DOS Woman Defends Branding

Leah Mottishaw

The Dossier Project is an initiative of eight women who were members of DOS who state they are “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.”

The eight woman are Nicki Clyne, Linda Chung, Leah Mottishaw, Danielle Roberts, Michele Hatchette, Sahajo Haertel, Samantha LeBaron, and Anglica Hinojos.

Eight DOS women from the website

The women wrote about their mission as follows: “We stand for women’s agency and we believe in honoring truth above salacious sound bites and clickbait. Unfortunately, many facets of DOS have been misrepresented and contorted to serve a narrative that presupposes women are not capable of making bold choices. And that women can retroactively withdraw their consent without consequence.

“For the women you will hear from, as well as many others who remain silent, DOS was a profound experience of trust, vulnerability, character-building, and personal transformation. We recognize that the allegations against the organization and its conceptual founder are very serious and deserving of a rigorous investigation. We support this and have dedicated ourselves to understanding the complexities and nuances of the situation. We do not condone any type of abuse, coercion, or emotional manipulation, and we most certainly denounce illicit activity. We also do not condone trial by media and character defamation without due process.”

One of the eight women, Leah Mottishaw, writes about the value of the DOS brand – the brand placed on DOS “slaves”, most of whom were branded unaware that the symbol on it when turned counterclockwise 90 degrees is the initials of Keith Raniere.

Motttishaw is not an unintelligent woman. According to the Dossier Project, Mottishaw, 34, “has a background in science and business which she has leveraged in a unique career path that includes antibiotic research, hematopoietic stem cell storage, scientific consulting, technical writing/editing and professional development training (such as job readiness, team performance and entrepreneurship). She particularly enjoys working with specialized groups including women, entrepreneurs, Indigenous communities and teens. Leah is blessed to live in Vancouver, Canada with her growing family.”

Mottishaw published this article on branding on the Dossier Project and we are reprinting it in full. It is important to our investigation to understand how, in the teeth of so much negative publicity and startling revelations in court proceedings that Raniere, DOS and NXIVM were evil to the core, an accomplished person such as Mottishaw can maintain a position that her experiences were worthy.

Let’s try to read it with understanding, that people may be well-intentioned yet may still disagree. Let’s try when we comment to be at least a little considerate of others, including Mottishaw. We may disagree with the deed but perhaps can understand that the doer is not necessarily ill-intended, which I strongly suspect is the case with Leah Mottishaw.

Making a Mark: Branding as a Symbol of Empowerment

Like all the women who were invited to DOS, I was told about the brand in advance of saying yes. I remember at the time I was told about it, I asked whether I got to choose the design. The answer I got was, “no,” the design was already set, and I stopped my line of questioning there. Why? Because I was cool with it. Why was I cool with it? It simply never occurred to me that I would be put off or offended by the design. In hindsight, this might have been a reckless thing to do. What if the brand had been a swastika? What if it had been Bugs Bunny? I didn’t concern myself with the design because I was focused on how special and meaningful it would be to have a secret, shared brand with other women who were committed to making themselves better, stronger, and wiser.

Some people feel there never should have been a brand because the nature of a brand is somehow offensive, no matter what the symbol is. This leads to the question: should women be free to make decisions about their own bodies, even if others view the decision as wrong?

Some people might be okay with the concept of a brand but feel incensed that this brand contained a man’s initials, and I sympathize with such a response. This, however, brings us to a different and important question: should the design elements (specifically, the “KR” initials) have been disclosed to the sorority women before receiving the brand?

I’ll explore these questions below.

Choices and consequences

Should women be free to make decisions about their bodies, even if others view the decision as wrong?

Do women have the right to do what they want with their own bodies? Most rational, modern people say, “yes, of course!” Does that mean you should agree with everything a person chooses to do with their body? No, of course not. Can you support someone’s right to do something, while vehemently disagreeing with them exercising that right? Of course, you can.

Personally, I find ear spacers to be off-putting once they become the size of a quarter or so. I don’t condemn anyone who stretches their earlobes but I really don’t get why anyone would want to go that far!

On the other hand, I have observed that my own opinions on these things can change or morph over time, and so I endeavor to keep an open mind. For instance, ten years ago I thought it was just plain wrong for women to get breast implants (barring reconstructive surgery for breast cancer survivors or the like). I condescendingly judged breast implants as a vanity surgery that played into the objectification of women as no more than a sexual object to satisfy men. In the last ten years, my opinion has softened to the point that I see there are many layers and complexities to how a woman relates with her body. With this understanding, I now believe that the choice to get breast implants is extremely personal to each woman and I support every woman’s right to have the augmentation done if she chooses and can afford it.

How do you feel about a woman’s right to get a tattoo? I’m not asking if you like tattoos, but would you agree that an adult woman should be allowed to put one on her body? Maybe you think she shouldn’t be allowed to get a tattoo, period. However, if you do agree that she should be allowed a tattoo, then how do you feel if she gets one that she later regrets?

Do you know the song “Pretty Fly (For a White Guy)” by The Offspring? It’s a song that mocks this “white guy” who does a series of things trying and failing to be “hip.” In the lyrics, the vocalist sings, “Now he’s getting a tattoo yeah, he’s getting ink done. He asked for a 13, but they drew a 31.” In the spirit of the song, this is funny! Go ahead and do an internet search of “tattoo fails” and you will find pages dedicated to laughing at other people’s messed up tattoos. I believe the “white guy” in the song and all the people wearing “tattoo fails” on their skin have the right to get tattoos and by exercising that right, they simultaneously take on the risk of having something go wrong.

I am not saying that the brand is equivalent to a tattoo fail, but I believe the comparison allows for some relevant insights. And I specifically bring up tattoo fails with some self-deprecation because I have a tattoo with a Chinese character that is written incorrectly! I blame myself for this! And I still love my tattoo because it looks beautiful to me and the meaning of the tattoo is unchanged for me, even though the character is technically wrong. I like it so much that I would do it again even with the mistaken character.

I assert that it is my right and my choice to modify my body. The consequences of exercising that choice are also mine to bear. I believe the right to a choice and the right to its consequence are inseparable.

You can judge the sorority women’s choice to accept the brand however you like. You can even sympathize with any woman who regrets making the choice to get the brand. Here is the beauty of my assertions: it is empowering to all womankind to acknowledge the women of DOS had the right to both the choice and consequence of the brand.    

Should the design elements (specifically, the initials) have been disclosed to the sorority women before receiving the brand?

Should the “KR” have been explained to the women before the branding was performed? You might think “yes, obviously!” and at first glance, I don’t disagree. When I first learned about the initials I was shocked and emotional.

I began to question why the initials were included and what the intent of the brand was. Because that is the real sticking point – the initials aren’t obvious in the design, so much so the media constantly needs to draw bright lines and turn the brand sideways to show the letters are there – but what did the designers mean by including these letters?

I made a point of speaking to some of the women responsible for creating the design and since then, I have reflected on other salient things I know. Taking all of that into consideration, here’s what I believe:

  • Having personal knowledge of all of the women who were part of creating the design, I firmly believe they included the initials without any intent to harm or offend.

  • The context is important. Every woman believed that the brand itself, not to mention the design, would remain private. The brand was never crafted to be scrutinized by society at large. No one ever thought it would be fodder for public discussion or that perfect strangers and outsiders to the sorority would be judging the brand or its design. To me, this idea of privacy and freedom from public adjudication would influence the design choices.

  • The woman who invited me was direct about letting me know that some things were secret and meant to be kept that way. I believe to this day that she did her best to give me all the information she thought I needed to make a good decision about joining or not. Even if she didn’t, it was still my choice to join with the understanding there were things I didn’t know.

  • The fact that I never asked or was told about the brand’s design or what it symbolized doesn’t change the beauty of what it personally symbolizes for me – a physical symbol of a commitment to a sisterhood of strong women seeking to better themselves and the world.

If you ask someone to have a child with you, or marry you, or go into business with you, do you give them all the information you think they need to make an informed decision? I hope so. But you might miscalculate. In my opinion, this is human and ultimately forgivable.

Finally, I have to be slightly critical of my emotional reaction to the initials. The design of the brand does contain “KR” but it also contains other letters and meanings. One of these meanings is a representation of the elements (earth, air, fire, water). I don’t know about you, but I do not feel the same gut response to the idea that women were not told about the element symbols, as compared to the initials. So what is it about the initials that is so provocative? I believe it points to deep-seated sexism.

Sexism underneath the outrage

This may seem like a leap at first glance, but bear with me while I explain my thinking…

If the situation were flipped and this was about a group of men, then the brand wouldn’t be the same problem. Picture it: a group of men create a secret ceremony where they all get an abstract design branded on or below their hip. Later, it is revealed that the design included a woman’s initials. Do you think society would be outraged that men were apparently labeled as property of the woman? I can’t picture the general public making that leap. Why not? Two reasons: 1) it’s absurd to imagine a woman “owning” men, and 2) because men are generally given license to do stupid sh*t (women, generally, are not).

In the first instance, history typically paints women as property, not property owners, so our societal tendency is to continue seeing women in this role. This is the opposite of equality because it actually perpetuates the objectification of women along with the belief they are the “weaker sex.” In the second case, I’m arguing that society at large would be completely fine to pass judgment on this hypothetical group of men (described above) as having done a “stupid” brand and too bad, they have to live with the woman’s initials on their pelvis. Underlying this attitude would be the belief that men are capable of making their own decisions (even bad ones) and they are adult enough or strong enough to deal with the consequences (even crappy ones.)

To be clear, I don’t see the DOS brand as stupid, I see it as deeply meaningful. I’m making this point about “stupid sh*t” to illustrate that the media story of the DOS brand could have been spun as a bunch of women making a “stupid” decision, but it wasn’t, due in large part to underlying sexist assumptions that pervade our culture. I believe if it were men who had a secret fraternity brand, this wouldn’t have made a splash.

If we want to live in a truly equal society, then men and women ought to be treated the same — as adults capable of making their own decisions and at times, mistakes.

Final thoughts

I don’t have the authority to speak on anyone else’s experience, only my own. The point of this article is to open an uncomfortable conversation. There are wide ranges of experiences and opinions and I wrote this to share some of mine.

This wasn’t to convince you to think the brand is great, to be on board with the practice or to judge whether my thought process makes sense. As was the case when I said yes to DOS, I’m still committed to a world where women endeavor to be better, stronger and wiser, and I believe conversations like this can contribute to that aim.

Additional context, in case you’re wondering

My thoughts and opinions about the DOS brand are based on the following pertinent facts:

  • The founding members of DOS included the initials of their own initiative, not as a directive from Keith Raniere.

  • Every woman who received the brand gave approval for the final position of the brand on her hip/pelvis. The process was similar to how a person approves the stencil placement for a tattoo before any ink is applied.

  • Each woman invited to the sorority was told before joining that part of the membership in the group included getting a brand. Many women heard this requirement and said no to joining. There were no repercussions or hard feelings toward any woman who chose not to join.

  • The founding members of DOS chose the area just below the hip because it was an area that is often covered and would help keep the brand private so that the women could decide who would see that part of her body. The founding members also understood this area would be less painful than other parts of the body during the application process.

  • Male fraternities and athletic teams far and wide have been using brands as a unifying symbol of their membership and dedication to a group or philosophy without making headlines, receiving public ridicule or legal repercussions. On the contrary, it is often admired as a sign of strength and commitment. This was the intent of the DOS women.

  • In addition to many other symbols and meanings, the design of the DOS brand contains “KR,” which represents Keith Raniere’s initials. Symbolically, the brand was meant to be part of the physical representation of a woman’s commitment to the principles that DOS stood for. The initials were incorporated in the design as a subtle tribute to the person who helped the original DOS members. The initials were not meant to be the main focus, or even particularly obvious, and they were never intended to denote that a woman was anyone’s possession or property. (It was Mark Vicente, the media and the prosecution who made the offensive and horrific interpretation that women with a brand were as cattle or property. The women of DOS stood for the opposite of these diminishing concepts.)

  • There were zero criminal charges related to the brand. There has been media outrage and moral indignation, but there are no indictments.

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  • Troubling and Half Truths.

    Leah is an excellent writer. Just lacking in foundations for her position paper to be her own.

    Was she given the seduction assignment?

    Was she in a slave pod that KAR required naked group pictures?

    Has she disclosed her sexual activity with KAR and her DOS sisters, including the naked meetings with KAR, to her husband?

    Has she had DNA tests to know or prove the paternity of her offspring?

    What collateral did she provide to join DOS?

    Whom was her slave master?

    Seen without these disclosures, her explanation and individual free will are suspect?

    And her marriage may be built upon a foundation of fraud. I hope her research work is based on science, not suggestions of “smart people “.


    • Ya. I’m not sure how much of a marriage it is when her allegiance is to another man first though. Her husband (and I use that term lightly) is a fucking doormat,

      • Maybe that is why she is doing some amazing mental contortions to justify the branding: it was about women empowerment, not about some ‘man’ treating her like cattle for his own sense of importance and cruelty – and it was about some earth, wind and fire symbols anyway. Who is she trying to convince? Herself, her husband, or the world? They say the easiest recruits for a cult are the intelligent and educated: Leah M is a prime example. Her mental gymnastics are as awesome as Danielle R’s physical ones.

      • Ice-Nine,

        Her husband must seriously, joking around, be an actual true blue cuckold.

        Imagine every one of your friends and family knows your wife has sworn her life over to another man and has the guy’s initials burnt into her flesh.

        Then there’s the fact Leah had sex with Vanguard and has no doubt, contracted HPV and thus Shane has HPV.

        His family and friends have to hate that total bitch.

        Thanks for answering.

        • I am not sure if she had sex with keith. I would doubt his family and friends hate her, it is he who is making the stupid choices. And yeah, pretty humiliating but I guess that makes him happy, which is why I continue to call him a pussy and a moron. And you’re welcome Nice Guy.

          • Ice Nine-
            Not too many red-blooded men would be supportive of their wife after they learned
            their wife has another man’s initials branded above their pussy.

            I’d be so angry I’d have an aneurysm.

            No one’s family or friends would be happy. Dad and mom would be pissed. Your guy friends – if they’re real men – would be pissed.
            In order for those people not to be pissed, they’d have to be a bunch of cuckolds or swingers.

  • The real underlying sexism is exemplified by the fact that the DOS women were branded while the SOP men weren’t, because Raniere’s ideology held that the women were weak and unreliable, and so had to be held accountable by exceptional measures. And Mottishaw bought into that, so it’s fundamentally hypocritical of her to bring it up sexism as a complaint against others — though from what I’ve observed, such contradictory and un-self-aware accusations are fairly typical behavior from members and apologists of high control groups or cults.

    All these accounts also strike me with their underlying self-centered and callous attitude that the individuals got what they wanted out of it, and if others experienced abuse that’s their problem. Again, it’s typical of the mindset.

      • Excellent find. Van Wedding Cinematography did a truly professional job. Nice couple. Too bad she risked everything by joining DOS and is now branded with the initials of a psychopath.

        If you find yourself in a hole, stop digging. Unfortunately, that is not what she is doing with her participation in the “dossierproject”.

  • “ Each woman invited to the sorority was told before joining that part of the membership in the group included getting a brand. Many women heard this requirement and said no to joining. There were no repercussions or hard feelings toward any woman who chose not to join.”

    That statement is directed contradicted by former DOS members who say they were told it was going to be a small tattoo.

    Also, as others here have pointed out, there is not one single mention in this women’s statement about the fear of collateral being released as a factor in DOS women submitting to the branding.

    • Great point.

      That’s one of the inconvenient truths that seems to get overlooked all too easily – or gets easily obscured when loyalists and apologists go off on tangents.

      I’m also not so sure that “There were no repercussions or hard feelings toward any woman who chose not to join.”

  • Ahhh, it’s the “burka” girl! The moron who ran her mouth on the last dos zoom comparing the brand to the burka while the other dos members cringed waiting for her to STFU. Embarrassing.

  • I could be wrong but as far as I recall, every single DOS member who has defended the branding has completely avoided the subject of collateral.

    So when they argue that women should have free will to alter their bodies however they’d like, it’s meaningless because collateralized decisions are not “free will.”

  • All that shit is impossible to read, and really I just don’t have the energy to try anymore.

    You have to wonder though what her husband thinks about it. What a fucking pussy. Maybe he just never goes down on her so he doesn’t see it. Though I tend to think he goes down on her just so he CAN see it. He gets to please his wife AND think about keith raniere both at the same time, it’s like having a threesome down there!

    Another man’s initials are branded onto your wife’s vulva you fucking moron. Wake up!

  • Wow – this is disturbing on so many levels. It is also filled with falsehoods. For instance:

    1. “The founding members of DOS included the initials of their own initiative, not as a directive from Keith Raniere.”

    – I don’t think so. There is a very telling video of Raniere snapping at the women, “This is not a democracy” when he was designing the brand specifically to hide his initials from the women. The women had no real say in the brand or in anything – he told them that to their faces and yet they still maintain that it was their idea.

    2. “Each woman invited to the sorority was told before joining that part of the membership in the group included getting a brand.”

    – Not according to Sarah Edmondson. Is Leah accusing her of lying? Also, the women had already given, according to the prosecution and Glazer, two levels of collateral before they even learned anything substantial about DOS.

    3. “The founding members also understood this area [the pelvis] would be less painful than other parts of the body during the application process.”

    – What? The pelvis is one of the most sensitive areas of the body. This is a fact. Raniere ordered it to be placed there out of his own perversion and his desire to inflict the most pain as possible on the women. Remember him paddling one of the DOS women and showing the others the right way to do it to inflict the most pain.

    4. “The initials were incorporated in the design as a subtle tribute to the person who helped the original DOS members.”

    – Raniere came up with the idea of a brand and ordered that it be his initials. He made it a tribute to himself. Reminds me of how he made Vicente reshoot the Mexico documentary because it did not include enough tribute to him even though the film was not about him. How can Leah not see that?

    5. “The initials were not meant to be the main focus, or even particularly obvious, and they were never intended to denote that a woman was anyone’s possession or property.”

    – Raniere deemed himself the Grandmaster of all the slaves. Every woman in DOS was his slave. Every woman in DOS was his property, who he could do whatever he wanted with – which, of course, was sex, even if the woman was married or in a relationship.

    – Remember, Raniere’s perversion was so extreme that his plan was for there to be 100s and 1000s of women all with his brand. Like a little sex army. Sorry, but all the DOS women, including the inner circle, were Raniere’s property by his design.

    The fraternity analogy is so off-base, what is there to say that has not already been said by others on FR.

    I truly hope Leah wakes up and realizes this has nothing to do with sexism. If a female cult leader had men branded with her initials, society would be equally appalled. It’s about the abuse of power, not gender.

    It is also very, very dangerous to adopt the belief that joining DOS meant fully giving up your right to be informed of what others are doing to you and telling you to do. That belief excuses Raniere and the other masters of everything, no matter how harmful. How is that empowerment? They are letting Raniere do whatever he wants with them and they are not permitted to object to anything.
    There is no way Sarah Edmundson and the women outside of the inner circle would have joined DOS under those terms. Never.

    This is a newly crafted lie DOS is trying to sell to cover up the obvious lack of informed consent regarding the brand. How convenient to say it does not matter if they did not give informed consent because they gave up their right to informed consent. Horrifying!

    The fact is that DOS did not just hide information from the women, they outright deceived them about Raniere being Grandmaster and the brand being his initials. They knew most women would never join with this knowledge so they manipulated and lied. And now they are lying again.

    Leah shouldn’t need to intellectualize and over-examine the meaning of the brand and her feelings about being deceived about its content. There is something very wrong with that. You shouldn’t have to twist things into a pretzel to justify them.

    All the DOS women gave their power to Raniere and they are still willingly giving him their power today and letting him dictate how they are living their lives. Women empowerment is impossible when the women are giving their power to a man. I would bet anything that Nicki Clyne does not make one decision on her own without consulting Raniere.

    Leah may be book smart but she is intellectually and emotionally immature, like the other DOS women. I hope she grows up.

  • Ha ha! Nice try!

    You think I would be okay if I found out my brother or male friend had given property, nude photos and damaging confessions to a group that then ceremonially branded him with the initials of some gross female leader and was lied to about it – that I’d think nothing of that?

    Leah? I would actually be calling the police immediately.

  • The Discarded DOS Dolls keep repeating the exact same set of denials and deflections over and over and over. They never say anything new.

    If these “sorority sisters” are so bad-ass, why do they feel the need to try and convince us that they aren’t brainwashed culties?

    The answer is simple: it isn’t us they are really trying to convince — they are trying to convince themselves.

    Leah Mottishaw is consciously lying because she is ashamed of being a dupe.

    I hope one day she can stop lying and face the truth, but I’m not holding my breath.

    • Unfortunately, unlike you Alonso, we don’t have a platinum premium membership so we can’t watch the full video. Unless you post a pirated version. 🙂

      Thanks anyway!

      • You can bust out a free account to watch it with a username and password only – no BronfmanBucks® required!

        It’s entertaining. It makes this debate human.

        But maybe that’s not what you want.

        I get it.

    • Those DOSsier gals don’t want their group BJ skills getting rusty.. Their beloved Vanguard’s dick will be out of prison is just 118 years so they better start practicing their teamwork and co-ordination. And, girls, no cat-fights about who gets the facial — you may be badass bitches but your master-blaster still makes all decisions..

  • “ When I first learned about the initials I was shocked and emotional”

    Then Leah starts downplaying and eventually accepting the initials after plenty of evaluation, something the DOS ladies seem to do at nauseum.

    Well, I guess you have to live with it for the rest of your life, so it’s definitely easier if you think it’s not such a bad thing after all.

    Leah, I want you to lower the left side of your parties an inch or two. What do you see? You see the initials of Keith Raniere. A man who sexually abused multiple underage girls, one as young as 12 years old. Let that sink in for a moment.

    • Exactly.

      This essay offers an insight into the mind of someone successfully groomed by a grandiose narcissist-led organization. It should be required reading in any graduate psychology or counseling course addressing personality disorders.

  • As for the bullshit claim that it was Mark Vicente and the media who first likened the KR brand to cattle branding, here’s the the truth: on October 9 2015 Raniere told Camila about the branding. He texted her about the “other slaves, all who want to be branded with my monogram plus a number. Your number is number 1. I don’t know well the some of the others but I command them ultimately…”

    Camila wasn’t happy about the branding. “Branded like cattle? You want to burn me?” she texted back.

    Raniere responded, You don’t want to burn for me?”

    This text message exchange was presented at his trial. It disproves several points made in the above screed. Methinks the above screed is somewhat less than truthful.

    (Taken from Sarah Berman’s book “Don’t Call It A Cult”, ch. 20, “Slave Number One”)

    • Perfect post. Does Leah have thoughts or rationalizations on Keith’s texts?

      Keith was behind the design of the brand. How do I know? Because Keith was behind everything. He put the group of women in charge of coming up with the design, and then he lead them to do exactly what he wanted.

      If you didn’t do what he wanted you to do, it was your issue. A flying monkey would immediately swoop in with very specific directions to fix your issue.

  • How smart do you have to be to avoid being suckered into the DOS collateral slavery? Well, Kristin Kook was too smart to fall for it…so there.

      • Let’s presume that “Kristen Kook” isn’t that smart. You know what? Let’s presume she’s dumb…and yet…she still: 1) left the cult without getting her pants sued off 2) never literally took her pants off for Raniere 3) never let her money be controlled by Raniere and so is still a multi-millionaire 4) didn’t join DOS 5) didn’t take naked pictures of herself as collateral.

        So what you’re REALLY saying is these DOS-deadender women are utterly retarded.

        • Hi Sultan of Six-

          Congratulations! You finally got your sweet revenge on the Frank Report by bringing Alonzo to us. I have to hand it to you…we teased and tormented you, and you gave back to us in spades.

          I bet you’re all smug and laughing your ass off. Every day you spend gloating.

          Reading one comment from Alonzo is worse than watching an entire 3hr Jerry Lewis Telethon in the 1980s in a three tv channel world:

          FU Sultan! FU!

        • I agree that at least Mr. Smelly would have targeted the Kook because she was his ideal. Slim, long haired, pretty, famous, rich — his cream dream for fellatio and facials — but other than Pea, no Nxer has said she ever suck-cumed to his charms. Maybe poor Smelly was reduced to imagining he was ravishing Kook while his harem serviced him.

  • Hahaha…they sound like the dumbest most brainwashed cattle in all history!! How pathetic can they be acting like nothing was illegal when their “leaders” are already in jail?! Seriously – who dropped these people on their heads as babies? It’s just too funny. Oh, and actually I think cattle are better because at least they will never verbally condone branding other beings!!!!!! Anyway, best wishes to Frank as always and not the sad little wannabe-heifers so much. Moo

    • Cows are usually no longer branded, today cattle get ear tags. Moreover, branding reduces the value of cattle hides because it means waste and losses in the leather to be processed.

      I don’t know any cow that would voluntarily agree to be branded. All the cows I asked said no [Moo]. Earrings are also much nicer.

  • Excessive verbiage to say a whole lot of nothing because it ignored the crux of the matter.

    DOS was a manipulative setup from the beginning. EVERYONE can see it except these dead-enders. Keith thought he was slicker than others in layering and masking the organization with secrecy and recorded messages of consent in a way in which he thought he couldn’t be caught, let alone prosecuted for the crimes and sent to prison for it.

    He hugely misjudged. Why? Because he’s a moral imbecile as most sociopaths are.

  • Where to begin with responding to Leah’s perspective? There is so much to respond to….A few thoughts…

    “ There were zero criminal charges related to the brand. There has been media outrage and moral indignation, but there are no indictments.”
    Direct charges, no. But DOS was at the center of the sex trafficking charges. DOS was instrumental in the sexual abuse of India, Nicole, Jay and Sylvie. Is that “growth” and “women empowerment”? No. I would say that DOS was the exact opposite of its alleged purpose, at least for some members……why doesn’t Leah say anything about this?

    Danielle lost her medical license because of the branding. Next “best” thing to an indictment.

    Maybe the KR brand was not a directive of Keith, but he probably “suggested” it. Not following up on a “suggestion” by Raniere was a big no-no within NXIVM.

    This whole notion that if men do a brand in a fraternity, nobody would pay attention to it is…..Well, as has been said on the FR before, if a group of young, strong handsome men are branded by a 60-year-old woman with her initials on their balls and some of these men are having sex with her, or manipulated into having sex with her, the internet would explode.

    What are Leah’s thoughts about the videos that were made of the branding, including hers, with her pussy full frontal filmed and sent to Keith for his sexual gratification? Can Leah explain to us why that is helping her to “grow” as a woman?

    “The brand was never meant to show some form of property”. Keith apparently thought differently when he texted the words “all mine?” with a devil emoji to Lauren during a branding ceremony. What are your thoughts about that message Leah?

    I respect the choice Leah made, even when I think it is a bad one. But by now, it is clear that some very bad things were going on within DOS, indeed criminal behavior, that harmed women. Maybe not all of them, but some. I find it very disappointing that an otherwise intelligent woman fails to acknowledge this.

    • The brand was a directive of Keith. The design too. Listen to the longer recording with Allison and Raniere. Planning the branding.

      Or check out the very eye-opening audio from one of those all naked but Keith front line slave meetings where DOS WOMEN would sit nude at Raniere’s rodent feet while he lorded over them fully clothed

      The way their master treats them is very CRINGE inducing.

  • She’s cool with getting branded, and that’s cool. Getting branded isn’t illegal. Some people are cool with getting tied up for sex, smacked around and being told to beg and say “Yes, Daddy” and “Please, Mistress”. And that’s cool too, as long as everybody’s cool with it.

    Do it to somebody who’s not cool with it, just once, and it’s assault and rape and somebody’s going to jail.

    Not everybody was cool with the DOS branding. Or the Master/Slave shit. Sarah Edmondson for one. Nor were they cool with the extortion, or being sex trafficked to Raniere. Criminal complaints were filed. The FBI investigated. Raniere et al were tried and convicted by a jury for several major felonies.

    The thing is, it doesn’t matter if some people are cool with what Raniere did. Lots of people are cool with their suppliers selling them drugs. Or the dealer who sells them a stolen 9mm with the serial number filed off.

    Branding isn’t illegal. Sex isn’t illegal. So why is Raniere in prison? Because DOS women were coerced. They were blackmailed. He was running an organization that recruited and entrapped women to service him sexually.

    The fact that some of the women were cool with the arrangement means nothing. Nada, nil, zilch. After all, the Mafia had plenty of satisfied customers too.

  • The most inflammatory interpretation possible for the brand was “women branded like cattle belonging to Keith Raniere”.

    Did Mark Vicente just pull this interpretation out of his butt?

    Did he tell Sarah Edmonson that, and then Nippy found out, and then all hell broke loose?

    Was all this just emotional manipulation using a made up interpretation to cause as much damage as possible to as many people as possible?


    In AntiCultism???

    NO WAY!!!


    • Hi Alanzo, since you brought up anticultism, still curious, does deprogramming someone from a cult make them an anticultist?

    • Yes, Mark is partly wrong because cattle branding takes some seconds, and is not as painful as a branding where a scalding medical device is drawn across the skin for several minutes to scorch a future scar in the shape of the initials of a man. But he’s right in the sense that the brand does signify ownership just like a cattle brand does, that of the women by Keith Raniere – on court record submitted as evidence as said by him: “All mine! [devil emoji]”. Also, cattle branders typically don’t lie about the scar to the animals.

      So, it’s not emotional manipulation AT ALL. Just an apt description that is emotionally charged BECAUSE OF what the brand signified and how it enforced.

      Alonzo, you’re anti-cultism schtick is played out. It’s not only blinds you to be factually incorrect, it’s really just a black-and-white fallacy.

    • Alonzo-

      Blackmailed cooperation or
      emotional manipulation…..

      ….which would you choose to call it?

      BTW: I am so proud that I was able to ridicule you into no longer using your catchphrase,
      “You all have hot pokers”.

      Have an awesome day!

      • Nice “HusbandWifey” Guy –

        I will!

        When The Breadwinner comes home tonight, will you strum your guitar for her dressed in an apron with no panties on?


        • Just to clarify, your observation is that Nice Guy does his fair share of domestic labor in his marriage and keeps his wife sexually satisfied. And this is an insult … how? Out of curiosity, Alanzo, how would women rate their satisfaction in relationships with you?

        • I hope she keeps winning bread, as you say, so I can keep buying all those things you can’t afford. I got no guitar, she gets my skin flute.

          Have fun tugging on your piccolo tonight.

  • This reminds me of someone I know defending his perusal of pornographic magazines as a “celebration of women.” Sexism was certainly involved in the branding; one male claiming ownership of human beings as his personal property. KR has been jailed, and this poor woman is still his slave.

    • — This reminds me of someone I know defending his perusal of pornographic magazines as a “celebration of women.”

      OMG! FYI: Naked women in Penthouse mag is harmless. All men back in the day had one go to porno mag. When I moved in with my future wife, I had one. She found it and flipped out.
      “That’s disgusting” she said.

      A porno mag is in completely different universe than branding women. One is for whacking-off and the other is for the pleasure of a sadistic evil fuck head.

      All men whack-off to images of naked women. I’m positive your Father and Grandfather yanked it too.

  • I’d be very curious how Leah’s “growing family” feels about said brand mark. I somehow doubt that she has a “Kool Like Kattle” bumpersticker on her car.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083