Editor’s note: A coach who left ESP gave this explanation on the comments page. It seems to be worth publishing on its own post.
The former ESP coach writes:
A few people here have asked some questions that I have asked myself many times, both while I was an active member of the organization, and after I left.
When I attended my first intensive, it was because I was unhappy in both my personal and professional lives. Much of the information and ‘tools’ presented to me during the intensive was enough to help me effect positive changes in my relationships, and to stop seeing the world from only one perspective.
The methods and information presented to us are available in the world – I’ve learned since that there were many other ways I could have got it. That said, I had a couple of major ‘aha’ moments.
The intensive experience is both difficult and freeing. And it’s a shared experience with others that creates a bond. I saw the ‘community’ that the coaches and proctors shared, and I liked it. I saw students have major shifts in their perspective that were good for them. I still believe that the way the information is presented, and much of the information itself is positive.
But good things can be used with bad intent. We were told the mission of the ‘school’ was to ‘make the world a better place to live’. That seemed pretty good to me. Improve myself, help others to improve themselves – how could that be bad?
It turns out that was a lie, as evidenced by all the material that Mr. Parlato has uncovered here. The mission of the school appears to be for the procurement of sexual partners for Keith Raniere.
I don’t know how ‘high up’ one has to go to find people who knew this. Was it only Keith Raniere, and he duped everyone? Or are there others who were complicit? We may never know. It seems that he is a master manipulator.
As for why did I devalue my time enough to be a slave for NXIVM? It was something I struggled with regularly. Here is some text I sent my coach that has not been included in the material presented by Mr. Parlato:
“So, based on all this, you’re probably wondering why I coach and want to continue doing intensives. Although I really don’t like the way coaches are treated in some respects, I get a real charge from helping people discover the material. I love to see students have a genuine ‘aha’ moment, and recognize that they can move their lives in a more positive direction. I have benefitted from the education in such a positive way for my life. I’m happy now . . . and I wasn’t when I first came into the organization. I’ve transformed the way I think. And it’s a way better place in my head than it used to be. If I can help others along this path, it’s a great joy to me. And so I recognize that because I enjoy doing that, and ESP offers me the vehicle to do that, I am willing to take part. I don’t love the vehicle 100% because of some of the things I’ve said here, but one can usually effect more change from within than from without.”
To K.R. Claviger:
You are correct that a coach cannot be a coach to their enrollee, however, there never seemed to be a problem coaching an intensive where an enrollee was there. I never felt I was being cut off from friends and family – my coaches were instrumental in helping me see my patterns where I was pushing them away, and helped me to see things in a way where I could make those relationships better.. I think in any business, the salespeople are always trying to make the clients feel good about what they have purchased, and as a coach I was never told to try to get people to cut people off.
People very close to me were concerned that I was in a cult. I never for a moment believed it. And that’s because one of the early modules every student takes is dealing with ‘people who holler cult’. It all seems very reasonable – in retrospect, I see that there are some modules that are a mind-fuck.
– I’ve enjoyed your participation on this website very much. You ask how we would judge the sincerity of it since it was just a form of control to get us to take more courses, and why we would do that to other people? I can honestly say we thought we were helping people like we felt we had been helped. I still believe a good part of the curriculum was instrumental in helping me make positive changes in my life. It’s the parts where we were being mind-controlled that are disturbing. I don’t think the material is bad. It’s been used for bad purposes by a master manipulator. We didn’t know it.
I can say that all the people I met while a part of this organization had good intent, and wanted their lives and the lives of others to be happy. When I left the organization, it was bittersweet – I didn’t wish to participate in the ‘free labor’ part of it any longer, but I did really miss the regular contact with the community. Fortunately, we have a social media place where we can regularly communicate, and still do. Most of us are left feeling stunned at the way we were duped.
It’s a sad thing that something that was so good for so many of us has turned out to be a very bad thing.