NXIVM seeks gag order

The Albany Times-Union/October 2, 2010

Colonie - NXIVM Corp. has moved again to silence its former finance director, alleging in a lawsuit this week that she violated a confidentiality agreement she signed by divulging trade secrets about the controversial human development organization to the media.

The suit against the former executive, Barbara Bouchey, was filed Tuesday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of New York. It accuses Bouchey -- the highest-ranking member to break from the organization -- of providing NXIVM's intellectual property to reporters.

Richard Weiskopf, NXIVM's attorney, said Bouchey disclosed information protected by a confidentiality agreement she signed when she joined NXIVM in 2000. NXIVM seeks an order preventing Bouchey from distributing or publishing NXIVM material, costs, attorney fees and other information, according to the suit.

NXIVM's court complaint says its protected material includes its curriculum, instructional methods, proprietary information, the identity of NXIVM clients, details about the clients, and business and marketing information.

"The defendant has caused or participated in numerous disparaging media articles and/or blogs regarding NXIVM, revealing aspects of intellectual property, including articles in the Times Union, the New York Post, the New York Observer, and in an international publication, Maclean's Magazine," the suit states.

The Maclean's story - "How to lose $100 million" - was published Sept. 13. The title refers to an estimate of how much NXIVM leaders lost in the commodities market and a failed development project in California, according to a deposition given by Bouchey.

NXIVM's action against Bouchey also cites a future article in Vanity Fair magazine. It accuses her of causing irreparable harm that "cannot be adequately compensated by monetary damages."

Bouchey has spoken to reporters since leaving the company, and disclosed information in court documents. She strongly denied the allegations in the NXIVM suit in an interview this week.

"This is a frivolous and untrue complaint," Bouchey said. "They are just trying to wear me down. But I am going to fight them every step of the way. I look forward to getting my discharge from bankruptcy, and to a positive outcome."

NXIVM is led by longtime Capital Region resident Keith Raniere, and Nancy Salzman, both of Halfmoon. It sells training in personal and professional development and ethics.

Bouchey filed for bankruptcy earlier this year. She is at least the fourth ex-NXIVM associate to file for personal protection from creditors after departing the group.

The bankruptcy case is being heard by Judge Robert E. Littlefield Jr.

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