Executive Success Programs, NXIVM
Here is a feature length article describing how someone's brother was recruited into Keith Raniere's NXIVM.
Raniere set it up to target high powered people.
"At This Point We Are In Despair": One Woman's Quest To Bring Her Brother Home From NXIVM
JUNE 29, 2018, 11:55 AM
A few extracts from this very informative article.
as many as 18,000 people have taken self-improvement courses through NXIVM, either in Albany or at one of their centers in New York City, Los Angeles, Vancouver, as well as various cities in Mexico, since the late 1990s. These courses, sold as Executive Success Program seminars, are supposed to help people overcome emotional blockages rooted in childhood experiences and be “more successful, more joyful,” as one ex-member explained to Refinery29.
“What I came to understand is that Raniere is not an original thinker. He is really a copyist, which is typical of LGATS,” Ross says referring to Large Group Awareness Trainings. (Another example of an LGAT is Landmark Forum.) “All Raniere did was combine elements of Scientology, the Landmark education seminar structure, Ayn Rand’s philosophy of objectivism, plus a multi-level marketing aspect that’s reminiscent of Amway or Herbalife.”
This was back when the Executive Success Program was still the only program under the NXIVM umbrella. But now, Raniere has proved himself as a “master manipulator,” Ross says.
When Alex first started attending NXIVM seminars (which can cost up to $10,000 each) in New York City, termed Executive Success Programs or ESP, Diana says that “he seemed more social. He was making new friends. I thought this was great.” But then, in the spring of last year, Alex announced to his family that he was giving up his apartment in Brooklyn, leaving his sales job, and moving to Albany to attend The University of Higher Education — at the time, Raniere’s latest project to educate the masses and change the world.
This sent Diana’s tight-knit family into a crisis. “[Alex] told us he was joining the university at NXIVM, and we were like ‘What the fuck is that?’” Diana says. “That’s when I realized this was incredibly dangerous.” The unaccredited program costs $5,000 a month. By the time Alex let his plans be known to his family, he had already signed the paperwork for a one-year commitment, and a series of non-disclosure agreements. “He’s an indentured servant basically. He’s indebted to them,” Diana says.
"It seemed as though his deflections were rehearsed...as though his deflections were rehearsed".
Her brother wouldn’t answer direct questions about the group, except to say how happy he was, and how great an education he was getting. She couldn’t quite put her finger on why, but it seemed as though his deflections were rehearsed.
She was forced to do her own research during this time, which, surprisingly, wasn’t hard given all that has been written about Raniere over the years. “I learned about ‘Vanguard,’ which is what they call him. I learned all about the sashes and the uniforms and the bowing and the subjugation,” Diana says. “At that point, I freaked out. I went crazy. I was very concerned for his safety.” But even then, all Alex would say is that nothing that had been printed about Raniere lined up with his experience.
Diana confronted Alex about all that she learned multiple times, always in tears, begging him to see what she saw.
His response was almost as though he had been trained in how to deflect it.
“He would just deftly regurgitate my feelings. He would say he understands that I’m worried, but he was unwavering,” Diana says. “[Alex] truly believes he’s being elevated as a human being. That he is in this program of cutting edge education that will change the world.”
Most recently, NXIVM (which is kind of like a parent company to all these separate entities) offered multiple tracks to self-awareness: ESP remains the largest and is often the entrypoint for most people. But there’s also Jness, for women; Society of Protectors or SOP for men, both for teaching Raniere’s regressive ideas about gender. There’s The Source for actors, The Knife Media, Rainbow Cultural Garden for children, the University program, and of course, there's DOS. All of these various curricula have their roots in Raniere’s method known as Rational Inquiry. The teachings are quite confusing, filled with self-serving jargon and psychobabble, but the basic gist of the philosophy is that the only way to be “ethical” is to focus on your own self-interest and growth. To do that, people have to get out of their own ways, which is where exploration of meaning or “EM” comes in. These are essentially therapy sessions, somewhat reminiscent of Scientology’s controversial auditing methods, that supposes that childhood memories and past traumas create deep-seated illogical beliefs, behaviors, and “stimulus-response patterns.” The idea is that once you understand these barriers, you can reject them and live a fuller life, free of your chains.
This is not unlike many other self-improvement modalities — on the surface, this sounds a lot like run-of-the-mill group therapy. But what makes it sinister is that it’s delivered under false pretenses in a setting ripe for manipulation
. “You are told this is about self-improvement, but really it’s all about serving Raniere,” an ex-member says.
Protecting Intellectual Property -- Isolating Yourself
ESP seminars, for starters, are designed as intensives: 5, 10 or even 16 10-hour long days, with the content designed to make you emotionally vulnerable by encouraging you to share your fears and weaknesses with the group. You are sworn to secrecy beforehand, and each day, the group repeats a 12-point oath that includes a promise of not divulging the secrets of the program.
You are told this is to protect Raniere’s intellectual property, but this also serves to keep you from talking to anyone who might point out how deeply creepy this is.
Part of the evil genius is that most people are recruited into the seminars by trusted, often high-achieving friends or loved ones
Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 07/01/2018 09:59PM by corboy.