Pre-Arrest, Pre-DOS — Harem Member’s 2016 Interview on Keith Raniere

This is an interview I conducted in February 2016, more than two years before Keith Raniere was arrested and more than a year before I broke the DOS story.

At the time, I was looking for anything I could find out about Raniere. People were starting to come to me and giving me information.

Numerous former harem members contacted me. Here is what one harem member, who asked not to be named, had to say. In retrospect, considering how much she said that was novel then, but later proven to be true, it makes this a very interesting read.

At the time of the interview, Keith was at the top of his game. Many of his enemies were indicted, – John Tighe, Joe O’Hara, Barbara Bouchey, Toni Natalie, and myself.  Jim Odato had been sued and resigned. No other media was writing about him.

He had already started DOS; he had numerous sex slaves  – which, at the time,  was still a secret. He had the heiresses at his beck and call and lived the life of total satiation. He even had a 10-day birthday celebration later that year where more than 450 attended, most of them paying more than $2,000 to be there.  Life was good. I was the sole voice against him. And a harem member dares to speak out against him, telling me the following:

By a Harem Member

What Keith does sometimes may seem foolish and idiotic, but it is genius.

It is such a brilliant psychological entrapment. It’s hypnosis. It is evil. You can’t imagine what he can do. He spent his whole life studying subliminal suggestion. The harem [members] really are brainwashed and once the spell breaks, once you start to recapitulate, it is like a horror.

Then you know what his power is. You lost everything.

I believe what Keith does is all a distorted lie to harm people. It is like a mental rape. Intelligent people understand it.  But the harem doesn’t question Keith.

They take what he says as truth and nobody evaluates their firsthand experience against what he says.

Nobody evaluates the [ex-harem] women who had close relationships with Keith who come forward [to tell their stories about Raniere] and the harem [members] all dismiss it and they take his word as fact, not opinion.

If they start to question anything Keith says as not to be a fact, Keith will systemically disrespect people behind their backs.

He sabotages them so disastrously to the whole organization behind their back that nobody believes anything they say. He did that to Barbara Bouchey for years [before she left].  She had no idea he was destroying her credibility for years.

He started right after the first time she objected to something. Then he started undermining her. As if he was planning in advance for her to go – setting up a plan that when she ultimately spoke against him, no one in his group would believe her. He had destroyed her credibility before she left. It is genius – but in an evil way.

Do I think he is a loving person?  No, not in the way that I see love.

I think that he cares for things, for people, for concepts. The way I see love is personal. He is not loving. In every loving person when they see something wrong, there comes a point where loving overcomes the problem and everybody grows.

Keith’s method is a very black and white system of punishment. I don’t think he is loving. I don’t know what to call it. In his harem, they call it compassionate.  But what good is it to understand a person if you don’t accept them? No, I don’t think he’s a loving person.

Is he a cruel person?  Maybe I am biased because of my relationship with him. There are a lot of occasions where I would call his actions cruel. He would say things to me, attributing the wrong meanings of my beliefs or attributing wrong intentions of my actions – his misunderstanding – applied in the wrong way to make it appear as though something was wrong.

Keith is a dangerous guy in an unsuspecting way.  I would not advise a woman to be in a relationship with him. I know he can be very charming in an intellectual way, but not in a romantic way. His way of living and treating women, what women get out of the relationship is not good. It is not good for a person to have to be “healed”  in that way.  I think he means to harm people. I think he is so radical in the way he has built his worldview, his ethics, his view of right and wrong. It is so black and white. It can be very hurtful to people around him.

Of course, none of the black and white rules apply to himself: those very punishing, very cause-and-effect punishments apply to other people, not him.

Other people might have to spend years in their room like Daniela to make things right, or like Ivy might have to grow their hair long, do any kind of activities to pay for their supposed offense – – even if they are ridiculous in the extreme.

But none of this applies to him.  That is why it is very unhealthy for someone to associate with him: he is someone who does not see himself like any other person.

He is above you and that is – in his hands – since he is cruel and not loving – a recipe for disaster.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Frank, along these lines you recently reposted a letter from The Rat. Perhaps the most fascinating letter submitted ever in this affair. Do you think The Rat is one of the Jane Doe plaintiffs? Will The Rat speak at the sentencing? Maybe this person was also The Rat???

    • The Rat knew Raniere at least from the CBI era. It was understood that it was either Keeffe or Unterreiner. Both of them denied it to Frank, but it is hard to believe to me (I strongly suspect Keeffe). Frank said he got a third suspect and that he will come back on this matter later.


    Sarah Edmondson sure loves attention. Will anyone at this event actually call her out on her history within the NXIVM cult? Not sure whose worse, the silent cowards (Mark Hildreth, Kristin Kreuk, Grace Park) or this crazy old wench who can’t stop milking this cow.

  • What point in time would you folks, as long time readers of the Frank Report, mark as Keith Raniere’s High Water Mark?

    I believe it was V Week 2016 when some 450 people trooped up to Lake George to celebrate Raniere’s week-long birthday.
    Some came from as far away as Mexico and Europe.

    We should all be thankful that Raniere was not smarter and more industrious or he would have been a real political threat.
    An American Hitler.

  • I have no sympathy for any of them that knew Dani was locked in that room and did nothing about it. (Though it’s hard to know from this message if she knew about her confinement during or after Dani got out).

  • This is an interesting read but, in my opinion, doesn’t go far enough.

    KAR has destroyed the lives of a lot of people. Some have called him a dangerous narcissist. Others, a sociopath who say he used brainwashing, sleep deprivation, caloric deprivation and more.

    At the end of the day, he’s a convicted felon.

    Reading this interview seems the victim gets it half right. She smells trouble, the tip of the iceberg, but nothing she states fully states the facts of which he has been convicted.

    As if she doesn’t really get what he’s done to both her and others.

    My opinion.

  • This woman sounds articulate and not as permanently affected by his machinations. Smart lady – probably wised up and got out quickly. Maybe even got some help to recover. Sounds like she can now speak about him dispassionately. Me, I’d still punch him in the face if I had the chance, but he’s not worth the effort to make that happen. There’s always imagination. What would I be charged with if I arranged a prison visit just to accomplish that?…🤔😈

  • This is some interesting overall background, particularly about how Raniere undermined anyone who got a bit out of line, even while they were in his harem.

    Is there any more detail that can be recounted, about what this person’s relationship with him was like?

    And Raniere was foolish and idiotic when it came to a lot of other things, particularly his dealings with the real world like commodities and property investments, or even his use of private investigators who ended up pulling the wool over his eyes and ripping him off. His talents such as they were seem to have been mostly limited to manipulating people directly in his sway, particularly the women.

    • Scott, this woman could, very well, be one of the many Jane Doe’s listed in the civil suit and she also may have submitted a victim impact statement to the court. For all we know she may have helped during the investigation into Raniere. She had the courage to share her story with Frank and that tells me she probably didn’t stop there.

          • WRONG. The OBVIOUS point is there is STILL no rational reason for this person not to step forward now and at Raniere’s sentencing hearing. There is no longer a need to fear NXIVM, they have been neutered. The NXIVM 6 have been found guilty and are awaiting sentencing. WHAT is the source of the fear?

      • I suspect there are several like myself who shared everything they knew with the FBI (and years earlier with Jim Odato) who do not feel the need to post all their personal details here. One can contribute what one knows of his character, etc. and still maintain some privacy. If the FBI had needed my testimony, they would have had it.

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.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was 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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

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