Keith Raniere had an ability and the desire to get his followers to turn against their own families. Heidi Hutchinson shares this interesting story about her sister and brother. Readers know her sister, Gina Hutchinson, was a victim of Raniere’s sexual advances when she was around 14 years old. She remained with Raniere for much of her life – and was found dead from gunshot wounds in a wooded area in Woodstock NY in October 2002. She was 33. Her death was ruled a suicide but there are some, including her sister, who feel that Keith Raniere had a hand in her death. Whether it was murder or working to assist in her suicide is unknown at this time. Heidi takes us back to the 1980s and Clifton Park before Raniere founded Nxivm and became the Vanguard.
By Heidi Hutchinson
My brother, Eric Hutchinson, has some not-so-fond recollections about Keith Raniere. He’s permitting me to share them with Frank Report readers.
Eric got to know Keith when Keith proposed starting a business with him called “The Concept School” back in the mid-eighties —when Keith was “mentoring” our little sister along with some of her friends.
Eric, btw, just so happens to have a true, very high IQ that throughout his life always tested in the “genius” range. He still holds the highest score in history on the U.S. Naval entrance exam and his portrait still hangs in the hallowed halls of Navy headquarters in Washington, D.C.
Eric was accepted into Keith’s own alma mater, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute — though he attended Brigham Young University on a full-ride scholarship instead.
One of the features of Eric’s indisputably high intellect is a keen memory starting at a far earlier age than average.
NXIVM aficionados might recall that Keith Raniere makes the same claim of having memories from the crib — a panic attack over losing his baby bottle and such — that supposedly led to Keith’s development of “anti-parasite” strategies for early infant genius training. What a concept.
In fact, many of Keith’s genius-making “concepts” arose from his association with my family. My brother, Mark, for instance — whose not necessarily a genius but pretty darn smart — considers Ayn Rand’s “The Fountainhead” to be the greatest novel ever written, though he doesn’t recall ever sharing that with Keith.
Eric, however, recalls how Keith — who is two years older than he — tried to pick his brain under the pretext of starting “The Concept School” to produce geniuses who would someday rule the world and make them both ultra-rich if one of their (Eric’s) inventions didn’t do the trick.
Eric’s invention was a sort of solar energy device that ran on something he calls “luminiferous ether” — seen as electric blue molecules that Eric says group together in the atmosphere and can generate energy — [and, according to Keith Raniere, intensely potent, multiple orgasms in Keith’s female subjects during sex with him.
Eric soured on Keith when he started getting the idea that about the only thing Keith could conceptualize was having sex with the girls he dazzled with his faux intellect and RPI credentials. And before Scott Johnson chastises another relative of Gina’s for not reporting the statutory rape, no one except Gina’s best friend and I knew that Gina herself was sexually involved with Keith from before the time she reached the age of consent in New York.
It was in 1987 when Eric accompanied Gina and her best friend — a girl I’ll refer to as “Susan [not her real name] because she is yet in such legitimate fear of Keith Raniere that she’s asked me not to name her — went out one night with fake ID’s to a local disco to do some underage drinking. They got into the club but weren’t sold any alcohol, as Eric recalls, so they eventually left in search of libations.
Susan was driving, Gina occupied the passenger front seat and Eric sat in the back. Gina wanted to drag Susan over to Keith’s townhouse, again, but Eric wanted to be dropped off at his hom, if he couldn’t convince them to forgo Keith’safter-hourss invite altogether.
Neither Susan, who’d worked up a thirst dancing, nor Gina — who apparently thirsted for Keith’s company — she was, sadly, long infatuated with the beast — wanted to make the detour to bring Eric home. They’d suggested he could get a cab or walk despite the chilly temperatures.
Eric had to pee en route back to the disco and use a pay phone to call our Mom for an emergency pick-up since he didn’t have the cab fare on him — this was long before cell phones — an alternative the girls did not agree with either.
If Mom were called, of course, that would put a sure stop to their plans to meet up with Keith.
So, the ever-clever Susan pulled over to let Eric out to pee off the side of the road and tried to take off before Eric barely had his fly zipped. Eric, however, managed to dodge back into the car as Susan was trying to tear out on him and leave him abandoned on the roadside to drudge home.
As Eric hastily re-entered the back of the vehicle he pulled a lever that pushed Susan’s seat up and momentarily pinned her to the front steering wheel, allegedly bruising her young, tender breasts. Susan was able to drive and drop Eric home, however, before the girls headed over to Keith’s next.
A few days later, the police were knocking on the door with a warrant for Eric’s arrest based on a report made by Susan and Gina over his alleged assault on Susan — when he’d supposedly shoved the seat up on her. Eric spent his first and only night ever in jail. Our Mom made bail for him the next day, of course, but unless the girls could be convinced to change their story and drop the charges, Eric was destined to be put back in the pen again. He was also facing a fine of $450.
Gina changed her statement almost immediately. However, Keith convinced Susan to take the “honest” route and hold out for “justice.”
Both Keith and Susan berated Gina for changing her testimony — for “lying” in support of her brother —although Gina insisted she was, in fact, lying when she first made the statement with Susan at Keith’s behest — probably to avoid exposing the true nature of his relationship with her and continue being allowed to see him.
Eric recalls Keith even had the audacity to try to convince our mother that it was in Eric’s best interest to be punished for his crime and that Gina should, likewise, be punished for perjuring herself when she changed her initial statement to something closer to the truth.
Gina needed a lesson on “ethics” even if it cost our family a few hundred bucks in fines, a few thousand in attorney fees, and her errant brother, perhaps, a bit of his freedom and a felony criminal charge on his record.
After weeks of Socratic debate with the world’s self-proclaimed most ethical genius on the topic — Gina stuck with her altered statement that exonerated her brother. Fortunately, Mom paid the fine and the attorney fees and the assault charges against Eric were reduced from “assault” to “public nuisance.”
Eric remembers that had something to do with having his wiener hanging out in front of Susan when he hopped back in her car not fully zipped.
Like many of us, today Eric prays Keith Raniere is able to help fully reform his fellow inmates during his prison stay with his ethics teachings and believes God has finally placed Keith where he might most benefit humanity.