Albany Times Union, February 1, 2004
Kristin Marie Snyder’s life as an “Espian” lasted just four months…. Alaska State Police investigators believe that Snyder drove … to a campground along Resurrection Bay in Seward….and theorize that she paddled a creaky, 16-foot kayak into the bay and intentionally capsized in the glacier-fed water. Her last words were scribbled in a spiral notebook found in her truck: “I attended a course called Executive Success Programs (a.k.a. Nexivm) based out of Anchorage, AK, and Albany, NY,” she wrote. “I was brainwashed and my emotional center of the brain was killed/turned off. I still have feeling in my external skin, but my internal organs are rotting. Please contact my parents … if you find me or this note. I am sorry life, I didn’t know I was already dead. May we persist into the future.”
Albany Times-Union/November 22, 2010
Susan Dones, a trainer who ran the Colonie-based company’s former center in Tacoma, WA, told a bankruptcy court last week that Keith A. Raniere, the creator of the teachings used in NXIVM’s self-improvement courses, may have motives beyond the education of human potential.
Dones said NXIVM presents Raniere “as the most honest, ethical, Nobel (sic), man who had the answers to mankind’s problems” yet his training sessions are “used as a venue to stalk their students … who might fit into Raniere’s profile of sexual conquest and who might be willing to ‘give’ Raniere money to feed his gambling problem.”
She said Raniere’s personal behavior, which was inconsistent with his teaching, is a reason why she and eight other women left NXIVM in April 2009.
Raniere, who uses the name “Vanguard,” and NXIVM President Nancy Salzman, Dones claimed, acted maliciously toward members who were “…sold on Raniere being someone he is not and that NXIVM ‘mission’ is something it is not.”
“I was informed and believe that Raniere/Vanguard was having sexual relationships with multiple women, sometimes with more than one of them at the same time (many of these women were told that they were the chosen one; several of them were members of NXIVM’s executive board which is a per se conflict of interest and all them had to keep their relationship with Raniere a secret from the NXIVM community because it was feared that many members were not ‘evolved enough’ to be able to deal with this information),” Dones stated in her court declaration.
As for operations, she said that one of NXIVM’s officers bragged about an ability to forge signatures, suggesting that documents generated by the company are suspect. And she said the company may be dodging paying taxes.
“The destruction to NXIVM comes from within the upper, inner most leadership of the NXIVM organization,” she said, calling herself a whistle-blower.
Toni Natalie claimed Raniere sexually attacked her before she left him in 1999, according to a court filing. NXIVM’s lawyers called the Natalie claims “scandalous, immaterial, and impertinent” but really never denied their validity.
Natalie wrote to the federal judge that she “…was raped repeatedly by Raniere, each time with him telling me it was harder on him than it was on me, that we needed to be together so that I could share in his energy, and that I needed to remain silent so as to not wake up my child who was sleeping in a nearby room.“
Natalie and the other women speaking out said sex with Raniere wasn’t a spiritual experience. It was something much darker, a way to melt them down and cast them into a mold he had created.