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Keith Raniere’s attorney wants to bar evidence of Nxivm going after its enemies

[Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman]

Although there was no new testimony for the jury today, our correspondent Dianne Lipson says a fascinating dispute happened between the prosecution and defense over evidence found in Nxivm “prefect” Nancy Salzman’s house. Here’s her dispatch…

As previously advised, there is no testimony today because an alternate juror was sick. She is expected to be well tomorrow. However the lawyers and the judge discussed a matter concerning evidence found at Nancy Salzman’s house.

In addition to the half million in cash and the electronic devices found when law enforcement searched Salzman’s house, there was a plastic box containing financial records for Edgar Bronfman Sr., cult expert Rick Ross, reporters (including from the Albany Times Union), Toni Natalie, federal judges, politicians, political operatives, The World Jewish Congress, and Nxivm’s own lawyers. Some of the materials contained hand-written notes by Kristen Keefe, who was in charge of the operation. Keefe had the role of Nxivm’s legal liaison, though she herself was not an attorney.

Ironically, the company hired to get this information, Canaprobe, was itself perpetrating a fraud on Keefe and Nxivm. Canaprobe charged hundreds of thousands of dollars, but they did not do the work. Instead they provided bogus information.

There is also a matter of emails found in Salzman’s house from accounts created by Emiliano Salinas and by Kristen Keefe. I’m not sure in what format these emails were found, whether in hard copy or electronic. The emails demonstrate how Nxivm dealt with enemies.


The defense is saying that the material in the plastic box is very nuanced, very difficult evidence. They would be presenting to the jury evidence that is not true. It’s a large amount of material, and would be a dump truck into the courtroom of evidence that is problematic.

Government attorney Penza asserted that they are not making any claims about the veracity of the information collected. Agnifilo will have ample opportunity to explain to the jury the nature of the evidence. She stressed that this evidence was found at Nancy’s house. The purpose of presenting this evidence is to show how the enterprise operated. It will show that individuals were targeted.

Agnifilo pointed out that previous email evidence was always shown with a witness explaining it. He said they have a live available witness who they are choosing not to call (Kristen Keefe.) The defense did say they have access to Keefe.

To review, Kristen Keefe was mother of Keith Raniere’s first child. Raniere and Keefe’s son, Gaelen, was presented to people in Nxivm as an orphan who was given to Kristen Keefe to raise. The fact that Raniere was the father and Ms. Keefe was the child’s mother was hidden from Nxivm members. After doing a lot of work trying to get Nxivm enemies indicted, Keefe turned against Raniere. She realized that Keith was experimenting with their son. She escaped, along with her son, with the aid of a New York State Trooper Detective. Keefe is currently in hiding with her son. Raniere has been unsuccessful in his efforts to find her.

The defense also complained that they got notice at 1 am this morning about this evidence. The prosecution countered that the defense has had the evidence all along.

The judge has not made a ruling on this. He wants to review the evidence and think about it first.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 14, 2019 at 16:00

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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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