K.R. Claviger spoke with a number of the people involved in the commodities investments debacle that Keith Raniere guided and where he lost/stole $65 million of Bronfman money. He evidently sees culpability in Barbara Bouchey’s role.
For my own part, I see Barbara as a victim of Raniere. I see her as a good and noble person.
But even if, during the times she was with Raniere, she acted in a less than perfectly stellar way, consider also that, when she left, she left the cult firmly and positively. Decisively. She took a number of important women with her [the Nxivm 9] which helped to crater the cult.
It was a slow cratering. It took nearly nine more years to crater. But even in those early days – when there was just two major fighters of Nxivm – Toni Natalie and Joe O’Hara – neither of them wealthy or considered formidable then, Barb did not sneak away. She stood up to Raniere – her former boyfriend. And as Toni and Joe did, she fought him bravely for years.
Other women left him – and there have been several – and they quaked in their boots. Barb – although reluctantly, fought back. Because she fought back, we are indebted to her for much of the damaging information about Keith Raniere that we presently know.
As an investigative reporter, I found Barb’s revelations about Raniere to be so helpful that I would categorize them not only as essential but of the rare kind of importance that I would call “but for.” “But for” what I learned from the fight between Raniere and Barb, I would not have been able to mount my own attack on Raniere [which I may add, like Barb’s was largely in self-defense.]
In that respect, Barb was for me and other reporters a virtual encyclopedia of information of damaging info against Raniere. It was she who revealed to the public that he lost $65 million in commodities. She publicly revealed his harem. She gave me hundreds of salient details and helped expose the underbelly of this beast.
Even when I was still working for Nxivm, she had a rare honesty. She was the one who told me that she was worried about the fact that the Bronfman sisters had invested $26 million into a Los Angeles real estate project and had nothing in their names. She was punished for this too.
Nancy, Pam and the other ghoulish women circled around Barb and pounded her with EMs [Exploration of Meaning “therapy” sessions.] I was told diplomatically by the women that I should not speak too much with Barb about things that might upset her – but to speak to Keith instead. She was much too skittish and too easily perturbed, they said, [poor thing] and how poor Nancy and Pam and the others would have to spend hours every day trying to get her nervous constitution back into balance.
At the time – I barely knew Barbara – it seemed not unreasonable to speak to the leader – Raniere – the man I technically owed loyalty to – since I was a consultant for Nxivm.
In retrospect, I see that they were manipulating Barbara and trying to keep us apart, keep us from comparing notes.
Whatever else one might say about Barb, she was, without a doubt, one of the critical people in the takedown of Keith Raniere. Without her efforts – I – as I said above – would not have had the fertile field to work with in my own efforts to fight and expose Raniere.
And I find Barbara – who I did not speak to from the time I saw her last in Albany in 2007 until after Raniere was indicted in 2018 – to be an extremely honest and forthright person. She was, in interviews with me, extremely candid about her role in Nxivm, never dodging questions and considerate about everyone who may have suffered inside the cult. While she and I may disagree on the value of Nxivm [sans Raniere] – she thinking it has merit and can be helpful to people and me believing that anything from Raniere must be rotten to the core – she and I do agree that Raniere is rotten to the core.
I do not believe that she is still in love with Keith, as some suggest.
I think her generous and good nature saw the best even in that rascal – when she was with him and no doubt she overlooked some pretty serious and what might have been evident flaws because of his charm and her kind nature. She had wanted it to work and for all the best reasons: her own happiness, his happiness and yes – the welfare of the world. Right or wrong, Barbara Bouchey believed that the mission of NXIVM was good.
And even after she broke up with Keith on a personal level, she remained in Nxivm trying to keep what she saw as the good of the mission alive and well.
The day dawned when she saw that Keith was incorrigible and so she left.
Give her credit for that. She stayed and was disappointed personally by Keith. But she stayed to keep the mission alive. She did not need the money. She was independently a success in business then. She is a success today in business.
There is a lot of misinformation that she was dependent on the Bronfman income. I don’t think it is true. Raniere was dependent on it. She had her own income.
In the end, she suffered a lot and did a brave act: She left and demanded her money back. The money he stole from her. She took others with her.
Compare her with some of the others who were also swindled, but chose to hide. She put her name out there, She fought and gave as good as she got.
There were times Nxivm offered her deals along the way – all of which she flatly rejected. She went to law enforcement and was ignored. She – when she was sued by them – deliberately revealed shocking truths about Raniere – which the Times Union, the NY Post, and Metroland reported.
She gave important interviews to the NY Observer and Vanity Fair.
Without her, the foundation that later cracked and felled the house of Raniere might never have been exposed to the world. For that alone, Barbara Bouchey deserves our appreciation. Even if she was not an angel during the whole time she was with Raniere [like all the others who were angels], she fought like the devil to take him down.