Raniere had handbook on torture in his library; imposed tortures on women

Among the items seized by the FBI at Keith Raniere’s “Library” at 8 Hale Drive was a book called “The History of Torture”. If the author’s name has been reported, I don’t recall seeing it. As a matter of fact, there have been several books published with the same title.

There is the History of Torture by Daniel Mannix, published 2014.

The History of Torture by [Mannix, Daniel P]


There is the History of Torture Throughout the Ages by George Ryley Scott, published 2013.

Cover art


And the History of Torture by Brian Innes, published 2017.

Hardcover The History of Torture Book


It’s ironic – and telling – that Raniere kept a book on the history of torture; that branding was considered a traditional means of torture and for the marking of slaves; and that he actually employed branding on his own slaves.

In George Ryley Scott’s book, there are sufficient references to branding that one might suspect Raniere was inspired by the ancients.

In Chapter XVIII, we read about “Burning at the Stake, Branding, Boiling to Death, the Fire-pan and the Brazen Bull”. In another part, we read about branding, flaying, breaking of limbs, and amputation.

Under the subheading “Torture in the Guise of Punishment”, we learn branding and mutilation were common minor punishments.

Also from the book:

“Slaves were branded both for the purpose of claiming ownership in the case of escape, and as a method of punishment.”

The application of a red-hot iron to the breasts of the female slave was sometimes employed.

Raniere used the red-hot iron on the pubic region which is more discreet.

In England, branding was not abolished until 1834. In Russia, convicts were branded as recently as 1863.

Raniere branded women in 2017, a full 154 years later.

In ancient Rome, Caligula would brand people for crimes which he deemed not sufficiently severe to merit execution.  He also confined people in an iron cage so narrow and low that the prisoner had to adopt a quadrupedal position.

It is said Raniere imposed the caging of DOS women for certain offenses.

Raniere’s defenders might argue that he did not go to the extremes mentioned in the book on torture. He is not known to have boiled anyone alive, flayed or fried any persons.

And it is not that Raniere invented the idea of branding slaves either. He had plenty of precedents. In England, branding was at one time widely practiced. The irons employed bore marks or letters of various kinds, for use according to the nature of the offense.

Raniere chose the letters of his own initials for his branding.

In merry old England, the inside of the left hand was chosen as the place upon which to apply the hot iron. Rogues and vagabonds were branded with the letter R; thieves with the letter T; and those guilty of manslaughter with M.

The objects of branding were twofold. There was the punishment effected by the red-hot metal being impinged, none too gently, on the skin; and the marking of the criminal so that if he was apprehended again for some later offense or other, the court would be aware of his previous crime.

Raniere’s more discreet branding – on the pubic region of the female – was a wise selection. It would not be as visible as if it would be on the left hand – but still serve the important purpose of informing any male who might trespass on his property – sexually – that he was the true and rightful owner of the woman.

Of course, even here Raniere borrowed – at least in part from the ancients.

In ancient times, branding was sometimes inflicted on sensitive spots. For shop-lifting, the penalty was burning on the cheek under the eye. For blasphemy, the tongue was bored through with a red-hot skewer; in a case of perjury, part branding on the forehead with the letter P was employed.

In France, for all kinds of minor offenses, the punishment was branding with the fleur-de-lis.

In Russia, branding was widely practiced in the fifteenth, sixteenth, seventeenth and eighteenth centuries.

Raniere kept the practice alive into the 21st century.

While the ancients also employed scourging, whipping, and the pillory where the ears were cut off, Raniere settled on branding as the best and soundest method. As he is one of the top three problem solvers in the world, we can only assume his judgment was sound on this matter.

Due to the exposure of his branding practices and his untimely arrest, Raniere never got to advance to some of the other ideas found in the book.  And at least several of them might have been right up his alley. In Russia, in addition to branding on the forehead, “crowning” with barbed wire, rolling in a nail-studded barrel, scalding with boiling water, injecting powdered glass into the rectum, holding lighted candles to the genitals, were a few out of a miscellany of tortures commonly used.

In India, there were the stocks, forcibly bending back the fingers, immersion in water to the point of drowning, dipping the hands and feet in boiling oil, and other equally enjoyable punishments – for the torturer.

If Raniere had been free a little longer- and he would have been, had it been up to the US Attorneys Offices in the Western and Northern Districts of New York – he might have had the chance to utilize these exciting methods.

He did get to use some.

In India, in addition to branding — deprivation of sleep and starvation were among the torments used.

It is well known that Raniere employed sleep deprivation and starvation as part of the constant torture he imposed on all women.

But perhaps we shall never know what the man was capable of doing. In the case of Keith Alan Raniere, it seems he was only getting started when he was stopped. Consequently, he never got to use the rack, or the wheel or other tortures used in Europe by the Inquisition.

Had Raniere not been stopped by the exposure in the Frank Report, followed by worldwide publicity in the New York Times – that led to an investigation by the US Attorney’s Office in the Eastern District of New York, his subsequent flight to Mexico and his arrest and detention, who knows what other methods of torture he might have employed in time?

He had the handbook, the money, the slaves and, evidently, the will to do it.





About the author

Frank Parlato


Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional)

  • What was next , the collateral the branding the tortures already in place, mainly sex with Rainere. A group of women trusted long time friends to join a sorority of women, gave heinous collateral, nude pictures are still an embarrassment to many of us. Lies or truths to ruin family members? Giving up your rights to assets such as your home.then the final step in this group of empowered women a tattoo to bind you as a group. Instead being held down for 20 to 40 minutes while an incompetent Dr branded you, a brand that could have been painless and quick. Someone got off on the pain this
    caused. The smell of burning flesh causing others in the room to cover their face. The fear of What have I gotten myself into? Still not knowing that Vanguard was in charge, behind the scenes of this only women’s group, not yet knowing sex with strangers might be required of you. Each step aware of the collateral you have been talked into giving. And who it might hurt, will your marriage make it through this one? How do I get out of this your thinking.
    Does anyone believe this was the end of KR and groupies plans for them?
    No Keith was already looking for new inventive ways to torture the women who trusted him and those to afraid to leave. These people were planning much worse, with unlimited funding and no one to stop them. These are the inhumane crimes. The crimes the feds really want them for are the money scams, but let’s take what we get as long as they are locked up right

    • Since Ranier didn’t have a Singapore or other Slave trained in branding art, did you ever consider that Dr. was trying to make sure the Least damage and infection was done? Or perhaps you would rather Allison or Keith inflicted the pain?

  • Given the extreme ideas in Vanguard’s torture books and the starvation, forced labor and sleep deprivation already in place, one would expect that Pillory And Rack Empowerment was up next. Maybe some modified tar and feather humiliation for unruly skaves. Who knows where this would have gone?

    • Maybe to some. But according to others they were lied to about its nature (small tatoo vs larger brand), were not allowed anything to numb the pain, were not allowed to back out, and the branding was done in a slow, painful manner instead of quick and clean. All the points to the desire to cause harm.

      Now assuming you aren’t a troll I welcome you and anyone else with inside knowledge to message my sockpuppet tumblr, curiouserandcuriest, to talk in more detail about your beliefs, I’m genuinely curious and will attempt to withhold judgment.

  • Every word of this is true.

    Kristin knows how often Keith rented the 1980 movie, “Caligula” for date nights. Gina described Keith as “sadistic” …jokingly, I wrongly assumed.

    Powerful post, powerfully written.

  • NXIVM is ultimately a Sado-masochistic cult.
    And Sado-masochism is less about sex than exercising power over others.

    Women who could not lose weight were forced to wear plastic cow udders as a mark of shame.
    Other women were forced to drink from mud puddles.
    Other women were told to run head on into trees.
    One V Day Raniere had a punching contest where the women would see how hard they could punch each other.

    One of the issues that most disturbed Catherine Oxenberg was Allison Mack’s idolization of Joan of Arc who was burned at the stake and Mack’s insistence on imposing penance or punishment for sins.
    Oxenberg feared for her daughter’s life in the hands of the maniac Mack.

    Mack’s posting of a Joan of Arc painting.

    “Every man gives his life for what he believes. Every woman gives her life for what she believes. Sometimes people believe in little or nothing, and so they give their lives to little or nothing. One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it…and then it’s gone. But to surrender who you are and to live without belief is more terrible than dying – even more terrible than dying young.” #joanofarc #greatestheros #belikeyou #standforwhatyounknowistrue

    Raniere could not have caused such havoc without willing followers.

    • Wow! Appreciate this real gold nugget, Shadow. I’d say the sickos had Allison primed to “give her life for what she believes in” no matter how terribly young she might be when required to!

      Joan of fucking Arc. No wonder Allison was sleep walking around screaming at night — according to some who stayed with her.

      Do wish you’d consider taking a kinder view of her, sometimes.

      • Do wish you’d consider taking a kinder view of her, sometimes.


        How did Allison Mack earn the title Pimp Mack?
        Why the slaves under Allison Mack call her the vicious name “Pimp Mack”?

        Who punished disobedient slaves?
        Lazy indolent Raniere was too busy being serviced by the slave women for such mundane jobs.
        So it fell to Raniere’s enthusiastic servant Allison Mack to mete out punishments to disobedient slaves.
        And Allison Mack did so with zeal and eager energy.

        Had Raniere not been arrested Allison Mack would still be branding and enslaving women.

        Allison Mack branded the women.
        Allison Mack paddled the women.
        Allison Mack made overweight women wear cow udders.

        It is not enough to [reach female empowerment.
        One must also practice female empowerment.

        If anything I am not hard enough on Allison Mack.

    • Misattributed Edit
      One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it, and then it’s gone. But to surrender what you are, and live without belief – that’s more terrible than dying – more terrible than dying young.
      Quote is often seen as attributed to Joan of Arc. However, the quote is actually a line from a script for the 1946 Broadway play entitlMisattributed Edit
      One life is all we have, and we live it as we believe in living it, and then it’s gone. But to surrender what you are, and live without belief – that’s more terrible than dying – more terrible than dying young.
      Quote is often seen as attributed to Joan of Arc. However, the quote is actually a line from a script for the 1946 Broadway play entitled Joan of Lorraine by Maxwell Anderson which later become a movie in 1948 entitled Joan of Arc directed by Victor Fleming and starring Ingrid Bergman. The line is spoken by Joan of Arc to Bishop Pierre Cauchon in Act II, Scene III of the play. (Script) Pierre Cauchon in Act II, Scene III of the play. (Script)

      Above is from Wikipedia. The quote Allison attributes to “Joan of Arc” is from a MOVIE and DISTORTED at that.

      The real Saint Joan of Arc did not set out to be a Martyr.

      She repeatedly “heard voices” she attributed to an Angel of God telling her to lead the King of France into battle. After winning one, Joan wanted to return home but became a war poster child for France. She was captured by the English after her French battalion accidentally shut her out of the City walls and burned at the stake as a witch or heretic after withdrawing a forced confession. Her big sin all agreed on was that she wore men’s clothes.

      SHE WAS NOT A MARTYR, DID NOT CHOOSE TO BE A MARTYR OR DIE FOR HER BELIEFS — JOAN OF ARC was obeying voices in her head from the age of 13 that she believed were from GOD’s messenger. The voices said “fight” for France (and wear men’s clothes, apparently.) The voices did not deliver the command for Martyrdom for her beliefs.

      I just wonder how many times Raniere or Clare or Lauren or Porter et. al. had Allison watching that movie to memorize the fictional martyr speech for her “role” as NXIVM’s martyr.

      • These Nxivm idiots are the least genuine , least ethical people. They are just to stupid to know it. Thanks for pointing out the truth of Allison’s favorite quote.

  • This would indicate that the idea to do branding was indeed Keith’s idea and not Allison’s. However, some tattoo parlors will also do skin branding. My theory is that the way Keith convinced Allison and other DOS women to go along with this was by pitching the branding as something more “exotic” than cruel. The person in the below video uses a cauterizing pen, but says that if it is done right, the branding should not hurt. I suspect that Dr. Danielle Roberts did not know how to perform this body modification correctly. This would explain why it was painful to have done, and also the infections around the branded area that followed.

      • Even when they’re conditioned to believe otherwise over months of NPL and are afraid possibly for their families life, younger sisters and brothers, etc.?

        • Who knows the real damage caused by NLP. , but the moment your afraid for family and friends your only option is to go to the feds for protection and spill the beans. What’s left to lose at that point?

    • That’s definitely not a 30 or 40 minute procedure. I agree that would have been how this asshole presented the procedure.

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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.

IMDb — Frank Parlato


Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com