Former Cult Member: ‘Barbara Bouchey, get on with your life– there was no good in Nxivm’

MK10ART's painting of Barbara Bouchey

By G (a former cult member)

I’m glad I did not waste my time, or money, attending this sham.

Barbara, you are still drinking the Kool-Aid and if you think there is a widget of good in NXIVM tech, most of which is plagiarized from Scientology, you are delusional.

One hopes you do not attempt to resurrect any of it in any form.

Sadly, I think you, or some other member might. I say this from experience in the cult I was in. The many incarnations from former cast-off members exists to this day.

On the balance sheet of life, NXIVM totals out to be a negative.

Surely you know “good will” appears on every corporate accounting sheet. It has a numerical figure.

What price would you place on NXIVM’s good will?

I put it at zero.

I believe many were right on their analysis of your interview with Megyn Kelly. You are still in love with Keith, thus you think to find some justification for having parts of NXIVM live on.

As for Nancy, one looks at the sum total of her life. Were one to weigh her heart against a feather, the feather wins.

Why you persist in defending any part of NXIVM boggles the mind. I don’t go around touting any part of the cult I was in. Why? Because the damage done to good people, the lies, far outweighs the minute good, if there is any.

I understand you were used by the group, seduced by Keith, lost monetarily, and I have sympathy for that.

But for me not to challenge your protestations that some good can still be got from NXIVM tech… nope, I won’t let that stand without rebuttal.

My unasked for advice is that you put this behind you, place a period on that part of your life, and get on with living.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • NXIVM was the structure, the “platform” used to bilk, defraud and deceive. It did not undertake any charitable or compassionate activities, to my knowledge. (A food drive? A major donation? A scholarship? Oh, wait – a ten day birthday party / orgy for the Master!) We are led to believe it did not even pay taxes. As far as we know, it did not lead people to success in any form, with the possible exception of raising money for those at the top.

    CBI was the same. So…some people saved enough on appliances and electronics to offset their exorbitant monthly membership fees. They could have found other avenues for savings and skipped the membership fees, which only enriched KAR and Company.

    So someone please tell me, what were the good parts? That some people enjoyed some of the “courses”? Not worth preserving, then. I am ALL EARS if anyone has examples of “good” they would like to share.

    It does sadden me that anyone is talking about resurrecting any part of this stinking, filthy counterfeit scheme. I

    • CBI was an MLM, so people who sponsored others made some money off of their downline’s purchases as well. Some had very large groups of people under them and made a lot of money. That’s how MLMs work. The MLM is a scam if little to no purchases are being made by customers who are not part of the network and/or if there are tool scams, the flagship for that RICO scam business model is Amway.

  • Echoing G, I would add that a sociopath makes a formidable enemy to even the most intelligent people. My sense is that Barbara has not truly acknowledged to herself that as an educated, bright woman she was manipulated, deceived, and defrauded hook, line and sinker for years. It’s a tough admission to make. However, rationalizing such an injustice into the positives just perpetuates the injustice and delays healing. Barbara, process your victimization, and help with anything to send the guy to jail for life. The best good you can do is to dedicate yourself to helping others avoid the same experience. You’re so close.

    • Nobody is “…rationalizing such an injustice into the positives,” the point is there is both good and bad parts of NXIVM, and any organization, for that matter. The difference is the proportion of good vs. bad. NXIVM was VERY bad. The Feds apparently aren’t interested in Barb’s “help,” because they know she’s damaged goods. Barb is nowhere near the point of helping others avoid the same experience and is the last person who should be involved in such an activity.

  • Shadow, most of the females who took NXIVM courses never slept with the smelly one KAR, were never attracted to him nor needed to be healed by his sexual energy.

    KAR might have slept with 2% of all the women who entered a classroom of a NXIVM center and many never even met him.

    • Most NXIVM members never even traveled to Albany, that much is true.

      They took bogus NXIVM courses in Vancouver, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles or Mexico.

      But for those unlucky few who traveled to NXIVM’s Holy City, all too many women did have a physical relationship with the perverted Vanguard.

      And Catherine Oxenberg in her book “Captive” describes the rock star status that Raniere had within the cult.

      Hundreds of people spent lots of money every year to hold a ten day long orgy to celebrate Raniere’s birth.

      Do you have hundreds of people drop in to celebrate your birthday every year?

      Oxenberg describes young women lined up to French kiss Raniere.

  • I totally disagree with “g.” There is a small amount of good in any cult, otherwise it wouldn’t attract people. The problem is “g” has been so damaged by the unnamed cult she was in that she can’t think straight.

    • I haven’t changed my name.

      I agree that NXIVM must have had some good points, otherwise they would not have been able to attract customers. Most people who took the courses were unaware of any illegal activity – the negative aspects were hidden.

      Nice guy, why are you fear mongering?

      “Once the trial heats up, people will want to take their moral “outrage” on any of the Nxivm defendants or any public person defending the good Nxivm did.”

      You seem to be trying to scare Barb. Why?

      • I didn’t say you changed your name. Why are you responding to my comment and directing it towards niceguy? niceguy doesn’t realize people won’t care “Once the trial heats up….” just like they haven’t cared for decades.

        • Because Flowers is a nutjob. Always has been, always will be. Think angry old man screaming at clouds from the Simpson’s.

        • Sorry Scott…I included 3 responses in one comment, I didn’t think the name change comment was yours. I think it was from anonymous.

    • Self empowerment doesn’t make it good. These people never did any peace building, helped the poor, or invented a useful thing. It was just mind games and brainwashing that feels good for a few months. Now those weak individuals are worse off than before.

    • I’d agree with that point, based on what I have seen of many other, similar groups. The effective bait in the trap is typically taken from some other source, but it’s still something that works.

      Also, people may benefit from the comaraderie of being with other similarly well-intended people seeking to improve themselves and contribute to the world. High control groups or cults exploit that, but it’s still a genuine dynamic at work.

        • Yes, it fails to understand the key mechanism of how such groups actually attract people, and then keep them in.

          It’s also critical to acknowledged as part of any effort to get people out. People aren’t persuaded by being told they haven’t experienced, what they have experienced or at least firmly believe they have, just as Catherine Oxenberg didn’t have any success trying to just tell her daughter that she had been “brainwashed.”

          Former deprogrammer Steve Hassan, an ex-Moonie who continues to work in the field with a more refined approach, does a good job in his most recent works of explaining the nuances of such mechanisms and, most importantly, the most successful approaches for influencing group members to question and end their adherence.

        • Interesting take. And lying about it or burying the fact will cover up the warning signals of future NXIVMs.

    • I’m mostly commenting because I’m astonished that I simultaneously agree with both Scott and Flowers.

      Yes – There was some good in NXIVM courses. It wouldn’t have worked if there wasn’t. MUCH more bad than good, but why does everyone seem to be caught up on trying to get ex-members to say that there was no good? It’s a minor common sense detail that doesn’t deserve the run it’s getting.

  • Barbara please read the following:

    I think you are good person.

    You mean well.

    For over a decade you endured hell and even have PTSD.

    I believe you are sincere and earnest in your defense of the good Nxivm did.

    The pushback that you received at the Times Union event and here at the Frankreport website is fairly tame.

    Once the trial heats up people will want to take their moral “outrage” on any of the Nxivm defendants or any public person defending the good Nxivm did.

    Do you want to be a lightning rod for the mob?

    The court of public opinion, the mob, will not listen to your explanations. I promise you that nothing you say or write will hold any weight with the public.

    You should wait until after the trial to defend the good Nxivm did, to do otherwise will be disastrous for your reputation and wellbeing.

    I wish you the best Barbara!

    • Nice guy,

      The issues some of us are having with Barbara is she is rewriting history of the facts of how the things happened.

      Barbara can be very kind and be very stern when you do not agree with her. Right now she is answering questions and responding to comments that serve her. She is not answerans questions that will expose her misinformation.

      Barbara started out saying she was the one who brought NXIVM to justice and got the EDDOJ involved. Many of us know that Barbara has done some foot work. There is a group of us, but Barbara is not the sole party that is responsible as she had been attempting to sell until she got called on it. She also did not bring the EDDOJ into the current investigation.

      Was there some good in NXIVM. Yes, I agree with that but not equal to the damage. If I’m thirsty, water is a good. However, the water served is very harmful if it contains unseen shards of glass. There were many unseen things happening in NXIVM.

      That was NXIVM. The damage of the inner circle criminal organization, the emotional/legal abuse, the fleecing of money, free labor and pyramid payment system NXIVM had set up wash away what little good done.

      This doesn’t even get into KAR’s sexual abuse and the women who supported this by agreeing to be a part of it, making it easier for him to believe it was alright to behave like that. His inner circle women also support his sexual patterns by working with each other that it was no different than playing tennis with another women and “you dont own him” BS.

      Manipulating women to have sex with them saying your going to be there monogamous boyfriend is unseen glass. Barbara choose not to share this information but lies about there not being a non-monogamous cell in her body. HELLO, you sell with a man for year knowing he has other women and you say you’ve always been a monogamous woman. Not buying it, its denial.

      Had Bouchey and or the leadership made this information public, people could of had choice to be involved in an organization that did these behaviors, taken classes, stayed in or spent years on NXIVM stripe path. If they believed there was nothing wrong in acting this way, why not be open about it. Did they wait to brainwash people they could to believe it was OK?

      If Barbara didnt pass this along to women who were reacting to finding out about his stable of women that included her, she supported it by allowing him to get away with it , with her.

      Barbara is confused when she thinks NXIVM improved the community. Name three examples of how Ms. Bouchey?

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.

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