Transcript for What former NXIVM members say is Raniere's attitude toward women
Reporter: If you go in search of nxivm founder Keith raniere, you may get a glimpse of him taking one of his legendary long walks, as we did in 2012. Or you might find his followers enjoying an extended celebration of raniere's birthday at this local resort an annual tradition known as "Vanguard week." Because it takes a week to celebrate his birthday. People would fly in from all over the world, from Mexico, Canada, Europe, and spend 10 days, 12 days now together celebrating Keith. Vanguard is the name. And he's our conceptual leader. Keith raniere is his name. I loved v-week. I loved it. It was like my favorite time of year. I missed my best friend's wedding, and it still makes me emotional, because I thought that's more important, to be at v-week. And I missed her wedding. I was so in. Reporter: You were deeply in. I was deep in. Reporter: Sarah Edmondson says one of raniere's favorite past times was holding court. Literally on a volleyball court. At all hours of the night. So volleyball was his passion or is his passion. He still plays multiple times a week in upstate New York. In between games, there were all these -- there was rows of, like, women waiting there for him. And the minute the game was over, they'd all rush up. It was like, this weird rock star thing. If there was enough people there, he might stop volleyball and do what he called a forum where people could ask questions and he would answer them. They hung on his every single word. And he'd say something. And th -- they'd go up and think, "Okay, well, he said blah, blah, blah. Wonder what that means. What if it's this. What if --" and they'd spend, I don't know, weeks tryin' to understand that statement. Reporter: One thing Sarah Edmondson says was taught consistently was raniere's philosophy of women's empowerment, a theory he called "Jness." One of the key principles in jness was understanding that the main difference between men and women was that men are designed genetically to not be monogamous, spread their seed. And women genetically are designed to be monogamous. Reporter: Okay. And not only that, but subservient to men. Reporter: Subservient? Subservient. Reporter: Toni Natalie says that attitude toward women certainly came through in her experience with Keith. In a federal court filing she alleged that nxivm was a cult presided over by Keith raniere and that he had raped her repeatedly. Keith's need to share what he calls his energy, became pretty aggressive. Reporter: His energy? With Keith, sex and him having a relationship with you is how he shares his energy. So, when I no longer wanted to have relationships with him any longer, he would force, he would rape me. Reporter: In their filings, nxivm lawyers say her allegations are false. They call them "Scurrilous," "Scandalous," and "Slanderous." But the philosopher, some former followers say, was also a philanderer with what amounts to a harem of women around him. I have spoken to five different women who were in the harem, and they have all said, he was kind, and gentle. And it was like having a Normal boyfriend except you didn't know when you were gonna see him next. And then he'd go off with another woman the next day. And that was incredibly painful, and very hard. There's all these adoring women. And they're all skinny beyond belief. They don't seem to do anything without his permission. Reporter: How does he do it? Because to be honest, he looks like schlub. Right, right. My personal belief is that it's one, gigantic hypnotic induction. You're stripped away from everything so you're isolated in the fact where, from my experience then, that the only people around you are the people that follow his philosophies. Reporter: Barbara Bouchey joined Keith raniere's self-help group almost 20 years ago. She was a financial planner. I was grossing about $1 million a year. My client minimum was $1 million. And I was financially independent. Reporter: In spite of her success. It was a difficult time in Barbara's life. She was in the midst of a divorce, and had lost a close friend to suicide. She says raniere's teachings really helped. It didn't hurt that Keith was paying special attention to the latest convert. Told me that he had dreams for two or three years and visions before I came that someone like me was coming. Reporter: When they became intimate, Barbara says she thought she was Keith's one and only, but she was actually one of many. Worse than a broken heart. She says she feared Keith would leave her financially broke. Bouchey alleges in court filings raniere convinced her to invest with him, saying he had invented a mathematical formula to get rich in the commodities market. Within two months, it cleared through $1.6 million of my money. Reporter: In litigation, Keith blamed his broker for the losses. Barbara says he and others around him also tried to blame her bad karma. And it can't be Keith, he's a mathematical genius, it can't be his formula. And they're, like, "You know, what if your emotional issues are causing the stock market in this case to fluctuate? What if you're, in a mystical, spiritual way, bringing this onto yourself?" I've had people killed because of my beliefs and because of their beliefs and because of things I've said. Reporter: In 2009 Barbara Bouchey was one of nine women, they call themselves the nxivm nine who confronted Keith about the running of the organization. They recorded two days of their own "Intensive" in which they attempt to turn Keith's own rational inquiry method against him. Most of it has been sealed by a judge, but a short clip remains online. The effects are our company is falling apart. You don't have the experience of leadership. You don't have the experience of preserving people's lives with what you say, and the truth of the matter is, if -- Well in a way neither do you. Yes I do. Reporter: The nxivm nine, including Barbara all quit the group shortly after that confrontation. But nxivm is always recruiting new members.
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