HBO’s The Vow explores the story of Keith Raniere and his cult NXIVM, in addition to various ex-members who left the group earlier than it imploded in 2018. A kind of folks is Barbara Bouchey, an ex-girlfriend of Keith’s and one of many first girls who left the group again in 2009.
What occurred to Keith Raniere’s ex Barbara Bouchey?
An clever girl and self-made millionaire by the age of 40, Barbara did not look like the form of individual to willingly be a part of a cult. She was first drawn to Keith Raniere’s world by Nancy Salzman, with whom Barbara had performed a few remedy periods over time.
When she joined NXIVM in 2000, Barbara was going by a very tough time in her life as she was going by a divorce and her greatest buddy had simply dedicated suicide. She was taken by Keith’s self-help workshop and located his curriculum to be “profound and life-changing” on the time. Barbara notes that whereas she didn’t discover Keith that spectacular at first, she started to view him by a distinct lens after finishing her workshop.
When Barbara joined NXIVM, she labored as a really profitable monetary planner, however quickly, Keith satisfied her to cease taking new shoppers and commit extra time to volunteering with the group. He additionally started pursuing her romantically, and 6 months after becoming a member of NXIVM, Barbara started to reciprocate his emotions. Keith additionally satisfied Barbara to take a position her private cash right into a commodity account with him and in time, she misplaced over $1.6 million, which amounted to her total life financial savings.
Barbara thought that she and Keith have been in a dedicated, monogamous relationship for practically a yr till she came upon that he was additionally concerned with different girls in his inside circle. Moreover, she started to note Keith’s abusive conduct and in 2009, Barbara left the group — however not earlier than she and eight different girls confronted Keith about what they noticed as his troubling conduct.
After she left NXIVM, Barbara confronted years of harassment by incessant authorized circumstances that have been introduced towards her by Keith and his protégés. She was wrongfully arrested and confronted false extortion fees along with an onslaught of character assassination that tried to smash her popularity as a trusted member of her group. Though the circumstances have been finally dismissed, Barbara incurred huge attorneys’ charges, which pressured her to file for momentary chapter aid.
As a result of relentless harassment, Barbara was pressured to maintain a low profile for a few years however she by no means backed down from making an attempt to reveal the group. Finally she turned a part of the group of ex-members who alerted the authorities to NXIVM’s practices. And after Keith’s arrest in 2018, Barbara lastly felt protected sufficient to talk out.
Throughout Keith’s trial, Barbara advised an viewers at CrimeCon that watching the trial was a horrifying expertise for her because the secrets and techniques of the group got here to mild. “I’ve moments the place I wish to barf, moments I can’t converse,” she stated. “I’m crying myself a river within the again aisle of the courtroom. I’m listening to issues I can’t even comprehend, and my thoughts is racing so quick to try to perceive what occurred throughout my time there and why.”
Watch new episodes of The Vow, Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on HBO.