Source: I had a date with Keith Raniere – pre-Vanguard; he wanted a one night stand

Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian, the location of Keith’s date in Los Angeles.

By a tall woman who dated Keith in 1997

I went to dinner with this man, Raniere, in Los Angeles in 1997. I think I met him on JDate. He took me to Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian and ordered a very expensive bottle of wine. I was 27 and hadn’t had a lot of exposure to that. He also lit a joint inside the restaurant. I remember thinking that was very cool. In fact, that’s the main reason I remember him. He had the best bud known to mankind. To this day, I don’t know what that shit was, but it made you mellow, inspired insane laughter, and didn’t cloud your judgment or vision.

He was driving a convertible Mercedes. Maybe it was rented because I don’t think he lived in Los Angeles. In any event, he didn’t talk about himself in those terms, only about how great and smart he was. I’ll never forget his hair though; it made his head huge! I also can’t believe he’s kept it.

I remember we had a disagreement about why I wouldn’t have sex with him that night. He straight up propositioned me. No BS, just straight out with it. I hesitated because I’d never experienced that either. He started talking psychology and commented on his genius level IQ again. He began lecturing me about doing what I want to do and how life is too short. Obviously, he wanted to hit it and forget it, but I wasn’t ready to fuck a short, stocky guy I’d just met on JDate. So, he got a little snippity and he dropped me off at home without walking me in – a blessing, apparently. He seemed pissed that he hadn’t been able to seduce my mind in our short time together and deemed me a loser not worth anymore of his time.

“Well, I’m 5’8″, and 5’11” with heels, Mister. It takes a lot to slay me if you’re not at least 5’11”. I didn’t say that to him, but that’s how I felt. Hubby is 6’4″, so Raniere remains the shortest man I’ve ever been out with.

If he had physically been my type, he probably would’ve gotten lucky. I had a great time on the date and he was certainly charismatic. But the way his personality changed so quickly weirded me out. He immediately rejected me when I had the idea to possibly see him again, instead of sleeping with him that night. That’s bold.

Was Keith Raniere a purveyor of top grade weed in his day?

Artist conception of Keith Raniere with a taller woman on a date [not a real photo.]



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Frank Parlato

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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.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was 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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

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