Nicki Clyne filed a declaration in opposition on May 10, asking US District Judge Eric Komitee to deny the plaintiffs in Edmondson v. Raniere leave to amend their complaint.
Represented by Kohn Swift and Graf of Philadelphia, and Zuckerman Spaeder of Washington DC, 70 NXIVM plaintiffs filed a complaint in January 2020, amended it twice, and now seek a third shot at getting their complaint up to the bare legal standard.
The sprawling proposed Third Amended Complaint [TAC], which makes scattershot allegations without detailing who did what to whom, targets wealthy sisters Clare and Sara Bronfman.
To lasso the Bronfman sisters into any and all bad conduct shotgun style, where everyone is sued by everyone for everything, the lawsuit includes NXIVM founder Keith Raniere, plus Allison Mack, Kathy Russell, Danielle Roberts, Brandon Porter, and Clyne as defendants.
On February 1, Judge Komitee told the plaintiffs their complaint was a “shotgun,” and he would dismiss it, possibly precluding them from amending it again, thus ending their lawsuit.
Clyne, representing herself, in opposition papers, declared the TAC is “classic shotgun pleadings.”
Fraud Claims Fail
Clyne also contends the TAC fails to meet the “heightened pleading standard” for federal fraud claims failing to:
- Clearly specify the fraudulent statements.
- Identify the speaker.
- State when and where the statements were made.
- Explain why the statements were fraudulent.
Clyne addressed many allegations in the TAC
TAC: Defendants Raniere, Clare Bronfman, Sara Bronfman, Allison Mack, Nicky Clyne [sic], and Kathy Russell, as well as former Defendants Nancy Salzman and Lauren Salzman…. were referred to as Raniere’s “Inner Circle,” and they … were intimately involved in all aspects of the NXIVM enterprise.
Clyne wrote she “had no authority in NXIVM operations” and “held a rank below” everyone in the so-called “inner circle” and “below [in rank] Plaintiffs Sarah Edmondson, Mark Vicente, Bonnie Piesse, Anthony Ames, and Ariella Menashy…
“How will the Plaintiffs distinguish Raniere’s ‘Inner Circle’ in a way that does not include Plaintiffs? How is it plausible that Plaintiff Vicente, who was on NXIVM’s Executive Board, was not part of Raniere’s ‘Inner Circle?’
“At the 2019 trial of US v. Raniere, former Defendant Lauren Salzman named Plaintiffs Vicente and Camila as part of Raniere’s “Inner Circle.”
TAC: NXIVM was another pyramid operation designed to induce enrollees… to recruit others and form downstream sales organizations…
The Inner Circle pressured enrollees to become indebted to NXIVM and its leadership. …. Plaintiffs… Sarah Edmondson,… Mark Vicente… became trapped in a cycle of indebtedness because of… false representations by the Inner Circle that more courses were needed to progress through the program.
Sarah Edmondson told Nicki Clyne that Raniere was extraordinary and to pay for NXIVM courses.
Clyne was “downstream” from Edmondson and Vicente.
Clyne writes Edmondson and Vicente “profited financially from every class I took, and made persistent efforts to persuade me to take more NXIVM classes. I accrued tens of thousands of dollars in debt because of my involvement with the organization…
“How are Plaintiffs Edmondson, Vicente, Piesse, and Ames not part of this ‘pyramid scheme’? Plaintiffs Ames and Vicente were founders of Society of Protectors. Plaintiffs Piesse and Vicente were founders of The Source. Plaintiff Edmondson was a founder of Ten C. Plaintiffs Vicente [was a] founder[s] of The Knife. The Plaintiffs should explain this in their Reply.”
TAC: As alleged herein, Defendant Clyne committed multiple acts of extortion based on the same collateral scheme employed by Defendant Mack.
Clyne: The extortion claim “fails because it is described as ‘based on the same collateral scheme employed by Defendant Mack.’ As a matter of law [res judicata], Mack’s ‘collateral scheme’ is different from anything I was alleged to have done because Mack was criminally charged, pleaded guilty, and was convicted based upon the said collateral scheme. I was never charged in Federal Court, New York State, or anywhere else…
“The TAC, in conclusory fashion, alleges that by taking collateral, any Defendant who recruited a ‘slave’ into DOS automatically engaged in fraud, extortion, sexual abuse, and branding.
“How will Plaintiffs explain the four Plaintiffs who recruited ‘slaves’?
“Edmondson recruited three slaves. India Oxenberg recruited two slaves and one grand-slave. Jessica Joan recruited one slave. Presuming the allegations in the TAC are true, then Camila, a ‘First-line Master,’ is guilty of the exact conduct alleged against me because she also recruited a slave. Lauren Salzman, also a ‘First Line Master,’ whom the Plaintiffs chose to dismiss as a Defendant, had 28 slaves, grand-slaves, and grand-grand-slaves.”
Clyne: “Does that mean the Plaintiffs’ attorneys, KOHN, SWIFT & GRAF, P.C., and ZUCKERMAN SPAEDER, are laboring under textbook conflicts of interest and divided duties owed to their clients in violation of Rules 1.7 and 1.8 of the Rule of Professional Conduct? The Plaintiffs should explain this in the Reply.
“It appears by the choice of language used in the TAC that the Plaintiffs’ attorneys are aware of this conflict. When referring to India Oxenberg within a context where she could, according to the TAC, be held culpable for sex trafficking, forced labor, and other alleged DOS-related crimes, she is referred to only as ‘a DOS ‘slave’ extorted by Mack’; however, she is referred to by her full name when she is alleged to be a victim:… “Mack and a DOS ‘slave’ extorted by Mack recruited Rachel into DOS. Mack told Rachel that DOS was a special program and directed her to provide damaging collateral to learn more.” India recruited Plaintiff Rachel into DOS in February 2017, when she was well aware of Raniere’s sexual proclivities and his role in DOS.
Slave of Raniere
TAC: Clyne and Raniere had a master-slave and sexual relationship[.]
Clyne: Plaintiffs allege I was a slave and Keith Raniere was my master. This singular allegation renders the entirety of the Plaintiffs’ allegations in the TAC implausible and legally insufficient…. If I do not have power over my own labor, how can I be the perpetrator of a labor conspiracy?
TAC: Expert testimony adduced by the government in the criminal proceedings described how coercive control (physical abuse, sexual violence, psychological aggression, stalking and surveillance behaviors, economic abuse, shaming, humiliation, and isolation) is used to entrap women in abusive relationships and prevent their efforts to leave the situation. The expert also testified that age and power differential in an organization can strengthen coercive control if the perpetrator is powerful in the community, and that compliance can be enforced through intimidation and fear of a credible threat, even in the absence of an express threat. Women selected for DOS depended on NXIVM for their income, had taken misogynistic curriculum, were subjected to restrictive diets and sleep deprivation, and isolated from their families and friends.
Clyne: Plaintiff Edmondson introduced me to Raniere in 2005, when I was 22 years old and he was 45. Plaintiffs Edmondson and Vicente promoted Raniere as the smartest, most ethical man in the world. Their claims led to me being “entrap[ed] in [an] abusive relationship” with an “age and power differential in an organization” with “coercive control” where “the perpetrator is powerful in the community, and that compliance can be enforced through intimidation and fear of a credible threat” for 16 years, beginning eight years before DOS was created by Raniere. If I am a perpetrator or co-conspirator, the Plaintiffs have not detailed how in the TAC.
Forced Labor, Sex Trafficking
FAC Clyne committed several forced labor, sex trafficking, and human trafficking violations…
Clyne: The only Plaintiff I recruited into DOS [Allison E. AKA Jane Doe 8.] never alleges she had any sexual contact with Raniere or anyone, nor specifies any labor directed by me for which I benefited. Absent sexual conduct, allegations of sex trafficking cannot be sustained. Absent any benefit gained or specific labor performed, allegations of forced labor cannot be sustained.”
Clyne recruited three slaves, none of whom were branded, and only one is a plaintiff, Jane Doe 8, who does not allege she had sex with Raniere or anyone.
Clyne writes, “What will Plaintiffs say to claim I defrauded, extorted, sexually abused, or branded any DOS Plaintiffs when the only DOS Plaintiff I recruited does not allege she was ever branded or had sexual contact with Raniere?”
Originally referred to as Jane Doe 8, Allison E. has publicly come out using her full name and speaks about her experiences in NXIVM. She also posted details about allegations she made in the civil suit on her social media.
TAC: Clyne lured Jane Doe 8 to DOS by describing it as a woman’s group, separate from ESP…Clyne directed Jane Doe 8 to be branded at an upcoming NXIVM event and described the brand as a small mark like a tattoo, even though she knew what the brand truly was.
Clyne: “Jane Doe 8 never received a brand. It’s implausible to allege that false statements were made about the nature of something that didn’t happen.
“By the language of the TAC, there is no misrepresentation here because the Plaintiffs fail to state how the actual mark that was never received was dissimilar to the mark described, which are essential elements of fraud and misrepresentation.”
TAC: Clyne also forced Jane Doe 8 to perform labor and services for her, including menial tasks and 24/7 readiness drills, as well as reporting to Clyne on the goings-on at the Vancouver NXIVM Center. Clyne coerced Jane Doe 8 into resigning from her high-paying job so that she could work for ESP. When ESP shut down, Jane Doe 8 had no job and no income from ESP. She was diagnosed with PTSD and remained out of work for months.
Clyne: “Jane Doe 8 worked for ESP. She lived in Vancouver and performed her labor and coaching duties at the Vancouver Center owned by Plaintiff Edmondson. I lived in New York the entire time.
“Jane Doe 8 constantly complained about her “high-paying” corporate job. I thought she quit to pursue her “dream job” as a pre-natal yoga teacher. I received no benefit either way. The complaint fails to allege any motive for allegedly coercing her to quit her job. I thought we were friends, and I tried to support her in furthering her goals.”
Jane Doe #8 Said She Hated Her Job
In support of Clyne’s assertion that she did not force Allison E. to quit her job, Allison E. posted photos of herself in late 2022 on social media.
Allison E. wrote, “… These two photos tell a story.
“Slide 1: Me, taken two months ago, smiling from the inside out. By the sea and the trees, adorned in beautiful clothing, living out my dream as healer, artist, storyteller, mother surrounded by supportive powerful women on the land that I know in my very bones. Counting my lucky stars that I’m exactly where I want to be.
“Slide 2: Me, 6 years ago. The light in my eyes had gone out. In my car about to head into a job that did not fit my soul any longer, I commuted an hour each way, I lived off caffeine and protein powder…. And yet, I was finally making “real” money, I had the clothing, the car, the office with the window…”
What’s the Truth About Job?
Allison E. calls quitting her high-paying job an awakening on social media, but she is suing Clyne for forcing her to quit.
Which is true?
Allison E. writes on social media; “It took an explosive turn of events to wake me up from my imposed shackles, and then it was a great Remembering.
remembering my intuition
remembering the wisdom of my body
remembering the teachings of the seasons and cycles
remembering the things that make my heart truly soar.”
Allison E . then she uses the beauty of quitting the job that made her unhealthy to make a sales pitch.
She writes, “Do you long to truly live in your sacred gifts, that unique creative spark that you know is within you? Do you long to wake up the light once again in your eyes? Accepting applications for a three month program dedicated to embracing, embodying and expressing your soul gifts. Link in bio to book a call to find out more. ”
The world is waiting for you.
Clyne also noted: Until very recently, I remained in an abusive and self-destructive relationship with Keith Raniere. I have since, however, terminated that relationship – and renounced my involvement with Raniere and NXIVM. See “Nicki Clyne Leaves Keith Raniere: Her Statement,” THE FRANK REPORT, (March 27, 2023).
Frank Report is pleased to have been on hand to assist Nicki Clyne in leaving Keith Raniere and proceeding onward in her life.