Did Isaac Asimov Inspire Keith Raniere to be ‘the Mule’?

Isaac Asimov, one of Keith Raniere's heroes

Keith Raniere’s racketeering enterprise was based on exploiting other people’s emotional weaknesses.

Raniere stated in his affidavit in NXIVM v Ross Institute et al:

“It was at the age of 12, I read “The Second Foundation” by Isaac Asimov and was inspired by the concepts on optimal human communication to start to develop the theory and practice of Rational Inquiry [his name for the principles of NXIVM.]”

Asimov is one of the six heroes that Raniere listed on his now defunct website keithraniere.com.

Isaac Asimov inspired Keith Raniere.
Raniere’s website is now offline.His other heroes are novelist Ayn Rand; Indian pacifist/freedom fighter Mahatma Gandhi; Austrian philosopher, Rudolph Steiner; hypnotist Dr. Milton Erickson; and judo teacher/acrobat Eugene Waddell.

Raniere is not known to have met any of them.

Forbes Magazine reported:

“As a boy, he read an Isaac Asimov sci-fi novel about a brilliant scientist who knew his galaxy was in irremediable decline and had reduced all human behavior to elegant mathematical equations. It inspired Raniere later to try to do the same.”

The premise of the Foundation Trilogy is that a new science, psychohistory, predicts the impending fall of the Galactic Empire, to be followed by 30,000 years of a dark age of war and barbarism.

But if a Foundation is established, in the right place and in the right way, it will grow into the nucleus of a Second Empire, cutting the dark age to 1,000 years.  The Foundation is dedicated to the physical sciences, engineering, and commerce, and for a while overcomes all foes, usually without firing a shot, due to psychohistorical inevitability.

But halfway through the second book, forces led by the self-styled Mule begin to defeat the Foundation.  The Mule has an ability not anticipated in the psychohistorical Plan, which is revealed to be the power to control the emotions of others.

“To me, men’s minds are dials, with pointers that indicate the prevailing emotion… Slowly, I learned that I could reach into those minds and turn the pointer to the spot I wished, that I could nail it there forever,” the Mule says in the book.

The rest of the Trilogy is about the search by the Mule for the Second Foundation, which is the only force left capable of defeating him.  It is revealed that the Second Foundation has also developed emotional mind control, and ultimately uses it to defeat the Mule, and put the First Foundation back on the psychohistorical trajectory to its ultimate triumph.

A young Keith Alan Raniere read Asimov and became inspired by the character of the Mule.

In other words, the book that Raniere says inspired him to create NXIVM is about mind-control and emotional-control, and its use by the Mule to (nearly) conquer the Galaxy!

Artist’s conception of the Mule.
Like the Mule, Raniere had the capacity to adjust the thoughts of his followers.

He now enjoys a fitting home after all his labors. MK10ART’s beautiful painting of Keith Alan Raniere.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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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.

IMDb — Frank Parlato


Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com