Former Friend: Keith Raniere and Jim Jones Had Astonishing Similarities – Lucky Keith Was Arrested Before Adding One More Similarity

Nancy Durkin was associated with Keith Raniere in the 1990s through his Consumers’ Buy Line. She met several of his early harem members including Pam Cafritz and Karen U.  She once spent the night at 3 Flintlock Lane in Clifton Park when she was visiting Albany. However, she never had a romantic relationship with Raniere.  Her opinion of Raniere is interesting because she knew him long before his crimes became exposed to the world. 

Nancy Durkin during the time period when she knew and worked with Keith Raniere.

By Nancy Durkin

As cold as ice.

Keith Raniere Is a destructive man who doesn’t know what love is

Until recently, Keith Alan Raniere had family, confidants, education, housing, wealth, leisure, and all the comforts in life. He did not have to “work” in any meaningful sense of the word.

To my knowledge, he has never lifted a finger to help anyone in need.  He has never developed a single original concept, thought or strategy. He simply borrowed from others.  He charged a great deal of money for his “self-help” courses.

What are the parallels between Raniere and Jim Jones, the murderer of nearly a thousand followers?  At the risk of going Shadowstate with the list (no offense intended), in my opinion:

-They presented a docile, intelligent and sincere image to the world.
-They wrapped themselves in the cloak of pious devotion to followers, and a stated desire to better the world.
-They wanted to start their own country, away from law enforcement, as absolute rulers.
-They inflicted corporal punishment and deprivation on the disobedient.
-They imposed sleep deprivation, impossible work hours, and limited diets of their flocks.
-They required communal living.
-They avoided tax obligations.
-They imprisoned individuals, in bedrooms or in man-made cells.
-They publicly shamed followers in front of the group.
-They paid government officials to look the other way.
-They impregnated and required their many mistresses to abort their children.
-Two or more of the children sired survived.
-They usurped money and assets from followers.
-They sent their minions to carry out their orders.
-They spied on perceived enemies.

It is a lucky thing Keith Raniere was arrested for he might have added on more similarity – killing himself and his followers in a massive murder event.

Image result for jim jones kool aid

Keith Raniere when he operated Consumer’s Buyline.

In my opinion, Consumers Buyline was a ripoff for “members.”  $200+ per year is too much to get the “opportunity” to save money.  Had Raniere not met the Bronfmans, he would have likely remained a common grifter on the “get rich quick” MLM scene.

Keith wooed women with false promises of enduring love and fidelity, in return for their devotion, servitude and – most importantly – their money.  But that’s not illegal. Just despicable.

I actually think Jim Jones might have had some fleeting sincerity in a desire to end racism.  He gradually descended into the nightmare of an impulsive need for control, paranoia, and prescription drugs.  But at the core, he might have started as a better person than Raniere.

Read the book, “Raven,” to form your own opinion.

Jones actually allowed some people to leave.  He became murderous only at the end.

Raniere might have been murderous since he was 17.  What really happened to his mother, Vera?  Why were heavy metals found in the hair of his long-time roommate and confidant?  What happened to Kristin Snyder?  Gina Hutchinson?

The sad thing is Raniere might not even know what he threw away.

He will subsist in prison on cheap macaroni and cheese, a filthy environment, Jerry Springer, and occasional movie reruns.

If he is released, however, he will recommence inflicting pain on others the moment he is able.


About the author



Click here to post a comment

  • I find it odd that Alison Mack took the acting job on the Kevin Bacon show about a cult led by a murderer, l The Following. I am pretty sure she was deep in Nexivm at the time so he must have encouraged her to go for it, as I’m assuming it got to the point she couldn’t do anything without his approval, as Lauren confirmed in her testimony

    • Actually Raniere punished Mack for her taking that role and required her to get specific approval for any role she took in future. Sources told me that Mack even had to make a public, teary eyed confession before a Nxivm gathering.

      • Now that is very interesting. Thanks for setting me right. I found it very strange he would be happy with that role considering her character was in the cult! Now this makes more sense (not that I can even make sense of anything that man has done).

  • There’s a now notorious fake guru named Nithyananda who has fled just recently from India and has acquired an island from Ecuador, because he was accused of rape by the authorities in Gujurat, a state in western India. His days playing God in India, mainly in Gujarat area, were about to come to an end. The only surprise about this is how long he got away with his guru-status without apprehension for his sexual habits.

    Years back, when I first noticed Nithyananda, he was being mythologized as a very youthful renunciant and “god-man.” Well, finally that fell apart for this jackass, because his ego got too big and he didn’t bother to be subtle anymore about his sexual appetites. Gyad! What a mishmash of spiritual stew and sexual hijinks this Nithyananda fellow has made for himself and his devotees, most of whom remain stalwart about his divinity and so-called teachings. He became very, very famous in India as an enlightened being.

    Just now Nithyananda has announced that he has founded a new, independent island nation. It is near Trinidad and Tobago, and he has named it Kailaasa. You might recognize that name as being derived from Mount Kailash, a high Himalayan peak in the Tibetan Autonomous Region of China, as it is now called. Mount Kailash is an ancient, sacred site, a mountain which is not climbed, as this would disrespect the feelings of many faiths, including the Hindus, the Jains, the Buddhists and the Tibetan Bons.

    Kailash is seen as the ancient home of the Gods. People make pilgrimages to the base of Kailash from all over Asia, especially during the warmer and less monsoon-like season. This has been happening for centuries. My own very dear ex-husband has accompanied his guru there in recent years. I will not go down that rabbit hole just now while referring to Nithyananda, but my ex is now in his late seventies and has “retired” to live in India with his (latest) guru.

    This fake “holy master” Nithyananda started young and got famous while in his early twenties. He walked all over various parts of India delivering his God-man platitudes and gathering disciples. I used to see photos in Indian press of Nithyananda sitting and giving satsang to his substantial crowd. It was unavoidable to notice a few things about his set-up. Those chelas (students) who sat up front, closest to him were almost all young women. Row after row of young women seated nearest to him struck me as a sign of what Nithyananda was designing.

    This is unusual in India, where crowds gather rapidly and most often are composed of men, who are out and about more than women tend to be, especially in less metropolitan areas. Now India has been changing a lot through the decades, since my family and I lived and traveled there for many years, starting around forty years ago. India is more polluted and crowded and more modernized than ever, of course. But the guru game has always been a traditional in India.

    When we began living there, Nithyananda was not even born. He came along on March 13, 1977. As he became famous, already he was messing around, doing things like changing his birthdate to January first, 1978, getting faked blood tests to show he was chockful of rare amounts of testosterone, changing his name from Tiru Rajasheka to Nithyananda Swami and trying on 3 or 4 more birthdates shown in various documents.

    He has gotten older and pudgier, dresses more and more fancily, is more markedly egotistical. He got himself a load of followers and plenty of money, but Nithyananda’s main weakness and interest appears to have been to get himself more and more “worship” via sex. He accepts puja (gifts) and enjoys unpaid labor, the best accommodations, etc.

    Now he has his own island and has declared it an independent nation and is far removed from extradition. Since I began looking into cult-like societies in the 1960s, there have been numerous similarities to observe between them, regardless of the propounded “religious beliefs” being used as the core philosophies.

    This isn’t intended to invalidate what Nancy Durkin has written about Raniere and Jim Jones being rather alike. However I also see at least as many distinctions as likenesses, between these men and their organizations. Power madness and greed, sick sexuality, deception and trickery abound, all over the world. One can see the same in the political arenas, internationally. There does not need to be a religious or a spiritual excuse. The dangerousness comes out to public when the movement and the guru or leadership begin to get caught and the organizations start their decline and begin the last lingering moments of their swan songs or try to find new disguises, costumes.

    Anyone interested in peeking into Nithyananda, simply type in “Nithayananda’s island,” for the latest. There is plenty of press, waiting to pop up and to study.

  • It seems all cults pretty much follow the same pattern. Look at Manson, heck, even Hitler.

    A charismatic leader who is actually a psychopath;

    A desperate audience;

    Promises to change the world; and

    Ending in the destruction of so many lives.

  • “If he is released, however, he will recommence inflicting pain on others the moment he is able.”

    Keith Raniere will get at least twenty years.
    If and when Raniere is released, he will be too old to hurt anyone.
    He will be released into the world of 2036 in a world entirely different from 2018.
    He will experience a massive cultural shock.

    • Shadow State, I disagree, and here’s why: the damage was largely psychological, brainwashing in nature. No age requirements on that one.

    • I agree with the comparison. We don’t know what Keith’s endgame was. But we know the path he was going down.

      I also think their are many similarities between Keith and H.H. Holmes.

  • This follows on the heels of the topic about DOS “readiness drills” – which begs the question, ready for what?

    Jones had “White Nights” which prepared members for attack – or suicide. And Manson took his followers “creepy crawing,” sneaking into occupied homes at night just to leave a trace like something rearranged, getting them accustomed to breaking and entering.

    • Thanks. I forgot about the White Knights.

      Raniere likely never would have gone as far as Jones because he was not addicted to all kinds of drugs. That increases paranoi and a sence of futility. But it’s chilling that now that we hear he might have had a hand in certain deaths.

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


Discover more from Frank Report

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue Reading