Raniere’s claim to be ‘East Coast Judo Champ’ may be hard to verify, but not necessarily untrue

Keith Raniere [left] said he won the East Coast Judo Championship when he was 11.

Perhaps researchers can help verify.

Perhaps the students of Keith Raniere can find the needed proof.

Mr. Raniere’s bio [www.keithraniere.com.] states he was an East Coast Judo Champion when he was 11 years old. The bio gives no other details. It does not say who he defeated; no date, no venue, no qualifiers such as weight division, belt designation, how many rounds he fought – as is customary when martial artists list championships on their bios.

One might assume that, since the ‘world’s smartest man,’ and a teacher of ethics, saw fit to mention it in his bio his judo victory was significant and a verifiable accomplishment.

Unfortunately, no newspaper thought it worth reporting.

Mr. Raniere was 11 in 1971.

Yet searching 1971 and going every year for a decade on either side of 1971, there is not a single news report of it in any of 5,100 newspapers archived by http://www.newspapers.com – including Mr. Raniere’s hometown newspaper – The White Plains Journal News.

However, it should have been newsworthy that an 11 year old boy defeated the assembled judo masters to win the East Coast Championship.

east coast judo champ
Artist rendering of Keith Raniere [left] winning the East Coast Judo Championship.
Online evidence shows Mr. Raniere may have competed in the East Coast Judo Tournament held in Newark, NJ.  The amateur tournament – which has been held every year since late 1960’s – is not ranked as an E level event and therefore does not attract top martial artists. Nor does the tournament seem to publish records.

That may be because the tournament is primarily for children. It affords students from various local Dojos [Judo schools] in New York City and New Jersey to have a ‘recital’ where children  – starting at age four – compete with kids in other schools in front of their parents.

Mr. Raniere may have appeared at the East Coast Judo Tournament and competed with other boys in the yellow or green belt division.

He may have won a ribbon.

Critics argue that for a child to get a ribbon, and, as an adult, claim he was East Coast Judo Champion is like the little girl in Miss Agatha’s Dance School who won the Shirley Temple pink ribbon for tap dancing saying she was dancing champion of the entire East Coast.

Mr. Raniere states he was an East Coast Judo Champion at age 11.  None of his students question it. His female slaves believe.

Can anyone provide some proof to silence critics who say this is another one of many lies Mr. Raniere put on his bio?



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Frank Parlato

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Bradley Hammel
Bradley Hammel
3 years ago

I have been watching The Vow and HBO and this whole thing is surreal. I remember Keith Raniere’s name because I beat him in my first judo tournament at age 10 or 11 (1970 or 71). The tournament was a local tournament with four dojos. I was a member of the Closter Village Judo Club (Closter, NJ). The tournament was at the Westwood Judo Club in Westwood, NJ. It was on the second floor of a building that was above a Ford dealership. There were one or two other dojos at the tournament. Mr. Raniere came from another dojo (I do not remember which one). There were usually two divisions for an age group at that time, lightweight and heavyweight. We were in the heavyweight group. In the end, we competed in a semifinals match. We fought to a tie and went to overtime. I remember that I had thought I had lost but the judges and referee awarded me the victory.
So Keith Raniere was not a judo champion or even expert. At the time of the tournament, we were both yellow or orange belts (white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple, brown, black is the ordering of belts). I continued on and off with judo into my early twenties and reached the rank of brown belt. I do not remember seeing Mr. Raniere at subsequent tournaments. I do not know if he progressed past orange belt but he was hardly an expert or champion.

6 years ago

Is anyone following NXIVM’s latest trial? There is a lawsuit pending involving their former private investigator Interfor. The trial doesn’t start till next week but all sorts of testimony from former members who left is going into the public record. The court documents can be gotten here and go online every day as they are filed in preparation for trial.

The Times Union in Albany wrote a story explaining about it.

The Times Union published the court complaint and still has some documents on its website.

6 years ago

If only Raniere’s nose grew every time he lied or was insincere like Pinocchio. Then people would have been saved a lot of wasted time and trouble.

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: frankreport76@gmail.com


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