Barbara Bouchey, the former girlfriend of Keith Raniere and a top recruiter for Nxivm in its early days, was the 6th victim to speak at this sentencing.
Here are links to the first five who spoke before her::
Barbara told me that while she had a hard time writing her victim statement for Clare Bronfman, the words came easily for her statement to Raniere.
She came out rather aggressively and perhaps she spoke to Raniere as she had never before in the past. While she saw him in court attending every day of his trial last year, she was not permitted to speak to him.
This may be the first time she actually spoke to him since she left Nxivm and him in 2009 – and is likely the last time she will ever speak to him, the last time she will ever see him.
She speaks a lot about her history with Raniere and how he went after her. To those unfamiliar with her story, it may be hard to follow, but the gist of it is there: After she left NXIVM, he went after her with a vengeance, with Bronfman millions, and failed.
Perhaps if she sounds a little too emotional or strident or melodramatic at times in her speech, keep in mind she was facing the man she probably loved most in life but who became the man she feared the most – and the man who caused her years of fear and torment and caused the loss of her reputation, her wealth and her career.
He was able to ruin her happiness both while she was in Nxivm and with him, taking her for her life savings while she was there which was about 9 years – and then after she left him, he hunted her for another 9 years. After 18 years, she gets a little pass, since she had to say everything she had to say, and for the last time to the man who loomed large over her and frightened her, and made her life a living hell.
By Barbara Bouchey
Keith, Hi, been a long time. I read the glowing testimonials about you. I too could have written one for the many benefits gained from you in my days at NXIVM.
However, what if a woman is married to a man deemed a pillar of the community and 85 percent of the marriage is good, but 15 percent is really bad. Within five months, he cons her out of her life savings, vowing to pay her back, secretly abuses her, conceals his affairs with many women, and sexually abuses them too including a 15-year-old?
He then directs these women to conspire with him to deceive her and to spread negative propaganda calling her crazy. And any time she questions, they blame her and shame her for even daring to ask. All the while, he extorts her value, time and money to feed his selfish addictions and builds his empire.
Finally, she cannot tolerate the abuse anymore and she leaves him. He fears though that she will tell the truth about the abuse, and that she discovered that he’s the wolf behind the sheep’s clothing. So, he lies to cover up his abuse.
And to silence her, he hunts her like an animal, misusing the courts and the authorities and relentlessly litigating her on trumped charges, – and even has her passport removed so she cannot feel safe in her own country. And for what?
Because she broke up with you and told the truth about it? Keith, you claim to be the most ethical, honorable, and noblest of men. Is it ethical to overlook the husband’s abuse? No, it would not be. That is why you are sitting here today. Being held accountable and facing a possible lifetime in prison, which is what I think you deserve for what you did to me and to others.
I read your 96-page motion and declaration of innocence. You claim we do not understand your goodness and philosophy to help humankind, followed by your denigration of the witnesses here in this courtroom, stating that they lied, they rewrote history all for hidden agenda to extort money from the deep pockets of the Bronfmans.
Keith, why is it that I’m the elephant in the room? Never mentioned. Why am I not in the 96 pages? Nowhere.
Could it be because you know that you cannot claim those things about me? Or given that I’m not one of the eighty ex-members suing you. And with your decade-long attempt to wrongfully accuse me failed, that mentioning me would only further point to your obsessive lunacy.
It is you who has the bad intent, who desperately lied about me, concealing that you are a wolf, a predator – and who cleverly used good-intentioned people, like me, as your sheep’s clothing.
When I left, Kristin said it was like a snap. You became obsessed with silencing me, lest anyone believe me. Did you know that I listened to the audio,where you masterfully wove a fantastical tale to everyone about why I left? You claimed I tried to extort $2 million.
Don’t you think it’s time to tell the truth, Keith? It was you who asked me to invest $25,000. And you who asked me to lend you $25,000 to test your mathematical formula on commodities. And you assured me I would not lose more than that.
But you lied. And you margined it and you exposed me to risk. With the account in my name and you as the trader, I was forced to cover $1.7 million of your losses.
You then feigned innocence. And not knowing that this could ever happen, another lie – all fo which I learned after I left because you did the same thing with Pam’s money.
There you were crying, vowing to pay me back, saying you were responsible knowing that I never signed up for that.
You and Nancy promised me every year to pay me back. Your inner circle espoused you were a man of your word, and that I have no reason to worry. But there was always an excuse every year, wasn’t there, Keith, for not paying me back? Then you shamed me for asking for repayment of my own money, a loan now, because a true humanitarian would not be so selfish to ask for their money.
You lied to the community and then claimed this was a gift. You then conned Clare with your lies – and placed her on the NXIVM board two weeks after I left. Then you had her go to my hometown DA to try to get me arrested, falsely saying that I tried to extort this money from her.
When that didn’t work, you launched an avalanche of litigation for eight years dragging me into 14 lawsuits, in four states, had me arrested, removed my passport, had Clare launch an investigation with my Financial Planning Ethics Board with their 29 salacious allegations, including extortion. Additionally, you used other board members to file extortion charges against me in Mexico, having bribed a judge to toss me into a dark prison never to be seen again.
THE COURT: Please slow down a bit.
BOUCHEY: Did you get it all, Keith, or do you want me to repeat it?
THE COURT: Please go ahead.
BOUCHEY: You bribed a judge in Mexico to toss me into a dark prison hoping never to see me again. I was driven into filing bankruptcy defending against your lies, which took me until two years ago to pay off. And so, Keith, shall we summarize the facts, or data, as you call it?
I got every one of your vexatious litigations dismissed with no wrongdoing cited. I got my Financial Planning Board’s investigation closed with the overwhelming evidence that I provided proving Clare’s salacious allegations were false. I got that criminal charge dropped. And there was never any extortion charge or investigation started in the United States because the authorities realized it was completely bogus.
However, you did get that bogus charge filed charged in Mexico. And I’m sure that you would be surprised to know right now that your ex-Mexican board members have come out of the fog. And right now, as we speak, they are arranging to have those criminal charges dropped.
And so, every devious plot and plan to destroy me and falsely accuse me has failed. Where you did not fail was to assassinate my character with nonstop headline news stories that reported your lies portraying me an unethical financial adviser, criminal extortionist, unfit to manage my own financial affairs, let alone that of my clients.
I took the brunt of your vengeance for eight years, being bludgeoned because I was unwilling to go quietly into the night. No matter how much you terrorized me, I did not surrender. And I never gave up trying to expose you and hold you accountable and bring you to justice this day.
A terrorist is defined as a person who uses unlawful intimidation in pursuit of their own aims. That’s who you are, a terrorist. A wolf, a predator, a criminal, and unethical human being. You no longer can hide in plain sight and are now being seen for the predator that you are.
There was a time when I once loved you, and dearly, thinking you were my soulmate. I thought we shared common goals of empowering others in making a difference in the world. I gave you everything that I had my life, my work, my efforts, my resources for what I believed was a mutual vision.
Often you would tell me I was your greatest risk. It never made sense to me at the time, but it does now. I’m your black swan. That rare person causing the extreme event that would have severe outcomes that cannot be predicted beforehand and can cause catastrophic consequences.
Keith, you may have broken my heart, irreparably damaged my once impeccable reputation built over decades, emptied my bank account once valued at $5 million, decimated my career. Once was I an esteemed leader in my industry, you drove me out of my hometown where I was once a pillar of my community to seek refuge in another state because my town folks shunned me, unknowingly believing your lies.
Then you forced me into hiding, where I had to live anonymously in fear of what next plot you can get away with in acting upon me. I was alone, isolated, and afraid.
Today, I may only own a 13-year-old car and my furniture, but you were never able to diminish my spirit. And I still possess the depth of my character. I have and always have and will uphold the truths and my integrity. I stand here before you a stronger, resilient, more encouraged women.
I’m a better person today. My understanding, compassion, forgiveness, and empathy runs deep within me like a river. I’ve been filled with grace after going to hell and back many times.
I’ve had many dark nights of the soul not knowing if I could survive another day of false headline news story. Many years I had to choose between needed medical care, paying attorneys, or rent, uncertain if I could support myself.
You may have destroyed everything that took me decades to build, but you did not destroy me.
I forgave you a long time ago for your unspeakable betrayal, deceit, lies, manipulation, extortion of my value, intent to destroy me because I believed that right now you are not of sound mind, you are delusional and unable to see the evil intent that is within you.
I will pray for you and your soul every day. May God help you find your way back to your soul. May you spend the rest of your life in prison, and hopefully, maybe you’ll reflect or journal on all the damage and abuse you inflicted upon me and others.
As for me, like a butterfly after it struggles to survive the war zone of the chrysalis, it emerges to spread its wings now having the strength to fly. And so do I.
Thank you, your Honor.