Ivy Nevares was a longtime member of Nxivm and one of Keith Alan Raniere’s victims. She was his girlfriend and was promised by him to be the mother of his children. He lied to her of course.
I have written often about how this intelligent and attractive woman was abused by Raniere and it is nice to know she left the monster. She left him in April 2018, just after he was arrested in Mexico. Ivy was also a victim of Raniere’s top henchwoman, Clare Webb Bronfman, as we shall see from her statement.
Ivy spoke today at the sentencing hearing of Clare Bronfman – via video.
Here is her statement on the record.
My name is Ivy Nevares. Thank you for providing a space for me to share the statement I’ve prepared for Clare Bronfman’s sentencing hearing.
Clare came to ESP at the height of her privilege, but sorely lacking as a woman in her early twenties—uneducated, socially inept, insecure and practically friendless. When I met her, she was timid but she was kind. No one would ever guess she was an heiress to the Seagram fortune—not by the way she looked or interacted with others.
Like many of us, Keith Raniere exploited her vulnerabilities. Yet, because of her wealth, he took her for a much longer ride, giving her an unearned position, illegitimate status and inclusion in a select group she so desperately craved, but hardly deserved. She never earned the power she was given—not by title, skill or performance.
And in return, she used her power to abuse others, especially those of us in Raniere’s “inner circle.”
I would like to address Clare directly for a few moments.
Clare, after all the evidence, after countess victims whom you considered among friends—how can you remain loyal to your Vanguard? No matter how hard you try, you cannot be principled if the person you follow is a sociopath and a convicted criminal.
Your Honor, when Raniere raised Clare to power in 2009, she began using her position to exploit me through indentured servitude. As soon as Clare supplanted Nancy Salzman as NXIVM’s de facto decision-maker on the executive board, Clare lowered my pay, removed what insignificant privileges the company afforded me and raised my rent—all punishments for my supposed “ethical breach” against Raniere.
In truth, she punished me for disobeying him. Salzman would later tell me Clare did these things of her own volition.
Twice she caused me to go into financial debt. Together with Raniere, Salzman and Kathy Russell, she subjected me to forced labor as soon as she was given the chance. She also participated in the myriad of lies told to me to keep me from defecting.
My starting salary with ESP was $36,000 a year—this was back in 2002. By the time I stopped working for the company in early 2017, I never earned more than $48,000 a year. I was NXIVM’s hardest-working employee, always filling two or more roles at once and sometimes working up to 20 hours a day.
Yet I was provided no benefits, no health insurance, no 401K, no worker’s comp—nothing. The only so-called benefit was a $5 credit per hour worked that could only apply towards ESP’s curriculum.
Instead of recognizing Raniere’s and others’ abuses against me and righting them, Clare enacted her own with exceptional cruelty: She had me teach two intensive trainings at her Fiji resort where students paid $20,000 each, yet she didn’t pay me a cent for the work I performed. I had to pay over $5,000 out of pocket to even be able to teach the second training because she refused to pay for my travel and immigration expenses. This happened after she threatened to have another person teach the curriculum that had taken me years to write and develop. It’s important to note she leveraged the entire situation before I was fully recovered from an emergency shoulder surgery that I, of course, paid for out of pocket.
This is how she treated NXIVM’s most loyal workers: demanding, underpaying or not paying at all. But when it came time to put down hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars for lawsuits and PR firms, Clare would do so without a second thought.
One of the cruelest and most reckless things she ever did was hiring me to care for a woman who I later learned had suffered a psychotic break during a Jness training that Clare was attending at the time. She also tasked the now-former doctor Brandon Porter to care for her. She, Raniere and Salzman were frightened that if the woman was taken to a hospital, it would implicate the company in wrongdoing—and that was not the first case.
I took 12-hour night shifts for a week to care for this woman. I still remember running across a field after she suddenly took off in the middle of the night. I thrashed through two feet of snow, screaming into the phone as I asked Salzman what to do, horrified at the possibility she might kill herself and others by running into traffic.
Clare risked Porter losing his medical license by not taking her to a hospital. She risked this woman’s life by not allowing her to be cared for by trained professionals. She risked my life by putting me in an impossible situation, knowing I needed the money.
While payment for these services is the most trivial point by comparison, it demonstrates her callousness and punitive nature: she paid me the going rate for babysitting a child: $12 an hour.
I protested then, citing my measly $17-an-hour wage as a minimum standard, but she refused to pay the difference because of my so-called “ethical breach.”
Your Honor, Clare could have led the company towards just rule, she had the power and she had the chance—she could have done so much good.
Instead, she and her sister, Sara, became Raniere’s primary enablers. I am not alone in my belief that without their money, he could have never harmed as many people as he did.
Clare claims she did not bankroll Raniere or his organizations, that she did not know what he was doing behind the scenes, and that she bears no responsibility in what he did. Again, I would like to address her.
Clare, you gave millions of dollars to him. Even if you never asked what he did with it, you’re still responsible for exponentially amplifying his abuses. You were and are the propellant to his unyielding fire.
Not knowing doesn’t relieve us of responsibility, remember that? So why do you refuse to see your part in all these damages?
In addition to exploiting many of us and facilitating Raniere’s trafficking of women, she has crippled countless others through vindictive litigiousness. She even sacrificed her relationship with her beloved father.
I ask Clare: Would he be proud of you knowing that you’re going to prison for following the very monster he was trying to protect you from?
I would like the Court to know I see no indication that Clare has any remorse about what she’s done—not her guilty plea, not her funding Raniere’s defense and cohorts, not her letter to the Court nor her recent filings claiming she has been unjustly targeted because of her wealth.
If I may, again, address her.
Clare, you are being held accountable for your crimes. Sylvie wasn’t your only victim. I am one of them, as are a number of women whom I spoke with and heard their direct account of how you exploited them until the government forced you to stop.
The fact that you want to persuade the Court and the public to think otherwise demonstrates you have no remorse whatsoever over what you’ve done, over what you are still doing, and over what you will continue to do if you keep supporting and funding Raniere.
In our last face-to-face before I left Albany in 2018, I asked Clare point-blank: “Clare, you’ve spent your entire time and resources defending Raniere. Are you willing to spend the rest of your life defending him?”
Not a moment had passed before she turned and said, “Absolutely.”
When I read her last court filing, where her lawyers adamantly urge the Court to prohibit other victims from speaking at this hearing, I took it as the statement of a woman who refuses, at all costs, to see and hear the extent of the damage she has done.
Your Honor, all of Raniere’s organizations prey upon well-intentioned people, baiting them with promises of success and nobility. He hasn’t stopped. He will not stop.
Clare’s money will simply amplify the harm Raniere and she can do together. For this reason, I not only consider her a menace to me and her other perceived enemies, but to society at large.
I would like to address Clare one final time.
Raniere often said the most sacred and valuable thing we have in the world is time because it is the one thing that can never be replaced.
Clare, I hope during the years you sit in prison, you reflect on this: your minutes, hours and days are only a fraction of what you, Raniere and his women stole from me.