In the DOJ’s sentencing memorandum, AUSA Tanya Hajjar presented a view of DOS. She wrote it to aid Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, whose task it was to sentence Keith Raniere. She wanted the judge to sentence Raniere to a life sentence.
Alas, the good judge was merciful and just. He could not quite buy into Hajjar’s harsh sentencing recommendation for life for Vanguard.
No, the kindly judge instead sentenced Raniere, 61, to 120 years plus five years probation.
We have listened to FBI SA Michael Lever
Now let’s hear from AUSA Tanya Hajjar, one of the prosecutors in USA v Raniere.
By AUSA Tanya Hajjar
In late 2015, Raniere created DOS, a secret organization led by Raniere and comprised of “masters” who recruited and commanded groups of “slaves.”
Apart from Raniere, all members of DOS were female. Raniere gave himself the title “Grandmaster.”
Raniere’s direct slaves (the “First Line”) were Camila, Daniella Padilla, Nicki Clyne, Loreta Garza, Rosa Laura Junco, Monica Duran, Allison Mack, and Lauren Salzman.
These “first-line slaves” recruited their own “slaves” by approaching young women and falsely describing DOS as a secret women’s empowerment group or sorority.
Raniere instructed the First Line never to disclose his participation in and leadership of DOS.
Prospective “slaves” were required to provide “collateral”—including damaging confessions about themselves and loved ones (truthful or not), rights to financial assets, and sexually explicit photographs and videos—to prevent them from leaving the group or disclosing its existence to others.
Through DOS, Raniere used the First Line to recruit other women to make a “collateralized vow of obedience” to their masters (and, by extension, to Raniere). Then, they required these “slaves” to perform labor, take nude photographs, and, in some cases, engage in sex acts with Raniere.
Raniere, at one point, told Camila that it would be “good” for her to “own a fuck toy slave” for him, which she could “groom and use as a tool to pleasure” him.
Raniere also instructed Daniella Padilla, Loreta Garza, Rosa Laura Junco and Camila to find a young virgin “successor” for Raniere.
The First Line of DOS met three times a week for about ten hours.
At the start of each meeting, the First Line took a fully nude photograph of themselves and sent it to Raniere. In the meetings Raniere attended, Raniere sat on a chair, dressed, while the First Line sat on the floor beneath him naked.
Raniere engaged in sexual relationships with the First Line, occasionally at the same time, and directed them to purchase a “sorority house” which would contain BDSM equipment, including a human-sized cage.
These sexualized components of DOS, along with Raniere’s leadership, were deliberately concealed from recruits.
In April 2017, the First Line of DOS purchased a “sorority house,” located at 9 Milltowne Drive, Waterford, New York 12188.
Raniere and other DOS “masters” recruited women as “slaves” into DOS by concealing Raniere’s role.
Women were recruited into DOS from California, Mexico, Canada, and elsewhere. DOS “masters” used encrypted messaging applications overseas, including Telegram and Signal, to communicate with their “slaves” and collect collateral.
After women were recruited into DOS and their collateral was collected, the DOS “slaves” were told they needed to provide additional collateral each month.
DOS “slaves,” including Sylvie, Nicole, and Jay, believed that if they did not obey their “masters,” their collateral would be released.
Raniere and DOS “masters” used various means to coerce their “slaves” into submission.
Following Raniere’s instructions, DOS “slaves” had to be branded with a symbol unknown to the “slaves,” which represented Raniere’s initials.
DOS “slaves” were also controlled in many other ways, including physical isolation (by being required to stay in Clifton Park); forced participation in “readiness” drills, and requirements to seek permission from Raniere or their “master”; sleep deprivation and extremely restrictive diets.
At Raniere’s instruction, the DOS victim being branded was held down by other DOS “slaves” and was required to state, among other things, “Master, please brand me, it would be an honor.”
Raniere gave these directives to Allison Mack to implement:
Raniere: Do you think the person who’s being branded should be completely nude and sort of held to the table like a, sort of almost like a sacrifice? I don’t know if that, that’s a feeling of submission, you know. So —
Raniere: Ah, you could also, of course, videoing it, and videoing it ah from different angles or whatever gives collateral.
Raniere: So, it probably should be a more vulnerable position type of a thing.
Raniere: Laying on the back, legs slightly, or legs spread straight like, like feet, feet being held to the side of the table, hands probably above the head being held, almost like being tied down, like sacrificial, whatever.
Raniere: And the person should ask to be branded.
Raniere: Should say, please brand me, it would be an honor or something like that. An honor I want to wear for the rest of my life, I don’t know.
Raniere: And they should probably say that before they’re held down, so it doesn’t seem like they are being coerced.
The branding was performed without anesthesia and using a cauterizing pen, which burned the skin and left a permanent mark. Most brandings were performed by Danielle, a DOS “slave” who was also a licensed medical professional.
DOS “masters” also benefited financially from recruiting and maintaining DOS “slaves.” DOS “slaves” were coerced into providing labor and services for their “masters” under the threat of releasing their collateral, including editing and transcription work, taking naked photographs, and other tasks. DOS “masters” were expected to receive approximately 40 hours of labor each week from their “slaves.”
Lauren Salzman testified that Raniere decided that “if we each had six slaves who each had six slaves under them . . . you would have 40 hours, approximately 36, but approximately 40 hours of work per week for life from these individuals.”
AUSA Moira Penza and Tanya Hajjar on the day they convicted Keith Raniere.