The New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, affirmed an earlier decision by the New York State Office of Professional Medical Conduct [OPMC] to revoke the medical license of physician Danielle Roberts.
Roberts, licensed to practice medicine in New York in 2009, was charged with committing 47 specifications of professional misconduct by the Bureau of Professional Medical Conduct.
The charges related primarily to Roberts’ involvement in a master-slave sorority secretly headed by a man, called Dominus Obsequious Soroium (DOS).
Membership in DOS involved a lifetime commitment to a “master/slave relationship” between a “master” and a “slave.”
An enrollee would give a “vow of obedience” backed by damaging collateral and undergo an initiation ceremony that involved receiving a specific branding in the pelvic region that included the DOS founder’s initials.
Using an electrocautery device, Roberts performed the video-recorded branding of 17 women, most of whom were nude and held down by other DOS members.
When branding the women, Roberts did not disclose the brand formed the initials of the secret leader of the sorority, Keith Raniere.
One can easily see the “KR” when viewing the brand tilted 90 degrees counterclockwise.
Following an extensive hearing, a hearing committee of OPMC found Roberts was engaged in medicine, sustained all 47 charges, and revoked her license to practice medicine in 2021.
Roberts then commenced a CPLR article 78 proceeding, seeking to annul the Committee’s determination.
However, the appellate court supported the Committee’s determination to sustain the specifications of professional misconduct related to the branding of DOS members, ruling that the record established Roberts acknowledged she relied on her medical background and education as a physician.
Her status as a physician was well-known within the NXIVM community. Consequently, higher-ranking DOS members approached her to perform the branding.
Although DOS leaders considered several non-physician members to perform the branding, they chose Roberts.
Several branded DOS members testified they were relieved or comforted knowing that a physician would perform the branding.
The court also found substantial evidence supporting the Medical Malpractice Committee’s determination of professional misconduct related to Roberts’ failure to report the outbreak at a 2016 10 day long NXIVM corporate retreat called Vanguard Week, where the participants celebrate the nativity of the founder, Raniere.
Roberts attended the retreat, which she testified was a “working vacation” for her. She taught free workouts each morning, which one witness described as “very much leaning on her credentials as a doctor” during the class and in the instructional material.
Other witnesses testified about the extent and symptoms of the outbreak, which mirrored norovirus and rapidly spread to Vanguard Week attendees – including vulnerable members who were pregnant and cancer patients.
Based on these statements and other evidence, the Bureau’s expert testified that there was “no question” that the illness constituted an infectious disease outbreak, triggering Roberts’ duty to report the incident.
The court confirmed the Committee’s determination and dismissed Roberts’ petition.
So, again, for all those who continue to follow Raniere, know that the same kind of ignominious and disastrous end awaits you and, of course, to all Raniere’s remaining followers, Viva Executive Success.
One final word: I believe if there is any path to Roberts getting a medical license again, it would require her to renounce Raniere.
She would need to assure any licensing body that if there was a conflict between her professional medical conduct and her former grandmaster’s instructions, she would adhere to the Osteopathic Oath, not the Vow of DOS.