Esther Chiappone Carlson is a green sash of Nxivm, one of its highest-ranking members. She lives with another longtime Nxivm leader, James Del Negro. She has great admiration for Keith Alan Raniere as her letter of support indicates.
She says the women who are his adversaries are acting out as privileged princesses because Keith refused to let them behave like infants.
She says that Keith actually tried to help women. It is curious since Keith during his longstanding and punishing sex relationship with Camila, was evidently consumed with jealousy over Esther’s son Robbie and he targeted the lad for years. Esther’s own relationship with Keith seems to have begun with a lie. Keith apparently told Esther that he was going to make her his girlfriend and persuaded her to leave her husband in Alaska, move to Albany and bring her four children with her. After she relocated, he told her she would be part of his harem. Esther, to her credit, rejected this proposal but she remained in Nxivm and forgave him his deception.
Finally, Esther refers to me as an “internet blogger” whose writings likely prevented her from renting an apartment.
Let us hear what one of his most devoted followers has to say.
Honorable Nicholas G. Garaufis
United States District Judge Eastern District of New York
225 Cadman Plaza East Brooklyn,
New York 11201
Dear Judge Garaufis,
My name is Esther Carlson. I currently own a small business and reside in Sarasota, Florida. I have a Masters in Education, Bachelor of Fine Arts. I have been a Special Ed teacher, Art teacher, Watercolor Artist, and in Sales most of my life. I am a mother of four children, whom I homeschooled and sent through private school. I resided in NY from 2002-2018 where I worked as a Field Trainer and community leader in Executive Success Programs. I helped build the companies; ESP, Ultima, Ethicist, Ethos and Level II trainings as a sales representative and worked closely with Ms. Nancy Salzman and Mr. Keith Raniere, helping oversee the trainings and sales force. I also was a trainer for Jness, the women’s movement. I am a strong advocate for women and women’s issues. I have worked over ten years to develop, coach, mentor women and members of our international community. I supervised relationship goals studies, helped couples and advised parents and families in humanitarian principles embodied in our trainings.
I have known Keith Raniere for 20 years. My first experience with him was on a conference call sponsored by a colleague from another company. He was portrayed as a man seeking to solve some of the world’s problems. Thinking that was a pretty lofty idea, I arrogantly asked him, “Why are you doing this?” I was pleasantly surprised to find a humble and kind response. He said he felt like he had a gift to take complex human problems and create simple solutions. I was shocked. It wasn’t that what he said was so profound but more so how he said it. I found him soft spoken, humble and wise in how he answered questions. My first experience of Executive Success verified the compassion and thoughtfulness that went into the trainings. My initial reaction to them was of anger as I had just spent over 10 years of my life in college education. Psychology classes, teacher education and alternative school classes didn’t compare to the quality of education I found in a 2-week program! My first thought was, “Why the hell is this not mainstream and why didn’t anyone tell me about it!”
When Nancy and Keith were developing the education, sometimes Keith was in the room. He was always playful and curious about what the participants thought. With my experience in alternative Education, I had a lot of opinions to share. Once when hushed by a facilitator, Keith interrupted and said, “Let her speak…”. I was processing the matrix of modules and I saw what all my years in education had missed. I felt like I figured it out! He sincerely appreciated my perspective. I found the education to be more productive than any previous educational curriculum I had taken or taught in all of my teaching career. When I went back to work, some of my clients saw the changes in me and naturally wanted to know what I had been doing. I decided I could help more people selling ESP.
When my father was in pain from knee surgery complications. At our holiday party Keith took time to see how he was and in a five-minute conversation, he was able to re-evaluate what to do differently to reduce his pain. The Society of Protector, SOP Complete trainings, shed some light on what men deal within our culture. I could see my dad, the Clint Eastwood type, much differently. My dad and I struggled to talk to each other, but after the training, I had the best conversation of my life with him. I was able to tell him how I felt, that I love him, and appreciated all he had done. Until I took that training, I was less aware of all that my father had done for me. I was able to thank him. When he died, I felt like I understood him better. I was deeply grateful for the conversations I had with him. When one of my children was struggling in school, I asked Keith for help. He said, “What expectation of yours are they not meeting?” and I realized how much I was trying to control and was not listening to what they wanted. I felt more capable of being a better parent from the trainings and coaching of Nancy Salzman. It helped me a lot. I believe it increased my emotional intelligence and ability to manage life; the stress of parenting, building a business, and working with people. Albany was my home, my family and community. It was my place to grow, be more successful in my business, and raise my children. I am extremely saddened by what has been destroyed in my family and community.
Keith is one of the kindest, most compassionate human beings I have ever met. I benefited greatly from his leadership, expertise in sales and management. Most impressive of his skill was his ability to help unsuspecting, well intended people see past their own projections and be able to see people driven by power or greed. To the casual observer, this was disturbing but to an experienced leader, it was a relief. I discovered many tormented souls fall prey to these very few, but powerfully destructive people. This case is an example of this. These are the same individuals that would long to twist my words of good intent in this letter.
The trial and media portrayal of Keith Raniere is not congruent at all with my experience of him. It’s my opinion that these supposed “victims” were not able to manipulate him, so they acted out and caused problems where there were none. This bad behavior of women has become culturally acceptable and even encouraged by men claiming to be protectors. It is one of the biggest crimes against women, to condone this childish behavior. I am personally offended by it. Many professional women, hard-working, responsible, successful women, pay the price and yet get treated like children because of those that behave badly. This has become a sickness in our society and is cloaking the real victims of abuse. The adversaries of Keith are not average women. They are white women, successful women of privileged, high income earners backgrounds. These are resourceful, wealthy, entitled women with means, “playing” victim. As a 60-year-old woman who raised four children, I feel I have earned the right to voice this strong stance. Men give women what they want to shut them up, so they don’t cause problems. Men do this, even when women are in the wrong. This is a disgrace to humanity and offensive to women that earn their wealth. This is how men control women. Keith refused to do this to women. He held women in too high regard to treat them as children.
The government took private information from personal relationships and exploited it to help inspire the hate campaign against us. If any of the alleged victims were male, no one would care and no men would be trying to rescue them. The lies of a small group of unhappy women have been used to badgered me, destroy my business through character assignation, and aggressively harass my children. They told them lies. I was forced to seek another place to live. I was rejected from renting a home with no explanation; I assumed it was because of lies from an internet blogger. A very small group of aggressive adversaries used the media and government to smear our image and harass my family.
Keith’s way of being in the world has been highly misunderstood. But, as intelligent and innovative as he was with us, he never pushed it on anyone or demanded people follow him. He was a very “hands off” leader. People went to him for guidance with their ideas and he would do his best to help them. Often, he created entire trainings for one person that was seeking to overcome some life limitation that many could relate to.
Mr. Raniere created real solutions for people with real problems that afflict our society. He added value to every person he met and consistently demonstrated the behavior of a thoughtful person. Keith is a scientist. He dedicated his life to understanding human beings. He understands what philosophers have written about for centuries that in order to advance a society or a culture it starts from educating the people. “We can’t solve the current problems of our society with the same thinking we used to create them.” Einstein has been quoted. We are transformed or destroyed by our own minds. Keith provided a process and created a science for a person to become aware of this truth and a path to choose it. This outrage of this group of adversaries is proof people had a choice to evolve their issues or not. Mr. Raniere has a relentless belief in people to do this. Maybe naïve, maybe altruistic, but I witnessed his commitment to this with every human being that sought his guidance; even people that I judged. He still provided for many what they wanted to be– better people.
No matter how much I might disagree with the troubled people he engaged with or what he did to help them, there is no evidence in the 15 years of my close experience with him, working with him, helping him with projects, benefiting from long hours of his guidance, did he ever treat me or others with disrespect or force. It was just the opposite; always questioning people to think, be mindful and consider others. Never did I see him take advantage of others. Never. In fact, I experienced his dedication of thought toward deliberate acts of kindness and generosity of his time and talents even when people were undeserving.
I am devastated and forever haunted that my friend and teacher could be treated and abused in the way he has been treated. He has been kept from his life partner and own son in the most hurtful way. He’s been separated from his aging father who longed to see him, and was not told of his COVID death until it was in an Obituary. His father was my friend and feared for his son. He also was kept from seeing, Keith, his own son because of how he has been portrayed in the media. The hate against Keith hushed even the closest loved ones, due to the fear of the government and harm to his family. It’s my belief that this small, bad intended group, chose to use personal disagreements to destroy his character and all the great things he achieved.
I am embarrassed to be American as it is clear to me that my government supported the hate media in this case. It is also not new to me that the media contributed to the destruction of a fair trial. I was not protected by the FBI in this case, I was harassed by them and so was my family—How do I correct this in the world? How do I heal my family from the lies that a few people have told; twisted and exaggerated even more by a hate blogger? How do we fix this in our world when a communication tool called “social media” powers it? And, is also supported by the unsuspecting fools who were used to support it? This case has ripped my family apart and strained my closest relationships. I am writing to offer an opportunity for maybe some truth to come out about Keith.
Thank you, Your Honor, for reading my letter and considering what I think. I have great respect for Keith Raniere, as a leader, a mentor and friend of mine for over 15 years; I request the court consider the magnitude of what I have shared in this letter. Can we have mercy on a man that has done so much for our world and clearly dedicated more than two decades of his life to do it? Other than a small group of people, he has been viewed by thousands as demonstrating honor, character and commitment to upholding the best in people. People are very scared to share this because of social media attacking them and their loved ones. Please Judge Garaufis, consider, the same man that has been perceived so negatively by the media and you, is the creator of the most effective training ever and to consider imposing the lowest appropriate sentence. I request, your honor, the most lenient sentence the court considers appropriate or the lowest sentence permitted under the law.
|Esther Carlson October 10, 2020|