He may not be, but Raniere fits the profile of a sociopathic cult leader

I ran across this on the web, and Keith Raniere fits the profile a sociopathic cult leader exactly.


“… cult leaders create a complex system of beliefs and ideas, sometimes about their own powers and abilities, in which they themselves often get caught up. It is very difficult to know if they actually believe it or whether it’s just a fabrication to con and deceive others.”

Raniere claims publicly to be the most intelligent, and most ethical person in the world.  He claims to mid-level Esp-ians to be the only “totally integrated” person in the world (Espians know what that means, outsiders aren’t supposed to).  To the inner circle, he claims to be a spiritual being who remembers all of his past lives, and often their past lives as well, and that he knows exactly what is keeping them from “integration” (but he’s not allowed to tell them…)

“[Cult leaders] are rarely original thinkers, instead gathering up ideas from other people and packaging them together. While they may not give credit to others, they certainly want that their minions give them credit”

Cult exit counselor Rick Ross, who has been sued (endlessly!) because he has seen and allowed to be published on the Web (briefly) the curriculum of Executive Success Program, has explained that it is basically just an amalgam of large-group-awareness-training copied from ‘est’ and its successor Landmark Forum, pay-your-way-to-salvation and one-on-one “auditing” (Exploration of Meaning or EM in NXIVM-speak) from Scientology, and taxes-are-unethical from the Objectivism of Ayn Rand.

“[Cult leaders] get bored easily and therefore take risks just to entertain themselves.”

Raniere is said to be obsessed with gambling (photo of Raniere reading “How to Win at Gambling” in bed in a bathrobe).  He lost the $1.7 million life-savings of Barbara Bouchey gambling in the commodities-futures market.  He lost more than $65 million of the Bronfman sisters’ inheritance gambling in the commodities-future market.  (Wouldn’t a truly ethical man instead use the Bronfman fortune to make Executive Success Program training free for everyone?)

“[Cult leaders] often … have a partner or devoted/manipulated cult members who organize the financial and day-to-day running of the cult.”

Raniere is said to sleep until early afternoon, then spend only a few hours a day telling his committed inner circle what to do (keep the enrollment up, sue his enemies, and occasionally wipe the servers of evidence before it is subpoenaed).  Then he lets someone cook his dinner, and plays volleyball.

“Sex is often used to control the members, everything from forced abstinence to group sex to rape. Cult leaders often have a history of extramarital affairs and sexual predation upon adult and child members of both sexes.”

This is well documented in frankreport.com and elsewhere.

“Cult leaders abuse the members in all sorts of ways with not the slightest consideration for their feelings. They are unable to feel empathy and other emotions. 

One of the characteristics of a sociopath is a sense of superiority and this is added to by the fact that they don’t consider themselves limited or burdened by emotions. They think they are above such things.

However, for cult members, it’s almost impossible to understand what it’s like not to have a conscience. Therefore they don’t consider that they are being abused by their leaders, because it’s not something they would do to others.”

This sounds like the treatment of Ivy Nevares, and Daniela Fernandez before her.  Raniere pronounces them to be in “ethical breach” for something, like objecting to polygamy and/or group sex, or just not hacking someone’s computer as ordered.  They are shunned, but blame themselves for it, because they have been brainwashed to think of Raniere as the most caring and ethical and spiritual being in history.

About the author

Frank Parlato

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About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com