Snopes.com is a website covering urban legends, Internet rumors, e-mail forwards, and other stories of questionable origin.It is a well-known resource for validating and debunking such stories in American popular culture, receiving 300,000 visits a day.
One wonders what would be the result if the Vanguard, Keith Raniere’s bio which is published on his website www.keithraniere.com were subjected to the kind of scrutiny snopes might give it.
In short, is Raniere telling the truth?
If he is, he lists a marvelous batch of accomplishments that should provoke our awe of the man or, as some of his devotees think, ‘god.’
On the other hand, if a Vanguard has not told the truth about his accomplishments – what are we to think about anything he tells us.
Who would follow a liar to lead them to truth?
A recent email from a reader got me to thinking. My correspondent wrote, “Raniere is my age and there is no way he won the NY state meet 100 yard dash back in high school. A male classmate of mine went to states during those years and there were no white kids in the 100 who won. As a matter of fact i believe it was a kid from Mt Vernon high school who did. I ran track and field (distances) back in the day and at one point had the results of the state meets. Dang pre internet days. I will also bet dollars to donuts that Karen U who has an RPI degree and Kristin Keeffe probably have higher IQs then Keith.”
Most of Keith Raniere’s accomplishments as listed on his webpage refer to his youth.
Let us examine them one by one.
- By the age of one, he could construct full sentences and questions
- he was able to read by the age of two.
- he is an ‘autodidact’ (i.e. self taught)
- He was an East Coast Judo Champion at age eleven.
- He excelled in:
- table tennis
- By age twelve, he taught himself to play piano at the concert level
- He mastered many musical instruments.
- He taught himself high school mathematics in nineteen hours at the age of twelve
- At age 13 he was proficient in third-year college mathematics
- At age 13 he was a professional computer programmer
- He entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) at age sixteen.
- From his first semester, he began taking Ph.D. level mathematics courses,
- He became RPI’s first triple major, earning degrees in mathematics, biology and physics, with minors in philosophy and psychology
- He is “noted as one of the world’s top three problem solvers,”
- He was honored in 1989 by the Guinness Book of World Records in the category of highest IQ.
- He has an estimated problem-solving rarity of one in 425,000,000 with respect to the general population.
- He transformed a five-person organization into a corporation of nearly 400,000 in two years.
- Consumers’ Buyline, Inc., was responsible for one billion dollars in sales in its second full year of business
- It was featured on American Spotlight.
- He was a millionaire at the age of thirty
- At age 32, Keith Raniere was worth $50 million.
How much of this is true?