Nancy Salzman teaching students in class.

Guest View: I took the 5-day intensive – but went no further – here’s why

Guest View by Double Anonymous

Most people who attended Nxivm were good, honest and intelligent people.

No one could know the real truth below the surface, as most approached Nxivm with hopeful expectations and were lured in by it’s pseudo-scientific research and claims.

I’m very glad Heidi is championing those who were taken in and encouraging those to come forward.

I wonder why I didn’t attend longer than the initial 5 day Intensive in 1998/99? Time was a factor and I also felt I had already gotten what I needed to develop a totally new aspect to my career.

Yet, in the back of my mind, there were concerns about Nxivm. I quickly sensed they were marketers of products they did not develop themselves. I had previously done the EST training, the Landmark Forum and was familiar with NLP, the influence of Socrates upon the development of Rational-Emotive Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Psychology, so I quickly recognized the parts that Raniere and Salzman had “borrowed” from those technologies.

Though I admired how they put it all together into a nifty package, I also recognized what they were selling was not original – as they claimed.

Furthermore, I didn’t believe in the concept of “the world’s smartest man” as such a thing simply does not exist. All intelligence is relative to social and environmental contexts and can’t be measured by abstract test means.

I put up with their claims for 5 days because I wanted to benefit from what Nxivm had to give to me.

Long story short, I thought they had something to give, but I didn’t trust them completely. I also never suspected they would become the criminals that they were: a MLM marketing scheme that only enriched those at the top and kept most dependent and poor; rape, sexual scandals and abuse; legal harassment of dissidents; collecting blackmail material; money laundering, tax evasion and other financial crimes.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Thanks for sharing this Double Anonymous! I’m glad you came forward also to share your story.

    Does anyone know why NXIVM decided to refer to their curriculum as technology? Wonder if there is a financial benefit to them by claiming this in regards to potential litigation.

  • Yet, all these things you mention, sex scandals, rape, legal abuse, etc are part and parcel of these groups, no matter what the ideology.
    I know from personal experience, having been involved, or exposed, to 3 so called religious groups, the social dynamics, if you will, are virtually the same, only the nomenclature used is different.

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