Rochester native Toni Natalie spent eight years with Keith Raniere. She met him in the 1990s, well before NXIVM began.
At the time, he was running the multi-level marking program Consumers' Buyline. Natalie bought in, began working with Raniere, and left her then-husband.
"He was very charismatic, very charismatic, and listened," Natalie said. "Keith, if he has any quality that has gotten him to where he is today, he listens."
Consumers' Buyline ultimately closed, tied up in litigation from shady business practices. Natalie left Raniere in the early days of NXIVM.
In her recently released book, "The Program: Inside the Mind of Keith Raniere and the Rise and Fall of NXIVM," she details experiencing what she calls "terrorism by litigation," saying she was wrapped up in baseless lawsuits spanning decades. She also says those close to Raniere stole her mail, broke into her home, and spread false claims.
Natalie said she wasn't alone and these tactics were used against anyone who left the man known as "Vanguard."
"Once NXIVM, Keith, his inner circle deem you to be an enemy, as anyone who has left knows, it’s relentless," said Natalie.
The book was written with former Metroland reporter Chet Hardin, who has written about NXIVM since 2006.
"People thought I was exaggerating. People thought I was making things up, even," Hardin said.
Hardin said it has been "satisfying" to see Raniere found guilty of a number of federal crimes.
"The Program" is the second NXIVM-related book to be released this month. Former high-ranking member Sarah Edmondson released a book on Sept. 17.