Updated: As we debate the issue below, I have removed a photo of Camila and replaced it with a sketch by MK10ART on the previous post about her Breaking News: Camila Turns Against Raniere – Child Sex Abuse Victim Expected to Come From Mexico to Condemn Raniere at Sentencing.
A commenter on this site, who uses the handle “Mexican Lady”, has raised a debatable point: Should a victim/perpetrator get anonymity once she renounces her leader? Should her photo be removed, her last name not published?
Here is Mexican Lady’s comment, addressed to me: “I thought you had mentioned that once [Camila] renounced Raniere you would remove her photo. She is now not only renouncing Raniere, she is taking a stance to take him down. She is one of the main persons that will possibly lead Raniere to have life in Prison. She could have taken Raniere’s side and even helped him get off (like in Michael Jackson’s trial where his victims testified in his favor.) Where is professional journalism, if you don’t keep your word about removing her photo?”
My Reply to Mexican Lady
UPDATED: The quote you referred to is in this article. I wrote, “When Cami quits and offers to help others to get out, I will do the same for her that I did for Nicole and more than a dozen others.”
You left the last, and very important part out — “offers to help others get out.” She has to do more than quit. She has to do something to help others, like Nicole and others did.
No one whose last name or photo was removed failed to help in some way, all of them spoke with me, all of them had far less participation in DOS than Camila. So far I do not see her helping anyone, other than herself.
She is at the 11th hour, 17 days before Raniere’s sentencing. If she does not condemn him now she won’t qualify for victim restitution. By speaking and becoming an adjudicated federal victim, her claims as a plaintiff in the civil lawsuit her sister and others have initiated, suing the Bronfmans, etc., will be stronger.
As for Raniere, he is getting a life sentence either way.
Going forward, I probably will use the MK10ART sketch. I have already stopped using her last name.
However, she is pictured in a critical government document – the first line DOS slave masters which is on the public record. That will likely be published again.
Meantime, let us debate the photograph issue on its merits because it is instructive and I want to hear readers’ opinions.
Does one stop using the last name and photograph of someone who is both a victim and a perpetrator? We know that while Camila was an underage sex abuse victim, when she was an adult, she was working to get Raniere an underage virgin for his pleasure.
On top of that, she was a coconspirator in the rape and sex trafficking of Nicole.
Do They Become Victims the Instant They Say Raniere Abused Them?
Where do you draw the line? If Nicki Clyne were to repudiate Keith Raniere tomorrow, should the media stop using her last name or photo? Should they go back into old archival posts and take her pictures down?
How about Michele Hatchette? After all, she is a Black woman who was branded as a slave. She was not a First Line Master. If she renounces Raniere a year from now, or tomorrow, should her name be removed and her pictures, where she twerks in front of the MDC, be taken offline?
What about men? Is anonymity only for women? If Jim Del Negro abandoned his Vanguard, should I remove his last name and pictures and erase the record of his participation in Nxivm for the last 18 years?
The argument could be made that the time for repudiation was a few years ago. Now, it’s too late. The battle is over.
Camila May Want to Go Public
I do not know if Camila even desires to be anonymous. She may want to go public, make a stand, tell her story. That would be courageous. Courage may cure the feeling of being a victim. Think of Kristin Keeffe, Sarah Edmondson, Bonnie Piesse, Barbara Bouchey, Susan Dones, Sally Brink, and Toni Natalie. They came out long before Raniere was arrested when it was still dangerous to do.
I know the argument will be made that, unlike these brave, adult women, Camila is a child. But, as some readers seem to forget, she is not 15 anymore. She is 30 years old.
Rhiannon, the 12-year-old who was repeatedly raped by Raniere, gave her photo to be published in the Albany Times Union. This was years before Raniere was arrested. So did Gina Melita who courageously used her own full name.
In the anti-Nxivm world, these women are heroines, for they helped expose the pedophile.
Maybe Camila wants her name and photo used. Maybe she is planning to write a book or make a film like India Oxenberg, whose first name only was used at trial though everyone knew who she was.
I’ve published Camila’s photo and name at least 100 times and never heard from her. Her coming out now may be more to help herself than hurt Raniere. After all, Raniere is finished. Others have done the work of taking him down.
Camila has to come out now or never. Raniere will be sentenced in 17 days. She was with him for 17 years.
Raniere’s sentence will be exactly the same whether Camila speaks out against him or not. He is going to be sentenced to life in prison or an effective life sentence for the 60-year-old man.
Camila Is Critical to the Story
Camila is too famous to erase from the history of Keith Raniere. She was, ironically, a critical part of Raniere’s takedown, though she did nothing proactive to help take him down.
The government found nude pictures of Camila on a hard drive stored at Raniere’s “library”. Through her sister, Daniela, through medical records, and computer experts, the feds were able to prove Camila was 15 years old at the time the photos were taken, thus making it child porn.
Once the feds found these photos of Camila and understood what they meant legally, they dropped the bombshell in court – that they found child porn on Raniere’s hard drive. This was February 2019, just months before the scheduled trial.
It caused a domino effect, knocking down Nancy Salzman’s determination to stand trial, followed by her daughter, Lauren, Allison Mack, Clare Bronfman, and Kathy Russell. They all rushed to take plea deals.
Though no effort of her own, Camila’s victimhood at age 15 came to destroy Raniere. He stood trial alone, with no women to protect him, perhaps for the first time in his life.
The other valuable evidence connected to Camila, which was introduced at the trial of Raniere, were texts between her and Raniere.
The prosecutors spent hours reading them to the jury. They had little evidentiary value, in my opinion, other than to establish the probable date when Raniere first had sex with Camila, suggesting, by Camila’s texts, that she was 15 when they first had sex, which was statutory rape. Reading that section of the texts would have taken all of 15 minutes.
But they read other texts, for hours, embarrassing and disgusting texts, mainly to show what a giant asshole Raniere is, how mean and abusive; sadistic and paranoid. These are not crimes, and the prosecution knew it. They read those texts to dirty him up before the jury. It worked wonderfully well.
Maybe it should have been objected to as cumulative. I mean how many times did the jury have to hear Raniere demanding to know from Camila whose semen tasted better or whose genitals were larger, his or a man she had a brief affair with?
It was not Camila who provided those texts to the prosecution. That came from someone else, who happened to obtain them. Camila did not want those texts read in court. At the time of the trial, she was on Raniere’s side and wanted him freed and back with her.
She was an adult woman when she decided not to cooperate with the prosecution.
While we like to infantilize Camila as if she is eternally 15 years old, she is now 30 years old and an adult woman. She made many conscious adult decisions. For the two and half years since Raniere was arrested and up until this moment, she was living in Mexico, not an illegal in the US who was dependent on Raniere. She supported him for two and a half years after his arrest. As an adult, and not under duress.
Only now is she leaving, when Raniere is cooked and she has the opportunity to make some money in the civil lawsuit and possibly get some victim restitution from federal criminal court.
She Was a Victim
This is not to diminish her abuse as a child of 15, seduced by a 45-year-old man, the leader of the group she and her family depended on for their spiritual and educational guidance. She was groomed and indoctrinated. He was abusive, lying to her that she would be the mother of his children and his virgin successor. Then he had a child with her sister. In fact, he slept with both of her sisters.
This pig surely shaped her life and taught her wrong was right and all things were good or evil only as Raniere’s thinking made them so. She had warped teenage years. While she may not have been unhappy being with Keith sexually when she was a teen, under the age of consent, most people will probably agree that at her age she was not competent to give consent to the leader of her community who was 30 years older than she.
Camila is a rape victim, and that militates against her photo or name being used. I would agree with that unequivocally if she had not participated in some of the crimes of DOS.
Before she repudiated Raniere, I argued that her name must be published because she was a leader in DOS, and DOS women recruit other women through deception. To protect other women from Camila, I published her full name and photo.
Not every girl who is raped remains with her rapist and commits crimes on his behalf when she becomes an adult. At some point, personal responsibility kicks in. At some point, Camila is responsible for staying longer than anyone else.
Of course, I understand her reluctance to renounce her Vanguard. He is the father of her sister’s child. Her sister, Marianna, as far as we know, continues to support Raniere. Her father, Hector, at last report, is still an ardent supporter of his Vanguard.
Camila Was Not Just a Victim
Camila was a perpetrator too. She would have testified in Raniere’s defense had she not been at risk of being charged for her alleged criminal activities as a First-Line Master in DOS. The prosecution said that all the First-Line DOS masters were guilty of racketeering because they took collateral from women – their slaves – without telling the women – in fact deliberately lying to them – that Keith Raniere was the leader of DOS. Camila was an unindicted coconspirator with Raniere.
Camila’s Name Is Well Known
Camila is not like Nicole, Jaye or Sylvie, who had minor roles in Nxivm. I stopped using their last names or photos to show my support for them for bravely testifying in the Raniere trial. When they were needed, they came forward. Nicole, Sylvie and Jaye have a chance at being anonymous, though their testimony will be remembered.
Camila is not as fortunate. The Nxivm story is likely to get bigger. “The Vow” on HBO is only the beginning. Like it or not, Camila will not be obscure and her name unknown. She might prefer to get in front of it and tell her story in her own name, rather than hide and have others tell it.
Many people already know her last name. Her family – six members, all in Nxivm – were one of the prime sub-stories of Raniere and his world. They were, in a sense, the first family of Nxivm. Their names will not be forgotten, no more than Kristin Kreuk or Emiliano Salinas. He too renounced Raniere. But no one is suggesting his name and photo be removed.
Yet, Emiliano never recruited any slave to be branded.
A simple online search will reveal Camila’s name outside of Frank Report. In fact, she is named, first name and last, in Wikipedia on “Nxivm.”
All of the main Nxivm members are known, and their images published.
On top of that, Camila never asked me to remove her image. Her sister, Daniela, asked me to remove her image and last name back in early 2016 and I did – but Daniela was part of the anti-Raniere fight long before Raniere was arrested. This was at a time when Camila was trying to recruit virgins for Keith to have sex with.
Should Her Picture Be Used?
Going forward, I may not use her picture. Or her last name. She was truly a victim, but did not want to believe she was a victim into adulthood and, as an adult, helped Raniere commit crimes.
Now, at the last moment, she realizes she is a victim. And immediately her name must be removed, her photos purged from a website that investigates and reports on Nxivm?
If I once said, as Mexican Lady says, that I would remove her picture if she repudiates Raniere, I do not recall it. That must have been some time ago, before the battle was over, at a time when it would have mattered if she came forward. Perhaps Mexican Lady will point out where I said that.
Meantime, I am considering using the painting of Camila by MK10ART. In this story and the last one, I did not use her last name, but I cannot promise this policy will continue. I would like to know what readers think.
Should we eliminate Camila’s photo? Should we use only her first name, even though it is obvious that her family’s name is a big part of the story? What do you think?
I am inclined to stop using her photo going forward but I want to hear what readers think.