Little Known Story of Raniere Hiring ‘Witch Doctor’ to Help Harem Woman Have Avatar Baby

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.

His method:

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.

The harem women were tasked with spotting suitable targets for Raniere. Nancy Salzman [above] and Pamela Cafritz were leaders of the harem building. If a woman was attractive and slender, and gullible, they were earmarked for Raniere.
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.

Keith Alan Raniere

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.

Pam Cafritz worked hard to keep disappointed women from leaving the flock.

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.

Toni Natalie and Keith Raniere. Toni was one of the unique ones of his harem. While Keith was lying to her about being monogamous, Toni was also lying to Keith about her being monogamous.

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.

Esther Chiappone Carlson with  longtime Nxivm boyfriend Jim 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.

Nicky Clyne thought she was Keith’s number one for a time. She accepted her role in the harem as just one of his slaves but not before she shed a lot of tears and expressed a lot of outrage.


Many women, like Barbara Bouchey, shown here with Keith Raniere when she was queen of the harem, thought that having a baby with the world’s smartest and most ethical man, would be the pinnacle of motherhood.

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.


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Frank Parlato

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Heidi Hutchinson
Heidi Hutchinson
3 years ago

Thank you to Frank’s source for reaching out and sharing your first hand account with FR. My heart goes out to you — what a terrible ordeal!

I can affirm the fact that there was an Indian ‘Shaman’ like, shady character my sister and Kristin Keeffe knew and may have even brought into the fold or wolf pack, whatever — Gina wrote and talked about him, they met him at an Ashram when Keith covertly had the inner-circle girls — some unwittingly — recruiting young blood from the Ashram’s and Monasteries in the area — Keith was booted out of them himself early on for scamming on their youngest, prettiest, skinniest acolytes — this was all going on in the early – mid-90’s when Gina was helping develop and, later, working for CBI. So, yes, this story is plausible and factual.

BTW, as I once shared with the Albany Times Union in a recorded interview back in 2010 — the first time I met Kristin Keeffe circa 1989 she emphatically and repeatedly used the phrase: “Gina doesn’t own Keith’s penis!” (Gina had brought me in for support when Kristin was justifying why Keith had apparently been unfaithful to Gina, why she shouldn’t be so upset about his apparent infidelity, why not just join the harem, etc. Kristin’s argument on Keith’s behalf, also included the infamous ‘tennis elbow’ excuse about how a penis is much like an elbow — both are comprised of “just skin” — have the same molecular composition or some other pseudo science twisted shit — and Gina was being “energized” by Keith’s mere, magic touch — common to such Shaman’s and none more superior than he.

It all rings true — and, btw, Michelle Salzman’s live portraits of starved, zombie-like sex slaves from about 2017 also use that very quote, “I don’t own Keith’s penis,” captioned in the apparent portraits of those ‘branded’ slaves with diamond belly chains. Kristin, however, has since denied ever saying, “Gina doesn’t own Keith’s penis,” which I recall very clearly and, again, recited to Jim O’dato before ever knowing the same old excuses were still being used to abuse other girls for decades after Gina’s passing.

Again, so sorry for what you endured and hope you are healing through this.

Talal Zoabi Spiritual Healing

Witch Doctors use black magic and it ruins people’s lives. That is not good.

3 years ago

“He sends in the troops, Nancy, Lauren, Pam, Allison, and others of the “wolf pack,” to rationalize his cruel behavior.”
I can easily say that this is a BS story…first because he would need to care and he never gave a damn about his harem and secondly because you try to add Allison to it while it likely happened before DOS and before DOS, Allison wasn’t involved as she wasn’t coerced…

Much like many other victims, pre DOS, she was following the class, participate to the module but was nothing more than a customer.
You try, against what was shown in the trial , to involve Allison in things she was never connected too…

Just like when you put Allison at the head of certain module which was debunked in court by witnesses.

It’s also (in the trial) debunked that she was inner circle before DOS…
She was never really an inner circle as she never knew the REAL PURPOSE of DOS…This is , once again, clearly stated by Lauren and Cami during trial.

Leave her out of your rumors…

“They give her repeated Exploration of Meaning “therapy” sessions”
And Allison wasn’t abilitated to do this, which prove how fake this story is…Allison was one of the victim of the EM…not debatable, nothing but a fact

“They make statements like, “do you think you own Keith’s penis?””
Once again, trial showed Allison wasn’t in any relation with him until he coerced her and that place this around end of 2015…
Pam died shortly after the next year so your story show it’s BS due to anachronisms.

“each, in turn, was promised an avatar baby. Each was disappointed in the end.”
No, only Lauren was obsessed by this (and mostly for power purpose)…Allison didn’t wanted child after entering the cult.

3 years ago

I suspect that new age healer, is probably a better classification for whoever was involved. But it’s indeed interesting to see how Raniere was willing to cynically reach out beyond his own ideology and practices, when he felt it necessary to try to retain the loyalty and services of a woman of value to him. What is described sounds like a classic “psychic surgery” type sham, also prevalent in the Phillipines.

I think this also does a great job of showing the gaslighting process that went on particularly within the inner circle, as a sort of group effort by Raniere’s harem and enable nonetheless. It’s a good introduction to what went on, for anyone who hasn’t followed the case in detail.

3 years ago

Kim Snyder
This is very disgusting! Why even spend time on this sort of garbage- if it is not necessary? This is one of the most disgusting articles I have ever read!!!!!!!!
Keith and his minions need to just go away- and nerve be heard from eve again!!!!!
This is disgusting!!!!!!
Keith killed my ONLY sister- and this is the kind of garbage that we are writing about!
Why? Why are you NOT focused on the Victims of NXIVM?
You need to have something better to write about.

3 years ago

Was Keithee saying noble mission, or noble emission?

3 years ago

The picture on top of the article is a replica of my Covid 19 mask!

3 years ago

As much as people make fun of traditional moral values, in the old days young women were taught not to fall the first smooth-talking rounder.
People were expected to engage in courtship before engaging in sexual relations.
And the Wolf Pack of Women who did the dirty work for Raniere should bear a lot of the blame for his successes.
Raniere is not smart.
Raniere is smarmy.
Raniere is not handsome or accomplished.
And Raniere has no redeeming qualities.
Raniere’s Army of Female Pimps made him a success.

3 years ago

And yet in the supposed “good old days” there were also lots of homes for unwed mothers, not to mention a vast system of orphanages, many of which took in the offspring of those mothers, among others. “Shotgun weddings” became a well-known trope for a reason; I used to volunteer at a sort of genealogy help desk, and it was surprising in paying attention to the dates, how many children were born less than 9 months after their parents’ marriage. (Also, for a lot of people with family oral history that their immigrant ancestors had come here the “right way,” we couldn’t find actual citizenship naturalization records – Ellis Island was just a point of entry, essentially a border crossing for those arriving by boat, that let in anyone into the country who met health and visa requirements).

Raniere was running something in many ways retrograde and old fashioned, like a Biblical patriarch (Moses had 2 wives, King Solomon around 1,000 including concubines) or Joseph Smith – or many of the FLDS and other fundamentalist Mormons that take after him. Unfortunately such things have always gone on, though if anything, the evidence points to women no longer being nearly as trapped in abusive relationships as they once were.

3 years ago

I don’t see how a life sentence for Raniere could be considered draconian.

“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?”” There is no need to ask the question, it is taught as part of the NXIVM curriculum.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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