Barbara Bouchey is coming out swinging and is set to write a series of stories for Frank Report about Nxivm and her inside knowledge of the allegedly criminal self-improvement organization that has been widely viewed as a cult.
A former Nxivm member, Bouchey is one of three people scheduled to speak at the Albany Times Union panel discussion on March 18, which, incidentally, is the same day Keith Raniere and company are due back in court in Brooklyn.
This will be Barbara’s first Albany-based public speaking engagement in 10 years.
Last September, Barbara appeared on Megyn Kelly to discuss Raniere.
She will be introducing her series of articles on Frank Report to help clarify the record, as she sees it, and educate readers on her role and views of Nxivm and Keith Raniere.
Up to this point, many people see the “arc” of the NXIVM “take down” story as:
Toni Natalie is the true heroine having endured 20 years of Keith’s legal attacks and stalking. Because of her bravery in fighting Keith, and her constant, almost guerrilla warfare tactics, she played a significant role in building the foundation that Raniere is a louse and a criminal that all subsequent critics and the media built upon.
She was the pioneer in the fight and kept the fight alive to expose Keith when no one dared to say a word about him. She has been aided and abetted for years by her friend, Joe O’Hara.
In 2017, Frank Parlato’s Frank Report blog broke the branding story that was key in the exposure of Nxivm and break-up of the cult.
Sarah Edmondson and Mark Vicente are heroes for having led the revolution that got 100s out of NXIVM.
Catherine Oxenberg’s love of her daughter, India, combined with her celebrity, helped get the publicity necessary to get the Brooklyn DOJ investigation opened – starting with the NY Times story, Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded.
This concerted effort of the above-named people, as the narrative goes, resulted in Keith et al. being arrested. And some have said Barbara Bouchey is nowhere in that story.
Others argue that Barbara is indeed one of the true fighters and heroes who helped bring Keith down and deserves to be credited alongside Natalie, O’Hara, Parlato, Edmondson, Vicente, and Oxenberg.
This is part of the reason why it will be most informative to hear straight from Barbara what her role was during and after her days in Nxivm.
As far as helping to take Raniere down, here are some examples of what she did:
She left boldly and decisively in 2009, bringing eight other major Nxivm women with her. Barbara did not leave quietly but purposefully and demanded restitution from Raniere. She boldly left because of his philandering and unethical behavior and said so – to his face.
She and Susan Dones were responsible for the film where Raniere says he had people killed for his beliefs.
She had a major role in closing down two centers and as many as 100 others exited because of her.
After she left, she endured a half dozen Nxivm/Bronfman lawsuits and a complaint filed against her with her Certified Financial Planners Ethics Board, which was subsequently dropped.
Barbara was dragged into four other lawsuits as a hostile witness, was falsely arrested on computer trespass charges and had her passport taken from her for more than a year. The charges were later dropped when Clare Bronfman was caught lying to authorities.
As far as Barb knows, there were at least five attempts by Bronfman/Nxivm with various law enforcement agencies to have her arrested for extortion, and there are Mexican extortion charges potentially still pending.
Instead of settling the lawsuits and being quiet, she continued to expose the dark side of Raniere. Her court filings contained revelations of NXIVM’s inner world that the media reported. She also repeatedly shared her experiences in direct interviews with the media, most notably with James Odato of the Albany Times Union.
Barbara also made repeated attempts to work with law enforcement, having numerous meetings, and spending her own money to fly back to Albany to meet with several government agencies – including the FBI, NYS Attorney General’s Office, US Attorney General’s Office, Customs, Immigration, IRS and NYS Taxation Dept. Somehow, possibly due to the suspiciously protective of NXIVM nature of Albany law enforcement, she was not immediately successful.
In addition, in June 2010, Joe O’Hara, Barb and their attorneys met the Albany Asst DA to open a RICO case.
Joe then used the same information to try to persuade the NYS AG, writing repeatedly to the NYS AG Office to try to get them interested in stopping Raniere and company before they did something drastic.
Joe and Barb literally laid out much of the same RICO case the DOJ is presently prosecuting Nxivm leaders for, but at the Albany level, it went nowhere.
Too bad. How many women would not have escaped being blackmailed, branded, sex trafficked and other horrors had authorities in Albany been willing to listen to much of the same evidence that the DOJ in Brooklyn is now using to prosecute Raniere.
In February 2011, Barb went to the NYS AG Office. This time they actually opened an investigation. She brought in other witnesses – Susan Dones, Joe O’Hara, Toni Natalie, but, unsurprisingly, again it went nowhere.
In August 2015, Barb got in again to see the AG and after some 12 hours of giving them loads of information about Raniere’s massive crimes, they again decided not to pursue him.
Barb said they told her they had, “bigger fish to fry.”
In October 2017, after the NY Times wrote its now-famous DOS story, Barb tried again.
Barb’s NYC attorney, Pamela Hayes, using some of her law enforcement connections, wrote to Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s special counsel, resulting in a lengthy dialog about how DOS only scratched the surface of Raniere’s crimes and that NXIVM was a RICO organization.
The special counsel referred Pam Hayes to Brooklyn Federal Prosecutor Moira Penza and their conversations may have been the impetus, or at least helped to fuel the fire, for DOJ prosecutors to go full steam ahead and stop Raniere.
Barb also had a hand in bringing in one of the first and most important DOS victim/witnesses to the DOJ through an attorney she persuaded the victim to retain.
Now, the time has come for Barbara to write about her experiences in Nxivm and clarify the record on Frank Report, leading up to her appearance at the TU panel event March 18.
Frank Report is expecting several posts from her, which I am sure readers will enjoy and find informative.
In the past, when I wrote about Barbara, or when she wrote something here, there seems to have been a cadre of anonymous “Barbara haters” who posted negative comments about her.
For these new Barbara’s posts, Frank Report will make a departure from its normal commenting policy to ward off a potential smear campaign.
Our usual policy is to screen comments and allow any that are not too insulting or off-topic to appear. Normally, we allow anonymous commenters to say things that are pretty unruly – and as Scott Johnson points out – it’s easy to be brave when you’re anonymous.
For Barb’s new posts, I am going to ask for civility from anonymous commenters. Especially if anyone plans to make blatant, unprovable attacks on her.
If anyone truly wants to make serious allegations against her character, or conduct, then I am going to request they use their real names and be prepared to prove it, or debate it with Barb, who stands ready to answer questions and defend herself from attacks from those who at least have the courage to do so in their own names.
You can still disagree with the content or the premises Barb makes, anonymously, if you wish – but you must do it respectfully.
As for blatant insults, slurs, innuendos, or downright allegations of wrongdoing, or disputing her veracity, anonymity won’t do. Back it up with facts and your name, please.
I look forward to Barbara’s posts beginning later today.