Some readers think that publishing the remarks of Keith Raniere, interviewing him, or publishing his podcast, is enabling him.
One reader said I sold out to his camp for money.
Here are a couple of comments in bold.
Frank, please don’t give him that power…. don’t publicize him more than they deserve. He is gaining power each time you post something related to this NXIVM guys.
There is a strong chance that after tomorrow, there will no more podcasts – and no chance to hear from Raniere again. He may be sent to a supermax prison and only allowed to make one outgoing 15-minute phone call per month. We publish these remarks now for their historical value, not for their wisdom but as the remarks of a man who is all but dead and buried. I want to hear what he has to say on the eve of his demise.
Here is another comment:
Frank, I have never met you, but have followed your blog for the last 2 years. I had admired you and had considered you to be “untouchable”. I have now lost my admiration for you because in the last few weeks, you have given me the impression that you have been bought off.
I now have a very strong suspicion that someone with deep pockets has paid you to undo your last few years of work. I have seen lawyers and politicians do this all the time in which they change their message to support whoever is paying them. I thought you were above this but now have come to believe that you sold out whatever principles you have. You support Raniere and NXIVM in the name of “principles”, but these principles look like a smokescreen to me.
I have not taken money from pro-Raniere forces. I am not pro-Raniere. However, I am shifting in my regard for some of his followers – I think a lot of them are very good people who have been misled. I never said Raniere is innocent. I have only defended his due process rights.
Read carefully what I have written. You think it is selling out. I think it is trying to be fair to his followers, and to the man who is vanquished. There is no comeback for him. For his followers, many of them can make comebacks.
Raniere is defeated. He is unable to hurt anyone anymore. I doubt anyone reading or hearing his words will be converted.
He is never getting out of prison. His appeals will likely fail. Even if he should get a new trial, he will be convicted. Let him have his final say like a man about to be executed is given a last opportunity to speak.
It won’t change anything.
As for his followers, I have hopes for them. Just as various followers left at various times, there are some who will leave him after he is sentenced. They have the right to a new start like those who left earlier.
Barbara Bouchey and Susan Dones left in 2009. Kristin Keeffe in 2014. Mark Vicente, Bonnie Piesse, Sarah Edmondson and Anthony Ames left in early 2017. Many others left in June 2017 after the publication of posts on the Frank Report about the secrets of DOS.
Ivy Nevares and Karen U. left in early 2018 when Raniere was arrested. So did others. India Oxenberg left in late 2018 after everyone else was arrested. Still others left in 2019. Allison Mack said she left when she was faced with trial in April 2019.
Others left because of the revelations that came out at the trial in May and June 2019.
Most of them found acceptance the moment they left.
A current follower, Nicki Clyne told me when I met her, “I know all I would have to do is start crying and say I am a victim and I would be accepted as another victim instead of a villain.”
I respect that she has taken the harder path of following what she believes in. Even if her beliefs are wrong.
It took a lot of convincing for each and every one to leave Raniere. I think we can afford to have patience for the ones still unconvinced.
So no, I have not sold out to Raniere, a man completely destroyed. A villain who can still fool some people that he is a saint.
By allowing him his final words and his followers their last desperate chance at trying to rescue him – something they need – to show themselves that they tried – it may help them in what will be a long, healing process.
If, by trying to be fair, I act in a fashion that is not like what Raniere would have done, then I am satisfied to have you think I sold out.
On the odd chance that, even though he is guilty, his due process rights were abridged, then I would be interested in fighting for him for that.
I would feel sold out to myself if I did not do what I have always done – given Raniere and his followers space to tell their side of the story.
I direct operations for the creation of a dossier for law enforcement, as Catherine Oxenberg looks on. From HBO’s The Vow.
When Raniere was powerful and feared, I was criticized for waging war on him ceaselessly. Now that he is a delusional, broken, old man who will die in jail, I am criticized for trying to be generous towards him and his followers.
This is not to show disrespect to the victims. He has no power over them anymore unless they wish to give him that.
What I am demonstrating is magnanimity and goodwill. The monster is caged; soon enough we will hear from him no more.