“Shock & Awe” is a military tactic that involves the use of overwhelming power – and spectacular displays of force – to paralyze the enemy’s perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight.
Its technical name in military jargon is “rapid dominance”.
Regardless of what it’s called, it’s likely going to be the prosecution’s basic tactic in the upcoming trial of the remaining defendants in the case of the U.S. v. Raniere Et Al.
As of right now, the remaining defendants are Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman, and Kathy Russell – but many believe that Russell will take a plea deal within the next few days.
Jury selection for the trial will begin on Monday, April 22nd – and will likely be completed by mid-week.
The trial itself, which will start on Tuesday, May 7th, will begin with an “Opening Statement” by the prosecution.
That will likely be followed by an “Opening Statement” by one attorney for each defendant (The defense attorneys do have the option to delay their “Opening Statement” until after the prosecution has finished the presentation of what’s called its “Case-in-Chief”).
So, let’s just imagine that we’re members of the jury – and try to think how we’re going to feel after we hear – and see – evidence of some or all of the following crimes and events:
(1) That Raniere made all sorts of bogus claims about his intelligence, his athletic abilities, his musical talents, etc. – almost none of which were true. Some examples of these claims are as follows:
– He could construct full sentences – and ask questions – by the age of 1.
– He was able to read by the age of 2
– He was East Coast Judo Champion at age 11.
– He tied the New York State record for the 100-yard dash
– He excelled in numerous other sports including cycling, diving, ping-pong, skiing, softball, skiing, and tennis.
– He taught himself to play piano at the concert level by the age of 12.
– He taught himself high school mathematics in 19-hours at the age of 12.
– He was proficient in third-year college mathematics – and was a professional computer programmer – by age 13.
– He entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at age 16 – and excelled as a student (His actual GPA was 2.26).
(2) That Raniere’s first business venture, Consumer’s Buyline, Inc. (CBI), was forced to close after investigations by 23 State Attorneys General and 2 federal agencies concluded that it was a pyramid scheme.
(3) That Raniere reneged on numerous financial obligations related to CBI – including his agreement to pay $40,000 to the State of New York.
(4) That Raniere has claimed to be a renunciate since the collapse of CBI – and has not reported any income – nor filed any tax returns – in more than 20 years.
(5) That NXIVM was structured – and operated – the same way that CBI was structured and operated.
(6) That Raniere stole much of what he called NXIVM’s “technology” from Scientology and the writings of Ayn Rand.
(7) That NXIVM claimed its “technology” was “patent pending” even after its patent application had been formally denied in 2003.
(8) That NXIVM spent 14-years suing Rick Ross, a cult de-programmer who published some of its “technology” in an effort to show that NXIVM was, in fact, a cult.
(9) That Raniere lost $68,827,000 of other people’s money in commodities trades that were based on a “patent-pending algorithm” that he had developed – and then blamed those losses on (a) Edgar Bronfman, Sr.; (b) the commodities broker who placed Raniere’s orders; and (c) the people’s inappropriate attachment to money.
(10) That Raniere lost more than $26 million of other people’s money [Bronfman sisters] on a real estate venture in Los Angeles, CA – and then blamed the losses on the developer who was carrying out Raniere’s directives.
(11) That Raniere preached that sex with underage girls was “normal” – and, in fact, engaged in sexual relations with girls as young as 12.
(12) That Raniere possessed pornographic images of a 15-year old girl.
(13) That Raniere was once named in a rape complaint.
(14) That Raniere preached that women are inferior to men, that men are naturally inclined to have multiple sexual partners while women are meant to be monogamous, and that women who had been sexually assaulted are likely to blame for what happened to them.
(15) That Raniere preached that rape is the only way certain women could have an orgasm.
(16) That Raniere maintained a harem of 20-30 members – and routinely replaced older members with younger women.
(17) That Raniere had several women recruit – and groom – new sexual partners for him on a regular basis.
(18) That Raniere required women in his harem to maintain diets of 500-800 calories per day.
(19) That Raniere required women in his harem to never again have sexual relations with any other man.
(20) That Raniere required women in his harem to never trim their pubic areas.
(21) That Raniere required women in his harem to pose for multiple nude photos in certain positions that he found appealing.
(22) That Raniere designed treatment plans for two members of his harem who had been diagnosed with cancer – and both of them died prematurely. After their deaths, Raniere continued to collect checks that had been issued in one of their names – and to use an American Express card of the other deceased woman.
(23) That Raniere created a secret organization named Dominos Obsequious Sororium (DOS) – which loosely translates to “Master Over The Slave Women”.
(24) That members of DOS were required to turn over “collateral” that would be released if they ever left the organization or revealed its existence to anyone (Examples of this “collateral” include very graphic nude photographs, embarrassing admissions, and deeds to property).
(25) That members of DOS were required to be a slave to their designated Master – and then directed to recruit their own slaves.
(26) That members of DOS were required to have Raniere’s initials branded onto their pubic area via a cauterizing pen (The branding process took 20-30 minutes and was done without any sort of local anesthetic).
(27) That members of DOS were required to recruit other women to be Raniere’s “fuck toys”.
(28) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to commit identity theft by hacking into the computers of non-members and stealing passwords and other personal information.
(29) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to file false criminal charges against people who left NXIVM.
(30) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to alter company records for use in a lawsuit.
(31) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to participate in illegal schemes to disguise donations from the company y to elected officials and candidates for office.
(32) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to bring undeclared cash in from Mexico so that the company would not have to report it as income.
(33) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to engage in various illegal activities in order to bring non-citizens into the U.S.
(34) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to enter into “sham marriages” with non-citizens so that the non-citizens could remain in the U.S.
(35) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to force a young woman to be restrained in a room for more than 18 months because she developed romantic feelings towards another man – and refused to become a member of his harem.
(36) That NXIVM created numerous affiliated companies in order to generate more income – but never filed tax returns for any of these companies. This included, but is not limited to, the following companies:
– A Cappella Innovations
– Applied Principles Inc
– Axiology Inc
– Coalition Of Ethicists
– Ethical Humanitarian Foundation
– Ethical Science Foundation
– Ethical Value Exchange LLC
– Executive Success Program
– General Service Payments
– Knife Of Aristotle
– My Images INC
– Nxian Corporation
– NXIVM Corporation
– NXIVM Properties LLC
– One Asian LLC
– Principled Products
– Rainbow Cultural Gardens LLC
– Rational Inquiry
– Society Of Protectors
– The Knife
– Village Hall LLC
– World Ethical Consortium
(37) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to recruit people to work for the company by offering them lucrative positions – and to then inform them, after the fact, that they were not being paid everything they were owed because they had “issues” that needed to be resolved before that would be done.
(38) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to illegally gather personal information – e.g., bank records, credit card records, medical records, etc. – about his perceived enemies.
(39) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to illegally gather personal information – e.g., bank records, credit card records, medical records, etc. – about various federal judges who were presiding over cases involving the company.
(40) That Raniere created an unlicensed daycare operation that employed non-citizens as “nannies” – and required them to “kickback” part of their earnings to the company (Their visas required them to earn at least $20/hour but the daycare operation required them to pay back half of what they earned to the company).
At the outset of the trial, jurors will be instructed to withhold making any final judgment on the guilt or innocence of the defendants until both the prosecution and the defense have presented their evidence.
Unfortunately for Raniere and his co-defendants – jurors are human beings and not machines.
After the lead prosecutor, Moira Kim Penza, rises from her chair – and announces “The prosecution rests” – the judge will likely call for a recess before the defense attorneys begin their presentation.
During that interval will be a time when the “Shock & Awe” of the prosecution’s presentation will likely cause Keith Raniere to foolishly decide that he has to take the stand because he is the only person who is smart enough to rebut all the evidence against him.
At least that’s what I’m hoping and praying for…