I became curious about this cult after reading all the current press about the organization Nxivm. If you are curious, like me, do a google search and you will find tons of information.

My curiosity stemmed from a line in one of the first articles I read which mentioned the leader, Keith Raniere having created a technique to teach others how to enhance their lives after taking a Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP )courses. As did his co-creator Nancy SalzmanThis struck a chord, as I also took NLP Practitioner and Master courses. I’ve also attend other workshops with John Grinder, Richard Bandler, Tony Robbins, Tad James and others associated with NLP.

I love NLP. What I learned greatly enhanced my life. It didn’t fix it by any means but it gave me tools that changed my relationships and in many ways, freed me. Freed me from traps I’d often created myself and allowed me to understand that I am responsible for my life. No one else. All my choices, all my decisions, my way of being come down to me. No blaming others for perceived obstacles or failures. Very powerful.

AND I have always known, from about day 3 of an 18 day intensive practitioner course, that NLP could be used for downright evil. In my naivety I thought someone using NLP for bad would be the used car salesperson getting others to buy cars they really didn’t want. Or worst case, those sleazoid men using it to pick up women in bars because they were too misogynist to take the time to figure out how to talk to women with heart and perhaps build a relationship. (Or at least have a legitimate one-night stand where the woman wanted it that way as well.)

I didn’t worry about it. I saw some of the above happening, but the people I knew in NLP including Grinder, Bandler, and Robbins were full of integrity and that clearly came across in their books and workshops. The people I attended classes with were equally honest, open and there to enhance their lives in a positive way.

And the potential was always there for a Keith Raniere, Nancy Salzman or Alison Mack. But the women who so willingly followed along, did so under their own choice.  If any of these intelligent, well-educated and wealthy women had bothered to examine where their beloved cult leader got his ideas, they would have found NLP. And if they found NLP – attended a workshop or two, read a few books, they would have seen that NLP  teaches you the tools to make your own decisions, and evaluate what people like Keith Raniere say, so you don’t get sucked into garbage.

When you willingly restrict your diet to 800 calories or less a day to please a man, you, as an intelligent capable woman, able to open up a laptop and google, would have found this is a classic cult move because long term it affects your brain, and your ability to think clearly and make logical decisions. When you willingly lay down naked on a bed and allow someone to brand you, you have not been hypnotized or seduced into it. You were looking for ‘The Answer’, and guess what ladies, there isn’t one. There are tools that will help you get through this life but they don’t involve a regular guy off the street deciding to call himself a saviour.

Try therapy, go to church, go back to school and learn a real trade.  Just make sure you are making the choices and that you haven’t handed your life over to anyone else.

Rainy Sunday morning

A light rain is falling, the sky is grey but it’s spring so everything is green. New leafs, new branches make the world plush and lovely. Add in the lilacs blooming, tulips and red camellia bushes and the world in front of me is quite astounding.

There at two other writers (one woman, one younger man) in this small cafe, working away. The rest of the cafe is full of older men. A group of three in front of me chat away, perhaps a regular Sunday morning ritual? A man sits alone reading the paper while drinking his large coffee and eating a very large pastry. He can, he has been running and has that skinny runner look. He wears a wedding ring. I imagine his wife at home, drinking her own coffee, moving slowly, perhaps reading a book. People used to go to church on Sunday mornings, now they congregate in coffee shops.



It’s been a busy time. A death in the family, spring gardening, an aging cat having to be put down. All of which could have interfered with my writing but it didn’t.

I am pleased that I know have completed the first draft of my novel. I am on to rewriting it. So excited that I have come this far, despite numerous walls, moats and other obstacles being put in my way. I could have used any of them as an excuse to stop, to put the writing aside and do other things. Instead I managed to keep focused and put in my four hours a day of writing, taking care of the other tasks in the afternoon.

Well mostly. I did take the day of the funeral off.  But that is appropriate. The focus of my writing is not to madly ignore the rest of my life. I still am kind and caring. I stop to let others share their pain and joy. I leave it to one side when appropriate.

But the focus is there and I continue to push through. I can do this. And I will