Nicole testified that when Keith Raniere told her that if she left DOS, they would release her collateral.
She said she thought she had three options:
1. To get fully on board with DOS and Raniere.
2. To commit suicide
3. To go into the witness protection program, [disappear.]
Obviously, she had several more – simply calling their bluff being an obvious one. That is far more reasonable than committing suicide.
The option that pops into my mind is for her to tell her “friend”, Allison Mack, when they were alone and no witnesses present, that she was leaving the group and if her “collateral” got released, she knew where Allison lived, she had a gun and she knew how to use it.
Making threats is a two-way street. Let Allison figure out, “how she was going to fix this”, to use Raniere’s favorite line.
Continuing to work for this corrupt organization was the worst option. I realize it takes courage to leave such a group, the consequences can be dire, and it’s psychologically difficult. But when did we, as a society, begin expecting people to not be courageous? When did the default position become lack of courage (i.e. cowardice) in the face of threats?
Trigger warning: I feel a rant coming on…
We just celebrated the anniversary of D-Day. Judge Nicholas Garaufis made a fine speech in that very courtroom in commemoration of the Allied landing in Normandy. Now how many of those young men, many of them still in their teens, do I think really wanted to be there, plunging neck deep in cold salt water and wading through withering machine gun and artillery fire up a mined and wired beach?
Not exactly a “safe space”, Omaha Beach, on that fine June day. They didn’t volunteer for that duty. They were expected to be brave, expected to risk their lives, expected to advance up that beach. Just like all the millions of other men who fought in that war. And they didn’t consider themselves heroes, they didn’t consider themselves exceptional. (A lot of them probably considered themselves unlucky though for having to go in that first wave). That was what was expected of ordinary citizens not all that long ago; if you were male, you signed up for the draft, and if there was a war, well ‘you’re in the Army now.’
So when I see this attitude about she had no options, I die a little inside. Since when? She had no option but to collaborate? Because that’s what Nicole was, a collaborator. She was assisting Raniere and Nxivm because she was afraid. I have a lot of sympathy for her plight, but in all honesty, what is this but cowardice? To be honest, what else can it be called? Her life wasn’t at stake. Sure, it would be embarrassing, humiliating even, to have nude pictures of herself online. It could get back to her family, her friends. It might damage her chances of having an acting career (assuming anybody took notice, among all the porn already on the Internet).
I do understand Nicole’s plight. It likely seemed like the end of the world to her, how deep she was into their clutches. In truth, however, it was not the end of the world. “Seemed” is not “is”. And continuing to dig herself deeper in the hole she had gotten herself into was the poorest of poor choices.
And what about all the rest of the women? Why didn’t they mutiny? There they are, all together in Allison Mack’s living room or wherever, told to strip and pose for yet more humiliating pictures.
And they do, like sheep.
Honestly, isn’t there something kinda, I don’t know, CONTEMPTIBLE about that? Why not just say NO?
The whole lot of them, together. Maybe take the camera away from Allison and smash it, knock her on her ass, and the whole group march over to Keith’s house, wake him up and slap him around for a while.
Why not show some guts?
Why not be like this girl https://www.youtube.com/watch?