Nicki's involvement with the NXIVM cult has been a curiosity of mine since I first heard of it. After all, what does she need with a cult? After doing some research I've become very skeptical of Nicki's pet projects, though none have ever gone past the planning stages. You may recall that she was planning a website at one time "for college students" and also used her fame to get students to fill out a rather extensive and personal survey for unclear reasons. At any rate, I still love her in Battlestar and hope to see her acting more in the future. As for the side projects, I'd be quite wary.
If you'd like some more information on this, might I recommend this 14 page forum discussion entitled "A Cappella Innovations" which includes posts by Nicki herself:http://forum.rarb.org/forum/viewtopic.php?...der=asc&start=0
Now, I don't typically read college a cappella forums but this particular discussion unfolds like a good mystery novel and is full of intrigue, coercion, logical and ethical arguments, and philosophical debate. The story begins in Albany, NY where a group of college students attending an a cappella convention come to believe that their hosts (including Nicki Clyne) may actually be trying to indoctrinate them into a cult known as NXIVM (pronounced "nexium").
They first notice something is up when event coordinators pressure them for personal information and social security numbers. They also notice that every waking moment they are being extensively video taped and photographed. After the first day of the seminar the students return to their hotel and begin to google search the event's sponsor only to discover that A Cappella Innovations was created by man named Keith Raniere who also "invented" a process called Rational Inquiry that he feels "represents the change humanity needs in order to alter the course of history". Their research leads them to believe that the sponsors might be interested in more than simply providing feedback on a cappella performances.
This discussion is made up of posts by students who just returned home from the conference, TV stars Nicki Clyne (Battlestar Galactica) and Allison Mack (Smallville) who were event coordinators at the conference, and various board members of the alleged "cult" including it's creator, Keith Raniere and second in command, Nancy Salzman.
I admit that most people may not find this to be light reading but I found sorting through everyone's descriptions of events and the slowly emerging profile of the A Cappella Innovations company fascinating. Are they a front for the NXIVM cult or just a philanthropic organization? What were they trying to accomplish with these kids? And who pooped in the hotel dresser drawers? And of course this discussion would never have been possible without the awesome critical thinking and analysis skills of various a capella group members, some of whom are also studying patent law, intellectual property rights, and philosophy.