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 Salzman. This 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.