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NXIVM: Keith Raniere’s attorney asks sex slave witness, did you fantasize about rough sex?

[Keith Raniere and his attorney, Marc Agnifilo]

Dianne Lipson was in court again yesterday, and here’s her report on the Monday testimony at the Nxivm trial…

Morning session: It was still the last bit of direct testimony of the witness. Nicole mentions the girls from Mexico, 15 to 17 years old. They were in Albany for some kind of schooling, and it was set up by Rosa Laura. The contract that Allison Mack’s slaves were supposed to sign was shown. It said that what they were doing was voluntary, they were aware of the risks, among the laundry list of risks were physical or psychological injury and economic or emotional loss. There was a no-disclosure and a non-compete agreement, and a transfer agreement related to property. This contract was never signed, as Allison booked a play at that time, and it slipped through the cracks. Nicole requested her collateral after she left. She was trying to trust that they said they would not release it, she knew the company was imploding, but she was still scared. She tried to stay away from everything and get her life together.

On the advice of a friend, Nicole emailed Allison to get her collateral back, especially what related to her family. She wrote that she did not want any drama, she had no intention of talking to anybody, she wanted to tie up loose ends. Nicole says the email was forwarded to Clare and another woman, Dawn.

As for what Nicole is doing now, she got a “really cool job opportunity” to work for a woman who is a nutritionist and a cognitive behavioral therapist. She is going back to school, studying psychology at NYU. She is living her own life, building her own future. There is not one moment, not one single second, that she’s not grateful she is no longer in that situation.

Cross examination by Keith Raniere’s attorney, Marc Agnifilo.


They discussed the development of her relationship with Allison, and her teaching of The Source. Agifilo went over how, in her journal, Nicole had spoken of how she was struggling. Nicole explained she gave up everything to move to NYC, she was not auditioning, just working, and she didn’t know how to move forward. Agniflo spoke of how Allison made time for her, prioritized her, and did it at time make her feel better. Nicole, reading the email of her journaling that Agnifilo presented said, ‘It looks like I said I did.’ Agnifilo kept circling around to this, how Nicole was feeling badly, said she was losing focus, felt lost, berated herself. Allison introduced The Vow (the original name of DOS), and Nicole was asked to provide collateral. Agnifilo was emphasizing that Nicole telling Allison how bad her life was. He asked her if her life was chaotic before The Vow. Nicole said it was not chaotic, but she was struggling. Agnifilo said that Allison talked about people giving their lives to uphold a principle. Nicole answered Agnifilo that she wanted to live her own life, and was uncomfortable answering to someone else.

Agnifilo stressed that he wanted to know what she did at the time, not how she feels now. Nicole had expressed in emails that she wanted to know how to enjoy life. That she wrote that she did not want the hard work of The Vow not to translate into a joyful life. Nicole answered: At this point, Allison said there was no way out. I was trying to be joyful and also handle the situation. Agnifilo pressed: You were trying to be joyful in your life? Nicole: Sometimes I felt I must be missing something. This feels scary but maybe I’m missing something. I was trying to understand. Agnifilo: Keith wrote you in an email that true freedom comes from commitment to a principle, and Keith said he hopes this doesn’t scare you away. You replied that it would take more than that to scare you. Nicole: I was already in The Vow . . . Agnifilo: Had you been pondering concepts like how to create joy by living your life for a principle? Nicole: Allison asked me to contemplate that. Agnifilo: You had a desire to understand what brings you a joyful life, you were interested in exploring that? Nicole: I had no other option. I was making the best of the situation.

During the morning break, an observer in the courtroom said Nicole was different in cross, more wary. Ms. Penza was looking back and forth from Agnifilo to Nicole, from Nicole to Agnifilo. The observer said that Ms. Penza seemed like a protective big sister.

Agnifilo mentioned that Nicole was always getting into trouble over not being ready in the readiness drill. He asked her about the readiness drill. Nicole said it was presented to her that if someone did not answer the readiness drill, to make sure they were OK. Agnifio stressed that the concept came from Mexico [because Mexico was a dangerous country at that time]. Nicole explained that the drill was different in Mexico, only once a day instead of at any time in Albany. Nicole: we had to be ready 24 hours a day, so we were constantly thinking about The Vow. It was for them to know where you were at all times.

Agnifilo brought up Nicole’s complaints about her job. Nicole explained that when you wait tables, you can never predict how much money you would make.

Agnifilo: You often said you wanted to be “badass.” What did you mean by that? Nicole: You don’t take crap. It’s someone who is strong in who they are and can protect themselves.

Agnifilo asked if Nicole had a conversation about a fantasy that she had. Nicole: No, not that I know of. Agnifilo: You did not have a conversation about a fantasy of things sexual? Nicole: No, I don’t think so. (It’s been claimed that Nicole’s experience on the table, was something she had expressed a sexual fantasy about.) Agnifilo kept pressing: You don’t think so? Nicole: Yes. Agnifilo: Are you sure you didn’t have a conversation about a fantasy? You never had this conversation? At that point, I think the judge told Agnifilo to stop asking.

Agnifilo spoke of Nicole expressing anger over her life being a mess, but also being angry at herself before joining The Vow. Nicole explained she had moved to another place in Brooklyn, and with working, and travelling to Brooklyn, she didn’t even have time to unpack.

In one email Nicole stated, “Where ever the walk led, which I did, it led many places.” Since Nicole had said that at around the time of the incident on the table, Agnifilo tried to tie her email statement to that incident. But Nicole said she did not know what that statement referred to. Agnifilo: You wrote that you were excited about working with The Vow and Keith? Nicole: I was interested in working on my life. Agnifilo: When you had a criticism, you were not shy about expressing it to Allison. Nicole: I was always careful, walking on eggshells. If I pushed her too far, there might be punishment. Agnifilo: You wrote this, soon after the incident on the table? You wrote that you were excited to work with The Vow? That’s what you wrote? Nicole: Yes.

Agnifilo: When you went to the Berkshires, you went hiking. You loved hiking? Nicole: Yes. Agnifilo: You had fun. Nicole: Parts of it. Agnifilo: You enjoyed each other’s company, right? Nicole: They’re nice girls. Agnifilo: You had long talks? Nicole: There was a lunch that was a shaming session, from Allison. Agnifilo: How did you get that nickname, The Brat. Nicole: I don’t know. Agnifilo: How did India get the name The Princess? Nicole: She had royal blood, and was a little spoiled.

Agnifilo: Do you remember an email where you told Keith you miss him? Nicole: Yes, but Allison was always telling me to trust him. I was trying. Agnifilo: You said in an email to Keith, ‘I must be starting to trust you. I miss you. I’m looking forward to seeing you. I’m sending you and Pam my love.’ Why did you say sending you and Pam my love? Nicole: Pam was sick. Agnifilo: Did Keith talk about Pam? Nicole: He talked about her a lot. Agnifilo: That didn’t upset you or make you jealous? Nicole: No. I was trying to be supportive, really trying to trust and support Keith. Agnifilo: You feel different now, but at the time you cared about him? Nicole: I’m an empathetic person, but I don’t know if I’d say that. Agnifilo: You wrote, ‘You are on my mind a lot. I miss you. I’m looking forward to seeing you. That’s what you wrote? Nicole: Yeah.

Nicole did admit that at times she thought maybe Keith could work with her to make her a better artist. At times she wanted to see if she could learn anything.

Agnifilo: Were there times when you explicitly asked Keith for intimate contact? You would send him messages, saying you wanted to have sex with him. Nicole remembered one message. Nicole: I thought this was my future. I was in an arranged marriage situation. I was celibate other than Keith. Agnifilo asked if she remembered asking Keith if he wanted rough sex. Objection! Sustained. Nicole had given the government her phone. She and Keith had communicated by the app Telegram, but after leaving DOS, Nicole had deleted Telegram on her phone. Nicole was “bummed” that she had done this, that she couldn’t provide this to the government. Agnifilo present Nicole with a printout from Telegram. He asked about a mirror selfie she had sent to Keith. Nicole confirmed the picture was of her, but she didn’t see her name above it. “I don’t know if it’s from me.”

It was almost lunch time. The jury was dismissed. There was discussion about the printout of the text messages. Penza said there was no authentication of this. Agnifilo said he wanted to show a relationship in real time. Judge Garaufis said if Agnifilo wants to authenticate it, he should bring in someone from the company, the witness didn’t authenticate it. You are stuck with her answer. Agnifilo countered he was not stuck with her answer. Then the judge asked the important question, “Where is the phone? (Keith’s phone, where the printout presumably came from). Agnifilo did not know. Judge Gaurafis admonished him, You have no idea? This is not a joke! You are stuck with my ruling!

After lunch, Agnifilo asked Nicole if she really expected to be paid for the work she did around Pam’s memorial service. Nicole said she had been given the job on short notice, and she stayed up 23 hours to finish it. Agnifilo said a lot of people worked on Pam’s memorial. Nicole explained that what she did was an assignment from Allison. Agnifilo: Allison helped you with your career. Did you think you should pay her for that? Nicole: I thought it was part of mentor-ship. In the industry, you try to hook someone else up, give them a reference (to get an agent.)

Agnifilo: Do you remember discussing expressing your own sexuality? Nicole: That was through The Source. Allison said to work on this. This was for character work, to portray a person who has confidence in their sexuality.

Agnifilo asked her about setting up a Pizza Night with Keith at the library. Nicole: I did that once, when I was trying to make the best of it. I thought I was never going to go on a date again. It was one of my ideas, to make this a date. Agnifilo: You were doing things to try and make a relationship? Nicole: When I thought I didn’t have any other option, yes. Agnifilo spoke of a text where Nicole said they should have sex before her branding, because it might be tricky after. He asked why Nicole said that. Nicole: I have no idea. Agnifilo: Did you say similar things when you wanted to have sex with Keith? Nicole: I don’t remember. Agnifilo: Do you recall sending Keith a highly sexualized message on Valentine’s Day? Nicole: It was not sexual. It was to make him laugh. It was right after Pam’s memorial. Agnifilo: At this point, were you and Keith having intimate relations? Nicole: If you call it that. Agnifilo: What do you call it? Nicole: I don’t know. There’s no word for it.

Agnifilo asked Nicole, wasn’t Keith sweet to her? Did he ever raise his voice in anger, call you a name, make you feel bad about yourself. Nicole said he had made her feel bad about herself at times. Agnifilo said Keith gave her access to money. Agnifilo mentioned a time when Nicole got a $5,000 tip at work. Did she tell Keith that she did not need money for transportation that week? Nicole explained that the tips were pooled among 13 other people. Agnifilo: Did you say, ‘I don’t need money for the trip, because I got a share of a $5,000 tip? Nicole: No. Why would I? Agnifilo went on about the large tip. Nicole explained she had bills, and was still paying Allison for The Source (An $11,000 fee.) Agnifilo asked if she paid back the money she had taken for transportation. Nicole, “I did not.”

Nicole had taken a very preliminary step to get someone into DOS. She had asked a woman if she wanted a mentor. Agnifilo: But it never came to pass. Nicole: Thank God no.

Agnifilo brought up things Nicole said in her email when she was leaving DOS. Agnifilo: Did you say you were thankful to Allison? Nicole: Yes, I wrote that. Agnifilo: Did you say you were thankful to Keith? Nicole: More to Allison. Agnifilo: You were eternally thankful for everything? Nicole: I was referring to Allison. Agnifilo: You said you were thankful for the unconditional love from Allison? Nicole: I was completely misguided as to what happened. I sent a kind email, I didn’t want to upset anyone.

Agnifilo pointed out that the last time she saw Keith, she waited for him. Nicole said she had given Keith an exact time. She felt the waiting was another of Keith’s tactics. Agnifilo: Did you tell Keith he added to her life? Nicole: I don’t remember. Agnifilo: He asked if he’d ever see or speak to you again? He asked you not to say bad things about him. He didn’t raise his voice? Agnifilo: Did he seem sad? Nicole: The world was always laying on him in some way. Agnifilo: When you got home you sent him a message that you got home safely? Nicole: No.

Nicole said Bonnie, Mark Vicente’s wife, did reach out to her, but Nicole didn’t want to talk. Nicole did talk with Catherine Oxenberg, while India was still in DOS. Catherine gave her the name of Rick Ross to talk to, but Nicole did not speak to Ross. Agnifilo asked her why she looked for a lawyer. Nicole: When I came out, everything was crazy. Mark Hildreth told me I should get a lawyer. I thought I needed to protect myself. They still had my collateral. Did I have a right to that? Getting a lawyer was the responsible thing for me to do.

There was discussion about Frank Parlato, (of FrankReport, a blog that reports about Nxivm and DOS.) Nicole emailed him to take her off the site. Frank said she needed to call him first. Agnifilo: Did Frank pressure you about a civil lawsuit? Nicole: No. Agnifilo: Do you remember telling the FBI that Frank pressed you to file a civil suit against Nxivm? Nicole: No. Agnifilo: Did Frank pressure you to go to the FBI? Nicole:, wiping away tears: He was scaring me. He said he had my collateral. I thought, ‘Again? I have to go through this again? Someone else can’t be telling me they have my collateral!’. So I got a lawyer. Agnifilo established that Nicole did not know if Frank did in fact have her collateral. Agnifilo asked her again if Frank pressed her to file a civil lawsuit. Agnifilo: Do you remember Frank telling you to go to law enforcement? Nicole replied, “Yes.” Nicole said her conversations with Frank happened only within a limited time.

Agnifilo asked if Nicole intended to file a civil lawsuit, or be part of a class-action suit. The answer was no. Agnifilo asked if there was a conversation about a documentary? Nicole said she has no role in the documentary. “I didn’t want anything to do with it!” Agnifilo asked did she have conversations with others who had gone to the FBI. Nicole said they talked only of their experiences. She was told not to speak about what she told the FBI. In response to her preliminary efforts to get someone in DOS, Nicole said there was a lot of pressure from Allison to do this. That was the end of direct.

In re-direct, Penza brought up the friend who Nicole asked if she might be interested in mentorship. Nicole said she didn’t want to bring anyone into DOS, but she understood she was supposed to. She had said directly to Keith that she didn’t want to bring anyone in. She told Keith she didn’t want anyone else to go through what she went through. Keith laughed, saying, you haven’t gone through all that much. Regarding bringing someone in, Keith asked Nicole, Don’t you want a friend to be on this life journey with you? But Nicole did not want anyone to go through the crazy things. Nicole even had a crazy idea that she could keep it just as a mentorship, that she could protect a person she brought in.

Penza pointed out that Keith was not always sweet. He said you were 29 and you had nothing to show for it. He called you prideful and defiant. He wanted to break you to rebuild you. Penza asked if Keith ever contacted her to return her collateral, did he ever try to return it. Nicole answered no. Penza: Do you think that’s sweet? Nicole: No. Penza: Would you ever consider having sex with him now? Nicole: No.

The next witness was FBI agent Christopher Mills, recovered the hard drive from Keith’s library at 8 Hale Drive.

After that, for about one hour, former slave Jaye testified. More on that tomorrow.

End of Day 20


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 11, 2019 at 06:14

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.)


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