It would be fair to say she’s doubling down on DOS.
Danielle Roberts offered the New York Post an interview, published this week under the headline, Doctor reveals how she branded NXIVM women — and why she has no regrets.
She also continues to publish her support of DOS on the website thedossierproject.com, taking her stand alongside seven other women trying to explain their view of the sorority led by the now imprisoned Keith Raniere.
Robert’s Dossier Project describes itself as “a group of eight women dedicated to setting the record straight about DOS — a sorority which sought to empower and embolden women — and about NXIVM — a company and community which helped people live more joyful, successful, and compassionate lives.”
On September 30th, The Office of Professional Medical Conduct of the New York State Department of Health determined that Roberts’ license to practice medicine should be revoked because, because, between January and May 2017, she branded 18 women with Raniere’s initials, which they deemed to be an unethical practice of medicine.
She has several appeal options.
Roberts argued unsuccessfully that she was not practicing medicine since a non-physician can brand people – and that she was not acting in the capacity of a physician – she used a cautery pen to etch Raniere’s initials on 18 women. Most women were unaware that the brand was his initials.
According to the Dossier Project, DOS “was established in 2015 as a secret sorority designed to unite and empower women. Most of its original members were friends with and mentored by Keith Raniere, the founder of NXIVM.”
DOS stands for Dominus Obsequium Sororum, and the Dossier Project states on their website that this means “master, allegiance, sisterhood.”
That may be one interpretation but is not what the words mean literally in Latin.
Dominus means master, as in the masculine. Obsequium means compliance, obedience, submissive. Sororum means sisters.
The Latin meaning is “the sisters who obey the master.”
At its zenith, DOS had 106 members:105 women and one man, Raniere.
The New York Post’s story was written by veteran journalist Michael Caplan. He gave Roberts plenty of space to air her views.
Keith Kissed Her
“I think Keith is a brilliant man and that DOS is a tremendous organization,” Roberts told the Post.
Roberts said she and Raniere had a platonic relationship but that she was open to romance.
She said, “He kissed me romantically once. I loved him deeply in a lot of ways. I was open. I respected him. If something developed between us, I would have been open to it.”
Roberts was a slave to Allison Mack. She and the other Mack slaves – India Oxenberg, Michele Hatchette, and Nicole – would take nude photos together.
Roberts said, “As part of being together and being comfortable in our own skin, [she and her sister slaves] would be naked together and take photos of ourselves naked. I experienced it as more of a bonding and freeing experience than a sexual experience.”
Roberts said the brandings took place in a bedroom in Allison Mack’s townhouse. She branded 18 women.
“We took the furniture and pictures out. There was ambient light. We had a massage table in there with sterile coverings, the cauterizing machine and other materials for branding,” Roberts told the Post.
“I wore a blouse and a nice pair of slacks,” she said. “I looked presentable because it was very meaningful to me.”
“There would be [four naked slaves] people stabilizing the person. On occasion, you can get a small electric shock from cauterizing. You wouldn’t want to be kicking or jumping, so as not to mess up the brand,” Roberts explained.
“The women getting the brand wanted to be secured.”
Roberts stenciled Raniere’s initials using carbon paper and the cautery stylus, “below the woman’s left hip,” she said, “for every line, there was an intentional reading. DOS was creating teachings to help us develop love and devotion. Love and care. There were [readings] about [the slaves’] commitments to their masters and to their selves.
“Tolerance for pain impacted the time I would spend,” Roberts explained. “It might be five seconds per line. Or three seconds. It was maybe two minutes of pain all told.”
“You can be excited about overcoming pain. This was a way to help women surrender and realize that they can take pain. They were empowered. They felt bad-ass after enduring the pain. That was the point.”
Roberts said, “It was beautiful. It was about trust. They would come in … and give me a hug. It was a very meaningful initiation ceremony.”
Roberts practiced what she preached. She got the brand herself by a branding artist.
She said. “Having a brand symbolized my commitment to the women of DOS and to myself. The brand symbolized permanence. It was a tribute to Keith. I thought it was beautiful.”
Roberts Condemns Edmondson
Roberts insists Edmondson is lying.
She said “I have the video of Sarah [being branded] … She was so moved at the end that she kissed her teacher Lauren [Salzman]. Tears came down her eyes. Sarah makes it sound horrible, worse than childbirth, with burning flesh. Sarah was making fart jokes during the branding. She talked about being branded after going on a Hallmark audition.”
One issue Roberts did not address in the Post interview was that although she and the first-line masters knew the brand was Raniere’s initials, most of the women who were branded, including Edmondson, were not informed.
This was what set Edmondson off – when her husband found out that the brand was another man’s initials. He was not happy.
The women had been told the brand represented the four elements. Most lower-ranking DOS slaves were also not informed that Raniere was the founder and ultimate leader of the sorority.
Roberts explained, “A big part of DOS was learning to surrender, to overcome fears of letting go, to trust other women. Most of the information was confidential and on a need-to-know basis.”
Roberts said that Edmondson has “run a fear campaign and convinced [former members] that they were abused.”
She pointed out that Edmondson and some 80 former NXIVM members are plaintiffs in a civil lawsuit against her and 11 other NXIVM leaders.
“They took my medical license, which cost me $300,000 in schooling. They destroyed my career and my reputation. These are the hardest years of my life,” Roberts said. “But I am proud of who I am and who I am becoming by staying true to myself despite tremendous forces to turn against my friends or claim to be victims.”
Frank Report Played Sinister Role, Roberts Says
Edmondson filed a New York State Department of Health complaint against Roberts for practicing medicine negligently.
As the Post reports, “Edmondson took her story to The New York Times and a Web site called the Frank Report.”
Roberts said, “Before Sarah broke her word, went public and started scaring the daylights out of people, everything was fine. I was working my butt off on things that were meaningful. Then a patient [at the hospital where Roberts worked] saw what Frank [Report] had posted and sent it to a supervisor. I was mortified and told him that it was not truthful in how they spun it. [Consequently] My employer would not renew my contract.”
One thing we learned from the article is that Roberts met Dr. Brandon Porter at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany in 2013 and he recruited her into NXIVM in 2014.
Porter had his license revoked by the New York State Health Department in 2019 for conducting human fright studies for Raniere and Clare Bronfman and her Ethical Science Foundation.
“At the time I was interested in what could measurably help people to be more joyful,” Roberts said. “Dr. Porter had moved from Iowa to Albany so he could work on measuring the emotional and physical effects of Mr. Raniere’s programs.”’
By 2016 she and Raniere developed a workshop series that claimed to relieve physical ailments, such as chronic back pain, “by re-patterning clients’ bodies through different postures, exercises and manual adjustments.”
Roberts told the Post she sold her Westbury, NY, home in February 2019. That August, she lost her job as an aerobics instructor “after a client I tried to help with a shoulder injury said that I tried recruiting her daughter into an organization; this is untrue.”
She resides in Wisconsin, living rent-free in a friend’s home.
Roberts now sells life insurance.
Frank Report learned she sells term life insurance for Symmetry Financial Group, a multilevel marketing insurance broker.
Roberts Criticizes Penza
The Post story says, “Roberts has no regrets about the branding or her own involvement in the cult. In fact, she is miffed that she escaped prosecution during the cult’s federal criminal trial.”
Roberts is quoted: “The fact that Moira Penza did not consider me as a subject of the investigation is somewhat of an insult to me. It means, in this court case, she considered me a victim. She did not consider the third possibility: that nothing wrong was done and that we were consenting adults participating with full agency. Some people were willing to take responsibility for that while others claimed to be victims of their choices.”