Study Finds Howler Monkeys Can Be Like Raniere

Becky Ferreira for Vice wrote a fascinating article about Howler monkeys – the loudest land animals on Earth. Howler monkeys are capable of bellowing at volumes of 140 decibels, which is as loud as a gunshot or firecracker.

Her article, The Louder the Monkey, the Smaller Its Balls, Study Finds helped me come closer to understanding Keith Raniere’s ancestry.

Male howlers, Ferreira writes, “frequently use this power to advertise their sexual fitness, catcalling females with their ear-splitting roars.

“But in a beautiful twist of expectations, scientists have now found that the louder the monkey’s calls, the smaller the monkey’s balls. A team based out of Cambridge University came to this conclusion by comparing the size of dozens of monkeys’ testes with the hyoid bones located in their voice boxes, which revealed a negative correlation between decibel levels and testicular endowment.

“The results are published in the journal Current Biology.

“We found that males with larger hyoids, who can make lower-pitch vocalizations, have smaller testes and live in single-male groups with a harem of a few females,” anthropologist Leslie Knapp, a senior author of the study, said in a statement. “Males with smaller hyoids live in multimale groups and have larger testes.”

The study helped explain why howler monkeys develop contrasting social structures – males who howl loudly live as the sole male with a harem of females. They have smaller balls.

It also helps explain why Raniere offered the equivalent of howling – bragging and lying about his judo, his IQ, his business successes – and why he had a harem of women who could never be with another man the rest of their lives: He has small balls.

The “louder, small-balled monkey is more likely to develop a harem of females with whom he has exclusive breeding access,” the study suggests.

“The quieter, well-endowed monkeys…. tend to end up in larger groups containing many males and females that copulate freely with each other. In this non-exclusive group, males compete for paternity quite literally with their balls. The bigger a male’s sperm count, the more he is to edge out all the other males that are mating with the same females.”

While Knapp warns against anthropomorphizing these findings – there is a world of difference between howler monkeys and humans – in the case of Keith Alan Raniere, anthropomorphizing is hard to resist.

The howler monkeys’ behavior seems to explain a lot about Raniere, a small balled monkey with a loud howl.

Unfortunately, for him, he went from just keeping a harem to sex trafficking and racketeering to possibly murder.  He is confined to a world of all males – just the opposite of where his previous howling got him.

No one cares how loud he howls. He is a convict, an inmate in a federal prison, likely to be there for life.

By all accounts, he will serve as some prisoner’s wife-bitch and play the female role.

And that’s something to howl about.

Image result for group howling with laughter
Sadly for Keith Raniere [not pictured above], there are no more females in his world to be dazzled by his howling.

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Frank Parlato


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  • “the louder the monkey’s calls, the smaller the monkey’s balls.”

    I didn’t need a scientific study to know that.

    • This would be explain the ancestry of some commenters here. They could very well be descended from a common ancestor with Howler monkeys.

    • To Gastown Porter, aka Nicki Clyne:

      A good gift for your wife Allison Mack before she goes off to the Hoosegow would be tickets to the Hugh Jackman musical the Music Man that will play on Broadway starting September 9, 2020.
      It’s the rousing story about Professor Harold Hill, the musical con artist and swindler who tries to cheat the good people of River City (Mason City), Iowa out of their hard earned money.
      River City Iowa looks a lot like pictures of Saratoga Springs or Clifton Park New York.

      Nicki, I know that you and Allison would never associate with or fall for a con artist like Professor Harold Hill.
      A man who falsely claims to be a musical genius.
      A man who falsely claims to have a high IQ.
      A man who falsely claims to be a champion athlete.
      Nicki, I know that you and Allison are much too smart for a swindler like that.
      The Music Man Tickets
      Hugh Jackman returns to Broadway as Harold Hill in this musical theater classic.

      76 Trombones (Full Scene) – The Music Man (1962)

  • While it is understood this article was written for entertainment and tongue-in-cheek, the opposite argument can also be made. Raniere is quite soft and quiet, and one often has to lean in to even hear him speak. This means he has huge balls, which is evidenced by his behavior over the past three decades or so, taking massive risks with others. Others NOT howling is how he got away with it for so long.

    • Dummy, the analogy was figurative. KAR boasts of his fake grandiose accomplishments in a way that is analogous to the loud howling that the monkeys exhibit. Not that both physically make loud sounds. Don’t be a Texass.

  • This is not just,
    This lip of machismo.
    Testicle charts give me angina.
    Next time discuss
    The howler monkeys
    Who have big vaginas.

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.

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