Contrary to the recent murmurings of internet trolls, Roger Stone was neither a member of NXIVM nor a conduit for its sinister activities.
Here are the facts:
In 2006, NXIVM enlisted Stone’s services to bolster their lobbying efforts. Keith Raniere, alongside Nancy Salzman, wanted Stone to navigate the political landscape to help them harm their enemies.
“They hired me to advise them on a strategy to gain political access through large contributions. But I could never get them to understand how the system worked legally,” Stone said. “I repeatedly explained to them that one could not condition a large contribution to a politician on the government official performing some kind of governmental chore or providing some benefit in return.”
At the time, Raniere had control of the fortunes of two heirs of the Seagram Liquor Company — Clare and Sara Bronfman.
Stone said, “I told them that all they were buying with their political contributions was ‘goodwill’ and a fair hearing, if they had some legitimate governmental problem or issue. However, the trading of specific things – such as the criminal indictment of one of their enemies could not be ‘purchased’ and that you would be prosecuted and go to prison for bribery if you even tried such a thing.”
Stone’s departure from NXIVM ended on neutral terms. He recommended they seek legal counsel, not a lobbyist, for their needs.
While he was their consultant, he met Raniere one time. He was not a NXIVM student. NXIVM records show he audited one class for a couple of hours one afternoon – to better understand the service NXIVM offered.
My Work at NXIVM
I began working for NXIVM in 2007 to help with their PR challenges.
I relocated to Albany. Stone was also in town, working on political business at the Capitol. His main task was to take down New York Governor Elliot Spitzer.
I focused on my work with NXIVM. I found Raniere to be a soft-spoken man with a sense of humor. His followers were friendly, clean-cut, intelligent, mostly women from 30-50 years old.
His followers told me (and everyone else) that Raniere had the highest IQ in the world. They based this on his entry in the 1989 edition of the Guinness Book of Records, Australian edition, which listed him and two others with the top score on a specific IQ test – the Mega Test.
Shortly after I began work for NXIVM, Stone would call me and start the conversation by asking sarcastically, “And how’s the world’s smartest man today?”
Then, we would discuss his plans to take down Spitzer – a task he had a hand in accomplishing within a few months after he began.
As for IQs, sometime later, I learned and revealed that Raniere’s IQ test was a take-home test with no monitor. And likely he cheated. In any event, Guinness retired the category of “highest IQ” right after they named Raniere in 1989.
Stone’s Early Warnings
When we spoke, Stone had other criticisms.
“His course is some kind of mind control bullshit,” Stone told me back in 2007.
Referring to Clare and Sara Bronfman, he said:
“It’s clear Raniere lifted millions of dollars from the trust funds of his marks.”
Sometimes, Stone would go into a near tirade.
“This guy Raniere is full of shit and the whole thing looks like a financial scam to me, but I say get the hell away from these people because they’re playing with millions of dollars which they stole from somewhere,” he said.
He was right. I soon uncovered that the Bronfmans lost $100 million in investments Raniere managed through a friend in Los Angeles.
I recovered about $26 million for the Bronfmans by getting Raniere’s friend to sign over 30 parcels of real estate in Los Angeles County.
Raniere fired me for that, as if I had done something bad.
Helped With the Frank Report
Stone’s insights continued to be valuable to me after I launched the Frank Report in 2015 to investigate Raniere and NXIVM.
In 2017, I broke the story that Raniere was operating a secret master-slave group that branded and blackmailed women. The secret group, DOS, had begun in 2015 – more than eight years after Stone and I ceased working for the group.
Stone insisted that during his brief time interacting with NXIVM, he never saw any of the younger women who would constitute Rainiere’s harem, but rather a number of middle-aged housewives, paying to take the group’s self -help course.
“I never saw any evidence that it was a sex cult. My concern was that it was a financial scam, and that Raniere and his associates were fleecing a number of trust fund children after alienating them from wealthy parents,” Stone told me.
Over time, Stone provided me with important information that helped expose the cult. I was at his house when we got the news that Raniere was arrested in Mexico. I gave interviews from the parlor of his home, commenting on Raniere’s arrest.
To cast Roger Stone as an accomplice to NXIVM’s wrongdoing is grossly inaccurate. On the contrary, his contribution was significant in dismantling Raniere’s deceit. I want to thank Roger Stone for his help in taking down NXIVM.