Thumbing through the Nxivm patent

Metroland, New York/March 23, 2010

Thanks to anonymous poster Macumazahn at the Rick Ross Web site forum, the Nxivm-curious have gotten a very fascinating inside glimpse into the mind and teachings of Keith Raniere: the Sept. 1, 2000 patent application for Rational Inquiry as submitted to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Rational Inquiry is the basis for Executive Success Programs, Nxivm's education wing.

Macumazahn casually linked to this awesomeness in an old thread about Nxivm bringing the Dalai Lama to Albany, without, apparently, realizing the sort of dust-up that he/she was going to cause. This patent has come to light right at the right time. Sources say, it could have a great deal of impact on Nxivm and Raniere.

[This is the first time that myself--and many of my sources--have seen this document, which is surprising, considering, as Anon points out in the comments, this document was actually linked to back in '08 in that a cappella thread I blogged about yesterday. Go figure that the best information about Nxivm comes from an a cappella Web forum! Thanks for the heads-up, Anon.]

And I mean, it's all in there, folks: the handshake, the sashes, the titles, the bowing:

Bowing is a show of respect and is a form of sharing like the word 'Hello' only more intimate. Students bow when entering and leaving the Session Space as a show of respect for what it represents and the work done there. It is also a bow of gratitude toward the Vanguard and Prefect for creating ESP. . . . The leading person then returns the bow indicating respect for the students and an implicit statement of interdependence.

Now that's not all that bizarre, the patent points out. If you study martial arts, you bow to your master. Of course, your master is teaching you something that has been handed down through generations and has a verifiable quality to it (if your martial arts master is full of shit, it's pretty easy to figure out--just try punching him). But, you know, same difference.

Here's another fun topic explored by RI, pulsing:

If the practitioner [of Rational Inquiry] looks at an individual while they are communicating it is almost like there is a pulse or strobe-like effect. They go from expression to expression to expression. This pattern corresponds with the idea associations as the person thinks.

Human thought patterns go from intellectual associations through intellectual associations through emotional associations. ... With each of these transitions the physical body takes on a certain aspect of that physical transition depending on the emotion that is triggered and the amount of ... emotional charge. By watching a person's reflexes, or by listening to the stressors in the person's voice ... one can ascertain a tremendous amount of information about the person without the person conciously [sic] transmitting it. ... Learning to see these pulses gives the practitioner this type of information. These pulses can be seen on video and or heard on audio.

But more fascinating than all of this recycled pageantry and clinical obsession over body language is what appears to be outlined on page 7 of the application. As Macumzahn pointed out, what exactly this passage means could be very significant:

Basic features of the present invention [Rational Inquiry] are illustrated in detail in the accompanying drawings [see below] . . . Although the drawings are intended to illustrate the present invention, the drawings are not necessarily drawn to scale. A portion of the disclosure of this patent document contains material which is subject to copyright protection. The copyright owner has no objection to facsimile (or) reproduction by anyone of the patent disclosure as it appears in the Patent and Trademark Office public patent files or records, but otherwise reserves all copyright rights.

I'm not a lawyer (I wish I was--they get p.a.i.d.), but that last sentence piques my interest. If you have been following the Nxivm story for any length of time, you've heard the name Rick Ross. Ross was sued back in 03 by Nxivm after he posted analyses of Rational Inquiry training materials.

The NXIVM Corp., also known as Executive Success Programs, filed the $9.7 million civil suit Wednesday in U.S. District Court, naming as defendants The Cult Education Institute of New Jersey; its executive director, Rick Ross; California psychiatrist John Hochman; and Stephanie Franco, a former ESP student.

The lawsuit alleges that Franco delivered an ESP manual to Ross, though she signed a confidentiality agreement promising not to disseminate it. It accuses Ross and Hochman of causing irreparable harm to the company through Web site postings that describe the programs as dangerous and an expensive form of brainwashing. Franco could not be reached for comment.

"He's a fellow with a Web site who was paid to put out disparaging statements about this business," said ESP's attorney, Kevin A. Luibrand. "He's never spoken to them. His statements have been false, and we plan to aggressively and immediately correct the damage that's being caused."

I've never seen the materials that Ross was supposedly given by Franco, despite claims that Ross and I are involved in a conspiracy. I have, of course, read the materials that led to the suit. And I wonder, again without making any claims to having any idea what I'm talking about legally: how did Nxivm sue Ross for posting analyses of a training method that appears to have always been public information?

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