Well to say this as been an interesting ride would be the understatement of the year. My life has become a world of frightened angry people, cryptic e-mail’s, shady characters and mysterious dark SUV’s that seem to appear out of nowhere and follow me for hours.
But what I’ve found fascinating is the world of mainstream media. I’ve had the pleasure of meeting and talking to some wonderful people in both newspaper publishing and magazine publishing.
I’ve found them to be sincere and caring with a burning desire to get the truth out. In the last week it has been my privilege to work with two reporters JEANE MacINTOSH of the New York Post and JAMES M. ODATO at the Capitol Bureau of the Times Union.
Both struggled to get the story out about the golden child first. Both found themselves competing with other reporters for print space. In the end Odato got his story out first beating MacINTOSH by one day. But in the end the only real loser in this noble struggle of exclusive bragging rights was Keith Raniere and his collapsing empire.
MacINTOSH also had her print story cut do to space limitations in the Post.
So here is the full length e-edition, what I like to call the directors cut
HERE'S THE COMPLETE STORY WITH THE NEW MATERIAL HIGHLIGHTED:
By JEANE MacINTOSH
A motherless, 3-year-old boy is living in near-isolation at an upstate "cult" compound — as the heir of the group’s shady Svengali, who feeds off the Seagram’s booze fortune, sources told The Post.
The fair-haired tyke’s true identity is shrouded in secrecy.
He was brought to Keith Raniere — the controversial leader of the Albany-based "behavior modification" group NXIVM that counts two Seagram heiresses among its devotees — by a longtime member who claimed that she was given guardianship when the child’s mother died, sources said.
The child is being raised as the "son" of Raniere, sources said. An alleged con man, Raniere has been accused by mental-health experts of using "brainwashing" and other mind-bending tactics on his followers.
The little boy has become the real-life "prototype" for what Raniere has publicly touted as a "revolutionary educational protocol" for children, the sources said.
On Raniere’s orders, the child is kept away from other kids — and much of the outside world — so he doesn’t pick up the bad habits of "parasites" and "subversives," according to the sources.
NXIVM is bankrolled largely by Seagram’s liquor heiresses Clare and Sarah Bronfman, who have poured more than $100 million into its coffers, financial records show.
In 1998, Raniere started the group, which touts "intensive workshops" centering around his "Executive Success Program, or ESP.
Before NXIVM, Raniere was investigated for fraud in 23 states and heavily fined for operating an alleged pyramid scheme.
Now, he has an international network of devotees called "Espians," who bow in his presence and call him "Vanguard." He and his closest associates live in several condos they own in a non-descript complex outside of the capital. They also own several other homes in the area.
NXIVM has been derided as "a cult" both by Edgar Bronfman, Sr., the Seagram’s sisters’ dad, and in court documents filed on behalf of Barbara Bouchey, their longtime financial adviser who defected from the group last year.
The 3-year-old boy is referred to as "the youngest Espian" and has been living with NXIVM nearly since birth, according to those who’ve met the child.
He was brought into the fold by longtime Raniere acolytes Barbara Jeske and Kristin Keeffe, who drove "about 10 hours to the
The child spends several hours a day being tutored in different languages — including English, Spanish, Russian and Hindi — by a team of multilingual nannies, said insiders.
It’s the same curriculum for Raniere’s soon-to-open school, the
The boy, Nichols wrote, has "a very normal life free from any unwarranted outside interference."
Nichols, Keeffe and Barbara Jeske didn’t return calls. Raniere couldn’t be reached.