The origins of the Nxivm cult is fascinating and Heidi Hutchinson, though never a member, was around before, during and after the cult got its start by the unhappy combination of Keith Raniere [supported by his female minions] and Nancy Salzman.
Together, a cult was born, and despite their professions of trying to do good for others, Keith and Nancy harmed a lot of people, hundreds maybe thousands of victims. Keith will face a likely lifetime in prison and somehow Nancy, who was the first to take a plea deal, will likely suffer little consequences for the cult she worked as hard as anyone to build.
Though she ruined many lives, she will likely get little to no prison time – and yet, other than Raniere [and the terrible Bronfman sisters], there was no other indispensable member of this cult.
The fact is that without Nancy, there would not have likely been a Nxivm. It needed a Prefect, a president, a public face, for Raniere was too busy fucking women and fucking up his followers’ lives to ever do the damn hard work that it took to build the structure of this cult.
Nancy did this work and with her eyes wide-open. She got power and prestige and good pay and she kept it together for 20 years, knowing Keith was a despicable liar. The proportions are not fair. Nancy is likely to do less time than her daughter, Lauren, and Allison Mack. Yet Mack and Lauren were not integral to Nxivm. Nxivm could have survived without Mack or even Lauren, but it would not have even taken birth, or survived without Nancy.
If Raniere was the father, Nancy was the mother of Nxivm. It does not seem fair that she should get off so easy when without her, the suffering of so many people would have been so much less, if at all.
So what was her motive? Power, money, prestige, world influence, the chance to manipulate others? Maybe all of the above. And maybe the chance to really utilize her hypnotherapy skills. This is something that Heidi suggests and we ought to listen to her opinion, for she knew Nancy and was around at the time.
By Heidi Hutchinson
Thanks, Nutjob for your post, Why Did Nancy Salzman Flip Flop From Hating to Loving Raniere After They First Met?
I’ve only met Nancy in passing but did chat with her online rather extensively in the spring of 1998 and, as I have mentioned, I heard an earful about her from my sister, Gina Hutchinson, who seemed to mostly admire her in the same way Allison Mack is said to have spoken highly of Barbara Bouchey’s exemplary “executive success.”
I referred to Nancy then, rather insultingly perhaps, as “Dr. Schleppenger” — after a call-in radio talk show hostess, Laura Schlessinger. I was a bit peeved that Gina had apparently, and either with the best intentions on her part or inadvertently due to the key logger on our home computers, invited Keith Raniere and company into our personal life and it wasn’t pretty.
Especially not when I kept accepting [Nxivm member] Steve Ose’s private chat invites and declining Keith’s just to teach him a lesson on cyber snooping.
It got much more complicated when my ex-husband, using the same computer I did in his office, inadvertently began interacting with these Executive Success Programs [ESP] entrepreneurs online and Keith offered to send him over 300 pages of chat material on me and, vice-versa, offered me a videotape of my ex on a website called “Private Eyes” — but that’s another story for another day I do hope I live to tell.
I’m not exaggerating.
I agree with your impression, Nutjob, that Keith sold Nancy on “the business” but I can’t shake the feeling I’ve always had that there was something else going on with Nancy, possibly related to both she and her daughters’ father — and definitely with Nancy’s NLP, hypnotherapy training.
While online with Nancy, she employed her impressive hypnotherapy skills and seemed quite pleased with herself in doing so. Sometimes, I would merely play along, other times, IDK, maybe there was some hocus pocus going on.
In any case, I wish you could elaborate on that side of Nancy that I experienced as one of her unwitting subjects. Maybe that was what ESP and Keith offered to her that her run-of-the-mill business consultant role did not — the opportunity to use her hypnotic manipulation arts on people in positions of power or perceived power.
For Gina, too, there was this sense that she was on a secret mission she believed was for more than Keith and his sad dick.
Again, DOS, TEN-C, the secret book Lauren testified about, collateral collecting (such as Barbara Bouchey’s pre-2009 nude photos found among 42 library floors of spy data), missions among monks that Allison, too, took to Mongolia, and Sara Bronfman took to her hot tub,
Clare’s infiltration of the World Jewish Congress computers, all the “secret” societies — in short, the romantic trappings of a young girl’s heart — existed within the NXIVM inner-circle long before “DOS” came to light.
Were you privy to any of that nonsense in your relationship with Nancy, Nutjob?