NXIVM-A Different Story

Part 1

I’m turning on.

I’ve been part of the NXIVM community since around 2007. I moved to Albany to be closer to the community and more involved in what was being taught. I participated fully and with all my heart for many years. I was a leader within the group, I was close with Keith Raniere and all the upper leadership. My closest friends were forged in NXIVM, and some remain today, many remain today not out of obligation or need but out of the experience of a common journey.

I don’t know how this is going to go, only that it’s important to me that it goes. So I’m going to start telling my story about NXIVM. My story is very different from “The Story” that you may have heard, or even followed. Maybe this will be the first and last post…who knows.

Why might this story be valuable to you? To the world?

  1. Because what I learned in NXIVM is life changing, deeply human and offers a pathway into the true heart of what it means to be a human on earth.
  2. Because there is so much unneccesary suffering on the earth today and the teachings in NXIVM can relieve much of that suffering, opening people up to their human joy that is the root of life.
  3. Because we are living in a time a great deception. It’s great because many of us even know we are being decieved but for many reasons choose to ignore, which causes sadness, depression, anger, fear and all sorts of negative emotions.
  4. Because we are living in a time of injustice. The example of NXIVM is one of many examples of this injustice.
  5. Imagine a world where people were more joyful, needed less and were happier in their lives and in their experience of the world. What would that world look like? Would it look like the world we’re living in today?

I’ve been thinking about writing this for years, literally every day, for years. As I’ve watched the narrative around NXIVM be created, as I watched the things I loved torn to pieces and the people I respected and valued locked away without regard for fairness, truth or compassion. I watched friends turn into enemies, I watched lovers turn feral, I’ve seen families turn against eachother and many, many people in deep, deep pain. And I’ve thought…what can I do? What can I do? What I’m seeing and hearing does not match what I experienced and the consequences to one side perpetrated by the ultimate in violent authority were and are so wrong to me. And yet I stayed mostly quiet. I ate my angst and my anger and my fear. I buried it like a good boy does. I tried to forget, tried to move on. Found things that were meaningful to me and began, again to build.

But the procession of hatred is not particular to NXIVM. The process and mechanism of hate is alive in our world and flowing like blood through veins through the humans of our planet. I’m sure as it flows through me, it flows through you. And this hatred, this is the true danger to humanity and the true thing that NXIVM was in place to help transform, and this hatred has not stopped, will not stop and did not stop. It came for me as it came for others, muted for me in some sense but always ready to bore into me with full force should I invite it. And I did invite it and it came and I was “exposed”.

I was exposed for having a different opinion. For not rushing to judgement and for chastising those that did. I was “exposed” and in my fragile humaness part of me believed what was being said about me, part of me believed the implications, the assumptions. Part of me believed. And that was the worst.

And so I thought and suffered and hid and raged and cried and wrote and did it all again and again, seemingly endlessly. Today is no different. I have written this 100 times, the only difference will be in clicking “PUBLISH” and “SHARE”.

Part 2 – Keep Me In Your Heart For A While

This is why I write. This is why I won’t let the NXIVM story rest. We’re here for such a short time. Our name, at some point, will never be spoken again. When I listen to Zevon’s song, it makes me want to extend and expand. And it makes me cry.


Part 3 – Great Swaths Of Destruction

The time is coming when the NXIVM narrative will be broken down sufficiently to demonstrate, very precisely, the mechanism that destroyed it. This will include specific people taking specific actions. The circumstances and environment in which these actions were taken will be expressed, the state of mind and soul of people will be expressed and it will be clear how the great swath of destruction occurred.

It’s not unknowable. It’s not complex. It’s going to be like the myriad choices we make daily. It’s going to come down, like it always does, to the point at which a person acts from fear or from courage. These choices will be apparent and all inclusive. There is no “Side” that is the “right” side. There are only people making decisions from a place of fear or courage.

You probably already know which place you acted (or didn’t act) from and more importantly, which place you continue to act from. There’s a real beauty in this clarity because it allows you to make a different choice if you want. If you never know whether you’re coming from fear or courage, you’ll never be able to change, if you want.

One of my main arguments in the NXIVM case is that people freaked out. High, highest level people freaked out. Is there anything wrong with this? No. But for those that weren’t inside there is some terrible irony (so terrible it may not actually be irony).

One of the main goals in ESP (The educational arm of NXIVM) was to teach and practice overcoming emotionally driven reactions, of which fear is primary. The unrevolutionary concept was that people get so caught up in their fear they make decisions that do not return optimal or even good results. This is a pattern and one that spirals in the wrong direction for a joyful life. ESP sought to give people tools to change this pattern but more, we spent hundreds if not thousands of hours in practical “training”. So when people at the highest levels freaked out and spread their freak out it presented a very curious and confusing opportunity.

One thing I’ve learned since ESP is how important it is to believe yourself and believe what others show you. The fact that people were freaking out means that they were freaked out. Freaked out enough to put aside training, knowledge, wisdom, experience and take actions (in response to actions) based on emotions that have caused great swaths of destruction.

Was this the intent? To cause this level of destruction? This is not a question about Keith or Clare or any of the high profile defendants. This is a question for you. No matter what “side” you find yourself on, was your intent to cause so much destruction?

If the answer is no, are you doing anything to mitigate the destruction that continues or to make things right? No matter how small? Are you ignorant of the destruction that continues? Are you afraid of doing anything to stop it? What is your relationship to the destruction that occurred and continues?

If the answer is yes, your intent was to cause this level of destruction then do you wish to continue to cause destruction?

Another unrevolutionary thing we learned in ESP was that destruction is natural, not always bad. Think of forest fire that burns underbrush to clean out the forest and seed me growth. So to those that desired and perhaps continue to desire destruction of all things NXIVM, people included… I’m assuming there’s good intent and I’m curious what it is.

For what it’s worth, I love people the people of NXIVM. I’m terribly hurt, as many are, by the actions of many, including Keith. No one is immune, no one is separate no matter what side you’re on. You cannot escape your experience no matter how hard you fight to destroy it, no matter how hard you fight to vindicate it. We are NXIVM. What’s more, you know this because you live it every day. You live it in every interaction, you live it in yourself. You didn’t not “get more information” in NXIVM, you became a different person. A better person. A bigger person. You know this.

And to those who seek to vindicate without recognition of their own destructive actions, you have no high ground. You are naked and accusing others of nakedness. If you truly wish to uphold what you say you uphold, you have some destroying to do and maybe if you destroyed a little more and a little earlier and with a little more compassion, there would have been some room for failure and breath and rejuvenation.

We need more dialogue friends. We need more dialogue. I’m sorry I didn’t do more sooner but I’ve been making decisions from fear. But every time I click publish… It’s a step in courage for me. And that’s good That’s good for me.

Part 4 – Courage Does Not Serve Hate

In Part 3 I wrote about courage and didn’t do a great job. Gratefully some read my post and some reached out to me to share their perspective. It helped. I think, in general, courage is good but the truth of it is that courage is a reaction to fear, in a way you can say it’s subordinate to fear. Without fear, there cannot be courage. Thank you to those that helped to clear this out for me.

My misconception was that anyone applying courage to their situation is doing a good thing but I was way off base from a moralistic perspective. If you’re a thief and you overcome your fear of the consequences of stealing in order to steal more, you might be using courage but you’re not doing a good thing. In some ways this is what happened with some of the people in NXIVM, they used courage to overcome fear of certain consequences, to step into the unknown, to try something new and something they felt very fearful about. But they used it in the service of destruction, ultimately they used it, as we all use ourselves…in the service of themselves.

For example I know a person who spoke at the sentencing of one of the defendants. This person had been a friend to this defendant but at the sentencing they did not speak like a friend. They were not there to support their friend. They spoke harshly, vindictively and angrily at a friend in chains. This speaking was hard for them, they felt fear and they overcame the fear in order to follow through on speaking. This is not courage; to follow through and overcome fear in the service of hate. Courage does not serve hate and that is the difference.

Courage is getting a redefinition for me and hopefully, ideally, maybe…for you as well. One of the greatest challenges we face in the world today is the usurpation and mediocritization of words today. There are so many who fawn over the word Courage, who are bastardizing the true and intended meaning into and self-congratulatory platitudes. No more…Courage does not serve hate.

Courage is the overcoming of fear in the service of love.

I would now call, what I originally called courage in some of the people bent on destroying NXIVM, determination.

Are you a NXIAN? Have you been peering out from your bomb shelter wondering when the craziness and hatred is going to stop? I would like to hear from you, I’d like to hear your perspective. If you are a NXIAN I have a love for you. You can remain anonymous if you want. And if this helps you at all or you think it might help someone else, please share it. Thank you.

Part 5 – Emotional Trauma Questions

In expressing my experience of the NXIVM “Saga” I come down, often if not always, to some core questions for and about women. And I would like help…will you help?

So, ladies and gents…here goes…

It seems like driving force behind the NXIVM narrative and subsequent actions and consequences for anyone who expressed anything from a general questioning of the narrative all the way up to Keith who lied about the existence of DOS and who proclaims, outright his innocence in all legal charges, was emotional trauma. 

Is that what it was? 

It also seems that if anyone did or does oppose the “official” narrative they were and are met with the rationale of emotional trauma. 

Is that what happened(s)?

It also seems that there was and continues to be a system of authority, in this case the US Government and the media, who created the current narrative, imprisoned people and labeled the entire organization “Criminal” in response to this emotional trauma. 

Is this what happened?

One thing that I think is important before going much further as a man and this is addressed to all the guys involved (or not). Guys, where is our responsibility? How have we created this response by women? What have we done and why? We need to figure out how we’ve treated women so badly all our lives in order…

No we don’t. Guys…No. We. Don’t.

When I was writing this, I was PTSD’d into basically putting down these questions about emotional trauma. Internally I had a voice saying to me, it’s you, it’s you, you need to look at how this is all about you and how you’ve acted so badly. I spoke to another man about this and he said the same thing…we were having a gentle and questioning experience of exploring some of the above questions, we were not feeling violent or angry towards women (or men), and all of sudden the male voice of “it’s your issue, you’re the bad one, you need to fix yourself before you can say anything, it’s all you, it’s YOUR RESPONSIBILITY” came out and tried to shut down our own thoughtful and genuine and real questions. What the hell…

So, guys (and ladies)…No, we don’t have to justify our genuine questions, we are allowed to have them. They might be painful to consider or difficult to answer or impossible to answer, or phrased wrong or even tinged with our own programming and faults but, we are allowed. We are allowed to ask, it’s ok to ask. Your questions are genuine, they are your truth, they are not irresponsible as they are almost always made to appear and as you make them appear.

I don’t even realize I’m doing this. I don’t even realize I’m taking responsibility in my heart for everything. Nothing escapes and it is always my fault. Ladies, are you aware that your man does this?  Do you know that your man’s habit and indoctrination to internalize his own irresponsiblity leads him to feel an often impossibly heavy weight against even knowing his truth let alone expressing it?

Ladies, expressing your truth is important to you, we all know this, we all accept this. Well is it important for men also? Women, I know that you know about this, you struggle for it and the world welcomes your struggle and struggles with you. But that’s the thing…you know about it and the world accepts it.

Men don’t even know that they have a truth that might be expressed. They’re not even aware that there is a struggle in this regard. To men, it’s our responsibility and our fault and if we have a genuine, innocent question or concern or observation (which is a big “IF), we, men, will often kill it before it reaches the light of day. This is obviously not good for men but it’s also not good for women.

So if there are any females out there that would like to take on some of the questions above I would really appreciate it. These are genuine questions for me, there are questions that are not meant to harm or hurt or demean. I think emotional trauma and the way it’s being used is causing great harm and I hope to find some folks willing to do the painful work of talking about it.

As always, thank you for reading and please share if you find this good and feel free to comment in a civil manner.

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