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.
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.
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.
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.
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.