One of my readers posed a question: “Frank, Be Honest. Could You Kick Keith Raniere’s Ass in a Fight?”
I am assuming the reader meant a one-on-one physical fight, since I already kicked his ass in an intellectual/ public relations/ legal fight.
Would it be supervised or unsupervised fight?
There are fights in the ring, and fights on the street.
In street fights, there are two kinds. One is mutual combat, where parties agree to fight, and the other is where one [or more] persons suddenly, predatorily attack, and, in response, the other is forced to self defend. The attacker has the advantage of surprise.
In the ring, there are rules, and they vary depending on the type of fight. In a street fight, there are no rules, except try to win.
In the ring, at age 65, I would need to train for the particular type of fight, in conformity with the rules of that sport or martial art. I would need to know the conditions [how many rounds, indoor or outdoor, who referees, etc.] I would want 90 days to train.
My fee would be $1 million, plus 10 percent of gross ticket sales. [$500,000 paid when I sign the contract, and $500,000 when I arrive at the stadium where the fight is held. Percentage of the gate to be paid at the conclusion of the evening, with my agents co-monitoring ticket sales, both presale and night of fight sales. Video and audio rights to be determined.]
I would want a 10-round minimum [15 rounds is ideal, with three-minute rounds, one-minute rest] so I can take my time drawing my opponent out. Under these conditions, I think I could defeat Keith with a knockout in round 7 or 8.
If it were an eight-round fight, I would look to inflict damage, and place my opponent in a breath-negative condition [i.e. winded], from round #2 onward and do the takedown in round 4 -5. In a four-round fight, I would rain punishment on my opponent from the onset, risk some return punishment, and take him out late in round-2 or midway in round-3.
All of these predictions are based on Keith being a topflight judo expert, in extraordinary physical condition, something akin to the abilities of an East Coast Judo Champion, with the athleticism of say, Jim Thorpe.
Now for a street fight
In a mutual combat, no-holds-barred, no rules, no weapons, no time limit, street fight, there are logistical challenges. These kinds of fights usually end with a knockout, or other disabling condition, surrender, or flight.
Surrender or flight are the most likely scenarios. I would want a locale where my opponent could run away but I would not consent to a condition where I am required to chase him. Keith said he tied the New York State record for the 100-yard dash, and he likely can run away faster than I could possibly chase him.
The fight would have to be conducted in a jurisdiction where mutual combat is legal, even if death occurs. There would have to be a waiver of liability by Raniere and his family holding me harmless, filed with the local authorities.
Under these conditions, I believe that I could kick his ass in under three minutes, unless he escaped and ran away, which would happen in about 2 minutes.
As for the other type of street fight, where someone launches a surprise attack, there are factors to be considered.
A surprise attack is, by the code of most ethicists, unethical, on the part of the attacker.
As an ethicist myself, it justifies a lawless self-defense that pays no heed to ethics. Weapons are justified, including anything handy, rocks, bricks, a broken bottle. Attempting to disable, even kill, is justified.
In mutual combat, a highly-skilled, ethical fighter seeks to do the least damage necessary to disable his opponent. In a surprise attack, all bets are off.
All human bodies – even those of super athletes like Raniere – have vulnerable internal organs. And it is easily proven that the consciousness of every human is fragile and easily disrupted.
When the fight is fair and is mutual combat, I prefer to disable a person through gradual infliction of pain, and using non-permanently damaging methods to bring about loss of consciousness and collapse of the body.
This generally includes infliction of pain in the abdomen, and careful blows to the head to cause dazing, and eventually fainting without causing brain damage. If necessary, this sometimes requires infliction of more severe pain and temporary immobilization techniques such as breaking fingers, toes, [which will, of course, heal] and nonfatal blows to the neck and groin to take the individual off balance and stun and confuse him, making him more vulnerable to loss of consciousness, or the best, desired goal: the decision to stop fighting out of fear, and pretending to lose consciousness.
Quick blows to the kidneys, and when turned around, a non-lethal, comparatively gentle blow to the sacral plexus and/or a careful, not too forceful strike to the third or eleventh vertebrae, will usually render an opponent docile in seconds, once in position, without having to hurt him. The goal is, of course, to coax loss of consciousness.
On the contrary, a surprise attack offers no time for carefully executed, gradually disabling, consciousness-depriving action.
Since a surprise attack relieves the defender of ethical considerations, he may ethically seek to do irreparable damage, including
- Causing blindness, by removal of the eyes from their sockets,
- Flattening the nose by swift compression using the palm, and,
- Simultaneously, using some handy item to stuff the mouth to cause choking, suffocation and possible drowning in swallowed blood, or vomiting.
- Knocking out teeth by a hard blow to the jaw, combined with a swift punch to the top of the abdomen, causing the teeth to be involuntarily swallowed
- Tearing, or biting off ears, [this is not painful, but induces a surprisingly frenetic response that makes taking away consciousness quick and easy, as the conscious mind seeks to retreat.]
- Breaking of multiple bones,
- Embracing the opponent in a tight hug and biting the neck drawing blood and severing a carotid artery.
- Causing severe internal bleeding through a rapid series of chops in precise order, [note to beginners: always use open hand chop when attacking the heart, never clench fist, and remember to exhale when delivering chop; the short shout is unnecessary]
- Rabbit punching behind ears, etc. to cause cervical vertebrae and spinal cord rendered non-functioning, causing crippling effect
- Temple tap and head blows causing loss of consciousness without regard to causing brain damage or death.
[I have mainly mentioned hand techniques since these are my personal preferences. I do not for a moment suggest that the use of the knees, feet, and elbows are ineffective. And I do not share the bias that some of my fellows have that using the legs in rendering someone unconscious is somehow less honorable and shows an inferior ability. We are talking about surprise attacks.]
As an ethicist myself, the use of brutal methods, which are in contrast to the more gentle consciousness-deprivation techniques used by ethical fighters in fair fights, is justified only in cases of sudden attacks from ruthless, psychopath predators.
In some ways, this kind of attack and my defense is analogous to the type of fighting I did with Keith and his partner, Clare Webb Bronfman. They attacked me by surprise with the goal of destroying me.
In a fair fight, obviously the goal is not to cause pain or permanent damage, but to encourage loss of consciousness, or to confuse the conscious mind of the opponent into thinking his pain may be mitigated by giving up one’s will to inflict pain on his opponent.
A surprise attack requires hastily conceived methods.
From out of the blue, Keith and Clare launched a surprise attack on me, using perjury and the advantage one has in the US legal system when one can outspend one’s opponent 1,000-to-one. Their goal was to immobilize me, to make me lose my consciousness of being a free, US citizen – to steal my freedom by putting me in prison.
As they surprise-attacked from the rear, I was temporarily knocked down, but I arose and defended myself. The fight lasted about five years from the time I realized I was attacked to the time Keith was sentenced to 120 years in prison and Clare got 81 months.
Keith was virtually killed in the fight, for he got a life sentence. Clare was knocked down pretty good. Her ass was well-kicked.
Had they fought honorably, and given me fair warning that they were seeking to steal my freedom, I would have been able to prepare a defense that would not have been so punishing for Keith and Clare.
I do not know if Keith deserves 120 years or a life sentence for his crimes of conviction. But he took to fighting by surprise and that comes with its own punishment.
As the victor, however, I can afford to be magnanimous. There could be forgiveness with full disclosure and recompense.
Meantime, to answer the reader’s original question, “Be honest, Frank, could you kick Keith Raniere’s ass in a fight?”
Yes, dear reader, I believe I could.
I respect the fact that you didn’t just say “Fuck yeah, I’d beat his ass!”
I’m sure this dude thinks highly of himself & most likely feels he’s bigger & badder than he really is after what he’s been able to do with the cult. He’ll find out how tough he really is when he’s in jail. Those dudes don’t respect people who victimize women & children.
The prize money should be slanted towards the winner, I suggest a winner take all. LOL
I thought of winner take all but I want to be fair. Keith should get something too.
That would allow him to buy the cans of sardines from the commissary. LOL
Not to restate the obvious, but I believe you already beat him, Frank. In every way that really counts. Bravo!
Frank – If the fight was held in a ring, what song would you choose to enter to? Any ideas for Keith’s song? Happy Thanksgiving to you all!
I would compose and score something for the occasion. Full 65 piece orchestra, which would perform it live. The theme would be carried by warm French horns and supportive strings, concluding with distant trumpets calls.
As for Keith, if I were to compose and score it for him, I would open with flute Tranquillo, then a solo muted trumpet leading to a dark crescendo orribile, atop strings. After an interlude, I would employ dissonant, swirling strings. Then tender strings to soothe and calm, then tremolo strings and dissonance.
Of course, he may not ask me to compose a theme for him.
Frank, I am speechless at your knowledge of music. That is assuming I understood everything you wrote, which I can’t honestly confirm!
Nancy – Ditto! I’m starting to suspect that our Frank could play Moonlight Sonata on the piano better than Keith….
Sounds like you might be a Mahler fan? I’d like to hear that composition. But sadly, I fear Raniere would never let you compose a theme for him – it would never do him justice. And it could not possibly compare to what he could compose for himself. This is not mere cynicism on my part; I offer the following:… during rehearsals of Sweeney Todd, Raniere really angered the music director by offering to show him how he should improve his piano accompaniment.
L – We don’t really know whether Keith was any good at piano. We’ve seen clips of him playing some pretty easy classical music, without pedals, but that’s about it. Was he any good during his younger years? Was he actually a concert level pianist?
What rehearsal of Sweeney Todd are you referring to? Was this like the high school play or some off-broadway production?
For Keith I vote Ligeti – Le Grande Macabre.
For you Frank – Your own composition performed by all nine Choirs of Angels.
Bravo Frank, this was almost too enjoyable to read. LOL
I enjoyed the read immensely. You’re the quintessential humorist when you choose to be.
Have a happy Thanksgiving!
I’ll second that.
Although I will add that Frank didn’t account for Keith’s army of bad-ass harpies in his calculations. Keith has allies. Therefore, if a fracas ensues, I will happily join the fray on Frank’s side. I’m generally fairly serene, but my fight or flight instincts generally lean toward FIGHT once I’m triggered. And given my general enjoyment of cooking and eating nutritious meals, I think I have the strength to hold off a skinny, starving harpy even at my advanced age.
In honor of your new found love of poetry (or at least of limericks):
NiceGuy found he enjoyed a good rhyme
In the Limerick meter and time
so he’s written a few
on the Vanguard’s odd crew,
and I’m finding his writing sublime!
Happy Thanksgiving, NiceGuy!
L, I for one believe you could beat Keith’s ass.
Haha! I appreciate your faith in me, Nancy!
MK Art has to depict some of these scenes!
Wow. Powerful analogy! And makes perfect sense. Plus brilliant writing AND photoshop skills 😆
It will not be easy, Frank. The difficulty would be in extracting him from the closet. His closet technique is unmatched. Once you’ve got him out, I think a feather will be enough to finish the job.
I don’t think his Supah Powahs will be enough to defeat you.
Frank is forgetting Raniere’s main technique when confronted – hiding in a bathroom. LOL
Raniere can now develop the “right angle” technique. It’s a notable prison technique in which the protagonist, who in this case is Keith Raniere, is still learning to get to a right angle to hit the soap that was thrown at him. If he practices a lot, he will learn humility as a trait – which he has never known before. In any case, the author of the article has already managed to defeat Keith in a melee. He was smarter than Keith.
Excellent article. I wholeheartedly agree with Frank’s conclusion also.
This is so funny. I don’t think I will ever remove the image of Frank embracing Keith in a tight hug and biting his neck drawing blood and severing a carotid artery.
Frank, why do you think that Keith decided to go after you in 2015 after you left in 2008? Why wait all those years? Why in 2015? What was happening then?
Raniere and Bronfman probably spent some time trying to dig up dirt on Frank, and I believe there were other lawsuits prior to the 2015 DOJ action. LOL
He actually went after me in 2011, but I did not know it at the time. It took four years for him to execute his surprise attack.
2011 – perhaps when James Odato was researching for his expose series on Keith and NXIVM? I’d bet Raniere and his horde had heard murmurings of Odato’s investigation and were probably trying to shut down potential “problems” beforehand.
haha…nice post, Frank. Congrats 🙂
Holy shit. Best article EVER
What a nutty essay.
Frank, you’ ve moved away from calling it a duel. That wasn’t an accurate description either.
You are hilarious and my hero,