By Katherine Elm
You may recognize ex-Nxian Susan Dones from her many TV appearances, including Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of Nxivm” and HBO’s “The Vow” Nxivm docuseries. She was a member of Executive Success Programs/Nxivm for about 10 years – and she founded and headed the Seattle-Tacoma Nxivm Training Center.
She left Nxivm and closed her center in 2009 when, along with eight other women, she met with Keith Raniere to try to work out concerns about how Raniere and Salzman were running the company.
Dones was left with the chilling impression that her worst suspicions were confirmed over those three days of meetings.
It was also at one of those meetings where Raniere made the controversial statement, “I’ve had people killed for my beliefs.”
A recent Frank Report post about Susan Dones related her story about how Nancy insisted she write a false profession of her ardor for Nancy, which was later used against Susan in court. Susan’s claim that it was a false letter – and that she had no romantic interest in Nancy was met with skepticism by one reader, who claims he/she is a former Nxivm member; that claim is unconfirmed.
The alleged, anonymous ex-Nxian wrote: “I was in Nxivm, and I had heard that Susan had ‘a huge crush on Nancy.’”
Apparently, that piece of gossip [and it is only gossip since the ex-Nxian did not write that she heard this from Susan] is meant to contradict Dones’ claim that Nancy Salzman tried to seduce her for the purpose of obtaining collateral.
Dones says that Salzman attempted to ‘feel her up’ during a car ride. The no-nonsense Dones suspects this act was not a true act of unbridled passion, but rather a seduction assignment given to Mama Salzman by Vanguard/Keith Raniere.
Salzman reportedly followed up the feel by demanding that Dones pen and send a letter to her expressing her romantic passion and lust.
Dones says she had no such feelings for Salzman but gave in to the Prefect’s insistence that sending a phony love letter was some kind of Nxivm exercise in self-improvement.
The problem is that letter could be used as collateral against Dones because she was in a committed relationship with another woman.
The anonymous, unverified ex-Nxian says:
“In fact, what I had heard is that Susan had feelings for Nancy and was upset that the affection wasn’t reciprocated. If that were true, then it’s highly possible Susan wrote a letter to Nancy, got rejected, and then needed to come up with a story for how and why she wrote that letter.”
In reply to the anonymous, supposed ex-Nxivm member, Susan wrote:
By Susan Dones,
People are going to believe what they want, I don’t care.
It’s odd that I’ve been with the same person [Kim Woolhouse] since 1994 if I had this mad crush on Nancy for nine years, don’t you think? Who would put up with that?
Two or three times in my legal battle with Nxivm, the letter to Nancy showed up. I don’t remember if it showed up in my first deposition. I do, however, know it showed up in Kim’s deposition, but she already knew about it. She knew about the assignment. She knew about it when I had to do it.
It also showed up at trial while I was on the witness stand – and NXIVM’s attorneys tried to make me look like a jilted lover. I was questioned about it under oath. My story has never changed about the letter. Nxivm’s story about the letter didn’t work with the judge.
Did I at one time look up to and respect Nancy? Yes.
Did I at one time love her as a dear friend? Yes.
Was I in love with her or crushed out on her? No.
She betrayed me, she emotionally abused me, and she used me for her personal financial gain. Along with Keith, Clare, Lauren and others who were not arrested.
In reply to Were Raniere’s Legal Rights Violated?
Raniere is doing what he always does. Not taking any personal responsibility for his actions.
He needs to take blame and responsibility 2400 times and maybe he will finally see he was responsible for getting himself right where he is today, GUILTY ON ALL COUNTS.
I didn’t attend the trial except for the closing arguments.
During those closing arguments, the Department of Justice (DOJ) told the jury where they could find the evidence for every count Raniere was charged with.
Every single page, every testimony, every picture, EVERYTHING that proved Raniere was guilty of every charge against him.
There wasn’t a shadow of a doubt that he was guilty of every charged crime left in anyone’s mind when the DOJ was done with their closing arguments.
Then Raniere’s team was up to bat.
What a joke.
They didn’t bring one iota of evidence to the table to prove he was innocent of any of the crimes he had been charged with.
Nope. Instead, his attorney told a metaphorical story about a boy who was raised by a dad who made him study hard in his room all alone. He grew up to be a successful lawyer but found out his father never loved him.
What the heck? We were all shaking our heads. Talk about a strikeout for the Raniere Dream Team. First, you don’t put on a defense – and now you don’t have a closing argument?
Then to seal the deal, the DOJ had the last bite at the apple:
They got up and reminded the jury of all Raniere’s wrongdoings. They held up the hard drive with the pictures of the 15-year-old girl’s nude pictures – and they pointed to Raniere.
Raniere looked deflated. He let out a noise as if he’d been punched in the stomach, and then DOJ ended its presentation. .
After six weeks of testimony and closing arguments, Raniere and his Dream Team of expensive attorneys that very few defendants could even afford (that he didn’t have to pay for) didn’t show up with any sort of defense.
Now, he wants to blame everyone but himself and his attorneys for his own guilty convictions and his 120-year sentence.
He is so delusional, defiant and egotistical that he wouldn’t take the great plea deal that was offered to him.
Now, he’s having a meltdown – and wants his most devoted followers to waste years of their lives being delusional with him and defending his delusion.
His most faithful will not see the truth and will not take in reality-based data. Not after spending thousands of dollars — some of them actually hundred of thousands of dollars — on Nxivm trainings.
They want to say how brilliant this man’s technology is, yet they themselves cannot apply it. They are so blinded by his bullshit.
It always happens when a cult falls apart. There are always a few devoted followers who won’t wake up. They stay to the bitter end, wasting their lives defending their Master.
It’s like a successful medical clinic. Raniere is the doctor who took advantage of his patients.
His staff wants to keep saying what a brilliant doctor he was.
If he’s a criminal, it doesn’t matter how brilliant a doctor he was — he can’t be a doctor any longer. He was a dangerous doctor and needs to be removed from society. The fact he won’t admit he has a problem makes him a dangerous man.
Wake up, sheep!
So sad but true.
And just so you all Keith-believers know, I’ll still be here for you when and if you wake up.