Kim Snyder: How Nxivm Tried to Gaslight My Family Following Kristin’s Disappearance

Kim Snyder
By Kim Snyder
My family – the Snyder family’s sad journey began almost 17 years ago when we received a phone call from Heidi Clifford, Kristin’s domestic partner, saying Kris was missing and could not be found.  We were told Kris had been deeply depressed and mentally ill for a week leading up to her disappearance.
My parents and I took the next plane to Anchorage, AK.  We knew she was missing but had hopes she might be found.
As soon as we arrived, we learned that things looked very bad. We were told Kristin had left a suicide note behind.
We were very sad and did quite a bit of crying and talking to God.
We were also told that NXIVM was blamed in the note but we soon learned they were not going to take any blame.
Certain people in Nxivm [I will name them later in a future post] leveled an allegation against a family member, that was not only not true, but very hurtful.
It was interesting the way they concealed their own complicity in what happened to Kris by claiming Kris had said that a family member had sexually abused her when she was a child.
In doing this – and putting our family on the defensive – in our time of grief and concern, they effectively halted our serious inquiries into what role Nxivm had with Kris’ disappearance.
So you understand – certain Nxivm leaders claimed Kristin revealed in her Exploration of Meaning (EM) sessions that someone had sexually abused her as a child.  She “suddenly” remembered this, we were told.
We were not told that she claimed she was pregnant with Keith Raniere’s child.
They had substituted villains – from Keith to a family member. And, of course, it was not true.   Keith was the villain. But we did not know this at the time. This is how despicable Nxivm was to us.
They not only did not provide truthful information –  but at our moment of deepest grief – they concocted diabolical lies about our family to throw us off. They intensified the pain we felt.
As the days wore on, (I was sick the whole time), we prayed that God would intervene and somehow perform a miracle and we would find her.  But nothing happened and Kris was gone. We came to believe that she had taken her own life.
We drove to where her truck was found in Seward on the shores of Resurrection Bay. We spoke to the Millers at Miller’s Landing.  We were told someone took a kayak and it was assumed it was Kristin because her truck and a suicide note were found nearby.
We were assured by everyone that Kristin was acting depressed and suicidal. I wonder now if she had been drugged.
But the worst disservice of all was that no one told us about Kristin claiming she was pregnant. There was a conspiracy of silence. On top of that, as I mentioned before, certain Nxivm leaders were whispering that Kris had been sexually abused by a relative as a child and this might have been the reason she committed suicide.
The filthy bastards, taking advantage of us at our weakest, most vulnerable time.
As hope faded, my family prepared for a memorial service, a public and private one.  My parents and I went out on a boat on Resurrection Bay, where we placed roses in the water and the ashes of Kris’ beloved dog – which had been kept – and placed them in Resurrection Bay – to be with her – or so we thought.
At that time, we believed the official story and that Kris’ body was somewhere in the waters there. The sun came out during the memorial – and then went back behind the clouds as soon as the memorial was over.
Some women “friends” of Kris, who also were Nxivm students, rode with me to the memorial.  After the spurious allegation about a family member having sexually abused Kris, they played the song by Alabama – “In Pictures” – which talks about a family member working away from home and missing everything about the kids.
I don’t know if it was deliberate. Either way, it hurt me. I cried on the way to the memorial.
Meantime, mom and dad began working with Kris’ partner Heidi on a public memorial at the Lussac Library in downtown Anchorage for people to come and celebrate Kris’ life.
We kept our heads up. We used Kris’ truck – which was given to us the first day we arrived in Anchorage.  It had not been thoroughly searched as it would have been if murder was suspected.
I think the police would have kept the NXIVM notebooks.  There was also a journal, written about 11 days before she disappeared. It says nothing about her being molested and nothing about her being pregnant. But the journal ends before she started acting erratically – which occurred in the last week.
I think it is possible that she missed her period that told others starting with Esther that she was pregnant – and there was only one person who could have gotten her pregnant.
And that is when the gaslighting and possible drugging commenced. Then came her rapid descent.
We knew none of it then.
Because my parents needed a break from what was going on at Kris and Heidi’s home, we moved to the Marine Corps Base in Anchorage. It was quiet.  After the memorial at the Lussac’s Library in Anchorage, relatives from Minnesota flew up to be with us. They stayed a few days and then we boarded the plane to return to our home in Dillon, SC.
Before we left, I spent time, along with mom and dad, packing up Kris’ belongings. I kept her white baby blanket and mom found four Special Olympics sweatshirts that we wore home.
During the time my family and I were at the hotel, I spent time sleeping, crying, and swimming. That way, my mind was off of what was going on. I was hoping and praying that Kris would be found. That was NOT to be.
Emotions ran high, but we made it to the day we were to go home. I missed home.
When we got home, it began to hit us – with sympathy cards, the flowers, etc. – that Kris wasn’t coming back.
I tried to do everything for my parents that had to be done – talking to the funeral home, making arrangements for a funeral, (without a body). The services that were conducted were beautiful.
Our journey of horror continues on, not knowing what happened to Kris.  There is no body in her grave at the cemetery. We weren’t there to say goodbye.
We have been told recently and have come to believe that my sister was gaslighted and possibly silenced permanently for speaking out about Keith getting her pregnant.
This came as a horrible surprise nearly 17 years after the fact.
If only we had been told at the time, it might have changed the course of everything. It would not have brought Kris back to us – but it might have led police into taking a different tact with the investigation and possibly led to the arrest of Keith Raniere and his coconspirators for murder.
That might have stopped this evil called Nxivm right then and there – in 2003 instead of in 2018 – when this demon was finally arrested.
Instead, the Nxivm crew tried to gaslight us, claiming Kristin had been sexually abused – not by Raniere – but from a family member as a child – something they claimed Kristin had recalled from her deep subconscious.
Today, we are asking anyone who knows anything about the last days or hours of Kris’ life to tell us what they know.
Kris is my only sister.  I am pleading with those involved to contact Frank and help us solve this case.

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[…] My post was Kim Snyder: How Nxivm Tried to Gaslight My Family Following Kristin’s Disappearance […]

3 years ago

You wrote:
“Some women “friends” of Kris, who also were Nxivm students, rode with me to the memorial. After the spurious allegation about a family member having sexually abused Kris, they played the song by Alabama – “In Pictures” – which talks about a family member working away from home and missing everything about the kids.I don’t know if it was deliberate. Either way, it hurt me. I cried on the way to the memorial.”

Please think hard– who were those “friends of Kris” who went with you to the memorial. How many? You wrote in an earlier post that Wende Irick was the person who introduced Kristin to ESP. Another post from the Frank Report said Wende, Sidney Billingslea and Carmen Gutierrez went to the memorial. Was Wende one of the “friends” who went with you? How about the other two? Were they with you?

Another post from the Frank Report said Wende and Sidney Billingslea arranged for the coach Kristin was assigned to come to the February Intensive–that coach is the same woman who had the cabin in Seward where the truck was left. So Wende, Sidney and the coach are connected to some degree. Did the coach go with you?

Did the “friends” pick you up in their vehicle, or did you go in your vehicle to the memorial? Thinking back, do you think/feel the “friends” had been assigned the task by Esther, Nancy or Keith or someone in ESP to calm you down? Divert you? Gaslight you? Did they have an agenda?

Or were they speaking from their hearts trying to comfort you? Were you too upset to tell the difference? Please rack your brain and heart and tell us more, starting with who traveled to the memorial with you.

3 years ago
Reply to  Fi

Good questions.

You might want to go back to some of the previous articles, if you want to get a real grasp on the details. While it’s sort of been downplayed, Snyder had been displaying increasingly disturbing psychological signs for months, and severe symptoms for days if not over a week. That’s the background to both her family and the authorities – plus a jury whose proceedings, witnesses and evidence we hear nothing about – accepting that she successfully committed suicide.

Also, in general, we have to be careful not to try to read to much into details that may just not be being reported accurately enough to be subject to scrutiny, or which may understandably be being reported slightly different by participants after 2 decades have past – new research, especially, shows that memory is fallible and malleable.

3 years ago

If Kristin was so close to her family, why did it take Heidi 72 hours to call the Snyders (according to a previous comment by Kim)? Why did nobody, including law enforcement, question Heidi’s report that Kristin was heading for Seward? Why did nobody question how a stable, smart, educated person like Kristin would (allegedly) descend into madness within a matter of days? If Kristin was indeed descending into madness and actively psychotic/suicidal, as Heidi now claims, why did they both simply continue to attend the ESP intensive? Why didn’t Heidi seek medical attention for Kristin while they were at home, for instance, when Kristin reportedly was lying in the snow? Why would Heidi listen to a stranger (Esther) in regard to seeking medical help for her own wife? Why did Heidi not share her concerns about ESP and Kristin’s (alleged) pregnancy to law enforcement — which would be knowingly withholding evidence from an investigation? She claims in the documentary that she withheld that information because she didn’t want law enforcement looking at her. Hmmm. Seems that finding out what happened to your wife should trump self-interest. Why were Heidi and the Snyders so eager to declare Kristin dead so quickly? Why did Heidi claim in the documentary that she had NEVER talked about it before, when there is a 2004 article which has direct quotes from Heidi? There are a lot of questions, and no solid answers.

3 years ago

Where is the evidence that Kristin had sex with Keith — or even met him? Theories and hearsay don’t count, nor does the purported “recollections” of potential suspects. Is there ANY actual proof of any trip to Albany? Is there ANY actual proof that Kristin may have been pregnant? There are so many inconsistencies in these reports. Seems nobody cared about Kristin then — the real, homosexual Kristin. And now the fictional, man-f**king Kristin suddenly is now worthy of concern/attention? Homophobia at it’s most blatant is behind this sudden “revelation” of pregnancy. THIS IS SO MUCH BS.

3 years ago

Why all of a sudden is the Snyder family interested in KS’s disappearance now???? They were not at the service Heidi Clifford put on in 2003. If the Snyder family was in Alaska, why did Heidi not include them in the email she sent out notifying friends and family of the service????

3 years ago
Reply to  Dirt


Why this is some rather mean stuff…

3 years ago

If the Snyder family was do interested and involved in KSs disappearance, why did they get the date used legally as Kristin’s time of death wrong on the tombstone THEY had done????

3 years ago

Heidi states very clearly in several news articles SHE sold THEIR truck to help pay toward Kristin’s debts. Why is Kim 17 years later saying something totally different?

3 years ago

What kind of family brings a dead dog thousands of miles to look for their family member whom might well still be very much alive? Why was Kristin already dead to her family?

3 years ago

Ummm KSs family stayed where? Heidi’s, a marine base, and then a hotel??? Huh?

3 years ago

Why would the Snyders grab the dog’s ashes on the way out their door to grab the next plane to Anchorage — (which was literally not possible in a post-9/11 world)? Presumably, Kristin was missing, but potentially alive, at that point. Why were both Heidi and the Snyders so very ready to declare Kristin dead within a week of her disappearance, when the huge majority of loved ones of missing people still hold onto hope decades later? No wonder law enforcement dropped the ball — Kristin didn’t have ANY loved ones who fought continuously and relentlessly for the truth.

Alaska Girl
Alaska Girl
3 years ago

I think that Esther has good intentions. She wanted to help Kristin and if everyone had listened to her and Nancy, Kristin would be still here today

MexicN lady
MexicN lady
3 years ago
Reply to  Alaska Girl

She would have taken her to the hospital if she had good intentions… duh … irresponsible. Keith might talk to get off his sentence

3 years ago
Reply to  Alaska Girl

No one sleeping with Raniere had good intentions.


3 years ago

I hope your sister’s mystery is solved.

A recent story in the Frank Report might offer a possible clue.
I will link you to that story and to my comment.

“Lauren Salzman Testifies That She and Raniere Secretly Put Drugs in Scrambled Eggs of Disturbed Student
January 8, 2020
This is Part 19 of the Lauren Salzman’s series. We are studying her testimony to try to determine whether she is more victim or perpetrator. In this post, we learn a little more about Lauren and a lot more about Keith Raniere – and what Lauren and other followers were willing to do for him.

This is particularly interesting because it concerns Raniere’s minions, led by Lauren, forcibly holding a Mexican student in a sequestered place – in the fall of 2002 – when she was acting up – and forcing her to take drugs and also putting them in her eggs without her knowing it.

It was a criminal act – and Keith, Lauren, Nancy, and others were involved.

Why this is important is that this happened just a few weeks before another student in Alaska had a so-called psychotic breakdown – and disappeared after telling students that Keith Raniere had gotten her pregnant.

Readers know the name of that woman – she was Kristin Snyder.

Here is my comment:

January 8, 2020 at 1:11 pm

So Lauren Pimp Salzman is not only a Sex Trafficker, she is a Drug Trafficker to boot.

And if Kristin Snyder was covertly fed Valium without her consent a possible side effect is SUICIDE!

Diazepam, first marketed as Valium, is a medicine of the benzodiazepine family
Serious side effects are rare.[5] They include suicide,

Allow me to repeat the relevant passage for the members of NXIVM.
Serious side effects of Valium include SUICIDE!

If X covertly drugs Y with Valium and Y, as a result of the covert drugging, commits suicide, that is HOMICIDE!

3 years ago

Shadow, I don’t see that there was much opportunity for anyone from NXIVM to drug Kristin. Did she prepare and bring her own lunches to class, or was lunch provided for the students?

I thought an earlier article said that the students brought their own food….if so, it may have left little opportunity for anyone to tamper with her food.

Mexican lady
Mexican lady
3 years ago
Reply to  Flowers

Maybe when they drove her home, they gave her something .

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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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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