Lawyers for Keith Alan Raniere have submitted to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis an 86-page sentencing memorandum on behalf of their client. In it, they seek to persuade the judge to sentence Raniere to 15 years, the minimum required by federal law for Raniere’s conviction on sex trafficking charges.
This is the fifth in our series based on the filing:
My comments are in [brackets and bold].
By Marc Agnifilo and Paul DerOhannesian II
At the time that DOS was created in 2015, Raniere had been in intimate relationships with six of the eight first-line DOS members, many of them for many years.
He certainly did not need DOS to have sex partners.
[Actually he had a constant need for more and younger women than those of his aging harem.]
As his personal history to this point made clear, there were many women who took an interest in Raniere in various ways, including wanting to pursue an intimate relationship.
[Actually he was aging, and had became impotent and flabby and he was finding less and less women in their teens and 20s who found him attractive. Several women of DOS told me that they were not attracted to him, yet because of the manipulation of DOS – including seduction assignments – they endured sex with him.]
Moreover, membership as a first-line DOS member did not necessarily entail having such a relationship with Raniere.
Rosa Laura Junco was a first-line DOS member and the evidence is uncontroverted that Raniere was not in a sexual relationship at any time with her.
[Instead Rosa Laura, who was too old for Raniere, was induced to offer her 15 year old virgin daughter to him.]
Indeed, of the first-line members, the only person who started a sexual relationship with Raniere after the creation of DOS was Allison Mack.
[And Mack was involved in sex trafficking other women, her slaves, to have sex with Raniere.]
As will be discussed below, Ms. Mack had her own reasons for pursuing this relationship as a way of her achieving certain goals that were unique and private to her. Therefore, the notion that Raniere created DOS to have sex partners is flatly contradicted by the actual evidence as well as by common sense.
Moreover, the disingenuousness of the Government’s position that DOS was for the purpose of rendering sex partners is demonstrated by several things.
First, it is significant that this prosecution was in no way initiated by someone who once had an intimate relationship with Keith Raniere. If the Government is right and DOS was created to have sex with unsuspecting women, one would expect that at least one such woman would be the person to blow the whistle on such widespread, clearly illegal conduct. However, this never happened.
Rather, as the trial evidence showed, this prosecution was initiated by Mark Vicente and Sarah [Edmondson] whose Vancouver Center was failing economically and who, partly because of their own relationships, wanted to leave NXIVM.
[Mark was shocked by the branding and Sarah when she discovered she was branded with Raniere’s initials became deeply distressed.]
While each of them made allegations that DOS was created for purposes of sex, the evidence is uncontroverted that Raniere never had, tried to have, or made any overture whatsoever to have, any physical relationship with Sarah.
[Actually, as Lauren Salzman testified, Raniere told her that Sarah would have to have sex with him if he ordered it and that his commands superseding her relationship with her husband.]
So, when Sarah tells the world that DOS was created for Raniere to have sex, this report, bold and untrue as it is,
is not based on first-hand information.
Ironically, Sarah’s own report is proven untrue by the fact that she herself was in DOS and never had sex with Raniere.
[It seems he was setting her up for sex based on conversations he had with Lauren.]
Yet, it was a sufficiently incendiary allegation that it started to turn people against Raniere and led to a wild media campaign based on fundamentally false information.
Second, Jay, Nicole and Sylvie, each of whom testified, expressed uniformly positive and loving sentiments in the form of emails, text messages, handwritten notes and letters to Raniere and others about their experiences in DOS and with Raniere himself. This is so even after the events they testified to at trial that they now characterize as crimes.
[The fact that they had collateral held over them – collateral that they understood was going to be released if they did not obey – might have contributed to their false flattery.]
It simply doesn’t make sense that if these women were victims of unwanted predation by Raniere that they would say the specific things they said in the days, weeks and months after.
By this point, we are all familiar with the complex psychological consequences that people go through when they are the survivors of sexual predation and assault. There are certainly times when a crime victim falsely says positive things about a person who assaulted him or her. However, there are also times where there was no assault and where the person is saying positive things because that is what the person actually believes at the time.
The defense maintains that the evidence shows that the statements of Jay, Nicole and Sylvie that are positive and loving toward Raniere are genuine and authentic statements of their belief at the time they made these statements. Therefore, the question becomes why did they change?
Why did they go from viewing Raniere positively and lovingly to testifying at the trial that while they expressed consent to Raniere, they only did so because they were worried about their collateral being released?
This brings us to the third reason.
Third, several of the women testifying against Raniere were pressured, coerced and otherwise convinced to testify that what happened to them with Raniere was without their consent.
[This is actually not true. All three women were disgusted and fearful of Raniere prior to the prosecution. Jaye and Nicole escaped before the FBI began investigating.]
For example, Nicole was threatened, according to her own testimony, by Frank Parlato and the prospect of Parlato releasing her name and even her collateral, which he claimed to have, to the public solely because she was seen as a NXIVM sympathizer.
[This is entirely false. Nicole asked me to remove her name from the website and I did. I did persuade her to go to the FBI – something she was not particularly inclined to do. She was terrified of Raniere.]
The reason Parlato felt the need to threaten Nicole with the release of her collateral is because Nicole had no intent, if left to her own volition, to report anything to law enforcement. It was not until she was threatened by a blogger with the ability to widely publicize whatever information he saw fit that she for the first time spoke with law enforcement.
[That is not true. I had removed all mention of her from Frank Report. She had nothing to fear. She told me her story. I knew she had been sex trafficked and that Raniere had perpetrated grave crimes against her. I encouraged her to go to law enforcement. I set up a meeting with Catherine Oxenberg and both of us put her in touch with attorney Neil Glazer, who arranged for her to tell the authorities about her crime. She did not do this out of fear of me but out of courage to stop the monster.]
By the time she spoke with the FBI, her account had been heavily influenced by several people. She was solicited by Mark Vicente and Sarah (whom we now know to be her co-plaintiffs in the civil action against Raniere and others). She met with India’s mother at a location in lower Manhattan and she was exposed to a battery of psychologists and cult deprogrammers all lined up to “help” her appreciate that she was victimized by Raniere and Allison Mack and others.
[Funny – before any of this occurred Nicole spoke with me – first – and told me she was a terrible victim of Raniere.]
This resulted in Nicole developing a narrative of events that is completely at odds with a wealth of written material from her time in DOS.
[Funny, Nicole’s first telling of what happened to her with Raniere to me is almost identical with what she testified on the witness stand. Her story did not change at all.]
In regard to India, Mark Vicente testified to his efforts to bring India from being a NXIVM sympathizer to an NXIVM opponent, including appearing at her family’s home in California and yelling at her, and then appearing at her place of business in Brooklyn with a movie camera and crew.
[Mark did not appear at her workplace with a camera and crew. That is fiction.]
If these women had truly been subjected to unwanted sexual advances by Raniere, no one would have had to go to such lengths to coopt them to the anti-NXIVM side.
[India was still ‘brainwashed’ for a time. She finally, with her mother and grandmother’s help, with Mark and others, realized that Raniere was a demon.]
Fourth, the Government divided the world of DOS members into two types: the perpetrators and the victims. However, this division proved to be entirely artificial and false, precisely because the truth is there were no victims and no perpetrators. For instance, in the original complaint that led to Raniere being abducted in Mexico, India was co-conspirator number 2. This is because at the time, she refused to align herself with the “camp” led by Vicente and Sarah.
However, the pressure campaign instituted against her apparently worked, at least to a certain extent, and she at one point abandoned the pro-NXIVM “camp.”
[India might have been charged. The prosecution exercised discretion as to who should be charged and who should not be charged. Several leaders of Nxivm were not charged. But in the end, while there is a hybrid of those who are victims/perpetrators, the real monsters were charged. India was not a major leader of Nxivm or DOS. Her only alleged crime was to obey Allison who wanted to traffic Jay to Raniere. It never happened because Jay escaped.]
When she stopped being seen as a NXIVM supporter and became a NXIVM detractor, at least in part, her status in the case magically changed, even though there were no new facts developed, and she became a victim. This dynamic – that if a person actively renounces Raniere and NXIVM, the Justice Department would view that person as a victim – was well known to all potential witnesses and was used strategically by the prosecution to gather witnesses.
The trial evidence failed to show that DOS was created for the purposes of sex. Indeed, this was never something passed upon by the jury.
[No, sex is not illegal. But the coercion that resulted in sex or attempted sex trafficking – that was passed upon by the jury and they found Raniere guilty.]
So, even at this stage, there has been no affirmative finding that Raniere created DOS for the purposes of sex. Rather, as shown below, DOS was a natural, if somewhat more intense, outgrowth of NXIVM teachings that were familiar to many.
[The rascal might have got away with it had he not branded and blackmailed women – and if he had not instructed his first line slaves to lie to their recruits that he had not role in DOS, when he was the grandmaster of DOS and its founder. Nice try guys, but I doubt the judge will find this persuasive.]
This is not to say that DOS was known to anyone not in DOS. The evidence was very clear that DOS was a secret organization and was only known to its members and to Raniere.
[Until Frank Report let everyone in Nxivm know https://frankreport.com/2017/06/05/part-1-branded-slaves-and-master-raniere-sources-human-branding-part-of-raniere-inspired-womens-group/]