Some are curious to know if the biggest financier of Kieth Raniere – Clare Bronfman – is a member of the secret women’s organization, DOS [Dominant Over Submissive].
The answer is ‘yes.”: Her money funds DOS.
One of Mr. Raniere’s foremost students, Miss Bronfman is an heir to the Seagram Liquor fortune. She contributed an estimated $100 million to Mr. Raniere and his endeavors since moving to the Albany area and joining him in the early 2000’s.
Since she funds most of his operations and his multiple litigation against various enemies, her defection could be catastrophic to the entire Raniere-teaching organization. The need for ‘collateral’ in her case is acute.
Collateral is the term of art Mr. Raniere uses for material that could be used against students in the event of defection. This can take the form of nude photos, recorded or signed confessions, and assignments of assets that go to Mr. Raniere or his designee and the forfeiture of which are triggered by events deemed as occurring at the sole discretion of Mr. Raniere.
Miss Bronfman is believed to have pledged her entire estate as ‘collateral’ to Mr. Raniere.
Several years ago, Miss Bronfman and her sister, Sara, invested $65.6 million with Mr. Raniere, who claimed it was for an investment in commodities futures. The entire amount was lost.
Clare Bronfman explained that Mr. Raniere’s investments were sound but that she believed her wealthy father, the late Edgar Bronfman, manipulated the market causing it to tumble downward against Mr. Raniere. The late Mr. Bronfman was said to have done this to create a wedge between his daughters and Mr. Raniere. He called Mr. Raniere’s organization ‘a cult.’
Miss Bronfman is said to have learned about her father’s interference with the commodities market from Mr. Raniere.
Yuri Plyam, the commodities broker who handled the transactions, said that Mr. Raniere’s assertions were nonsense and that Mr. Raniere lost the money because of poor judgement and an addiction to gambling.
Mr. Raniere chose to invest in a number of futures including orange juice and corn. He also invested in beef cattle – despite being a vegetarian. His supporters might argue that this was judicious of him since, even though he is morally against eating meat, when dealing with other people’s money, he treats it with great care and chose the investment most likely to succeed, as was his fiduciary duty.
The futures market is risky and like orange juice and corn, Mr. Raniere lost his investors’ money in cattle futures.
In addition, Mr. Raniere lost more than $1.6 million invested by Barbara Bouchey, Michael Sutton and Pamela Cafritz in the commodities futures market, prior to meeting the Bronfmans and losing $65.6 million of their money.