Judge Dismisses Lawsuit Against MDC – But Allows For Reinstatement If Inmates Are Named As Plaintiffs

The Metropolitan Detention Center

Will The Vanguard step up on behalf of his fellow prisoners?

Readers of Frank Report are familiar with the lawsuit that was brought by the Federal Defenders of New York after most of the prisoners at the Metropolitan Detention Center (MDC) in Brooklyn, NY went without heat and electricity – and without visits from family members, friends and attorneys – for more than a week back in January.

At least one inmate, Keith Alan Raniere AKA The Vanguard, attempted to use the problems at MDC to his own advantage as he pushed to be released on bail while he awaits trial on a variety of federal charges.

Of course, Raniere’s attempt failed – and he was ordered to remain at MDC until his trial starts on April 29th.

But now, Raniere has an opportunity to act as the humanitarian he claims to be – and to step up on behalf of all the prisoners who are housed at MDC.

That’s because U.S. District Court Judge Margo K. Brodie, who is presiding over the MDC lawsuit, has ruled that the Federal Defenders of New York – which is a nonprofit organization that provides legal representation for indigent defendants – does not have standing to pursue the lawsuit.

So we don’t get all bogged down in legal mumbo-jumbo, let’s see what USLegal.com has to say about the term “standing”:

“Standing is the ability of a party to bring a lawsuit in court based upon their stake in the outcome. A party seeking to demonstrate standing must be able to show the court sufficient connection to and harm from the law or action challenged. Otherwise, the court will rule that you ‘lack standing’ to bring the suit and dismiss your case”.

OK…Easy Peasy…What Judge Brodie said in her ruling is that the Federal Defenders of New York is not the right entity to assert claims on behalf of the inmates at MDC.

Her actual words were: “Here, I think the government is right, that as to the Sixth Amendment, it is the right of the accused and not the lawyers. While the inmates have the right to bring this particular claim, the Federal Defenders don’t.”

And so, rather than completely dismissing the lawsuit, Judge Brodie has given the Federal Defenders of New York permission to amend it by adding the names of some MDC inmates who were personally disaffected by the power outage at MDC.

Which leads us back to The Vanguard.

Is there any inmate other than The Vanguard who is better suited to stand up for the rights of all the inmates there?

According to his still-active website, www.keithraniere.com, “Keith Raniere has devoted his life to studying the complex issues that face our modern world, and to developing tools to enhance the human experience through community, social action, science, technology and education”.

Sounds like just the guy to stand before Judge Brodie – and convince her that all the inmates at MDC should be allowed to leave that hell-hole.

Just imagine the greetings he would receive after he wowed Judge Brodie with his “logic”, his “integrative solutions”, his “problem-solving ability”, his “147 international patents including 47 in the United States, in a variety of technical fields” – and got her to release all the inmates there.

Chants of “Vanguard, Vanguard, Vanguard…Our Hero…Our Savior…Our Vanguard” would resonate throughout the prison complex.

Which is so much nicer than the taunts of “Crybaby Jane”…“Gushing Guru”…“Keith Manson” and “Fuck Boy” that currently get shouted whenever Raniere enters a room at MDC.

So, here we have the perfect opportunity for Raniere to star and shine – and to prove to one and all that he is a true humanitarian.

And he won’t even have to tap into Clare Bronfman’s Legal Defense Trust Fund to make an appearance in the pending lawsuit because the Federal Defenders of New York are being represented by Sean Hecker, Jenna M. Dabbs, Joshua Matz Derek Wikstrom, Matthew J. Craig and Benjamin D. White of Kaplan Hecker & Fink LLP.

And in an ironic twist of fate, the Federal Bureau of Prisons is being defended by Seth D. Eichenholtz, Sean P. Greene and Clayton P. Solomon – all of whom work for – you guessed it – the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York.

Viva La Vanguardia!


For those Frank Report readers that want to keep track of what happens next in this case, its proper citation is Federal Defenders of New York v. Federal Bureau of Prisons, Case No. 1:19-cv-00660, in the Eastern District of New York.

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K.R. Claviger

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4 years ago

So much for the competence of the Federal Defenders. Standing is covered in Lawyering 101. Raniere & Co. better hope the current lawyers stay after the money runs out, although the current lawyers could suddenly turn into being as stupid as a Federal Defender when that happens.

4 years ago

Great article krclaviger! And funny to boot. But, I have a feeling Keith will do nothing but sit on his hands feeling sorry for himself. Humanitarian?! No. More like selfishatarian. He’s a pile of shit unless it serves his selfish wants.

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.

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