Sex-slaver Raniere studied various methods to create NXIVM and added ‘ethics’ as the highest value

Keith Raniere utilized a multi-level marketing strategy for his classes for NXIVM. The students were the sales force and were compensated for students they recruited.

The classes themselves were overall nothing more than a giant self promotion of Raniere’s greatness and a rehash of other people’s teachings.

Raniere studied est/Landmark, a company offering personal development programs, which uses theories formulated by Werner Erhard, author of ‘est’ (Erhard Seminars Training).

He’s not Vanguard, he’s Werner Erhard

Raniere also studied Scientology, a body of beliefs and practices created by L. Ron Hubbard, as an alternative to psychiatry, and a religion with its own terminology, doctrines, an E-meter, and the practice of “auditing”.

In addition, Raniere studied Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP),  an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder which claims there’s a connection between neurological processes, language and behavior a person learns through life experience and that these can be changed to achieve certain goals.

Raniere synthesized these, and a dose of author Ayn Rand, a dash of Milton’s Paradise Lost and a hodgepodge of other stray bits of “wisdom” he accumulated over time into NXIVM ‘technology’ for people who felt inadequate and frightened by life in return for money and sex partners.

Are there some NXIVM people who benefited from the classes? Possibly.

What I saw was the more classes a student took, the less capable she was of functioning and the more obedient to Raniere.

From what I observed, students had an inability to focus – which usually led to a disconnect at all critical moments, almost as if the NXIVM student was programmed to be a mere ‘worker bee’ and before she could ever gain the independence needed to become an executive success or accomplish tasks which required strength, or finesse or leadership, she would disconnect and be utterly unable to proceed.  And at that point, she would be programmed to ask Raniere or one of the higher-rank members of NXIVM – such as her coach. She would then be told that she needed to pay for more courses and the need itself and the desire to seek help from NXIVM was indicative of the great progress she was making.

And, if somehow, the thinking she needed to accomplish a task led to realizing she needed to get far away from Raniere, the student would often panic and descend into abject fear and sometimes infantilism.

Following through on projects seemed difficult or impossible for NXIVM students during my tenure. That is why NXIVM needed so many outside consultants; their own members were utterly deficient in business and most worldly matters. Most could work only under direct and careful supervision.

Throughout the years of NXIVM, the women Raniere was bedding seemed to fare slightly better than those he did not bed – but they were generally anxious, constantly dieting and striving to please him and worried over his absence or their weight or to displease him for reasons I doubt they even fully understood. He was manipulating them into slavery.

The women who were too old for the harem [35 plus] – and the eunuch-like male members – seemed to hold Raniere in the type of  veneration an acolyte holds towards his God. This too is part of the NXIVM technology.

Happily for those who want to study some of the top secret course, the patent application for Raniere’s ‘Rational Inquiry’ – the name he gave for his brand of thinking that he taught his students – discloses the first 21 “modules” ( 2003 05 26 patent application for rational-inquiry-2)

Interestingly, there is a crime and punishment module.

Page 179: “coaches are to make sure that students understand ‘that punishment upholds our ethical system and without punishment there can be no ethics’”.

How convenient. This allowed Raniere to punish a student in ‘ethical breach’. And claim moral superiority while doing it.

In NXIVM, ‘ethics’ supersede ‘rules’. NXIVM leaders often consider it ethical to break the ‘rules’ to uphold ‘ethics.’ This is helpful since laws are after all nothing more than rules.

Since Raniere is the ultimate authority on ethics, there are no rules or laws for his followers other than his fiat. He refers to himself as an “ethicist.”

Judging every action subjectively by unwritten ‘ethical principles’ is a recipe for dictatorship. Which is why Raniere wrote it that way.

Below is a checklist from the secret class course work of NXIVM. It was against the ethics and the rules of NXIVM for a student to reveal this secret teaching. However, in attempting to patent much of this, it became public.

Raniere taught his followers that ethics was their highest value. And he, as the ethicist for NXIVM, created the ethics.

His ethics led to charges of sex trafficking and forced labor, and, if I am any judge, there will be more charges for crimes most of the world considers to be unethical.

But isn’t that after all precisely what a cult is for – to be able to create your own ethics and have people follow them blindly?

Keith Raniere teaching ethics to a 12 year old girl [Not a real photo, but photo-shopped by the author]

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • “The master himself is an animal and needs a master.” — Immanuel Kant

    Kant goes on to say that regardless of whether it is a single person or a group of several elected persons… each of them will always abuse their freedom if they have none above them to exercise force in accord with the law.

    “The highest master should be just in himself, and yet a man. [T]his task is, therefore; the hardest of all; indeed, its complete solution is impossible, for from such crooked wood as man is made of, nothing perfectly straight can be built.”

    Keith Raniere and his criminal organization chose to live both outside and above the law, and they chose to abuse their own freedom and the freedom of others. They did so for their own personal gain, for their own selfish pleasure, and for their own personal empowerment.The red flags were flying everywhere that Keith Alan Raniere went, yet most of humanity chose to be either color blind or to hit the snooze button. Corrupt judicial officials, inept agents of the FBI, paid-off politicians, and the lame-brained Bronfman sisters allowed this heinous cult not only to exist but also to thrive and to expand. But now, these shameful aiders, abettors, and enablers can no longer plead ignorance, because they too have been exposed as the truly “crooked wood” of humanity along with their crooked career-criminal, Keith Raniere.

    Keith Raniere was and is still living a lie! But as old Immanuel Kant also said: “By a lie, a man throws away, and, as it were, annihilates his dignity, as a man.” Mr. Raniere, not only have you annihilated your own dignity and the dignity of countless others you have also destroyed your own life and the lives of countless others. Was it really worth it Keith? It’s not too late to own the evil that you have committed in the name of joy. Surely, you cannot be happy now since you did not win! You never seemed to understand that “happiness [or joy] is not an ideal of reason but of imagination.” Keith, this is how it actually works: Human beings are ends; they are not the means to your ends or anybody else’s ends. Although sexual sadism disorder is recognized as a psychological disorder by some, it is definitely not grounds for an insanity plea. You might want meditate on your guilt. Perhaps, you may eventually be able to feel a modicum of sincere shame and remorse. The dollar bill stops with you boyo!

  • Ericksonian Hypnosis was the straw that stirred the drink.

  • One critical ingredient was left out of this article: Raniere got his start with Amway, the largest and most abusive MLM scam on the planet.

  • So the least ethical ‘man’ is the one to teach the slaves ethics.

    So let’s set the record straight.
    Raniere is a person who is more clever than bright.
    He has no moral compass.
    He is a chubby schlub.
    His only talent is brainwashing people weaker than him

    And Raniere was able to enslave dozens of women because they wanted to be enslaved.

    Ladies, here is some real female empowerment.
    Stand up on your hind legs and fight back.

    Tell Raniere to live on 500 calories per day.
    Tell Raniere that he can’t have sex without your prior permission

    Allison Mack and the women of NXIVM collaborated in their own enslavement.
    And to tell that truth is not misogyny.

    The government won’t protect you.
    You must defend yourselves.

    • “Ladies, here is some real female empowerment.
      Stand up on your hind legs and fight back.”

      You’re f*cking Shakespeare, Shadow.

      Shadowstate aka americangadfly2 on twitter, american_gadfly on reddit, active participant on shadowpeople reddit subgroup, promoter of youtube project on frankreport, which is how we got to know you, lover of Trump, and describer of women as dogs. You’re special.

      Here’s the thing, Shadow, for as shlubby as Keith Raniere is, he’s the one who got all the sex slaves. The ones you dream about.

      On the plus side, your incel community has a vision of women forced to have sex with you! They think women “should be forced by the state to date and have sex with incels that can’t get any women.”

      So you got that going for you. You’ll get lucky yet, Shadow! Not Raniere lucky, but then again he’s a psychopath and you’re just hate-filled crazy.

  • It’s not that easy to recognize. The brainwashing is very subtle. And you notice personality improvements at first. But there’s an undercurrent that pulls you in.

    That’s why we have to stop these groups…

  • Everything in this post is correct. In this sense, NXIVM has similarities to Heaven’s Gate bc everyone would have to ask Do and Ti for guidance.

    In ESP, members would ask Prefect for basic lifestyle decisions such as what job to get. And most NXIVM businesses would fail bc only other ESPians would use them. And, of course, ESPians could not patronize the businesses since everyone was broke due to all money going for classes.

    The kicker is that there was no end to the classes. Krazy Keith and Nefarious Nancy were still creating more classes when VanGrifter was arrested.

    • Honestly, it’s this that makes me truly want to vomit. With the exception of the minors that probably didn’t have any say, the destruction of free will that lead to the slavery and sex is more disgusting than if he was just abusing his position of power. No, he had to distroy minds and lives instead.

      • Thanks! I really want to help others understand. The Cult was very seductive. It was like a paradise. You could ask questions about the world, consciousness, your personality. I was able to get into some very deep conversations about life and into very deep levels of meditation.

        But, the Cult also strips away your personality. So, the question is…is happiness (or the illusion of it) worth it, if the price is your soul?

        And the answer is of course not. But, it’s hard to snap out of the programming. And that’s what the Cult was designed to do. Program us. Innocently. Quietly…

        The frightening part is that Nancy and Keith wanted to create a New World Order – a society within a society. Luckily, they will never be able to do that!

        • Dear Former Nexian,

          Maturity is the capacity to use one’s intelligence without the guidance of another. This is from “What is Enlightenment?” Please, see; Immanuel Kant – wiki quotes.

  • So we can all agree they voted for Hillary right? Only the Liberals would be so weak minded…

  • Sadly…..some people are born to be slaves……it may be that their brain is wired different…..?

    • MMMM….no. You might want to tell that to people who’ve been kidnapped, held at gun point and into forced labor. Maybe you’re just poorly educated?

        • No, I’m thinking of people who literally built this country. They were absolutely forced into slavery. That, however, is not the only form of slavery. Merriam Webster defines slavery as “submission to a dominating influence,” If women like Sarah Edmonson are to be believed, these women were not told that they were going to be slaves. They were led to believe that they would be part of a force for good. According to cult experts, these women were conditioned over time. Try again. Again, you’re clearly not well educated.

    • Yeah, and back in the 18th and 19th century, the natives of West Africa would stand in lines all day to get on the cruise ships that brought them to the Americas. The chains were just for safety so that they couldn’t fall overboard. And since such cruises were quite pricey back in the day, they had to work the fares off over a couple of generations…

  • Did you see: Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief (2015) It is easy to understand how a cult works, even if it seems absurd that human beings allow themselves to be trapped…

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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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083