Visitors to Albany probably look up at the Corning Tower and think that this is a place with an inferiority complex.
And they’d be right.
More confident towns laugh off minor offenses and move along, but throw shade on the Capital Region, and you’re in for a fight. And we never let it go, as seen in this Times Union piece where their columnist dredged up some ancient insults from a 1972 New York Times story. Seriously?
But today we can celebrate being better than anyone else in one thing: the Capital Region had the best cult.
No, maybe “best” isn’t the right word, but it’s certainly the most notorious. NXVIM has drawn the world’s eye to the area, what with the extensive media coverage of the Keith Raniere trial and the HBO documentary The Vow. Finally, we’re known for something big — no, not something positive, but hey, stop your complaining.
This is not to diminish the evil done by NXIVM and Raniere, and he’s going to prison, where he belongs. Regrettably, we can’t also punish the local people and law firms who enabled his dark shenanigans. Many other folks in the area bought into his nonsense by taking NXIVM’s pricey “Executive Success” classes. This a small town, so I guarantee you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who went through the program or did business with NXIVM.
So, hold your head up high Albany. The next time somebody calls you Smallbany, point to NXVIM and ask about the cults in their town. It’s not likely they can top this one.