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.
The remaining defendants have yet to appear in the case.
The allegations against Roberts are:
- She was part of the NXIVM racketeering enterprise, which conspired to participate in sex trafficking, forced labor, human trafficking, and peonage.
- She committed negligence per se through the unauthorized practice of counseling.
- Five of the plaintiffs allege Roberts committed Battery against them when she branded them on their pubis with Keith Raniere’s initials.
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:
- Sarah Edmondson
- Mark Vicente
- India OXenberg
- Bonnie Piesse,
- 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.
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.
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.
- Nancy Salzman
- Pam Cafritz,
- Barbara Jeske,
- Edgar Boone,
- Lauren Salsman
- Emiliano Salinas,
- Alejandro Betancourt,
- Barbara Bouchey
- Mark Vicente
- Sarah Edmondson
- Sara Bronfman
- 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.
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.”