He who has the most joy wins.
In 2012, the Albany Times Union published a series of articles on Keith Alan Raniere, which help explain his teachings about joy.
In one of these [In Raniere’s Shadow], a 33-year-old woman claimed Raniere enjoyed sexual encounters with her when she was 12.
He was 30 at the time of the encounters. The legal age of consent in New York is 17.
The Times Union reported that the girl [whose first name is Rhiannon] was “a 12-year-old with feathered bangs and long blond hair … Her mother was a saleswoman for Raniere’s members-only buying club, Consumers’ Buyline Inc…”
The Times Union continued: “When Raniere offered free tutoring, the girl’s mother jumped at the opportunity. At the same time…one of Raniere’s longtime girlfriends, Pamela Cafritz, hired her to walk a dog twice a day”.
The Times Union continues:
“Cafritz encouraged the girl’s visits to the townhouse she and Raniere shared with other women. And Raniere showered the girl with attention. She said he urged her to talk about her life. He gave her a necklace — a heart with a stone in it….
[Mr. Raniere] told her she hugged like a child, her arms wrapped around him but her hips pushed away.
He taught her to hug the way adults do, pelvis-to-pelvis.
He took her virginity.
The girl liked being able to hang out with Raniere and the women around him. She thought sex was just part of fitting in.
“They told me I was smart and took an interest in me; they let me spend every afternoon at their house,” she said. “… I was perfect picking… To have someone that mature and that well thought of to be interested in me, it was flattering. I was young, inexperienced, overwhelmed, out of my league.”…
The Times Union continues:
“Raniere [had] sex with her not only in his townhouse but in empty offices, in an elevator and in a broom closet at the plaza that housed Consumers’ Buyline, she said.
But after several months and about 60 sexual encounters with Raniere, she said, her emotions had changed. She started skipping school and running away from home. He lived nearby, and as her uncertainty about the relationship grew, she didn’t feel safe at home.”
Defenders of Raniere said Rhiannon was paid by the Times Union to make up the story.
However, according to a deposition Rhiannon signed in 1993, she told New York State Police that she had “sexual intercourse with a man named Keith Raniere” some 19 years before the Times Union story was published.
Rhiannon [then 15] told police the sexual intercourse “occurred when I was approximately 12-13 years old and occurred either at Keith’s townhouse at 3 Flintlock Lane, Clifton NY or his business located at Rome Plaza, Clifton Park, NY.”
The Times Union published a copy of the police report.
Here it is:
The Times Union continues:
“[Rhiannon] refused to wear a wire and confront Raniere to capture incriminating statements…
The girl didn’t want to see Raniere again and didn’t think he would fall for a police plan to have her wear a wire…
“He took my innocence,” she said. “I can never get that back.”
The Times Union spoke with Rhiannon’s mother:
Her mother confirms the story…. [Rhiannon] now a mother herself, [is] raising children with her husband in the Capital Region…
A school district document also published in the Times Union provides further evidence that Rhiannon didn’t make up the story in 2012.
The school document confirms Rhiannon ran away from home, was placed in a detention center for three years, contracted Hodgkins Disease and underwent treatment with radiation and chemotherapy. Rhiannon is one of the numerous women who contracted cancer after being enjoyed by Mr. Raniere.
The school report continues:
Frank Report is investigating allegations that Raniere raped at least four other girls ages 12-15 between 1990-1993. One girl, who was 14 at the time, told Frank Report that Raniere – her tutor –- had sex with her. [More on this story later].
Raniere offered to privately tutor Rhiannon who was 12.
At the same time, Raniere’s roommate, Pam Cafritz, hired Rhiannon to walk her dog.
Rhiannon was raped some 60 times, she claims. To enhance his joy, he sought out unique places to rape Rhiannon, such as broom closets and elevators, as well as in the comfort of his own home. Rhiannon eventually became disturbed and frightened and ran away from home.
Raniere continued to enjoy other women and possibly other underage girls.
Rhiannon was placed in a detention center, contracted blood cancer, received chemo and radiation treatment, and returned home when she was 16. She claimed it took her 20 years for her to recover from being raped by Raniere. She was another female associated with Raniere who contracted cancer.
For his part, Raniere went on to become a teacher of ethics, and founder of Nxivm, calling himself Vanguard, and enjoying sexual encounters with female students. Some of these claim they also ran away from him in terror.
“He who has the most joy wins,” said Raniere.
For a time he seemed to have had a lot more joy than Rhiannon. When it came to joy, Raniere was often the winner.
But his joy ran out. Karma caught up with him. Raniere was arrested for sex trafficking and other crimes on March 26, 2018, some 27 years after he raped Rhiannon.
‘Though the mills of God grind slowly; Yet they grind exceedingly small.’
Raniere was convicted by a jury of his peers in Brooklyn federal court after a six week trial on June 19, 2019. He found that it is not ‘he who has the most joy wins,’ but ‘he who gives the most joy wins.’ That’s what the fool forgets and why Keith Alan Raniere is in federal custody now and likely to be there for the rest of his life.
He gave a lot of women a lot of joy on that day, which some have called Vangone Day.
He will be sentenced on Thursday, April 16, 2020. By law, he will get at least 15 years and probably longer for the crimes he was convicted of committing.
He was never convicted for raping Rhiannon and other girls. He was not convicted of many of his worst crimes, crimes that stole the joy away from many people. The prosecution proposed that Rhiannon testify at the trial of Raniere, as a witness to his character. His crimes against her are well beyond the statute of limitations.
Raniere’s lawyers opposed her appearance as prejudicial and the judge sided with the defense. Rhiannon, though willing to testify to what happened to her when she was 12, never got to face the monster and reveal who he was to her.
Perhaps she will find some joy in the fact that she had the courage to go on the record with the Times Union in 2012, along with Heidi Hutchinson and her sister, Gina’s friend, also named Gina, and expose Raniere for his pedophilia.
And again, in 2019, she was willing to face the monster. Rhiannon was one of the brave ones.
Perhaps she will be there to make a statement when Raniere is sentenced on April 16, 2020.