Editor’s Note: In the article, Suneel: ‘I Am Defending Raniere Because the Prosecution Was Wrong, the Judge Biased and the Defendant Is Innocent!’. the author, Suneel Chakravorty, quotes Keith Raniere, “The abortion records of several of my past and present partners were allowed into evidence and presented to the jury. These are confidential records of adult women voluntarily choosing this legal option. Note: abortions have nothing to do with my charges. The majority of the members of my jury stated they believe abortion is murder.”
Chakravorty added that “US Attorney Richard Donoghue stated in his post-verdict press statement that Keith was responsible for ‘compelled abortions’ [see video clip of Donoghue’s comments to the press], although there was no evidence presented at trial and indeed no woman was ever compelled to have an abortion, nor did anyone testify she was. ”
By Pro-Choice Woman
I want to make a broader point about the abortion evidence.
I am a woman. I am pro-choice. I do not think abortion in the first trimester is murder. These are my personal views—feel free to have your own, and I’m not here to debate them.
Suneel is correct (to the best of my recollection) that witnesses did not testify to being coerced into having abortions. As I recall, Dani testified that she did not want to have a child with Raniere and wanted to have an abortion. It’s worth noting there is a huge amount of extenuating circumstances around Dani’s feelings, including her age (I think 21), immigration status, and the fact that her relationship with Raniere was a secret. One could make the argument that she was not ordered to have an abortion, but she also had very few other options.
Raniere in his own Call to Action does not refute the evidence that multiple women in the community had abortions, so it seems that that is not under debate. Suneel is calling into question (1) what it has to do with the charges and (2) whether it was admitted into evidence to be highly prejudicial to a jury.
In regards to the former, I think the idea was it was evidence of manipulation and coercion in the community. While I do think there were rampant manipulation and coercion in the community, I actually agree this might not pass muster from a legal standpoint, so I support examining this on appeal.
In regards to the second point, I do think it was highly prejudicial to a jury. I also support this being be examined closely on appeal.
But to put a finer point on it, Suneel, I also think that this evidence should be examined closely—in fact, very closely—by your conscience.
Here’s the thing. Let’s say Raniere gets a new trial tomorrow, his conviction is overturned, and he walks out of jail a free man.
Suneel says at the beginning of his post: “I was not convinced then, nor am I now, that any of his ‘victims’ were in any way severely hurt.”
Out of curiosity, do you know the physical and emotional impact an abortion has on a woman? Do you know that even in the best of circumstances, many women that have abortions carry the emotional impact for years?
Multiple of Keith’s partners had abortions. Some of Keith’s partners had more than one abortion. He didn’t contest this.
I don’t have any issue whatsoever with a woman exercising her right to choose. But it’s a choice that has significant physical and emotional ramifications. Raniere would know this, because a number of women in his orbit made that choice, and because he was the other responsible party.
He professed to have loved these women, and yet somehow this kept on happening. In some cases, to the same woman multiple times.
Did it ever occur to him at any point to get a vasectomy?
Vasectomies are reversible. He could have reversed it at any point once he was ready to conceive his avatar baby.
How fundamentally selfish is he as a human being?
So, in conclusion, I’m in full support of due process, and if the result of the fair and just execution of due process is an overturn of his conviction, so be it. But none of that changes the fact that he’s a terrible human being.
END OF GUEST VIEW
Editor’s Note: While the suggestion that Keith Raniere could have avoided several dozen abortions for his female followers by getting a vasectomy, it was a fundamental tenet of his teachings that his semen delivered on the person of his female devotees was a spiritually integral conduit to his divine DNA, and without the full sperm count in his semen, the magical elixir of his ejaculative benefice might be abortive in its intended goal.
Keith Raniere’s case has definitely made me think more about what’s coercion and what isn’t. I think it’s quite a difficult question to answer, actually, as to where the line is. It might be interesting to have an article on here discussing coercion as a general topic.
[…] This next is in response to Guest View: Abortion Evidence Should Be Reviewed on Appeal but Raniere Should Have Gotten a Vasectom… […]
Ok, I’ll chime in on this grizzly thread with something that must be said — though I’m commenting far too much for a woman whose sworn herself off this site for good as of Bangkok’s sudden reappearance —
PAM CAFFRITZ WILLED HER OVARIES TO KEITH AND NXIVM RESEARCH. And, to wit, they also put her corpse (hopefully it was a corpse by then) on ice in a bath tub. Pam had a dozen aborts, easy.
There was a sci-fi/fantasy, Vanguard voo-doo component with the Avatar baby “spirits.” There WAS also talk of cloning back in Dolly the sheep’s day, and I noted that long before Peterson’s post, btw. He’s not lying.
I believe this tact was also conveniently used to bring Pam to an acceptance of her own death as opposed to getting real medical treatment — …Her OVARIES!
Kris Snyder and her maybe baby may also have been *together* lured to the hereafter – as portrayed in NXIVM’s unique version of it that seemed to be individually customized to each victim’s Keith-tweaked composite view of heaven.
As for the true Keith, he relished experiencing his own potency each time he racked up another Avatar score. Every conception proved he was the most “potent” – aka had the fastest, tastiest most bad ass sperm ever spewed.
I know it’s morbidly mind-boggling, jarring but you can’t begin to compare such bizarre behavior to anything close to normalcy.
Most sad that these ladies “mother” instincts were brought to bear on their captive psyche’s.
And, [redacted] their age — up to menopause, perhaps — factored against them in terms of the biological time clock as they got older, if you want to separate the girls from the grannies in terms of your “should have known better” view of the above 17 year olds vs. the 16 and under slave set.
Where these women failed in life in the most fundamental female way — thanks to Keith & Co. — they could prevail in death among their not lost but perfected children.
Keith did not want these women having children because then they would love someone more than him. Ultimately (one hopes) more than themselves. And that could make them leave. Sometimes an abused woman can tolerate the circumstances for themselves. Like India Oxenburg so poignantly stated, ” I didn’t think there was another life for myself” but with a child you know they can have ( and deserve) a better life. Even if you have wrongly decided that you do not. So… You leave. Therefore. No kids. Also, child support. He did not like paying it.
I wanted to comment on the author’s point: “Do you know the physical and emotional impact an abortion has on a woman? Do you know that even in the best of circumstances, many women that have abortions carry the emotional impact for years?”
I agree, in particular, with the emotional argument, as I have witnessed women who have what I would consider “severe” emotional impacts from abortion.
But, given the at-cause premise of Keith Raniere’s teachings and lifestyle, the women who had abortions probably believed they could avoid or overcome any of those negative impacts. Maybe they did avoid/overcome them. And if KR really believed his partners could avoid or overcome negative emotional impacts, then the remaining risk is physical, and these days, a first-trimester abortion is very low risk.
(NOTE) I don’t know any details about what actually went on with these abortions, I’m stretching my imagination here to try and make sense of this part of the story.
The abortions were very interesting. Some cult leaders want a lot of children.Warren Jeffs leader of the FLDS has about 60 and about 19 or 20 wives. KR probably liked the power of controlling these women and their fertility and stringing them along for years in some cases promising them a baby eventually and so long they could never have a child ever as they were then too old.
He was a kind of man child with his getting up late, hanging around, playing volley ball into the night – like a never quite grown up teenager rather than a real grown up adult with a spouse and family for whom he was responsible.
I think the abortion issue was part of a massive pattern of control that he wanted and had over the women and it would have been wrong to leave it out.
Agreed. Also the branding done so close to the fallopian tubes, on thin [starved] women, is likely to cause problems – fibroids, ectopic pregnancies – that clearly illustrate his desire to negatively impact women’s reproductive capacity.
We’re at the point where women are going to resent me. It’s a man who’s supposed to take care of her, protect her from any trouble. Because a woman is not the stronger no. Instead, what happens? She’s taking the fall. In today’s modern world, it’s her fault. But it’s a two-way street. That’s true when the woman/girl is underage. Otherwise, it is not.
How do you tell if an Irishman has had a vasectomy?
He only has two kids.
I’m 1/4 Irish – so this is not a racist joke.
For the record, it’s my joke I wrote some time ago. 😉
Not that anyone gives a rat’s ass. 😉
Vasectomy is a great idea! Volunteers?! No medical license required within the Federal penal system.
How abortion was handled back in Frank’s time:
Think about this: Why would you intentionally make someone go through a medical procedure over and over again? Set the ethics aside.
“Accidents happen” has nothing to do with it.
We really need a psychological analysis. It’s almost like intentionally repeatedly braking someone’s leg and then telling them to go to a doctor.
I’m sorry, but if you don’t see the evil manipulation of people by now, you need a psychiatrist yourself.
This is sick, sick stuff.
I believe the author should have been aborted in her first trimester. After all, if it’s not murder it can’t be a death, right?
If Keith had been through a vasectomy of his own self, it would mean he would have taken responsibility for others. I didn’t realize he was particularly interested in other people’s fates and feelings.
I agree JaraBek. Good point. It would also make it harder for him to seduce women and promise they will have a baby if he had a vasectomy. It kinda breaks that illusion.
Thank you, Mexican Lady. I’m guessing ‘the end justifies the means.’ If I were a mother and a daughter… Keith would be stuck around his neck.
It seems that this case was much more of a verdict on Keith’s life and lifestyle then a specific crime.
Well, it was his life and lifestyle that got him into trouble with the law for a number of crimes, both legal and moral, so I guess you’re right.
Living a lifestyle of rape, child molestation and pyramid scheming vastly increases one’s chances of ending up with a guilty criminal verdict and imprisoned for the rest of one’s life.
Yup. Who is surprised? At this point, even Keith doesn’t sound surprised. But now he’s still bitching, he is losing Agnesfilo, who has decided to exit using the little diving board instead of the great big one and Raniere’s ass is grass. Hoo ha. Bitch away, Bossy boy. It is original like frigging elevator music. Me me me me me. Screwy screwy screwy!
Actually, I think it was a verdict on several specific crimes.
Pro-Choice Woman, thank you for your thoughtful analysis. It’s one of the more rational pieces I’ve read here. The only thing I’d challenge that you said is your assumption: “How fundamentally selfish is he as a human being?” A verdict of selfishness is opinion, not fact, and you stated it as though it were truth. We don’t know whether or not these women wholeheartedly wanted to be having unprotected sex with Keith. If they did, then to blame Keith for the pregnancy is fundamentally sexist. Women can get out of almost anything by saying after the fact that they were “manipulated” to do it, so it’s important to hold women who use that card to account and ask more detailed questions (how do we know they were manipulated, or did they just change their mind after the fact). I’m not saying Keith isn’t selfish…but what I’m saying is that it’s only one option, it’s not the known truth. The fact that you didn’t offer the possibility of full agency from both parties, and in fact, you assumed Dani had no agency, is cause for concern about your biases.
“Amy,” you “The Smartest Man Alive™” diehards think there’s something profound about pointing out that everyone sees the world from a particular perspective and that there’s a difference between truth and opinion. Most people figure this out in elementary school.
That you are impressed by such pseudo-philosophical pablum learned at the knee of your “Vanguard” is sad.
No matter your opinion of “Vanguard,” the truth is that he’s going to spend the rest of his life rotting in prison and the world is better off for it. He was given a chance to share the world in an ethical way with other people and he declined the opportunity.