Many people misinterpret Ayn Rand to suit their own agendas, to give themselves a free pass to behave as transactional savages in their own lives.
How could Keith Raniere lay any claim to Rand, when her primary thesis is that no one has the right to demand the labor or the fruits of that labor from any one else? Good grief, he did the exact opposite!
He demanded that he be given the Bronfman’s wealth that he did not earn. He demanded the labor and lives of other people completely unearned.
The one Rand quote all should know is, “I swear by my life and my love of it that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine.”
Raniere is the least self-sufficient man I’ve ever seen. Hobos and hermits are more self-sufficient than he is. Even now, he needs others to defend him and still others to pay for that defense.
One of my favorite TV appearances is Ayn talking about love with Mike Wallace: “And in love the currency is virtue. You love people not for what you do for them, or what they do for you. You love them for their values, their virtues, which they have achieved in their own character. If a man wants love he should correct his weaknesses, or his flaws, and he may deserve it. But he cannot expect the unearned, neither in love, nor in money, neither in matter, nor spirit.”
In other words, love yourself before you can claim to love someone else, that is accepted as conventional wisdom for the emotionally healthy person today.
Raniere demanded devotion, calling it love absent any notion of virtue for himself or them. He felt himself entitled to ownership of women through enslavement, servitude, humiliation, degradation of those women, reducing them to sex toys and nothing else. He can lay no claim to any philosophy of any sort, he simply threw around names and terms he stole from others to appear to be well-read, when in fact he couldn’t bother to even read books himself. He ordered his slaves to do the reading and write book reports for him.
Ayn Rand would have stubbed out her cigarette on his forehead and kept on walking, in her clunky but sensible shoes.