Keith Raniere faces a lifetime behind bars but there is more to report on the story.

Publishing Raniere’s Last Words and the Desperate Efforts of His Followers Is Not ‘Selling Out’

Some readers think that publishing the remarks of Keith Raniere, interviewing him, or publishing his podcast, is enabling him.

Frank Parlato interviewing Keith Raniere from NBC Studios in NY. Marc Elliot stands by.

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.

My answer:

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.

My reply:

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.

The Nxivm 5 at a press conference on the eve of sentencing – asking the judge to adjourn the sentencing date.

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.

Nicki Clyne

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.

I attend the press conference of the Nxivm-5

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


About the author

Frank Parlato

38 Comments

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  • If nothing else, I am even more of a fan for Frank not trying to be a propaganda organ and allowing Nxians to be able to speak on his platform. It does help to fill in the record, and it also forecloses any sort of attempt for those still in the cult to try and brand (no pun intended – no really, I hate puns) Frank as the enemy. Also, much like Hector’s letter to the Judge, it is always wise to let someone hang themselves by their own petard.

  • As a journalist, it is the right thing to do by offering your subjects the chance to a fair hearing and a rebuttal.

    Being compassionate and turning the other cheek is also the ultimate insult to NXIVM since their modus operandi and ways were to keep destroying their subjects after they already won and put them down.

  • Frank, you have effectively turned the other cheek. NXIVM (which is Keith and Clare Brofman’s money) has made your life miserable for over a decade in slander, numerous litigations and, costly legal fees. Yet, you are so gracious to his remaining followers and are willing to give Keith your ear. Keith has gone into purgatory and he had a few moments in the last few weeks to express himself. I agree with your thinking and commend you on your compassion. The only thing I disagree with is you looking into his claims of judiciary misconduct. Someone else said on your site to let his lawyers tackle that one. But, you are Frank which means if you have agreed to look into it, you will keep your promise.

    Finally, thank you for all you have done in exposing NXIVM and helping survivors heal. Also, thanks for keeping us up-to-date in real-time during court testimony and during sentencing.

  • Where do you draw the line in saying “I respect what you believe in” when you know their beliefs actually harmed others extremely? Nicki’s beliefs are harmful and she almost sounds like she thinks the victims aren’t victims but just playing a role. Are you okay with that? She is standing up for what she believes in which is extremely harmful and has cause so many people so many psychological and physical issues. Maybe she herself needs help but you aren’t saying that to her. You are letting stay in that world. This is what bugs me.

    • This entire website has been Frank saying that to Nicki and everyone. To me, Frank is simply changing his approach to be a little softer.

  • I’m with you, Frank, all the way. I admit to being gleeful earlier when I heard 120 years. OK, I have no love of scam artists, even ones who can get followers to claim positive benefits from the cult-like operation. I detested the way that Bronfman money was used to persecute Rick Ross, and then tried to stiff their contracted agents of their earned fees. Using the courts to try to destroy people critical of Raniere et al was a trick straight out of L. Ron Hubbard’s Scientology Fair Game brochure, and they used it to crush people financially and emotionally for years and years.

    OK, Raniere is beat down today, but just yesterday he was offering $10k and $25k rewards for information making him look good and the prosecutors look bad – was he going to use his own money for that? Does he even have any money? Not likely, so he was still counting on the Bronfman money to support him, even in prison. In a way easy money could save his life, as prison guards and fellow prisoners suck up to him, expecting to score a few bucks or amenities now and then for being his ‘friends.’ But come the day when a sycophant with a bit of the psycho in him does not get what he wants or expects from Raniere, and we might be hearing about how many times he was shanked, and where.

    I doubt that his long sentence will deter anyone, because if the old “send a message” idea of deterrence worked we would not have crime at all. I am sad at the waste of tens of millions from a family fortune that could has sponsored true community philanthropy for the rest of the century – and in this age where the government shies away from helping anyone except corporations and churches, true community philanthropy will be needed for a long time.

    I won’t ever be understanding or particularly supportive of Raniere or any of his harem(s), but I understand all about the addiction of something that makes you feel good the first time you try it, especially (for a hetero male) if it comes with love bombing, an abundance of pretty girls with the prospect of sex and relationships. Add a semblance of intelligentsia or other characteristic that meets group approval, and a charismatic leader may lead his sheep almost anywhere, and into any behaviors. Think Jonestown and Heaven’s Gate. Raniere’s group of women justified “voluntary” sex slavery, and chose the pain of permanent branding of the leader’s sigil, just north of their pubes. That is certainly an improvement over killing your children with poisoned Flavor-Aid, then drinking it yourself – but it is all of the same cloth: a cultish adherence to the rules set forth (or strongly hinted at) by a sometimes charismatic leader who obtains obedience and financial support from his minions.

  • I completely understand and agree with what you’re doing Frank. Never once have I wondered if you’ve been bought off. The media’s job is to present an unbiased view of news, and even though your blogs are laced with opinion, giving Raniere a voice and agreeing to look into any misconduct in his case is your way of being unbiased. In all honesty, I found it humorous and a cut to Raniere to see you interviewing him on the news… after all this time, all the lawsuits, all the negative press you’ve put out about him, he’s fallen to doing an interview with you. Your opinions on Raniere and NXIVM are crystal clear… my only thought when I saw you giving him a voice and/or agreeing to give him assistance is that it shows how certain you are about his guilt and demise (as am I). Raniere is done. Even if he got leniency. He’ll be behind bars at 15 years for a minimum, and I think he’s been dragged through the coals enough that he can’t recover from this.

  • How do these “good people” react to the police report of statutory rape by Rhiannon? Can they explain that away, too? More “lies”?

  • I am fine with it – let people speak. In fact, letting these people get their supposed injustices stuff out has made me even more sure they are conning themselves – nothing produced has even gone remotely to suggest KR was wrongly convicted.

    As to who in a cult is responsible for what it is, that’s never easy to determine. Sheela v the Baghwan is just one example. The evidence with KR shows he knew about branding in advance so he cannot maintain he didn’t know about it. However, in the FLDS group, fathers handed teenage girls to the leader to marry because if they did not obey, they got thrown out and lost their families – how on earth you decide how lower down people are guiltly or not in these groups is never ever easy. When does the – I was only obeying orders in this genocide stuff in cases of that is a classic dilemma.

    The bottom line is it is very hard to stop most bad cults as members “choose” to be in them so you have to tinker on the periphery with known offenses – underage sex, financial crimes, etc. because the 99.9% of wickedness tends sadly not to be criminal.

  • ‘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.’

    Sounds like you admire Nicki Clyne’s psychopathy, Frank? Did you take Porter’s test and pass too?

    • IMO, most of Raniere’s followers over the years are not psychopaths or sociopaths. I’d bet that Nicki is simply steadfast in her idiocy and willful blindness.

      Come on, Nicki, show us the tears. There’s lots of room over on this side and it doesn’t smell like BO.

      • I’m sorry, what? You went after Amanda Knox so hard for signing their petition or whatever it was regarding his due process. I mean you really, really went after her and posted horrible things about her. Admiring Nicki Clyne? You haven’t been admiring her road less traveled for the past three, four years and now all of a sudden you do? Think about all the horrors you’ve seen w NXIVM, think about how hard they went after you and all the accusations they leveled at you! You’re about face makes absolutely no sense at all.

        • No one went after Amanda Knox hard. Oh that’s amusing. Have you read the Frank Report? If and when it is decided on the strength of evidence/interest, that the Knox case needs interrogation, I for one will be going hard.

          And judging by your whining countenance over very little coverage, its unlikely you’ll be able to cope.
          Truth hurts, for sure, but can never cause damage the way lies can. Knox and Clyne are in part birds of a feather, charming, quite pretty psycho’s, but, as far as I know, only one of them got away with murder.

      • —most of Raniere’s followers over the years are not psychopaths or sociopaths. I’d bet that Nicki is simply steadfast in her idiocy and willful blindness.

        I agree! After following the NXIVM story for over 2 years I would say, with the exception of the top echelon of Nxivm, the Nxivm rank and file members wanted to better themselves and the world around them.

        *************************************************

        The only important thing to do now is to make sure the holdout NXIVM followers do not recruit new members.

      • Nut job,

        If you are a former member, you aren’t the right person to make that call. Sociopathic teaching makes sense to sociopaths.

        All those people that were propositioned and walked away at the beginning, that’s who has the judgement to give insight.

        • Dat you? If yes, what’s your take? And what observations is this based off of?

          If no – forgive me for being skeptical – but I’d lean towards you actually knowing the people you’re judging/labeling/diagnosing could help you come to an accurate conclusion.

          The definition of “former member” is about as ambiguous as a phrase could be.

    • Speaking for myself, although I find all of Raniere’s followers, past and present, somewhat repugnant and unbelievably gullible, I will repeat what I wrote some time ago.
      I find Nicki Clyne to be more intelligent and intellectually curious than the average NXian.
      And I could tell from Nicki’s social media that she is a very adventuresome person.
      She traveled through Central America on her own when she was just 19.
      She actually read and studied the books that Raniere recommended.
      Sadly, even that was not enough to inform her that Raniere is and always will be a charlatan.

    • I think Clyne is a psychopath. I think she passed Dr. Porter’s little test. I believe there are others who also showed very little brain- terror or trauma whilst being exposed to snuff and mutilation footage. Dr. Porter’s brain experiments are a matter of recorded fact. I am not joking or being even slightly sarcastic when I say: I think Clyne, Hatchette, all the remainders, the sale rail remainders of nexium, are psychopaths.

        • Well, nothing is ever that simple, but, the total lack of empathy, shame, remorse, the almost robotic insistence of cult conviction over everything? I agree with Rick Ross that certain members [SOP?] were being weaponized, or drilled for ‘readiness’. What else were Porter’s tests for? Not for research or peer review, that much we do know.

          • Yup. I’d really like somebody to take a deep dive into this. For example, after taking the test(s), did the status of the women within the organization change? The obvious name that comes to mind is Lauren. She was ostracized by Keith for some reason. Wonder if there was pattern with the test, and what happened with the women post-test.

            If that jackwagon, Porter, would grow some hair, he could help, and could literally write the book on it. The book may pay better than selling aluminum siding.

  • You have to look at everything in a positive light, and when you see all sides, those of the perpetrator Raniere, those of the victims, those of the supporters who left Raniere, those who stayed until the end, and those who supported Raniere and his crime enterprise as main actors and accomplices, as well as those like Frank Parlato and Catherine Oxenberg who fought and defeated Raniere et al. It helps to see and understand everything in context. I believe that everything that was written by Frank Report and all the others who reported seriously and everything that was produced in documentaries and TV shows like “The Vow” or “Seduced” helps to create a big picture, a puzzle that you can put together mentally for a better understanding, and the more comprehensive information you have, the more it helps you understand everything better. And my side note at the end, all the photos, film material, videos, sound recordings, drawings and so on, printed or digital, available from all sides and participants and actors, including court records and minutes, the greater the chance is that there will be many more documentaries on this complex Raniere and NXIVM and DOS and all the side aspects than we can imagine up to now. It helps to inform people about cults, human manipulation, and the criminal and narcissistic and sociopathic abysses of people, and has an informative approach to warn and protect others from them.

  • You don’t know for a fact if they are not continuing the vision of Raniere. Hearing the women of DOS speak made me realize that they hate women. They could easily terrorize women. Edgar Boone could also easily push his experiments with children in Mexico. We don’t know what these people will do in the future. I think it is wrong to invite them with open arms. It is dangerous to not be wary of them. Especially if they get in positions of power…

  • Hi, Frank, I understand and respect your rationale for giving Raniere´s followers a voice in your blog. I see it as an act of compassion and for people who have indeed been abused and perhaps continue to deny it.

    You dealt with the Bronfman sisters. Do you think Clare Bronfman will ever “disavow” Keith – and understand the tragedy that following him meant?

    • I think Clare might someday – as she lingers in prison – with extra years piled on because she wouldn’t disavow him – and being forced to be away from Nxivm members- I think she may wake up and leave him. And then she will realize that the best thing that happened to her was going to prison – for she will only do about 6 years in prison versus a life sentence with Raniere.

  • Beautifully said, Frank. To break free, his followers need to believe they have somewhere to go. Demonizing them will only make them cling to Raniere and each other more tightly.

  • I think there is an element of false hope being dangled. Their need for something Vanguard-related to occupy their days is obvious; otherwise what will they do with their time?

  • It’s much more difficult to be fair to all – even those you dislike or disagree with (and particularly if they are villains, as in the case of Raniere, who directed the attacks on you personally) – than it is to mercilessly attack someone. I have a lot of respect for you because you are choosing fairness over vindictiveness. That’s something we rarely see today in the media (or anywhere, for that matter).

    • That’s true. If the world were like this, with people of that perception and deed, it would work well. Let’s do everything we can, Frank Report readers, to help you with your work. Working with mean people (Keith) is a pleasure.

  • https://twitter.com/theashleyray/status/1320424227510517760

    “OK, but how about “Seduced” using the clips that show he was a straight up pedophile who believed babies could be fuckable and Sarah and Mark nodding along as Nancy teaches that women feel while men think. The misogyny was beyond just KR and “Seduced” shows that.

    Is this true? Are there video clips of Keith Raniere saying babies could be “fuckable”?

    Not to mention he was exposed publicly as a pedophile in February 2012 – complete with a police report – and these people nevertheless stayed on.

    Disgusting.

  • Hello Frank, You’re very right at explaining your point of view. It now makes sense. I apologize for thinking differently of you. It seems like we all wanted you to keep fighting Raniere, but now I understand that there was no point in doing so, everything is over, it has been since he was indicted and you knew it. Thank you for taking the time to help some of the victims and being a neutral journalist (which was hard given your circumstances with him).
    Hopefully, and for the sake of everyone, this will be done tomorrow!

  • Raniere’s speech will probably be much more restricted in prison, and it could have been more restricted even while awaiting sentencing, but there is entertainment value and the probability of him shooting himself in his own foot. LOL

Frank Parlato Investigates

Frank Parlato Investigates

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, many others in all five continents.

His work helping 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 featured prominently on HBO’s documentary “The Vow” and acted as lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.”

Parlato will be featured in an upcoming episode of American Greed.

If the whole world stands against you sword in hand, would you still dare to do what you think is right?

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