‘He claims?’ Rewriting Raniere’s bio for accuracy

Raniere’s bio on his website is sort of an IQ test in and of itself. If you believe it, without verifying, and then you follow him based on it, you have a really low IQ.

Let us take his childhood as an example. It reads:

From early childhood, he demonstrated astounding gifts, which were nurtured by his parents and subsequent mentors. By the age of one, he could construct full sentences and questions; he was able to read by the age of two. An autodidact, he directed his learning abilities to learning itself, studying its science and art in order to find optimized learning strategies and methodologies. Applying this skill to athletics, Keith Raniere excelled in judo and was an East Coast Judo Champion at age eleven. He also excelled in numerous other sports including volleyball, tennis, table tennis, diving, softball, cycling and skiing. By the age of twelve, he taught himself to play piano at the concert level; his passion and aptitude for music would inspire him to master many other musical instruments. He taught himself high school mathematics in nineteen hours at the age of twelve; only one year later, he was proficient in third-year college mathematics and was a professional computer programmer. 

Sounds good.

Now let us take a moment to deconstruct his bio, editing it like any newspaper editor (or even high school writing teacher) might do before he would allow it to be published.

Raniere’s bio is in black, my editor’s comments in red.

 

By the age of one, he could construct full sentences and questions  (need verification from someone who heard it, if not, should read “Raniere claims”; BTW what kind of sentences?; Raniere is trying to lay the foundation he was a child prodigy; he was able to read by the age of two; So what? Davy Crockett killed him a bear when he was only three. This kind of unsubstantiated claim needs specificity: what level of reading? what did he read? do we have any outside sources or is this a Raniere claim? An autodidact, nice word but “self taught” would be better, simpler  he directed his learning abilities to learning itself, studying its science and art in order to find optimized learning strategies and methodologies. This is incomplete. He directed his learning to learning itself? He was learning about learning, but what did he learn? Applying this skill to athletics, Keith Raniere excelled in judo and was an East Coast Judo Champion at age eleven verification please; champion of what organization? who did he compete with?  He also excelled how? in numerous other sports including volleyball, source? tennis, source? table tennis, source? – can we name an opponent? diving, source? softball, source? did he play on a team, or sandlot? – anybody remember playing with him? cycling source? and skiing source? – where did he ski what mountain? anybody see this?. In short in what way did he excel? other than bullshitting?  By the age of twelve, he taught himself to play piano at the concert level according to who? – was it at concert level? what does that mean? did he play any concerts? are there any musical authorities who agree with his self assessment that he could play at concert level?; his passion and aptitude for music would inspire him to master many other musical instruments which ones? name them and define “excel”?. He taught himself high school mathematics in nineteen hours at the age of twelve more detail; what proof?; only one year later, he was proficient in third-year college mathematics at age 13?  do we have a teacher that can verify this?  and was a professional computer programmer. a professional computer programmer in 1973? were there computer programmers in  1973? What kind of computer did he program? This sounds suspicious on its face.  What is really disturbing however is there are no sources and no facts, just claims. If you can provide no evidence, than rewrite this:

Here is the rewrite, based on proper and accurate writing style, or shall we “precision”?

From early childhood, Keith Raniere claims that he demonstrated “astounding gifts,” which he said were nurtured by his parents and subsequent mentors. By the age of one, he claims he could construct full sentences and questions; he claims he was able to read by the age of two. An autodidact, (self taught person) he directed his learning abilities he says to learning itself, studying its science and art in order to find optimized learning strategies and methodologies. Applying this skill to athletics, Keith Raniere claims to have excelled in judo and claims he was an East Coast Judo Champion at age eleven. He also claims he excelled in numerous other sports including volleyball, tennis, table tennis, diving, softball, cycling and skiing. By the age of twelve, he claims he taught himself to play piano at the concert level; his passion and aptitude for music would inspire him to claim he mastered many other musical instruments. He claims he taught himself high school mathematics in nineteen hours at the age of twelve; only one year later, he was proficient he claims in third-year college mathematics and he claims he was a professional computer programmer.

Now isn’t that better?

 

 

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