Frank Report recently posted an article by Leo Helmar, entitled How A Capella Efforts of Nxivm – With Mack, Bronfman, Salzman and Raniere – Broke Into Controversy with A Cappella Leader Deke Sharon.
Helmar reported on a 2008 forum thread [available on Internet Archive] about an a capella event funded by Clare Bronfman that some said was meant ti serve as a recruitment tool for Nxivm.
Several people, including the leader of the a capella world, Deke Sharon, called the event into question because of its Nxivm connection.
This inspired a forum thread of 204 comments, debating the matter. Of particular interest are those comments of Keith Raniere and supporters.
During the heat of criticism on the forum, Clare Webb Bronfman, now a convicted felon serving an 81-month sentence for her role in Nxivm, came online to make some points.
Though Bronfman funded the a capella event, she is not known to sing. And unlike Lauren Salzman, whose comments on the forum we posted recently, [Lauren Salzman’s Sterling Defense of Keith Raniere and Nxivm in 2008 – a Lot Has Changed Since Then] Clare never did sing against Raniere.
She refused to disavow him – which, along with other factors, resulted in her getting a sentence three times the federal sentencing guidelines.
At the time she wrote her comment on the a capella forum, 2008, the enemies of Raniere were mainly four: Toni Natalie, Joe O’Hara, Edgar Bronfman, and Rick Alan Ross.
Ross is a famous cult-deprogrammer and cult expert. He had taken some material from a former Nxivm student – and used it to publish critiques of Nxivm by two experts. It sparked a lawsuit that Raniere waged against Ross for over 15 years.
As of today, Clare has been in prison for two and one-half months; it is not known if she still feels loyal to Raniere.
As far as possible, I am going to skip her references to the a capella event – and focus, instead, on what she wrote about Nxivm and her mentor, Keith Raniere, and Ross [My comments in brackets and bold].
By Clare Bronfman
Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:38 pm
I am deeply offended by the conduct of certain individuals in this [a capella forum] community.
Please forgive my writing as I explain my experiences. I am the organizer of A Cappella Innovations AND Keith Raniere is a dear friend of mine AND I am deeply committed to NXIVM.
First, I know the people who back Rick Ross to fabricate the cult controversy through a carefully funded, politically orchestrated campaign of media and law.
[This is Clare-speak, devoid of specifics: “A carefully funded, politically orchestrated campaign of media and law.” What the hell does “carefully funded” mean? Who are the politicians orchestrating this campaign of media and law? It is a fact that the opposite is true: Raniere started the lawsuit with Ross. Bronfman carefully funded it. As for the media, they only got involved in reporting because Raniere started the lawsuit and made it public. He was suing to get Ross to take down information that criticized Nxivm. Next, Clare goes into attacking Ross so that a capella enthusiasts will disregard Ross’ criticism of Nxivm.]
Here are some references relating to Rick Ross:
Is he power-hungry? I have worked with him on the AI festivals and my sister [Sara Bronfman] is on the executive board of Nxivm. Keith is respected but often can be convinced to change his mind and is at times outvoted. He is both rational and compromising. Having watched Keith’s life for the past 5 years (and I know others who have known him for as long as 30 years—Karen Unterreiner, one of the facilitators at the festival), he is neither money-driven nor power-driven and always strives to do the right thing.
Here are some facts about Keith Raniere:
This is the preface to Keith Raniere’s book from a prominent academic. Keith’s articles have been featured in each edition of Luis Todd’s journal for the past several years and there was a complete edition devoted to Keith. Here is the foreword to Keith’s book:
Here is more information on Keith:
He is noted as one of the 3 top problem solvers in the world and was in the Guinness book under highest IQ, 1989.
Because of Keith Raniere and his creations:
Nancy Salzman, my sister and I had a personal meeting last month with the Dalai Lama on Keith’s ethics program and children’s school.
We will have a second meeting with the Dalai Lama this week.
Nancy Salzman served in Keith’s stead to head the international conference on bioethics for Mexico. (Remember, Nancy is Allegedly the “cult” head right under Keith.)
Some people who have taken Nxivm programs:
- Sheila Johnson (co-founder of black entertainment network),
- Sir Richard Branson,
- Dr. Ivan Misner (CEO of BNI, see youtube video@4:00mins http://youtube.com/watch?v=rguyMM3oh3Y&feature=related and also read http://www.bnipodcast.com/2007/10/03/episode-025-the-butterfly-effect/ this references a Nxivm training we did on Necker Island),
- Royalty from several countries, [what royalty?]
- Stephen Cooper, CEO of Enron hired to rectify past ethical problems,
- Members of 3 past first families of Mexico,
- Many prominent actors, musicians, and athletes.
Do you think a recommendation from Keith Raniere could help A cappella? How do you think we “pull in” the funding and experts? Do you really think such business people and royalty would be involved if Nxivm was a cult?
Do you think Keith needs to recruit college students?
Now, it is everyone’s choice who to believe Ross (see above) or Raniere (see above.) In the case of people who have attended AI and met me, Siobahn, Keith, Nancy, Lauren, Mark, Karen, etc., they have additional data.
By continuing to spread the Ross propaganda, you support Ross, a criminal. I think most people would not want to do that. I guess we will see if people continue to further his position.
In case some of you did not know, I was ranked 12th in the US and 80th in the world for equestrian show jumping. I came to Keith for help in riding. Keith does not ride, nor does he know anything about riding proper. His method of analysis rapidly uncovered things that the best riding coaches of the world could not see. My results were unprecedented.
[The results were that Clare quit horse jumping and took to jogging.]
Keith has done similar things for world-class soccer players, [who?] musicians [who?], business people [who?], actors [who?], dancers [who?], scientists [who?, weight-lifters[who?], and singers [who?]. Just because he is approachable and non-assuming, do not assume he is not extraordinary.
Is NXIVM a cult? Is Keith a “cult” leader? I think not. Of course, some people who have already “dug-in” their heals [sic] will not want to really consider this information.
Nxivm is an ethics and critical thinking education program of international distinction and repute. It is not a “cult” by any definition. The prominent people of the world know this. If one believed individuals such as Rick Ross, they would think Oprah, the Pentecostal Churches, Mormon Churches, Amway, Waldorf Schools, etc., etc., etc. are all “cults.” Just remember, media likes a controversy and no media had called Nxivm a “cult” until Rick Ross created the controversy.
One last note: If you believe the Kristin Snyder suicide story, you should probably examine it more closely!
Ancient Chinese proverb – If you believe everything you read, better not read.
– Clare Bronfman