DOJ’s View of NXIVM #1: Overview

Keith Raniere

In the government response to Keith Raniere and Clare Bronfman’s appeals, before they got down to a tit for tat response to the various appeal issues, they took a few dozen pages to describe, in their own inimitable way, their view of Raniere and NXIVM.

Here is an slightly excerpted version with a few comments of my own in [brackets and bold]:

The man on the left has been tentatively identified as Kevin Trowel. The women in the middle are Tanya Hajjar and Moira Penza.


By Assistant US Attorneys Kevin Trowel and Tanya Hajjar

For over a decade, Raniere led a criminal enterprise (“the Enterprise”) that was comprised of and relied on an “inner circle” of adherents that included, at various times, defendants Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, Allison Mack and Kathy Russell, among others.

The six NXIVM defendants, Upper Row: Kathy Russell, Keith Raniere,  and Nancy Salzman. Lower Row: Allison Mack, Lauren Salzman, and Clare Bronfman.

Members of Raniere’s “inner circle” were accorded “special positions of trust and privilege” with respect to Raniere and held high-ranking positions in one or more Raniere-founded organizations, including Nxivm and a “secret society” called “Dominus Obsequious Sororium” or “DOS.”

The primary purpose of the Enterprise was to promote Raniere and to recruit individuals into various purported self-help organizations that Raniere founded, including Nxivm and affiliated programs, and DOS.

During the relevant period, Raniere and his co-conspirators committed a wide range of criminal activity, including sex trafficking, forced labor, alien smuggling, wire fraud and obstruction of justice in connection with the Enterprise.

In the early 2000s, for example, Raniere and his co-conspirators trafficked a Nxivm adherent, “Daniela,” for labor and services and confined her to a room for nearly two years [from 2010-2012].

Raniere also sexually exploited Daniela’s sister, “Camila,” who was then a 15-year-old child, and took photographs of his
abuse constituting child pornography.

In 2015, Raniere created and led DOS, a secret organization in which women — referred to as “slaves” — were recruited to take “vows of obedience” to higher-ranking women, including members of Raniere’s inner circle, who were themselves “slaves” to Raniere.

DOS “slaves” were required to take nude photographs, perform labor, and in some cases, engage in sex acts with Raniere.

Keith Raniere

Raniere demanded absolute commitment from those he recruited and those within his inner circle, including as to his teachings and ideology.

Raniere and his co-conspirators maintained control over the Enterprise by, among other means, obtaining sensitive information about members and associates of the Enterprise; recruiting and grooming sexual partners for Raniere and obtaining nude photographs of women for Raniere; inducing shame and guilt in order to influence and control members and associates of the Enterprise; isolating associates and others from friends and family and making them dependent on the Enterprise for their financial wellbeing and legal status within the United States; and encouraging associates and others to take expensive Nxivm courses, and to incur debt to do so.

Members of the Enterprise recruited and groomed sexual partners for Raniere, both within and outside of DOS, and many
were themselves in sexual relationships with Raniere that involved pledges of loyalty, penances for “ethical breaches,” and the provision of collateral.


See Government Files Response to Raniere and Bronfman Appeal

See other parts in this series:

DOJ’s View of NXIVM #1: Overview

DOJ’s View of NXIVM, #2: Sexual Exploitation of the Child Camila

DOJ’s View of NXIVM #3: Trafficking of Daniela for Labor and Services and Alien Smuggling

DOJ’s View of NXIVM #4: Identity Theft and Unlawful Surveillance – Family Spying on Family

DOJ’s View of NXIVM #5: Obstruction of Justice & Identity Theft Related to Tax Evasion 

DOJ’s View of NXIVM #6: The Secret Organization Known as DOS

DOJ’s View of NXIVM #7: Sex Trafficked Slave – Nicole

DOJ’s View of NXIVM #8: Jay, Sylvie and Actions After DOS Was Disclosed

About the author

Frank Parlato


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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.” Parlato was also 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 premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

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