Guest View: I Took the Nxivm 16-Day Intensive: Keith Uses People’s Innate Desire to Be Good to Do Evil

Keith Raniere

By John Williams

I took the 16 day intensive and I marveled at its effectiveness. I have been lately analyzing why it was so effective in recruiting people to Keith Raniere’s mission to purportedly save the world.

Part of the answer lies in the materials taught by Keith in that first 16 day intensive.

As I read all of innocent Dani’s testimony, I feel I saw the key to the power of KR to addict and retain his most loyal and effective followers. It is so simple and clever, it is staggering.

The power of the program is to:

Engage students in detailed self examination of their own honesty with themselves about themselves. Many questions are asked which are designed to engage the student in deep introspection about her own character, intentions and hidden dishonesties.

The result of these questions is a feeling of finding oneself or knowing oneself. One’s own flaws – in minute detail – are admitted and owned up to. The appeal of all this is that a person will address her own pure intentions and desire to do good in the world. The program appeals to the very best and basic nature of goodness in one’s self. The student then feels that this technology should be exported for all, and the world would become honest and therefore will be saved.

The Nxivm program appeals to the highest of our potential to bring good to the world. It causes a feeling of hope, a bright outlook and is eagerly shared with others of like mind.  Human potential is increased with positive feelings and hope, and consequently people do more and achieve more during the program.

At a certain point, the question is asked: “Can one be partly dishonest?” Strictly speaking the question must be answered that one is or is not honest.

Therein lies the primary mechanism Keith uses to gain control of others. He, first of all, brings people to strive to become the very best version of themselves and to have a goal to be that best possible self.

Then he causes them to ‘discover” that they are not so good.

This cycle of “I am good” “I am not good”, is constantly recycled.

The desire to do good and be capable is admired, fanned, approved, desired and developed, or acknowledged that the person is not as good as they believed and, devastated, one accepts that they need to work and study more [Nxivm tech].

Keith’s program does not appeal to a phony or dishonest front of goodness. It appeals to all that is best in a human being. It encourages a person to be at his best and points out the basic goodness or rightness or great abilities of each human being.

The horror, or distaste, of not being good is then what can be called “issues”.

But herein lies the trick: The attention of the person is always directed upon themselves for correction. Attention on someone else is an escape from one’s own “issue”.  Thus Keith keeps all attention from himself and creates self incrimination in others.

The intention is GUILT

The second key to Keith’s power that I saw is that, in the 16 day program, the student is directed to learn how a criminal can get away with crime in broad daylight.

The reason for this, it is taught, is that people are basically “good”. The natural tendency and nature of man is basically good, not bad.  Because of that observable fact (observe children to see that basic nature), people who live in their basic nature do not suspect others of being dishonest. They do not expect to be cheated and lied to because they themselves do not behave this way.

In other words, if we are trustworthy, we will trust naturally. If we are not, we will see it coming, as we know how the dishonest think and behave.

These two ideas are:

1 How Keith can always cause someone to focus on their own faults.

2 To not be able to figure out the mind and intention of those who are dishonest.

These two mechanisms are primary keys to Keith’s power. I think they are completely calculated by him. He is the ultimate manipulator. Keith has no actual power of his own.

Sort of like the movie, the Matrix, Keith’s followers are hooked up. The life force of all of them is hooked up by each with their own hands and is drained into Keith and then all admire and ogle at what is pooled collectively and is collectively their own combined power.

That is the illusion.  The emperor Raniere, in reality, has no clothes.

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Frank Parlato


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  • Although I’ve taken a number of seminars (including Est in the 70’s, Landmark in the 80’s) I’ve always been skeptical of them. I have had some benefits but not the kind you’d imagine. I became better at sales and marketing which helped my overall careers. And, my ‘languaging” changed to fit the paradigm of the seminar so that I was “at cause” ” accountable” etc.. However, what left me skeptical are the “engineered epiphanies” that many have justifiably complained about here.

    Change is often a long, slow process and requires learning new behaviors and frequent repetition. Change also requires getting long term support to put the new behaviors into practice. It is not something that can be accomplished in a long weekend format. I have no regrets about the seminars I took but I would warn anyone to temper their expectations.

    • So, are you recommending we all rush out and enroll in Landmark or EST or maybe even Scott’s old nemesis the AMway Corp. to improve our sales and marketing skills as yours were soooo greatly enhanced but carefully tempered by your skepticism?

      Or are you trying to sell something a little closer to the “good” Nx that’s left over for the Mexicans, especially, to enjoy once you simply extract the poison?

      Btw, didn’t you already “admit” you took a Nx intensive, too? How’d your skeptism work for you then?

      Sounds a bit like only getting a little pregnant to me.

      I think it was Frank who once mentioned “a drop of poison contaminates the whole vat of liquid.”

      [ah, ha! It must have been Frank — since he said it — or that other blogger hating on Nx, John T., who contaminated the food at Silver Bay that V week honoring not just “Vanguard” but the late Pam Caffritz on her LAST BIRTHDAY (how’d they know) ever?!

      But they caught the blogger red-handed that was stalking them at Silver Bay so bad they had to call the cops who rescued them all from mass food poisoning that time. 😅. Yep. Whoever that was who called the cops must have been a hero or heroine, too! And, then, the cops found the blogger had kiddie porn on his computer! But it couldn’t have been John T. who tried to poison everyone in 2016 bc he was, thank God, locked up by then.

      Btw, Double Anon, I think you’d make an even better scapegoat or red herring of the brightest plumage for Nx than anyone else I know including me or Frank.

      In fact, I heard there’s someone riding around Albany in a Van just like my very own down to an amulet swinging from the rear view and a plastic bag with mail on the passenger seat — except I’m not in Albany, motherfuckers, and you left out the Golden Retriever who is long dead.

      There’s a name for having to pay for indoctrination or training that’s then put to good (or bad) use. It’s a system that works real well in India — where you pay the boss to hire you and then you get to work for free for several years before “earning your stripes,” so to speak. Sara Bronfman said that her scarf was the only thing she’d ever earned on her own, to that effect, remember? It’s handcrafted, Sara, by some “important” women who only live in memory today. Gina Hutchinson, for instance, had a long white one like Vanguards (she got from the Dalia Lama) but she helped make the scarves for the others being more the Martyr, renunciate type, like Keith.]

      What does AMWAY stand for anyhow Scott? American way? I’m guessing but I’ll let you take the mic on that.

      HELP — these mothers are literally setting me up AGAIN and my ex is playing right along with it to advance his own agenda!

      Please get a pick of the Mexicans — anyone routinely in the court room who doesn’t belong there. Why is Dani wearing a black star on her shirt? …marked like a Jew in a concentration camp? With Muslims on the jury observing Ramadan?

      This is a not a farce! This is KAR training calling the shots from afar — Guadalajara, I think, where Nancy’s ex, Dr. Pike went to Med school. Pike owns a laser med practice in Albany, right? He’s either a red herring setup like the rest of we angry “criminal minds” out for vengeance — who someone besides KAR STILL WANTS to put in prison for a crime they did not participate in.

      Please post this, Frank, or bring it straight to the FBI along with everything you’ve got on Gina. Please. Jeff IS trying to make me looks nuts enough kill someone. I’m just trying to make me look nuts enough to catch him and whoever is behind this at it but IDK what the Swamp King’s are doing or if Jeff knows what he’s doing or what they’re doing to him. Someone is trying to mind bend me online and using street theatre. And they’re all BAD ACTORS.

      And, I am NOT trying to steal anyone’s limelight or thunder through any hyperbole or otherwise. This is not word Salad — this is stress.

      One other thing before you squirrel my comments away for the Cold Case Or “Columbo” series or whatever else — YOU and Joe and Toni and everyone on here are being manipulated, I hope you realize that. I only guessed you were in LA, I didn’t know for a fact. I’ve just been watching this thing so long I’ve gotten good at guessing their next move, I swear. Please either do something about this or post or we will all be toast sooner or later. THANK YOU!

      PS — some of the local police ARE in on this. Todd’s a nice guy but he’s not real bright and he didn’t pay us off for nothing. I’m not cashing the check from the ALLISON group in San Diego, either, or reading Jim’s (dummy asset) script starring Heidi Roberts and a fucking chihuahua either. That was a play to make me look nuts or like the culprit of my own undoing to get attention or like an actual assasine or assassination — if I noticed or pointed out any similarity in any names like Jezabel Lopez, etc. I’m nuts. If I don’t I’m in on some assassination plot, etc. Don’t let them use your ego against you! Do the right thing, please.

      Yesterday there was a staged event. Jeff showed up with a construction crew. “Mai” from Vietnam (South) was talking about the “ETHICS” of my not having a smoke detector when I do — several — her inspector missed. The construction guy ERIC was his name, said he was from my old neighborhood but he knew no one and he talked about how he escaped the fires lost everything etc. He’s coming this week to do some weed whacking for next to nothing — just a fake all-around except he’s prolly a dummy asset. There’s more.
      A Herbits look-alike was at Dylan’s program Thursday night with his head down in his phone like I oft am these days.
      This is at Malibu Jewish Center and Synagogue. I’m not gonna even bother to see if Herbie’s a member. That would probably go into the nutcase and/or assassin file if I did. This is like what they did to Lee Harvey Oswald, prolly. There are dozens of deets, postulates that prove all this.

      IDK, why Jeff is playing along but only to a degree. He’s not in on every play only what serves his interest. Maybe he told them I was nuts enough over all this to really kill somebody or something. Not just depressed into or conned into a state of some confusion as I have been when the heat’s on over the years.

      Please tell Toni I am not hurt that she thinks I’m nuts, too, who doesn’t?! But I need your and her and Joe’s help?! Should I call Catherine? She might be snowed too plus India or some young beauties on par with hers were involved in the prior harassment, years prior, and I am afraid she’s not saying so for fear of getting sued or something. My only agenda is Dylan and my own, maybe Jeff’s, safety in all this. Some people do see what he’s up to. Other’s don’t. One of his objectives is to get Dylan’s Van donated or sold cheap to “Kym’s” program, I think. Or to a program they’re starting at MJCS — Dylan’s trust bought the Van but Jeff thinks he can just dole out Dylan’s property if I can’t stand in his way. He stole Dylan’s first house in a sense that way and $191,000 from Dylan’s settlement. That’s why I had to keep suing him. Not that I’m litigious just that he’s a white collar thief at heart and he keeps me at bay until he gets away with it and it’s impossible to catch him. Which is what it takes with these upstanding businessman.

      I may have to come to EDNY. Everyone involved here is taking orders down the chain from some very, very corrupt high command. Yes, it COULD be Burke backed. And I don’t care if you don’t believe me. please do not hold onto this until after you’re in prison I won’t be able to help you then if it’s not reported now and put on record.

  • Here’s my view on what NXIVM is.

    It’s a mind fuck, plain and simple.
    And Keith, Nancy, Clare, Sara, et al are nothing but mind fuckers.

    So if Barbara thinks there are any good parts of mind fucking NXIVM ….I say good luck on attempting to repackage mind fucking, Barb.

  • That’s it? This recycled pap?

    “Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.” It’s simple religious guilt. The oldest scam in the book. Break the fools down, get them on their knees, and they’ll be in your thrall forever. The other half of the equation is to tell the fools they have infinite potential. In religious terms, “we are all made in God’s image”. And yet we have fallen from our state of grace. So down on your knees, sinners.

    There is nothing original in Raniere’s scam. It’s all cribbed.

    Anybody with an ounce of sense would see through this in five minutes. Where it’s sourced and where it goes off the tracks. Yeah, so human beings are flawed, so what? Why am I paying for this, and why does it take two weeks to tell me what everybody already knows?

    I guess this appeals to the gullible sort with poor self-image. And weak wills. Those folks who are afraid to raise their hand and ask their “guru” some hard questions. Looking for easy answers and willing to believe whatever crap they’re told.

    There really is a sucker born every minute.

    • Calum Blue saw through it in the first intensive telling Catherine Oxenberg it was bs.
      Too bad she didn’t heed his advice.

      • Callum Blue? Christ, another Smallville actor. So he saw right through the scam, good for him.

    • I dare you to walk into a full Church or Synagogue or Mosque and say that aloud w/o getting arrested, Actaeon.

      Why do you berate KAR’s followers so when the planet is covered in “true believers.”

      If you’re religious, then you’re a being a hypocrite condemning KAR’s believers.

      As Chairman Mouse-a-tongue (that is my Siri talking but I like it) said. As Mao said: “Religion is the opiate of the masses.”

  • Thank you, John. Right ON! My sister, Gina, was the most self-exploratory, soul-seeking, do good “for the benefit of all sentient beings” (a Buddhist thing) kid you’d ever want to know.

    Until she started “disintegrating” into that “ Luciferian” state KAR always warned of and protected her from — a theme KAR built around a Mormon doctrine that itself is based, in part, on Milton’s Paradise Lost — a very famous work published after the time of Joseph Smith —the very young persecuted prophet who was talkin’ to the same Holy Spirit as Milton. Apparently.

    Paradise Lost became a kinda bible for KAR until he switched it up to Ayn Rand (Atlas Shrugged) after Nancy Salzman arrived and dubbed Barb Bouchey “The Daphne” of their little NX paradise of ethical humans in control of all the world’s wealth — I named my golden retriever Daphne after the famous heroine myself.

    Another note: Smith’s Book of Mormon was “witnessed” by 12 older gents who saw the gold plates the boy prophet from another planet transcribed. It’s rumored some of the gents were polygamists, goofs and diddlers in their day on the lam from the law.

    KAR’s safeguard against disintegrations and that fearsome Luciferian state — apart from blue light special, enlightening, energizing sex with him — was doing his bidding.

    Some disintegrations were past-life Nazi regressions — Gina’s was different. Gina’s was transformation into the Buddhist Goddess Samayatara.

    • The woman in the Ayn Rand book was named Dagny. Dagny Taggart.

      I was a big fan when I was 15 years old, but the thundering stupidity of Atlas Shrugged lost its hold on me by the time I finished high school. It’s shocking that actual adults take those books seriously.

      It should be common knowledge that if a grownup tells you that you need to read Ayn Rand, that person is either hopelessly gullible himself or counting on you to be.

    • Keith had me read Atlas Shrugged before ESP even started, and Paradise Lost was mentioned early on in the ESP modules. I never read it. Did he continue to show the animated film, “The Man Who Planted Trees?” He would show that in the sessions and all the women would get all goopy and teary over it. It was a wonderful film, and I watched it as a child, but he kind of ruined it for me since I can’t watch it without thinking of creepy man. The original Matrix movie was also a fave of KAR and the group.

      • The man who planted trees was way earlier. One of the first movies he showed Gina and a couple of other girls Gina brought in. Thank you, I couldn’t remember the title — it’s a guy planting seeds in the desert, right? That was then like ‘86, ‘87 — before Pam or Kristin.

        Has anybody else seen “Coagula” a hundred times? Or the Matrix? Coagula was very, very early, too with Gina. Like ‘85 maybe. I remember thinking it was not a very romantic movie for her dates with Keith, the way Gina described it — over and over again. I’ve never seen it. Not into gore despite my reputation. The Matrix may have been the feature presentation in Psycho Theatre circa 1999. But everyone in the Country was watching that one, anyway. Also, Keith had a different film watching and reading list for some acolytes vs. others. They would show Picasso movies to Gina. Images that are fragmented. Gender bender movies like “The Crying Game.”

        I’m thinking now about “the purple pill” — NXIVM the antacid — being maybe a mix of the red and blue pill from the Matrix. I think it’s really critical we find out exactly how the name DID come about. Gina was already gone by that time. I can’t help with that.

        ESP is similar to EST but KAR told me it was because Gina or maybe I possessed those powers of extrasensory perception as a “succubus” and because I liked Ann Rice novels. But here’s the thing: whether it was your “thing” or something Keith assigned or suggested to you, if Keith knew about it, he would use your interpretation of it to feed it back to you to manipulate you with.

        And I am judging by what he did to Gina that way, not nearly as often to me.
        Gina has some friends that were right there with her sometimes. I was only there in the very early days when they were “vowed” like nuns vow themselves to God, consorts to their Rinpoche or Lama’s, etc.

        Was anyone else assigned to “Sky Dancer?”

      • Posted this in response to your comment hours ago, about Milton, can’t think why it wasn’t printed, its not particularly controversial, its a very um, capricious posting policy these days, most off-putting. Ill try again at the risk of seeing it printed twice:

        Heidi, Whenever I think of Milton, the Poet Executioner- who put his name to the document that secured the death of king Charles, I think of his poor daughters, Mary and Deborah, being called in the middle of the night to “milk” him of his muse’s nourishment. He was blind, and they were compelled to function as his amanuenses. Even as a poet, deeply concerned with protestant ideology, and a republican (non-royalist) I always found it hard to respect his tyrannical vision. I’m not surprised that PL appeals to would be dictators, especially KAR, who should be given some credit for being something of a connoisseur, when it comes to Word-Salad.

  • The “I’m good, now I’m bad” is a simple confusion technique. Confusion is a trance state which changes your perceptual filters allowing you to become more easily malleable. Your perceptual filters change with your state. A simple example “love is blind” a person may suggest you’re dating a loser but you filter that out because you are in a state of love and do not want to believe your lover would ever do you wrong. Every state of mind has filters allowing you to see what you want to, and not see what you don’t want to see or believe. When a person is aware of this, it is quite easy to put a person, in the state that will benefit the manipulator, while the target will be blind to the manipulation utilizing there own perceptual filters.

    • What you’ve described isn’t a filter. it’s just confirmation bias. A good manipulator just uses this against you by appealing to what you are more willing to readily accept. It’s like the seesaw is catering to the opposite side as more evidence is piled on, but all he has to do is tip the seesaw with evidence that you regard as heavier due to your confirmation bias on your end just a little bit to pull you back down to where he wants you.

      Using confusion to manipulate someone is something different and so is the bad/good cycles that people are put through in these type of intensives. The latter is a manipulation of emotions where they make you feel low with faults or issues only to give you something positive to make you feel high such that it makes you forget the former. Going from a greater low to the same high is greater high. They rock you between two extremes where the high keeps you coming back like a drug, e.g., a breakthrough or an epiphany.

      • As I said confusion is a trance state, also controls what the you want the target to think about. I agree with “like a drug”. As far as perceptual filter- that is exactly a filter and how it works. I suggest you look it.
        My information is for anyone to use to protect themselves and gather an understanding of the manipulation process.

      • I failed to mention the good bad good bad is fractionation, which simply deepens the trance state your target is in. So if someone puts your emotions on a roller coast beware.

    • I been there. Trust me. I saw Gina — all the girls — Pam had the worst case of it out of all of them and she was older than I so you could say she was a “young woman” — about the same age as the Bronfman sisters when they joined and their Dad passed — but they still got the World Jewish Congress files, didn’t they?
      They put Gina up to getting our “data” too, including plans for a “Telmex” project my ex was working on with Alvin Toffler for Carlos Slim Helu’.

      Gina’s top line PYRAMID aka inner-circle friends — convinced her it was her own mind that was “playing tricks” on her when they were doing it to her all along —and she wrote about it in journal. Gina was always terrified of losing her mind like our brother did.

      I’m about as “capricious” by nature as a cupcake. I’m just trying to figure this out the hard way — I think that’s what I’m doing — to piece together not only what happened to her but continued to happen to me at specific times in my mortal existence — before, during and after she blew her brains out and/or was murdered.

      And to help out people who are unjustly being set-up to take the rap, IMO, for the people who were manipulating them. I think.

      • If your use of the word *capricious* is referring to my use of it in the comment on Milton Id just like to say Im not part of Nx, Ive been reading and commenting here since 2017. I appreciate your contributions, and thought, as you mentioned your major at college was ENg. Lit., that you might be interested/prompted to remember this interesting, possibly pertinent factoid about Milton?!

        This report has gotten a bit off-key, a bit cultish in its own way, of late?

        Also, as a Bowie fan, the year he died, I wore a white shirt with a back star for nearly that whole entire year, still rock it on the anniversary.. when I heard about Dani’s shirt i wondered if maybe she was a Bowie fan? Just goes to show how
        what F****k wit, lib tardy POS I must be:) Jeez, How heartbreaking it is, not to fit in here anymore!!!:)

  • This is similar to the idea that most MLM scams, such as Amway, use to put the blame on the failed distributor. Amway claims their system of activities to undertake (the analogy is NXIVM tech) is perfect and therefore if anyone fails it is their fault for not applying themselves enough. The requirements are beyond what virtually anyone can humanly accomplish over a period of time and the distributor is told that if they miss one tiny requirement a single time, they should assume they need to start all over from scratch. The analogy I recall from the “training” is when an Olympic athlete cheats a single time by eating some ice cream they should not expect to earn a gold medal. Obviously, this is ridiculous, but that’s the extreme position Amway takes to being “loyal” to the system in order to shift blame to the failed distributor and one of many reasons why people do not speak up after being scammed by Amway and other MLMs. Keep in mind that Raniere started with Amway before creating his own MLM scam, Consumers’ Buyline. He learned and applied the concept that it is the person’s internal failure, instead of being his fault, very effectively.

  • Welcome to Keith Raniere’s world where good is bad, and bad is good. In truth, good and bad are just meaningless abstractions to totally amoral individuals like him and his inner circle.

  • ‘That is the illusion.’
    This post reminds me of a scripture from the Bible. Paul warns the newly converted to beware of fakers:

    12 But I will keep on doing what I am doing, in order to undercut those who want an opportunity to be regarded as our equals in the things of which they boast. 13 For such men are false apostles, deceitful workers, masquerading as apostles of Christ. 14 And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. 15 It is not surprising, then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their actions. 2 Corinthians 11:12 -15.

    Mr. Raniere participates in this masquerade – loving, kind, so attentive to the “special” women in the inner circle. But actually evil, prideful and determined to have power over these Sheeple, no matter the cost. Greed got the best of him.

  • That’s very interesting. I would fallat the first hurdle – don’t really think I have many problems or faults and I certainly don’t want someone else making me think I am riven with faults. Sounds like a recipe for being very unhappy.

  • Huh? None of that makes sense. Who was your head trainer and proctors?

    That is not what is taught in the 16-day.

    When and where did you take the course? I think you made up your entire story. Thanks for the info Ben Szemkus.

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.” In addition, 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, 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.

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