How a woman ended up being recruited by NXIVM — the organization that’s recently been accused of sex trafficking and forced branding https://t.co/7kDvl30hc0— Vulture (@vulture) May 14, 2018
- Process began at a professional development workshop (not affiliated) that dealt with ego, empathy, mental and behavioral patterns
- Met "self-improvement aficionados" there
- Formed a book club with some of them, became good friends over 2 years
- "Michael" (successful, kind, smart) invited some of them to another personal-growth program
- 10-15 people at the meeting, most strangers, all accomplished
- Michael talked about Executive Success Programs: workshops/community meetings, seminars, workshops, MLM that NXIVM operates
- Michael introduced "Matt" (pragmatic, down to earth, genuine, endearing)
- Matt claims his sibling cured a speech disorder through Keith Raniere's tech. Says “What if I told you you could get exactly what you want in life? Our patented technology is designed to help you reveal your full potential — and utilize it.”
- Matt addressed concerns preemptively
- They cared about pedigree: Harvard Business School, Wharton, Deloitte, McKinsey, Broadway, Hollywood
- ~$3,000 for a five-day program or ~$7,500 for 16 days
- Asked for specifics, Matt says "...our technology is proprietary. Instead, we want to focus on what you’ll gain."
- Reps cornered those hesitating and tried different techniques ("invest in yourself" and more personal success stories).
- They eventually dropped the hard sell but brought it up again later in the night, as the atmosphere relaxed.
- Thought about it for weeks but couldn't afford to go through with it.
- Doesn't think Michael knew about what happened at the top: "While cults can be evil, the people within them are human. No one is immune from being swindled. There’s usually a cozy setting and lovely little party to kick things off."