Part 8 [Final]: In Depth: Dani’s Testimony: ‘Raniere’s Destructive Influence on My Sisters’

This is Part 8 [and the final in the series] of Dani’s testimony of May 23, 2019.

Part 1 – In Depth: Dani’s Testimony – ‘Keith Had a Plan to Save the World’

Part 2 – In Depth: Dani’s Testimony – Dani’s Ethical Breach and Her Punishment

Part 3: In Depth: Dani’s Testimony: Raniere Grooms the Virgin for Sex for Her 18th Birthday

Part 4: In-Depth: Dani’s Testimony: She Loses Her Virginity – or Does She? 

Part 5: In-Depth: Dani’s Testimony: The Very Dirty Mr. Raniere 

Part 6: In Depth: Dani’s Testimony: Threesomes With Kathy Russell and Naked Pictures 

Part 7: In Depth: Dani’s Testimony: Troubles With the Harem and Raniere’s Take on Lesbians

 

You have to hand it to Keith Raniere. Whoever he was around – and especially women he had sex with – generally plunged downward. Here is Dani, being questioned by Moira Penza, about Raniere’s relations with her two sisters, Mariana, who is two years older than Dani and Camilia, who was 15 years old when Raniere was having sex with her.  

Penza is inquiring, Dani is answering:

Q How did the defendant treat Mariana?

A In some ways she had a lot of privileges with him, but in other ways he was also very cruel…. he was cruel with other women too. I guess I feel a little more closely because it’s my sister.…  He spent a lot of time with her. And with Pam. So that time he spent with Marianna is time he spent with Pam. A lot of the time that they spent, they spent sleeping. So they would sleep together, the three of them.

And they used to share … more time than any of the other women…  I imagine a lot of sex from my sister….  on the other hand, my sister was also a jealous woman, and she didn’t want to share Keith. And she didn’t — she was one of the people that could not be around if… certain people were around. And there were times when she became very jealous and he drove her nuts.

Like there was an instance where she came downstairs and it was one of those occasions where I was doing oral sex on Keith, and she got really upset, and he just denied, denied, denied. So like driving her nuts. Like, ‘what you saw is not what you think you saw. It’s not like you think it is.’ … my sister would have these ‘tantrums’ that he called them…. they were like ‘pride tantrums,’ but really she was having this huge reaction to something that did happen.

And so…  people would come and EM her and work with her so she would get through all these issues. … he was maybe a little more lenient with her…  he never punished her to the point where he punished other women….  he stopped talking to them for long periods of time or really isolated them. This was [with Mariana for] shorter periods, but it was pretty severe.

Q Did there ever come a time when you were concerned about Mariana’s health?

A Yes. … shortly after I started having sex with Keith. My relationship with him became very close, like I was part of the inner circle and Mariana is as well, and Mariana was living full-time at Flintlock.

But I noticed that her eating disorder was back. So she lost a lot of weight. She was extremely skinny and Pam would drive her to Wilton Court once a day, and she would throw up in the shower. Like that’s all she would do in Wilton.

Mariana had an eating disorder – which Keith seemed to have encouraged.

So she lived in Flintlock. She had all her things there. There was a shower there. There was food there, but she would come to Wilton, stuff her face, throw up, shower and then Pam would come and pick her up. And I was extremely concerned because … I know she has an eating disorder. I see she’s visibly scary-thin and Pam is obviously aware of it, and he [Keith] must be aware of it. So I brought it to his attention.

And I told [Keith], ‘You know, my sister has an eating disorder and it’s like back on fully right now.’

I was really upset that it was right under his nose and he was doing nothing about it. And his …  response really surprised me, because he said to me that – ‘Granted it’s not good. It’s not great. But she is doing everything that she can to meet her goals…  by whatever means.’

[said] ‘but there’s health consequences.… What about the enamel in her teeth?… that’s going to be ruined forever.’ …  I was concerned about my sister. He seemed not only not to care about what she was doing in order to stay really skinny, but in the same conversation, he made me feel really guilty that I wasn’t losing the weight, and that I wasn’t willing to do just about anything. Because the fact that she didn’t [care about her health], meant that she really, really cared about him.

Q Did you ever observe the defendant commenting on what the women in Flintlock would eat?

A Yes…. an absurd focus on what everybody was eating around him. Pam would go into the kitchen and, from his couch, which was like his control center, he would lay on his couch and he has his phone, and that’s where he operated from. [He] had line-of-sight into the kitchen from both sides.

This pudgy little rascal, Keith Alan Raniere would making oinking sounds when women went to the refrigerator to get something to eat. He liked them super-skinny. 

And so he sees someone go in and Pam would grab something from the refrigerator, and he would go, like a pig sound, to get her attention she was eating again. And, you know, she would sometimes retreat … like it was something funny, or like he was noticing who ate this, who ate that. You know, every time someone was eating, there was some comment [from him] about them eating.

My sister, of course, had her eating disorder and she ate a lot of food and she would throw it up. And there was a time where stuff was being eaten out of the refrigerator and he would ask, ‘who ate it?’ And nobody would ‘fess up to who was eating the food. … he knew that the food that was being eaten was my sister.… one time he actually set up a camera facing the refrigerator to surveil and to catch… my sister. And he put in… a delicious pie in the refrigerator, and just left the camera there. Sure enough, Mariana went and ate the pie.

And he asked her, ‘Monkey, did you eat this pie?’

And my sister, it happened before, she felt guilty every time that she ate; everybody did. She said ‘no, I didn’t eat the pie.’

And [he] asked again, ‘I’m going to ask you one more time, it’s really important you tell me the truth. Did you eat the pie?’

And she didn’t admit to it. It was like a big deal.  And he showed her the video and there was this big drama. So I think it’s fair to say that he was surveilling everybody’s food intake.

Q And did he give Camilla any nicknames?…

A Yes, he called her Virgin Camilla.

Q And he was the one who came up with that?

A Yes.

Q Were there any other variations on Virgin Camilla?

A Yes, VC for Virgin Camilla.

Q Did Camilla also end up having an e-mail address that played on Virgin Camilla?

A If I remember correctly, it was vcbaby@gmail.com.

Q As far as you know, when your sister came to the United States, came to the Albany area, was she, in fact, a virgin?

A I thought so, yes.

Q During this second time [Cami came to Albany]… how old [is she]?

A … 15  …  the plan that Keith had for [Cami] was that she was going to be … Nancy’s maid. She was going to be cleaning Nancy’s house for money and attending Ethos [Nxivm] classes and the house that they found for her was also far away from where I lived.

**

Q Okay. And now Cami is here. She’s 15 and her job is cleaning Nancy’s house?

A Yes.

***

Q Looking back now, do you have any thoughts on the role that Cami was given and where she was placed?

A Yes, I have some thoughts. What I think is, one, very manipulative. She wasn’t offered at any moment a work visa, even though she was offered a job. That became a problem.  But also I think that … Nancy’s house was far away… from me, from … her other siblings. She was very young. I think that she was isolated for easy access.

***

Q Did you ever hear the defendant say anything sexual in front of your sister Camilla?

A Yes.

Q Can you just describe?

A Yes, he would make jokes about incest. He would make the sexual jokes that he used to make around everybody else, but he used to tease her about her innocent demeanor hence the nickname Virgin Camilla. He used to make jokes about my dad being gay…. things that were sexual in nature.

Q Did you ever come to learn that the defendant was having sex with your sister Camilla?

A Yes.

Q When did you first learn that?…

A It was — some time before fall 2006….

Q Can you describe the conversation that you had with the defendant?…

A I asked him if he was having sex with my sister Camilla and he [asked] if I minded and we had a conversation about, two things, first…  about him having sex with her. But I also remember — and I feel a lot of shame about this – but this is exactly how it happened. On top of me being concerned about him having a relationship with her, I was also feeling kind of jealous. I was thinking, ‘Oh, he made me wait until after my 18th birthday and he’s having sex with my sister’ [who was 15]…  And it’s all kinds of messed up that I felt that way. And I really wish — I deeply regret that I didn’t at that moment get my sister out of there. But that’s how it happened.

Q How did the defendant respond?

A He told me that there were some women, girls, that were more mature, emotionally mature, than others. That I wasn’t particularly emotionally mature and that everyone was different.

Q Did you ever have another conversation with the defendant about him having sex with your sister while she was still underage?

A Yes.

Q And this conversation would also have been before fall 2006?

A Yes. Yes. So, I had a conversation with him because I had observed that my sister was having a really hard time. She was — I would say – she was depressed. She was acting really, like, somber — like, dark. And she had, like, really, tendencies to self-destruct….

Q When you say tendency to self-destruct, what do you mean?

A She used a thing called cutting. So, it wasn’t deep wounds but it was surface wounds and would write very dark poetry. It was just visible. She was wearing really raggy clothes. She didn’t look good. It was very concerning to me so I went through her stuff. And I found… a piece of paper that really alarmed me. And it was a piece of paper that was sexual in nature. I knew she was having a sexual relationship with Keith. It said things like she was sexually unsatisfied.

It said things like she really wanted to have a baby. It … read of sexual bitterness. And I took that and I brought it to Keith’s attention and I brought it to him and he told me that he was taking care of that and that I should just put it back where I found it. And I did.

***

Q How do you feel about that now?

A I wish I hadn’t done that. I wish I had done something different. What happened is not right.

***

Penza then showed Dani a series of photos, which were exhibits in evidence, of her family and Cami. She identified the people in the pictures.

Dani is expected back on the witness stand on Tuesday, May 28. He direct testimony is expected to last several more hours and we will almost certainly hear about the nearly two years she spent in a room at 12 Wilton Court, confined there because Raniere ordered her there to heal her ethical breach – which was – as we will likely learn on Tuesday – because she developed romantic feelings for another man, other than Keith Alan Raniere.

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Author: Frank Parlato

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