Danielle Roberts Raises Edmondson Defense in Motion to Dismiss

Dr. Danielle Roberts

Some 70 plaintiffs, all former members of NXIVM, are suing 11 defendants and four corporations in the US District Court for the Eastern District of New York.

Danielle Roberts is one of the defendants.

Sarah Edmondson is the lead plaintiff.

Keith Raniere is the lead defendant, but the targets are Clare and Sara Bronfman, the only defendants with substantial assets.

Five defendants, including Roberts, have made motions to dismiss.

Only the Bronfmans have counsel. Three defendants, Roberts, Nicki Clyne, and Brandon Porter, are pro see.

Dr. Brandon Porter, Dr. Danielle Roberts, and Nicki Clyne

The remaining defendants have yet to appear in the case.

The lead attorney for the plaintiffs, Neil Glazer, responded to motions for dismissal. The five defendants, including Roberts, made a second filing in response.

The allegations against Roberts are:

  1. She was part of the NXIVM racketeering enterprise, which conspired to participate in sex trafficking, forced labor, human trafficking, and peonage.
  2. She committed negligence per se through the unauthorized practice of counseling.
  3. Five of the plaintiffs allege Roberts committed Battery against them when she branded them on their pubis with Keith Raniere’s initials.
Dr. Roberts practices yoga.

Roberts lost her medical license because the New York State Office of Medical Professional Conduct ruled her branding of women without proper disclosure was malpractice. Roberts is appealing that decision. She claims she was not acting as a physician when wielding the cauterizing pen.

Roberts argues that it is not battery because the women consented.

In her motion, Roberts argues that if NXIVM was indeed a racketeering enterprise, several plaintiffs held a higher rank than her. She charts six plaintiffs:

  1. Sarah Edmondson
  2. Mark Vicente
  3. India OXenberg
  4. Nicole
  5. Bonnie Piesse,
  6. Audrey, [she has since dropped out of the lawsuit.]

In NXIVM, the “Stripe Path” determined hierarchy and was symbolized by a colored sash and up to four stripes within each color.

Keith Raniere’s sketch of his sash.

White (student) – not on an NXIVM career path, no coaching privileges or responsibilities.

Yellow (coach) – beginning at one stripe, Yellows can coach students. Orange (proctor) – can coach other coaches.

Mark Vicenter with his green sash.

Green (senior proctor) – coaches proctors – and is an executive in NXIVM. About 12 people made it to green or higher in the 20-year history of NXIVM.

  1. Nancy Salzman
  2. Pam Cafritz,
  3. Barbara Jeske,
  4. Edgar Boone,
  5. Lauren Salsman
  6. Emiliano Salinas,
  7. Alejandro Betancourt,
  8. Barbara Bouchey 
  9. Mark Vicente
  10. Sarah Edmondson
  11. Sara Bronfman
  12. Toni Natalie

Roberts was yellow with no stripes.

Plaintiffs Edmondson and Vicente were green with, respectively, one stripe and two stripes. 

Roberts claims Vicente and Edmondson performed over 1,500 Exploration of Meaning drills and had 2000+ people in their organization.

Sarah Edmondson with Mark Vicente

Roberts argues that Vicente and Edmondson “are suing me (and others) for actions [they] supported and engaged in, often times much more fervently and successfully than the defendants they are accusing. 

“If these actions are indeed ‘bad, ‘ ‘harmful,’ or ‘destructive,’ the plaintiffs would be equally (if not more so) responsible for the damage… 

“The lead Plaintiff, Sarah Edmondson, is accusing me of Negligence Per Se iinproviding psychological counseling without a license… She is basing this allegation on [my] leading others through the curriculum and explorations designed to help students get to know themselves in ESP and logic development tool of exploration of meaning (or EM). 

“I find this very interesting, quite backwards and frankly hypocritical as Sarah Edmondson herself successfully invited thousands of people to her ESP organization and business (which she profited from greatly), led them through the curriculum and led them through EM’s.

“She achieved one of the highest ranks in the organization (green). Whereas I myself, was merely a zero stripe coach (yellow – not yet wielding coaching privileges). 

“I successfully invited less individuals than fingers on one hand and never learned the EM tech or led a single student through an EM. I never built a center or profited off of the tech. The kicker is that [at] my second training ever, I was invited to come to Sarah’s center in Vancouver. She led the training, led me through the curriculum she claims ‘risks serious psychological injury and emotional distress” and “EM’d me’^ herself. 

“So, quite literally, she is suing me for something she ‘did to me,’ and something I never ever participated in, much less ‘did to her.’ 

“Based upon my rank, experience, and training, it is quite impossible that I could have committed Negligence Per Se against any of the Plaintiffs in the Complaint.”

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • The Board determination against her will be used to hold her liable, just like the guilty verdict will seal the fates of some of the others. But she is beautiful, independent, and can easily survive or marry someone incredibly wealthy. Worse case? 10% of her wages get garnished.

    Some of these defendants are “necessary parties” and must be brought into the lawsuit and that’s why they’re there, I’m sure.

    My opinion.

  • Roberts makes a good argument regardless of being sued by Edmondson.

    In some ways, Edmondson helped brainwash Doc Roberts.

  • This could be called the “But HE started it” defense.

    It’s what children do when caught in their misdeeds. They accuse their playmates, as if implicating others erases their own guilt.

    I’m not a child, so I ignore it.

  • I think Danielle has a strong argument here. However, she did brand women. That will be the main complaint against her.

    • Which Judge G. has already ordered Keith to pay for.

      $2500.00 for a new tat like India chose to do seems rather generous when pricing tattoos…

  • Edmondson Defense is a much better title than what I called the “plaintiff problem”. Now, we need one for the bank problem.

    Have to admit, Danielle raises some good points, will be interesting to read Glazer responses to the Edmondson Defense. It’s in his best interest to keep all defendants in the case as he needs to create visible enemies for a potential jury to look at (and hopefully hate) since Keith and the Bronfmans will likely not be physically be in the room.

    It’s clear Glazer’s core strategy is to put Keith and NXIVM on trial (again) and hope the jury anger reaches the point where they do not really care if Bronfmans were actually involved or not in the more sensational aspects of the case like pedophilia, locking up his lovers, rape, DOS, etc. as long as someone “pays” where paying in this case is literal. It will work better if he has people to point at to represent the evil. Glazer wants to settle for a high amount and avoid an unpredictable jury, but a good lawyer hedges his bets by preparing for a jury trial too just in case.

    • Erasend said:

      “Edmondson Defense is a much better title than what I called the “plaintiff problem”. Now, we need one for the bank problem.”

      What about “Bronfman Defense”?

      Just spitballing here.


  • Ignoring the charge against Roberts for branding others, she does make the valid point that Edmondson could be considered more a defendant than a victim:

    [She led the training of Roberts and] led me through the curriculum in Vancouver she claims ‘risks serious psychological injury and emotional distress” and “EM’d me’^ herself. “So, quite literally, she is suing me for something she ‘did to me,’ and something I never ever participated in, much less ‘did to her.’

    What Edmondson risked to bring down the cult gave her a pass in the criminal trial, but does it also forgive her and let her call herself a victim in the civil trial?

      • If so, then Sarah’s even more proof that ESP/Nxivm did NOT create more ethical people or build a better world.

        If you listen to only the opinions of the Nxians themselves, then they all seem to find each other to be genuinely shitty people.

        So, the Nxivm “tech” is not only a massive failure, but it seems to create truly hideous humans by their OWN assessments of each other.

          • Not really. There is a way to judge the actions of a person in a particular instance and not attack their very character.

            That’s not what Nxivm die-hards put out. It is more of an overall inditement of a person’s entire being.

            And all of those still “in” the cult are as guilty of it as those who are “out”.

            You can go around in a “who started it” circle. But anyone can stop it.

            Most of the humans who have renounced Keith seem more measured in their view of others from Nxivm. Freely admitting to the positive.

            Sarah is ALSO defending herself. She’s saying. “This happened to me” and being called a liar. See how it can go on and on?

            Nxivm and its community (according to the very people most dedicated to it) seems to have produced a disproportionate amount of “liars” if what all – y’all are constantly saying is true.

          • @ 8:36 am
            This happened to me vs. Defending against a civil lawsuit,

            Sarah’s recollection to NY Times
            2 minutes vs. 60 minutes contains a 3.33% of truth accuracy
            Weeping the entire time 0 %
            Believed tattoo vs. brand 0 %

            Accusing Danielle of practicing EM’s when, in fact, she performed them on her 0%

            The rank goes to the fact that Danielle didn’t have the authority to perform EMs on members, instead she was their guina-pig.

            That happened to her…

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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.

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