Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Doctors who helped Nxivm brand women and test brains are under investigation

[Dr. Danielle Roberts and Dr. Brandon Porter]

There’s a great piece in the Albany Times Union by Brendan Lyons looking at the physicians who aided Nxivm in its bizarre schemes.

He reports that Dr. Danielle D. Roberts, 37, is under investigation by the state Health Department’s Office of Professional Medical Conduct for branding women as part of Nxivm’s alleged sex slavery operation. Also, the department has filed disciplinary charges against a doctor, Brandon B. Porter, who put Nxians through brain-activity experiments that consisted of showing them horrifying images of “murder, rape, and mutilation,” Lyons reports.

Almost as troubling as the accusations against Roberts helping Allison Mack brand women as part of Keith Raniere’s “DOS” secret sorority for women is that the Health Department initially ignored actress Sarah Edmondson when she first approached the agency with her story of being branded. Edmondson said that at least 20 women had been branded in ceremonies with the initials of Raniere and Mack near their pubic area, but her complaint in July 2017 was dismissed by the department, which said it wasn’t a patient-doctor issue and should be reported to law enforcement instead.

But then in January 2018, the Health Department served subpoenas on eight women in a court case that referred to Roberts being investigated, Lyons found…

The charges against Roberts that are being considered by the Health Department include allegations that she practiced medicine with negligence on more than one occasion; practiced on one occasion with gross negligence; is morally unfit to practice medicine; and failed to use scientifically accepted precautions and infection-control practices during the branding procedures.


For ten months, Nxivm’s Lauren and Nancy Salzman tried to convince a judge to quash the subpoenas, but they were unsuccessful. In recent weeks, both of them have pleaded guilty to federal racketeering charges and will be sentenced in September.

In the case of Porter, his work putting Nxians through brain studies was part of a non-profit that Clare Bronfman had set up in 2007, the Ethical Science Foundation. But once the disturbing studies were made public by the Times Union in October 2017, Porter resigned from his position at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany.

The state’s disciplinary case against him is still pending.

Meanwhile, we told you yesterday that in the Nxivm criminal case, Judge Nicholas Garaufis was having to decide between the request by prosecutors to delay the upcoming trial by two weeks, and Keith Raniere’s request to stick to an April 29 start date. Frank Parlato is reporting that the judge split the difference, and now opening statements will begin on May 7.

Set your calendars!


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 12, 2019 at 12:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He’s written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology’s harassment of Paulette Cooper titled ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely,’ and more recently a compilation of his stories, ‘Battlefield Scientology.’ He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world, as well as other subjects at The Underground Bunker. You can reach him by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT (Drop him a line if you’d like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.)


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email