You wonder if you have to draw a line somewhere.
In this, our next in our series on Sylvie and her testimony in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere, we learn that Sylvie did the same crimes that the first-line slave masters did: She did the same thing Allison did, and Lauren Salzman did and all of them did.
She knew that Raniere was the leader of DOS, yet she recruited two slaves without telling them.
It seems hypocritical, that she is cast as a pure victim by the government, and yet, she engaged in the same conduct that the co-conspirators did – recruiting through lies, getting collateral through lies.
Stealing their freedom through lies. So, on the one hand, she is telling the jury how horrible DOS was, how she felt she had to obey, but she drew no line in preventing others from being sucked into this horror.
This suggests that either it was not so horrible as she testified and that perhaps she really did think that there was some merit to DOS, or she is just as bad as Allison Mack or Monica Duran, and others, who also saw fit to recruit slaves into a sorority without telling them the one crucial piece of information that might have given them pause – that a man was the leader of the master/slave group.
If it was so horrible for her – because of the collateral – that she should be excused from any culpability – then why aren’t Allison and Lauren excused on the same grounds?
If Allison and Lauren and, according the prosecution, the other six first-line slave masters, are guilty of racketeering because they took collateral from women under false pretenses and then used that as a lever to demand obedience while not revealing that Raniere was in charge, then Sylvie is also guilty.
And if she is a victim, then Allison and Lauren are victims too. Perhaps not as much – but to the extent that collateral was used to force recruitment of others, as an excuse of victimization, then everyone is innocent except Raniere, for he was the only one without collateral.
This is Part #11 of our series on Sylvie. [Links to the earlier stories are at the end of this post.]
She is being examined by AUSA Moira Penza.
Q At some point did you learn whether Monica [Duran] had any other slaves?
A Yeah, at some point she told me that I was going to get to meet someone else that was a slave of hers.
Q And at some point did you?
Q And what was the first name of that person?
A …. Ana Gaby.
Q And who was Ana Gaby?
A … she was involved in another one of Keith’s companies called exo/eso.
Q What was exo/eso?
A It was … a fitness class, it was more to do with, you know, movement and like strength and exercise.
Q And did you speak to Ana Gaby about DOS?
A Yeah, she came over to my house and we had a bit of a conversation about it but we weren’t really sure what we were allowed to say and what we weren’t so it was very kind of fractured but we tried to talk about it a little bit.
Q Did you tell Ana Gaby what had happened with you and the defendant ..[Raniere who took naked pictures of her and performed oral sex on her]?
Q Did you have any interactions with Ana Gaby in any of the NXIVM classes?
A Yeah, at some point I was a mentor in … an intensive that was called Human Pain and Lauren Salzman was the head trainer and she put me as, they call it a mentor of Ana Gaby in that training so we… had already met then so we both knew each other was a slave of Monica’s and so we ended up spending a lot of time together in those eight days.
Q And what did Ana tell you during those days or what did you observe, rather, about Ana Gaby during those days?
A We…. got on really well during those days and I thought that… I really like her. I don’t know what she told me specifically. A lot of the classes, it was structured around me asking her the questions I was supposed to as a mentor in Human Pain but more we just had a lot of fun together and I got to know her. At the time she was doing some kind of liquid diet so I think she was telling me about her diet a bit and she told me about how she had struggled growing up as a dancer — she was a dancer, she was a ballet dancer and how she struggled with her weight growing up and it was hard for her to be the right size to be a dancer ….so she shared some … personal things about her and her life and so I just felt like we became a lot closer during those days.
Q At some point did you have a conversation with Monica about Ana Gaby?
A Yeah, at some point Monica contacted me and said that she was having trouble with Ana Gaby and that Ana Gaby was being like defiant or something and she was worried that … she was going to have to release Ana Gaby’s collateral….
… I remember her saying Keith has mentioned she may need to be the first one to fall or some kind of phrase like that and she was really worried that if Ana Gaby didn’t do what she was being asked, that her collateral would have to be released and she asked me to speak to Ana Gaby.
Q And so what happened after that?
A I called Ana Gaby and I was — sort of asked her what was going on and she was really upset and she seemed angry and she was saying things like this is …. fucked up… she didn’t want to send naked pictures anymore, this whole thing was messed up and it was about — the thing that she wasn’t doing was sticking to her 800 calorie diet that she was supposed to be on and I said — I was trying to persuade her to stick to it because honestly I was worried about her with the collateral as well and I didn’t want her collateral to be released, I was trying to persuade her to do what she was being told to do.
Q At some point were you told about a brand?
Q Do you remember when you were first told about that?
A I don’t remember exactly …. it may have been mentioned at the beginning but it was like it was going to happen at some point and it would get mentioned every now and again that there was going to be like a brand at some point but it wasn’t until closer to the end that I more officially found out what that meant.
Q Had you ever heard of a brand before?
A No, but it was described to me by Monica as it would be a bit like a little tattoo or something she said.
Q At some point you learned more about the brand?
Q When did … Monica have a further conversation with you about the brand?
A When she got her brand.
Q And what happened when she got her brand?
A She showed me the brand and it looked like a bit of a kind of open woundy (sic) scar type thing and she traced it and showed it to me saying that it was Keith’s initials and that when I got a brand it would be a mixture of Keith’s initials and her initials…. And she showed it to me where it was on her body.
Q How did the brand look?
A It didn’t look like a tattoo, it looked more like a cut, like an injury… like a paper cut kind… but much bigger than that, so it was like a slit in the skin but in the shape of a K and an R.
Q At some point were you tasked with recruiting your own slaves?
Q And how did that come to happen?
A Monica Duran asked me to send a list of names of people that I thought might sort of trust me enough to go through the process that I went through with her in terms of our being invited to a special project… that process. So, I sent her a list of names of women that I knew in the community and then she would — was approving or not approving of who on that list I should approach.
Q Do you know what her process was for approving or not approving?
Q Why did you go along with this process?
A Because for me, again, this is another command from my master. I honestly did everything that I was told to do. From what I remember, like I didn’t ever consider that anything was optional, so my master told me to do something, I did it.
Q Did you ultimately recruit a slave?
A I did.
Q And did Monica give you any instructions for that process?
A Yeah, I don’t remember whether she was on one of my lists …. but Monica told me to approach… Samantha [LeBaron] …and so I did approach Samantha.
Q Okay. And how did you talk about the project with Samantha?
A I used pretty much the same kind of… script that Monica did with me. I said it was a special project that would help her become stronger or something — I used I think that word in her life and that I could tell her what it was but only if she gave me collateral.
Q Was the process of recruiting Samantha any different from the process by which you were recruited?
A Yeah, with Samantha, Monica told me that I could, once she had given me the collateral and it had been approved by Monica, then I could … tell Sam what the project was and she could say yes or no, whether she wanted to join it. Like she wasn’t obligated to join it when she knew about it but she just couldn’t say anything about it or we’d release the collateral.
Q And so, what happened with Samantha?
A So, we went through the process of collateral and it was very similar, that the first sort of thing she gave I gave to Monica waiting for Monica to approve it and Monica would say it’s not strong enough and then she would tell me what I should say to Sam — Samantha to help her develop her collateral. Then, in the end, she submitted I would say almost exactly the same thing as me, it was a letter to her family talking about herself as some kind of a prostitute with a picture that we put in an envelope addressed to her family and then that was the collateral that was approved and given to Monica to keep.
Q Did you tell Samantha about the defendant’s involvement in the project?
A No, not then.
Q Why not?
A I was told not to.
Q Who told you not to?
A Monica Duran, my master.
Q Did you recruit any other slaves?
A I did, later on I recruited someone called Regina.
Q And can you describe the process with her?
A Regina was in Guatemala so I spoke to her over the phone because she didn’t live in Albany and she was a leader in SOP but as a woman in the men’s organization and so I thought — I didn’t know her that well but I thought maybe this would appeal to her in some way or something, that’s how I decided to contact her. And I did the same thing, I spoke to her and said there’s a special project, I can, you know, I can tell you about it if you give me collateral and we went through the same process but this — she gave me some collateral that was very upset — like very emotional to her when she told me about it, but it wasn’t anything like what me and Samantha had submitted, it was much more personal …. it wasn’t sexual ….but it was upsetting to her and it seemed to me so much. So, I asked Monica Duran if we could keep that as the collateral but she said, no, we needed like a naked picture or something so we had to get the naked photo from Regina.
Q And did she send the naked photo?
A Yeah. First of all, she sent one that apparently wasn’t full-frontal enough or what Monica said, so I had to ask her to send me another one that showed her entire front.
Q How did you feel about doing that?
A I thought it was disgusting because, for one, I thought what Regina had shared before was obviously so emotional and painful for her that I was embarrassed to approach her and ask for more and definitely for a naked photo and I didn’t know her anywhere near as well as Sam and the whole thing was awkward and horrible.
Q When you recruited your slaves did you tell them that they would be branded?
A I did have to tell them that but I don’t remember if it was in the initial meeting but I definitely told Sam about it and I think I told Regina about it too but I really more remember it with Samantha…. Because she got really upset and was crying and, yeah, I couldn’t really comfort her in that and so that one – that really stuck out to me.
Q Did you ever give any assignments to your slaves regarding the defendant?
A No, I never assigned them to seduce Keith or anything like that.
It is disappointing to see Sylvie as a sort of Judas goat leading women into this horror. There can be such a thing as being a “guilty victim” and she is it.
She cheated on her husband with Raniere. Sneaked into the bathroom and sent him naked pictures. She agreed to not have sex with her husband and then engaged – whether she enjoyed it or not – in sex with Raniere.
At what point does personal responsibility enter into a decent human being’s life?
Sure Sylvie might have allowed the abuse of herself – but when she actually recruited others into this evil sorority that she professed was so dark and so frightening – she leaves her claim of victim behind and joins the villains.
That is not to say she cannot redeem herself. But at this juncture, it is outrageous to say that 30-plus-year-old-woman is just an infant with no mind of her own and no personal responsibility.
She could have drawn the line. Yes, I will cheat on my husband. Yes, I will give collateral. Yes, I will do crazy things because I am ordered to do so. But no, I will not bring anyone else into this horror.
She knew about the branding. She knew about the collateral and the constant demand for more. She even knew it could be released and once in, you’re in. And she knew about the sickness of Raniere. She admitted it in testimony – that she knew the whole thing of DOS was a lie. She knew that when Raniere had sex with her.
But she did not draw the line and save other women. She did not do that.
So how is Sylvie distinguished from the so-called criminals who did just what she did?
It raises three questions: What was heroic in Sylvie? Why is she a victim? Why was her last name withheld, [when the others were not] when she also made slaves and allowed them to suffer? She could have stood up – like a real hero, like Sarah Edmondson, and tried to put an end to this monster’s design.
Sylvie knew better than anyone. She had been forced to endure, she said, Raniere’s unwanted sexual attention. Why didn’t she try to warn Samantha and Regina and save them?
Save them from the beast? Does she get a pass, because Raniere had collateral on her? He had collateral on Allison Mack, who gets no pass for the very same conduct.
Part #1: Sylvie Explains What Nxivm Course Was Really Like – Rare Glimpse Into the World of Nxivm Cult
Part #2: Sylvie Explains Her Struggle With Anorexia and How Nancy Salzman Ordered Her to Gain Weight
Part #3: Raniere Teaches Sylvie That Men Should Have Sex With Multiple Partners and Women Should Be Loyal to Only One Man
Part # 4 Women Wearing ‘Little Princess’ Outfits or Cow Udders – Sylvie Explains the Humiliation of Women in SOP – Nxivm’s Men’s Group
Part #5 Sylvie Being Trained Insanely by Keith Raniere and Clare Bronfman
Part #6 Keith Raniere Lets Sylvie Get Married, but ‘No Sex’ With Your Husband for Two Years!
Part #7 Sylvie Describes Her Collateral – a Letter to Her Parents That She Was a Prostitute
Part #8 Sylvie Joins DOS, Is Assigned to Seduce Raniere, Sends Him Naked Photos and Her Father Finds Them
Part #9 Raniere Calls Sylvie to His Place, Takes Naked Pictures, Then Shocks and Disgusts Her by Going Down on Her
Part #10 Sylvie Describes Disgusting Collateral She’s Forced to Provide Slave Master Monica Duran
[…] Part #11 Sylvie Recruits Slaves and Lies to Them Too – Not Revealing Raniere’s Involvement […]
I think it would be awesome, Frank, if you published a piece just explaining coercive control.
Cults are built on coercive control. NXIVM is built on it. Keith is the poster boy for it.
There’s a link below outlining how it works. Who knows, you might even save some of your readers from abusive relationships and/or other cults!
1) love bombing
2) data mining
4) pressure to do things you don’t want to do
5) rules and regulations
7) physical, economic and/or sexual abuse
11) inserting into relationships
12) stalking (&/or having you monitored)
13) criticism & verbal abuse
Sound familiar? The link below also offers help and support for people recovering from this or looking to escape an unhealthy situation.
Cami didn’t get any virgins at the end of the day for Keith. Sylvie recruited and got collateral of more women than Cami. Sylvie endangered more women. Why does she get a free pass on the site to not have her full name and picture disclosed?
You could argue that Cami’s photo took down Keith and pushed his inner circle to cooperate.
I think it is a double standard. I think that if Frank Report is not posting the picture and name of Sylvie, it should do the same for Cami. Give the woman a chance to rebuild her life.
She is still with Nxivm at last report. Do you think it would be better if she rebuilt her life outside of Nxivm and the influence of the Boone brothers and Jack Levy?
Can she escape them? Has Frank Report done a report on the Boone brothers and Jack Levy? Do you need help doing that investigation?
Thanks, Frank, for clarifying. I think it is hard to escape if they are trafficking you 🙁
Anyway happy to help investigate those Boone brothers or Jack levy. Do they have their own self-help groups in MTY?
The Boone brothers have closed their center in Monterrey and the Garzas have shuttered the Rainbow Cultural Garden experiment there. At last report, they are contemplating changing the name and recruiting students. Cami, at last report, is under the care and protection of Jack Levy and is waiting for the moment – expected any day now – when Raniere will be released from prison.
This is the nature of RICO fraud cases, you have the lower level bad guys (and gals) turn on the higher level ones, because the prosecution wants to punish the top of the heap. The prosecution cuts deals with the lower level criminals in order to virtually guarantee a conviction at the top. As I’ve said, and Scott has said many times, there are no good guys (or gals) in NXIVM.
With all you know, Frank, all we’ve read right here on FR combined with what we learned filming “Lost Women,” it’s curious that you put Allison on par with Lauren Salzman.
While Allison, indeed, did no worse than Sylvie or Monica or Rosa Laura — any of the harem — Lauren’s crimes and her pay off clearly far exceed the lot of them.
Why are you, Frank Parlato, so sheepishly adhering to the same strategy being used to contain the crimes to Keith’s “inner circle” when you well know better?
I feel Junco is worse than Lauren Salzman because of her money. She can easily recruit a large network of women doing massive sex trafficking. But I agree with you Heidi, that Lauren is much much worse than Mack and committed far worse crimes. Thank you for speaking up
I wouldn’t really call her heroic at all. She took the stand to probably save her own ass. A selfish act, not selfless. Victim? How can anyone ever define any of these Nxians as victims? Maybe a victim of ignorance, which some say is bliss. As for her last name, thanks to Instagram and the simple fact she’s talking about her journey and surviving the cult, Sylvie Loyed is happily married with a cute new black puppy that even Mark Vicente, Sara Edmonson and India Oxenburg love.
“She knew that Raniere was the leader of DOS, yet she recruited two slaves without telling them”
And this was enough for DOJ to condemn Allison as a criminal associate…despite the fact that the reality of the trial showed that she was no different than the victims…
Worse yet, Allison was deeply seriously and sometime violently abused (both physically and mentally) but she is on the defendant’s stand.
If after this kind of info, people don’t understand why i claim Allison was a victim…
“It seems hypocritical, that she is cast as pure victim by the government, and yet, she engaged in the same conduct that the co conspirators did – recruiting through lies, getting collateral through lies.”
Agreed (should have seen that before writing previous statement)
Actually it’s worst…
Allison was coerced but was under a mental control throu drugging, starvation and sleep deprivation! So she have redeeming factors but it was ignored (willingly) by d.a.
“or she is just as bad as Allison Mack”
And you talk about being hypocrit…btw it’s stupid to state this as you refuse to see the facts…Allison isn’t bad, never was EVER.
She was dragged by force into a situation were she was unable to decide what she could do .
So if you don’t know something, don’t talk about it.
I’ll use the words of Nicole about Allison “she was caring and loving…”
This is a common thing said about her frequently but ignored by you as you try to depict her as the bad person she isn’t .
So you are forced to make false story to be able to fit your “narrative” but it’s not working well, is it?
so much contradiction with your point of view and reality.
Now if you stick with facts and see Allison for the person she is… a good person caught in a bad place, it all start to make sense.
I don’t expect you to stop with your lies against her. heck, i start to believe that you acting much like a troll baiting Allison’s supporter and friend.
I admit i’m sensitive with Allison’s subject as i’m fed up with your false accusation but i probably, in the process, feed the troll you are.
Maybe i should give up but at the same time, if i can bring someone who would be gullible enough to believe your BS to see the truth, it’s worth it!
“And if she is a victim, then Allison and Lauren are victims too. Perhaps not as much”
Lauren no, she participate the crime before her coercion and joyfully…dragging people like Nicole, Sylvie and Allison into the ditch.
Allison is definately more a victim than Sylvie and by FAR!
I won’t list, again , the many abuse that she had to go throu but it 10 times what Sylvie endured!
” but to the extent that collateral was used to force recruitment of others, as an excuse of victimization, then everyone is innocent except Raniere, for he was the only one without collateral.”
And that’s technically what the doj did…but they refused to consider each as a victim an randomly choosed who would be the scapegoat (in this case, they aimed the same weak point as raniere did…and it’s Allison)
Like i said MANY time, in this story : Either Allison is a victim too or there is no victim at all!
Allison was in the same exact position as each of the other victim, often worst!
They (the victim) didn’t had to support the beating, the punishment (atleast not in Allison’s group as no one said she punished anyone…but many saw her being punished (caged, ridiculed, beaten (by a pseudo martial art expert),…)
“Q Did you tell Ana Gaby what had happened with you and the defendant ..[Raniere who took naked pictures of her and performed oral sex on her]?
And another excuse used against Allison to blame her happened to someone else but without consequence for that person…clearly not biased!
Had she got good lawyers, Allison would be free now and acquited!
“A She showed me the brand and it looked like a bit of a kind of open woundy (sic) scar type thing and she traced it and showed it to me saying that it was Keith’s initials and that when I got a brand it would be a mixture of Keith’s initials and her initials…. And she showed it to me where it was on her body.”
Except that we know it isn’t true either…the only initial there are raniere’s initial.
This testimony is debunking once and for all the Allison’s initial that some continue to support…Some including Edmondson who wasn’t close to Allison or “recruited” by her…But whatever they know better than reality and facts, right?
“Q Why did you go along with this process?
A Because for me, again, this is another command from my master. I honestly did everything that I was told to do. From what I remember, like I didn’t ever consider that anything was optional, so my master told me to do something, I did it.”
So for her, without any input from anyone else, without blackmail, this is ok to go with the whole thing as she was undirectly blackmailed and coerced…
BUT for Allison who was directly blackmailed (several proof were displayed about it including the interview where the interviewer pointed the coercive intervention of lauren and raniere to force Allison to take the blame publicly).
Nope, it doesn’t work…
So Sylvie do the same as Allison under less coercive pressure but Allison is culprit and Sylvie is a poor poor poor victim.
Let’s make it clear, to me , Sylvie IS a victim but so is Allison.
Once again, with a good lawyer, Allison would have been fully acquitted with all charges dismissed!
“A I thought it was disgusting because, for one, I thought what Regina had shared before was obviously so emotional and painful for her that I was embarrassed to approach her and ask for more and definitely for a naked photo and I didn’t know her anywhere near as well as Sam and the whole thing was awkward and horrible.”
Yet she did it again…
“A I did have to tell them that but I don’t remember if it was in the initial meeting but I definitely told Sam about it and I think I told Regina about it too but I really more remember it with Samantha…. Because she got really upset and was crying and, yeah, I couldn’t really comfort her in that and so that one – that really stuck out to me.”
And yet; despite this, she continued for a bit and didn’t get the girl out…i don’t see anyone saying “burn Sylvie, burn Sylvie!!!”
She was a victim who did worst than Allison but Allison can’t be seen as a victim…how fair!
” like a real hero, like Sarah Edmondson,”
come on!!! she is anything but a hero…she’s as much a judas as Sylvie but without the coercion behind as she did it on her free will for 20 years!!!
Let’s be clear, if it wasn’t for sarah or vicente, DOS might not have happened at all!
They were pure enabler who participated. And reminder for your selective memory
sarah didn’t come out with this for quite some time! she participate DOS at the beginning until her husband got her to bail out.
Her husband is more a hero than this pathetic opportunist person.
“Save them from the beast? Does she get a pass, because Raniere had collateral on her? He had collateral on Allison Mack, who gets no pass for the very same conduct.”
Simple answer…judicial mistake.
It’s a fact that legally Sylvie must be considered as a victim due to the collateral but due to faulty judicial system and faulty incompetent assistant da , faulty FBI agent (junior member to explain the why),and faulty lawyers that Allison had,
Allison was badged as the sole leader at the beginning…
Eventually Allison was demonstrate (during pre trial and during the trial) to be nothing else but a victim…but it was too late and her ridiculous lawyer made do a pathetic plea deal where she recognized crime she never committed!
But to be fair, there is another reason…
DOJ managed to convince the “victims” to blame Allison for raniere’s action.
While Nicole didn’t really do it as she showed that Allison wasn’t not in control of anything, Jayes was well manipulated into enraging on Allison (while nothing happened to her at all).
But what about Sylvie, none of the girl came to fill a complaint (maybe still worried about their collaterals and the fact that DOS is not completly destroyed).
Samantha and Regina were never called as witness.
Still, Jayes was witnessing against India before DOJ screwed her mind to blame Allison and India who committed the exact same crimes is never worried (especially around here were fr would never dare to say anything wrong against cat’s daughter…plus blaming Allison is a good way for cat to not take responsability for HER mistakes.
Anyway, under proper circumstance, if justice was properly administrated, Only raniere, salzmans and maybe bronfman as she financed the crime would have been to the trial as defendant…
Allison should have been on the witness stand as a victim (and so Kathy should be)…
But it’s USA and justice has been broken forever…
Most countries would never punish follower of a CULT, most countries wouldn’t either consider the CULT as a criminal organization to be able to use RICO laws…
Most countries would actually have given a FAIR TRIAL.
When you see the amount of “culprit” that were left scold free and the kind of blame they put on the shoulder of one of the biggest victim, you have justice in america!
I think FRank you should have been Keith’s defense. Your article does a great job of attacking the “victims” of the prosecution. You point very interesting holes to the story of the prosecution of SLyvie being a victim. I agree with you. I do not see Sylvie as a victim. I am upset she did not have the guts to say “No” and not recruit new women. But maybe most people are mindless sheep. What can we do? Maybe it is helpful to understand that most are mindless sheep
Sylvie recruited more slaves than Camilla. Why does Frank Report post Camilla’s picture but not Sylvie’s? Recruiting people into an organization you know is fraud is bad. It seems a double standard on Camilla who is a victim, like Sylvie in my opinion
Sorry, Frank, I see you’re not posting my comment probably because I said Sylvie’s last name. Would you get in trouble if you did? If so, could you take out her last name and post my comment, please? Thanks.
No I would not get in trouble if I mentioned Sylvie’s last name. I am voluntarily trying to protect her privacy. She did get out and she helped in the prosecution of the villainous Raniere. That’s far more than Cami did. If it were up to Cami, she’d engineer a jailbreak tomorrow.
Agree, completely, Mexican Lady.
Sylvie is a White Lady, ML, by now you should have picked up on the white supremacy sympathies of this site.
You raise an interesting point. Both were victims and both were to some degree perpetrators. The one difference to my mind is that Sylvie is out of Nxivm. She not only is out, she stepped forward and worked to take down Keith Raniere exposing herself to public shame etc. by being a witness. That gives her some credit in my book.
Camila on the other hand, not only did nothing to take down Raniere, but tried her best to defend him and continued to work for Nxivm and its gruesome child experiment Rainbow Cultural Garden – even after Raniere’s arrest and trial.
As far as being equal victims/villains, Cami I think was far more of both. Don’t forget Cami was out actively seeking virgins for Keith.
Thank you for your intellectual views on these women. I totally understand now. Is this how the courts made their decision? If they turned on their Master, then they would be shown leniency and have the last name left out of the public?
To me it doesn’t really seem like Allison Mack sex-trafficked Nicole, so do you think that the courts used strong-arm tactics to make her turn? Did they stack charges on Allison to take a lesser charge? I’m still uncertain as to what Allison did that was actually illegal.