Keith Raniere in Hell

MK10ART-- Keith Alan Raniere.

Now some of his followers might wish to see him take his circumstances more like a man – and not cry so much. Why he’s even earned the nickname “Crybaby Jane.”

“Man up”, you might like to say to your Vanguard. At least Charlie Manson did not cry – and was defiant to the end.

But, today, Keith Alan Raniere is blue. He does not, I suspect, understand what happened to him.

He got too big for his britches and was not smart enough in the end, after all. He lost. He is the ultimate victim.

And because of that, he should try to forget as much as his old life as possible – for he is not going back  – not for years – perhaps not forever. He has been reborn in hell.

And this is how he will spend his days.

Keith Raniere, applying the principles he invented at ESP, is now a janitor at MDC. [The photo is not an actual picture of Keith.]
Typical prison cell in federal prison

He has been in hell for more than a year and a half – in a prison where he never goes outdoors, never breathes fresh air. It is either dank and too cold or too hot and festering with warm airborne disease and mold.

The odor is horrific – from excrement and dirt and dead skin and pus emissions from sores – on beds and bunks, in the latrines and the kitchen where food is prepared.

Sick and ailing men, suffering from lack of sunlight, and mental illness and criminal intent and 1000 diseases – with little hygiene and no effort by authorities to keep it clean. Raniere has the company of his fellows, like minded men – who have led a life that led them there.

Not an actual photo of Keith Alan Raniere being returned to his prison cell.

Pain is love,” he taught and unless he became deadened to it – by the sheer monotony and the boredom, and the systematic abuse of the third-world style US prison system – he is feeling his kind of love every day.

If there is a hell and people meant to be punished for eternity, God could not do better than to pattern it after US prisons like the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn where Raniere stays.

In brutal Christ-based cults – there is such a place – hell – and those who go there for transgressions for 70 or 90 years on earth are punished for eternity. There is no correctional aspect in hell, it is only permanent punishment in these Christ-based cults, no forgiveness.

No rectification. No becoming a saint, always a devil.

Just like at the MDC.

One would wonder, in these cults, if the pain of hell deadens a soul after a while – to just blase monotony. Even regret or a striving to change would go away if there is no hope of ever getting out.

After 500 trillion years in hell, for example, what’s a damned soul to do? What is there to hope for knowing that 500 trillion years in hell is just a twinkling in time against the endless years still ahead?

For Raniere, up until Jan. 17, when he is sentenced and maybe after, pending his appeal, there is hope. He had hope at the trial. He has hope that the judge may be lenient and hope that he will win an appeal and get a new trial and then be acquitted.

All of these hoped for results are not likely to come to pass.

At some point – maybe when he is sentenced and moved to a new prison, Raniere will have to settle in to the reality of his life.

In theory, his hell may end one day. He may outlive his prison sentence. But for the long, bleak years in between, he will have to face the reality that he is now a slave of the state.

He had slaves. Now he is a slave.

MK10ART- a wonderful sketch of the being Keith Raniere.

He will be moved after sentencing to a maximum security prison to serve out his sentence. That will be no less than 15 years and much more likely to be 20 or 25 or 30 years. Raniere is 59.

Maybe one day he will have regret – not just for himself – as the ultimate victim of his actions – and his stupidity – his belief that others existed merely for his pleasure – but perhaps he will come to have regret for those he hurt and how he hurt so many  – especially the ones who trusted him and thought they loved him and sought to let him guide their lives because they thought he loved them.

Blindfolded Hope sitting on a globe
George Watts’ painting “Hope.”

This may make him not hopeless in time: the desire to repent. He might even have hope that somehow he could try to rectify things for those he left on the outside in deep pain.

How could he do that?

He could apologize. He could try to explain his behavior in the light of some temporary madness – cured by some inner exorcism of his demons.

This might be more believable if he were to try to work with other prisoners. Try to help them. Try to make conditions better.

He might confess and tell authorities about certain public officials and their role in the corruption he fomented [if there are any such public officials he corrupted]. And he can work on himself. He could become a model prisoner. He could try to help innocent people who are in prison try to get their voices heard.

He could – probably any day he wants -get world media attention.

If he found an innocent man in prison, he could be the voice for that man. Call the media. Fight for justice in prison.

He could become the Gandhi of the US prison system. Raniere had pictures of Gandhi in his Nxivm centers and on his website to remind people that he wanted to be thought of as like Gandhi. He used to say he was a combination of Einstein – the brain – Gandhi – the heart – and the athlete Jim Thorpe.

Mahatma Gandhi
“Be the change that you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

The US prison system is monstrous. It is a horrible evil. I think centuries from now, people will look back at this time in history, as a horror, and its prison system emblematic of the unique cruelty of this era.

Raniere could become a spokesman for change. He could be a force for change, for the future. He could make the prison world a more noble civilization where rectitude is the goal not sadistic punishment.

He could write to media and get them to come for interviews [they would come] and be a spokesman for change of the system that punishes more far more than it tries to correct.

But will he do it?

He said on the day he went into the courtroom to hear the decision of the jury – before he heard their verdict – but he knew – “This is not justice.” And Raniere says he loves justice.

Then he can work at that – work at healing the third world style US prison conditions. That might give him hope.

Or he can be the Raniere he’s always been. Cruel, vindictive self-centered rascal that created a cult to worship him – one where he had the pick of women. A cult that caused deaths and trauma and where dozens of women even today wake up thinking about how he used them and stole large portions of their lives and stripped them of their self confidence.

Their judgement told them he was a great and ethical man and the work they were doing for him was to aid humanity, not hurt themselves and other women.

Raniere might think about that, and the lives he ruined or devastated. Like Rhiannon, the 12 year old girl he raped who ran away from home to escape him and contracted cancer. Or Gina Hutchinson, the 14 year old girl he raped who wound up dead in Woodstock. Or Kristin Snyder who he tricked into a mentoring session based on her trust of him and wound up getting her pregnant – a woman who disappeared 16 years ago.

Or any of the women he starved and kept sleep deprived – who got cancer.

I suppose it unlikely that Raniere will ever think of anyone but himself. He is habituated to this and his psychopathy may be incurable.

But, unlike the denizens of hell of the Christian cults, who have no hope, no opportunity under their cruel God, Raniere has an elegant chance to be the man he said he was, the Vanguard, the ethicist, the world’s smartest man. He could use all of his power and talent to try to improve the lives of suffering denizens in US prisons.

For Raniere, he might heed the concept of the advaitin who said, If there is any road to Heaven, it is through Hell. Through Hell to Heaven is always the way.

And the moment you fear, you are nobody.



About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Raniere will never change.

    He changed others but has no ability to do the same for himself.

    He will feel no need to change.

  • Thanks for the Watts painting, what a surprise Frank, a very underrated artist, largely because he was mocked by supercilious modernists like Virginia Woolf. I think he’s a genius.

    KAR (not a genius) is unlikely to come to his senses in hell, he lacks empathy so he’s left with overwhelming to the point of fatal -self-pity. He is literate so he could help those who are not, a time honoured prison contribution; but imagine letting him read letters from your family, worse still, trusting him to reply for you?

    He will turn his own legal battle into a kafka-eque sh*t storm, and offer the same obscure bs to his sorry-arse followers, which will take on the precious cache of coming from their leader – incarcerated. KAR will not be the one to reform prison conditions in the 21st century. You, Frank Parlato, could. He most definitely wouldn’t and couldn’t.

  • Good piece and many probably use their time in prison to become better people but I don’t see that happening for Raniere.

    There isn’t going to be that aha moment when he realizes he’s there as direct consequence of his actions. Instead, I believe, he will spend his time blaming others that he’s there. He will be going over the list of people he sees as the reason he’s lost his freedom but his name will never appear on that list. I also believe that even though he will remain behind bars for the rest of his life he’s going to try and work with his wealthy friends on the outside to exact revenge on his perceived enemies and this is why the Bronfman sisters must face further charges for the crimes they have committed.

  • There is no need to throw Christ and Christianity under the bus with Raniere. Who knows, Raniere may even be converted to Chrisianity while in prison. I think there’s a very slim chance of that actually happening, but stranger things have happened in the NXIVM saga.

    • I’m not throwing Christ under the bus. I am simply comparing the belief in eternal hell in some Christian cults with prison. Only in prison there is a chance of a pardon. According to Christian cults’ view of hell – there is no pardon.

      • Frank, John the Baptist had a vision of heaven in which he saw a multitude no one could number, he did not say the same of hell. I agree with you that the religion of Christianity is not very forgiving but the whole point of Christ is forgiveness, something the religion of Christianity has twisted. Jesus is God’s Grace personified in the person of the Son of God. It is a shame that the religion of Christianity has done such a disservice to the message of Jesus Christ but I assure you the two are not one in the same. An author who does a good job of differentiating the two is Joseph Prince in his NYT best seller, Destined to Reign. I highly recommend this read.

      • Belief in eternal hell is pretty much the bread and butter of all Christian denominations that I’m aware of. Christians believe you have one shot at your eternal destiny, during your current life, and the result is heaven or hell. It’s not complicated, it’s John 3:16.

        • Scott, if I were God, I would forgive the souls in hell the moment they repented and let them into heaven. As God I would know if their repentance is real and they would not relapse. That would include Raniere, Hitler, Satan etc.

          However, as far as earthly punishment goes, I do not think the judge should be lenient with Raniere. Since humans are not omniscient, we have to protect society from this psychopath for the rest of his life or until he is so old and feeble that he cannot harm society.

          Once he dies and goes to hell, I think he might figure out that what he did for 58 years on earth doesn’t work and when that moment came -say in a trillion years or so, if I were God, I’d let him in heaven – but I would not let him take collateral, brand any angels or, especially, start any Multilevel Marketing schemes.

          • Neither one of us are God and according to the Bible after we die it’s too late to repent. If we all knew we could repent in hell after we died and end up in heaven, then what’s the point of God? If hell is as bad as the Bible describes, who wouldn’t repent after they went there? Also, who wouldn’t act more like Raniere, Hitler, Stalin, etc., while they were alive if they knew they could repent later, after they died? The idea of Christianity is to believe in Christ while you’re alive on earth and in doing so act more like Christ while alive on earth. Repentance isn’t just feeling very sorry you did something wrong, it’s changing direction. After you die you can’t do that. You’re dead.

            I don’t think the judge should be lenient with Raniere, either, for the same reason you mentioned. Plus, it may discourage others from doing similar things Raniere was doing.

          • If I were God, which I am not, I would provide for repentance after death. By repentance, I mean not just a verbal feeling sorry but a true, complete contrition, a change from wrong to right deep in the soul.

            Take the case of Raniere – he did a lot of bad things during his 59 years. For which he will be punished for perhaps 30 years in prison. If he still did not repent when he died he would go to hell, according to the Christian belief. Well, if I were God, I would not necessarily punish him for eternity. Perhaps I would let him reflect and perhaps agree to change of his own free will.

            Perhaps I might even give him another chance – even put him back on earth again – in a new body – rebirth. Or maybe I would leave him in hell [for his 59 years of bad behavior] for say, 700 trillion years and then, since the earth would be gone [the sun died out], I would put him on another planet [if there were any left] and let him take another shot.

            Ultimately, perhaps, in perhaps 500 nonillion [500,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000] years, he would give up evil. And 500 nonillion years is but a blink of time in eternity. There would still be plenty of time left for Raniere to be good and be happy.

            It would not matter too much to you Scott – for, after all, you would be in heaven the whole time.

          • –Scott, if I were God, I would forgive the souls in hell the moment they repented and let them into heaven.

            Why? God is not all-forgiving. He is the most-forgiving. But he is also both the most merciful and the most just. If anyone could get in Heaven just because they repented when they were doomed that would mean there would effectively be no distinction between Hitler, Stalin, Raniere, et al, and the person who behaved and believed his entire life. That would be a travesty to the distinction between the two terms – mercy and justice – and the fair judgement of people.

            The point is to believe and conform to the nature of the soul when there is no threat of punishment upon you. Not when it is bearing down upon you. Why do you think Raniere is in jail right now?

            If what you say is true, then what would be the point of free will and choice? Just because there is a threat doesn’t mean it will be enforced. You believe because it is a justifiable faith.

          • My view is that human life is short and in it people are flawed. A good God would see to it that all ultimately are saved or experience whatever the highest state of happiness or contentment could be. That means that a good God should never damn anyone eternally – but always allow for a chance at repentance and change to the right behavior or attitude or thinking that would ultimately lead to salvation or freedom from evil. A good God would allow even Raniere, Hitler or Satan himself to, in time, become cured of their evil – by their own free will – even if it took trillions of years. In this respect, I merely say, if I were God I would not damn anyone eternally, but always offer some hope for their welfare. That’s what I would do. I can’t speak for others. I am not God – I cannot speak for God. If you were God what would you do?

          • –My view is that human life is short and in it people are flawed.

            So? Actions in a sense are eternal. Can you undo what you’ve already done? If you kill someone, can you bring them back to life? If you rape a woman, can you un-rape her? If you cut off someone’s arm, can you put it back?

            –but always allow for a chance at repentance and change to the right behavior or attitude or thinking that would ultimately lead to salvation or freedom from evil.

            God does – in each and every moment in this life. There are plenty of opportunities for someone to change. They just refuse to do so, mostly because of their ego. People who damn themselves do so because the fall is in the will, not the intellect.

            Also, there’s a difference between violating the rights of God and violating the rights of other beings. If you do the former, then it is up to God to determine whether He forgives you or not, and He’s the most forgiving. If it’s the latter and the being is at least another human being, then God leaves it up to that person to forgive you, and most people aren’t forgiving in general, let alone close to the forgiveness level of God. So be wary of whose whose right’s you violate. What those rights are is beyond the scope of this comment.

            –In this respect, I merely say, if I were God I would not damn anyone eternally

            God damns no one. You damn yourself. God certainly keeps you in a state of damnation because that is now the state of your own soul, but you persisted in the choices that brought you to where you ended up. Who says you would’ve changed if given another hundred, a hundred thousand, or even a trillion years of life if the punishment never came and you still kept acting like an asshole and fucking people over?

    • Scott,

      A lot of prison guards will tell you, “Where is God? Didn’t you know he is in prison”, then the prison guards will always chuckle sarcastically….Every one discovers God in prison. Plus you get to go to chapel and network!!!!

      ….I’ve had the conversation a few times. I know someone that is an active probation officer like the Alias Jarhead is.

  • One can write about Keith Raniere conditions of his detention and accommodation in prison, but these are general conditions for all prisoners who are accommodated there and have to cope with it, especially those who have particularly long prison sentences ahead of them or have been in prison for a very long time. And when talking about poor hygienic conditions in prison, one should mention that Keith Raniere had his own special way of dealing with personal hygiene. So it’s not so different from how he lived in freedom. And if Frank Parlato hopes to make Raniere see his own guilt and repent, while still hoping that Raniere will apologize to his victims in some way for his actions and become a better person, he will probably be disappointed. Raniere knows no justice but only his own self-righteousness combined with his cruelty and his perverse sex drive, which is above all and an intrinsic trait of Raniere. Besides it is not clear to me why there is so much lamentation about the general conditions in prisons, Raniere will certainly not have been surprised, because after all everybody has the possibility to inform themselves about it through the media. But to read about it and to see pictures is not the same as to experience it. Who commits crimes has to reckon with that happening to him, even if Keith Raniere had the hubris that he was unassailable and untouchable. But in the end one of the smartest people in the world was wrong again. Not for the first time and it won’t be the last.

    Viva Executive Success. A toast to Cry Baby Vanguard.

  • “There is no forgiveness”, there is forgiveness in Christ you hack. Did you ever read the bible? I’m guessing no. If you did then you are intentionally twisting it. Either way, you are a liar.

    • I think you either misread my story or I misunderstood Christian cults. Are you saying that a soul damned to hell can be forgiven and go to heaven thanks to Christ?

  • Sociopaths do not experience remorse so good luck on that.
    As for weeping for those incarcerated? You forget about their victims. I don’t so I will expend no sympathy to those in prison.
    I recall how Richard Speck lived the life of Riley in prison yet he murdered….was it 11 or 12 student nurses while one survived hiding under a bed though she was witness to her friends being led, one by one, to their death.
    Frankly I pray for Keith to get beaten every day he is in there.

    • Yes, Ion, I marvel at Frank’s natural talent — I think the name “Parlato” must be rooted in “gifted in parlance” or good communicator. Your keen observation that “not even when it would benefit him to do so” is exactly what undid Raniere as it does most selfish people in time — psycho or not. My sister, Gina, was fond of reciting parables. She told me one that’s fitting:

      In hell, everyone is seated in a circle at a table filled with mounds of the most delicious, satisfying food imaginable. Their hands are tied behind themselves but they can reach the food with a two foot spoon, the handle held in their mouths. They can scoop up the food but cannot feed themselves. They hunger constantly for eternity bc it never occurs to them to use their spoons to feed one another.

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,_Jr.

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