Friday, September 3, 2010
Nxivm, Maclean's and the Canadian connection.
As most of you are aware, Canadian weekly magazine Maclean's published an extremely well written expose on NXIVM ,the crazy Bronfman family and the anomalous relationship of the two.
For those of you not familiar with Maclean's, it is sort of Canadian Time magazine. The article was penned by Nicholas Köhler, a man I met and someone I have a great deal of respect for. While the magazine is on newsstands now, it will not be available online till next week. Trust me as soon as it is I will be the first one to put a link up. This article is to date the longest story on NXIVM to be published in the mainstream press. I found it to have a uniquely Canadian perspective on the cult. The story is heavy on the Bronfman family with some fresh insight into the working of the cult.
For now as a sort of teaser, I will publish a few quotes in no particular order that I enjoyed
“Last week, during a seven-day celebration at an old-fashioned YMCA resort in upstate New York,Keith Raniere, the mysterious sand charismatic leader of a so-called “human development” organization called NXIVM Corp., turned 50 years old. Vanguard Week—or VWeek, as the annual festival coinciding with his birthday is commonly called—drew just under 200 Nexians this year, from Albany and the group’s thriving outposts in Mexico City, Monterrey and Vancouver.”
I think I met these people
‘One day last week, heavy-set men equipped with earpieces sat in SUVs by the entrance, carefully scanning all who passed’
“It’s like Beatlemania,” quips another. “I mean, there is crying.”
On the Bronfman’s;
easy come,easy go
“The Bronfmans’s fortunes fell most recently under Edgar Jr., Clare and Sara’s half-brother, whose passion for the entertainment industry prompted a disastrous merger with French media and telecommunications giant Vivendi SA in 2000. Forbes later reported the deal saw the family’s net worth plummet from US$6.5 billion to US$2.9billion in two years.”
This was the party I staked out. Yea, now she just wakes up with Buddhist monks
“During NXIVM’s annual three-day celebration of Nancy Salzman’s birthday—VWeek’s distaff counterpoint—an elite group of Nexians screened a series of droll but gratitude laden video shorts imagining where they might be had they never met the woman they call Prefect. In her clip, Sara Bronfman recalled how she had once been the victim of her own infatuations, madly dashing around the world,awaking in strange hotel rooms, with little clue where she was and with yet another broken heart”
“This NXIVM community, it was for them their family, their love, their life. For Clare and Sara,this became their real family.”
On NXIVM and VANGUARD;
This is the same tactic used by many different cults to weaken the victim
“Critics say NXIVM’s workshops, which cost US$6,000 for a 16-day “intensive,” use 14-hour days, warm rooms and protein-poor meals o push newcomers into a psychologically pliable state. They point to the handful of people who have suffered breakdowns while pursuing the NXIVM curriculum, including an Alaskan who in 2003 paddled a canoe to the centre of a lake and drowned herself. “I was brainwashed and my emotional center of the brain was killed/turned off,” she wrote before her death.”
Well at least fat blond woman are safe
“He is also said to encourage his lovers to remain thin, going so far as to prescribe foods; fat, he tells his intimates, disturbs his subtle energies.It was chieﬂy his philandering that, 14 months ago, led to the mass defection of nine well-placed NXIVM members”
“Bad press has dogged NXIVM for years, due largely to its zeal for litigating detractors.“They’re trying to kill flies with sledgehammers and all they’re doing is breaking tables,” says Tighe, the Saratoga Springs blogger.”
If this ain't child abuse what the fuck is?
“In the house next door lives Gaelen, a three-year-old boy whose upbringing he is said to oversee. Sources say that under his direction five nannies, each with a different mother tongue, arrive one after the other to care for the boy, who eats a diet of nuts and berries and is allowed no contact with other children.”
So you pretty much know the direction he went.
Now I know some people will say, that all this info was covered before, but keep in mind who the target audience was. Canadian’s who for the most part had never heard of NXIVM before, and this was a perfect story to bring them up to speed for as Nick writes
“Focus has now shifted to NXIVM’s outposts in Mexico and in Vancouver, where it has made inroads recruiting TV actors,including Smallville cast members Allison Mack and Kristin Kreuk, and Battlestar Galactica’s Nicki Clyne.”
The battlefields are shifting people and as NXIVM is more and more hammered here, it is up to Magazines like Maclean's and writers like Köhler, to bring the fight across the borders.
And again I have only touched on a small part of his story. I would encourage any of you in cities like Chicago or NY or border cities like Plattsburg or Buffalo to pick up a copy and as soon as it’s online I will put up a link.