Is Nxivm Toast?
So far as I can see, there is a small, and probably dwindling, core of Nxivm diehards that apparently doesn’t dare do anything publicly. They almost certainly have plans and dreams, but that doesn’t mean those will come to fruition.
The history of groups like this is that once the organizational structure is disrupted and the spell is broken, people tend to drift off and either get involved in things that appear new and exciting again, or finally realize that gurus and groups are traps, and get on with life on their own.
There are reports that much of the Mexican elite are disaffected – and the Nxivm Monterrey center closed.
The remnants need to be watched, certainly, but I’d be more concerned about newer high control groups and cults that are up and coming – and perhaps attracting former NXIVM adherents. It would be very interesting if we could get some better information about both what is going on with those who remain loyalists of some sort, and also what people who have become disaffected are turning to instead.
Scientology experienced a lot of disruption in the early 1980s as an emerging new leadership jockeyed for power when founder L. Ron Hubbard was fading but not even dead. Large numbers of people became disaffected and left, and many of them formed several new groups of different types. None of those lasted more than a couple of years, because none had quite the right structures of attraction and control or as charismatic a leader.
We know that it’s not about the “tech” these groups have. They thrive, when they do, on complex mixes of other factors that are hard to duplicate, including the influence of a leader who is typically both charismatic enough to attract people, and ruthless enough keep them spellbound.
Allison Mack Smoke If Not Fire
While there’s no conclusive evidence of any one case of Mack trying to recruit young girls, there are enough reports – as Shadow outlines, and thanks, Shadow, by the way, for the list – to form a suspicious pattern. As the saying goes, where there’s smoke there’s fire – il n’y a pas de fumée sans feu.
If your contention is that Raniere was coercing or forcing Mack into everything, then we can assume she would have done anything for him, right? Including bringing him young girls. There is no sign that she ever balked at doing anything, no matter how depraved or illegal, is there?
As to her position as Raniere’s favorite and henchwoman, Vicente also observed that Mack seemed to be “at the top” (of “an alternative stripe path”).
And, once again, there is COURT TESTIMONY that women were taken to be BRANDED AT MACK’S HOME. You’re denying it must be a crime in your country, defaming the legal record or something.
US Prisons Becoming Like Gulags
The MDC in Brooklyn [where Keith Raniere is being held] is such a dubious facility that when El Chapo was tried in Brooklyn at the same nearby courthouse as Raniere, they kept him across the river at the MCC in Manhattan at great expense and logistical lengths, such as having to shut down the Brooklyn Bridge every time he was transported.
I found that out when a sloppy conspiracy theorist tried to claim that El Chapo’s successful detention somehow proved that Epstein couldn’t have been allowed to kill himself; a quick fact-check confirmed that the two were held in similarly named, but entirely different facilities, precisely for the reason that MDC was considered inadequate.
It turns out that the federal prison system has been underfunded and understaffed for years, as I’ve documented through numerous articles new and old that I’ve linked to; it’s not run the way we would expect, but that just hasn’t been widely known. If there’s something scary going on in the big picture, it’s that our prisons are being turned into substandard gulags like in Russia, Iran and the Philippines – where, ultimately, if a leader wanted to dispose of people, there would be no real accountability.
Can We Have Book Reviews on Frank Report?
Well, no one has listed here what intensives and modules Catherine Oxenberg took, for us to analyze, have they?
Even if she did “write about some,” in her book Captive, that doesn’t necessarily address questions about controversial material most likely to be conveniently excluded.
We don’t all have time to read every book, particularly those of us who follow a couple of subjects, and who are also interested in the underlying dynamics – which involves reading deeper into authors like Festinger, Singer, Hassan, Ross, Lalich, Atack, Kent, and so on.
I’ve also asked multiple times for people to report on Sarah Edmondson’s book, including whether it actually contains anything really revealing and is worth reading.
As I’ve noted in a number of comments, I’ve taken advantage of the Google Books preview search feature, and can’t find that it names the sort of people we’d want to know about like Mark Hildreth, so I’d rather not waste time and money on an author if they’re going to give us a self-serving and superficial account.
Maybe one of the things we could use here are featured book reviews – similar blogs do some of that – and a bit less pure speculation and theorizing. Have you read both the books you mention, and would you like to share about them?
My reading list is already very full and prioritized based on my particular interests with works like a book that just came in today, A Critical History of Hypnotism, 554 pages including extensive notes and bibliography.
What about Hildreth?
A couple of links about Mark Hildreth:
From the first, it sounds as if, like a typical cult member, he only finally became disaffected when he himself became the subject of the sort of abuses he had turned a blind eye to all along.
Someone there claiming insider information says he now very much regrets his involvement in NXIVM – which means he is one of the people who would be much happier if the discussion here was 24/7 Kristin Kreuk.
I’d actually forgotten about that second article from just a bit more than two months ago, which shows that the tactic of bombarding the blog with anti-Kreuk bombast does serve the purpose of distraction.
Focusing on Kreuk
I’m actually sort of trying to point out that almost no one actually cares about who in Vancouver was really responsible for all the recruiting, and so that it’s not actually the agenda of the people claiming that they are focusing on Kreuk because of accountability.
We do sometimes have some good informants pop up here, so it’s at least worth asking.
I think that NXIVM as an example of a particular type of early 21st century extreme cult, that’s still worth studying.
My area is high control groups and cults that primarily do psychological and social damage, which I would argue ultimately extend to groups like the prosperity gospel ministries that are ideological in nature but which also do economic damage to millions; I’ll leave the MLMs that are product-focused and primarily do economic damage to Scott Johnson since he understands them much better from his personal involvement.
Nxivm IT People Were Chuckleheads
I would question the assumption that NXIVM’s IT people were necessarily very competent. Does anyone know that they were?
Does whatever they are doing now, demonstrate that they were competent?
I’ve seen reference to NXIVM’s servers being at someone’s home, so it doesn’t sound like a very professional operation. Much of the way they operated, like having cash strewn all over Nancy Salzman’s home, strikes me as pretty amateurish and even hapless.
It seems to me that NXIVM was full of wannabes, people who largely weren’t finding success in professional fields probably in part because they were prone to sloppy, culty thinking and lacking in intellectual rigor. In fact, their ranks were almost completely devoid of people in really demanding technical and scientific fields.
Would you trust people enamored of Raniere’s word salad as the greatest wisdom ever pronounced, to properly run a complex computer system?
EMs and Hypnosis
The EMs were definitely used in ways to manipulate people – probably including, as has been mentioned, to gather information that was then leveraged to advantage. That’s a whole complex subject of its own.
The similar Scientology auditing process is probably the closest thing that exists to brainwashing, in part because it used to plant false memories of previous past lives (false memories of various sorts are a significant problem in hypnosis), which are then leveraged to get the subject to act in specific ways harmful to their personal interests but benefit the group and its leaders.
Actually, it probably would be possible to hypnotize a susceptible individual to not feel pain – medical hypnosis has long been in use, and is well documented in accepted research – and then get them to put their hand on a hot stove long enough to cause severe burns. It probably wouldn’t be possible to give someone a command to go over to a stove and burn themselves – though there is currently some controversy over the conventional wisdom that hypnotized subjects won’t do anything they think is wrong. That sort of demonstrates the nuances involved, and how manipulation typically has to including misdirecting or confusing the subject.