that’s your personal ethics and I get it.

Not charged with that. Just not charged with that.

You’re going to hear evidence that he was having sex with a fair amount of people. Some of them got abortions. You might say, ‘I’m against abortion. Abortion is killing. Abortion is wrong. Abortion is repugnant, it’s morally wrong.’

I get it. He’s not charged with that. I don’t have to defend everything. I don’t have to defend every part of this case. Parts of this case you’re going to find distasteful. Parts of this case you’re going to find are inconsistent with your own morality and that’s okay.

I’ll tell you one thing I am going to defend. I’m going to defend his intentions. I’m going to defend his intentions to my last breath in this courtroom. I’m going to defend his good faith. I’m going to defend his good faith to my last breath in this courtroom.

So there are a lot of things that look bad for me, let’s be honest.

You know, there are a lot of cosmetic parts about this case that are difficult. I acknowledge them….

I don’t have to defend everything. I don’t have to defend everything to win this case. But I will defend his good faith. And, at the end of the day, if you find that he had good faith and, look, look hard, look hard, examine it.

Don’t take my conclusions, don’t take my word for it… study the evidence. Study the text messages. Study the e-mails. And ask why, why did he do it? Why did he do it? What’s going on here?

If you do that, you’ll conclude that … he was acting in good faith.


In the end, as readers know, the jury did not conclude that Raniere acted in good faith. They did not buy that collateral was to help women keep their word, that the naked pictures were taken to help the women lose their shame of their bodies, that Daniella was not a captive, that his control of the women was to make them better Marines, or that it wasn’t sex trafficking because women were ordered only to seduce Raniere and yet somehow not ordered to have sex with him.

The jury bought none of Agnifilo’s arguments.

It remains to be seen if Judge Nicholas Garaufis will buy any of them.



About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Either dear Aggie’s been overexposed to Raniere’s toxic word salad or he’s proving why he pulls 7 figures as a professional liar defending the world’s wealthiest crooks.

    …And let’s not forget Raniere isn’t necessarily Aggie’s only client in this — it’s Clare Bronfman, with possibly some Salinas influence — who’s funding the ENTIRE, UNITED NX defense.

  • Kim Snyder
    Yes! He defended a seducer/rapist/killer- it didn’t work- Keithy boy still got convicted. Sentencing is next!
    Well- maybe- the Feds just got my sister, Kris’ full case- they may come back and ask for a murder trial now- things may change.
    We are awaiting a verdict out of the Feds to see if they consider her a victim- there is more than enough proof!
    The defense team got socked a good one when the jury said- “GUILTY”!!!!!!
    We need to get justice for all of the victims in this NXIVM deal!

    • Kimchi Snyderman- wow Kim 17 years and the Feds are just now getting involved? Will you be making them colorful bracelets?

  • I’m pretty sure that if you asked 100 people at random, ” if you had access to 800 million dollars of the Bronfman fortune what would you do to improve life on earth?” 99 of those people would have found something better than DOS.

    He could have taught his followers to raise money for the poor in Africa, heal the racial divisions of the world or force human evolution to it’s next step. It’s in the “doing” that the women would learn about themselves.

  • Marc understands and said it right. When Keith took my pictures, it wasn’t lust. He was trying to teach me not to be ashamed of my body.
    That’s all.

    The same with Camila if you can teach young girls not to be ashamed they will grow up without this body image that is self-defeating. This is a simple disintegration and is best healed when a girl is 13- 15.

    • If he asks nicely, will you share the photos with niceguy? He needs proof that you aren’t ashamed of your body.

    • Yes, true. To demonstrate his trust, Keith could have reciprocated the act!
      Hence, deep disdain is written all over him!

      • Have to admit, it would be a lot more boring around here if you had been a man of your word. You may be on par with Bangcock for being a lying POS about your departures from FR, but at least you ain’t no quitter!

        On a side note to Frank – I don’t think it’s fair that you allow these anonymous COWARDS to post here! WAAAAAH. These COWARDS should at least be forced to use the same moniker. WAAAAAH. I don’t even know which anonymous COWARD I’m replying to. WAAAAAH. LOL

        • I’m sure you could have made the website exciting with all of your STUPID comments. LOL

          As far as the Anonymous name, now all of those “people” who said they skip over my comments, can’t. LOL

          If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Then beat ’em up some more. LOL

          • Now that you have officially and unshockingly put an end to the Frank Report version of “Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead”, please excuse me as I go back to ignoring you. I think you’ll like being anonymous. It suits you well.

  • I’m sure Amway and other MLM scams claim they are acting “in good faith” when on trial. They aren’t. Do your part and copy/paste this message all over social media (unless owned/operated by current Amway IBOs or the Amway scam company), and encourage them to do the same, and so on, à la network marketing/MLM. Also, submit a complaint to the FTC at If you don’t, then you’re part of the problem. Amway has 2 major problems, and most MLMs have at least one of these issues:

    1. The products are overpriced, which makes them almost impossible to sell to customers and results in Amway being an illegal pyramid:, and also according to the FTC and SEC websites and previous court decisions and settlements; and

    2. The Tool Scam is hidden profit for the top level distributors only, and the vast majority of distributors operate at a net loss as a result: This is RICO fraud.

    For recent examples, google “FTC” along with the following companies, one at a time: FHTM, BurnLounge, Zeek, TelexFree, Vemma, Advocare, Neora, Javita, Waiora, Business For Health, and Herbalife. Make a complaint on the FTC website:

    Although there is no federal law defining pyramid schemes, the FTC has a long and successful track record of using its Section 5 law prohibiting “unfair and deceptive” business practices to go after MLM scams: which states, in part, “Not all multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. If the money you make is based on your sales to the public, it may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. If the money you make is based on the number of people you recruit and your sales to them, it’s probably not. It could be a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal, and the vast majority of participants lose money.”

    Read about these and much more at these websites: and, and email to help shut down Amway and other MLM scams.

    Watch this video about Amway and other MLM scams, then forward it to everyone you know, except for current Amway IBOs, and encourage them to do the same. When enough people know, these scams will collapse:

    English version:

    Spanish version:

    Listen to my weekly radio/podcast:

  • Marc obviously didn’t have much to work with, but he gave it the ‘ole college try. And was paid handsomely for it. Lawyers and weather forecasters, two “professions” where you can be wrong half the time and still have a job. The words “good” and “faith” are two words Raniere never knew the true meaning of, I guess he never conducted an exploration of meaning regarding those two words.

      • I’m talking about his acting con job as an ethical leader and one of smartest men in the world. Agnifilo is right. He was acting in good faith, but only in this equivocal sense.

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.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

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 premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083