Like many things NXIVM people say, this was a lie.
On a video posted on www.youtube,
Raniere claims to female followers who confronted him with their concerns about his leadership of NXIVM, “Here’s the thing, I’ve had people killed because of my beliefs — or because of their beliefs.”
Raniere’s statement comes about 7 minutes into an 8 minute recording of a April 2009 sit-down with two women whose faces have been shielded on the tape.
So my NXIVM source said, “the people dying and being killed remark in the video related to the LeBaron family in Mexico where two members of the family were killed by drug lords in the middle of shooting a documentary made by Mark Vicente,” a Raniere disciple.
The NXIVM source added that Raniere’s advice to the LeBaron family was not to pay ransom on a kidnapping and that led to the murder of men. Raniere allegedly remarked, “I feel like I’m responsible for that, for my beliefs.”
While it sounded like a good explanation, the timing is wrong. The LeBaron family members were killed July 7, 2009, three months after the video was filmed.
So here’s the killer question:
Who was Raniere referring to when he said in April 2009, “I’ve had people killed because of my beliefs — or because of their beliefs.”
It’s too easy to say that Raniere was feeding the women his trademark bullshit, trying to impress or scare them.
On the other hand we cannot jump to the conclusion that he really ordered the death of people.
It is true that Gina Hutchinson, a woman that Raniere (statutorily) raped when she was 15, committed suicide, and that Kristen Snyder allegedly committed suicide after taking NXIVM courses, leaving a suicide note claiming the courses brainwashed her.
Are these who Raniere meant when he says he had people killed?
Raniere makes other claims in the video.
“I’ve been shot at because of my beliefs,” Raniere claims. “I’ve had to make choices, ‘should I have bodyguards, should I have them armed, or not?’”
“But I’m leading an organization that is very good,” he says. “You might say ‘the brighter the light, the more the bugs…’ I think what we have is a very bright light.”
It’s too easy to say that Raniere was spreading his trademark bullshit, trying to cover over his enormous mendacity with tales of murder and martyrdom.
Yet somehow in my heart of hearts I cannot help but think of the old jokes– “Keith, you are so dishonest that people can’t even be sure that what you tell them are lies!”
And “if lying was a job, Keith would be a billionaire.”
Maybe with the Bronfman millions, the latter is not too far off the mark anyways.