The Cult of NXIVM Series, which is being published in print and online in Artvoice and the Niagara Falls Reporter, as well as in www.frankreport.com, has presented information about Keith Raniere, his inner circle, and NXIVM as an organization that some have called a cult.
NXIVM apparently has some spin-offs meant to bring in new recruits and earn money. Some of these take pains to keep their Raniere influence a secret, at least at first.
Among these are:
The Knife of Aristotle
The “team” has many familiar NXIVM names like Nicki Clyne (executive producer), Sylvie Lloyd, Melissa Rodriguez and Analea Holland. The word “ethical” is also a hint.
From the FAQ page: The full training takes a month full time, with the minimum being a 10 day intensive.
“Our Analysts have had many unexpected benefits and results, ranging from the improvement of personal relationships and the overcoming of fears of public speaking. Consistently, however, we observe people leaving with increased critical thinking skills and a more balanced and objective view of the world and themselves.”
In some respects this sounds like an experiment in re-branding of NXIVM/Executive Success Program.
This seems to be Mark Vicente’s spin-off, aimed at the acting market. Vicente has a NXIVM/ESP franchise in Los Angeles, and is partner in the Vancouver franchise. NXIVM/ESP seems to do well with actors: young actors need a lot of self-esteem boosting, and that’s an NXIVM/ESP specialty.
The intensives are held in Mexico City and Albany.
This looks like it’s modeled after Falung Gong, the Chinese cult. The testimonials video looks like it was filmed at Vanguard Week in Silver Bay. With Allison Mack, of course. It looks like they start with yoga and exercises, like Falung Gong.
As one observer writes, “Lots of opportunity for members to love-bomb unaware newbies, and suck them into the higher levels, where you pay $10,000 for a (NXIVM) intensive in Clifton Park.”
The descriptions of the levels sound like they were written by Raniere. This may be the one that Raniere expects to take over if the NXIVM/Executive Success Program brand becomes too toxic!
They advertise fairly directly on the web, and the entry level is just $300 for a weekend (NXIVM/ESP is pretty much personal recruiting/invitation-only, and entry is ~$3000 for a 5-day intensive). Unlike the newer programs above, JNESS doesn’t try much to hide the links to NXIVM/Executive Success Program or Raniere.
JNESS is said to be mostly a recruiting tool for NXIVM/ESP.
Society of Protectors
There’s also an analogous men’s group SOP (Society of Protectors) which sources tell me is headed by NXIVM coach James Del Negro, who was accused in 2008 of “raping” a young Filipino woman in Los Angeles with whom he was sharing a house with her and her husband.
I interviewed both the woman and Del Negro.
They told two entirely different stories.
Del Negro, who stands about 6’3’ tall, 220 lbs., told me he did not rape the barely 5’ tall, 100 lbs. woman but that, rather, she all but raped him, entering his room one night when he was asleep, and, he claimed, almost forcibly required him to succumb to her aggressive passion.
The woman told a different story. She felt that Del Negro “worked on her” for weeks and used his position as a teacher of “ethics” (in the tradition of Keith Raniere) to gain her trust, manipulate and ultimately take advantage of her physically.
Criminal charges were not filed and there remains some doubt if a crime was committed.
By both parties’ accounts, something untoward occurred.
“Like guru like disciple,” one person commented about Del Negro’s sexual escapade in Los Angles with the diminutive woman who speaks in broken English and sobbed when she related the story to me.