Dateline NBC Exclusive: Doctor Defends Branding NXIVM Members
In an exclusive interview, former NXIVM member Dr. Danielle Roberts defended branding members of the alleged sex cult, telling NBC News’ Kate Snow that she was not acting as a doctor but as a member of a social group.
The two-hour special Dateline will air on Friday at 9/8c.
Also appearing, in addition to Dr. Roberts, will be Catherine Oxenberg, India Oxenberg, Nicki Clyne, and Frank Parlato, the man widely credited for bringing Nxivm down.
Clyne, as anticipated will be defending Keith Raniere, the founder of Nxivm and the leader of DOS, the master-slave sorority.
Everyone but Dr. Roberts has appeared before but this is Dr. Roberts’ debut.
Dr. Roberts says in her interview that the women “wanted” the branding and were not “harmed.”
Speaking to NBC Dateline, Dr. Roberts said she was not acting in her capacity as a physician when she branded the DOS women. Roberts said she branded 17 women altogether.
The branding ceased after Frank Parlato revealed the existence of DOS on the Frank Report.
Dr. Roberts stressed that she was not acting as a physician, an argument that is the core of her defense in her hearing before the NYS Office of Professional Medical Conduct. (OPMC)
Dr. Roberts told Dateline’s Kate Snow, “They [the DOS women] had no idea who the branding technician was going to be, you know? There was no patient-physician relationship,” Roberts said in a clip of the interview, which will air in full Friday night.
She insisted that she never believed she was causing anyone “harm” by “branding” them. The practice is also called scarifying.
No license is required to scarify another individual.
“I think pain and harm are two different things. You know, I think people are making an assumption that people were harmed. Nobody was harmed in this,” Roberts said.
“These women wanted this, they asked for this. You know, I mean and I understand now that narrative has changed and they’re saying other things,” she added.
She also claimed the women “were laughing” at the time.
Also on the show will be the voice of Keith Raniere who was interviewed by Frank Parlato for NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt just prior to his sentencing. Dateline Producer Tim Uehlinger also participated in the Raniere interview and will appear on the Dateline special asking Raniere questions.