Once in awhile, Frank Report can offer its readers unalloyed joy.
Such is the case today, and with the exception of some of our lowbrow readers, I think we can all agree that the following audio combines high art with the best in fun music.
I am referring to a rare 1980s recording of Keith Raniere playing Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata.
One of his girlfriends found this recording among her archives [on a cassette tape] and shared it with us.
Keith and she lived together back in the 1980s. They broke up after he told her he was dying of cancer and was being treated at Sloan Kettering in NYC.
By chance, her daughter found Keith with Toni Natalie at a food court in a mall in Clifton Park just moments after Keith told her mother that he was dying at Sloan Kettering.
She has this recording to remember him by.
Granted, the recording is a little scratchy but it is Raniere at his best musically.
Just to compare, there is a version available on YouTube. The pianist is not nearly as great as Raniere himself claimed to be but somehow the YouTube performance, posted by Andrea Romano, has gotten 141 million views/listens.
I can only hope Raniere’s version, now released on Frank Report for the first time, will get just as many.
As for Raniere playing piano, we need only to look at his bio for his estimation of his own talent.
This bio was found on his now-defunct website, www.keithraniere.com in March 2006.
He says he mastered piano at the concert level at age 12.
|Executive Success Programs – Keith Raniere, co-founder of Executive Success Programs, Inc. (ESP), is a scientist, mathematician, philosopher, and entrepreneur. An unusually gifted individual, Mr. Raniere’s unique abilities were evident at a very early age. Among them:
Mr. Raniere is perhaps best known as the creator of Rational Inquiry™ – the transformational model at the center of Executive Success Programs’ trainings. Rational Inquiry™ is a science based on the belief that the more consistent an individual’s beliefs and behavior patterns are, the more successful they will be in everything they do. The invention, which Mr. Raniere laid the groundwork for as a teenager, is considered by many to be one of most dramatic developments in the field of human potential today.
But despite his extraordinary talents and accomplishments, what often strikes people most about Mr. Raniere is how down to earth he is. He has the unique ability to relate to virtually anyone, and is known by his friends as a prankster extraordinaire.
He played concert level perversion at the age of 57.
All kidding aside, Moonlight Sonata was very popular in Beethoven’s day, to the point of exasperating the composer himself, who remarked to Carl Czerny, “Surely, I’ve written better things.”
In modern times, most people who have heard Keith play the piano have only heard him play Moonlight Sonata and it is quite possible it is the only song he knows how to play.
He had short pudgy fingers which are not actually best suited for concert level pianists. He never played at any concert halls as far as anyone knows.
Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata actually has three movements but it appears Keith only played the first movement which requires less skill than the other two movements of the composition.
This was hilarious. Thanks Frank .
I really like how through humor you debunk these frauds
Great reporting. I find it very inspiring
I’ve had the dubious fortune of knowing several NPD people in my life (something for which I now know the “cure” – little to no contact). Something I’ve observed in most of them, and in Raniere in particular, is a covetousness of others’ accomplishments and exceptional “belongings” (that includes women). Again, it seems linked to ego feeding. He needs to take what you have and prove himself better at it, thereby proving his superiority.
In the case of piano playing, he told me about a secretary in his father’s business that was training to be a concert pianist. Probably someone he slept with at some point. So he taught himself a limited amount of piano – Moonlight Sonata 1st movement, little bit of Appassionata, little bit of Pathetique, and Hanon exercises. Accomplishment done – now he can use it as a tool to impress. When I think about it, I never saw him sit down to play just for the joy of the music.
It’s a pattern I saw repeated often. I started performing in amateur musical theater; he followed me into it. He wanted me to teach him my instrument – never did because I already recognized the pattern and didn’t want my music spoiled by his superior attitude. He co-opts other people’s work or makes them partners to take credit for elevating their work (Ivy Nevares, Mark Vicente, he even wanted in on Catherine Oxenburgs project as stated in her book). I believe this need to exceed is also what first turned his eyes to underage girls.
TL/DR It’s just a tool in his arsenal of manipulation.
Usurpation. The crass exploitation of all the subtle excellence that can only come from hours of intense, self abnegating often boring practice. Frauds prefer superficial mimicry to boring practice any day. Just as they prefer lip service and inference to critical thinking and rational acts.
I had a boss that played a virtuoso chopsticks. Thats it. He did a whole skit round it. I can only play boogie-woogie -an aunt taught me and that was that I love it too much, but it doesn’t make me Pete Jonson o r A. Ammons. I’m so glad you never let him rain on your Musical Theatre parade!
Oh – he came along on the musical theater ride. Only 3 shows that I know of with the last being Sweeney Todd. Theater was doing something I enjoyed and helping me meet new people. And it felt stifling to have him follow me into that hobby. That woke me up to the realization that I didn’t have to stay with him.
I play an instrument beyond singing; I wouldn’t teach him that. It’s BS that he can play many instruments. He could play a tiny bit of Malaguena on the guitar and he owned a bass recorder which I never heard him play. Basically, once he had me “caught”, he no longer needed to put on performances to impress me. No more music from him until I started doing musical theater. And he stopped doing musical theater when he finally realized I was gone; no contact from me for months and he seemed to think I was still his. Go figure.
I’m honestly not sure there is any activity he actually “enjoys” unless it makes him feel superior; wins him approbation; lets him feel powerful; or gives him a manipulative advantage. I believe that includes sex despite people seeing him as a sex addict.
I guess to enjoy something you have to admit to being a little disarmed, a little overwhelmed, beside yourself, even!! This does seem beyond the reach of narcissists, who must live in a state of intense envy, all that admiration curdled because you can’t admit someone else had some quality you admired or could do something better than you. Imagine learning the appearance of some ability through sheer spite just to create a false comparison. He seemed so confident that most people were total fools.
EXACTLY, L. Thanks for eloquently breaking that down. Need to exceed, indeed 🙂.
My hand’s in the air affirming what you describe is precisely the same piece I saw insofar as Keith’s relationship with Gina Hutchinson, my sister. She studied Buddhism, Eastern Philisophy and Religion — took an interest in all things Asian at an early age, 11-12 yrs. old, including Bruce Lee — and when Keith came along, he co-opted it all and turned into the hari-Kari blade that took her life after he stole her soul. Pardon the awkward analogy. Although, I understand hari-Kari IS one of the suicide methods Keith perused with Gina for years prior to her death.
Tried the same with even our ‘genius’ brother, Eric — who invents, trades in commodities, etc. — nearly got Eric put in prison — and cooped his trading methods to rob the Bronfman sister’s. I even saw Keith a time or two walking around in Eric’s judo robes, carrying off some of his trophies…seriously.
I can feel dozens of other hands in the air around us, many must have the same story.
In the essay “sympathy for the Devil” Keith wrote with Ivy that was published in Mexico and here on FR, the Devil explains his main motive is painfully intense Envy.
Would love to hear from any sane, psychiatric pro’s on here what to make of this pattern?
Thanks for pointing me in the direction of that essay. Incredible – he was clearly stating who and what he was right there in the open for everyone to see. Just like a video I once saw of him discussing psychopaths when he giggled over those that knew what they were and saw it all as a game. You could see right there he was laughing at pulling the wool over everyone’s eyes. Well, it just reinforces my opinion that he understood what his actions were causing and that those actions were deliberate.
He introduced me to Bruce Lee movies early on in my acquaintance with him. Taught me the beginning of how to use nunchuaku. I would bet he used that as a hook on Gina as well. So sorry he affected your whole family as he did. I was lucky he had very little contact with mine.
I think it’s always interesting to find one of the claims made by these types like Raniere, that are specific enough to be testable, and subject them to scrutiny. The more general and nebulous claims, such as that he was somehow more “integrated,” are hard to analyze or challenge – but when it can be shown that that thy were lying about something like simple biographical claims, it not only calls into question the veracity of all their other claims, but shows that they are actually less honest and ethical than average, not representative of some improved vision of the human condition.
And, typically, these fake and narcissistic guru types, have made all sorts of false biographical claims in order to build up a sort of hagiography, as part of their pattern of manipulation.
I don’t have the ear for piano playing to be able to judge the technical quality over the bad recording, but I take it from others that his playing clearly falls far short of his claims to have been a concert-level pianist.
This is my all-time favourite, Wilhelm Kempf, playing the Moonlight:
You will see that if Raniere had stuck around until the second movement, he could have got a bit of that bombast in.
This ponderous performance is a classic case of a one-trick pony at work, the first-movement party piece. Although a party with Raniere sounds very ponderous indeed.
Another “concert level” pianist, of course, was Jeffrey Epstein. I would really love to hear a recording of him playing. I actually doubt he had one whole trick up his sleeve, probably one of those people who tosses off a fragment in passing.
Many movie actors will know a few phrases on the piano they learned for a particular part.
Who really WAS a concert pianist was Jeffrey Epstein’s frequent guest, Ehud Barak. Former prime minister of Israel who got busted going into Epstein’s NY mansion in 2016, during an election campaign. You can go and look for the allegations that were made about him at Epstein’s island, they’ve been very carefully scrubbed from the internet. That is one of the most explosive stories still to emerge from the skeletons rattling in Epstein’s cupboards.
You’d be surprised how many people from different walks of life allege that Ehud Barak was the real mastermind of 9/11. Just saying, keep an eye on these piano players, they can be more dangerous than they seem.
Doesn’t Frank play a little?
Lol. You’re a delight, Fred. We girls do enjoy being serenaded.
Long time reader/lurker here. I must admit this website is pretty funny. On one hand you’ve got a fairly straightforward series of articles about a confirmed pedophile/idiot Keith Raniere and his ridiculous cult of revolving mistresses/slaves who gave away everything for decades to peddle and take part in his schemes and relinquish their intelligence or lack thereof to imbibe his psychobabble nonsense. Yes, I get it. Charisma is powerful, and the lines between crime and religious doctrine blur when you’ve got a crew of high income lunatics all together indulging in their fantasies of control and subservience. Which there’s plenty of pornography or ‘erotica’ for, by the way…
But I must ask: what makes the salacious details of these situations revolving around Raniere’s sexual exploits interesting and worth writing about? I don’t know, but it’s undeniable that there’s a sense of perverse fascination with these people on the part of Parlato and Co. Why would anyone want to hear this ridiculous bland rendition of Beethoven, one performed by someone who has a heart of stone? Why do we need to see the same picture of a lustful Raniere lying back on that bed? Why these ridiculous ‘series’ articles which reproduce ad nauseam the cripplingly stupid diatribes of Raniere? Do we really need to revisit images of Allison Mack crying at the sound of his voice?
I can only believe that there’s some kind of Gestalt therapy going on here, given that many people who look at this site actually took part in NXIVM and dealt with these people first hand. Having to get this sordid mentality out of your system must be pretty tough, especially for people who were on the opposite side of a lawsuit from these fucking idiots. Does watching pornography a lot make eventually make you stop watching pornography? Don’t ask me, I’m only a lay analyst without a Masters degree.
And I can’t help but find it bizarre how many articles are dedicated to speculating on the miserable life Raniere now leads in prison. I’m sure all his fellow prisoners (some of whom are innocent) enjoy that ‘lifestyle’ also. I’m sure all those people deserve that, right? Does Raniere deserve it? Who cares, especially when you’ve got all these details (by investigative journalists par excellence) to inform your fantasies?
Makes sense that there’s also articles about why socialism is bad, Ilhan Omar is committing incest, AOC is the devil, yadda yadda. I often have to remind myself there’s a through line between garbage politics like that and beating a dead horse like Keith Raniere for kicks. But it’s those kicks that make you forget yourself, don’t they?
Forgive the harsh words. I’m a communist, and its part of my routine. Not as interested in torture as everyone here, but I can’t deny its appeal to the intellect from time to time. I will continue to read this website because I find this whole situation excruciatingly banal. Especially the focus on Raniere’s predilection for volleyball. Stuff like that you just can’t make up.
Yes, to me it confirms what Hannah Arendt means by the banality of evil. The volleyball pics and the image of Apropos at dusk with the traffic cone are my personal, ahem, favourites.
Why do people read this website and get enjoyment out of it? IDK, why do people watch crappy reality tv shows? It’s basically the same thing. Personally for me, it’s just one of those fun things I can enjoy for free and I don’t need to think too hard about it. And I enjoy when nicki posts, those are always entertaining. I wish she’d post more often. It’s also nice for me to know that no matter how stupid I get, I’ll never be NXIVM stupid.
Banging out the Moonlight Sonata. This was 4:22 of the worst piano playing I’ve ever heard. Yes, this is the only piece this moron ever played because it is the only piece he thought he played well. Full of mistakes, rhythm errors, a nightmare! The static blunted the pain a little.
Why did she save this!
You’re right, that’s it! That’s the only piece I ever heard him play. I really thought — even told reporters last couple of years — Keith was a fairly decent pianist — wasn’t lying about that. He ‘emotes’ so when playing and had it perfected when I caught a performance.
Disclaimer: That ability to play piano well has always been something I admired, however, as I’m a singer but butterfingers on the ivories. Where our Dad’s family are multi-instrument, professional musicians. That was the only positive thing about Keith I could think of when pressed. Apologies for the prior misinformation. …Really, he knows only that one piece?! Didn’t even bother to perfect a few others?! Gawd.
The only Movement Keith Raniere is worried about now is his daily Bowel Movement.
Good find, Frank. But I’ll be really impressed when you roll out the volleyball footage. I’ll even settle for a guest view of his skills. I heard he could do a 360 dunk, so I can only imagine with what viciousness he could rip a volleyball.
You can hear his meaty digits determined to slam down on just the right key, which he mostly does but this is the first movement so.. not too difficult. Pedal work? cadence? Hahaha what a FRAUD!!! Clearly Noone in nxivm had ever heard a concert level musical performance, was that a deal breaker? did they have to materially prove they had no cultural discernment, knowledge or taste to get in?