Barbara Bouchey has some new Facebook posts.
She quotes Theodore Roosevelt’s ‘The Man in the Arena’, then paraphrases in connection to her eight year fight against Keith Raniere.
“Far better is it to dare mighty things, to win glorious triumphs, even though checkered by failure…than to rank with those poor spirits who neither enjoy nor suffer much, because they live in a gray twilight that knows not victory nor defeat.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt
“Far better is it to dare stand up for the truth going down with the ship, to fight against the abuses caused by Keith Raniere, to help save others from further harm, to place your head on your pillow at night knowing you did all that you could do, to believe in the end there will be justice… than to slip quietly into the night saving only yourself.” ~ Barbara Bouchey
Born and raised in a low-income housing project in South Troy, NY., Barbara J. Bouchey’s mother died when she was eight. Her father was an alcoholic. Two of her three brothers were mentally disabled.
She became a second mother to her brothers and managed the household. She began working odd jobs to help with family finances when she was younger than 12. When her father remarried, he put his special needs sons in an institution and forbid Barbara to see them. Defiant, she went anyway and was punished for it. Her father soon divorced and Barbara cared for her younger brother, Steven, and managed the house for her alcoholic father who died of cancer within a decade.
After high school, Barbara began work as a secretary. At 21, she began community college, and worked as a waitress at night. By age 25, she became a financial planner. During her first year, she made only about $200 a month.
In time, she went from seeing low net worth clients at their homes, sitting at kitchen tables, to slowly building a financial planning firm staffed with four Certified Financial Planners, a CPA, and other professionals. By age 40, she had gross revenues exceeding $1 million annually, managing assets of $90 million.
In Saratoga, she was a respected member of the community; she sat on numerous boards, raised money for charities, became extensively involved in the Chamber of Commerce, and assisted her brother, Steven, become a financial planner himself.
She got married, but separated. Around that time, a close friend committed suicide.
In 2000, she began taking a NXIVM course at the suggestion of her therapist, Nancy Salzman, president of NXIVM. Ms. Salzman described NXIVM founder, Keith Raniere, as brilliant, honest, noble, and highly evolved.
When Keith met Barbara, he told her she was meant to be his life partner. He said he had visions of them having a child together. That child, he said, would be an avatar.
Despite having adoring women around him, Keith told Barbara, he was monogamous. Since he stood for ethics and inner integrity, she believed him and worked hard to build NXIVM.
In those pre-Bronfman days, Keith did not have enough money to do what he wished. He claimed he was the smartest man in the world. He wanted to build a more noble civilization: if only he had the money.
Barbara had about $1.5 million saved. He said he figured out how to make 100 times that money, through extraordinary mathematical calculations, by investing in the commodities market.
She lent him her life savings. He miscalculated and lost the entire sum, or so he claimed.
Stripped of her life savings, Keith ended any pretense of monogamy. She was dependent on the company now. She found out he was having sex with students and the adoring women she thought were his friends – Pam Cafritz, Barbara Jeske, Kristin Keeffe, Dawn Morrison, and Lauren Salzman – were all having sex with him and even recruiting new women for him.
With their help, Keith had deceived Barbara. She was tormented to find his inner circle knew all along about his lifestyle, but kept it secret to deceive new women. She complained about his multiple relationships with women and refused to continue a sexual relationship with him.
The rat pack of Raniere’s women descended on her and declared she was guilty of an “ethical breach” when she withheld her affections from Raniere.
Nancy Salzman and the other inner circle told her she should be intimately, sexually involved with him, because, after all, he was in love with her. He might die if she did not have sex with him. Those were the days when Keith often feigned he might die at any moment – so aggrieved was he in taking on the sins of his followers.
Barbara was a key part of NXIVM; this clinging to his monogamy [and his lying abut it] was just her issue, and it was not considered integrated to have this issue. However, for the record, if she wanted to date another man- Keith claimed that might kill him because they were so intimately connected. .
She attempted to address his dishonesty with him; to try to get him to use his talents she knew he had to help others without lying and cheating women.
But to no avail. So she resigned from NXIVM and asked Mr. Raniere to pay back the money he borrowed from her and lost. He now claimed it was a gift and would not return it.
Despite being backed by the Bronfmans who spent millions on whatever he wished [The Bronfmans invested $65 million in commodities with Raniere and lost it or so he claimed], Raniere would not repay the $1.6 million he owed her.
Instead, he spent an estimated $6 million in legal fees trying to destroy her.
The Bronfmans, guided by Mr. Raniere, dragged her into an all encompassing legal battle. All told, she was involved in 13 lawsuits, as either a witness or defendant. She appeared before 10 Judges in 4 states. Hundreds of court filings about her were entered in lawsuits naming Bouchey, including by Clare and Sara Bronfman.
Barbara spent some $600,000 in legal fees. She lost most of her clients and estimated she lost over $8 million in earnings while being consumed by the intense litigation. After having lost her money, she wound up acting as her own attorney.
Nevertheless, the 13 lawsuits produced no judgement or ruling against her. Bronfman-Raniere lost every case, but, in the process, they bankrupted her. She filed for temporary relief under Chapter 11 Bankruptcy. Even that they opposed.
During the time she was under siege, many matters concerning the lifestyle of Keith Raniere became public. Barbara was named in exposes about NXIVM that literally blew the lid off their secretive practices and exposed Keith as a perv.
Vanity Fair, New York Observer, Forbes, The Nation, Albany Times Union, NY Post, Religion News, MacLeans, Jewish Press and many other media outlets reported on the battle between the female David and pervy Goliath and his two gullible financiers.
Through discovery and by intensely defending herself, Barbara uncovered evidence of criminal activities. She went to the authorities. She was ignored. Instead, the whistle-blower got into hot water.
Clare Bronfman was able to get criminal charges for computer trespass filed against Barbara. She was arrested. The criminal computer trespass case however was dismissed after the prosecutor learned Clare Bronfman committed perjury about the location of the computer server in order to get jurisdiction. Despite clear evidence of perjury, Clare’s money insulated her from prosecution.
At 57, Barbara’s long legal battle was over. She began to rebuild her life. She had spent 10 years with Keith Raniere and seven years fighting him. The talent that made her successful once before, and helped make NXIVM successful, she now employed to restore herself to prosperity.
Meantime, NXIVM has spiraled downhill since she left.
Of those who fought Keith Raniere, Barbara ranks high in courage.
If Toni Natalie was the first fighter, Barbara Bouchey was the second in line to confront the monster.
Like Toni, Barbara fought and never backed down. There were days when multiple Bronfman lawyers barraged her with papers in multiple lawsuits and judges ruled against her. She braved on and never sought to surrender. Ultimately, the judges saw through the lies of Keith Raniere and his lying minion, ghoulish Clare Bronfman.
Of those who left Keith Raniere, many of whom sneaked away, all of these owe a debt of gratitude to Barbara Bouchey. She helped expose him for what he is – a human monster. And made him less credible.
When he comes after you, he has chinks in his armor, thanks to what Barbara Bouchey fought to expose.
Barbara Bouchey was the woman in the arena.