Wende Irick is a businesswoman in Anchorage Alaska who was part of NXIVM [also known as Executive Success Programs] from the early days. She recruited a number of people in Alaska, including Kathy Russell and if I am not mistaken Kristin Snyder. Here is her letter of support.
August 7, 2021
My name is Wende Irick. I have owned a business in Alaska for fifty years, experiencing the ups and downs of entrepreneurship over the decades. My business is image consulting and home interior design. I have spent my career working intimately with individuals and their private spaces.
I believe that I have a finely honed sense of character. I do not suffer fools.
I met Nancy Salzman in 2001 in the second training for Executive Success Programs. It was a particularly low point in my life: my son had committed suicide, I was in the middle of a divorce and I learned that one of my long time employees had been embezzling from me.
I learned about the school from a student from the first training who suggested that it would be helpful to me.
Over the sixteen days in the program I regained my sense of self and self confidence, and a more clear understanding of my life as it was at the time. Nancy Salzman was responsible for that. She reached out to me and put me back together again. At the end of the course as I was leaving back to Alaska, Nancy gave me her cell phone number and said to call her when I needed to.
She said to me : “I’m worried about you.” Within ten days of my return to Alaska Nancy called and invited me to stay with her in San Diego. I did not know it at the time, but she had given a free five day training to reinforce what I had already learned.
Over the nearly twenty years since my first training I have had a front row seat to Executive Success and Nxivm as it evolved. My second husband and I moved to Clifton Park in 2009. Keith (my husband) was the CEO of a large company in Alaska. He took a training in New York and was excited about the program and its benefits.
In 2009, believing that he would work for Nxivm and Keith Rainiere as CEO of Nxivm, we sold our home here in Anchorage, bought a home in New York and moved. When we arrived, it became evident that Keith Raniere had other plans. My husband ended up working for Claire Bronfman as her assistant in real estate in upstate New York. I commuted back and forth to Alaska. While initially disappointed, it turns out that we were lucky: we avoided the criminal aspects of Keith Raniere’s enterprise.
During the four years we spent on the contract with Claire Bronfman I had a fly on the wall view of Nxivm and its members. Throughout this entire period Nancy Salzman proceeded with trainings and programs to further human growth and potential and remained a good friend to me and my husband, who was frustrated with the fact that Claire had become head of the company and Nancy had no power.
I did image consulting with many of the people who you no doubt have seen on the tv shows about Nxivm. At no time did I get any indication that there was a secret sorority of women sex slaves to Keith Raniere. I know all of the women involved as well as some of their parents.
To our great dismay, we watched as Nancy’s position was superseded by Claire Bronfman and Keith Raniere. Nancy was asked to leave the board of Nxivm in about 2008. When we arrived in 2009 Nancy was off the board and in the view of the company was an employee of Claire’s. My husband was unable to achieve the goals and expectations he had when he accepted the job. Instead of turning Nxivm into a real company with strong leadership, he was relegated to property manager for Claire Bronfman.
He worked from a home office. There was nothing Nancy Salzman could do to change this situation. She did her best to help us through the four years of the contract, and of course remained our friend and counselor.
I am deeply shaken by the revelations about Keith Raniere’s separate enterprises involving women. During the time we lived in New York I saw him about once a week. I got him ready for the camera or when “important people” came to town.
It became clear then that Raniere was making unpaid busy work for a lot of people, and that Nancy had no authority or power to change the dynamic. But there was never an indication from Raniere or from his “slaves” that there was the sordid “sorority” going on. It was indeed a secret society.
In closing, whatever skepticism one might have about Nancy Salzman’s knowledge of criminal enterprise by Keith Raniere, should be set aside. Nancy has been nothing but a concerned, enthusiastic teacher, mentor and friend to hundreds of people who seek self improvement. I appreciate your time in reading this, and appreciate the consideration you will give to this sentencing.
Wende S. Irick
Frank Report comment.
I spoke with Wende Irick once when I was in Anchorage looking for clues on the disappearance of Kristin Snyder. Irick brings to light in her letter something that I reported on long ago. That after Barbara Bouchey and Susan Dones and the rest of the NXIVM 9 left, Raniere demoted Nancy and blamed the departures of the women on her and Lauren. He them promoted Clare Bronfman who used her money and elevated position within NXIVM to rule the roost and in a far more rigid way than Nancy ever would or could.
I do think that overall Nancy did not have the killer instinct that Clare had and that had she remained president and Clare had a more subservient role as she had before she was elevated by Raniere, the company would have operated a little less ruthlessly from the top.
If Bronfman was the second in command, Nancy still was the titular second in command and when she would appear with Raniere she would be given the second seat of honor. She continued to enjoy the benefits of being the Prefect.