Times Union Presents Bouchey, with Oxenberg and Grygiel

The Albany Times Union sponsored “NXIVM Exposed: A Pre-Trial Talk”  on Monday, March 18, 2019, at the Hearst Media Center in Colonie, N.Y.. About 140 people attended.

The Times Union reported today: NXIVM insiders reveal emotional scars as Raniere’s trial nears

The event featured three panelists who had experiences with Nxivm.

According to reports, Barbara Bouchey was the principal speaker and spoke about 75 percent of the time allotted for the event.

Catherine Oxenberg and Michael Grygiel, an Albany-based media lawyer who represented Suzanna Andrews of Vanity Fair after she authored an expose on NXIVM and was sued by them, also appeared.

Here are excerpts from the Times Union and eyewitness reports:

Barbara Bouchey [l] tells the audience of her experiences with Nxivm as Catherine Oxenberg looks on.
Bouchey, 59, contended that some good existed in NXIVM. This, despite being an organization that was secretive, vindictive and the product of a leader — her ex-boyfriend, Keith Raniere — whom she called a sexual predator.

Bouchey said she attended a NXIVM workshop in the late 1990s and ended up dating Raniere for eight years.  She was 40 when she met Raniere. He was “intimate, gentle, kind, loving, affectionate” and helped her get over her intimacy fears.

“Yeah, what we now know was a sexual predator, a pedophile and someone who took advantage of women was not that way with me in the bedroom,” she said.

Bouchey said she has spoken to other women who were sexually involved with Raniere.

“Keith met you where you were at,” she said. “He knew how to gauge you.”

Bouchey said she thought she and Raniere had a monogamous relationship but later learned of his interest in other women — and underage girls.

She said a month before she left NXIVM, she saw a 15-year-old girl — a child from Mexico — wearing red lipstick – wrap her arms around Raniere and kiss him on the lips on a volleyball court.

“The hair on the back of my neck stood up. I thought the room was moving around me,” Bouchey said.

Bouchey pointed out that she did not join Nxivm to make money. She was already earning $1 million per year as a financial adviser — and, as she put it, “didn’t need to earn $2 million per year”. She got into Nxivm for philanthropic reasons.

During the event, Bouchey repeatedly defended what she believed were positive efforts within NXIVM. She said most people involved did not believe it was a cult. She compared NXIVM to the Catholic Church and its clergy-related child sexual abuse scandals.

She said she became part of the NXIVM inner circle and served on an executive board she now says was a “faux board.”

Bouchey said she had a major hand in developing Nxivm. In addition to crafting its organizational infrastructure, she said she created the 16-day intensive and Vanguard Week.

Even though she was a financial planner and investment adviser to Clare and Sara Bronfman, Bouchey said she never saw any financial documents or tax returns for Nxivm.

She made it clear that Nxivm was not corrupt until after she left in 2009.  While she was there, she claimed that Nxivm did a lot of good to improve “the community.”

After leaving NXIVM, Bouchey said, Raniere turned on her, unleashing false accusations and lawsuits at her.

She also described her role, along with others, in taking Nxivm down.

She said she told cult deprogrammer Rick Ross that Nxivm was going through his garbage and had hired Canaprobe to investigate his personal information.

She spoke of how she enlisted Toni Natalie to help her fight Nxivm.

She explained that she figured out how to get the computer trespass case against the two of them and Joe O’Hara dismissed.

“There are many people who aren’t here today. It took a village to take NXIVM down,” Bouchey said.

Early during her appearance, a group of about 25 people, seated together, rose to give Bouchey a standing ovation.

More on Barbara
In a Sunday story in the Times Union, Guilty plea ends Salzman’s long allegiance to Raniere,  Bouchey also said she met Nancy Salzman in 1988 when she was referred to her for stress management by a dentist who noticed Bouchey was grinding her teeth.
Bouchey said she was the one who introduced Salzman to Raniere in 1997, and that the two of them immediately found a connection.
“Nancy was an extraordinary teacher and therapist and, over the years, her command in front of a room teaching was brilliant, captivating,” Bouchey recalled. “Over the years she got more expressive, more confident. … She started wearing makeup, changed her hair and grew into this more dynamic, attractive, polished woman.”
Bouchey said Raniere was the “brain behind everything,” and developed the training modules that became their trademark.
Bouchey said she eventually uncovered Raniere’s dark side. In 2009, she and eight other women met with Raniere to address their concerns about unethical practices and the alleged abuse of his leadership status to sexually manipulate women in the organization.
“His secret weapon was secrets,” Bouchey said. “He was the wolf and we were, in effect, the sheep’s clothing.”
Bouchey left the organization in 2009 and later went to federal authorities. Bouchey has said in comments on the Frank Report that it was her attorney, Pamela Hayes, who was instrumental in getting the investigation into Nxivm launched by the DOJ in the Eastern District of New York.
Catherine Oxenberg appears at the event. Afterward, she signed copies of her book titled, “Captive: A Mother’s Crusade To Save Her Daughter From a Terrifying Cult.”

Catherine Oxenberg, 57, also spoke at the Times Union event. She explained her story – much of which is told in her book Captive –  of how she and her daughter, India, went to a NXIVM seminar in 2011.

Oxenberg said she found NXIVM’s platform full of hyperbole and platitudes and its people pushy. But India was hooked and eventually became a NXIVM coach.

“It became her entire life,” Oxenberg said.

Over time, Oxenberg and her daughter became distant. India relocated to the Albany area. One day, Oxenberg received a call from a former NXIVM member [Bonnie Piesse] who told her that India was in a secret club formed by Raniere known as “Dominus Obsequious Sororium,” or DOS, which means “Master Over the Slave Women.” Membership involved the practice of physical branding.

“I couldn’t get through to her at all. It was like there was nobody home. And I was in shock,” Oxenberg said. “I did everything wrong. I said, ‘You’re in a cult and your brainwashed.’ She said, ‘No, I’m not.’ It went nowhere. I said, ‘Well, just tell me: Are you branded?’ She actually told me the truth. She said she was. And my heart broke into a thousand pieces when she said it was ‘character building.’ I knew I’d lost her.”

When Raniere and codefendants were indicted, India began to wonder if NXIVM was all a lie, Oxenberg said.

Oxenberg said she and her daughter lived together again after Raniere’s arrest.

India is recovering, she said.

“We are in spirit back together and stronger and closer as a family,” Oxenberg said.

The room erupted in applause.


Catherine Oxenberg and Mike Grygiel on stage.

Grygiel said NXIVM tried to implicate his client Suzanna Andrews, a Vanity Fair journalist, and others by filing computer hacking claims in a civil lawsuit, alleging that they had gained unauthorized access to NXIVM’s website.  The claims were dismissed, he said.

“They couldn’t sue for libel because everything was true,” Grygiel said. “So they ran into court with this manufactured computer trespass claim to try to wreak havoc on a tremendously talented journalist …” he said of Andrews.

At one point, Grygiel objected to Bouchey’s repeated assertions that Nxivm did a lot of good.

Grygiel said Nxivm was always bad. It broke up families, separated husbands and wives and parents from children. It broke up relationships and was a force for evil.

Bouchey disagreed and suggested that much of what Grygiel said was merely rumors.



About the author

Frank Parlato


Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional)

  • So happy I didn’t bother to attend this Barbara lecture chock full of fantasy.

    Nxivm was corrupt and a cult long before 2009. People were maxing out credit cards to take Nxivm intensives in 2000.
    In 2003 Keith hit the front page of Forbes magazine and it wasn’t about his good deeds.

    Barbara came to Nxivm in March 2000 and she did not create the 16-day intensive. That is a flat out lie.
    I think she is still heavily under the influence of Keith and Nancy’s hypnosis.

    Barbara, get yourself deprogrammed and for starters stop telling the world that Nxivm did some good.

    The only thing good about Nxivm was the innocent victims that were duped into giving their money to a pedophile named Keith Raniere for some useless double talk packaged as ethical philosophical technology.

    There was nothing ethical about Keith and there are many victims!

  • NXIVM did some good things.

    Barbara still believes this…but the key for me is that many members believed it during the beginning intensives–that’s why they stayed in and kept paying.
    And the reason they (literally) bought into the “it’s doing good things for me” BS is that the intensives re-programmed their brains, and the group-think, love-bombing, and mind-fucking made them believe they were improving as persons.
    The intensives, with its long hours, insufficient food and forced captivity, break down old thinking (which sometimes can be good) but also make them susceptible to the implanting of new thinking.
    So by the end of the intensive, many feel physically drained, but also mentally filled with “I’m am learning good things!”

  • I find it very interesting that Barbara still believes there was so much good in NXIVM. I have a feeling that she will be healing for a very long time. I get the feeling that her eyes are not yet fully open. Her good memories of NXIVM almost outweigh the bad. I am of the belief that Keith has always been all about himself and never an ethicist or philanthropist. His designs were evil from the get go and he managed to delude everyone around him. He groomed the entire community. NXIVM was formed to get him power, money, and girls/women. Those were always his goals. The only good in NXIVM were the people who were really trying to do good, deluded and groomed as they were. Keith on the other hand is one of if not the most selfish tyrant to walk this planet. His soul was blackened with darkness and evil designs from the very beginning. I believe it’s hard for some people to wrap their minds around that. And I believe Barbara is conflicted.

    • Somebody,

      I think you are correct.

      I do not think Barbara realizes the disservice she does herself by stating NXIVM training did “some good”.

      She only provides ammunition for her detractors when she makes such statements.

      I believe Barbara is being genuinely sincere in her belief and is well meaning.

    • “NXIVM was formed to get him power, money, and girls/women. Those were always his goals. The only good in NXIVM were the people who were really trying to do good, deluded and groomed as they were. Keith on the other hand is one of if not the most selfish tyrant to walk this planet. His soul was blackened with darkness and evil designs from the very beginning.”

      God you nailed it that time!

    • To Somebody – Keith stole a lot of his material that was taught in his courses. He didn’t pick bad stuff. Some of the material was helpful. A lot of what was taught was just NLP. There is good stuff in NLP.

      Keith taught about shifters, parasites, Luciferians etc. Most of this specific material was him teaching us how his brain worked. Beleive it or not, this is great material to have in the real world as you are able to recognize people acting this way.

      It’s a little weird to me that everyone is attached to trying to get ex-members to say that there was not anything good about the NXIVM courses. Most who took the courses would agree that saying such would be a lie. And yet, I don’t think you could find a single person on the planet that would say they’d take the courses again if they had a life do-over.

  • My other question to Ms Bouchey:
    Being a highly regarded CFP as you are; how come when you were asked to be a part of their “executive” board, you didn’t question in 10 years why you weren’t allowed to enter their accounting office or see their books. How did this not raise a red flag to you?

  • “Grygiel said Nxivm was always bad. It broke up families, separated husbands and wives and parents from children. It broke up relationships and was a force for evil.

    Bouchey disagreed and suggested that much of what Grygiel said was merely rumors.”

    It separated husbands and wives and parents from children. Er Barb, what happened to Mr Salzman? When did he last see his children?

    • There were very few stable long term relationships within NXIVM. I witnessed more break ups of marriages and separation of parents from their children (mostly fathers) than relationships forming during my time in what was called Executive Success Programs at the time.

      I used to joke around that in order to move up the stripe path one had to get a divorce. It appears later on, one had to commit crimes, get branded and or have sex with the smelly troll.

      I can’t believe Barbara Bouchey says she never noticed Raniere’s affections for other women. She must have had blinders on. I saw it everywhere. Esther, Ivy, Barbara J, Pam, Lauren, Karen U, Marianna, the physical therapist, can’t remember her name, many of the women from Mexico. I thought Barbara B was more self aware and she acted angry about them.

  • Considering how much grief Barbara is getting here for speaking out—she is not believed, or didn’t do enough or did it too late, etc—is it any wonder others didn’t come forward to tell their tale?

    If this is how an ex-Nx is criticized on a “sympathetic” site, imagine how any ex-sex-cult celeb would be castigated on a tabloid.

    • I don’t feel like anybody here is trying to give Barbara grief. We participated in a public panel discussion as audience members. During the session Barbara discussed many topics of interest. Having follow-up questions post forum should be acceptable and encouraged.

      Of course people have questions the panel discussion was very brief and a lot was covered. I know Barbara has been through a lot and I really can’t imagine what it was like to have to face these types of challenges. But nevertheless I do have questions and I hope that is ok.

    • @LaLaLad the grief she is getting is based upon comments she made both here and during the panel discussion yesterday. She openly admitted to seeing the 15 year old girl make out with Keith during a volleyball game a month before she defected. Why was this never brought to authorities? And if she did, then would she not preface her comment with this? Its disgusting to me that she would witness this, question other members of the inner circle if he was having sex with this girl, and not do anything to get this child away from that monster.

        • To Scott & everyone else,

          Scott Johnson is truly are the Frankreport’s biggest hypocrite.

          Just a day ago I asked Scott Johnson the following whether he felt guilty for recruiting innocent people into Amway.

          Scott gave the following answer, “I don’t fieel guilty about getting people involved in what I thought was a legitimate business. Why should I? “……interesting answer Scott.

          I guess Scott does not feel guilty for swindling innocent people out of their hard earned savings or maybe I am wrong
          perhaps Scott made amends and full restitution.

          Maybe Barbara should just go around quoting Scott Johnson?

          Barbara Bouchey actually cares about what happened in Nxivm and stood up and fought against Keith Raniere. Do not forget about the group of women, she joined that stood up to and defected from Nxivm.

          Scott mentions the 15 year old girl…..
          In Barbara’s article she mentions the 15 year old girl and the the fact that she did not have any hard proof of Keith sleeping with the young girl.

          Did Scott Johnson actually read Barbara Bouchey’s article? Or is Scott just bullying Barbara Bouchey like he bullies so many other people?

          Scott Johnson’s big claim to fame was joining a class action lawsuit. Scott basically signed on to a class action lawsuit and gave some testimony.

          Barbara Bouchey is a better person than Scott Johnson even on her worse day.

          Scott is an angry unhappy greedy little man. Scott Johnson is a complete tool.

      • The allegations about Raniere and the mexican teenage girl’s sexual relation was gave to the autorities after the rat’s post, and after the informations that Keefe shared with Bouchey.

      • my MAIN point was tho, that this kind of sniping from friendly us is an example of why others, especially celebs, dare not speak out or they will be gossip tabloid fodder for months and months and….
        Staying silent may seem cowardly, but it is smart…saying one thing about NXIVM will generate a dozen headlines about My Life In The Sex Cult!

        • You are so obviously talking about your dream spank Kristin Kreuk. Maybe if you were not a soy boy superfan, you would accept that being in the cult for years and years means Kreuk must have known about some bad things. Same with Allison Mack before DOS in 2015.

          If Allison Mack did not do DOS, she would still be a piece of shit. Seeing as she and Kreuk were at least equals by rank, what one knew about, the other did too. Enough information on your dream spank in NXIVM is known about to warrant criticism and scrutiny. And when your dream spank likes to virtue signal without being held to account for her own bullshit, that is not good.

          • to Anon 544
            Did you repeat lame insults from your earlier posts? Yes.
            Did you address in any way my point? No.
            Thanks for confirming my opinion of you.

  • The picture is perfectly fine. Just a person talking seriously and, given the subject, serious is an appropriate look to be captured in.

  • After reading Barb’s novelette answers to simple questions on this website, it’s no surprise she spoke 6X more than the other two, assuming they spoke about the same amount.

  • I agree 110% about why Barbara brought this up about the teenage girl but never followed through with what she did about it. And if she did say something to authorities, then why would she not preface with that? At this point, it was said in a public space and was recorded. So, if she never did go to authorities about it, she may have just backed herself into a brick wall. And quite honestly, I would be glad. What kind of person would not alert authorities? She can tell the readers whatever she chooses about the situation, but if she truly didn’t do anything, law enforcement will know.

  • I have a few things that I’d like you to verify or, alternatively, clarify:

    Are you really the one that informed Rick Ross that NXIVM was going through his garbage to find incriminating information about him?

    Did you really introduce Nancy Salzman to Keith Raniere?

    When you were asked whether you’re still in love with Keith Raniere, what was your answer? I thought you said that was “…a lie being propagated by Toni Natalie and Frank Parlato”. Was that, in fact, your answer – and, if not, what is your answer?

    What exactly did you do in the computer trespass case to get the charges dismissed? Was there a specific filing that you made – or a specific piece of evidence that you uncovered – that turned things around?

  • Barbara:

    Enough with the generalities. How about you specify exactly what’s wrong with this post.

    Please respond to these questions:

    (1). What specific things in the post are inaccurate?

    (2). What specific things in the post were taken out of context?

    (3). What exactly is jaded about this portrayal of what you said?

    (4). What important points that you made at yesterday’s Forum were omitted from this post?

    (5). Did you complain to the Times Union about using the same photograph that Frank used with this post?

    • Krclaviger,

      I love your writing and greatly respect you for all of your hard work and even bravery after being threatened by one of Raniere’s minions and continuing on…..

      Question number five in regards to you and Barbara has me perplexed….

      Why is Barbara complaining about the photo? I think she looks like a strong woman in the photo and Oxenberg looks sheepish.

      how is question 5 an issue….. are not all of you on the same side at this point in time?

      Come on guys, hug it out!!!!!

  • Barbara I respect and appalled all you have done after 2009. However I think you are deluded if you believe there was anything good about NXIVM. It was created to defraud and scam people from the beginning. Anything that “helped” people was a front to cover up the real goals which were money and young girls for Keith.

  • So, Barbara, when you figured out that Raniere was sleeping with the 15-year old girl from the volleyball game, what did you do about it? Did you report it to the New York State Police or the Saratoga County Sheriff? Did you make a report on New York State’s Child Abuse Hotline? Or did you just do nothing?

    • I was also at the panel discussion and have the same question. What steps did you take to help the underaged victim? As an adult making a direct observation at this volleyball game I am curious what your next steps were?

  • I think Ms. Bouchey should be careful what she wishes for. If the TU actually put up a video of that entire proceeding, Frank Report readers will find out that this summary of the event actually understates how much she sought to dominate the conversation about every issue that was discussed yesterday.

    I do have one question for Ms. Bouchey that I hope she will answer: Did you, in fact, pay for admission of those 20-25 supporters who gave you a standing ovation or is the information I got from my TU source incorrect?

    • Barbara did dominate the discussion. The few times Catherine Oxenberg actually got to speak, Bouchey would often be dismissive of her comments and say, “Well I was there!” implying that Ms. Oxenberg was not. I read Catherine’s book and she DID participate in a lot of the NXIVM training not to mention the concerns she had over her daughter’s situation. The audience wanted to hear what each of the panel members had to say and the frustration in the audience was evident. And those who registered online were asked to submit questions to ask the panel. Not a single one of those questions was addressed.

      I also see no accounts of the women who, at the end of the session, determinedly spoke out about a family member who allegedly joined NXIVM and who, according to them, is now missing. They said they contacted authorities dozens of times with no response. i see no account of that in the TU or elsewhere.

  • Having been at this panel discussion, I think it’s a pretty accurate description of what the perception of the audience was.

  • One example,

    The Times Union has indicated they will make the panel video available, and you can judge for yourself how the panel discussion went. Yes, I did say it took a village but what was omitted in Frank’s post is the degree of thanks I gave. This also refutes
    the comment Jim Smith made in another posting that I took all the credit, which I didn’t. What I said was:

    “I want to thank all those that helped to make this day happen, and that it took a ‘village’ to take down Keith. I first thanked Toni Natalie saying how she fought for many years, next Joe O’Hara who was a consultant never backing down to bring Keith down, then Sarah Edmondson and Mark Vicente in 2017 taking risks causing hundreds to leave, Frank Parlato’s blog for creating a platform for information, Catherine Oxenberg’s love of her daughter using her passion and influence to have media shine a light on this, Michael Grygiel for slaying the dragon NXIVM by successfully getting the lawsuit dismissed due to their fraud, and Chet Hardin who was there for his many stories with Metroland.”

    At that point, Brendan Lyons wanted to conclude things, and I was unable to thank Susan Dones for her bravery in taking a stand successfully beating NXIVM as well, and then the NXIVM 9 who addressed and confronted Keith, then immediately resigning which resulted the first revolution out of NXIVM.

  • One more thing, I find it interesting that the photo you “selected” of me shows me looking stern, and not the more frequent one of me smiling and or the empathy I felt for the victims.
    Kind Regards,

    • Barbara, the photo was not selected to make you look stern. It was simply a picture of you available with the microphone in your hand. There was no agenda in selecting it. It was merely convenient to use.

      • That may be so, but would you not agree selecting a photo of me with the mic (and there are many) of my smiling would be a fairer depiction of how I presented myself more often? I have provided several that you could now choose to use. Please consider doing so?
        Kind Regards,

        • Good point Barbara. Considering that you want to tell your story here, Frank should have at least communicated about which photo to publish. To reply that his choice was merely more convenient is rather dismissive of your time and efforts.

  • Frank,
    This has many things I did state, but also things inaccurate or taken out of context – and or – not what I said or suggested at all. One of the reasons I spoke more than others is the list of questions the TImes Union has was four times more, and I possessed facts and knowledge of NXIVM that neither Catherine nor Michael have given they were never a part of the NXIVM community. I will respond to this later, but want to be on the record now informing readers that this is a slightly jaded portrayal of what I said, and I think it only fair for them to learn of the inaccuracies. The video will be provided, hopefully soon, wherein readers can hear the entire panel discussion, and judge for themselves.
    Kind Regards,

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com