First and foremost: I am not a NXIAN. I am an outsider, with these caveats:
–I don’t live far from where the NXIVM headquarters used to be and it was always in my face.
–I used to (and sometimes still do) hang out at a coffee shop called Moca Lisa’s, and there was always a group of NXIVM members there–mostly attractive females–with notebooks open, working diligently on their projects;
–My wife is a spitting image in her younger years of one of the women featured in “The Lost Women of NXIVM” (The resemblance is shocking). My wife WAS approached by a NXIVM member to “come check us out.”
–My interest in this is multi-fold. I absolutely love Frank’s reporting and writing style. No one does investigative reporting anymore–it’s a lost art. 60 Minutes doesn’t even do it. So I have absolute respect for the mind-bending journalism featured in The Frank Report.
That aside, let’s clarify some issues:
1. I actually never said Dr. Roberts was in a ‘harem’. I said some followers seemed to be. Harem implies sexual devotion, adhesion, and she said she only was the recipient of a kiss. I have no reason to doubt that.
2. However, I do believe in the general context of an “emotional harem”, which, at this point, I will describe as a blinding adhesion to someone who has spiritual power, real or imagined, bestowed upon them, resulting in blind allegiance. I am not saying this applies to anyone. I am saying I see this as a potential.
3. A cauterizing pen is a medical instrument. I had surgery two months ago, and when I smelled my burning flesh and saw smoke waft in the operating room, I asked the doctor if that was a cauterizing pen.
“Yup,” he said. “It is used to seal the capillaries so you don’t bleed.”
To that end, I agree completely with the Board that Dr. Roberts was using a medical device.
4. As for the “practice of medicine”, that’s not up to me, that’s up to the Board–and the Board said it was. If they say it was, it was–they have the sole authority. If on appeal the Board changes its mind, then “No”, it’s not the practice of medicine. But as of now, it is.
5. In my humble opinion, it was horrible to brand women, in their pubic areas, with the initials of another man and not disclose this.
While some people tout societal views on cults, I ask: Who is there to represent the interest and rights of those “injured” by a permanent scar of a man’s initials,when it was not disclosed? The answer: The Board, and the court system. That’s the system Americans use.
What Is a Cult?
In my opinion, a cult is similar to the Supreme Court holding, “I don’t know what pornography is, but I know it when I see it.”
NXIVM reeks of cult.
One difference between a “cult” and a “religion” is you can leave a religion; you can’t leave a cult. Can one voluntarily leave being a Krishna? A Catholic? If yes, it’s a religion, not a cult.
Can one voluntarily leave NXIVM? That is open to further debate, but there’s testimony in the court proceedings that say “not always.”
There’re swingers, and threesomes and polyamory– not one of these use starvation, sleep deprivation, and blind allegiance to one Vanguard, along with other attributes, and none of them without these practices appear to be prosecutable.
My prediction: RICO was brilliantly and effectively used, and will be upheld on appeal. There’s a lot of case law of criminal RICO.
My next prediction: Criminal RICO has a civil component, and with the convictions in place, subject to appeal, the Plaintiffs’ lawyers have a great case and are going to steamroll the Defendants. Many of the components are the same, and the Burden of Proof is lower.
My next hope: Dr. Roberts dusts herself off, lifts her chin up, and takes herself to higher levels than ever before because I have no doubt she can do it.