Suneel Chakravorty fired off a screamer in his opening presentation of his challenge. I am giving him the full amount of rope he needs for his task.
He challenged me, and, unlike others of the more timid strain of humanity, Chakravorty is using his full name.
I will respond to the lad.
I want to respect him for his ability to foist brazenly bizarre, eccentric, and contrarian ideas out into the world at all costs to his own reputation, based on the incredible notion that Keith Raniere is a noble human being, falsely accused and convicted.
He is willing to offer any notion that strikes him as supporting ideals he put his heart and soul into: the NXIVM cause. This kind of foolhardiness is not normally found in nature. Raniere must have trained him very hard for that.
The subject Suneel started off with in his challenge is Cami. Yes, I know, not just Cami, but how the Cami-related evidence was tampered with to convict Raniere of abuse of her when she was a child of 15 – tampered through photographs and exploitation required to take photographs of a then-underage child.
Suneel emphatically states the evidence was tampered with – and that we are gullible fools not to believe him.
He says that whether Raniere sexually abused Camila is irrelevant and can never be proven. He may be mistaken.
In addition to publishing his screamer, Suneel also contacted me. He read a court filing by Neil Glazer, a man who worked diligently to protect Camila since before the criminal trial. He is now her attorney.
Suneel pointed out that Glazer noticed me in his recent filing, referring to, though not by name, the Frank Report.
It was a reference to a time – long before the criminal trial commenced – when Frank Report was gathering evidence against Raniere and his supporters, and Glazer was gathering clients for his expected civil suit.
It referenced that at one time, Frank Report revealed the family name of the most important family in NXIVM – the family consisting of Hector, Adriana, Mariana, Daniela, Adrian, and Camila.
In NXIVM, their last name even had a nickname – and everyone knew them. They were an inextricably important part of NXIVM and to name them was natural to intelligent reporting about NXIVM.
This was at a time when only Daniela was anti-Raniere and the rest of the family, including Camila, supported him.
Now, Suneel wants to know why I, the hypocrite, have stopped publishing their last name.
I will explain how I stopped publishing the family name.
It had a lot to do with Glazer’s explanation of Camila being a victim.
Evidence of Abuse
But first let us return to why I think Camila was abused when she was 15. This would not exonerate the government if they planted the evidence of course. Both things can be true: i.e., Raniere abused her – and because the FBI did not have enough evidence to prove that, they created some.
However, I would need to see hard evidence of such tampering, other than purely circumstantial stuff – like EXIF data is easy to change and the FBI examiner said it is hard to change. Or they found the child porn pictures 11 months after they seized the hard drive when, logically, you would think they would have scoured the hard drive and found it sooner.
The FBI said EXIF data was the best evidence they had to prove the dates of the photographs, and the camera they were taken in: i.e., 2015 and Raniere’s Canon camera. EXIF data is no proof at all because almost anyone can change EXIF data. I know I can.
But that does not mean the FBI tampered with it. They merely were wrong when the FBI computer expert told the jury that EXIF data is hard to change and very reliable.
But I will need more than “confirmation bias” that, in Suneel, is so strong that I suspect his picture may be placed in future editions of books when defining the term.
Camila Was Abused
Suneel likes to make a lot out of the fact that Camila spoke at Raniere’s sentencing hearing, on October 27, 2020, a hearing I attended, without being under oath.
Suneel is right: she was not under oath. She was the first victim to speak at his sentencing. It was the first time Camila, then age 30, made her voice heard. She did not need to come and speak. Raniere was already convicted.
But she came.
During the trial, the photos of Cami loomed large. The prosecution got hold of thousands of texts between Raniere and her. They spent a day reading them during the trial. Those texts supported the date of when Raniere began to rape underage Camila.
As much as anyone, Cami helped convict Raniere, though she did not appear at trial.
Among the things Cami said in her sentencing statement, as Raniere listened a few feet away, were:
– “I understand that the case that concerns me and my name has been mentioned repeatedly throughout the trial, but I was not here, and I was not heard…. During this trial I was advised by my lawyer not to speak with the Government and to stay invisible. But I have recognized the power I hold, and I am ready to retain my voice and stand up for myself…
– “He tried to replace my voice with his own, my thoughts with his self-serving ideas. He twisted my mind for so long that finding the strength and clarity to tell my story has been a slow and painful journey. And even now I realize that I still have a long road ahead of me….
– “I now realize I am stronger than he ever allowed me to know I was. He tried to control me because he knew that the knowledge I had about him and his actions toward me made him vulnerable.
– “I met him when I was just 13, and from the start, I did not feel comfortable around him. I would even try to avoid being in the same room as him, but the adults around me would get mad at me for being rude and push me back towards him. This felt like a violation and a betrayal from the very people that were supposed to protect me.
– “The very first time I was left to have a conversation alone with him, we talked about how I placed second on my eighth-grade spelling bee contest. I continued to avoid him after that for some time, but years later, he told me how he knew I was special from the moment we met at 13.
– “He first had sex with me on September 18, 2005. He would expect me to celebrate September 18th as our anniversary together every year. That first time, which was my first time, I was 15. He was 45.
– “This was after a few months of him asking me to go on walks in the middle of the night, which he would bring up topics of a sexual nature escalating in detail over time and asking me flippant questions about my sexual history, of which I had none.
– “He told me keep it all a secret, immediately severing me from my family and friends and effectively making himself my only resource. Beginning at that time, he would ask me to sneak out of the house that I was living in to meet him at places where we were isolated… so that he could have sex with me.
– “He would often take me to his executive library where he would ask me to take my clothes off before coming up the stairs to the loft as he watched. During these secret meetings when I was still 15, he took naked pictures — naked pictures of me.
– “The experience of being photographed is seared into my memory. As a 15-year-old that is not something you easily forget. He would have with me some type of sexual contact during every meeting. He wanted to take a picture with no exception.
– “While he hid our sexual relationship from others, he explained it to me by telling me I was very mature for my age, and the flattering and the romance of hearing that when you’re a teenager; I know now that it was false…. He used my innocence… to do whatever he wanted with me, not just sexually but also psychologically….
– “I left in 2017 thanks to my sister [Daniela]. When I walked away, I had the mind of a 15-year-old in the body of a 27-year-old…. Even after I left, I was still constrained by him.
– “I was distrustful of almost everyone, including my own family; and sometimes had moments of confusion where I felt unsure, I was — that it was right of me to leave. I felt completely alone.
– “Because of him I lacked documentation of legal status, even in Mexico.
– “It was not until a few months after his arrest that I began to truly break free of his control….
– “I never got to live like a normal teenager. I never went on a date until I was 29. I never went to college…. I find it difficult to even conceptualize what I have missed….
– “He hid his abuse behind ideas and concepts of nobility, but there is nothing noble about abusing a child, abusing his authority, and taking advantage of me, my mind, my body, my spirit, my trust. He demanded loyalty, but was loyal to no one but himself. He left me weak, confused, and completely unarmed. He claimed to build me up, to love me selflessly, yet, he kept me blind and lost, controlling everything around me, including my perception of the world and myself.”
Judge Garaufis: “Camila’s sworn affidavit describes how, when she was an underage girl, the Defendant induced her to submit to pornographic photography sessions by initiating and maintaining an extended sexual relationship with her.
“Her account corroborates evidence that was presented at trial, which made clear that Mr. Raniere’s commission of child pornography offenses occurred in the context of a sexual relationship that began when Camila was 15 years old. Her affidavit describes the physical pain, and subsequent bleeding, that she experienced during one of their initial sexual encounters.
“In light of the fact that she was a minor, the court finds that her experience of physical pain occasioned by unlawful sexual intercourse constitutes a ‘bodily injury’ within the meaning of the MVRA [Mandatory Victim Restitution Act]. Accordingly, Camila is statutorily entitled to recover the cost of past and future mental health care proximately caused by the Defendant’s conduct.”
If that was not enough, Marc Agnifilo, Raniere’s attorney, admits Raniere took pictures of the child. Sure, Suneel, you can say Raniere’s mouthpiece is not Raniere, but I was at the sentencing. Raniere did not object. He did not say to Agnifilo, “Stop, I did not abuse this girl when she was 15.”
He let him go right on.
Here is what Agnifilo said, and what the judge said too.
AGNIFILO: As your Honor knows, [Raniere] wasn’t charged with or convicted of having sex with Camila. He was charged and convicted of the photographs.
And if your Honor remembers my trial defense, I didn’t really dispute the photographs all that much. The way I disputed them is they were never shown to anybody and the jury shouldn’t consider them as either child pornography or as a racketeering predicate because they were photographs that were taken and then for the rest of time they just stayed on a device, they never got sent anywhere, never got shown anywhere.
So that’s how I dealt with the photographs at the trial. I didn’t say anything one way or another about them. I didn’t say at the trial anything one way or another about Camila at 15 years old.
AGNIFILO: I absolutely admit that Camila is in a different category than other people in the case. There is no question, there is no question. And there is no doubt, and I never said anything to the contrary, and I don’t say that now.
JUDGE GARAUFIS: Go on.
AGNIFILO: What I think your Honor can glean from all this, and I don’t know if it cuts for or against him, but I’ll say it because it’s the truth. He’s in a 13-year relationship with [Camila], 12-year relationship with her. I don’t know if that makes it better or worse, but those are the facts. And my point, and it’s not a point that I think a psychological report, I thought that some of people who spoke this morning spoke absolutely eloquently about it, he doesn’t know how to leave people.
Agnifilo says it is a fact Raniere had a 12 year-long relationship with Cami, making her 15 when that relationship began. Raniere sat right there cool as a cantaloupe, or even a cauliflower, not disagreeing in the slightest. He was to speak a few moments later before the judge and he did not dispute what his lawyer called was a fact: He took photos and exploited Cami when she was 15.
Suneel responds to this by diverting the narrative to tampering and challenging me as to why I once thought Camila was culpable and now believe her to be a victim.
Prior to the trial, I believed Camila, though likely abused, had grown up to be another Allison Mack or Lauren Salzman.
After all, Cami was a first line DOS master. She searched for virgins and “fuck toys” for Raniere. She participated in the sexual assault of Nicole.
Before the trial, I was told by sources that Camila was actively supporting Raniere, refusing to testify, despite the fact that the FBI found her 2015 nude photos when he was 15, just a month before trial, a huge break in the case and something that caused other defendants to scamper onto the plea bus – and save themselves years in prison as it turns out.
I would not have brought this up, except that Suneel was quick to seize on Glazer’s comments about Frank Report. I think it fair to defend myself from Glazer’s or Suneel’s calumny that I wanted to out a child sex victim.
Glazer wrote, “Counsel [Glazer] have worked with media outlets to prevent public exposure of their [Hector, Adriana, Marian, Daniela, Adriene, and Camila’s] family name and the places where they reside, and those efforts have been largely successful. Their full identities were disclosed in two books about NXIVM published exclusively in Mexico and one news article written by the author of one of those books.
[Actually their names have been published in scores of Mexican news outlets. I won’t publish the links because that would out their last name.]
Glazer goes on to chastise me: “One publicly accessible blog [Frank Report] published their full names until mid-2018 and has reported on NXIVM using only their first names since then, although several anonymous commenters disclosed full names in the comments section in that blog. No other media outlet has fully identified them….
“While some have been identified on an internet site [Frank Report], one would have to first know their names and association with NXIVM to find those references through an internet search engine.”
I normally would not publish the following but since I have been referred to and everyone knows it is the Frank Report Glazer is referring to, I had better prove that my view of Camila changed over time.
Glazer and I had numerous conflicts. I was working to expose DOS, naming names, taking no hostages. This was before the New York Times or Moira Kim Penza were on the scene. I was the only one reporting on DOS.
Glazer came into the picture after Kristin Keeffe approached him to represent her and he watched for a while then started gathering clients for an intended civil suit. He wanted clients – and once they became his clients – he wanted them protected. I wanted proof they were out of NXIVM and DOS or they were fair game.
It came to a head between Glazer and me several times between 2017 and recently, including circumstances in Brooklyn surrounding a woman who Glazer was unfairly criticized for trying to help, and we argued over Nicole, Daniela, and others.
We fought at times but most of the time we tried to help each other – him to get clients who could provide evidence to the EDNY and get witnesses. We had a dispute in April 2019 about Camila. The government had just found Cami’s child porn pictures.
But she was not disavowing Raniere. She was, I heard, teaching the vile and dangerous Rainbow Cultural Garden program. I thought that if defiling a 15-year-old is bad – teaching the Rainbow psychobabble to babies and children is worse.
I wrote to Glazer on April 2, 2019:
“My sources say Cami is in Guadalajara teaching children (Rainbow) the horrid doctrines of Keith Raniere, She is still all-in, still supports Raniere and is part of the movement to keep Nxivm alive. If this is true, she needs to be outed so that innocent people aren’t sucked in.
“After all she was the first DOS member. Now she is teaching children.
“Neil, I know Dani wants to shield her – but I can’t let Cami remain anonymous while she teaches Rainbow and may be recruiting women to be branded.
I am willing to listen to your rebuttal before I do a full expose on her. Normally I would not hesitate to out anyone who spreads the filth of Keith Raniere.”
Glazer wrote back:
“You are wrong, Frank. She is nowhere near all-in. She is slowly turning. Yes, she still teaches Rainbow but it is not out of dedication to ESP, Raniere or anything of the sort. She has a strong interest in child development and education and she feels she helped develop this. She doesn’t know any better, but even that is something she is thinking about. She is planning to pursue education, higher level education, and to develop a bona fife career in the field.
“I’m sorry Frank, but this angers me…. The mere suggestion that you might publish this sends a message… that… you question the veracity of what I share with you…. She is maintaining regular contacts with her family, and I expect to be going back to Mexico to visit with her very soon.
“She is confused, struggling, but that is true of virtually everyone who left in their first weeks or months. The people who are not well intentioned are trying to exercise influence over her, but she is emerging into the world, taking those first small steps toward a real life.
“In all this, she is being ‘defiant’ to NXIVM. That is no small matter. Her contacts outside of NXIVM are secretive for the same set of reasons that so many others have been leaving as quietly as possible. Yes, this is slow, yes it can at times be fits and starts, but she is turning the corner….
“This remains a precarious situation. She is fragile. A post like this could drive her back underground. Among other things….
“You are going to do what you are going to do….
“This girl is a child sex abuse and exploitation victim. She was no first line DOS master [actually, it turns out she was, and she recruited at least one slave] — she doesn’t have that personality and she kept to herself. She had no friends, no social circle, no way to do the DOS thing. If you want to drag her through the mud, lay meritless allegations based on sources who quite obviously to me do not know why they are talking about, I cannot stop you.
“Demonizing Cami based on poor quality information does nothing but hurt her. And her family, who are already in extreme distress. Leave her alone, please.
“This is a bright line I am drawing. Cami is off-limits, especially this kind of thing. Leave the [last name redacted] family alone. They don’t deserve this. They have gone through hell. Every time you post a [last name] story, it inflicts genuine hurt and distress….
I was persuaded by Glazer. It made sense. I did not include her last name in the article, but with this proviso, which I added, “I am genuinely, sincerely, concerned that Cami is still in Nxivm [DOS?]…. She was a child victim, yes, but according to the prosecution, as an adult, she was the very first DOS member, and a first line slave master.
“Now I hear she is teaching children! I hate the idea of children being taught 7 languages via the godawful Rainbow program. I think Rainbow is terrible for children. Cami is not merely in child education, she is teaching a program devised by Keith Raniere! Teaching little children – while she is branded and has never done one thing to take Raniere down.
“She is not testifying against him. In fact, she may be one of the Mexican women Raniere plans to call as a witness if the judge lets them testify via closed circuit TV.”
[Raniere’s attorneys asked that some women in Mexico be permitted to testify via teleconferencing. The judge denied the request.]
I continued, “Maybe Cami is going to get out. I hope so. Then I would want to protect her. And I do agree that the [last name redacted] family has suffered a lot. But they were also big in Nxivm. The father was a despicable enabler who sided with Keith over his own daughter – Dani. The mother aided in her imprisonment also. What mother, knowing her daughter was imprisoned – when the months became more than a year, would not have made a giant noise, and stopped it? Instead she enabled it by going into the adjoining room. Cami too enabled her sister’s imprisonment. Mariana is the mother of Keith’s youngest son – her loyalties are likely with Keith. Where does Cami really stand? With Mariana and Keith and Nxivm or with Dani?
“Now I hear they are gathering forces in Mexico to keep Nxivm alive and Cami IS one of Nxivm’s employees. Hard for me to buy into her being just a victim. If it wasn’t you advocating for her, I would have published my story on her already.”
Glazer wrote back, “Frank, with all due respect, you clearly do not know the full story. Just by way of example, the mother was imprisoned as well, starting at the same time as Dani. When she got out and went to Mexico a year and a half later, she was cut off from contact with her family. This was all orchestrated and directed by Lauren [Salzman] and Raniere with substantial assistance from Nancy [Salzman]… and others in the inner circle.
“Cami has been interviewed. She is not testifying for Raniere. FBI victim services are in contact with her to make sure she knows they will help her to get help. No, she has not fully come forward, but she has been willing to stay in contact with them and the fact is they don’t need her testimony to prosecute and convict Raniere for what he did to her. Moira [Penza] told me, and this is a quote, “we have all the evidence we need.” From their perspective and mine this is a rescue mission, plain and simple. I will not tolerate interference of any kind in that mission….
“She is not an employee of any NXIVM entity. She loves the children, she doesn’t know any better, she grew up in NXIVM and was personally groomed and manipulated by Raniere in other ways since she was a child. They have not paid her in a year. They have not fulfilled any of their promises. She is still struggling, she doesn’t know who to trust, but she is making progress. She isn’t recruiting anyone and she has no other involvement. She’s a confused young woman who was mind-fucked, but who just wants to work with kids. They promised to put her through school, to help her get into a college, it hasn’t happened. These broken promises raise questions deep in her mind. Especially school, she wants higher education, she knows she needs the credentials and sooner or later she will come to see how ill-conceived this Rainbow thing is.
“This story you want to run is inaccurate and heavily biased [I did not run it because I gave her the benefit of the doubt]. Cami isn’t responsible for Marianna or her father, she barely talks to them. The father is still ardently supporting Raniere and refusing to accept the truth. To our knowledge, Marianna is a virtual recluse. She and Cami do not speak. She speaks to nobody in the family except her father, who is her sole means of support at the moment. He refuses to even hear the truth. Deep down somewhere is still a good man, but so far as I’m concerned he is a bad guy right now….
“I respect law enforcement and stay out of their way, but I don’t work for them, I serve my clients. And all NXIVM victims, all of whom are prospective clients as well…. I am building a civil case and have more than 80 clients to serve, and it grows by the week. If any client does anything to hurt anyone I have an interest in protecting, I will terminate the representation….”
This persuaded me: Cami was more a victim than a perpetrator.
And by April 2019, despite misgivings about her teaching Rainbow, despite the fact she was out hunting for virgins for Raniere, despite the fact she might be recruiting for DOS, I gave her the benefit of the doubt and held off on the story. I had almost a year earlier stopped using her last name.
So, what this all means to me is that Cami is a victim. Her last name should not be used but her story is important.
And Suneel, while I am open to hearing your tampering evidence, I wonder if you really, after reading Neil Glazer’s extremely persuasive emails, the judge, Agnifilo, and most importantly, Cami herself, do you really think she is lying?
Pray tell, Suneel.