The following was written in response to the post, ‘Jaye’, Who Testified at Raniere Trial, Reveals Identity With Announcement of Podcast. It was submitted anonymously, with the moniker, “They were OK with that.” I do not know who the author is.
By “They were OK with that…”
It’s all so very sad. It seems as though everyone involved in NXIVM and DOS has ‘good intent’ on both sides. All of these people had dedicated their lives to each other and were living in community to build what they considered a more humane and caring world. To see that come to this ruination has to be so devastating for each life involved.
Unfortunately, when people believe there is no “absolute truth” and each person gets to decide truth for his or herself, the whole foundation of “good” or “bad” intent crumbles.
I’m not defending or judging anyone. However, it does appear that all involved in DOS were consenting adults when they joined and all of them proceeded, even when they say they saw ‘red flags’.
They knew the concept of “collateral,” it was part of the curriculum and had been used in other programs. I think the concept of collateral is a ridiculous idea and a flimsy tool for inspiring commitment, but they did not, they believed in it.
We are trying to honor and defend these women based on our value system; they were taught and willingly subscribed to an alternative set of values. They knew what they were doing.
They knew they were walking near the ledge and pushing boundaries, they did not want an ‘ordinary’ life. Most of Keith Raniere’s teachings were counter-cultural and all of those involved paid a lot of money to be pushed outside of their comfort zones.
I’m not quite certain how crying “foul” after the fact, for something you signed up for and believed in, is fair.
I know some will say collateral invalidates consent, but women had left DOS prior and did not have their collateral released. And again, they knew how collateral worked when they signed on and they agreed to it. No one forced or pressured anyone to join. In fact, they seem to have put up roadblocks such as collateral/brand/life commitment to stop the faint of heart from joining. These women all literally signed off to a master and brand on a spreadsheet prior to joining, according to Lauren’s testimony.
- They knew that KR had claimed to be a renunciate and now was polyamorous…they were ok with that. And continued paying money for more courses, to learn more.
- They knew of KR’s self-made claims that he was one of the smartest men in the world…they were ok with that.
- They knew the belief that one should avoid paying taxes if possible…they were ok with that.
- They understood the concept of collateral…they were ok with that.
- They knew they would need to give naked pics or lie about their family to learn more…they were ok with that.
- They knew they would get a symbolic brand…they were ok with that.
- They knew prior to joining that they would need to obey their master regardless of what she asked them to do…they were ok with that.
- They knew negative things had been said about the group in the press…they were ok with that.
These women were not virginal maidens. They wanted to be bad-ass. They wanted to be pushed. They didn’t want ordinary lives of safety when they first paid their collateral to learn more.
In regards to the symbolic meaning of the brand, most symbols have multiple meanings. I often wear a cross. A cross was an executioner’s device of torture…that is not what it symbolizes for me. A symbol represents something we value.
They valued DOS when they joined and agreed to it.
I am not a member of KR’s fan club and I am too prudish and frugal to have ever taken a course, but these women paid KR thousands upon thousands of dollars to learn his values. And once they did, they paid more to remain in the community and live by those values.
They literally bought into this with full knowledge that his values and strategies pushed against society norms. That’s what they wanted. And now these same women who didn’t want societal norms, after the fact, want to judge those involved by societal norms.
If KR is to be accountable with 120 years of his life, they should be accountable for the choices they made as intelligent, consenting women who knew what they wanted and actually made a pretty big commitment/sacrifice to sign on.
Frank, prior to this you have been a blogger with an agenda, not a journalist. To your credit, this story about Jessica Joan is journalism. You shared both sides of the story, point – counter point, and are letting others decide for themselves. Thank you.