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Trial testimony: Keith Raniere’s time was worth $100,000 an hour, Nxivm member was told

[Filmmaker Mark Vicente became head of the video department at Nxivm]

There’s no new testimony today in the Nxivm trial, but the last time we left off, our correspondent Dianne Lipson was heading back in for yesterday’s afternoon session, with more direct examination of filmmaker Mark Vicente. Here’s her report…

Mark Lesko was the government attorney questioning Mark Vicente. Lesko named prominent NXIVM members and asked Vicente what was his understanding of their role. Vicente described Vanguard’s role as the philosophical founder; The driving ethical, moral, and humanitarian force behind the company.

A “suppressive” was someone who tried to destroy goodness, honor and tribute. A suppressive wanted to crush someone else to feel better about themselves. If you were labelled suppressive, you had to fix that breach. If you spoke out against the company or against Vanguard you were shunned. If someone was shunned, you wouldn’t do business with them, you wouldn’t talk to them, you wouldn’t talk to people who talked to them. This was done in order to isolate them completely. The upper ranks decided who was to be shunned. Sometimes Vicente did not know why an individual was shunned. Barbara Bouchey was someone who was shunned. Lauren and Michelle Salzman shunned their own father.

An ethical breach was when you went against your true essence and goodness. You went against your true nature. This not only had an effect on the world, but you went against yourself. This later morphed into the the idea that you had done something against the company or against Raniere. Vicente feels that it became a mechanism of control.

Exchange was when you could not afford the curriculum, and you worked for the company to pay off the cost of the training. For the purposes of exchange, the training was always charged at the retail rate, no discount. Vicente observed that people who did the exchange struggled to pay their debt.


For someone of high rank not to attend trainings, was seen as a lack of commitment to their growth.

On the issue of why Vanguard didn’t own anything, Vicente was given to understand that Raniere was a renunciate. He had achieved a state called “unification”, where he didn’t require externals to be joyful. He did not want to be attached to the world. Keith thought he was seen as a threat to society because of his ethical understanding and high intellect. Keith felt the conspiracy against him went to the highest levels.

Vicente knew that Clare got in trouble for an incident where Clare got her father upset with the company. Vicente was told that Edgar Bronfman Sr. tried to destroy the company. This was a breach that Clare had to heal.

Vicente asked, but he couldn’t get answers from Keith regarding taxes and finances. Vicente never got access to the numbers.

Keith tried to get a patent on how to rehabilitate a Luciferian. A patent actually was issued regarding the sashes. Clare was paying many thousands of dollars to patent attorneys.

One sales strategy was that everything has a cost. The cost of not buying the program is greater than the cost of buying the program. For instance, you may think you can’t spare the time, but you will be making a small investment of time, for a lifetime of benefit.

Keith pointed out that journalists are paid for what they do. Keith said why believe the word of a journalist who never met me and who has never taken the program? Keith was trying to build a noble ethical civilization. People who use the word ‘cult’ are against this, and they use this word to inspire fear.

Vicente became head of the video department at NXIVM. He filmed a lot of stuff because Keith wanted a historical record. Once when Keith was giving a training, Vicente was shooting “B-roll,” while two other people were filming Keith. Vicente explained that the B-roll was ancillary or establishing stuff, such as reactions of people in the audience. When Vicente had filmed enough, he stopped. Later Keith asked him why he had stopped, and Vicente explained that he didn’t need more and that two other cameras were rolling. Keith sent a message that this made it look like what Keith was saying was not important. Vicente apologized, and asked what he should do in a similar circumstance. Keith told him to pretend to keep filming, to mock shoot.

Vanguard Week was like summer camp, there were many activities. People of higher rank were expected to help run things. The cost of V-Week could run up to $3,500. Lesko joked that you paid to work. You paid money to attend, then you had to help run things.

With NXIVM, Vicente worked on a film about violence in Mexico. They were looking for people who stood up against violence. There was a group of Mormons in the Mexican state of Chihuahua, the LeBarons, who had left Utah because they were polygamous. One of their young boys was kidnapped, and a ransom of 1 million was demanded. First the LeBarons tried to raise the money. But then they realized that if they paid the ransom, the kidnappers would only do it again. They told the kidnappers there was no deal, they were not paying. Then they mounted a protest in front of a government office. The theory was that the government was working with the kidnappers. On day 8 of the protest, the child was released.

Raniere started a program for girls from the LeBaron community, run by Rosa Laura Junco. Some girls became nannies for Rainbow Cultural Garden, Raniere’s educational program for children.

Another film concept discussed was to be called “The Carbon Crime,” debunking global warming. Also discussed was a film which would present Keith as a good man who was misunderstood. Nancy Salzman told Vicente, “I would love it if Keith does not die a criminal in the eyes of the world.” Regarding the suicide of Kristen Snyder, Keith said that Snyder was a survivalist and a very fit woman. Keith said Snyder was not dead, but was found living at a motel with a lover, trying to get away from a drug thing. Vicente believed what Keith told him about Snyder.

Vicente got invited to meet Keith at volleyball. Volleyball was typically from midnight to 7am. Vicente wanted to meet with Keith more, and became quite insistent about it, but this didn’t happen. Vicente was given EM’s because of his insistence on talking to Keith. When Vicente announced that he was no longer attached to the idea of talking to Keith, that’s when Keith invited him for a walk. Vicente was very happy, because Keith was a genius beyond geniuses. Pam said this was a big deal, that Keith did not have many male friends. They started meeting frequently, and Vicente’s profile went up because he was spending time with the “king.” Nancy Salzman said to Vicente, “Do you realize what it means to spend an hour with him? His time is wroth $100,000 an hour.”

Nancy Salzman believed that Keith had the power to heal, that he could affect the weather, and that he affected technology. Keith’s energy field creates problems with computers, and that’s why he goes through so many. (Actually it is a popular New Age concept that some people have such a high vibration that electronics go haywire around them. This is not an idea that Keith came up with, it’s out there.)

At one point Vicente was told that Raniere understands the path to enlightenment through sexuality. Vicente didn’t know what to make of this.

The Video Edit: In June 2008, Keith asked Vicente if it was possible to remove things from a video in a way that you couldn’t tell it was removed. Vicente said you could hide the removal by making it look like a glitch. VHS tapes were glitchy anyway. Vicente was asked to alter a tape that contained a health claim by Nancy. There was a legal action involved. Vicente understood that the program could be shut down if he did not alter the tape. Nancy was admonished, but Vicente does not recall what the consequences to her were. Lesko asked Vicente if he knew that altering the tape was illegal. Vicente’s reply was “Yes and no.” Yes that he knew it was illegal. No, because their methodology was superior to the ethics of government. Vicente understood that this must be for a higher good. The judge asked if there was any discussion of the lawfulness of this. Vicente said no. The judge asked if he dealt with a lawyer. Again, the answer was no. Lesko asked, “As you stand here today, was the alteration illegal?” Vicente said it was illegal.

It was quite a process to alter the tape. The Legal Department determined what had to be removed. Glitches were created to remove it, a master copy was created, and then duplicated to make it look like an older generation copy. Vicente even made glitches in other areas of the tape to create a smokescreen.
A man named Adrian worked in the video department with Vicente. Adrian was the brother of Marianna, Camilla, and the woman who was kept prisoner in the room.

Monday there may be more direct before cross begins. Judge Garaufis wants to move things along, and the government lawyers said they would try to get Vicente to not give such long answers.

End of Day 3.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 10, 2019 at 13:00

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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.)


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