One of our readers has made a rather firm and strongly worded rebuttal to “Jacqueline Doe” a woman who defends the teachings and practices of DOS in an earlier posting.
Jacqueline Doe writes
“About DOS. Keith says a woman should be thin. What’s wrong with that?”
Yes, there is ample evidence that Keith Raniere prefers his sex partners to be thin, and that he prefers to have many choices for sex partners. But what is the intrinsic value of being thin? What is the evidence for the value? (This is not to say that there are not genuine health issues associated with excessive weight. But there are also genuine health issues associated with being too thin).
“He gives us options. He does not watch us. There is no lock on our refrigerators. There is no food police.”
And Keith Raniere ignores you, or “disses” you to your “friends” or to your face if you do not obey.
“Some of us are on 800, 500 calorie diets etc.. I am on a 900 calorie diet with three workouts per day. I eat small meals then burn off the calories.”
The smartest man in the world is being either stupid or evil when recommending that!
According to http://www.womenshealthmag.com/weight-loss/counting-calories:
‘So when it comes to dieting, how many calories does your body need to stay healthy and lose weight? Active women should aim for a minimum of between 1,200 and 1,400 calories per day, says nutrition expert Michelle Davenport, Ph.D. It’s the best calorie ballpark to ensure you’re eating enough food to avoid screwing up your metabolism (if you go too low, your body will break down muscle tissue instead of fat for energy). If you’re a workout fanatic, Davenport adds, you should up your intake to compensate for some of the calories you burned while exercising—even if you’re trying to lose weight. Otherwise, you’ll feel completely drained all the time.’
“Keith teaches women who eat less, learn more.”
No, your brain runs on glucose (from carbohydrates), and low-carbohydrate diets impair brain function. According to https://www.drcarney.com/blog/entry/can-low-carb-diets-impair-brain-function:
‘the study Low-Carbohydrate Weight-Loss Diets. Effects on Cognition and Mood conducted on women and published in February of 2009 in the journal Appetite, revealed that after one week of beginning an Atkins-type diet the women performed worse on memory-based tasks. Their reaction times were slower and their visual-spatial memories were affected. Prior to starting the diet, the women were tested to measure long- and short-term memory and attention. Testing was repeated at one, two, and three weeks after beginning the diet. These impairments were alleviated after the reintroduction of carbohydrates into their diet. The data suggests that memory impairment occurs when carbohydrate (glycogen) levels are at their lowest and highlights the importance of adequate blood glucose for crucial brain function. Researchers concluded, “It is plausible, therefore, to propose that very low carbohydrate diet plans may have longterm effects on cognitive functioning in individuals following such diets in comparison to individuals consuming adequate levels of carbohydrate.”
In a similar study conducted on rats where carbohydrate-rich foods were restricted and replaced with high-fat foods, the rats exhibited severe brain impairment when learning and memory tests were performed.’
“What do they learn? Compassion. ‘A lot of starving people do not even have enough to eat and we are all gluttons’ as Keith says.”
Nonsense. It is a complete non-sequiter to claim that being thin due to a restricted diet teaches any lesson at all. It is highly likely that you had compassion for the starving poor of the world before you went on a diet. True, hunger may seem more real to you now. But that lesson could be taught by a brief fast, as in most religions.
It is reported that Raniere does not follow his own teachings and restrict his own calorie intake.
“Fasting and eating less allows women to clear their bodies of disintegrations which make her more healthy and connected to Keith and the community.”
Define ‘clear their bodies of disintegrations.’ I thought ‘disintegrations’ were mismatches between reality and your mental representation of reality, in Raniere-speak. How can a body have a ‘disintegration?’
‘Fasting and eating less … make her more healthy’ would only be true for women with actual physical health problems from obesity, which is a small minority.
‘Fasting and eating less … make her more … connected to Keith’
Given the reports that Raniere prefers his sex partners to be very thin, I actually agree on this point 😉
‘Fasting and eating less … make her more … connected to … the community.’
This may also be true, if ‘the community’ has been indoctrinated to pressure women to conform to Keith Raniere’s sexual preferences.
“Women must sleep when given permission? And must wake up at any time. Sounds cruel? Right? Keith teaches us to [sic] unity, solidarity and community.”
Nonsense. It is a non-sequiter that being awakened arbitrarily, even having given permission for this, in any way teaches ‘unity, solidarity, and community.’
“Discipline is needed.”
Why is discipline needed (other than ‘Raniere says so’)? If being awakened arbitrarily actually did teach ‘discipline,’ how does this ‘discipline’ benefit you, or anyone else?
“Does anyone learn discipline through luxury and comfort?”
Please explain how the discomfort of being awakened arbitrarily actually teaches ‘discipline.’
“We all love to sleep and waste a third of our lives sleeping Keith says. He is really teaching us to have more of our life for ourselves.”
Humans require sleep for physical and mental health. According to https://sleepfoundation.org/press-release/national-sleep-foundation-recommends-new-sleep-times:
‘Teenagers (14-17): Sleep range widened by one hour to 8-10 hours (previously it was 8.5-9.5)
Younger adults (18-25): Sleep range is 7-9 hours (new age category)
Adults (26-64): Sleep range did not change and remains 7-9 hours
Older adults (65+): Sleep range is 7-8 hours (new age category)’
Sleep deprivation, however, is a very effective mechanism of persuasion. According to http://www.sleepandhealth.com/sleep-deprivation-and-mind-control/
‘Sleep deprivation is an essential component of many brainwashing groups. From David Koresh to Adolf Hitler, long nocturnal rituals were the main techniques for mind control. It is not accidental that Adolf Hitler and Joseph Stalin worked mainly at night and had their most important meetings predominantly during the late-night hours. These times were considered optimal for compliance with some very unscrupulous ideas.’
“We do not drink soda, milk, juice, beer, wine, or sugary beverages. We drink water with honey or lemon. In this way we learn the difference between need and desire. I need water. I don’t need soda. Once you understand need vs desire you understand many people have needs unfulfilled in the world and you get compassion.”
Avoiding ‘soda, milk, juice, beer, wine, or sugary beverages’ is just a way of avoiding calories. Perhaps you mean there is a lesson in plain rather than tasty beverages. If so, please explain exactly how this teaches compassion, and why the lesson needs to be taught indefinitely.
“Keith teaches that in our society women are not held accountable. They break their word. When men fail, they are humiliated. Women get off scot-free.”
Both men and women sometimes break their word. Both men and women sometimes get away with it, and sometimes not. What is the evidence that women need special training in keeping their word, other than ‘Raniere says so’?
“Collateral is meant for women to keep their word. This makes them stronger.”
Let’s be specific. “Keep their word” means keep the food-deprivation, sleep-deprivation, slavery, and genital branding of DOS a secret. How does keeping this secret make women stronger (other than ‘Raniere says so’)?
“Keith teaches us that there is a connection between the vagina and the tongue so when we keep our word we will be better as women from a sexual standpoint.”
My nonsense meter is hitting 11 now! Please present the evidence for anything in that sentence.
“Keith teaches: with strength, comes integrity. With integrity, trust. This is why collateral is used. Not for blackmail.”
What does strength, integrity, or trust have to do with blackmail material?
“We take cold showers before breakfast. Mean? No. We build a capacity for love through tolerance of pain. It helps us recognize that hot water is a privilege most poor people do not have.”
Another non-sequiter. Tolerance of pain is unrelated to capacity for love. I’m sure you knew that many poor people do not have hot running water before joining DOS, and did not need a daily cold shower to remind you, or to sympathize with them.
“He teaches us to build character, mindfulness, discipline, vigilance, awareness, responsibility, strength, ethics and compassion.”
Assumes facts not in evidence.
“We deepen our understanding of our commitment by honoring Keith Raniere as a mentor.”
Please define ‘deepen our understanding of our commitment.’ What is it, why is it good?
“Abstinence, confessions, collateral are only tools. They are part of training.”
Abstinence from food and sleep are standard techniques to weaken critical thinking. Yes they are part of the training and tools, but they are tools of control. Collateral is blackmail material, also a tool of control.
“No woman is forced to be branded unless she is ready.”
It is reported that no one is told anything about the nature of DOS and branding until AFTER collateral has been given. In fact, it is reported that the branding came as a surprise, and under physical constraint as well as the threat of blackmail. This is not remotely consistent with ‘informed consent.’