Part 5: More Very Neat Pictures of Vanguard and His Nxivm Culties

This is a lucky day for readers who crave to see more of our Vanguard, the estimable Keith Alan Raniere, now tucked away from sight – lodged as he is at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, New York awaiting sentencing.

Today, we have Part 5 in our series – the wonderful pictures of Vanguard and his followers.

The pictures are mainly screenshots from HBO’s “The Vow”, a 9-episode documentary series about Nxivm, which airs on HBO on Sunday nights at 10 pm. Learn more about it on HBO’s website.

Its executive producers are Jehane Noujaim and Karim AmerAnyone can watch the first four episodes for free at flixtor.

My previous posts of rare and new pictures are to be found here:

Part 1: See Never Before Published Photos of Raniere, Salzman, Mack and Bronfman; Via HBO’s The Vow

Part 2 More New Pictures of Nxivm Including the Dalai Lama With Nancy Salzman

Part 3 More Great New Nxivm Pictures From the Vow on HBO – Mostly of the Vanguard Himself

Part 4: More Neat Unseen Photos of Nxivm, the Vanguard and His Prefect

Nxivm was always about Keith Alan Raniere, who insisted that he be called Vanguard by his followers – and it was always about him posing as a holy, noble and wise man, none of which he ever was – as evidenced by his current locale – federal prison.
In his day, Raniere had many followers – all of whom thought he was divine or semi-divine. Let’s see how many we can identify here. Starting with the front row: Lauren Salzman, [?], Alex ‘El Duce’ Betancourt, Adrian ‘Fluffy’ Fernandez, Clare Webb Bronfman, [?], Allison Mack, Sarah Edmondson, Nicki Clyne. Second row Mark Vicente, [?] [?] Monica Duran, Dani Padilla, Pam Cafritz, Keith Raniere, [?], Bonnie Piesse, Nancy Salzman.  In the back, I see Marc Elliot, Esther Chiappone, Karen U., Emiliano Salinas – and farther back, Jimmy Del Negro.


Keith Raniere claimed he played concert level piano at age 12. Yet he never had a concert except occasionally in front of his fawning students. He was actually a very mediocre player who knew only a few songs. Here he plays at Nancy’s house.


Here is another rare picture of Raniere on the piano.


Here he plays in what appears to be his bathrobe.

Below are some actual recordings of Keith on piano from the 1990s.

[Not a real photo] He played concert level perversion at the age of 57.
His devotees are wonderstruck at every note, thinking that he is eclipsing the known universe of musical sound, creating some kind of deep sound vibration that will uplift and heal them.


That faraway look – As Vanguard sees beyond the known universe and is gazing into eternity [which in his case is life in prison.].
Mark Vicente and Keith Alan Raniere, pointing out something inscrutable.


A man given to skipping baths and showers even between sexual encounters, here Raniere hugs a woman after playing a sweaty game of volleyball and probably unbathed for a week or more [unless he went into his hot tub]. I found it fascinating that many women said his  body smelled like a hog fresh out of the sty and his face smelled like he had performed cunnilingus on numerous women.
Keith Alan Raniere always made sure he ate well – and just what he liked – while ensuring his women starved.


When Raniere spoke, they all listened. It would be a grave insult to the being who was leading them from darkness to light – not to be silent the minute he opened his mouth.


Keith Raniere, followed by Lauren Salzman, leads the team on to the volleyball court.


Keith with his devotees and fellow volleyball players. He is the shortest one of the field.


One of the secrets of his volleyball playing is that it was conducted late at night and was perfect for aiding in his sleep-deprivation plans. After long intensives that started at 7 am, he [or the women], he would insist that serious students come watch him play volleyball at 1 am – if they were serious about learning – and then, of course, they would have to be back at the intensive at 7 am the next morning. But they got the privilege of actually seeing and being with the Vanguard.
He claimed he had the athleticism of Jim Thorpe the great 20th-century athlete who was speedy, strong, and skillful. His body belies that claim.


He’s no Keith Raniere, but Jim Thorpe did win Olympic gold medals in the 1912 pentathlon and decathlon – and played professional football, baseball, and basketball.


But Raniere, as his women devotees would tell other women they sought to recruit, was far more than just an amazing athlete. He was an ethicist, with the moral virtues of Gandhi and a genius with a higher IQ than Einstein.


He loved to be photographed.


He wanted his devotees to think that preserving his every action and deed for posterity would be of great benefit after he was gone. If only they had been able to photograph Jesus or Buddha like they did Raniere, they would have seen the similarities, he taught.

One can easily see why he needed women to edify him in advance. He is an ugly brute. Ugly on the outside – and since ugliness is sometimes only skin deep, it turned out he was quite ugly on the inside too.


Back in 2006, Keith Raniere had some athletic ability. Here he does a handstand.


He tries to stand on one hand but begins to fall and uses his other hand to stop the fall.


Here, Keith is depicted as Erik the scientist in a proposed cartoon series about him with Joe [who is supposed to be Mark Vicente]. Erik is showing Joe some deep scientific truth.



About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Back in the seventies, my husband’s mother and father invested in turning an old dude ranch out west into a, uh, very freewheeling so-called yoga commune with lots of weekend guests. It was marvelous for several years, until some bigwigs bought the place, and that experimental episode was over.

    The atmosphere there had been colorful and easygoing. It was arranged that no one needed to work more than six hours a day, since the main idea was to have a blast. There was no leader, no required philosophy or behavorial demands.

    The volleyball playing there went on every day, with the court nearby the swimming pool and the hot tub. Ah yes.

    It was so much more fun than Raniere’s pontificating sweathog games. Almost everybody played volleyball naked.

    So poor, poor Flabturd, with his sneakered, sporty minions.

    And this wasn’t anyone’s sexual dictatorship, although it could be a very romantic place to enjoy oneself, in many, many ways.

  • Thanks. I don’t think his piano playing is that bad. He is about my standard so I suppose I would say that wouldn’t I…. he and I are certainly not concert pianist level however.

  • The group pic: what bizarre genetic disease does Clare Bronfman have that makes a woman then in her mid 30s look as if she were in her mid 60s?

  • This is all a homage to Keith Alan Raniere. This is his true legacy, as he was and as he seemed. Unadulterated, genuine, unmistakable, authentic. [But authentic not as Raniere taught and practiced it.]

  • Watched Episode 4 of “The Vow” earlier this week and was fascinated by the footage supposedly showing the first meeting between Keith Allen Raniere and Allison Christin Mack. After Keith suggests her finding joy in art is a shortcoming on her part, she begins to cry. And adorably so, I must add. After she composes herself, she asks if Ranieri will counsel her again. He might as well since he has already “broken her cherry”. To this, Raniere says he’s blushing and I sympathize. Watching this quick change in Mack from the little-girl-lost to the sexually grotesque mention of her popped cherry brought, I must admit, a sudden stirring in myself sitting alone at home. Then she demands a kiss and pats his beard! Who’s playing who here???

    • “her finding joy in art is a shortcoming on her part”

      When you choose to believe someone, you must give them credibility first. Why did anyone believe anything this blowhard had to say? Because it was constantly sold to them by his minions that he was the “smartest, most ethical man in the world” or “one of three greatest problem solvers in the world”, etc.. But it was all a lie.

      Every piece of “advice” this guy gave was for his own benefit, not for anyone else’s. It had to be, because that’s the Randian philosophy he believed in and taught. So even when you thought he was helping you because it coincided with what you wanted or not, it was only because it was what he wanted (or didn’t) first.

      So it doesn’t matter whether he was right or wrong. Even broken clocks give the right time twice a day.

    • Yes, I remember that part. AM is an actress though, so presumably can cry at the drop of a hat if it gets her what she wants. KR’s point wasn’t a bad one. If you can obtain pleasure in life just from looking at a rose or the sky, that is a huge achievement (although if any cult leader or spouse for that matter suggests you give up your only means of financial support, never do it…..)

  • –Back in 2006, Keith Raniere had some athletic ability. Here he does a handstand–

    In defense of Vangie, that is pretty impressive for a 46 year old. I heard that in his younger day, he would do that handstand while munching the thick carpet of his harem.

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.

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