There is a strange and little known story about Keith Alan Raniere hiring some kind of shaman or witch doctor to help one of his women get pregnant.
As readers know, Raniere’s method of indoctrinating women into harem life was a calculated one.
He began by having the woman think he is celibate. The other women of his harem promulgated this lie.
After the target had taken at least the 16 day Nxivm intensive, which would include her offering a recitation of thanks to Vanguard daily, she was introduced to Raniere, with the harem women all agreeing that she is uniquely lucky to meet him so soon.
When the target finally met Keith – she was already in awe – thanks to the harem women’s buildup – and she often overlooked his very ordinary, or as some women describe it, “creepy”, appearance.
They did not see the true ugly physical Raniere but an imaginary one built up by his harem woman, and by the Nxivm course that constantly edified him and by the lies on his resume.
Raniere generally comes on pretty quick, according to most women’s accounts. He tells the woman that his work is lonely work – saving the world – and he has been looking for the right woman to be his consort, wife, soulmate, etc.
He may say he had a prophetic dream about the woman he is attempting to seduce.
If he thought she is inclined toward motherhood, he adds that he believes they are destined to have a child together – usually a female child – that will grow up to be a great spiritual leader. If the woman is gullible enough, he says the child will be an avatar or world savior destined to be part of history forevermore.
If she has a slight scientific bent, he talks about DNA, and molecular structure and how they have the right combination to produce such a glorious child.
He also offers romance. He usually does not admit he has a harem. That comes later. He begins by saying he is willing to break his celibacy for her and they will be monogamous.
Before, during, and after the woman falls for him, she is being hooked on Nxivm and so she is also gradually weaned away from all her other friendships other than Nxivm members.
She soon depends on the friendships of the women in Nxivm, who are also secretly in his harem and working to get her into the harem.
Eventually, after the fun of seducing her wears off, and she becomes his abject slavish devotee-lover, Keith begins to see her less frequently. He explains his growing absences as his being busy with the mission.
Usually, before that, he gets her to move to Albany, if she does not already live there.
Sooner or later, for it is hard to keep it a secret that you are having sex with 20 other women, the woman finds out that he is not monogamous. And not only that, but that she knows most of the women he is having sex with. They are the same ones that told her he was celibate and how lucky she was to meet Raniere.
The woman is naturally upset. It is at this time that Keith ducks away, does not take her calls, or agree to see her. A lot of tears follow. I doubt any woman who was ever with Raniere was spared many days of tears.
He sends in the troops, Nancy, Lauren, Pam, Allison, and others of the “wolf pack,” to rationalize his cruel behavior.
They give her repeated Exploration of Meaning “therapy” sessions. They reason with her. They browbeat her. They love-bomb her.
They make statements like, “do you think you own Keith’s penis?” or “if someone touched Keith’s elbow, would you be so jealous? Why is his elbow different than his penis? They are both just his skin!”; that “sex is like playing tennis” and other arguments.
She is soon outnumbered by her so-called friends. She begins to wonder if demanding monogamy is not really betraying her closest friends. She soon sees she is being unreasonable.
Rarely is it asked – “Well, if I don’t own Keith’s penis – that is if I should not expect monogamy from him, why does he demand it from me?”
Daniela asked this question and that was her “ethical breach” that landed her in solitary confinement for almost two years.
But many women submitted and went along – and worse – some of them joined the wolf pack themselves and recruited other unsuspecting women.
When Keith finally meets with the woman again, he tells her that it was for her own good that he did not tell her about the other women. She was not ready for it. She had to evolve first. Then, if her ego requires it, he assures her that she is the number one woman of the harem.
Queen of the harem and avatar baby to come.
Those who stick, become part of his slave harem and those who don’t generally tried to leave quietly – too embarrassed to say anything about it.
Esther Chiappone Carlson was one of the women that he deceived. She relocated from Alaska to be with him. When she found out that he had a harem, she rejected being part of it. She stayed, however, to serve him, but did not refuse to give up being with any other man the rest of her life and wound up with Nxivm member James Del Negro.
Some of the women stayed. Some left. Their stories are similar.
They believed Keith’s lies and thought they were in a monogamous relationship at first. From Gina Hutchinson to Karen to Pam to Toni Natalie to Barb Bouchey to Cami Fernandez to Ivy Nevares to Nicki Clyne to Allison Mack – and dozens of others – each, in turn, was promised an avatar baby. Each was disappointed in the end.
He appealed to a woman’s innate desire for motherhood and to their desire to be part of a noble mission.
It is ironic too that many of the women gave up their prime child-bearing years waiting for Raniere and are now middle-aged and childless.
So let us get on to the story that I was told by a reliable source, a former member of Keith’s harem.
I am withholding the name of the woman who is the subject of this story, as well as the woman who witnessed it and told me.
Both are known Nxivm members, both were in his harem.
The subject – let’s call her Mary – had been told she could never have a child by doctors.
Raniere told her he knew more than any doctor. She took him at his word. When, after a few years, she did not get pregnant, she began to make disquieting signs like she would leave.
At first, the wolf pack went to work on her. There were punishments and rewards – and she ran the gamut of depression to defiance.
Because she was an important cog in the Raniere organization, Raniere did not want to lose her.
He blamed it on her and not on his lies. He told her she was quite capable of having a child, but her indoctrination and disintegrations were holding her back. He came up with a fine idea:
Mary had some belief in mystical things.
Raniere engaged a man who he claimed could use magic, ancient rituals or supernatural powers to take away whatever obstruction was preventing Mary from getting pregnant. It was a mystical-physical process he told her – and she believed him.
Here is what the eyewitness told me:
“Keith told [Mary] that she would have a divine child. I saw him bring in this ‘guru’. He was really what I would call a ‘snake oil guru’. They brought in this guy. I think he was Indian or Indonesian, some kind of phony guru and he took [Mary] into this room with him.
“So this guru goes into the room with her and when they came out he had like Kleenex tissues with blood on it.
“And it was given out to the group and [Mary] that this guru reached his hand mystically inside her skin and pulled out this blood and now she would get pregnant.
“I was floored and I was angry. I thought ‘Keith is playing on a woman who wants to have children. That wasn’t her blood on the tissues. He was faking her to lead her to believe this was going to cause her to have a child.
“Of course, she never had a child.”
Ultimately Mary left Raniere, but not before, like so many other women, she wasted years of her life and endured untold psychological abuse.
There are some who think a life-sentence or even one of 20 or 30 years for the 59-year-old Raniere for the crimes he was actually convicted of is draconian.
It is no doubt.
But somehow, when you consider all the women he has hurt, a lengthy sentence – maybe even life – is appropriate for such a beast as he.