Susan Dones was the 7th victim to speak at the sentencing of Keith Alan Raniere. Altogether, there were 15 victims who spoke at the hearing – and if we assign a prorated number, then each of the 15 contributed eight years to Raniere’s sentence.
They can be proud of that. And if the average word count of their statements were 1,200 words each, then each word added 2.5 days to Raniere’s sentence.
Of course, it doesn’t work quite that way, but the fact that 15 diverse and separate victims, 13 women and 2 men, each gave their own tale of horror and abuse was impressive and shocking and had a cumulative effect of what appeared to be a man sitting before them who was, in reality, a monster.
The statements of all the victims were unsworn
The victims who spoke prior to Susan Dones were:
When Susan Dones refers to Raniere’s pack of wolves, she is referring to his inner circle of women, led by Nancy Salzman who would go in and do Raniere’s bidding to persuade, cajole, manipulate, guilt, threaten or plead to a woman who was not doing what Raniere wanted. Dones has said that various members of the wolf pack would assume different roles with the same woman, one playing good cop, one the bad cop, one telling a woman how much she was missing, another appealing to her sense of keeping her word, etc. etc. until the targeted woman was beaten down and agreed to remain with the organization.
Here is Susan Dones’ statement:
Thank you, your Honor, members of the prosecution, the defense team, and Keith Raniere for hearing my statement.
My name is Susan Dones. I was a member of ESP/NXIVM from December 2000 to April 2009.
Where do you start with a man who calls himself innocent – but during his entire adult life has gotten away with a great deal of criminal activity. Raniere calls himself a humanitarian but has done so many inhumane things to people.
Raniere calls the justice system one of the most important things about our country but has spent years using it as a weapon in an attempt to destroy his enemies who dare to tell the truth about his repulsive and criminal activities.
Now, when he’s about to face his sentencing, he’s pulled out all the stops in an attempt, once again, get out of trouble by using his believers to wreak havoc upon the court by crying wolf about a fair trial and evidence tampering.
I have suffered from night terror dreams for years after leaving NXIVM. I also suffer from PTSD and anxiety. My night terrors mostly stopped within a few months of you being arrested. My night terrors started back up when your group of believers started an attempt to get your sentencing delayed and get you a new trial. We deserve our closures – and to have you sentenced.
Keith, you have been pampered by a group of mostly women who attended to your every need. You have treated them as slaves for food, clothing, money, covering your gambling debts, criminal activities, pimping women for you, just to name a few. Then you turn around and abuse them physically, emotionally, and spiritually. You have entangled them into your web of mind-bending abuse, and if they dare to break free, you send your pack of wolves in to gain control over them, do your dirty work, and keep them in line.
If they leave quietly, you smear them within the NXIVM community as a thief, an extortionist, et cetera. If they dare to speak out, a lawsuit or two awaits them. This shows others to keep their mouths shut or else.
Each passing year when you were not stopped by authorities, your behavior got worse until finally, you created DOS, which was the final tipping point at stopping you with your reign of terror. Keith, you’re an evil man who put together an army of powerful soldiers to keep your prisoners in line.
The fact that you’ve had access to your believers while at MDC is beyond me. This needs to be stripped from you from this day forward. Who knows what you will create next using them as a weapon of destruction.
Your victims, us, should not have to worry. We need to be safe – and not worry about what you will do if you have the ability to continue to use them.
I have a video from our three-day meetings that we had with you where you have stated that you have had people killed for your beliefs. I have been afraid of that. Will I be one of them?
I came into ESP during the early years. There was just the 16-day program. Back then, there was no Google to search who you were; had there been, I would have walked away just because of the CBI days, where over 25-plus State Attorneys General and 2 federal agencies came after you for your Ponzi scheme and that New York State shut you down.
There was a reason you were not the owner of NXIVM; you had been barred from running anything close to an MLM, but NXIVM was another Ponzi scheme set up like an MLM.
Everyone knows you ran NXIVM. It was you, Keith, no one did anything without your approval. But you set it up as if Nancy Salzman was the owner and ran it.
At the time I took my training, ESP was brand new. I took the second 16-day company training offered.
The company was looking for people to open up satellite centers. I was with an entire group from another training program who had come to learn about the so-called new technology and this new business adventure. I opened the first off-site center in Tacoma, Washington, not knowing you were running a Ponzi scheme. It was very cleverly covered up. I don’t think your entire staff knew it was a Ponzi scheme. Only those closest to you in your very inner circle, maybe only those who had been with you for years at this point knew.
You got your entire leadership, your wolf pack, to lie for you. You were sleeping with students and your entire Executive Board, gambling in the commodities market, borrowing money from students long before the Bronfmans came in, for your margin calls.
All the while, having everybody telling us that you were an ethical man. This is not ethics in most people’s opinion, certainly not mine. Had I known the truth, I would have walked out day one.
When I started to catch on that things were not right, I started to ask questions. In return, I got emotionally abused; but not by you, by your wolf pack. You’re not even man enough to come to me directly. You were too busy enjoying your women and sleeping off late-night volley ball. You sent your women after me while you lived your pampered lifestyle.
Luckily for me, I lived in the Pacific Northwest and I had a strong enough sense of myself. That was my saving grace for me not to fall prey to your mind-bending games. I know that pissed you off.
I was deeply in debt from setting up my center and I loved training the 16-day program. I had enough control over my center, so I stayed. I took the beatings and I worked to get out of debt. But that wasn’t enough for you. I was asked to take more and more trainings – and if I didn’t, there were stiff consequences. My different sources of income would get cut off and my debt grew. You got more and more abusive by sending in more wolves.
You knew I didn’t like you, trust you, and that you would never be my master. What you did like was my work ethic and my ability to get things done, so you used me until you could replace me in the Pacific Northwest.
I started to find out more things on the Internet, asked too many questions. Your thirst for women was clear, and I became a problem for you, and the abuse got worse. You set up to poison the people closest to me that I had anger issues and I might be a suppressive. You and your wolves created problems at my center where there really wasn’t one. I saw you do the same thing with Barbara Bouchey in Albany at the same time that she was questioning things about you too.
My final straw with the company is when Nancy Salzman had a meltdown in front of me at her house. She told me everything as if I was her priest. She told me about the NXIVM cartel, the cash of millions coming over the border from Mexico, and that you were not going to pay taxes on that cash which only leaves money laundering, as Mexico was NXIVM’s cash cow.
That day I knew two things had to happen. I had to figure out my escape plan as I was not going to support NXIVM’s illegal activities. And that by leaving and knowing that I knew this information, I was going to end up in trouble. I figured that you were either going to come after me with a phony lawsuit as you had done so many times with other people or, worse, that you were going to kill me. I was scared for my life.
When I left NXIVM, you pressed criminal charges against me for extortion because I asked for my commissions and my book of business that I created in the Pacific Northwest, the value that you got paid on for nine more years until NXIVM got shut down. You inherited Barbara Jeske’s book of business when she died. That was part of my book of business. Mine, it just disappeared into thin air as if I had done nothing for nine years and that profit went into your pocket.
Then you abused me more by filing a lawsuit against me and my wife in our bankruptcy court. All of that debt was NXIVM’s debt. It took two years of my life because I couldn’t work a full-time job because I was a pro se defendant. So I picked up work on the weekends because court is closed on weekends. You and your Legal Liaison person filed over 230 claims against us – and Clare Bronfman paid for seven attorneys against two pro se defendants. You deposed everyone in our case that were defectors against NXIVM claiming that it was a conspiracy, which was a projection on your part.
Keith Raniere, you are a dangerous man. You formed an army within the MDC. You were caught with several burner phones. You set up a Ponzi scheme under Nancy Salzman’s name.
You were then found guilty of horrible crimes and your disgrace of humanity smacks of a man that’s not fit to be in society ever. My hope is that this judge requires that you are cut off from all ties of anybody that has ever been in NXIVM.
This is the only way that I believe that your believers that still follow you will ever have a chance of having a normal life because they will not get the daily dose of their master – and the rest of us can finally live in the peace that we deserve, for many of us.
You have a saying that those that have the most joy win. Let me tell you today that we here are winning.
Thank you, Your Honor.