So what should we make of the constant criticism of Keith Raniere?
He has said that “the brighter the light, the more the bugs” in reference to his many critics.
Is it possible that the gentle Raniere is misunderstood?
Are the teachings of love and ethics that dominate his published writings the real Raniere?
He has said, “Humans can be noble. The question is: will we put forth what is necessary?”
“Each rise, each act of human excellence raises mankind to new heights. Each fall, each act of destruction is a mindless regression,” his NXIVM philosophy reads. “While many have sensed a need to break away from the primitive patterning that keeps us from a path of continuous progression, few have thought it possible.”
Is his path one of continuous progression?
The Raniere trail leads through acts that, on the surface, show at best a sort of sanctified shopkeeping. Raniere makes NXIVM students sign confidentiality contracts so that unless one pays substantial money, they cannot obtain his healing wisdom, nor can they share it.
Behind the scenes there seems to be utter hollowness. A promiscuous cult of gullible followers who, when they wake up and leave, are hunted down by Raniere with vengeful millions of dollars at his disposal culled from his warped Seagram heiress-devotees, Sara and Clare Bronfman, from whom he has plowed through more than $150 million of their easy-come inheritance.
He has a decades-long record of what seems to be mindless regression, dating back to when his multi-level marketing business was closed by the New York State Attorney General.
When was it ever seen that a true teacher of religion or founder of a healing philosophy – a true vanguard – sued so many, went after so many, investigated so many, punished so many, tried to indict so many, and used the wealth of his followers to haunt his enemies?
So many enemies.
Raniere’s followers make a pledge to create a world where there are no enemies, where “people will no longer try to destroy each other… or rejoice at another’s demise.”
Strange, and perhaps this is the secret of why Raniere is despised by many, is, while his actions show he hates, literally hates, his enemies – his honeyed words preach love and forgiveness, and speak of a dream – a world where no one hurts another.
A world, in fact, that could not include Keith Raniere.