Keith Raniere Will Be Studied as Charles Manson Has Been Studied – in Detail

He was your Vanguard - lest we forget.

By Shivani

To write about Keith Raniere being possibly abused as a child isn’t excusing Raniere. It is looking at his environment and how it could have affected how and what shaped his particular “madnesses.”

It is clear that he has had his own huge hangups around how he wanted to control, especially females, and also that he was compelled to be sexually abusive in certain, quite specific ways. His case is uncommon. He set up the whole environment. He ran it. He is infamous for Nxivm, for DOS and for being a conman who didn’t get caught for years and years.

He is what is called a highly “organized criminal” and also one with a lot of followers. People have been willing to do crazy, stupid, illegal and even lethal things for Raniere. This is extreme criminality with him as the overlord, not run of the mill. It is, in fact, not intelligent to leave him unanalyzed because there’s a lot to learn from studying psychopaths, sociopaths, “monsters.”

Not every monster likes or tries to do the exact same things to satisfy his inner demons. Far from it. He will be studied as Charles Manson has been studied – in detail. He is not easy to define. This is despite anyone’s idea to just call him a monster or “demon” and to be satisfied with such an elementary and shallow, sweeping judgment. Comments saying that add very little that is worthwhile, like saying a Hershey’s bar is brown. Yeah we know that. So what?

Raniere had to have a certain atmosphere, much more detailed and exacting than is usual. He was not a guy whose turn-ons were as simple as many rapists or abusers. Raniere had to feel like a “God” figure, too. He had to be worshiped, he wanted women deprived of food and reasonable amounts of sleep. He encouraged criminality to be done in his name, like Manson. He wanted a whole world of his own, where he was supreme.

Far from excusing him, I think it would be best for everyone if Raniere never gets out of confinement. I think he will never be able to control himself and that it is very, very obvious. Again, I am trying to get more understanding of Raniere’s specific elements. Trying to see whatever caused him to be who he is does not exonerate him for who he is or what he’s done.

We still study Hitler, as an individual, what made him tick. No one is excusing him for what he made of it. This seems so simple to understand. People research, study, write dissertations about Hitler, even now. Not everyone just sits at keyboards casting useless stones like, “Yeah, Hitler was bad.”  Essentially that is useless input that contributes nothing more than a grunt.


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4 years ago

The better study would be of Sara and Clare.

The tipping point for when this evolved into a destructive cult is the introduction of the Bronfman money.

Barring that, NXIVM would have petered (pun intended) out in time north of the border.

Mexico and Salinas may have had to do with money laundering. Why else smuggle unknown amounts of cash across the border and with willing mules. I am sure not all of those funds were from NXIVM courses.

Time needs to be spent examining those two Bronfman sisters and where their money is flowing to and from.

4 years ago

Above all else, regardless of what ever psychological abnormality he may exhibit, he is nothing more than a con man who didn’t know when too far was too far.

4 years ago

I agree that he’s interesting enough to warrant further scrutiny esp. in the remit of psychopathology. Especially interesting to me is the way he, or his persona ‘vanguard’ functioned as a catalyst for so many other people’s pathological behaviour. Why are people reigned in? Or why do people allow themselves to be reigned in by such a person?

If monsters are monstrous precisely because they embody the fearful and tyrannical ambitions of their makers, how is it some will turn and run for the hills from such a monster, and some will accept the horror, perhaps to harness and make use of it, while others will see the horror but seek to heal it…there’s a long-time commenter called Snorlax who often chimes in with the phrase:

“We are all to blame for this tragedy” there’s so much truth in that…”nowt so queer as folk”…as ALL of us, I mean.

4 years ago
Reply to  VVV

NXIVM learned from the Scientology playbook and those who dared to leave were hounded litigiously with the aid of Bronfman money and Clare willing to lie under oath.

Scott Johnson
4 years ago

Totally disagree. Raniere is, at best, a cheap knockoff of Manson. There are no bloody murders of movie stars and he’s a copycat with no personality. Hardly anybody outside of this website can tell you who Raniere or NXIVM is. It’s laughable to try to elevate Raniere to Manson’s infamous status. But keep up the melodramatic stories, they are quite entertainining.

Heidi Hutchinson
Heidi Hutchinson
4 years ago

That’s funny, Shivani, I just sent Frank a fast “stream of consciousness” post on the same topic before reading this that hopefully offers a few more deets and facts from my personal recollections. Wish Karen Unterreiner or someone else of the Jurassic era who knew Keith could chime in, too.

Maybe I do have a fear that KAR will get away with murder as he has so far bc he was MAYBE abused…

It’s already mind-boggling what the Bronfman/Salinas fortunes have allowed him (and them) to get away with so far.

Anyway, well spoke and wrote on your part as usual. Yes, further analysis is called for and hopefully will help prevent the proliferation of “monsters” or, at least, the victims of them.

4 years ago

You give him too much credit. Raniere is a typical narcissist, anti-social personality who happened to emotionally fool two really wealthy individuals who aren’t that smart. He got too greedy due to his unwarranted grandiose sense of self, and being the former type of person, the man who allegedly created “Rational Inquiry” ironically had no ability for rational self-control. He also pissed off the wrong people and Karma circled back to seal his Fate. He’s clearly a rather destructive and toxic personality in romantic relationships, knowing little of their equitability due to aforementioned personality defects, and that’s why he had to subtly enforce the only ones he could have via a carefully constructed false image and the manipulation of a lack of self-esteem and ethics.

Scott Johnson
4 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Agreed. Raniere & Co. aren’t worth studying.

4 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Yet, both sisters are still fully dedicated.
What their end game is has never been discussed, analyzed or revealed.
Someone knows these 2 intimately. Many do. They lived in community. We need those who knew these women on a dsily basis to speak up.

orangecountydreams - OCD
orangecountydreams - OCD
4 years ago

Shivani, thank you for a very insightful article. I agree wholeheartedly with your thoughts.

4 years ago

Our fascination with people like Raniere, Manson and Hitler is akin to our macabre fascination with the aftermath of car wrecks.
Who has failed to crane their necks to view the bloody aftermath of car collisions?

But truth be told we should really study the good people who contribute to the world.
Great scientists.
Great writers.
Great artists.
Great architects.
Great statesmen.
Great soldiers.
Great musicians.

There are so many noble people who have contributed to the betterment of the human condition.
Raniere and his followers should be consigned to the ash heap of human history.

And we should be thankful that Raniere and his followers lacked the intelligence and the industriousness of an Adolf Hitler and failed to attain political power beyond a very narrow realm.

Scott Johnson
4 years ago

How about great Chicagoans like yourself, Mr. Shadow?

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.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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