Kathy had a relationship with Keith Alan Raniere in the 1980s. She found out many things about him, including that he lied to her about having cancer – and cheated on her while pretending they were in a monogamous relationship. Here is her account. She wrote this at my request and with the hope that it might help other women who have been in destructive relationships with Raniere or other monsters of his ilk.
Why do intelligent, successful women get snared into a destructive relationship with Keith Raniere?
How is it possible to heal their wounds and erase their scars when they realize that the relationship has ended or that they have been strung along for years with his empty promises and lies?
In my case, I was a young woman, just a couple years off a divorce, and raising two young children alone. I believed at the time that I needed to find a new relationship for myself and for my children so we would have a “whole” family again.
I thought I needed a male in my life to go through the years and into old age – to get a house with a yard together, and do all the things “normal” families did. It was the way I was raised, and what we used to call “the American Dream.”
Keith came into my life when I was most “alone” and vulnerable. He worked his magic on me (what some Frank Report contributors have referred to as “love bombing”).
He followed me around like a little puppy, bought me gifts for occasions, was great with the kids, bought them Christmas and birthday gifts each year, bought them an upright piano, taught them how to play a few songs on it, went to all their concerts and sports events, etc.
He attended all my family holiday gatherings and other events, and parties booked through my workplace. He took us all to his father and step mother’s vacation home in the Hamptons and took me to their place in Manhattan. He also spent a lot of “alone” time with me – including long hours talking, teaching me to meditate, and expounding on other worldly and spiritual matters of relevance, in addition to the physical aspect of the relationship.
He was playing the part of the teacher and spiritual master even then.
Of course, he bragged about all his various talents and accomplishments, and made it impossible for anyone to be as accomplished as he was at anything. He was always the “superlative” in any endeavor. This bothered me as someone in what I thought was an equal partnership with him, so I was always trying to prove my self-worth to him. I wanted to prove I was as good as he was (or even better) at something.
He tried to get me to sell Amway and Matol, two of the multi-level marketing products he was into. During one work party at a local motel, he asked me to help him devise a mathematical formula to basically clear a person’s mind of all their previous concepts and beliefs (probably the infant stages of his later “Rational Inquiry” model). He believed he was onto something that would increase human potential, even then.
He told me he was going to be very wealthy and that he would father a son who would be of super-intelligence…and asked me if I would mind being vegetarian if I were to become pregnant with his child.
Over the years, he spent less and less time love bombing me and my family, and spent a lot of time developing his own multi-level marketing company. I was skeptical (as I was about all multi-level marketing companies) and had tried to go out to shop with my CBI membership, only to find I was unable to achieve any savings unless I bought a whole grocery cart of baby diapers or something of the like.
He would eventually spend days without contacting me, and when I questioned it, he would say I had “anger issues” that kept him from being able to be around as much because my anger issues were detrimental to his health.
At one point, I was the cause of his cancer (which he never had).
I spent several years sitting on my bedroom floor in tears and journaling, trying to figure out which anger issues I had (because, of course, he wouldn’t tell me) so I could somehow get rid of those issues and, once again, he would come spend time with us.
But, of course, that could never happen because (as we now know) that is the way Keith kept so many women in his clutches for most of his life!!!
It took MANY sessions with a very competent and compassionate psychologist as well as a LOT of spiritual guidance for me to (eventually) realize that I was a good and successful person, mother, and professional “without” him in my life.
I did not need him for me to be happy, whole or complete.
I remember sitting and asking the psychologist over and over again “Why did this happen to me? Why did he do this? What is wrong with me?”
She would simply say “You may never know why.”
At some point, after I had talked it out ad infinitum, and there was nothing more to say, I had to realize the fact that we don’t often get to know WHY things happen in our lives the way they do.
However, what we ALL can realize is that we don’t need another person to prove our worth or that we are a good person.
We have to come to believe that for ourselves.
That is how I healed. It was the turning point for me. I only hope that all of the people whose lives have been impacted and/or destroyed by Keith Raniere can someday see it all as it really is, and realize that they are whole and perfect just the way they are, and worthy of a life without him.