This is Part #6 in our series on Sylvie, the longtime Nxivm member who became a DOS slave.
In this excerpt, Sylvie gives an account of her marriage to John, who was also a Nxivm member.
It helps us understand the level of control that Keith Raniere and his top minion, Clare Bronfman, [and her wealth] had over those who were committed to Nxivm.
Sylvie had to seek Keith’s permission to get married and was also instructed by him not to have sex with her husband for two years.
As we shall see in a future post in this series, Keith had a hidden agenda in preventing Sylvie and John from consummating their marriage. It had nothing to do with their spiritual growth – and was much more about getting Slyvie legally into the country so he could have her for himself.
Sylvie was the very first witness in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere. She gave jurors their first impression of what a victim of Raniere looked like.
An attractive and honest, clearly sincere person, one could wonder why she would consent to such strange control, but nevertheless she made an impressive and sympathetic witness. A woman who came with good intentions from the time she was just 20 until she was a woman in her 30s – 12 years of life with 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].
The date is May 7, 2019, the first day of the trial of Keith Alan Raniere. Some six weeks later he would be convicted on all charges.
Q During the time period when you were traveling back and forth [from England to the USA], do you still not have a visa?
Q Was there continued talk within the community about you getting a visa?
A On and off, yeah.
Q … what other conversations did you have with the defendant [Raniere] about a visa?
A I remember … Keith Raniere joking with me about getting married for a visa…. I think that was when I had been denied either the investor or student visa — and at that time, I was like, “No way,” and kind of laughed it off because I didn’t want to just marry someone for the sake of a visa.
Q Did you know whether there was encouragement of the other people in the NXIVM community to get married for visas?
A Yeah, I knew that people had done it and so I did know that that was something that had happened, but I didn’t want to just, like, marry a random person for a visa.
Q At some point, did you meet someone within the NXIVM community who you did believe you could develop a relationship with?
Q And what happened?
A So I met John, my husband …. I met him for the first time probably in 2008, so I already knew him, and …. we both started working on … this project within the community called The Knife [of Aristotle] and … I was in London… at that time and we were spending hours a day on Skype… working on this project… with him and several others, but he kind of headed up the group that I was working in, so I got to know him really well and I was, like, flirting with him a lot through message and things and I was taking a real liking to him.
Q And did you eventually decide to take that liking further?
A Yes. I started to kind of scheme in my head that he is someone that I would marry …. I mean, he was someone that I wanted to build a relationship with and if I was going to get married and develop a life in America, he was the person I would want to do that with.
Q And you are married to him now?
A Yes, we are married now.
Q And where is he today?
A He’s in the courtroom with my dad. I can see my dad but I think he might be sat behind you.
Q But you live together in a legitimate marriage?
A Yes, we did. I mean, at the moment, he’s been staying in the States working on a green card or equivalent for the UK but, yes, the whole time we’ve been married.
Q …. once you had this idea [to get married], what did you do?
A … I thought the only way that I was going to be able to get married without it being seen as me being still being the robot is [if I got it] approved by Keith first and present it to Keith and Clare in a way that they would accept. So I told Clare that I had this idea that I wanted to do this with John and that I was going to speak to Keith about it. And so I … asked Keith if I could meet with him to speak to him about it.
Q And where did you meet with him?
A In…. Pamela [Cafritz’s] car outside of the house….
Q Do you remember where that house was?
A It’s on Oregon Trail…..
Q So you met in the car?
A Yes, we met in the car. I don’t remember why in the car but we did meet in the car.
Q Okay. And can you describe the conversation?
A Yes. So I sort of told him what I wanted to do. I said I wanted to see if John would consider marrying me and that we would … work on getting a green card but we would kind of develop a relationship and sort of do it backwards, I guess, and I wanted to see if John would consider that and what did he think.
Q … how did Keith respond?
A He suggested doing a business arrangement at least for the first two years and that it should be platonic. So he was talking about it a lot like that, but I didn’t make any sort of commitments for doing anything in a specific way but I just remember at the end of the conversation, he like put his finger on my arm and saying, “Oh, it’s a shame, we could have had fun.” And I remember laughing and thinking that was a creepy comment but sort of laughing it off.
Q … Did you actually end up having a conversation with John?
A Yes. John had invited me down to New York for the weekend anyway so I thought this would be an opportunity to kind of… present it to him and that’s what I did….
Q And how did he respond?
A He said he … would consider it, but then we basically spent a month having sort of in-depth conversations about what we would want out of this situation, like, could we see ourselves having a future together, did we both want a family, basically seeing if we could arrange our relationship and do our relationship backwards in that way, getting married first and then developing the relationship from there.
Q Where was John living at that time?
A New York City.
Q And did you come down to New York City?
A Yes, I had come down to have that discussion with him but then I ended up staying longer to talk, to have these conversations. Like, we decided this is something obviously we didn’t want to just do. We needed to figure out whether we had, like, a match in intentions of what we really wanted.
Q And did … anything happen?
A Yes. At some point, I think it was after, like, the second extra night or something like that, I got a call from Clare and she seemed pretty… freaked out and … she said something like, “Have you had sex with him?” And I said… “No,” but she says, “Well, don’t have sex, you shouldn’t have sex with him and you shouldn’t have sex with him yet.” …. I got really freaked out and I basically came back to Albany. I felt like I was being told off.
Q Did you end up getting married?
A We did get married.
Q What date?
A The 7th of July of 2015.
Q And who was there?
A My mom, my sister and her husband…. John, …. his friends Mark and Ken. Clare was there and we had our friend Harjay take pictures.
Q And did Clare say anything to you on your wedding day?
A Yeah. At some point, she pulled me aside and said, You’re acting — it was almost, like, I was acting too happy and I was ‘lost in the bubble’ or something, which is a phrase that was used in, I think, it’s SOP Complete or Jness, like, ‘women live in a bubble.’ And she used ‘in a bubble,’ like, we [women] don’t have to be responsible for anything, we live in fantasy land and everything gets taken care of. You’re lost in the bubble or you’re acting too happy or something like that, so I remember trying to tone it down.
Q Did [you] have … any further discussion with anyone in the community about your sex life with John?
A Yes. So Clare had said to me about not having sex with him, but then also my coach approached me. I was being coached by someone called Rosa Laura.
Q You can give her last name?
A Rosa Laura Junco. And she said to me, “I think Keith suggested that you don’t have sex for two years.” I don’t remember what the official explanation of why that was but I think that was to develop our relationship more or something but it should be two years specifically. So, yeah, it was, like, we were getting these messages about that we shouldn’t be having sex.
Q And did you and John at that point in time decide to stay celibate for two years?
A Yeah. So, we did, and I think from what I understood from …. what John had shared with me, he wasn’t — we were planning on building our relationship first anyway.
So we didn’t have, like, specific expectations around that, but we would have just more naturally allowed things to develop, I think, or at least that’s what I would have planned on doing, but now we had this, like, weird rule which we decided to stick to which was two years. At that time, we decided to stick to it.
Q Did you and John set any other, like, ground rules for your relationship?
A Yeah, we said we would be … I don’t know how to say that word. Monogamous?
A Yes. Basically, we wouldn’t … have relationships with other people. We were still committed to our relationship between us. That was definitely one of them. And we — I mean, we had written a whole contract about where we would spend time, you know, that we would spend half the time in Albany, half the time in New York City. It contained a whole bunch of different things in it, but we had written that up before we got married.
Q Did you and John discuss what your living arrangements would be?
A Yes. So it was supposed to be that I would spend time in New York City and then he would also spend time in Albany because he lived in New York City and at that time, I had been staying at Clare’s in Albany and my sister was up in Clifton Park too and the whole community was in Clifton Park, however, I didn’t want to live in New York full time, I don’t remember why, but we agreed.
We got a place in a community called Twin Lakes in Clifton Park and he had his place in New York City and we were going to spend time in both.
Q Would you describe people in the community as supportive of your marriage?
A I didn’t feel like it because comments were made to me at some point specifically by Lauren Salzman that I wasn’t doing, that I hadn’t been well, she said, since I’ve been with John and I felt like that [she] was saying, like, somehow it was John’s fault and she sort of started to think that in certain ways.
And then also Clare had said to me how I was acting like a robot when I was spending a lot of time in New York City. So I just always felt the pressure to not come across as, like, too committed to John or something or I felt, like, I would get these comments about robot and indoctrination. So I wasn’t acting like I didn’t want to be married or something. It was weird.
The selfishness of all these characters is astounding.
Keith Raniere first jokes with Sylvie about her getting married for a visa. She doesn’t want to do it – not just for a visa.
Then, when she seeks Keith’s permission to get married – both because she feels she could love John and also to get a visa – Keith touches her with his [filthy] finger and says, “Oh, it’s a shame, we could have had fun.”
Fun for Keith, as Sylvie understood, was having sex with her. And the fun would really have been one-sided.
But Keith is revealing that he found her sexually attractive and suitable for his ugly lust. This means that anything he said or did was with this end game in mind.
He told Sylvie that she must do “a business arrangement” with the man she wanted to marry – which meant two years without sex.
Enter Clare. She also wanted to own Sylvie and understood that Keith wanted to bed Sylvie. Anything she would do was in support of her getting Sylvie to where she and Keith wanted her.
It was not about Sylvie’s growth.
These two monsters allowed the marriage because it solved the visa problem for them. They wanted Sylvie in the USA to work for them and for Keith to have in his harem.
By denying the couple sex, they did not lose Sylvie to marriage.
Keith would not have sex with a woman who was having sex with any other man.
But even so, Clare was frantic one night. Before Sylvie got married and was staying with John on a visit to discuss the marriage and its peculiar terms, Clare became “freaked out” and called her to ask “Have you had sex with him?… Well, don’t have sex, you shouldn’t have sex with him.”
This indicates the level of control these monsters had on poor, rather weak-minded victims. Normally, who would consent to such control. This is the very secret of the cult and Raneire: He cultivated those who would comply.
And if they were attractive and slender, as Sylvie was, he would make them his sex slave, part of his harem, a life where the woman would spend mostly with other women, never having much attention from Raniere for he had to divide his time with 20 women.
Even with threesomes – it still meant very little time with each of the harem women. That is why lesbianism was rampant in the harem of Raniere.
According to Sylvie, she and John did not have sex with each other for the first two years of their marriage. They were attracted to each other, she says. But they failed to do what almost any normal couple living together, being attracted to each other, would do – have sex.
We will see in a subsequent post that Keith gets there first, ahead of John. Sort of like the old feudal “right of the first night.”
Also evident is the denigrating to women teaching of being ‘lost in the bubble’ which Sylvie explains as “we [women] don’t have to be responsible for anything, we live in fantasy land and everything gets taken care of. You’re lost in the bubble or you’re acting too happy”
And compliant Sylvie, on her very wedding night had to “tone it down.” In other words, not be too happy about something that most women are most happy about – and celebrate with joy — their wedding.
But these filthy pigs, Raniere and Bronfman, would spoil the joy of anyone.
Enter Rosa Laura Junco, the woman that offered her own 15-year-old virgin daughter to the 55-year-old pervert Raniere.
Rosa Laura Junco, who was Sylvie’s coach, also chimed in – as a part of the wolf pack – telling Sylvie “I think Keith suggested that you don’t have sex for two years.”
Of course, Sylvie did not want it this way. Not a hard and fast rule about sex. But she decided to do it.
So, in this respect, some personal responsibility belongs to Sylvie and John. They made their own bed in a sense.
And none of this so far is a crime. If Sylvie decided to marry John and because her Nxivm masters said no sex and she agreed, that is not a crime. It was not exactly a fake marriage. She wanted to marry him for real and good reasons.
It was Nxivm that polluted it. But that is not a crime either.
But as we shall soon see, some crimes were committed.
Stay tuned for Part #7.