Heidi debates Raniere, his harem, his limp handshake and other limpness

Heidi Hutchinson

Anonymous wrote in response to a story Heidi Hutchinson wrote,

An anonymous commentor wrote about Keith Raniere:

“I realized he had a Harem one minute into meeting him. His handshake was limp as I’ve heard was his penis. Mentor, guru, father figure, long haired Jesus – not what I saw.

“He was a lying fraud with his army of skinny long haired women love bombing anyone with money at the intensives.

“When he did make appearances for his hour of Vanguard questions and answers, his responses were the same stale, shallow, mumbo-jumbo bull. Not too many deep thoughts coming from that Vanguard brain!! Snore. Zzzzzzz

“You can fool some of the people some of the time. Didn’t fool this person.”

Heidi responded:

“This comment strikes me as an effort to shame those who WERE “fooled” from coming forward because they would then have to face and admit to that reality.

“That’s difficult enough as it is without the likes of you rubbing it in by boasting about how you knew KAR had a harem “one minute after you met him.”

“Lemme guess how you knew. He reeked of Pizza, Hot Sauce and Pussy sans Garlic? Lol.

“This comment represents exactly the kind of psyche-out manipulation tactics Nancy and Keith et al. excelled at which made them very, very slick con artists and able to “fool” so many intelligent, good-hearted, normal people – some at the top of their field.

“Most Nx-ers likely didn’t suspect anything afoul because such abhorrent, aberrant behavior as Keith and Nancy et al. dealt in would never begin to occur to a normal person. How could anyone suspect something they can’t conceive of because they’ve never been exposed to anything like it?

“Not like it might occur to the truly “criminal minded” — or to one who represents such devious minds. That’s why so many were fooled — because of their innocent minds — not because they’re “fools,” otherwise.

“Also, you might want to bone-up on psycho’s — they can “fool” the most sophisticated lie detector tests.

“Finally, since you mention Keith’s alleged limp dick, that’s gotta be the most pathetic sex crime defense I’ve ever heard. Especially in the age of Viagra.

“And how would anyone know if they weren’t already reeled into KAR’s sex lairs to confront it?

“Oh, right, limp handshake, limp dick, no possibility for rape. Got it. Now, there’s a fine tip for sex offenders to dupe girls and boys into thinking they’re safe. Shake softly ye rapists.

“Hey, who knows, maybe the limp dick defense will become as infamous as the “Twinkie Defense” some day.”

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • I think becoming involved in a cult is similar to becoming involved in any abusive relationship. Once one wakes up to what the abusive partner is doing and leaves the abusive marriage, that person will be able to look back and recognize the red flags that were present at the start of the relationship, but were ignored.

    To avoid entering into another abusive situation, that person needs to understand why they ignored those red flags. There will be several factors involved, and self-esteem does play a large part. Usually those who become involved in an abusive relationship had abusive parents, and were therefore unable to recognize the behaviours as abusive, since abuse was their norm.

    The other factor to consider is the nature of abusive people, (which always follows a sort of blueprint.) Abusive people will be drawn to those who are empathetic and will use that empathy to play on their sympathy and draw them in. Then the abusive person will shift to a repeat cycle of alternating abusive episodes with hoovering their victims back. This will also involve gaslighting the victim, so that they cant understand what is really happening.

    The victim is left unable to trust their own perceptions due to the constant gaslighting. The victim will also be able to still see the abuser’s good points (as these abusive people are just like Jekyll and Hyde) so that makes it difficult to leave.

    • So true Flowers. It really is like an abusive relationship or dynamic. I think we all have experienced the same to different degrees. I’ll be turning 60 pretty soon and can say with certainty that we all become victims at one point in our lives.

      On a more personal note, what drew you to this forum? You don’t have to share by all means, but it would be interesting to know more about what keeps this forum current / relevant to the times we are loving in now.

      • Tk
        A group of people started harassing me a few year ago, rather secretly at first. As things continued , I realized this was not a series of random events, and I started investigating what was happening. I believe these people are part of a cult (of sorts) and I was looking for information on the topic, which was how I stumbled upon the NXIVM story.

        I’ve posted here, off and on, since fall 2017. It appears as though some of these harassers started posting here a few months ago….so I have continued to follow this forum.

  • Spot on H.

    “Not like it might occur to the truly “criminal minded” — or to one who represents such devious minds. That’s why so many were fooled — because of their innocent minds — not because they’re “fools,” otherwise.

    If it wasn’t for the innocent, the trusting and the blithe, these folk couldn’t operate. Their whole raison d’être is to corrupt and exploit the unknowing. If you’ve avoided becoming the mark of any such forces (I certainly haven’t) then good for you. Have mercy. No need to be smug about it.

  • A hand shake tells us much about the person without having to speak a word. Ever wonder why so many cultures use it as an initial greeting??

    Body language is another form of unspoken communication that tells us much about the person or people interacting. Thus the harem in one minute. You had to be blind not to see it!

    Do not fault someone for their skills in this form of intelligence. It in no way diminishes others but simply points out what someone can see and understand about others.

    Yes, I met many accomplished people at Nxium. Perhaps they didn’t have these skills. It in no way diminishes their accomplishments and successes in their livess.

    All I know is that from the very first handshake Keith felt exposed as I brought up the topic of Physics at the line and handshake that formed at the end of each meeting. I felt it in his hand and saw it in his eyes and facial expression.
    It was a gut feeling and I always listen to it.

    Don’t take offense Heidi. Be open to the experience of others. You might learn a new skill!

    • It could be a confidence or self esteem issue. The question is repeatedly asked “ how could anyone fall for this…”?
      It could be in relation to a cult, an mlm or any scam or con artist. I’ve gotten some explanations but none I could relate to. My intent was never to insult but it’s received that way many times. That reaction in of itself could be a part of being susceptible to a cult or mlm. Open minded to a fault ?
      Cynical and self confident breeding vulnerability?

      In today’s climate there seems to be much thinking in terms of black and white, for or against, pro and con. You can be a hater or a fanboy. People refuse to accept you can support someone about an opinion without condoning everything they’ve ever said or done. We’ll discard all accomplishments based on a quote or something done by an individual or group. Throwing away the good with the bad I’ve said many times few heroes are without their skeletons. How do you find an infallible hero?
      I’d just try to balance the scales of good and bad or at least try to do more good We are only human just like the people we try emulate.

      • Good comment, Mitch. I believe your “balance point,” for lack of a better phrase, may be set or skewed differently — as you suggest. Those of us who know the extremes on the side of the evil we’re confronting know a different midpoint, or balance point if you will. How far the injustice has already gone and what opposing weight is required to achieve any balance or fairness in this case.

        There is NOTHING “good” in NXIVM or ANY of its “tech.”

        Even pure hearts who naively imagined some good might come of their joint efforts and gleaned wisdom from some stolen philosophies or practices were conned and used. I’m sure they’re hurting the most now. I’m sure they’re also most susceptible to “denial” and the “cognitive dissonance” Keith actually BOASTED about or threatened would befall anyone who dared break out from under the NX spell. Please be mindful.

    • Not taking offense just trying to encourage commentors to be aware of the effects their words may have on others, if your’re not deliberately trying to achieve any effect as some most definitely are.

      What happened to the ESPian handshake? My sister and pals were working on a secret ESP handshake greeting. Is that no longer in use? What years were you involved?

      • It was the ESP handshake! Early 2000’s. For about 4 years, always thinking the bowing the phony titles were ridiculous.
        My attitude always was to take what was good and leave the rest at the door.
        I also realized they were selling other programs that were repackaged as Keith’s Tech Patent Pending haha
        I also found out early on that all his patent pendings were for gaming and other frivolities!
        His concert level piano playing was a joke more like the piano playing of a grade school child taking piano lessons. I do have the advantage of having friend and family members that are professional musicians in NYC members of famous orchestras.

        That being said I had many signs that Keith was a fraud.

        • You are oh so brilliant Mr. Anon. For the entire 4 yrs you were involved, you knew it was a fraud, huh? Did you ever have Keith teach you how to handshake? Cause he did that.
          Whether the framing of your experience is true or not, GTFO and go look for a high horse to ride.

  • Never underestimate the power and pull of being in a group of people and wanting to fit in. Cult members don’t join because it’s a cult- it’s because they’re given something in that group of people that they don’t get elsewhere. Shaming someone for this is stupid and does much more damage than good.

    • Insightful comment on a wonderful editorial. Thank you to both of you. This is something some people may never understand how it happens. It’s happening every single day as the most trusting souls are looking to belong and searching for acceptance. Too often these are the people hurt by the ones they believed would care for them.

  • Only fools fall for absurdities like ESP. The moment they told me AKR was a super human, which was the first thing I was told, I bursted out into laugh.

  • Regardless of Keith’s limp dick status, he used his problem solving abilities to remedy that situation.

    According to Frank Parlato, when Keith was presented with the problem of a flaccid dick inhibiting his ability to engage in coitus, he quickly invented a new ‘tech’ to fix the issue.

    According to Frank, this new tech is called the ‘tune up’ and it goes something like this…

    a) Keith eats a woman’s pussy using his filthy tongue and bad breath, while forgoing full coitus.

    b) Said woman pretends to orgasm for Keith.

    c) Keith then positions himself over the woman’s chest and proceeds to use high speed masturbation to spew his boy-batter on said woman’s titties, where he apparently struggles to spew out his man-milk from that ancient, flaccid and semi-dormant volcano.

    Fortunately for the prosecution, this new ‘tech’ amounts to sexual assault just as much as full coitus does.

    I’m just glad these poor women didn’t have to taste his boy-batter. Keith’s diet is foul and I have no doubt that his rotten tasting semen would make any woman retch their guts out.

    Still you gotta give props to Keith for inventing this new ‘tech’. Like the old saying goes, necessity is the mother of invention.

  • Heidi

    Your response rings of truth and sensibility. Most people who attended Nx were good, honest and intelligent people. No one could know the real truth below the surface as most approached Nx with hopeful expectations and were lured in by it’s pseudo-scientific research and claims. I’m very glad you are championing those who were taken in and encouraging those to come forward.

    I wonder why I didn’t attend longer than the initial 5 days in 1998/99? Time was a factor and I also felt I had already gotten what I needed to develop a totally new aspect to my career.

    Yet, in the back of my mind there were concerns about Nx. I quickly sensed they were marketers of products they did not develop themselves. I had previously done the EST training, the Landmark Forum and was familiar with NLP, the influence of Socrates upon the development of Rational-Emotive Therapy and Cognitive-Behavioral Psychology so I quickly recognized the parts that Raniere and Salzman had “borrowed” from those technologies. Though I admired how they put it all together into a nifty package I also recognized what they were selling was not original as they claimed. Furthermore, I didn’t believe in the concept of “the world’s smartest man” as such a thing simply does not exist; all intelligence is relative to social and environmental contexts and can’t be measured by abstract test means. I put up with their claims for 5 days because I wanted to benefit from what Nx had to give to me.

    Long story short, I thought they had something to give but I didn’t trust them completely. I also never suspected they would become the criminals that they were: a MLM marketing scheme that only enriched those at the top and kept most dependent and poor; rape, sexual scandals and abuse; legal harassment of dissidents; collecting blackmail material; money laundering, tax evasion and other financial crimes.

  • “This comment strikes me as an effort to shame those who WERE “fooled” from coming forward because they would then have to face and admit to that reality.”

    Well said Heidi. Not sure what the point of the person who discounts your story is, but it appears as if they just want to argue with you and put you down for the sake of arguing. There are always going to be naysayers. Keep the posts coming!

  • Apparently, Dennis K. Burke Inc. sells oil, and grease. Maybe a little grease could help the Vanguard with these “problems”?

  • I get the same types of egotisical comments about being fooled by Amway’s scam, one of 10s of millions over the years. My answer is always the same, it’s a slow boil – they build trust over time, and they don’t need the techniques to work on everybody in order to scam enough people to make money.

    It’s not like they flop Raniere’s wanger into a new recruit’s hand on day one. Most people don’t even see him, let alone shake his hand, until they’ve been in for a while.

    The difference is that hardly anybody is concerned about other MLM scams to do anything about it, even though several magnitudes (that means several factors of 10 for those from Rio Linda, as Rush Limbaugh would say: https://www.rushlimbaugh.com/daily/2007/11/30/rio_linda_explained_for_those_in_rio_linda/) more people are scammed by MLMs other than NXIVM.

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.” Parlato was also 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 premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

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


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