Even Then! 2008 A Capella Supporter Blasts Clare Bronfman’s Arguments in Forum, Calls Raniere’s Self Importance ‘Silly’

Allison Mack performs with the a capella singing group Simply Human.

The following is an entertainment gem, a contemporary response from an a capella enthusiast to Clare Bronfman’s 2008 Defense of Keith Raniere.

As Leo Helmar reported, there was a 2008 forum thread [available on Internet Archive] about an a capella event funded by Clare Bronfman that some commenters said was meant to serve as a recruitment tool for Nxivm. The forum thread has 204 comments, debating the issue – and it features comments by Lauren Salzman, Clare Bronfman, Allison Mack and Keith Raniere.

Someone with the moniker of mwhitehouse posted a reply to Clare’s comment, taking issue with much of what Bronfman had previously posted on the thread. One of the main issues Whitehouse raised had to do with Raniere’s list of accomplishments on his website bio.

For readers’ convenience, Raniere’s listed accomplishments in 2008 included:

  • He spoke in full sentences by the age of one –  and was reading by the age of two.
  • At the age of 11, he was an Eastern Coast Judo Champion.
  • At age 12, he taught himself high school mathematics in less than a day – and taught himself three years of college mathematics by age 13.
  • He plays many musical instruments and taught himself to play piano at concert-level by age 12
  • He was entered in the Guinness Book of World Records for “Highest IQ” in 1989.
  • He has been noted as one of top three problem-solvers in the world.
  • He was a millionaire by the age of 30 a – and worth $50 million by the age of 32.
Keith Raniere hired actor Eddie Albert to be spokesperson for Consumers;’ Buyline on an infomercial.

The following is M. Whitehouse’s comment with [my clarifications in bold and brackets.]

By M. Whitehouse

Wed Apr 09, 2008 3:49 pm

…. I’m just powerfully curious about how this “NXIVM is just some unrelated self-help organization” – and how “Keith Raniere is just some rich musician who likes a cappella” is flying, by-and-large, under the radar [in the a-capella community.]

Seriously, I’m not trying to hit below the belt – and I think this must be relevant to the ACI [A Capella Innovations] event, if the members of NXIVM who have posted so far really believe what they’re saying!

Thank you, sincerely, members of NXIVM for the responses – but to me, quoting the “don’t believe everything you read online” proverb [by Rick Ross] seems ironic, to say the least.

For starters, Keith’s credentials that Clare listed (most of which are posted also at www.keithraniere.com) just aren’t, well, credentials. Most of them can’t even hope to be described as “facts”; they fail even the most basic tests of “rational inquiry”.

Clare wrote: “Here are some facts about Keith Raniere: This is the preface to Keith Raniere’s book from a prominent academic. Keith’s articles have been featured in each edition of Luis Todd’s journal for the past several years and there was a complete edition devoted to Keith…”
I just googled “luis todd journal”; nada. I might rationally conclude that Luis Todd is not a prominent academic.

Clare wrote: “He [Raniere] is noted as one of the 3 top problem solvers in the world…”

By whom is he so “noted”? What could that possibly mean, to be one of the world’s top three problem solvers – what sort of problems, what sort of solutions? If this isn’t patently ridiculous to you, after taking classes devoted to “critical thinking,” I honestly don’t know what to say. What sort of “down to earth”, supremely “ethical” figure allows this sort of nonsense to be spouted about him by his followers, let alone friends?


Clare wrote: “Nancy Salzman served in Keith’s stead to head the international conference on bioethics for Mexico.” [Remember, Nancy is allegedly the “cult” head right under Keith.]

Then surely Nancy Salzman has published something substantive on bioethics? Or Mr. Raniere, for that matter maybe in Luis Todd’s journal? (If so, that might be a better “link” material on his website than a broken patent application on the prestigious and authoritative “FreshPatents.com”). It must have been some conference – I wonder why an actual bioethicist, or anyone involved with medical research in Mexico, or anyone with an advanced degree in science, or anyone with experience in ethics regulation (etc.) wasn’t chosen to serve as chair?

Clare wrote: “Some people who have taken Nxivm programs: [“Sheila Johnson (co-founder of black entertainment network), Sir Richard Branson, Dr. Ivan Misner… Royalty from several countries, Stephen Cooper, CEO of Enron… Members of 3 past first families of Mexico, Many prominent actors, musicians, and athletes.”] Do you really think such business people and royalty would be involved if Nxivm was a cult?”

Of course! Wealthy, eccentric people (especially those born into wealth) are precisely the sort of people most susceptible to and most pursued by cult-leader types—for obvious reasons, right?!

Clare wrote: “Do you think Keith needs to recruit college students?”
Sure, why not. And you’re two arguments are incompatible: You started out by arguing that he is “neither money driven nor power driven” but now you’re arguing “why would he bother recruiting college students if he has so many rich and powerful clients”?
And there are plenty of good reasons for cults to recruit college students:
http://education.guardian.co.uk/student … 77,00.html

Clare wrote: “Nxivm is an ethics and critical thinking education program of international distinction and repute. It is not a  ‘cult’ by any definition.”

Well, no, it seems to fit a “cult” profile quite handily:
  1. It’s secret “technology” is exclusive to those who’ve taken its Executive Success classes
  2. This trademarked “rational inquiry” process represents a set of moral/religious beliefs
  3. At the center of those beliefs is the notion that only those in-the-know will be able to bring about the program’s eventual goals of world peace and harmony (from it’s website: “NXIVM represents the change humanity needs in order to alter the course of history”); thus only by proselytizing new recruits can the organization realize its goals…
  4. It’s adherents place utterly unreasonable (see my points above) stock in their leader, who seems likely to be eccentric to the extreme of having a sort of personality disorder typical of cult leaders; for Christ’s sake [sorry], he believes he invented the one and only “psychodynamic” technology that can reverse the “primitive” rise and fall of human civilizations.

So at least it resembles a cult with respect to its exclusivity, depth of conviction, proselytizing mission, and devotion to a bizarre Messianic personality.

And hey, I wonder why, if Mr. Raniere isn’t interested in money, this “Rational Inquiry” thing is exclusive and trademarked. Doesn’t that drastically limit humanity’s ability to “rise to its noble possibility” (from the NXIVM website)? How else will we prevent the inevitable cataclysm of our civilization?! That strikes me as absolutely unethical….

I’m entirely willing to believe that this is all entirely genuine, good, community-building, etc. But I’m absolutely bewildered by the silliness of Keith Raniere’s [self-]importance and the understatements being made about NXIVM’s mission–at least, what I understand of it from www.nxivm.com .

Whitehouse may have a point: If you had developed such a world-saving technique, why charge for it, and thus keep it from the people? Here is the statement of Nxivm’s purpose in 2008, from their website:

What is Nxivm?

“Humans can be noble. The question is: will we put forth what is necessary?” – Keith Raniere

NXIVM and Executive Success Programs

Human evolution has clearly demonstrated tendencies that vacillate between awe-inspiring rises and cataclysmic falls. As time has passed, our capacity to excel in either extreme has increased, even on the smallest of levels. Each rise, each act of human excellence raises mankind to new heights. Each fall, each act of destruction is a mindless regression. While many have sensed a need to break away from the primitive patterning that keeps us from a path of continuous progression, few have thought it possible.NXIVM is the turning point – a remarkable development in scientific and psychodynamic understanding, education, and technology that can facilitate this transition so the pattern of humanity’s rises and falls can actually be broken and transformed. We find ourselves on this Earth with the resources, intellect, and creativity that can generate abundance for everyone – or destroy all that we have created. NXIVM represents the change humanity needs in order to alter the course of history.

NXIVM is a new ethical understanding that allows us to build an internal civilization and have it manifest in the external world. It allows us to explore our most fundamental nature and to begin to redirect our power of creation, a power that we all possess in a very human sense. It is a place where humanity can rise to its noble possibility.

The NXIVM technology is imparted through Executive Success Programs, Inc. – programs that provide the philosophical and practical foundation necessary to acquire and build the skills for success.


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Frank Parlato


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  • MailOnline:

    Jane Doe who helped take down NXIVM sex cult leader Keith Raniere identifies herself as she reveals it was her ‘worst nightmare come to life’ when Smallville actress Allison Mack ‘ordered her to seduce him’

    Jessica Joan has identified herself as Jane Doe #2 in the case that brought down Keith Raniere, the former leader of the sex cult NXIVM


  • “It is a place where humanity can rise to its noble possibility.The NXIVM technology is imparted through Executive Success Programs, Inc. – programs that provide the philosophical and practical foundation necessary to acquire and build the skills for success.”

    Some leaders use their charismatic abilities to prove even greater “greatness” to the people under their influence. It seems that Keith Raniere was really masterful at this point, too. A great mind is recognized because it does not need to prove its achievements (on untraceable, non-existent pages). Great minds can be distinguished from successful, self-proclaimed gurus by living a quiet life, being able to create in inner silence. The drive for success, propaganda, strident show-offs all show that the leader wants to hide something from the outside world. Something that’s either missing or needs to be covered up because it doesn’t fit into acceptable values. I see that in this case, both versions apply to Keith. There’s no such thing as a man with special abilities in everything. It’s physically impossible to be perfect at everything. (I heard Keith play the piano. As an ex classical music student, I can tell you that the level of his musical skills and knowledge is at the middle level of the elementary school of music.) I don’t like to judge like that, I just dare to make my own point of view on criminal cases and evidence, but music is an exception. How much time does it take to practice on a daily basis to become a professional musician? For the first 12 years, an average of 3 hours of practice per day (Sometimes it can only be 1-2 hours, before competition, before action it can be 5-8 hours.) Even the most talented musicians practice a lot on a daily basis which means giving up part of their lives. I’m sure what you’re saying is a lie. I don’t have any experience with the math part and the rest.

    • I agree. I did at least 10,000 h ours of piano and singing as a teenager and am pretty good. KR is fairly good too but that is all – nothing exceptional. Neither he nor I are exceptional.

      They way the hype goes on about how great he is at at these things is ridiculous. People who are really good at things do not need to go on and on about it.

  • Jessica Joan has a podcast. Here is the link:

    The Untouchable Jessica Joan Podcast

    This podcast is about courage, overcoming adversity, facing your fears and everything else in between on the journey to becoming “Untouchable.” I will be sharing the ups, downs, and sideways turns of my very unconventional life. You will hear about my heart breaks and trauma, but most importantly you’ll hear how transmuted that pain as I learned to Love myself along the way. This podcast will also have some incredible guests who share their stories of becoming “Untouchable.”


  • Jeffrey Epstein ex-associate Jean-Luc Brunel held over sex crime claims

    A former associate of deceased US financier and sex offender Jeffrey Epstein has been detained in France.
    On Wednesday Mr Brunel was taken into custody at Paris’s Charles de Gaulle airport as he was preparing to board a flight to Senegal, media reports say.


    • Jessica Joan was kept anonymous during the trial. She was known as Jaye. She is the woman who was the victim of attempted sex trafficking in connection with her seduction assignment. Since she has come out publicly, there is certainly no reason to hide her identity anymore.

  • M Whitehouse is the OG Frank Parlato. This reminded of that hilarious court transcript where the AT&T lawyer and the judge took turns ripping on Keith during cross-examination. And they did not even address him as Vanguard!

  • Rational Enquiry does not survive rational enquiry. An already vulnerable person has to be fed Raniere and Salzman’s theories tidbit by tidbit, until they either see through it, and walk away, or leave critical thinking behind. Most fascinating are those who didn’t walk away.

    ‘Ethical’ and ‘Humanitarian’ are great hooks. Most people want to be ‘good.’

    So there follows a little compromise of commonsense, and then another, until you find yourself hunting for underage virgins for a fraud.

    This an experience only for those with definite, deep, vulnerabilities though. The vast majority of people couldn’t be fooled in this way and wouldn’t make those compromises.

    In the cases, of people like Allison Mack and Nickvi Clyne the mental bias takes the form of the more you’ve given up for the illusion, the more you value the illusion.

    They probably just wish they’d had more to give up.

    For someone like Raniere, everything isn’t enough…

    There could never be enough underage virgins.

    So we locked him up where he could do no more harm.

    In the flawed Human Condition there will always be people with the appropriate vulnerabilities, and Raiere types to exploit them, but by continuing to unpick the NXIVM saga, we can maybe immunise some of the vulnerable.

  • Dear M. Whitehouse,

    You did and google search and concluded that Luis Todd “is not so prominent.”

    Well, for those of us who own his coloring book, I can assure you he is quite prominent. Furthermore, it’s “Dr.” Luis Todd. He has a “Dr.” in front of his name. Do you know what that means? It means he is not some airhead actress or fake therapist who doesn’t have a degree. It means that the institution that granted his degree believed in him.

    As far as the “top three problems solvers,” I personally can say that I had a problem with my toilet and Keith Raniere took the time from his busy day and solved that problem. And I have witnessed him solving all manner of other problems for others when he could have been lying around the house doing nothing. Instead, he selflessly motivated himself to get up and solve other people’s problems.

    As far as giving away the world-saving technology, of course, Nxivm would love to. However, if just given away, what if some other group such as Scientology, est, or NLP steals it – and claims it as their own? What if they then twist it for their own dark purposes and use this beautiful technology to try and enslave others for their own sick personality defects? Wake up, Mr. Whitehouse.

    • I prefer Dr. Suess – no limericks, but still great with a rhyme.

      I have witnessed him lying around the house sleeping all day when he could have been solving problems. I have also witnessed him just plain lying – frequently.

      Don’t worry – I think Mr. Whitehouse is very awake and aware.

      And finally, thank you for the laughs!

      • You should write an article for the Frank Report. You have great writing skills, an extensive vocabulary, and most importantly keen insights.

        What’s holding you back?

        Write an article today!

  • Fabulous. Now, I would like Eduardo to respond to this and then M Whitehouse to comment on Eduardo’s response. That would be great reading.

    • Natashka,

      Eduardo has yet to respond to direct questioning of his perspective, legal arguments, and his philosophical outlook.

      My guess is he will never answer or debate M. Whitehouse because Eduardo cannot answer…..

      ……The reason being cognitive dissonance.

      Somewhere in Eduardo’s noggin, he knows his entire world is built upon a grand facade of the lies one man; a man who has no deeper understanding of the universe than anyone else.

      If Eduardo admits to himself he is wrong, then 20 years of Eduardo’s life goes puff down the shitter.

      • Yes, it must be difficult for him. That is why cults and religious sects recommend members keep away from the internet, anyone with different views, those whoa re banished etc as as soon as you let them in touch with the real world they realise the cult views are a load of rubbish.

  • When you’re a pure cretin, no number of criminal lawyers can save you from yourself, Clare! You’ve been effortlessly neutralising their collective efforts to save you from jail!

    • It’s good to hear that sumthin’ about Clare Bronfman is “pure.” Bravo to cretinism! Now somebody kindly check her teeth and also do a cursory inspection, in case of ear mites or any protrusions, such as a muffin top. And remember the liver. For the love of Adam’s apples, maybe Clare’s liver is falling apart fast on her anorexic commissary diet. Do not Snicker.

      But then, maybe Big Bertha is taking care of Clare by now and a helluva lot better than Clare’s new GED ever has.

      Also, since Nancy Sssalzman’s second huzzband attended the Autonomous University of Guadalajara, and later on, she aimed to make her Cinderella stepsister/Captain Hook daughter, Lauren, into the Queen of Mexico, of course Madam would strut around Mexico’s more prestigious cities hawking her bullcrap like a New Joysee narcissist. The dentists of Mexico are damn lucky that old Nancy has had to wear an ankle monitor for about two years now. Count the blessings?

  • Smart guy or gal. Critical thinking at its best. Eat your heart out, Keith; this person does not need training courses in rational inquiry. He or she has rationally inquired and detected bullshit.

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.

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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com