by Judy Katz
Barbara Bouchey was raised in a low-income housing project in South Troy, New York, known as “The Projects.” Barbara’s mother died unexpectedly when she was only eight-years-old. Her father was a severe alcoholic who was out most nights, and when he was home, the children walked on eggshells.
This created a challenging environment for Barbara and her three brothers, one with Down syndrome and another with a different, severe form of mental impairment. Barbara had no parental supervision, and in fact, became head of the household caring for her brothers at the tender age of eight. They were poor; eviction notices were common, and dinner was often a hot dog or frozen TV dinner. The Projects turned the heat off at night, so she was freezing by morning and had to turn the stove burners on to warm the kitchen as she got herself and her brothers ready for school….
Barbara and her brothers, two of whom were mentally impaired
After high school she …. became a secretary in the NYS Retirement System. She also waitressed in the evenings at two restaurants. At age 19, she married and moved to Germany; but when she was abused by her husband, she refused to stand for it, returned home and divorced soon thereafter….
She began college, and by age 25 she decided to embark on a career as a financial planner– while still waitressing at night. Her first year earnings were only $200 a month, but she persevered. Within a few years she had established her own firm ….. She became a Certified Financial Planner and Registered Investment Advisor…..
By age 40, Barbara was financially independent, managing $90 million, with gross revenues annually exceeding $1 million, placing her in the top ½ percentile in her industry. She was proud to have financially funded and paved the way for a third brother, Steven, to join her in business, enabling him to also become successful.
Barbara sat on the boards of… the Saratoga Springs Hospital, March of Dimes, Family Tree Adoption Agency, and the NYS Estate Planning Board. ….Her annual client appreciation events were well-attended…..
Barbara was a local town girl who achieved the American dream by becoming a self-made millionaire, and doing so with a strong work ethic, while helping many others in her community…..
Barbara began taking courses and eventually became a part of the NXIVM Corporation…. founded and led by Keith Raniere….
Keith encouraged Barbara to stop taking on new clients, and instead devote that time to more philanthropic endeavors and to recruiting new leadership to help build the NXIVM organization.
For six years Barbara spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on what she believed would help elevate humanity…..
Unfortunately, after eventually learning of unethical practices at the highest levels, Barbara left NXIVM and felt an obligation to be honest and explain to those she recruited why she was leaving. The information she shared was damaging, and would be the impetus for a retaliatory legal attack that has lasted to this day – six years later. Since that time NXIVM, Keith Raniere, and his protégés Clare and Sara Bronfman (Seagram’s Heiresses who were also NXIVM leaders subjected to his influence), filed 7 lawsuits against Barbara, dragging her into 13 lawsuits, in 4 states, within 8 courtrooms, appearing before 10 judges, with over 800 court filings comprising 100,000 pages. According to Barbara, she has incurred over $600,000 in fees defending herself, and has tallied over $10 million in losses from what her company would have earned due to a dramatic loss of clients and revenues.
At one point, after being drained of her financial ability to retain lawyers, Barbara had to sit in the courtrooms, often alone representing herself, in four lawsuits against the onslaught of false allegations, and character assassination -while single-handedly facing NXIVM’s super attorneys from seven highly influential and politically connected law firms.
“The first time I met Barbara in person was in a court room. When I sat down next to her to support her, she was overwhelmed. She whispered that people are so afraid of NXIVM, they have been afraid to publicly support her, so my coming meant the world to her,” said Christine Marie, a woman Keith Raniere unsuccessfully tried to recruit into NXIVM in its infancy. “I remember speaking to Barbara after one of her myriad of court appearances where she was forced to appear representing herself in a courtroom full of adversarial high-profile attorneys trying to break her. She was like Erin Brockavich against the world. Imagine one blond, curly-haired Irish gal from the projects versus a team of intimidating lawyers in suits who seemed to be working full time silence her. Somehow, even representing herself, they could not break her and make her succumb to their wishes. She walked out like it was just another day of slaying dragons, not even realizing how extraordinary she was.”
Due to her courageous perseverance in the face of years of persecution that would have tested Job himself, not only has Barbara grown stronger, wiser and more positive; but, for the first time in years since NXIVM started it’s legal retaliation, the tables are turning and the public is finally starting to hear the truth about Barbara Bouchey’s character, innocence, and world-record resilience…..