Guest View: Raniere thrives on the exploitation of women

His name is Keith Raniere. But he has instructed his followers to call him Vanguard - the leader of the new thought. .

By Myra Peters

When I first read about it, I was shocked by the behavior of a women’s society “branding” members. How is it empowering to be a slave and enslave others?

A ‘secret society’ is empowering to those with lower IQs; sure, it makes them feel important when they actually feel unimportant.  Were the women selected because they are confused?

The entry requirement is compromising photos. The obvious first sign that something was wrong. To submit sensitive information about yourself to be used as future blackmail against you? Why would anyone would join a “secret society” in which they are essentially told at the outset: “Your chances of wanting to leave and disclose your experiences are so high that we need some blackmail material from you as a precaution.”

It was sold as a type of scorched earth boot camp that tries to liberate failures (or people who see themselves as such) from the self-destructive patterns that keep them unsuccessful.

They were branded and not informed beforehand. Why would a woman, of her own free will, allow herself to be restrained on a table and branded (tortured) for 30 minutes?

In law, there is a concept called “informed consent.” Informed consent is achieved when the person is fully informed about a contract, verbal or written, for which they are being asked to give consent. Did these women give informed consent to being branded? Was informed consent absent in their oral or written contracts, text messages or otherwise?

The answer may be in what Sarah Edmondson said: she had been told she would get a small tattoo as part of the initiation. She was not prepared for what came next.

Sometimes I think of the women as victims. Other times I think they were fools. How does a supposedly smart woman wishing to empower herself fall under the spell of bearded guy who’s into bondage and torture?


Were these women children? Surrendering compromising materials? Did 30 minutes of “muffled screams and the smell of burning tissue” while being “branded” really seem like a good idea at the time?

Most times however I think Raniere as a predator, and his Nxivm cohorts and he are guilty of extortion/blackmail, regardless of whether the victims willingly gave them salacious materials.

Juries tend to dislike extortionists, especially those that leverage salacious material for sexual gratification. One’s agreement to a criminal enterprise is unenforceable.

By his nomenclature of NXIVM being “a self -help organization” Raniere meant to boost his ego and help himself to the available, easily- manipulated and submissive women.

Clearly this organization results in the sexual and economic exploitation of women.

It all makes sense when I realize this “secret women’s society” called DOS, this bad ass boot camp for women, is conceived, created, executed and led by a man.

I see it as horrifying cult, mainly meant to harm women, guided by one very dark and sinister, completely dishonest, satiating man who lives for the thrill of hurting women while fooling them into thinking they are being helped by him.

Keith Raniere says he is working to build a ‘more noble civilization.’


About the author

Frank Parlato

0 0 votes
Article Rating

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us!

Notify of

Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Will love from an ex coach to Keith

I sort of feel bad for poor keith. He must feel so week inside that he has to brainwash his power team on the front lines- Dear Miss Mack, Lauren (head of Education?) Salzman, Nicki (baby fat) clyne, Daniella Padilla and Rosa (funded by daddy dearest Junco) to go do his dirty work – to recruit the eager, trusting women of ESP to get some nudie photos. Why doesn’t he look at porn like the other desperate lonely fuckers out there? I think he has a deep dark “inner deficiency” of not enough attention from mommy. Poor guy. Nancy- would you please give keith an Em and tell him to stop building an army of sociopathic robots in his image as a cover up for his attachment to power in order feel special and strong. You both should know that NOTHING in the outside world covers an inner deficiency. You will need to really dig in and do the work, little keith. Try some introspection and journalling. Maybe you will even get your first stripe.

6 years ago

Luke, Luke…. Where are you Luke? I miss you post full of wisdom. It’s lame that you are not longer posting my son.

6 years ago
Reply to  Luke

He’s been too busy messing with my Facebook account again…but I told you, Luke, reply to my facebook post, cuz I won’t reply to that messanger message.
I might sound crazy, but since these strange things keep happening to my FB page, and Luke is probably a hacker, I’m just guessing that he could be involved. But I’m still trying to understand the motive behind all this. I know something is going on, due to the weird link between Kent’s page (and obviously Kent is involved in some way) and that fake page made in my friends name.
So Luke, why you fucking around with me and tormenting someone who’s not involved with NXIVM at all?

6 years ago
Reply to  Flowers

Law enforcement. … .you ever gonna check out this shit? ! I keep trying to notify you to get you to check out this website operated by” Dr. Rob ” in NY, but is anyone investigating?. This doctor is connected in some way to NXIVM, and this is where I was first targeted for harassment….Thru this doctor’s website…, where I was bullied, harassed, and had my info stolen by a woman whose husband works for the Bronfman sisters. Now yesterday, they were at it again!…. sending me messanger messages thru a fake account that was opened to impersonate someone I used to know!

Whoever is doing this to me, is also slandering other people.They have slandered a woman named Helen Gorayeb and a man named Chris Brimacombe (both are artists living in New York) and I wonder if these two individuals are connected to NXIVM in some way. Maybe they pissed off NXIVM somehow? Just speculating about that, but it’s a possible motive. I hope someone will eventually listen to me.

6 years ago

Indoctrination is powerful, and obedience can become a habit.

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


Would love your thoughts, please comment.x