Jim Del Negro, a long time NXIVM coach, and one of the leaders of the Society of Protectors, died last night in Mexico. He was 54.
Here is what a source told me:
“Jim traveled to Mexico to get alternative treatment for a heart condition and was with Wayne LeBaron of the Lebaron Mormon community in Mexico. He went to an alternative clinic. I believe he had a wisdom tooth infection and for some time had been suffering from A-fib issues. He was hoping to get well and be back in top fighting form again.
“When he showed signs that the infection was worsening and was growing more painful, it was recommended he go to a regular hospital.
“With his typical attitude of always being more concerned about others than himself, he sadly did not pay enough attention to his own painful condition. He brushed it off saying he did not feel sick enough to warrant hospitalization. He would stick it out and bear the pain.
“It turned out to be far worse than he expected. The infection was a cyst that went septic and by the time he was prepared to be hospitalized, it was too late. He died quickly and all of us are saddened at this sudden loss of a good friend.”
It has been published elsewhere that Keith Raniere advised Jim not to get standard medical treatment, but, my sources tell me that Jim had not been in contact with Raniere for months and the story is, therefore, untrue.
Jim was born in Gloversville NY and worked most of his adult life in the Albany area. After NXIVM collapsed, Jim worked as an independent sales agent for an insurance company and for a time continued to offer life coaching consulting services, something he had done with NXIVM for about 16 years.
Prior to becoming a teacher for Executive Success Programs, Jim worked as a mechanical engineer, where he worked in the fields of cable television and the energy industry for over 15 years.
Jim also owned a tutoring franchise where he helped children from the ages of kindergarten through high school to do better in their studies.
He was brought up in a Catholic family and community – and was a firm believer in the U.S. Constitution and the principles put forth by the founding fathers of the USA.
He said on his Twitter account, “My mission is to discuss and debate the virtue and ethics of freedom and humanity over the delusion of safety and security.”
He was a longtime companion to Esther Carlson, a NXIVM proctor, and it is believed his parents, Daniel and Jackie Del Negro of New York, are still living. He has no children of his own as far as I know, but he helped raise Esther’s children.
Jim spent about 16 years with NXIVM. He was often tapped to teach intensives for VIPs and was known for presenting an interesting and dynamic class.
He was introduced to Executive Success Programs at a one-day seminar hosted by the Saratoga Springs, NY Chamber of Commerce in 2002.
“I experienced a profound deepening in my understanding of morality and ethics at the seminar,” he wrote of the experience.
He signed up for the 16-day training and soon left his career as a mechanical engineer and became a full-time coach and trainer for NXIVM. He also participated as both a client and coach in many of the companies related to Raniere, including the Society of Protectors where he was a member of the High Council.
He remained a staunch supporter of Keith Raniere even after his arrest and wrote a letter to the judge seeking leniency for him prior to his sentencing.
“The reason I valued his [Raniere’s] programs so much is that I experienced positive, lasting changes in my behavior and my experience of my life. I became less fearful and more understanding of people as a result of participating in his trainings. Ultimately, I experienced more compassion and built my empathy for others,” he wrote.
Jim enjoyed athletics and was fond of playing volleyball with Raniere and others in the NXIVM community.
“The reason I have put so much trust in Keith is that he continually and consistently demonstrates the traits of virtue,” Jim wrote.
Jim’s view of the Society of Protectors was also vastly different than the opinion of many of Raniere’s critics. The men’s group of NXIVM “transformed my life and how I would approach my goals in the future, to not cut corners, to keep my integrity and do the right thing regardless of the material cost,” Jim wrote.
As for Raniere providing Jim with medical advice, Jim told a story of how he suffered from a severe pain in the bottom of his foot. Keith recommended a certain exercise and his longstanding pain went away in two months. Jim was profoundly grateful yet praised Keith’s humility when he told him he was sorry he had not noticed his affliction earlier.
The last time I saw Jim was in late October 2020. He was in New York City for the sentencing of Raniere. I had not seen him since 2008 when he worked closely with me in Los Angeles.
We had good and successful times in Los Angeles but certain things occurred which caused our separation. I had not been too kind to Jim in some things I wrote about him in the intervening years, after I went to war with Keith and Clare Bronfman.
This is not the place to discuss these matters, but when I saw Jim, a dozen years had passed, and he was with about 20 Raniere supporters. I was alone. Perhaps he might have taken advantage of the opportunity to be rude or tell me I was wrong. To show off in front of a group of people who had come to know me as an enemy.
But he acted as he did when we worked together, as a friend of mine. Except, he was older. He had matured and it seemed to me in a good way. He had greyed in a way that showed he had seen pain and become more understanding.
We spoke as we had previously spoken, with the same congeniality that we knew when we worked together.
After the meeting in New York, we spoke a few times on the phone and he sent me an article about freedom of speech and the US constitution which I published. It was a topic we both agreed on and a fitting end to our relationship.
We were friends once – then we abruptly ended our association for various reasons and were in a sense adversarial. Then, less than a year before he died, we met again.
And I got to see the good in Jim again. Like I saw in him when he was a bright, young man in his late 30s when he worked for me. And I also got to see how others in the little, remaining NXIVM community looked at him, like a beloved uncle; like he was everybody’s friend.
They tell me he never had a bad word to say about anyone. Never thought badly of any of his friends. Always looked out for them, always praised them to others. He saw only the good perhaps, even only good in someone such as Keith Raniere, a view I do not share, but that does not make my memory of him as that of a fool. We see in others what we are ourselves.
I am glad we had the chance to meet again and offer each other a chance at friendship shortly before the curtain closed. May he rest in peace.