“Keith made me feel precious to him,” Christine Marie, who was a divorced mother of four when she first met Raniere in 1998, told the Albany Times-Union in 2012. “He touched me gently on the side of the face and told me that I was such an innocent, pure soul that I didn’t even belong on this planet.”
Christine said he hired her to write marketing materials for National Health Network and then for Executive Success Programs.
Then “Keith explained that it might help me if I would be physical with him,” Marie told the paper. After they slept together, she said, Raniere “sat me down and told me I was now part of his inner circle and committed for life and I could never be physically involved with another man.” He, however, said he was still involved with other women.
“I found it fascinating that these beautiful, smart women knew about each other and didn’t seem upset to share Keith,” Christine continued. “I thought they were all extraordinary women. Still, it seemed like secret polygamy to me, and I remember feeling sorry for them, too. As I understood it, they had to share the man they loved, they couldn’t publicly celebrate their love with a wedding, they couldn’t be with any other man, and they had to sacrifice a normal family life for what they believed was a higher cause.”
She said that Raniere helped extricate her from a toxic relationship with another man in 2000—a Utah cult leader, according to the Times-Union—and Keith called him “a suppressive parasite who was taking advantage of me, who was attracted to my light and wanted to destroy me while benefiting from my life work. Keith wanted me to understand that I was being exploited by a cult leader who was nothing more than a con artist. He made a lot of sense.”
Christine said that, largely because of her children, she ultimately figured out that she shouldn’t go from the clutches of one guru type to another, though “Nancy Salzman could not fathom why I would make my family my priority when I was so desperately in need of their thought-reform program. I felt an intense amount of pressure to go. But in the end, I did not go. I did not join NXIVM, and I did not become part of Keith Raniere’s inner circle.”