Does Keith Raniere Deserve a 120 Year Prison Sentence?

Keith Raniere

Now that the sentencing of Keith Alan Raniere has been imposed, this is an excellent time to review the appropriateness of his sentence.

I have been writing about Raniere since late 2015, 10 days after he and Clare Bronfman arranged for my indictment.

My response to what they did was to work to expose them.  I felt at the time that if Keith and Clare had been willing to lie in order to steal my freedom, and they had the wealth and skill to potentially succeed, then they were likely lying about and working to destroy others’ lives.

It took almost five years from the day I began writing about him to the sentencing of Raniere to 120 years in federal prison. During that interval, I have written more than 5,000 posts.  I discovered that Keith and Clare had done many things to many people – and I brought many of them to light for the first time ever.

I found that there was a trail of victims, people whose lives were destroyed by Raniere’s ruthless cunning and Bronfman money.

It is a beautiful irony that these two were the first of the six indicted Nxivm members to be imprisoned – Raniere, since 2018, and Bronfman, after being under house arrest for more than two years, entered prison on September 30, 2020.  The two that worked to steal my freedom, lost their freedom.

I worked hard to help see this accomplished.

Clare Bronfman heads into Brooklyn federal court for her sentencing hearing on September 30, 2020, with her attorneys, Ronald Sullivan and Duncan Levin. She would enter the courthouse doors but not walk out. Judge Nicholas Garaufis sentenced her to 81 months and remanded her immediately into custody.


Keith Raniere lost his freedom from the moment he was seized in Mexico, on March 26, 2018. He was removed from Mexico and handed over to the FBI in Texas that same day. He never was granted bail.

With the help of Catherine Oxenberg, Mark Vicente, Sarah Edmondson, and others, I was able to break the DOS branding story which led to many people leaving Nxivm and Raniere. The New York Times mentioned this when they wrote their story that led to the FBI commencing their investigation.

As seen on HBO’s The Vow, Frank Parlato directed operations to prepare a dossier on Keith Raniere cataloging his alleged crimes.

As shown on HBO’s The Vow, I wrote the dossier cataloging the crimes I believed Raniere committed and gave that to Catherine to deliver to law enforcement. Comparing my dossier with the indictment of Raniere, it is fair to say I provided a blueprint for investigators, who then set out to prove the allegations.

(Yesterday, I heard a gratifying story: During a certain operation of the federal investigation that required timing and efficiency, an FBI agent brought in to help was told to read specific Frank Report stories in order to be briefed on the operation that was to occur that day.)

Since I had a hand in Raniere’s downfall, I think it right to review his sentence. Keep in mind there is no consensus on whether 120 years is fair. There are some who think it excessive, that even murderers get lower sentences and Raniere was not convicted of murder or any violent crime. There was no blood or violence – other than the theory that with collateral held over the DOS slaves’ heads, the branding was coerced and, therefore, violent.

But does it warrant 120 years? Forget the fact that at age 60, a 120 sentence was not necessary to prevent Raniere from ever emerging from prison.  A 30-year or 40-year sentence would likely have the same practical effect.

Let us examine, then, whether Raniere deserves a life sentence. I imagine most readers will agree that he does. But it should be on the record, with evidence: The reasons for his life sentence. And the reasons, if any, that militate against the second most oppressive punishment a government can do to one of its citizens. A life sentence is an admission by the government that for all the reasons people are placed in prison, Raniere fulfilled them and his crimes and his threat to society are so grave and dangerous that he should never be permitted to enjoy freedom for as long as he lives.

Frank Parlato speaks with supporters of Keith Raniere, Nicki Clyne and Justin Elliot, outside the courthouse after Raniere was sentenced. They do not agree that Raniere deserves a life sentence or that he should even be punished at all.

I want those who disagree with the majority opinion – that Raniere deserves everything he got and more – to be free to express their opinion, backed up with evidence, hopefully, without being bullied or attacked.

The debate I propose to explore is, did Keith Raniere deserve a 120-year prison sentence? And why?

Forthcoming posts will present evidence, some of it new, on this question. From authentic voices of people involved – including Raniere and his supporters – and, of course, the voices of his victims.

For those who will howl at the very suggestion that this could even be debated, I urge you to be patient.  Don’t read it if it is too emotional for you.  The accounts I will be publishing are eyewitness accounts and the truth should become evident when seen in its totality.

Keith Raniere once enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, getting everything he wanted from his mostly female followers – from sex to money – with his followers doting on him and listening to his every word. His wish was their command. Now he is being commanded 24 hours per day in prison. This has been set to be his fate for the rest of his life. In prison, we have a man, who personally victimized me, and who has scores of people who claim he victimized them – people who were once close to him – many of them former lovers – an oddity for a man who claimed to be compassionate and loving. He also still has perhaps 100 staunch supporters who believe in his greatness and compassion.

Let’s hear from both sides through the prism of the finality of his sentence that, absent a successful appeal on solid evidentiary grounds, dooms him to breathing every remaining breath he will take in his life inside the walls of a US prison.

Now let us examine whether he earned this fate.


Keith Raniere argues that the severity of his punishment and the nature of his conviction is not a product of justice but a reflection of the prejudice society has for his lifestyle, fueled in large part by the exaggerations of his victims and the media’s biased reporting.


Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis felt that Keith Raniere’s victims were 100 percent credible and that his crimes against them were so reprehensible that he deserved to never see freedom again for the rest of his life.









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  • Honestly he’s a horrific person. But I hate the idea that adults can’t choose to hook with insane nuts if they want to. I get punishing him for the 15 year old. But this is ridiculous there are worse cults. What bout that woman NewTaste? She seems worse to me then Keith R. It sort of blows my mind that nobody seems to take responsibility for getting involved with him. When is an adult an adult? Gaslighting and lying and taking advantage of people? Super dangerous to make this stuff criminal. We as a society have to handle things without the courts and cops. Like you did Frank. You got busy and spread the word.

  • Thank you Frank. You have helped judicial history for a cult abuse case to move forward. A first successful landmark case against an extreme cult leader and his mild manner soft spoken cunning. Watched you help preparation of the Dossier- you have played a key role. I wonder about his supporters- do they really believe that all the evidence and texts from KR are made up?

    It also occurred to me the slave-master imposed readiness drills have an uncomfortable similarity to Jim Jones “readiness” drill before the mass suicide. There could be no good end to this level of massive mind control.

    • Anonymous 1:46 PM – Amen! “A first successful landmark case against an extreme cult leader and his mild manner soft-spoken cunning.” Spot on and well said.

      Also, folks here know I have been drawing comparisons to Jim Jones ad nauseam for years. Would Raniere have caused his flock to suicide? I doubt it. He was far too self-absorbed and attached to physical comforts. Jim Jones was severely compromised by the paranoia brought by a ton of prescription drugs. Not to say he wasn’t a born psychopath too.

      Still, I sincerely believe Keith would have escalated to, for example, keeping women or girls in (already purchased) cages in some basement, taking them out for sex, beatings, and feedings of some kind of horrible food. THIS is not far fetched, given the painful brandings (scarring) he instigated prior to his arrest. Nor is the possibility that he might have wanted to try out a human (female) sacrifice/murder, had he thought he could get away with it. Remember he has no boundaries, and other women have “disappeared,” “suicided,” and were poisoned (Karen U.). Do we know definitively that he was behind it? No.

      Your point of the eerie similarity between JJ’s White Nights and KAR’s “readiness drills” is well-noted and appreciated. At the most innocuous level, why would a caring, self-proclaimed “humanitarian” want to disrupt his loyal followers’ sleep, negatively impacting their overall health? Answer: He did not care about them, or anyone.

      I strongly suggest that no one is safe should KAR be released to play out his ugly fantasies. And if he ever gets out, he will be very, very mad – people will pay. Keithie-pie does not like to be crossed or thwarted.

  • Frank, I know some of the ex-cult executives in the HBO documentary “The Vow” claim shock at Keith’s true nature. However, in the documentary “The Missing Women of the Cult” [I cannot bear to type out that stupid name], there is a video of super-Keith discussing how child abuse is only an issue because society tells the child later it was abuse – pure pedo argument 101. I am sure those ex-cult execs heard him say that many times. Wasn’t there ever a flag in these people’s minds that this is a debauched con man? Didn’t any of the stuff he pontificated on ring any alarm bells to these people?

    I just don’t get it.

  • Hi Frank,

    I understand your desire to delve into the sentencing further and have a platform for all sides, but let’s not forget that KR is a pedophile and a sexual predator.

    It is almost universally agreed upon in the psychology and psychiatric professions that pedophiles are NOT able to be rehabilitated and very few sexual predators respond to therapy.

    It’s also established that in males who commit these acts, their increasing age does not diminish their urge to commit pedophilia and sexual crimes and therefore will act repeatedly until they are dead or incarcerated (where they may prey on other inmates).

    So, along with the myriad of other crimes he committed, please keep in mind that KR will always be a danger to girls and young women if he were to walk free.

    Fair or not fair, at least this portion of our society will be safe from him for the duration of his natural life…..that truly means something.

    Best regards,


  • Judge Garaufis has given a detailed and complete statement of Raniere’s sentencing. He followed Federal sentencing guidelines and the evidence presented at trial. 120 years was no arbitrary punishment delivered in the heat of anger. The sentence is just, evidence-based, and in accord with legal norms.

    While I agree with Frank’s principle of allowing full discussion and airing all opinions, it should be recognized that some viewpoints are… just nutty. Flat-earth stuff that is just tiresome and leads nowhere.

    Raniere is guilty. The verdict came down not from “the government” but from a jury of his peers. He had a high priced legal team working on his behalf and the verdict came back unanimously: guilty on all counts. This in a system that accords the defendant every benefit of the doubt, being based on the presumption of innocence.

    Rehashing this case endlessly is unnecessary. The Nxivm loyalists have had their say. It amounted to a tiny hill of nothing.

    Want to know if Raniere deserves 120 years in prison? Read Judge Garaufis’s sentencing statement. It’s all in there.

  • I understand the 120 years as meaning ‘Until the 12th of never’. That fairly reflects the life sentences [and previous life sentences] KR dangled over his targets.

    Judge Garaufis was simply being mindful of, and accounting for KR’s beliefs, in his own omniscience, in reincarnation, avatar issue etc.?

  • I don’t agree with some long sentences in some US states. In the UK, I think about 20 years would be fair as long as not out earlier on parole perhaps with an obligation to try to earn money to pay all the losses of those he sued in the 40 lawsuits so as much money goes back to them as they lost.

    • If you work it through, in 10 years he’ll be close to 70, and in 20 close to 80. He’s not going to get into any line of honest work that would allow him to earn enough money to repay anyone; if anything, with virtually no job prospects, just to survive he’d be looking for someone to latch on to and leach off of, or even exploit as has been his long-term pattern. But also, unfortunately he wouldn’t be old enough to be safe from trying to go back to molesting young girls, as he’s done for almost all his life.

      I’d agree that sometimes long sentences don’t make sense, but I think that on consideration one does in Raniere’s case.

    • Raniere apparently has the $8 million from Caffritz, that money can be used to compensate the people he scammed, he won’t be able to make nearly that much in 20 years when he’s 80 years old. LOL

  • Keith deserves his sentence—- not just because of DOS, the branding, his exploiting minors, the sex trafficking and his conning people into believing he had something to offer in exchange for their money when he was in fact a fraud– but because he deliberately and aggressively, for twenty years, perverted our legal system to make it function as his personal war machine– so he could injure people, who didn’t fall into line with his edicts, or think much of him, or got in his way– hardly crimes or torts under the law, but sufficient reason for Keith to terrorize them.

    Eventually, he got caught, in this travesty.

    But for two decades, he was able to bend the system to his ends, for his personal vendettas, because he had really vicious people working for him who could figure out how “work the system” and tremendous access to money.

    ” Ethics” anyone? He, and his legal staff and financial supporters, pursued and punished the non-believers relentlessly,. By doing so, and I’m sure this rankled the judge, they hurt more than the immediate victims. They dishonored our legal system and struck a blow to its strength and integrity, a system that is essential to the right of our citizens to pursue happiness, and freedom and live in domestic peace,.

    Specifically– I’m talking about Keith having his attorneys file meritless lawsuits to grind down and destroy individuals he saw as his enemies; by getting wealthy people (Clare and Sara) to spend millions to search and destroy people who were onto him; by Kristin K. infiltrating the DA’s offices and bearing false witness to have unwarranted charges brought against those who disputed Keith’s power and place in the world; by causing people who crossed him to suffer financial ruin and bankruptcies; by stealing the time and money and lives of the people he terrorized who had to defend themselves against these assaults which takes time and money.

    By his doing all these things with the help of sleazy lawyers and their minions who delighted in twisting the legal system, he dishonored the system which now has him in its grips.

    Keith’s legal staff had no qualms about flexing their muscle just to infect pain on Keith’s detractors; By doing all these things and more, Keith hurt that system which is there to provide justice, protect us from anarchy and tyranny— but it depends on honor and truth to function properly. And I think the Judge was offended by this egomaniac using our legal system for his private ends and making a mockery of the rule of law. Now, the system he mocked has him in its grasp. Could his sentence have been shorter and still been appropriate? Sure. But is it too long? No. He undercut our way of life and the basis for a free society.

    • ‘he dishonored the system which now has him in its grips.’

      Yup, the very system that gave him life: a roof over his head, education, health care, the opportunity to set up a business…everything.
      KR was and is an incorrigible ingrate. The worst possible character/disposition from which to claim any sort of ethical understanding.

      Well said, Anon.

  • KR should spend the rest of his life in prison. 120 years seems a crazy number but maybe it was to ensure he does spend his life there and some charges are successfully appealed but don’t really know how it works.

  • Keith could have got less, yes. I think a precedent sentence is 120 years for him, because not only did he commit crimes specifically like the average criminal, but he ruined the lives of many people, and he also distorted people’s souls.

    It left permanent damage to the world. He did all this by influencing those around him in a dangerous way, their ability to act, their free will. Reminds me of Hitler in some ways.

    This creature disguised as a man can never come out of prison. It would cause society such a level of damage in the future that it simply cannot be allowed to do so. I don’t hate him, I don’t know him. But in light of what I’ve read, that’s how I see him.

    Unfortunately, the losses and traumas and tragedies he inflicts cannot be measured in years, he cannot be made up for by a prison. The knowledge that he has been given 120 years is some comfort, but the victims will also take many years to heal, the deads will not be resurrected, and the stigmatized scars in body and soul will remain there forever. Keith, you deserve 120 years of reflection in an area isolated from society.

  • There is no need for this story, the judge said plenty in his decision – when are we going to stop beating this dead horse and move on to real, ongoing scams, such as Amway and other MLM scams? LOL

    However, the fact that you stood up to Raniere and exposed his behavior online is notable, as is focusing on crimes rather than the emotional BS often read in the comments section. LOL

    Others could have, and should have, gone after Raniere in a similar manner years earlier, but didn’t. LOL

    It is possible Raniere could get outside the walls of prison assuming the civil lawsuit goes to trial. LOL

    It would be interesting to know whether the judge reviewed the Frank Report before the sentencing hearing, but he’ll never admit to it. LOL

    • Scott. John Tighe was exposing things in his blog, the Times Union were. Nothing was done. People were being silenced. People high up were corrupt and kept people silent. I don’t know why you keep ignoring those facts. People did try. Back in the beginning there was no internet to blog on or not a lot of people read such things. It didn’t reach the masses. Frank did start this blog in a time where there was/is a massive audience, it’s gone international.

      On an agreeing note, I too would like to know if the judge reads the Frank Report. This has to be one of the most interesting cases he has dealt with.

      • —On an agreeing note, I too would like to know if the judge reads the Frank Report. This has to be one of the most interesting cases he has dealt with.

        Human curiosity. He must have.

      • Tighe’s blog was obscure, as is the Times Union. LOL

        It takes people working together to create change – Frank’s blog would have gone nowhere without others helping him get more exposure, such as Scott. LOL

        People didn’t work together – I don’t know why you keep ignoring those facts. LOL

        Nobody was being silenced, Scott went up against a multi-billion dollar/year scam company called Amway and won. LOL

  • I just don’t see how the public could ever be safe with this guy on the streets. Legal technicalities aside, I think (almost) everyone agrees he’s dangerous.

  • Re The Keith Raniere sentence:

    A retired warden once said in an interview…

    “There are two types of people in prison; the people we are mad at and the people we are scared of. The people we are scared of are the only ones who should stay.”

    …If Keith Raniere were [not] a cult leader, he should have received around a 20-year prison sentence.

    If Keith Raniere received a 15-year sentence, he and Clare Bronfman would take the show on the road, go overseas and start afresh. Keith Raniere is a danger to
    society at large and, for that matter, the world.

      • The warden isn’t the stupid one, he wasn’t the one with reading comprehension problems. He said the ones we’re scared of should stay, and the others should be rehabilitated, not that that’s how it works.

          • Most of the people who go back to “jail”do so because of minor parole violations.

            Non violent crime such as drug offenses should be treated differently instead of the current paradigm.

      • LOL – BOY

        You don’t get the point.

        It’s like the time you said “It never rains cats and dogs. Dogs and cats can’t fly, you dummy.”

        You don’t get it.

      • Scott,

        I apologize if you do not agree with the warden.

        It’s ’s like the time you said,
        “It never rains cats and dogs. Dogs and cats can’t fly.” You were right, dogs and cats can’t fly.

  • It seems to me that it probably comes down to the banal practical matter that federal prosecutors probably felt they had to levy enough charges against Raniere to guarantee that he effectively got life, even if some didn’t stick – or end up overturned on appeal, as could still happen. To address that you’d have to come up with some other sort of strange system in which prosecutors could ask for a life sentence if the accused were convicted of at least half the charges against him, or something like that. I suppose that suggests simply capping sentences at life without parole; someone with legal expertise like Claviger would have to weigh in whether that would work, or pose additional problems not immediately evident to laypersons.

    Raniere is the sort of psychopath and incorrigible long-term serial predator who almost certainly cannot be rehabilitated and will always pose a danger. So his is a very different case say from someone convicted of a single murder, especially if for instance it happen under extenuating circumstances such as the heat of passion or intoxication. By the way, it’s also known that young offenders under abour 30 can grow out of their criminal propensities, something I believe several justice and corrections systems including that of France take into account.

  • No. He should have been convicted for the statutory rape and child porn with Camilla. That’s clear black letter law and he’s guilty, no question.

    The rest is just government overreach and bullshit. The whole thing hinges on the collateral and whether because of it these women were forced to do things they otherwise would not have done. I don’t buy it, The branding and the sex with a man they describe as repulsive is a lot worse than having the collateral released.

    I get the feeling the judge doesn’t have a lot of experience with women. He’s 74 and literally from another era. He stopped the questioning because Lauren Salzman was CRYING for God’s sake. She admits to locking another woman in a room for 2 years and she can’t handle questions?

    Keith overreached and he made powerful enemies in Catherine Oxenberg and Frank. Frank’s right. That salacious branding story embarrassed State prosecutors and they set out to get him. Boy, did they ever.

    • He had gotten the Bronfman’s, the Salinas, the Juncos. He thought everyone had similar family dynamics and, hence, went after India in a similar way. He did not expect Catherine to be so relentless.

      I am personally also surprised how useful Frank Report was to take him down. Shedding light into the darkness of Keith did help.
      Thanks, Frank, for all the work and inspiration.

    • There are new laws in place regarding Coercive Control, and that is exactly what he addressed in a continually shocking understanding of the nuances of male techniques of manipulation of social conditioning of women, and the ways that trauma manifests and what it looks like.

      Not only did that judge give me hope about a corrupt Judiciary, out of touch with real life struggles outside their own experience, he gave me hope for the future of men, in this wasteland of violent fragile petty masculinity.

      Coercive control has always existed in abusive relationships, it defines domestic violence. In order to understand a brand new world in which you recognize the various systems of oppression on the people around you, you have to take the time to listen and learn about what was formerly kept quiet, directly to benefit you, and all men. Recognizing it in law directly corrects a long held injustice for women.

      I do realize coercive manipulation is ethical for Scientologists and Espians. It’s unethical, potentially illegal and always considered abusive.

      • If adults can claim abuse after the fact in consensual relationships, anything can be abuse. Men are realizing the deck is stacked against them and are avoiding relationships period. Marriage and birth rates are both at 120-year lows.

        We won’t know the long-term effects of all this for decades but I bet it wont be good.

        • I couldn’t agree more. I just don’t understand this avalanche of hate for one man when all of the women except the 15 year old were adults. Mostly educated and gung-ho. Where is there accountability?

      • There’s no such thing as toxic masculinity. Men pay all the bills and do all the real actual work. Women by and large do jobs that don’t need doing.

        Men have jobs, women have “jobs”. As Camalia Pagalia said “If women ran the world we’d still be living in grass huts on the beach”

        As annoying as it may be to be the object of male sexual desire at times, imagine if it stopped completely. Can you build a house, drive a truck, unload freight at a dock? We need those jobs done a lot more than we need decorators, massage therapists, or talk show hosts.

        Be careful what you wish for.

        • This is somewhat false now but was certainly more true in the past. Men do the vast majority of the menial work which requires hard labor because most women simply can’t do it due to their physical limitations.

          Men and women can both do intellectual work at practically the same levels. Women haven’t been doing it as long as men so they are at a preexisting disadvantage. Since the creation of machines due to the powers of the human intellect, manual hard labor has been somewhat reduced. More men still participate in the STEM fields and are necessary to do most of the hard labor that still exists because they are physically strong by nature. But since the intellect is what really underlies human capability, this equivalent power in men and women makes the sexes more on an equal footing in modern society. Of course, men are still the dominant sex and that isn’t going to change. Regardless, both sexes are needed for survival.

          And yes, toxic masculinity as a phenomena (however it is defined) can exist, just like gold-digging women can.

  • Your reporting helped a lot, Frank, to bring him down.
    Congratulations. You helped connect the dots for the prosecution about what was happening. It was a tough, complex case. However, you really helped the prosecution present a clear story of who Keith was. Congrats.

  • The victims of this cult will be dealing with the damage and traumas of this cult for the rest of their lives. That is not fair.

    Keith being sentenced to life is fair. Basically that is what the sentence means.

  • Raniere needs to be locked up for the rest of his life so I agree with the sentence. As Barbara said, he could’ve done so much good with his skills and intelligence but he chose to play evil dictator instead and ruined a lot of good peoples lives. I think Nancy and Laura also deserve at least 15 years. Makes me wonder why blue light boy didn’t escape to a country where he couldn’t be extradited

    • Because he did not think they would aim to get him. He had the Salinas on his side. That was why he was not in hiding.
      He is stupid, Clare and he could have gone to a country without extradition and lived well.
      Thank god he is Brutus.

    • It’s indeed a waste of intelligence, but Raniere was a lazy student and never seems to have succeeded in applying himself to anything really rigorous. So, I’m not sure what skills he could be said to have other than manipulating people.

      The history of scammers and cults – and totalitarian regimes – shows that their perpetrators and leaders just don’t think about getaways. In my observation, they tend to have a mentality like gambling addicts, and somehow expect that they will come out ahead if they can just keeping rolling the dice long enough; they are in a form of denial or delusion about the reality they face, however you frame it.

      It’s an example of Raniere’s ultimate haplessness, that he chose Mexico when he left the US. My guess is that as a sort of aspect of his mistaken conspiratorial thinking, he thought that his peripheral connections to some of the Mexican elite would be enough to protect him – and we of course saw how that worked out.

  • Judge Garaufis delivered the voice of the people, not merely any emotionally indignant or a personally-motivated sentencing, to Raniere or to Bronfman.

    This is a very big aspect of the duty of a judge in an American federal setting, to be the voice of the people, whom he or she is really representing. These are our own decisive laws for now, like it or not, as Americans.

    The perpetually, spiritually, psychologically and mentally impotent flapping jaws, etc., of Raniere did not get put on trial in Mexico. He got booted from Mexico like yesterday’s toxic waste, back into the United States. Rightfully so.

    The people have spoken. Our people. Us. We have come to a conclusion about where Raniere belongs. The judge is us, one voice but also, our voices. 120 years is a small number, contrasted with the quantity and quality of harm done, which Raniere and his group still see as somehow noble and advanced and “misunderstood.” Oh, really?

    What has been misunderstood here? Raniere is a sexual predator surrounded by fools who continue to deny and to ignore the truth about him…or about themselves, as individuals.

    Screw their denials of what is as visible as ordinary daylight. These people have screwed themselves, while delusionally ignoring that they have been engaged in hurting other, too. Common sense went out the door long, long ago. Justice is catching up, and somewhat slowly. This has been a long, long trip and it’s still unfinished.

    Perhaps Raniere has earned every difficulty, every bit of pain that he has doled out to ALL of the others, and especially he owes those who are still struggling even now, due to his con games and his grotesque sexual lack of self-control or honesty.

    Judge Garaufis explained the federal sentencing guidelines typically applied. However, he also noted Raniere’s (and Clare Bronfman’s) lack of comprehension regarding their criminal actions and their unrepentance for so much harm that they have done and given to others, with their total, nearly unspeakable hypocrisy.

    • It feels good to be a part of ‘the voice of the people’, I definitely prefer it to the times when I think ‘Not in my name’, although I treasure the freedom to think and feel both things without fear the Stasi will come for me in the dead of night, and I’m glad there is one less cult leader providing a miniature tyranny that someones daughter or son could get caught up in. Judge Garaufis’ sentence certainly spoke for me.

  • Right to the point: I think he deserved a life sentence (30 years or 120 would make no practical difference at his age) given his potential and proclivity to damage, manipulate, intimidate and control others – even from jail. People will never be safe if he is released. As a side note (without advocating he be sentenced for uncharged crimes), many questions remain about those who died, “disappeared” or were poisoned, in his immediate orbit.

    My understanding is that judges always have the option of letting sentences run concurrently or consecutively. I think they are obliged to weigh many factors in the decision and in my opinion this Judge made the right call.

    As I said in another post, had Keith handled things quite a bit differently, i.e., put up some kind of a rational defense, told his dancers / PR agents to stay home and keep quiet, refrained from threatening the prosecution and defense, and expressed some kind of remorse, I think odds are good he could have received the more palatable 15 years, with credit for time served and early release for good behavior. In Keith’s wisdom, he shot himself in the foot. He wanted to perpetuate the illusion of himself as a Ghandi-like figure, simply misunderstood and wrongfully imprisoned.

    Keith Raniere was clearly and demonstrably escalating at least since Pam Cafritz passed. We have no idea how far all this would have ultimately gone. Women in cages in the basement, being periodically beaten and fed (vegetarian) dog food? Secret murder sacrifices of females, for his pleasure? At least now we will never know. People laugh at my comparison of KAR to Jim Jones, but if you resurrect the record of Jones’ escalation, it is not that far fetched. Had Jones died in the late 60s or early 70s, he might now be fondly remembered as a pioneering civil rights activist for racial equality. I mean, what he achieved in Indiana was impressive.

    Remember, Keith reveled in stroking India’s injury (and I do mean injury) that he caused to be inflicted on her and others. He authored threatening letters in 2017 to terrify and silence victims / potential witnesses (proven). He was caught with contraband cell phones at MDC multiple times (proven). He wanted Toni Natalie and Rick Ross to “fall” off a cruise ship or go to a Mexican jail (not proven, but strongly suspected).

    I hope that whoever succeeds in getting him released – now or in the future – is prepared to accept some measure of responsibility for what he will inevitably do.

    Although I welcome any objective investigation, if this is going to become a “justice for Raniere” website, I will turn away in disgust and regret. I believe the Judge in this case went to great lengths to be sure he received a fair trial and that his defense attorneys had no conflict of interest.

    Bad press? I believe he brought it onto himself, including this blog.

    I believe he felt invincible given his purchased immunity with law enforcement in the Capitol region.

    This is a very sad story, but not for Keith. He threw away all his opportunities and potential for good long ago.

    • You bring up a good point that his pathological behavior appeared to have been escalating, arguably going back earlier but certainly after Cafritz, and also Jeske, died. That helps illustrate the sort of danger he poses.

  • No, I don’t think 120 years fair but life isn’t fair. At his age, any sentence is a life sentence. 15 to life would have been ‘fair’ but either way, the rest of his natural life is in a prison setting. Perhaps he will fare better in eternity, depends on what he does with the rest of his days in his cell – can he find God there, a higher power beyond himself?

    Completely off-topic, but this makes me wonder how Clare Bear is fairing in custody?

    • Why should Keith Raniere or Clare Bronfman be different from other prisoners? I don’t care about the state of mind of these people, they didn’t care about the state of mind of the victims of their crimes. So what the hell?

    • We are being assured there is a post regarding how Clare is doing. I look forward to reading that. This has just overshadowed her prison plight for the time being!

  • Keith Raniere’s chances of getting away are zero. Getting the sentence overturned on appeal is zero. The chance that the verdict will be overturned in the Supreme Court is also zero. Keith Raniere is just a zero. And I am not going to help him change that.

  • Nicki Clyne knew early on that Raniere, Mack and NXIVM were in trouble.
    Deep trouble.
    This photo was posted by Nicki on Allison Mack’s 2017 birthday.

    It shows a pensive Allison Mack looking out into space.
    This photo was posted seven weeks after Frank Parlato’s first story on branding.

    This next photo was posted on Oct. 31, 2017.
    Halloween day exactly three years ago.
    It shows Nicki in a prison uniform.

    Around the same time, Allison’s sister stopped posting pictures on her personal Instagram account using a personal hobby account instead.

    Let’s be frank.
    Nicki and Allison knew the stuff had hit the fan.
    Nicki and Allison knew that “This Day Would Come.”
    And frankly, Keith Raniere is not intelligent, rational, or ethical.

    • Shadow, notice the symbolic gesture being shown, by the covering of her mouth with her hand, like a small clamp? Is that a gesture of unconscious subservience, do you suppose? Or is that the gesticulation of a poseur, trying to appear contemplative? Or perhaps it is both?

      Has she begun to recover herself for herself yet? That is, at least to me, one crucial question. What to do but to wait and see? Meanwhile, much love from here, right to the Shadow.

      • When I first saw pictures and silent video with overlay discussion reporting, it became very obvious she is manic and doesn’t make a single move or facial expression, without viewing herself through others eyes. She is always in the performance of the expected emotion.

        Yes, every move she makes is with purpose.

    • Let’s be honest, even Allison’s sister knew what was coming and didn’t post anything more about Allison. So one can assume that not only Allison Mack and Nicki Clyne knew that they were committing crimes, also the family of Allison, would probably not have been totally clueless, although her parents insisted that Allison knows what she is doing and defended her when Catherine Oxenberg approached her.

      Maybe Robyn Mack on her Instagram account refrained from publishing any more photos with Allison only because the photos of Allison caused bad feedback.

  • Yeah, 120 years is WAY excessive. The crimes he committed in no way warrant that. This entire charade illustrates the sickness of American jurisprudence.

    How much ink and media coverage has been spent on this case, with our media obsession on “cults” or the individualistic obsession with the self, “self help”, and “personal growth”.

    Not wanting to insult you, but I think your obsession with this case reflects poorly on the priorities of journalism. It’s amazing how much time, resources, and effort has been spent on going after Keith. It seems that he likely did commit some of these crimes, but many of the people attacking him also took part at one time in some of these practices and many of them just ooze privilege and elitism.

    But this is what we’ve got, this is the type of media culture that exists domestically inside the American empire – always obsessed with its internal issues.

    Isn’t it time to move on?

    The war launched by George Bush, according to the Lancet Medical Journal, likely resulted in the deaths of over a million Iraqis; the US under Trump and Obama has sent tons and tons of explosives to the Saudi dictatorship that is dropping cluster bombs on Yemeni villagers for years now; the US government is the biggest sponsor of structural adjustment programs (SAPs) that privatize and crush social protections and safety nets across the formerly colonized global south; the US government is massively funding an apartheid government in Israel that commits horrendous punishment upon the civilians in the Gaza Strip; the US has according to a recent study by the DC think tank-WOLA blocked through sanctions 14-30 billion USD from Venezuela leading to a collapse of that country’s healthcare system; the list goes on and on.

    The US is the most powerful empire in world history, committing at this very moment crimes and regime change operations on every continent. We live INSIDE this place. Why not work to expose it?

    Too bad Frank’s journalistic endeavors (with these 5,000 posts!) and the HBO documentary department could not spend some time shining a light on our government’s brutal policies impacting working class poor people across the 3rd world – the #1 victim of the American experiment gone bad.

    BTW decades ago I remember journalists would question the FBI and other US agencies and not just take as gospel their reports.

    Someone could murder an entire village in Afghanistan and get a tiny fraction of the coverage that NXIVM and Keith have received. It makes me feel sick.

    • He deserves”life”–whether that’s 30 years or 30,000 years is irrelevant.

      He had 90 victim impact statements.120 is a year per victim, plus 30. Two years per victim, he got a break.

      He bankrupted people. He destroyed lives. He had sex with minors. He lied, blackmailed, and brainwashed.

      He coerced, manipulated, bent and destroyed. Some financial victims are still fighting to have their lives restored. Add this all, comes to more than 120.

      But the true harm is the insidious nature of his manipulation. How do we measure extreme emotional distress? By big jury verdicts. It’s the way our system works.

      Most importantly to me: his complete lack of remorse. His continued attempt to manipulate from his prison cell. His continued control over his followers, and the chance for repetition.

      We won W2 by causing way much more devastation and death than needed.

      But we won WW2. And destroyed a movement, as well.

      Point taken.

      • One year imprisonment for one victim each. That is exessively little. Far too little. The penalty would have to be calculated individually for each victim, and the sentence would have to be served one after the other.

    • Lurker,
      I agree with you entirely. Probably 80 years would have been the most appropriate sentence, even 73.
      I feel really sad that a unique humanitarian, such an incredible philantropist was hit so hideously and so subversive by the humans he’s been selflessly guiding all his life.

    • Keith got away with his bullshit for over twenty years. He probably had people killed for his beliefs, like Kristin Snyder and all the women close to him happened to just all die of cancer. Keith is where he’s supposed to be because Karma caught up to his lying, cheating, manipulating, and controlling ass. When you consider an eternity of Hell, 120 years is nothing.

      • More like 30 years. He was raping the 12 year old Rhiannon around 1990, double-debiting Consumers Buyline members’ bank accounts, and scheming to take over private companies. That is only the paltry amount I am aware of. He started slowly, in secrecy and escalated bit by bit. That is the most frightening part.

    • —Isn’t it time to move on?

      Before the sentencing, tidal-wave, Frank had publicly(on the Frank Report) stated the Frank Report would be moving on past the Nxivm story….. Then the sentencing date approached.

      People are interested in the story again.

      The issues which come up in the Nxivm criminal and justice story permeate though are court system and culture. Why not investigative and discuss every aspect of the case. The Nxivm story and treatment of said story is symptomatic of our society.

      Your argument/question: When are people responsible for their decisions and lives, and when are they victims?

      Why not discuss things?

      • Tidal wave is the perfect description. Frank did say things would move on but then The Vow became popular, along with all those crazy letters of support for Clare and Keith. Them the NXIVM 5 tried to insult people’s intelligence with their bombshell or, more accurately, peanut shell conspiracy theory that they conveniently only uncovered in the days before sentencing. It’s all served to refuel this intriguing fire of insanity. I think I’m in it for the long haul 🥴. If you don’t hear from me for weeks, it’s likely I am in a coma or met my untimely demise.

    • I appreciate some of your points, Lurker. But as to the “excessive” attention and resources directed at Keith, you have to understand that someone had to finally take aggressive action against the man. For almost two decades, Albany, the State of New York, and NDNY would do NOTHING, despite all the media exposes, Rhiannon’s rape report, the red flags raised by Rick Ross and John Tighe, etc. Raniere was untouchable, probably because many palms had been greased. Instead, journalistic and other careers were ruined, detractors were arrested on bullshit charges, victims were silenced, and Keith went on his merry way, with impunity. THAT is the sort of government corruption that should be ruthlessly scrutinized and exposed.

    • Thanks for providing context. The preoccupation with this case to the exclusion of violent world events in which we play a significant, contributing role is the real story. The Nxivm story is a diversion, a soap opera for the masses to divert their collective accountability for allowing a run-amok US government to sabotage other countries, deny environmental disaster and ignore the working poor and those with little health care.

      Keith Raniere is guilty of crimes charged. However, his sentence is not in line with commonly practiced US or international standards for the behaviors he was charged with and convicted of. The threat of him coming back on the street and being effective after a 15-20 year sentence with parole restrictions against further contact with Nx personnel was minimal.

      • This is just whatsboutism. That the US may or may not be getting away with whatever you have claimed is a separate issue and has nothing to with the NXIVM story. You’ve just thrown out some preposterous causal connection between the two in terms of a conspiracy of diversion which is simply unbelievable. There are plenty of independent journalists out there other than Frank who have written many words about the “American Empire” and the like, names like Abby Martin and Christopher Hedges, who are more well known than him.

      • While I agree that US media should prioritize journalism over ratings, NXIVM’s more of a tabloid staple than front page of the Wall St Journal. Though I imagine it’s headline news everyday in your world. I’ll also agree that our police state and mass incarceration are but 2 major societal ills we urgently need to address in the US. But you’ll need to try harder to convince me that a well-funded white dude in upstate NY who exploited countless people, trafficked Latina women, and successfully evaded paying taxes for 25 years is the poster child for that platform.

        Additionally, Keith’s had 60 years to figure out how to be a member of society but apparently consistently chose to be a predator…or at the VERY least a leech. So I doubt a 15 yr sentence (possibly reduced to 10, and with time served 7) will do much to change anything.

        • SA – well said. Sadly, objective journalism in the US has been dead and buried for a long time. I majored in it, in the 1980s, apparently to no avail. You can only try to sift out the truth. “What, where, when, why?” Facts not opinion. Walter Cronkite is long gone.

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato,_Jr.

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