This is Part #4 in our series on Sylvie, the first witness in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere. She was a Nxivm member for about 12 years – and became a DOS slave around 2016.
She brings us inside Nxivm in a unique way and in this excerpt from her testimony, shows us a little of the pressure used on Nxivm members to toe the line.
She was the first witness called at Raniere’s trial and overall she gives a good insider’s view of what it was like to be part of Nxivm.
In support of the ruling of the court in the trial of Keith Raniere, Sylvie’s last name is not being used by Frank Report.
Neither are we publishing her picture.
AUSA Moira Penza is examining Sylvie. The judge is Nicholas G. Garaufis [Referred to as THE COURT]
Q Was there ever another time when there was curriculum offered that you didn’t want to take?
A Yes. At some point, I think it was in 2013, but SOP Complete One came out and, again, it was a new training that was going to be taught by Keith.
Q So let me just stop you for one second. SOP, what does that stand for?
A Society of Protectors.
Q And how would you describe Society of Protectors?
A It was, like, the men’s version of Jness …. -Jness was the women’s organization. Society of Protectors was the men’s organization and I think it was supposed to be men, like, being honorable or upholding their word or something like that and it was kind of like men becoming better men in some way.
Q And so SOP Complete, what was going to be the plan of that?
A It was to teach women what it would be like to be a man, I think.
Q And why didn’t you want to take this?
A Well, because it didn’t appeal to me. It sounded scary based on my little experience of what I had … in Jness One, the experience with the men giving you that direct teaching of how to be a man type thing.
I assumed it was going to be that but way more intense because it was eight days. I had heard some kind of rumors about what might be involved in it and that freaked me out.
And at the time, I was staying in Vancouver in my aunt and uncle’s house and doing some coaching in Vancouver and also running stuff out there and I was having a really good time so I just didn’t want to come back to Albany to take this training.
Q Were there any discussion with you about why women needed to take SOP Complete?
A Well, it had been presented, I think, in Jness specifically that women lacked character and the SOP Complete would teach us character.
Q And were there — was there any discussion about SOP Complete and women, and women dieting?
A I think that was one of the examples of how women lacked character, like, we’re impulsive and we can’t uphold our words. If we say we’re going to be on a diet, then we can’t uphold the diet, we just eat and, like, we’re not conscious of our actions and what we’re doing and things like that.
Q Did you believe that that described you?
A Well, no, partly because I had anorexia and I … was still very restrictive and controlling around food so I didn’t have — specifically with food, I definitely didn’t have an issue with making sure I didn’t eat more food than I should, let’s say, whatever that means, but also I was an athlete. I was able to be very regimented in a lot of different ways. I didn’t have any struggle with that personally.
Q And so what happened when you didn’t … want to take it? What happened?
A Well, Pamela [Cafrtiz] called me and told me about — I already knew about SOP Complete, but she was wanting to talk to me about why I should take it and she made a comment like, “What, do you just want to be Clare’s lackey for the rest of your life?” And that really upset me and, yes, I felt offended, but I still didn’t want to take it. So I sort of didn’t say yes to her on the phone but didn’t, you know — I just tried to kind of lay low and I hoped that nobody else would try to get me to do it, but I think I probably went back and forth with Clare a bit and I agreed that I would have an EM about my resistance to do it.
An EM, I don’t know if you’ve introduced what that is.
Q I haven’t. Can you explain what an EM is?
A It’s stands for exploration of meaning. And I think it’s, like, where they — I keep saying “they.” I’m sorry if I’m not being clear, but the teaching from ESP or Vanguard or whoever would say they created that, I believe it’s Vanguard, it was, the teaching was that you had these beliefs, like, two different beliefs that didn’t match up, and the EM would meld these beliefs and that would be called an integration.
Q And in what circumstances were people directed to get EMs?
A I felt, like, in my personal experience, it was a lot of the time, if I didn’t want to do something, that others would say it was upholding of me but if I didn’t want to do it, it was suggested that I get an EM because that would somehow, you know, help. I thought it was to make me change my mind honestly.
Q Do EMs cost money?
A Yeah. If you work with an EMP, you could pay, I think the cheapest was $80 and the most expensive could be $250 or $300.
Q What’s an EMP?
A That’s someone who becomes a professional EM person, an EM’er, or I don’t know what you call it.
Q So, did you end up having EMs about this?
A I think I had an EM. From what I remember, I had an EM with Dani Padilla.
Q Who is Dani Padilla?
A She was a Mexican lady that lived in the community and she was an EMP and a proctor.
Q And after the EM, what happened? Did you have any further conversations with people in the community?
A Well, I still wasn’t agreeing to do it and then I got a call from Clare, I think, at the end of the first day of SOP Complete. So I believe it had already started. And I remember just, again, like, crying on the phone because I felt very bullied by her and I felt — I think she said things, like, “You’re never really going to amount to anything.” She was going very hard on me about taking this training and I was — yeah, I just remember crying a lot and I think after that conversation, I still didn’t say I would definitely do it. I think I told her I would look into changing my flights but I hadn’t committed that I was going to be there but I ended up calling someone else.
Q Who was that person?
A Nicki, Nicki Clyne. I called her and, just to console me somehow because I was upset and I thought that she would understand and yet, she seemed pretty understanding but she didn’t really have anything to say to me, I don’t think. She was doing SOP Complete herself so she was already in it but, yeah.
Q How much did SOP Complete cost?
A I don’t know because I think maybe Clare was going to pay for it again but I would say it was probably 5 or more grand, it might have been 8 grand, I’m not really — 8,000 or 5,000. I’m not 100 percent sure.
Q And did you end up taking the training?
A Not then. I changed my flights and I did come back but I didn’t take the training. I took it later in the second time it was offered again.
Q Can you describe what the SOP Complete training was like?
A Yeah. It was very, I would use the word “regimented.” I found it extremely stressful and scary. The whole way through, it’s basically, yes, it’s kind of, like, that section that I described from Jness but intensified a lot, and then there were different things thrown in that seemed, like, exercises in humiliation, of humiliating the women so that they can see where, like, sort of what they were doing wrong, let’s say.
Q Were there any videos shown during that?
A Yes — well, see there were different things that happened. There were videos, I think, too. That was just all part of the different humiliation exercises. Like, for instance, in the beginning, there was a girl in the training that got dressed up as a princess and she had to carry a princess wand because they said she was too princess-y. So she had Disney-like clothing put on her so that, to show that she was trying to be too flashy and be too much of a princess. And then at some point, they also did, like, a prize-giving ceremony where they pretended the women were, like, cows in a county fair because, apparently, they had their boobs on show too much. So they were given like rosettes and prizes.
It was prizes for their utter-type things as cows.
Nice teachings that Keith Raniere offered men and women. His SOP teachings were meant to make women fit for being his slaves and since many of the men were married, his teachings that they should go out and abandon monogamy was probably pretty useful for breaking up marriages, thus making the men more dependent on Nxivm and the women, in some instances, free for his taking.
But the cow udder concept is a bit of a reach, especially since Raniere himself was known to have some fairly decent man-boob udders himself.
Now. in keeping with the provisions of Fair Publishing Standards. the following warning is required before I will show
readers Keith’s udders: