Woman Who Dated Keith Raniere Decades Ago Gives ‘First Hand Account of a Monster’s Image’

Keith Raniere before he started Nxivm.

Two comments from a woman who had a relationship with Keith Alan Raniere years ago gives, as one commenter said, “a first hand account of a monster’s image… evil at its deepest level!”  It is worth publishing as a single post for those who may have missed it in the comments section.,

The former girlfriend’s comments appear in response to the story Lauren Salzman Lied for Raniere and Killed Her Conscience With the Excuse That ‘He Knew Better Than Me’.

By Too Many Familiarities 

Holy crow – there but for the grace of God…

Many years ago I had a four year intimate relationship with Keith Alan Raniere.

At the time, I thought we were a monogamous couple (I know better now) although I would sometimes accuse him of cheating which he vehemently deny and turn the accusation back on me.

He always had some excuse as to why other women acted towards him as they did.

He gave me a gold chain necklace for my birthday once with some smarmy note implying he would eventually give me a ring. I thought the desperation I felt at trying to hold on to a relationship with this very special man who was wanted by so many – I thought that was love.

Finally, when I started to get involved in other activities and met other people, I realized that there were people I liked far better than him. It was my strong emotion that I didn’t have to stay with someone who abused me that saved me. When I see Lauren Salzman denied her own emotions because KAR taught that a strong emotional response indicates one has an “issue”, I want to vomit.

I tried to leave peacefully – told him I didn’t think we worked as a couple, and I wanted to step it back to just friends. He blocked me in a corner with his body – pushed me onto my bed and sat on me so I couldn’t go anywhere.

So I waited until our lease was up and moved out on my own. Six-8 months later when I was seeing someone else, he called me at my then boyfriend’s place in a rage and demanded to know when we had broken up.

I told him I had been gone for months, and if he couldn’t figure that out, I couldn’t help him. Don’t think I’ve spoken to him directly since though he did send stalker minions a couple of times.

I left a message to tell him to quit it or I’d get a restraining order.

Clearly, he refined his abusive techniques and got more grandiose over the years with an army of enablers to back him up. And refined his targets – those who were able to close off their own conscience and deny their own emotions.

Good luck to Lauren; she’s gonna finally have to take responsibility for her own thoughts, emotions, personality. Not sure prison is conducive to that, but you gotta reap what you sow.


Keith Raniere – at the time when he was having sex with 12-year-old Rhiannon and telling several women he was in a monogamous relationship with them and keeping several others in a harem.

When I read the testimony of witnesses or accounts from others that experienced him directly, I am appalled at all the details that I recognize.

Beyond just looking on a necklace as a slave collar – using illness to demand sex and cooperation; making meaningless requests to demonstrate his power over you and your abject obedience; constant lying and gaslighting and contradicting what you think and feel until you no longer know your own mind; the refusal to let go and let someone move on despite his own waning of interest.

I see the world I lived multiplied and expanded a thousand times over. I still cannot fathom how a person can be so completely soulless, how they can be so committed to the destruction of others and cloak it in false “for your own good”.


Keith Raniere would tell several women at the same time that he was in a monogamous relationship with them. Much of his life was spent hiding and cheating. One of his finest gambits for prolonged absence was to tell a woman he was suffering from some dread disease, often cancer – and was at the hospital. In reality, he was in another woman’s bed.


Keith Raniere was a sex addict, this he all but admitted. But it did not give him pleasure. It exhausted him. His real pleasure came from destroying people’s happiness.  And the best way to destroy the happiness of others was to trick them into thinking he was working to make them happy. This way they would get closer to him and he could gradually take control of their lives and ruin them.

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Frank Parlato


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  • Is it just me, or does Bangkok seem to viciously attack ANYONE posting here who has direct experience, knowledge, or information to share? (I won’t list them all.) It’s as if he’s actively trying to shut them down. No wonder such posts are rare and many who could speak up remain silent.

    I could be wrong of course, but consider the virulence of the comments..

  • On the weekends, when Bangkok isn’t playing video games or posting on the Frank Report; he is eagerly collecting gobs of DNA from other men in a bathroom stall at a highway rest stop. God bless him! 🙂

  • His picture above in the red shirt reminds me of Chris Porco. He was a guy from the Albany NY area that tried to murder his parents with an ax while they were asleep, he drove from RIT where he attended college to Bethlehem NY at night to kill them, and drove back making it look like it couldn’t have been him. The father was a prominent judge, he died from the ax wounds, the mother survived but had no memories of the attack. Anyway, Chris was free on bail awaiting trial and always seen around town with women, no guy friends, always some girlfriend or another. Very similar personality would be my guess.

  • Raniere must have a powerful phallus. That is his secret. The cult of the phallic symbol goes back to the great civilizations that preceded us. Already in Egypt they worshiped Min, a deity that represented fertility and vegetation. Similarly, the Greeks had Priapus, a lesser god who also symbolized fertility. Both were represented with huge erect phalluses, and with them they worshiped prosperity and fertility. Also in Rome there was the cult of phallic symbols, and phallus-shaped amulets were used to avoid the evil eye. But it is not necessary to go back so much in time to understand the symbolic power of the phallus. Festivals dedicated to the fertility and prosperity of crops continue to be held in Japan. In the Hounen Matsuri there are processions with a wooden penis of about two and a half meters, and the streets are full of food and souvenir stalls, many of them phallic. And of course, to end this historical journey, the phallus is one of the most important symbols in psychoanalysis.

    • I think it is just that he is a pscycopath/ narcissist. This is book behavior .

      I did find interesting the discussion of how Keith told people to ignore their feelings and this helped him retain them . What control. I think the ones that called his bullshit are who escaped ..like Dany. Hero !

  • Frank Parlato is the best. If it did not exist, it would have to be invented. His blog is magnificent. It has had me entertaining whole nights of insomnia.

  • Well, at least Lauren Salzman got some ‘material’ benefits out of her relationship with KAR — instead of just banging that fat slob for 4 years while he cheated on you, all the while you thought you were in a monogamous relationship.

    It takes a real moron (IMO) to date a slob like Keith for 4 years while he’s banging other sluts during that same period, all the while you were totally faithful and thought he was the man of your dreams.

    I mean, when Keith said “Honey, I’ll be out all night picking wild flowers by myself” — apparently this gal actually believed that shit. LOL. What a dope. 🙂

    Lauren Salzman did considerably better for herself.

    According to Frank, Lauren received $200k per year along with 2 houses, plus ‘status’ as a green sash. At least Lauren made some ‘bank’ while giving up her poontang to Keith.

    Yet this other ‘girlfriend’ (who spent 4 years with Keith) apparently got NOTHING except a broken heart and 4 years of WASTED LIFE — all the while she gave up her poontang to a CHUBBY FAT SLOB who didn’t bathe regularly, and she probably even supported Keith by working menial jobs.

    IMO, Lauren was much smarter than this other gal.

    Lauren also made amends and repented for her sins, by testifying in court.

    Without Lauren’s testimony, that fat slob would’ve walked free much sooner.

    Lauren is the real hero of this story.

    So all in all, I think Lauren is being scapegoated by Frank and Co. (Frank and Hobo Heidi).

    Frank has written an article series (of around 30 articles) outlining why Lauren is basically Satan incarnate.

    Frank is a biased ASSHOLE and he knows it.

    Have a nice day.


    PS — Frank, if you delay approving this comment (like you did to me yesterday) then go fuck yourself and I hope you get cancer of the butt before your trial begins. Your censorship here has gone way overboard. Flowers was right about you. You went from a free speech lover to a ‘speech nazi’ in the course of 12 months. You really are an asshole, Frank.

    • Bangkok, if this comment had been a little longer I would have made it into a post. But I do think that a woman who was fooled by Raniere for 4 years is not necessarily a fool. He was a pretty persuasive man – and he sought out women – good and bad. The bad seemed to stay with him and the good got out quicker – like this woman. She left him and saw through him comparatively fast.

    • Oh look – another psychopath. What a charmer you are! I’m sure Lauren will be happy to join you – once she’s done serving her time. Enjoy.

      I won’t bother to respond or even read your remarks anymore – similar to how I don’t waste my time on Scott Johnson. Ta.

      • Good for you, Too Many. This could be a great comment section if there were not a handful of assholes clogging up the comments with their irrelevant, toxic nonsense. It seems like every relevant and insightful comment is outnumbered 3 to 1 (at least) by bizarro, often misogynistic, comments from people who should be receiving treatment in a forensic hospital for dangerous perverts.

    • I agree she was a material witness in putting the dirt bag away.

      From an outsider looking in, I think the dichotomy of opinion boils down to those who think she was a victim and those who think she was an opportunist.

      She absolutely stepped up to the plate.

      I hope ALL the victims understand how they were manipulated by a sociopath.

      These women are victims.

      My opinion.

  • What people don’t understand is that Keith doesn’t have sex. He teaches tantric yogi practices where his immaculate ejaculate changes the complete being. It is like the giving of communion in Catholic Church. This stupid talk about him having sex with Kris Kreuk is bullshit. It was not sex, stupid. It is tantra – totally different. Sultan, she never had sex with Keith. None of us did.

  • “Much of his life was spent hiding and cheating”

    … and charging people for his teachings about “inner honesty and integrity” and “ethics.”

    Oh, that Vanguard – a typical hypocritical guru, actually.

    The one thing I’m curious about, is hadn’t Raniere always had a relationship with Unterreiner going on, at least in the background, ever since college? They would have graduated in the early 1980s, and then bought the condo at 3 Flintlock Lane together in 1987 or 1988 from what I recall, so there’s a fairly small window of time for him to have had a lease on a place with someone else – unless he continued to do things like that even after buying the place in Knox Woods.

    p.s. I’ll add, in response to challenges to this woman’s account when originally posted, that after a fair bit of study of such personalities, I consider it part of the functional definition of psychopaths like Raniere, that they’re frighteningly adept at getting people to trust them, when of course they’re actually the least trustworthy people. While those who stuck with him so long that they had to have realized what was going on, like Toni Natalie, seem to be pathological personalities themselves, someone like this woman who eventually figured out what Raniere was really up to and then left, deserves credit for having had more insight and integrity than many.

    Despite Popular Opinion, Psychopaths Can Show They Care
    “Yet, when you think about it, the ability of psychopaths to con and smooth talk their way into situations that allow them to take advantage of people requires some pretty sensitive people-reading skills. ”

    • You’re correct – Karen was always in the background; I just didn’t know it at the time. I was under the impression she had dumped him for going after me. We lived together for 4 years – Karen was probably one of the people he cheated with. From her perspective, she probably thought the same of me. Although now I also question whether she had some behind the scenes involvement in some aspects of my relationship with Keith.

      When I walked away, KAR roomed with a friend of mine who complained about Karen being over all the time and leaving long hairs all over the place. So yeah – apparently she was waiting for him all along.

      In the case of Keith as a psychopath – he targets naive, trusting people especially those with some trauma in their past. It lets him appear so terribly caring as he gathers information on how to best twist himself into your weaknesses.

  • Great article.

    Clearly, KAR was exhibiting symptoms of full-blown Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

    What I find odd in every single photo is……his eyes. They’re downright creepy. Eyes are the mirror of the soul, and his are sinister if not evil.

    The burning question (pun intended) — did you see a blue light when you had sex?

    • You will notice that when I paint Raniere his eyes are crossed with a pack man symbol. This particular photo is a perfect example. If you slow down his video conversations you will notice that his eyes literally have no idea where they are going.

      • Yeah, they go no where, I agree. But it’s more than that. It’s a sociopathy. How did his followers not see it?

      • Your work is deeply appreciated by me, your receptive audience. The vividness and the skill of what you originate and produce amazes me. This cannot be at all easy; you bring such depth.

        I too see that Raniere’s eyes have always betrayed the image which he has tried so compulsively to project. He will never be able to “control” himself, not as he has been, not as he has remained. He cannot see himself.

    • Naw – claims of the “blue light special” were long after my time with him. I never granted him deity status – just a lot of respect until I realized he deserved none of it.

  • “I still cannot fathom how a person can be so completely soulless, how they can be so committed to the destruction of others and cloak it in false “for your own good”.”

    Well said. I think many of us feel the same way.

  • Wow. I am saddened by your experience. The physical violence (forceful restraint) is especially telling and disturbing. Here are my observations as a (fortunate) outsider:

    I’ve been pondering on what turns a man into a woman hater, such as KAR. Until now, my thinking was it was some combination of betrayal, belittling, nagging, neglect, or rejection.

    By all accounts, KAR was reasonably nurtured, albeit with a perhaps imperfect mother. (Is there any other kind?) Women and girls fell in love with Keith despite his marginal looks and lack of wealth. Fiercely devoted, they doted on, coddled, and obeyed him. They worked hard to pay all the bills, so he could sleep and conduct his life at ease. They cooked and served his meals. They freely gave him their money, trust, affection, and sexual cooperation. They willed their estates to him. They catered to his every whim, arranged their schedules around him, followed his suggestions and orders, and swore loyalty to him. Yet, he despised them all and discounted their feelings, thoughts, comfort, and welfare. He might have even poisoned some, or had a hand in their disappearances or suicides. This is a puzzle beyond my comprehension.

    Don’t dismiss the women who got involved with Keith as gullible. He is (or at least was) a very convincing man.

    My experience with the handful of truly good men I’ve known is that they respond well to loyalty, love, and consistency, even if they had a rough past. Raniere’s hatred of women defies logic to me, A lot of men who hate women simply avoid them.

    And just to be redundant, I think the opposite of love is not hate; it’s indifference. If KAR thought so little of the female sex, why did he not simply wash his hands of them and surround himself with enthusiastic male acolytes? There were certainly a plethora of them in the CBI days. Why not hire willing prostitutes to please him sexually? Why all the mind games and gas lighting? He did not have to do all he’s done, unless he derived from it some twisted, perverse pleasure.

    We need to dig more into the past of this man. What the hell happened? There might never be any clear answer.

    • Nancy,

      I believe he has a great need to control and it’s the controlling of women where he finds his satisfaction.

      • Where Raniere resides now, what does he have left to try to control? It seems that he’s found absolutely nothing left to do except to complain, now and again. He has tried to nitpick about details of some legal procedures, mostly to no avail. According to Klavinger’s recent observation, Raniere’s latest obsession has been with cheese.

        Since this is the year of the rat, and Raniere was born 8/26/1960, (another year of the rat,) some could find this particularly, ironically amusing. Life itself goes on having some fun, whether anyone witnesses it or not.

        Right now Raniere has no idea what is waiting for him, directly after he is moved out of MDC. He has not seen hard time yet. Has that occurred to him yet? Even fake cheese can become a distant memory. 2020 could be Raniere’s last year as a rat.

    • —then why not hire willing prostitutes to please him sexually?—

      If he despises females, which he did, it makes more sense to have them pay him for sex, which he did.

      • I think he would get much more satisfaction from controlling someone and destroying their dreams (like he did to Lauren or Alison Mack) than from just controlling someone via money . He turned Alison Mack, a multi-millionaire star into a felon, a broke felon. How satisfying must that be ?

        This is how psychopaths operate . We don’t have to over analysize him. He just sick. Many psychopaths are born that way. It is genetic . They are different from normals. But once you know what they are, you can control them. They hate to be ignored. Ignore these psychopaths 🙂

    • Great comment. I think about this all the time: How can a group of seemingly intelligent, attractive and successful women fall for such a woman hater?

      I equate this with the rise of Hitler: a long, slow boil of false grandiosity, intimidation and false hope. Vanguard. Bowing. IQ. Sleep deprivation. Sneak peaks. It’s the same crap Hitler used!

      And then, they fall for his crap about genetically superior children, polymory and more!

      At the end of the day, it’s full blown narcisstic personality disorder.

    • Psychos are born, sociopaths are made if you define the terms by etiology or cause. Psycho = a disorder of the mind. Socio = a disorder of socialization. Thus, psychos are incurable, sociopaths might be cured if they can readapt to a different socialization. FR has covered a few tidbits of Keith’s youth and there have been some past media statements from James Raniere, Keith’s dad, who did try to warn some of Keith’s victims in the early days.

      Remember Keith went after virgins, not hookers. Why? Because a hooker is callous, far from tormented by the act of sex, plagued with guilt as a virgin or very religious younger girl might be. He also liked married women and lesbians for the same reason, IMO. Raniere wants to destroy. He tremendously envies any female who is content at all. That’s where I think, as James Raniere has implied, Keith’s mother’s, Vera”s suffering due to illness may have played a role in the development of his already sick psyche. My ex-husband is similar. Can’t stand to see me happy at all, ergo, sadly his own son suffers.

      • Even with psychopaths, socialization affects whether they become extremely dangerous, or possibly are even benign.

        There’s a great story about one of the researchers in the subject, who realized that he himself scored high on scales of basic psychopathic characteristics:

        The Neuroscientist Who Discovered He Was a Psychopath
        While studying brain scans to search for patterns that correlated with psychopathic behavior, James Fallon found that his own brain fit the profile
        “Eventually, based on further neurological and behavioral research into psychopathy, he decided he was indeed a psychopath—just a relatively good kind, what he and others call a “pro-social psychopath,” someone who has difficulty feeling true empathy for others but still keeps his behavior roughly within socially-acceptable bounds.

        It wasn’t entirely a shock to Fallon, as he’d always been aware that he was someone especially motivated by power and manipulating others, he says. Additionally, his family line included seven alleged murderers, including Lizzie Borden, infamously accused of killing her father and stepmother in 1892.

        But the fact that a person with the genes and brain of a psychopath could end up a non-violent, stable and successful scientist made Fallon reconsider the ambiguity of the term.”

        He’s done an interesting TED talk that is easily found, though I’m not going to post the big link for it.

    • I would argue that he would manipulate and control men as well. However, his favorite way of exerting power was through sex – and he wasn’t interested in sex with men. So the women caught the brunt of his maliciousness. With men it was always demonstrating why he was so much better than them – better skier, better piano player, so much smarter, better lover – “look at how many women want me”.

      I believe he has Narcissistic Personality Disorder – probably with a heavy somatic component. Basically everyone ls just an object, a toy for him. And his method of play is psychopathic. And toys don’t get to walk away – only when he’s done and ready to throw it in the trash. But he likes to smash his toys before he trashes them because that gives him a power rush.

      • Familiarity
        Where did you meet Keith and how old were you at the time?
        Keith obviously displays many NPD traits, and narcissistic people are often very charismatic and charming, and the younger you are when becoming involved with a narcissist, the more likely you are to miss the red flags.
        I dont find it surprising that you spent 4 years with him, as narcissists always hide their true nature at first.

  • Much appreciate this post and I know who you are from Gina. She thought you DID get the restraining order. Mentioned it now and then. I looked for it in the court records, albeit AFTER Gina passed away. Sigh. [In hindsight, everyone looks like ass.]

    Here’s the thing about Lauren, though. She may have denied her own feelings but she didn’t deny the houses, the “slave” jewelry, the jet rides, the exotic Isle retreats, the wardrobe, the cars, the cats — all the spoils of the Bronfman booty she knew those she recruited would not be partaking in, especially if Keith took such a fancy to them he needed them fleeced down to desperation to be more easily manipulated and, ultimately, destroyed. Yes, case in point, I mean Allison Mack.

    For me, Lauren’s awareness she expounds in her testimony of all you mention in admirable compassion for her is a confession of her own guilt.

    Were Allison Mack not facing the exact same charges as Lauren is, I might be able to muster more sympathy for her. That, and I believe Lauren may have composed my sister’s death chart — complete with the “glass ceiling theme” I believe she and her Mom were working on to promote Hillary Clinton’s campaign, in addition to having Clare bundle those donations for her. All to earn the political protection NXIVM used to cover and continue their crimes.

    Btw, I used to play a certain Roy Orbison tune 😉 to help jog my memory when writing about Gina — a project I abandoned under harassment duress years ago. I believe the Salzman’s — all of them — and, possibly, Kristin Keeffe know all bout that, too. But prefer to laugh while letting my ex use my grief and creative process to steal from our son and provide another alibi for Keith and others ‘fleedom’ to freedom.

    • I hope you someday get some answers and closure on Gina’s death. I never knew her personally – she was after my time with Keith.

      Nope – never got a restraining order. The threat seemed to make him go away or maybe just made him more circumspect. Don’t know , don’t care – as long as he was out of my life for good that was fine.

      Stay well and find happiness again.

      • Yes, Gina only learned of you long after the fact when she grew up and began questioning her devotion to Keith and dealing with the statuatory rape demons — with, ironically, Kristin Keeffe’s ‘help.’ Not sure who told her about you but I think it was maybe Steve Ose, one of the hacker dudes she worked with at CBI. Definitely it was a guy, maybe Keith’s RPI roomie he’d ripped off bc I heard that story too around the same time. I’ll let you answer Nancy Durkin’s Roy Orbison question if you want to. I’d hoped by now it’d be safe for everyone to come of hiding and I’m sure it is for some but not where I’m sitting, apparently.

        Again, thank you for your courageous posts. It warms my heart to know you escaped and survived so well. Guess Keith didn’t have the same ‘weight’ behind him those days when he was sitting on you but even then you might have been crushed! Good thing he didn’t fart, either!

    • Yes, I agree about Lauren. I think sympathy for a person who led the charge at the head of such a nefarious organization is misplaced. She benefitted greatly and would, in all likelihood, be cracking the whip over underlings today, if that preternatural doofus hadn’t been arrested.

    • Peaches,


      It’s a blue flame; ironically like the blue flame on a “gaslighting” pilot-light. Knowing Raniere, it could be a play on words.


      It’s Rumeforeskin [Rumple-for-Skin] not Rumpelstiltskin.

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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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com