I recently asked a woman who left Keith Raniere (who prefers to go by his made-up superhero name “Vanguard”) about her thoughts on why people stay with him despite so much evidence of his dishonest and destructive nature.
She gave some reasons. I paraphrase them here:
In order to remain with Vanguard, you have to believe certain things.
Among them are:
- Mark Vicente and Sarah Edmondson, both Green-sashed, were among the most successful Espians. An Espian has to change what they previously believed about them. From friend and someone to look up to, you must now look at them as suppressives.
- And Sarah was a sister to many women. To stay with Vanguard, you have to believe that Keith and Clare Bronfman are justified in going after Sarah on criminal charges. Even lying bogus charges for the sake of the mission.
- You have to believe that Dependent Over Submissive (DOS) is fiction, or dismiss claims of pain and suffering of women who were branded and gave collateral. If you were friends with any DOS woman who left ESP, you must cast aside that friendship. Not only her role as your friend but your role as her friend in need. Your friendships outside ESP are conditional on Vanguard’s approval.
- You must be able to rationalize Keith’s sex life, or believe his sex with students is helping women. You have to rationalize why this help is only offered to young, attractive female students and not to men or older or less attractive women.
- You have to ignore the teenage girls, now women – and the women in his ‘harem’ – who say they suffered through his lying, rape, and vindictiveness. You have to rationalize these women have no merit to their claims or that Keith hurt them for their own good.
- You have to ignore the $65 million Keith lost of his students’ money in the commodities market – and you have to ignore that he flubbed a $26 million Los Angeles real estate deal. You have to ignore the millions he borrowed from students and never repaid. You have to ignore the public record on his failed business, Consumers’ Buy Line, and believe Vanguard when he says it was a success.
- You have to believe he told the truth about his accomplishments on his bio despite the fact that many of his claims have been debunked. Or you have to believe he is justified in lying about his accomplishments in order to promote ethical success programs.
- You have to ignore your own life. For if you’re in Executive Success Programs, it’s quite likely you haven’t succeeded financially as real executives do. You may have inherited wealth, or have money left from before you began, but very likely you have not increased your wealth since joining ESP; more than likely you have less money than when you began and have paid a small fortune to ESP for what is literally no financial gain.
- If your main occupation is working for ESP (or one of its many related companies), you must believe you could not earn more elsewhere. You must believe that, after all your training in executive success, you are worth only $15 an hour. Or, if you are a top trainer and recruiter $50,000 to $100,000 a year – which is low pay for a talented executive in the modern marketplace.
- You have to believe you can continue to make money in multilevel marketing of ESP, despite the fact that no one is signing up for ESP courses because of the all the recent publicity regarding scandals involving ESP and its leaders.
- You have to believe the time and money Keith and Clare spent on litigation, on persecuting ex-members, is value building. That the three dozen lawsuits are about justice, not vindictiveness.
- You have to believe in EM technology. People spend as much as a hundred
- Look at the people at top. You must believe the Greens and Proctors accomplished something to hold them in such honor. All the Greens that left, however, went without wealth. Green-sashed Barbara Bouchey had wealth when she came in. She left broke. Susan Dones, head trainer for Seattle, left nearly broke. Mark and Sarah left. They left without wealth. No one makes money inside ESP.
- Barbara Jeske, a Purple sash, died of cancer with zero assets and owed the IRS money. Purple-sashed Pam Cafritz only had the money she received from her family when she died of cancer. Prefect/Nancy Salzman has no money. She has to ask Clare to pay her bills.
- Nancy has breast cancer too. You may have been taught in ESP that someone who gets breast cancer has low self-esteem. How could someone who leads an executive success organization have low self esteem? You have to rationalize this too.
- You have to accept that executive success does mean executive success as the rest of the world defines it. The only High Rank who have money had it before they came in. Keith Raniere never had executive success in his life. Every business he touched failed or failed to grow. ESP failed to grow; the ancillary businesses are unsuccessful. Without Clare’s money, all of them would likely crater.
- You have to believe there are no victims. For if ever there was a victim of Keith Raniere, it is Ivy Nevares. He stole her adult life with his lies. Ivy must rationalize her failures as her own fault. Keith promised to marry her; he said he was in a monogamous relationship with her; that she would have his firstborn child. He managed to persuade her that her depression was caused by her “ethical breaches” rather than his lies. He used Lauren Salzman, Pam Cafritz and Nancy Salzman to lie for him.
- Pam is dead from cancer. Nancy has cancer. Lauren is reportedly depressed for having been outed and exposed as a branded slave, seen as a liar, and never having the child Keith promised her also.
- Like Ivy, you have to believe the bad things happening to you, the depression, fear, self doubt is your fault. You have to believe in your weakness and in Keith’s ability to think for you.
- The ESP training is meant to make people feel bad. Look at the Opinion Questionnaire – you walk in the door thinking about your worst decisions, worst times in your life, worst adversaries and most obstructive people.
- You must believe Vanguard is not your obstruction. You must believe he is not a hypnotist, that he has not manipulated you.
- So many people say Vanguard destroyed their lives, some of whom were once close to him like you or maybe closer. You must believe he doesn’t lie or that he will not lie to you. You must believe so many untruths that in the real world of executive success, you would be classified as a fool.
- You must believe that as Vanguard destroys you, you owe him everything and must obey him no matter now degraded the things he makes you do.
The beverage of Clifton Park.