According to the story in Frank Report, “Keith’s accusation was that Dani had pride. It was a catch phrase that Keith would use. If you want ice cream, that’s your pride.” Ah yes, pride, one of the Seven Deadly Sins.
This Nxivm cult is looking more and more like a religious cult. It was presented as rational and scientific, but was in fact the inverse. The damn fool followers never picked up on this, of course, but rational inquiry is about asking questions and being skeptical, and above all thinking independently.
Religion is about unquestioned obedience and belief in doctrine, no matter how contradictory. One set of rules for Keith, another for his minions. Seeing blue lights when bespattered by his goo, and affecting the weather with his mind, psychic connections, and the rest of the mystical crap is the opposite of scientific inquiry. The fools never thought to ask to see the evidence, they just accepted it on faith.
Nxivm was their religion and Keith their prophet.
The courses seemed to be filled with meaningful-sounding blather, rather like the so-called mysteries of Zen, the self-contradictory books of the Bible (an eye for an eye, or turn the other cheek? take your pick, and if you pick wrong, be sent to Hell by the God who loves you, there to be tortured for eternity.)
Keith’s acolytes could always be shamed by him, because the blather he taught was deliberately confusing and no matter how hard they tried they were forever vulnerable to his condemnation. They put their necks in the noose and he pulled the rope.
So Keith could have a jealous tantrum and lock himself in the bathroom like a petulant little boy, whining that “you hurt me!”, and it made no difference to his acolytes. These women still worshiped him, because he remained their prophet. Their faith in him is religious faith and cannot be affected by the evidence before their eyes. Keith was not at fault, he can never be at fault; no, it was Dani’s fault. That’s why they went along with her punishment. She had sinned. She had to confess and do her penance. That, as in any religion, is the path to redemption.
“To be hanged by the neck until dead. And may Almighty God have mercy on your soul.”
So the mystery of why these fools put up with it, why they followed this creepy little nonentity and did his bidding, the branding, the computer hacking, the lying and blackmail and recruiting, why they gave up their last penny and went into debt and abandoned friends and family and career, is really no mystery at all. It’s the irrational appeal of religion. Nxivm is a religious cult. His minions didn’t necessarily even have mental issues, there’s no abnormal psychology needed to explain faith in the irrational. After all, Nxivm promised the true pathway to the good, to a better world, to personal happiness and success. Just like any megachurch preacher. Spiritual enlightenment, just like any Santa Barbara guru.