The Dossier Project publishes articles attacking the conviction of Keith Alan Raniere. In so doing, they often attack me, blaming me for Raniere’s and their woes.
The Dossier women claim the forced labor charges for which a jury convicted Raniere were overblown.
They say it is ridiculous to call what Raniere forced Nicole to do “forced labor.” They say Raniere did not force her, and that even if he had, it was far from what the law intended as forced labor.
The jury found Raniere forced Nicole to transcribe five hours of a video one evening. This forced transcription was late at night, when she had already worked until midnight at her paying job as a cocktail waitress. The jury determined she preferred to sleep, but Raniere forced her to stay up and do the transcription.
The jury also found that he forced Nicole to read 55 articles over three weeks.
The judge instructed the jury that Raniere’s actions met the elements of forced labor.
The judge sentenced Raniere to 20 years for forcing Nicole to read the 55 articles and do the transcription on an evening in 2016.
The Dossier Project consists of eight DOS slaves.
Nicki Clyne, Danielle Roberts, Sahajo Haertel, Angelina Hinojos, Michele Hatchette, Samantha Lebaron, and Leah Motishaw.
In this article, the Dossier women compare Nicole’s forced labor with other forced labor victims.
By the Dossier Project
The NXIVM and DOS narratives have been represented in the media with so much sensationalism and spin that very few people know what the government used as “evidence” to support the criminal charges.
These charges led to Keith Raniere being convicted on all counts and sentenced to 120 years in prison. To justify such a sentence, one would assume there was horrendous abuse.
Typically, trials involving charges such as Sex Trafficking and Forced Labor involve gut-wrenching tales of torture and physical abuse. At Keith’s trial, the prosecution did everything possible to create a prejudicial view of Raniere. Still, the question remains: Does the conduct described at trial fit the elements of the charges? And if not, how is it possible he was convicted, let alone charged?
Here is a breakdown of the Forced Labor charge, with some context for legislators’ intent for the law.
U.S. legal definition of Forced Labor:
Forced labor occurs when individuals are compelled against their will to provide work or service through the use of force, fraud, or coercion.
(a) Whoever knowingly provides or obtains the labor or services of a person by any one of, or by any combination of, the following means—
(1) by means of force, threats of force, physical restraint, or threats of physical restraint to that person or another person;
(2) by means of serious harm or threats of serious harm to that person or another person;
(3) by means of the abuse or threatened abuse of law or legal process; or
(4) by means of any scheme, plan, or pattern intended to cause the person to believe that, if that person did not perform such labor or services, that person or another person would suffer serious harm or physical restraint, shall be punished as provided under subsection (d).
Other cases of Forced Labor in the U.S.
U.S. v. Sabhnani
Victims: Two Indonesian women were brought to the U.S. to work as housekeepers for the defendant for 2 and 5 years, respectively.
- Housekeeping seven days a week from 2 am-midnight
- 22 hours daily for 2 and 5 years = 8,030 hours per victim per year
- Passports were withheld, slept on the floor, and not given enough food, so they resorted to eating out of the trash.
Consequences for not doing the work:
- Physical violence and threats to tell their families in Indonesia that they were thieves.
One woman testified that the defendant:
- pulled her ears with fingernails until they bled
- threw boiling water on her,
- cut her with a knife,
- hit her,
- pinched her,
- forced her to strip her clothes off,
- shaved her pubic hair,
- wrapped her in cellophane,
- Forced her to eat chili peppers until she vomited,
- Then forced her to eat that vomit.
- cut off the hair on her head,
- forced her to wear eyeglasses fastened with a rubber band and covered with tape
- forced her to wear rags.
2. U.S. v. Dan Zhong
Victims: 250 male construction workers brought over from China on specific visas to only work on PCR diplomatic facilities.
- Construction, housekeeping, and chauffeuring
- Seven days a week for 14 hours daily for 10-15 years = 5,110 hours per victim per year
- Passports were withheld, and 20+ people cramped in 1-2 family homes in unsafe conditions and locked in.
Consequences for not doing the work
- Physical threats and threats that their families in China would lose their homes and they would lose the substantial security deposit they had put down to get the job.
When workers tried to escape, they were violently recaptured.
3. U.S. v Rivera
Victims: 8 undocumented migrant women
- Waitressing and sex work (hours, years, and money unknown).
- After the women agreed to work as waitresses, the defendant directed them to solicit patrons to buy them alcoholic beverages, which the women were required to consume, and eventually forced them to engage in sexual acts with the patrons in exchange for money, which he kept.
Living conditions unknown
Consequences for not doing the work
- Rape and beatings, as well as threats of deportation.
The NXIVM Case
4. U.S. v Raniere
- One 29-year-old American woman, Nicole, who lived in Brooklyn. She worked at a high-end cocktail bar in Manhattan and traveled freely and frequently with family and friends. The defendant, Keith Raniere, lived 180 miles away in Albany, NY, and saw Nicole on average once a week for a couple of hours. Allison Mack and Keith Raniere mentored Nicole in an acting program called The Source. She also spent time with both socially.
Forced Labor Alleged:
- August 2016: Reading 55 articles over three weeks and rating each by filling out a Google form.
- January 2017: Transcribing a short video clip for a friend’s memorial service.
- She lived in an apartment she rented with a roommate in Brooklyn and traveled freely across the U.S. to visit friends and family.
Consequences for not doing the work:
- In one instance where Nicole didn’t follow through on a promise, Allison took a cold shower as a consequence. In every other instance, there were no consequences for her refusing or failing to do an assignment, including the transcription and article assignments.
- The “article assignment” was given to 24 women.
- The task was to read 55 philosophical articles (ranging from 3-10 pages each) and rate them on a Google form.
- Seven (out of the 24 women) did not complete the assignment. There were no consequences for them for not completing it.
- Here are a few of Nicole’s entries in the Google form:
- The transcription Nicole completed was not a DOS assignment. It was simply a request from someone within the community who was managing the memorial service. The memorial was an NXIVM community initiative. If Nicole hadn’t done the transcription, someone else would have done it.
Email from Sylvie Lloyd sent to India Oxenberg, forwarded to Nicole, asking for help with transcriptions. When Nicole did those transcriptions, the jury decided it was forced labor.
Keith Raniere was charged with Forced Labor of Nicole because:
- Nicole read and rated 55 articles over three weeks in the fall of 2016.
- Nicole transcribed a short video for a friend’s memorial service in January 2017.
The judge sentenced Raniere to 20 years for Nicole’s rating 55 articles and transcribing Pam’s video.
Nicole attending Pamela Cafritz’s memorial service after the forced labor of transcribing a video the previous night, resulting in a Forced Labor conviction of Keith Raniere.
Allison Mack with her slave Nicole, who the jury decided was a victim of forced labor.
Nicole, Michele Hatchette, Allison Mack, and India Oxenberg in July 2017 (six months after the alleged Forced Labor incident).
The prosecution’s closing arguments at trial:
Nicole and others transcribed recordings of Pam Cafritz speaking for her memorial service, and you heard that Nicole stayed up all night to do that after getting home from her nightclub job…
Nicole… edited the defendant’s articles for hours a day for weeks straight. I submit that the purpose of those articles being edited was to benefit the defendant and make them available for curriculum or for the defendant to publish.
From the defense’s closing arguments:
The government urges an unreasonably broad interpretation of “labor or services” to include isolated personal favors and kind gestures that were understood as such in the context of DOS.
To conclude that Nicole’s occasional “acts of care” for Mack and an isolated incident where she transcribed Cafritz’s speeches for her memorial service qualifies as a “condition of servitude” or the type of “labor and services’ intended under the statute renders the purpose of the force labor statute meaningless.
From Raniere’s appeal:
Defendant’s forced labor conviction must be vacated where no DOS members were living in a condition of servitude and whatever small tasks or “acts of care” they completed did not amount to the type of “labor or services” contemplated by the forced labor statute.”
The government successfully distracted the jury from its deficient proofs in a calculated attempt to breed hatred for the Defendant and indifference to his constitutional guarantees, including the right to be convicted only by proof beyond a reasonable doubt.
This marks the end of the Dossier Project’s article.
Going forward, begins my comment. Just in case anybody is confused: FR comments start here and Dossier Projects report is done.
There is of course an element of the absurd in saying that transcribing a video and reading reports is federal forced labor. Yet the mistake the ‘Sublime One’ made was having collateral in the mix. With collateral anyone could allege they were forced to anything and everything.
They all lost the right to consent to anything. This was the theory that won the day for the feds.
Poison Pills they were – for the Grandiose One.
Viva the Executive and His Success!!
The Grandmaster, Keith Alan Raniere by artist Marie White.