Despite the heroic efforts of Jim Odato, who authored most of the stories that were part of the Times Union’s 2012 “Secrets of NXIVM” series, absolutely nothing happened as a result of all the illegal activities that were documented at that time.
Not one criminal charge against the cult leader, Keith Alan Raniere – or any of the top people in the NXIVM/ESP crime syndicate.
Not one criminal investigation by any of the law enforcement agencies in the Albany, NY area.
Not even any calls for any type of investigation or follow-up to the Times Union series.
Not the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
Not the Internal Revenue Service.
Not by the New York Governor or any New York State agency.
Not by the New York State Attorney General.
Not by the New York State Police.
Not by the Albany County District Attorney.
Not by the Albany County Sheriff.
Not by the Albany, NY Police Department.
Not by the Saratoga County District Attorney.
Not by the Saratoga County Sheriff.
And now, here we are, six years later – and fewer than 60 days before the scheduled start of the trial that could end up with Raniere spending the rest of his life in jail.
Makes you wonder how all those public officials who, for various reasons, turned a blind eye to the evil and wickedness of Raniere and his cohorts feel about themselves today.
How many of those officials were bought off with bribes?
How many were blackmailed or compromised in other ways?
How many were intimidated by the wealth and power that Raniere wielded?
How many were told to “stand down” by their superiors?
How many just didn’t care about a criminal enterprise that was operating right in front of their eyes?
We may never know the answers to those questions.
But that doesn’t mean we should ever stop asking them.
Maybe when this nightmare is over – and Raniere and his co-defendants have all been sentenced to lengthy terms in federal prison – the Times Union can sponsor another panel discussion
This one could include all those public officials who refused to do anything to stop the NXIVM/ESP criminal enterprise for almost two decades – and who, in doing nothing, allowed that enterprise to grow and become even more powerful and more outlandish.
Perhaps raping local underage girls no longer excited Raniere like it once did. So, maybe that’s why he brought in groups of underage Mexican girls to Clifton Park so he could mentor them.
Perhaps having a harem of women who were always ready to satisfy his sexual desires was no longer as stimulating as it once was for the aging Raniere. So, maybe that’s why he decided to start branding them.
Perhaps he worried that his gaggle of acolytes was getting older – and that there wouldn’t be enough of them around to make him feel important in his old age. So, maybe that’s why he created the Rainbow Cultural Garden schools.
Perhaps having access to the almost unlimited wealth of the Bronfman sisters was not enough to make him feel financially secure. So, maybe that’s why he helped advise and counsel Pam Cafritz and Barb Jeske into early deaths.
Maybe all those public officials can explain why they allowed all those things – and many other bad things – to happen.
Or maybe not . . .