OCD: Is Karen Unterreiner the unknown ‘high value’ witness against Keith?

Karen Unterreiner

By Orange County Dreams

My extreme curiosity is focused on Karen Unterreiner [KU]. There’s not been one single peep from, or about her during this whole mess, outside of a few quick sightings. She did all the books and the computer cleaning. She knows all the long, sorry history, back to CBI and before. She may in fact now be a “past” member, not having announced that publicly.

If reports are correct, she was duped by and stolen by Keith Allan Raniere while still a teenager. She was then ignored by and discarded by him as she grew older. What loyalty could she possibly have?

Chief enablers of a delightful lad – Keith Alan Raniere – known also as Vanguard. l- Karen Unterreiner, r- [late] Pam Cafritz and below – [late] Barbara Jeske.
Karen Unterreiner’s weight has gone up.

Karen Unterreiner and the late Pamela Carfritz. [Photo copyright FallofNXIVM.com, and as published in the Albany Times Union]. Karen always tried to stay below the radar – although Keith claimed his gigantic brain often set off radar detectors in automobiles – which is why he said he could not drive. Karen predated Pam in luring underage girls to Keith’s bedroom and helped him groom a harem of teens prior to the CBI days. Because the teen girls were too young to drive, Karen picked them up and took them to Keith’s apartment. Then after he was finished, she would drive them home – often just barely making their curfew. She had such a pleasant demeanor that parents of the raped girls never suspected a thing. Such a faithful woman is hard to find. But has her faith faltered in her Vanguard? 
I think a lot of what Kristen Keeffe [KK] would have to say is already in the public court records, vis-a-vis all the lawsuits. We have the recorded phone calls. How do you think KK would stand up under cross examination? The defense would paint her as a monstrous bully, to rival Clare.

Maybe you’re right about Keeffe, but if she cared enough about her child to flee and permanently, successfully disappear, why would she put herself in the spotlight now? Whatever she is, she is not dumb as far as I can tell. There is always the chance that one or more Defendants will be acquitted and she might then have to deal with their vengeance.

KU might in fact have a great deal more to offer in terms of true insider information. Then again, maybe I’m wrong. Pure speculation: Karen may have prepared well for this. Maybe others are afraid of what she knows and the evidence she has.

Oh…that would be COLLATERAL!


The High Rank – the creme de la creme – of a more blissful era: Prefect – Nancy Salzman, with Mark Vicente [now out of NXIVM], Alex Betancourt, Karen Unterreiner, Clare Bronfman, Lauren Salzman and Emiliano Salinas – all wearing their prized sashes.  The colors indicate their exalted rank.
Did Karen light up her heart – via confession?
After several years, Karen got less and less of Studly himself, the august and wonderful Vanguard of Clifton Park, Keith Alan Raniere. Karen was the girl who taught distraught women, who found out that Keith had been lying to them about being monogamous. She, like Pam, taught the unhappy women that you can’t own Keith’s penis and have to share it. In time she got less and less of her connubial-minded master. Above, she is pictured with James ‘Beta Jim’ Del Negro, longtime Raniere stooge.


About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • I had noticed that was m.i.a. and we haven’t had any sightings, etc since at least when her Vanguard was arrested in Mexico. I think she got the first seat on the plea deal bus and took her place around the time KR was arrested.

  • For someone who’s been on the fringes since day one, her lack of presence is bizarre, she has simply vanished . My guess is she turned awhile ago, maybe she even took documentation with her for protection. She’s the only inner circle member rarely mentioned. And every woman out there with an extra pound take offense at this bullshit. It doesn’t even mean your overweight. Overweight to Keith is a pathetic phobia, would be interesting to find out how that started.
    No wonder he creates cancer patients.
    Considering what Karen has done and how she helped Keith rape children I hope the feds were pickier in choosing who to plea with.
    Has she been seen? Does she kayak?

  • Karen’s always been an enigma. She rarely spoke or expressed enough emotion to tell how she really felt about anything. Her existence as a person separate from Keith was entirely negated by most.

    Karen and Keith seemed to have more of a “mother-son” than the “business partners” relationship they claimed they were developing around “Keith’s genius” from the start. I suspected Karen was the genius, if anyone, in reality. Both denied they were ever romantic partners.

    With CBI, some felt sorry for Karen because it seemed she did all the grunt work while Keith got all the glory.

    Even before CBI, Karen was working full time as an insurance actuary supporting Keith in his role of “mentoring” teenage groupies — mostly my sister and a couple of her pals — who convened daily at their townhouse. They’d invade our house too. I walked in a few times to find them wrapped in bedsheets, eating pizza or Mac ‘n Cheese, listening to Pink Floyd in a haze of pot smoke.

    My assumption was that Karen had a bad case of unrequited love for Keith and was biding her time until Keith grew up. Something that never quite happened.

    • Inverted narcissist is how I see her. They both lied – she was his girlfriend back in college (although he was doing the “you’re my one and only” while having sex with others even back then).

      • I’m sure you’re right — did you know them at RPI?

        It was pathetic when they (or Karen put up most of the down payment, I think) bought the townhouse in both their names while Keith was bomfing Gina —at 14, 15, 16, 17 years old and beyond — promising her nothing short of ETERNITY. Literally.

        I tried to use that fact of the townhouse purchase to convince our Mom, Gina, anyone, that Karen must have thought they were nesting together — that Keith was, essentially, a “Bluebeard.”

        But KAREN, herself, wouldn’t back me up. On top of the whole genius “business” thing, she said she’d lost her Dad, Keith lost his Mom; they were “rooming” together to HEAL each other from all that trauma…without the same “sexual healing” Keith so generously heaped on girls close to 10 years younger than he and Karen at the time.

        What’s inverted narcissism, please?

        • inverted narcissist = codependent, self effacing where all their sense of self comes from uplifting their associated narcissist. To stay relevant to their narcissist when they are no longer considered good “supply”, they can turn to providing fresh supply. Her role in supporting his relations with underage girls and convincing other women to accept polygamy on KR’s part falls into that. I would suspect she provided all the $ for the initial townhouse and put his name on it – keep him from leaving her. It doesn’t work when someone with more cash came along to undercut her place.

          Yes – I knew them in college. Sorry for the loss of your sister. It’s a horrible grief to carry that she was used and never had the chance to recover and find her own spirit again. I hope the current legal proceedings will bring you some peace and closure. I am grateful KR and his cohort are being exposed now and whatever the outcome, he will no longer be able to steal people’s lives as easily with his false empathy and “love”. Can’t be a soulmate to anyone if he has no soul of his own to share.

          • Very true. Sometimes I think they put this whole sham together in search of their own lost souls that no amount of money could buy, of course. Amazing how Keith always had a BBD begging to be taken. He’ll probably find some princess pen pal to break him out if Clare doesn’t last or loses her fortune. Thank you for that explanation and your condolences and I hope life’s been good to you so far!

          • This sounds very plausible. We hear so much about narcissm , but perhaps the condition would have less power or traction if it were not for the co-dependents that provide the necessary supply. I imagine that there are more people with this condition, than narcissism. Is it the case that for each narcissist there are several IN’s? simultaneously as well as consecutively?

  • I had wondered that Karen might have flipped. No one had actually seen her, except in brief sightings in months. Not heard about her either. Thanks for putting this together, OCD!

    • Kay:
      This archived story from the Frank Report lists the top members of NXIVM.
      Scroll down and it lists the various sash colors from Gold to Yellow.
      Raniere was so high as the founder that he did not need a sash.

      And the more stripes one has the higher one is in the color.
      So an Orange sash with 3 stripes is higher than an Orange sash with 2 stripes.

      • Keith didn’t wear a sash because he knew how tacky and ridiculous they were. I bet he laughed his ass off in private at how self important the sashwearers were. They also made up a huge number of his patents.
        Someone actually took the time to patent a sash, it’s about the only thing he did that I’ve found amusing.

          • It’s a direct rip-off from Tibetan Buddhism – the “sashes.” The Tibetans traditionally presented bright-colored or white silk scarves to their guests, slipping the gifts over the guests’ heads as they bowed to greet their hosts.

            Holier guests, a Rimpoche or Lama, were always bequeathed the white “Khata’s” symbolizing purity, holiness. (Pronounced “Cot-a” translated from Sanskrit.).

            These days, in the West especially, the white Khata’s are blessed by a high Lama and placed around select worshippers’ necks for the duration of a ceremony or teaching then returned to be reused at the next paid event.

            I remember at one point Keith wanted to use “Chevrons” with the stripes to indicate rank which is straight “Scientology,” not to mention military.

            Gina had an issue with Buddhist spiritual materialism and called for a return of the traditional villager’s bright colored scarves, not just the holy white ones.

            Keith cleverly deemed them “sashes” even though sashes usually means material around some part of the torso not just neck. This was to, I believe, secure the patent and, perhaps, appear less emasculating, more gender neutral in terminology.

            They should have gone with “Lei’s” — Hawaiian garlands if you ask me.

          • Who paid for a sash ?
            There was no charge for the sash.
            Just a big fat lecture about how precious they are and how each one is individually hand-made by very important women in the group.

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.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

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