Part 4 Crimes of Bronfman-Raniere: Coercion

Everything is a secret with Keith Raniere.

Publicly available information, numerous sources, and common sense inform me as to at least some of the crimes Bronfman-Raniere likely committed.

Whether or not the FBI is investigating these crimes is not for me to say. I have reported Bronfman-Raniere crimes to law enforcement for years –  and like others  – I have been ignored. The tipping point may have been branding.

The New York Times and Albany Times Union report that the NXIVM investigation is under the supervision of the U.S. Department Of Justice’s staff in the Eastern District of New York.

Here is Part 4 of crimes I previously reported to law enforcement – long before the cult became better known via the New York Times etc.



In addition to branding women and using blackmail worthy material, Keith Raniere uses a trusted circle of female followers to convince women to have “secret” sexual relationships in return for doing business with NXIVM and/or getting more advanced teachings.

There are women who could truthfully testify that they were told they couldn’t stay in business with Raniere unless they were intimately involved with him.


Under New York Penal law, § 135.60, a person is guilty of coercion in the second degree when they:

  1. Compels or induces a person to engage in conduct which the latter has a legal right to abstain from engaging in, OR compels or induces a person to join a group, organization or criminal enterprise which such latter person has a right to abstain from joining, by means of instilling in him or her a fear that, if the demand is not complied with, the actor or another will cause
  2. physical injury, or
  3. accuse some person of a crime or cause criminal charges to be instituted against him or her, or,
  4. expose a secret or publicize an asserted fact, whether true or false, tending to subject some person to hatred, contempt or ridicule.

As an example, Lauren Salzman  [Raniere’s top lieutenant] induced Sarah Edmondson to join the secret sorority with promises that initially were non-coercive to Edmondson.

Edmondson then provided potentially damaging and compromising collateral in the form of a nude photograph and a letter, which she gave to Lauren Salzman, a NXIVM and ESP member and her immediate supervisor.

Edmondson did not know that she would be branded and what was to follow. Following this tender of collateral, Edmondson flew to Albany, New York, where she consented to receive a small tattoo as part of the initiation into the top secret sorority of sorts.

Instead of receiving a tattoo, she received a hot-iron brand that consisted of the initials of Raniere and Allison Mack.

Later, Edmondson left the group despite her fear that by not complying with continuous demands of the top secret sorority, her collateral would be released.

While Edmondson may not have been coerced into joining (that’s an interesting legal question), she was coerced into staying, as she feared her collateral would be exposed. Indeed, NXIVM did accuse her of a crime, and did file charges against her after she left.

The crime of Coercion in the First Degree may have been committed under these alleged circumstances.

New York Penal law 135.65 is the same as coercion in the second degree, but additionally requires the perpetrator to

  • compel or induce the victim to…cause or attempt to cause physical injury to a person.

Edmondson and other women were never told they would receive a brand and, in most cases, they only consented to a tattoo.  This “surprise” came after they provided compromising, personal information to a NXIVM/ESP member.

This branding – plus the subsequent severe calorie-restricted diet that is imposed on all DOS members – constitute a physical injury to women. The branding was sprung on them in a coercive setting, where they were naked and under fear of having their collateral released to the general public.

Each woman in DOS were required to recruit six new slaves. They were placed on extremely low-calorie diets (500-800 calories per day), which have reportedly led to a host of health issues for the female group members.

This obviates willing consent.

For example, because a woman’s collateral was in the hands of certain NXIVM members, and because she feared the consequences of exposure of the collateral, she may have recruited or attempted to recruit new women to the sorority, thereby causing or attempting to cause those women physical injury by branding and a starvation diet. The newly-recruited women, in turn, were coerced into compliance with the diet, and recruiting other women into a potentially endless cycle of branding, proffering collateral, and starvation diets.

Keith Raniere

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  • A governor was just brought down by a single Class D Felony. (In that case, invasion of privacy, in Bronfman-Raniere’s case, coercion, and with the latter, there will be many more charges.)

    The now ex-governor is a former Navy Seal who ran for office as someone above the political fray.

    “Born of sane and loving parents, Eric Greitens drinks nothing stronger than hot chocolate, excels at (to date) everything he attempts, sacrifices free time to perform humanitarian service, and has, his best friend reports, “excellent portion control.” He proved his brainpower as a Rhodes scholar at Oxford University; his courage by becoming a Navy SEAL; his leadership ability by founding a heartwarming nonprofit. His brilliant young wife looks a bit like Kate Middleton, believes in him wholeheartedly, and is carrying their second child. In 2014, Fortune magazine named him one of “The World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” alongside Pope Francis, the Dalai Lama, and Angelina Jolie.

    If the man has an Achilles’ heel, it’s perfection.

    Now he’s running for governor, and Missouri has to decide whether he’s A. Superman, B. too good to be true and hiding some dark flaw no one can find, or C. a strategist whose entire life has been planned as a ramp to the U.S. presidency.”

    From here:

    Superior to other mere mortals, just like Raniere. Unlike Raniere, Greitens is Jewish. Do you think Greitens, like Raniere, is a holocaust denier? And, just like with Raniere, it was all too good to be true and hid dark flaws:

    “Eric Greitens allegedly, w/o consent, took photos of a woman he was having an affair with while she was (w/ consent) blindfolded and tied up naked in his basement. He threatened to release the photos if she told anyone of their affair. His wife was pregnant at the time.”

    From here:

  • It seems most people commenting here haven’t done their homework on cult psychology and how cults and brainwashing works. Educate yourself people. Else you will find yourself in one again.

  • Anonymous
    While it’s true that sociopaths (and all abusive people) know how to manipulate and trick their victims , only some victims become abusers themselves. Not everyone becomes a flying monkey – some people have empathy and integrity… and apparently some don’t.

    Maybe they were born that way, or maybe they were abused as children or something…but does it really matter? It doesn’t make them any less dangerous …they are still flying monkeys ready and willing to hold someone down while they are painfully burnt for 30 minutes. Normal people don’t do those types of things.

    • All the people in Hitler’s army too were normal. Normal is overrated. All human’s can be conditioned and programmed provided one knows their triggers and weaknesses.

      • Fighting for your country is a much different scenario than tricking your friends into having your initials seared into their flesh . Many of the Germans during the war were not even aware of what was going on in the concentration camps. Some citizens risked their own lives to help Jews escape from Germany or hide from the Nazis.
        How can you compare a war scenario with a bimbo actress who had no reason to do any of these things, except for the ego boost it gave her?

        • I don’t think he’s talking about the average German soldier, but the normal kid who went to Hitler youth as an after school thing and ended up in the SS. It happened, a lot. Again targeted, deliberate breaking down and rearranging of moral standards and priorities.

          • While It’s true that “brainwashing” methods can be employed in many circumstances, many people don’t fall for the snake oil these assholes are trying to sell. And even the ones that do become victims, don’t become an abusive flying monkey unless there is something very wrong with them.

            I have zero sympathy for people who choose to abuse other people, and then pretend they did it because they are a victim. We all have the ability to think for ourselves.

            Someone else made the comment that normalcy is overrated…uh…no its not. My definition of normal are people who have empathy and take responsibility for their actions.

            While there are obviously reasons why criminals became the way they are – does that matter? Does that give then a right to abuse other people? That’s like saying serial murderers who were abused as kids shouldn’t be punished for their crimes.

  • I work as a lecturer in a further education college. A small section of the cohort we teach comes to us from local authority special registers, some of those are freed slaves referred by the criminal justice system, rescued sex workers, marijuana farm slave labour, nail shops,
    All of it heinous, nothing worse than the commodification of people by slave drivers.
    I’ve seen references to branding and mutilation in referral reports, but increasingly these days girls are written all over – autographed on necks and even faces by their pimps.

    Raniere is a basic pimp, under all that pompous cant. I think you’re right he bamboozled Mack by appealing to her vanity, because his initial in the prostitution brand vanishes into the logical symbol for NAND = Not And.. in other words Not And Alison Mack ; only Alison Mack covered by a NAND or whatever the upside down K is called in his oft quoted Boolean logic where it does the same thing it negates a conjunction. I expect he thought this was very big and clever. Did Dr. Roberts share the joke?
    Or did she think she was searing divine wisdom into the flesh of these thin women, no adipose fat, right over their Fallopian tubes. How many DOS women have experienced tubal or ectopic pregnancy issues? Was she treating or advising in any way those older women some of whom are dead? Practicing her brand of internal medicine? Like quacks everywhere she’ll run ahead of her bad reputation till it catches up and swallows her up.

    What does it mean if your at a wellness conference and you don’t want anyone to know you burn women directly over their reproductive organs because your god told you to do it?

  • To misogynistic sociopaths women are considered “conquer fucks”. Since there isn’t anything really deep about a sociopath, likewise all of their relationships are superficial. Since they are so self-centered, you’re only worth something to a sociopath in what you can do for them. Even the women who stayed with him for so long like Pamela, Barbara, Karen, Lauren, Nancy, etc., were/are just his flying monkeys. Each one serves a particular role for him. Celebrities like Nicki Clyne, Allison Mack, Kristin Kreuk, Grace Park, etc., were all considered prime conquer material for Vanguard because of their social status whether it really means something or not. He was able to seduce the former two while being unable to seduce the latter two, though he greatly desired Ms. Kreuk. Obviously, these conquer fucks really mean nothing. How can they mean something when the women are deceived and slowly thought reformed into sleeping with him? That’s not free will. That’s coercion no matter how many of these “anonymous” Espians post here and say it isn’t, like the one who commented in the recent Dr. Danielle Roberts article. Of course, to Vanguard it doesn’t matter – he’s superficial after all – and the means don’t matter, only the end. It’s ironic because even though sociopaths appear to be confident and charismatic to others, they lack self-esteem. They *need* self-validation. That is why Vanguard has always parasitically lived off of others for his entire life. He’s actually dependent upon them feeding his ego though he has to pretend otherwise. He cares little to nothing for them and this will be seen when push comes to shove. You can see it in the fact that he ran away to Mexico leaving others holding the bag and he will sacrifice each and every person before he has to give himself up.

    • “[H]e will sacrifice each and every person before he has to give himself up.” Exactly right. Narcissistic misogynist psychopath.

  • This is all so revolting. I really wish there was a way to know how involved each of the inner circle was in starting this abhorrent crime against free will and which were either coerced themselves or just unwitting accomplices.

    For what it’s worth, I firmly believe Mack is just a sacrificial lamb, and probably the others that claim to have started it. If it’s a group sworn to Rainere with the name “Master over the Slave women” then they wouldn’t honor a woman in the brand. It’s clear that he had them do it, probably telling her what an honor it was, because she is one of the most immediately recognizable names.and the sheeple would focus on her bot him an the real lieutenants. At least that’s my theory atm.

      • No, I haven’t met her. I’m just theorizing off the fact that Rainere seems to be able to create fanatics out of seemingly intellegent people and has managed to slip pure misogyny into something that is sold as “women’s empowerment”.

    • “Mack is just a sacrificial lamb.” A naked lamb who held down other naked lambs to be cooked at 500 deg Celsius (932 deg Fahrenheit), the typical temperature of the surgical cauterizing device used by Dr. Danielle Roberts. And directly above their fallopian tubes, broiling away their reproductive possibility. For 30 minutes. 30 minutes of agony, and Mack held women down. Think about broiling a steak, about 550 deg Fahrenheit, and it gets thoroughly cooked at 4-8 minutes a side.

      I suspect you’re a kind person. Would you tolerate your initials being branded (branded! like cattle) on anyone? What does it take for someone to be okay with that?

      • “I suspect you’re a kind person. Would you tolerate your initials being branded (branded! like cattle) on anyone? What does it take for someone to be okay with that?”

        I would not. The problem here is many escapees have talked about how thoroughly he draws you in. I’ve never met the vaguely humanoid shaped creature known as Keith Raniere, but I know a little bit of psychology and have a lot of first hand experience with sociopathic abusers with much less experience and smaller “visions”. These people take their time, they slip their ideas into your head slowly, mixed with less and less truth over time. They turn you about, They make you feel like the bad guy if you disagree, they make you the villain of your own story, a prisoner in your own mind, and your own warden. And in a cult situation everyone else is probably a warden too, so you don’t have anyone that tells you your doubts aren’t insane. Mack had, if the timelines I worked out right, been in NXIVM for seven or eight years before she allegedly started planning DOS. That’s a long time to fuck with someone’s head.

        As for what it would take for me? In some ways, I would have to be utterly convinced there was a benefit greater than the pain for them. And it seems that’s at least part of their sales pitch that DOS is some kind of higher calling.From what I’ve read of his teachings, he twists blind loyalty to seem like logic and Misogyny to look like feminism, selfishness to look like kindness, and critical thinking to be seen as a character flaw. I think at least some of these women aren’t fully brainwashed and should pay for their crimes, but I think others, even on the higher levels, are just well meaning people who naively let a crazy fucker rewrite all their standards of right and wrong. I think every DOS woman, and indeed every cultist, needs to have a serious battery of psychological examinations by people with experience in cults, Stockholm, and similar scenarios to determine if, and to what extent, these women would have even had the willpower to question it.

        I’m not saying she’s innocent, I’m not saying she’s guilty. I’m saying I don’t think she’s as important to DOS as she thinks she is, she’s mostly there as a big glowing neon target and is well compensated for it.

        Speaking of psychological help, I know forced cult interventions are illegal, But can’t people be forcefully institutionalized for self harm and eating disorders? They claim the brand is voluntary, even though all signs point to “They lie their asses off and then force something much worse than was promised”. But if the official story is that they wanted to have a hot iron rammed into their crotch, then I think that’s worthy of a forced stay in a hospital psych ward on suicide watch. And 500 calories a day is a clear eating disorder. Probably not or I imagine some family member or escapee would have tried to start that ball rolling by now.

        For now, I just say and do what I can to keep the story going and to remind people that KR is the one that needs to be flayed alive to supply skin grafts for his victims and all of the branded need to be seriously examined, and then if mentally competent, thrown in a deep dark hole.

        • Thank you for your very thoughtful reply. Great food for thought.

          I am so curious about the psychology of people susceptible to Raniere. From Harvard grads, with psychopathic fathers, to successful actresses, acting since they were children, what do they have in common. Gender is definitely an important variable, considering Raniere. That any woman puts up with his women-hating “rational inquiry” is astounding. May the NYS DOJ and justice prevail.

          • Thank you for appreciating it.

            From what I can tell he doesn’t start of with the blatant misogyny, He starts with relatively rational ideas and uses them to lever in the crazy stuff. I’ve seen alleged DOS members post links to articles on Twitter that urge for caution in preemptively convicting or of glorifying victim-hood and infantalising women by saying they can’t stand up to men. Articles that are mainstream and reasonable if slightly controversial. Some of them probably think that’s the camp they belong to, when they really detoured into woman-hater central.

            And preach it appropriate-term-for-sibling

    • Mack? Sacrificial to Raniere who would sacrifice anyone any which way. However, that hangnail was not a lamb. Baaaaa to that. One does not work or grow up in the entertainment industry and stay naive. There is no little house on the prairie.

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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Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083