After explaining the way in which NXIVM was organized – and after confirming that there more than 60 separate companies that operated under the NXIVM banner – Vicente was then asked to explain how NXIVM’s Executive Board functioned.
He began by noting that when he joined NXIVM in 2005, the Executive Board consisted of Edgar Boone, Barbara Bouchey, Loreta Garza, Lauren Salzman, and Karen Unterreiner.
But in 2009 – after Bouchey left the company – the Executive Board was reformulated to include Clare Bronfman, Alex Betancourt, Emiliano Salinas, Lauren Salzman, Karen Unterreiner, and Vicente.
Vicente went on to talk about the multiple properties that were purchased on Wakaya Island in Fiji. As it turns out, the three people who owned the ACK Group that purchased those properties were Alex Betancourt, Clare Bronfman, and Keith (I don’t own anything) Raniere.
So, as it turns out, our speculation that Allison Mack was the third person with an ownership interest in the properties on Wakaya Island was wrong.
Clare may not be the brightest bulb in the chandelier but she was smart enough to ensure that if she and Raniere were forced to run away to Fiji to avoid arrest, she was not bringing Allison along to entertain Raniere while they lived there.
Vicente was then asked about NXIVM’s Legal Department – which he said consisted of Clare Bronfman, Jim DelNegro, Lisa Derks, and, before she defected, Kristin Keeffe.
He then outlined some of the civil lawsuits that NXIVM was involved with during the time he was associated with the cult.
Those included, but were not limited to, the following:
– NXIVM’s lawsuit against Rick Ross, Stephanie Franco, and others;
– NXIVM’s lawsuit against Jim Odato, Suzanne Anderson, Toni Natalie, and Joe O’Hara;
– NXIVM’s attempt to intervene in Susan Dones’ bankruptcy case; and
– NXIVM’s lawsuit against Barbara Bouchey.
He also explained that even the members of the Executive Board were not informed about all of the legal actions involving NXIVM.
As he explained it, Clare played a major role in NXIVM’s Legal Department because “Raniere was training her to be more legally minded. He would explain that, you know, lawyers don’t know how to think so he was teaching her how to think so she could help the lawyers think”.
According to Vicente, Clare also functioned as NXIVM’s Chief Financial Officer – and “was responsible for how monies were spent”.
Which, of course, makes sense since she – along with her sister, Sarah Bronfman-Igtet – was underwriting the entire NXIVM criminal enterprise.
In that capacity, Clare oversaw NXIVM’s Accounting Department – which consisted of Karen Unterreiner, Kathy Russell, and Vicente’s mother.
Vicente then confirmed that he was one of the founding members of the Society of Protectors (SOP)
But, even though he was a founding member of SOP, that entity was actually owned by Pamela Cafritz.
Vicente explained how that came about as follows: “When we began the organization we would meet, you know, very, very late at night and at one meeting Raniere asked those of us who founded it with him, do you mind if Pam is the signer, the legal owner of the company, and we said, no, of course not, you know, you’re the boss, whatever you want is fine”.
Next, Vicente talked about the various research projects that were being overseen by Raniere.
These included the “brain studies” that had been going on for several years before Vicente arrived in 2005 – and the ongoing “psychopathy” studies via which Raniere was studying the characteristics of psychopaths and how they differed from sociopaths.
And as it turns out, the overseer of those “brain studies” – the former medical doctor turned insulation salesman, Brandon Porter – actually started taking NXIVM trainings when he was still in medical school (Vicente was his NXIVM Coach).
After he graduated from medical school, Porter moved to Clifton Park, NY to be closer to Raniere.
Vicente then made another attempt to explain how NXIVM’s finances worked. In doing so, he revealed several aspects of the financial side of NXIVM that had not been made public before:
– Karen Unterreiner did monthly calculations to determine how much Raniere was owed from NXIVM’s various companies;
– Jim Del Negro did similar calculations for the SOP;
– How the calculations were made “was a complete and utter mystery” to Vicente;
– The Accounting Department at NXIVM was in a perpetual state of chaos;
– Everyone who worked at NXIVM was an independent contractor (Frank Report actually believes that Nancy Salzman was categorized as an employee);
– No one who worked for NXIVM really understood what their paychecks covered (“We used the term inside the company, you know, we just got a check from the mysterious NXIVM gods. We had no idea what they were for”); and
– NXIVM’s commission structure was extremely complex: “My understanding is there’s a whole commission structure of how monies were dispersed. The gross was coming into head office, it was generally paid into a computer system, and then, you know, the sales force got a portion, proctors got a portion, trainers got a portion, centers got a portion, and then the remainder, which I recall was around 15 percent, I believe, went back to the actual company itself”.
Vicente also recounted Raniere’s explanation for what happened to his first company, Consumer’s Buyline, Inc. (CBI)
According to what Raniere told him, CBI was extremely successful and profitable – and allowed many people to become millionaires.
But when the company expanded its operations into Arkansas, representatives from Bill Clinton came to him and demanded kickbacks for allowing the company to operate there.
When Raniere refused to pay, Clinton organized the Attorneys General in several states to go after Raniere – and shut down CBI.
Following the lunch break, Vicente returned to the stand – and explained some of the other projects he was involved with at NXIVM (He had testified earlier about being one of the founding members of the Society of Protectors – and a member of the company’s Executive Board).
In addition to being the co-owner of the NXIVM Centers in Vancouver and Los Angeles, Vicente had a number of other roles in the organization.
He oversaw a Delaware company called “Moving Pixels LLC – which was, in essence, NXIVM’s video department and which was owned by Nancy Salzman.
He was the Director of NXIVM’s Communications Division. Other members of the Communications Division included Chris Brooks, Meghan Mumford, Scott Mumford, Justin Elliott, Ken Kozak, Juan Lopez Fonz, Olivia Kahn, Mike Baker, Souki, and Dan Bratman.
He worked on a number of film projects with Raniere.
He recruited “people in power” in the entertainment and media industries, bringing in more than 50 such recruits.
He also recruited “generally everyday people as well” – and eventually had more than 2,000 people in his organization within NXIVM.
One of the most fascinating aspects of Vicente’s testimony had to do with the way Raniere taught him to deal with potential members who brought up the subject of NXIVM being a cult.
Raniere explained the two different techniques he personally used in that situation – and suggested that Vicente and other NXIVM salespeople could also use them.
In Technique #1, Raniere would respond as follows: “These things you’re reading, do you know that they are actually coming from like really two sources in the world? You know, you may be reading 20, 30 articles, are you aware that there’s two sources? Are you aware that these journalists that write these things have been paid to do this? And don’t you find it strange that you would, in essence, believe the word of somebody you’ve never met over me who you know”.
In Technique #2, Raniere would challenge the person more directly: “Do I look like the kind of person that would get involved in something dangerous? In something nefarious? Doesn’t it seem strange that you would believe a journalist you’ve never met who never even took the program? You have to understand, these people that are saying these things, they’ve never taken the program”.
Vicente also confirmed that Raniere wanted everything he did – and everything he said – recorded. “He wanted a historical record of pretty much everything that was happening” – which is why he had a whole team taking notes every time he spoke about any topic.
And he recounted how Raniere once got very upset when Vicente stopped filming during a “forum” that Raniere was conducting at Apropos.
As Vicente explained the situation, there were three cameras filming from start to finish throughout the forum. Vicente came in during the forum to shoot some extra footage – and then stopped after about an hour.
Raniere chastised him for not continuing to film like the other three camera operators were doing because he claimed it sent the message to the participants that what he was saying was unimportant. And so Raniere instructed him that in the future, he should at least pretend to be filming throughout an event if he had turned off his camera.
Vicente was then asked to explain what Vanguard Week was.
In responding, he said it was his understanding that it started out as a 1-day celebration of Raniere’s birthday.
Soon, thereafter, it expanded to 3-days – and by the time that Vicente joined NXIVM in 2005, it was up to 7 days (When Vicente left in 2017, it had further expanded to 11-days).
He described Vanguard Week as being “like a corporate retreat” – and said that people at or above the rank of Coach were expected to attend the entire event.
Perhaps the most shocking part of Vicente’s testimony was when he described the filming he did in the town of LeBaron in Mexico.
Although the film was primarily about how the community of LeBaron had risen up to challenge a cartel that had kidnapped one of its members, that was not the most important part of the story.
LeBaron, as it turns out, was a Mormon community that was populated by families that had been kicked out of the Mormon church in Utah because they refused to stop practicing polygamy.
And, never wanting to miss a chance for recruiting more young woman into his cult, Raniere had directed that a special educational program be created for the girls of the LeBaron community.
This special program – which was directed by Rosa Laura Junco – is the program that brought 11 young Mexican girls to Clifton Park, NY in early 2017 to be mentored by Keith Raniere.
Raniere reportedly did his mentoring of these girls in the basement of Rosa Laura’s mansion in Clifton Park – and at his “Library” located at 8 Hale Drive.
And though we may never find out exactly what type of mentoring Raniere was doing with the young girls, we do know they all considered him to be “creepy” – and that they all abruptly returned to Mexico in May 2017.
For more details about these Mexican girls, check out the Frank Report posts from June 22, 2017, September 6, 2017, April 25, 2018, and May 21, 2018.
Editor’s Note: Believe it or not, we’re only a little more than halfway through the transcript from Vicente’s testimony last Thursday – and he’s due to be back on the stand tomorrow morning at 9:00 AM. Nevertheless, because we consider him to be such an important witness, we’ll try to report on a few more details of his testimony over the course of the next couple of days.