50 traits of a cult leader – how many fit Raniere? [with 50 photos of Vanguard]
March 1, 2019
A reader writes, “I came across this fascinating list of traits of the male cult leader on a website (50 items). It’s more specific than most and fits KAR entirely.”
1. Is preoccupied with fantasies of unlimited success, power, or brilliance.
2. Demands blind unquestioned obedience.
3. Requires excessive admiration from followers and outsiders.
4. Has a sense of entitlement – expecting to be treated special at all times.
5. Is exploitative of others by asking for their money or that of relatives putting others at financial risk.
6. Is arrogant and haughty in his behavior or attitude.
7. Has an exaggerated sense of power (entitlement) that allows him to bend rules and break laws.
8. Takes sexual advantage of members of his sect or cult.
9 Sex is a requirement with adults and sub adults as part of a ritual or rite.
10. Is hypersensitive to how he is seen or perceived by others.
11. Publicly devalues others as being inferior, incapable, or not worthy.
12. Makes members confess their sins or faults publicly subjecting them to ridicule or humiliation while revealing exploitable weaknesses of the penitent.
13. Has ignored the needs of others, including biological, physical, emotional, and financial needs.
14. Is frequently boastful of accomplishments.
15. Needs to be the center of attention and does things to distract others to ensure that he or she is being noticed by arriving late, using exotic clothing, overdramatic speech or by making theatrical entrances.
16. Has insisted in always having the best of anything (house, car, jewelry, clothes) even when others are relegated to lesser facilities, amenities, or clothing.
17. Doesn’t seem to listen well to the needs of others, communication is usually one-way in the form of dictates.
18. Haughtiness, grandiosity, and the need to be controlling is part of his personality.
19. Behaves as though people are objects to be used, manipulated or exploited for personal gain.
20. When criticized, he tends to lash out not just with anger but with rage.
21. Anyone who criticizes or questions him is called an “enemy.”
22. Refers to non-members or non-believers in him as “the enemy.”
23. Acts imperious at times, not wishing to know what others think or desire.
24. Believes himself to be omnipotent.
25. Has “magical” answers or solutions to problems.
26. Is superficially charming.
27. Habitually puts down others as inferior and only he is superior.
28. Has a certain coldness or aloofness about him that makes others worry about who this person really is and or whether they really know him.
29. Is deeply offended when there are perceived signs of boredom, being ignored or of being slighted.
30. Treats others with contempt and arrogance.
31. Is constantly assessing for those who are a threat or those who revere him.
32. The word “I” dominates his conversations. He is oblivious to how often he references himself.
33. Hates to be embarrassed or fail publicly – when he does he acts out with rage.
34. Doesn’t seem to feel guilty for anything he has done wrong nor does he apologize for his actions.
35. Believes he possesses the answers and solutions to world problems.
36. Believes himself to be a deity or a chosen representative of a deity.
37. Rigid, unbending, or insensitive describes how this person thinks.
38. Tries to control others in what they do, read, view, or think.
39. Has isolated members of his sect from contact with family or outside world.
40. Monitors and or restricts contact with family or outsiders.
41. Works the least but demands the most.
42. Has stated that he is “destined for greatness” or that he will be “martyred.”
43. Seems to be highly dependent of tribute and adoration and will often fish for compliments.
44. Uses enforcers or sycophants to ensure compliance from members or believers.
45. Sees self as “unstoppable” perhaps has even said so.
46. Conceals background or family which would disclose how plain or ordinary he is.
47. Doesn’t think there is anything wrong with himself – in fact, sees himself as perfection or “blessed.”
48. Has taken away the freedom to leave, to travel, to pursue life, and liberty of followers.
49. Has isolated the group physically (moved to a remote area) so as to not be observed.
50. He has a grandiose idea of who he is and what he can achieve.
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 helping 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 featured prominently on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and acted as lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” 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, Gretchen Carlson Show, Dr. Oz and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato scored the first ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest, which many credit Parlato with engineering. He will be featured in an upcoming episode of American Greed.