Was Nxivm a true pyramid business -

Suneel: Who Are You Kidding, Claviger — Prosecution’s False Use of ‘Pyramid’ Was Meant to Dirty up Keith Without Evidence

Suneel Chakravorty

By Suneel Chakravorty

Two weeks ago, Frank Report published my commentary of Keith Raniere’s  “Call to Action”, which was in support of Keith’s arguments on legal issues in his case.

Since then, readers of Frank Report have had a wide range of responses, some accusing me of being a brainless apologist, while others  found merit in points I made.

In addition to my analysis of Keith’s brilliant ‘Call to Action’ essay, K.R. Claviger has done his own multi-part analysis.

This is the first in a series in which I’ll examine Claviger’s analysis.

I start with Claviger’s analysis of the prosecution’s use of the word ‘Pyramid” to describe Raniere’s businesses.

 

TO SCHEME OR NOT TO SCHEME?

Keith’s argument is that the prosecution’s using the word “pyramid” to describe businesses he created was an example of how “hate” and prejudice was used in his case:

 

Keith Raniere

Keith wrote: 

“I supposedly create ‘pyramid organizations’ — different from normal ‘organizations’… The implication is somehow ‘pyramid’ is improper: I am at the ‘top’ or ‘apex’, control everything unchecked, in some ‘sinister’ and unspecified way… This label, ‘pyramid’, is a raw conduit for hate. The prosecution believes they ‘need’ to apply this hate because it increases their chance of ‘winning’. Shouldn’t the application of hate be abhorrent? Should the prosecution even be concerned about ‘winning’? What does the application of the hate-label ‘pyramid’ have to do with the pursuit of truth? Doesn’t hate obscure the truth? Don’t I, as the defendant, deserve an approach free of hate or mockery?”

In an attempt to debunk Keith’s argument, Claviger writes, “I’m not quite sure why Keith believes that there was any ‘hate’ involved in the prosecution’s decision to describe NXIVM/ESP as a pyramid organization.’”

Claviger incredibly claims that “pyramid organization” does not have a negative connotation, and cites a Bizfluent article that suggests the term is neutral.

I can agree that “pyramid” does not always, necessarily, in every single instance, have a negative connotation when people use it to describe someone’s business. But I would say it does have a decidedly negative connotation in nine out of 10 cases — and I would not look too closely into the 10th case either. 

I mean it is patently ridiculous for Claviger to suggest that the prosecution saying that Raniere operates a “pyramid organization” was an innocent effort to describe the companies accurately and honestly and not meant to be negative and create prejudice against Raniere.

One of the earliest pyramid schemes,

And we all know the word that typically follows pyramid is “scheme!”

To illustrate this, if I tell you right now about a company that is a pyramid organization how do you feel about it? Would you like to join it? Care to work there? Exactly.

The question is, what did the prosecution mean by “pyramid”? Were they simply explaining in neutral language the geometry of the NXIVM/DOS organizational structure? That the pyramid structure wasnatural because there are far fewer leaders than workers, so … it is shaped like a pyramid,“ as the Bizfluent article describes a pyramid?

No, of course not.  Raniere was not charged with running a pyramid scheme. Yet look at the prosecution’s public statement about the case, EDNY press release from March 26, 2018

In the press release, there are four uses of “pyramid” and they are all untrue and unfair and not relevant to the charges. 

  1. “[Raniere] allegedly participated in horrifying acts of branding and burning them, with the cooperation of other women operating within this unorthodox pyramid scheme.
  2. “Nxivm maintains features of a pyramid scheme, as its courses cost thousands of dollars each and participants (“Nxians”) are encouraged to pay for additional classes, and to recruit others to take classes, in order to rise within the ranks of Nxivm.”
  3. Slaves were expected to recruit slaves of their own (thus becoming masters themselves), who in turn owed service not only to their own masters but also to masters above them in the DOS pyramid. 
  4. “Raniere stood alone at the top of the pyramid. Other than the [sic] Raniere, all members of DOS were women.”

[Whether the above statements are accurate and valid, I will try to address in a future article.]

In #2, the prosecution uses the word “pyramid” in connection with “pyramid scheme”, which according to Wikipedia, is a type of business model “that recruits members via a promise of payments or services for enrolling others into the scheme, rather than supplying investments or sale of products,” and is often illegal. This connotation is clearly negative. 

Furthermore, the “features of a pyramid scheme” the prosecution lists are common to many companies and in themselves not illegal.

In #4, in saying that “Raniere stood alone at the top of the pyramid,” the prosecution is combining the negative meaning of “pyramid scheme” with the hierarchical structure, and they  are using the word “alone” to imply, I assume, abuse of unchecked power.

Do CEOs not stand alone? Why is it necessary for them to even state this?

The next line, stating that all the other members of DOS were women, while true, has nothing to do with hierarchical structure and, in my opinion, doubles down on the implication of abuse.

Some readers may completely miss the point and say, “Well, there was abuse!” The point here is that the prosecution used the word “pyramid” to imbue Keith with sinister, criminal intent before evidence had been presented. 

Artist sketch of Keith Raniere at trial with his attorney Marc Agnifilo.

As an aside, the claim of abuse may or may not be true. Clearly a jury of Keith’s peers believed it to be true and proven. However, my current opinion, based on sitting through the trial, is that Keith did not abuse the women of DOS. 

Let me also relieve Claviger of his confusion as to why Keith believes the prosecution’s use of “pyramid” was a “raw conduit of hate.” 

What Keith means by “hate” is that the prosecution used the word pyramid to inspire hatred or dislike of him by tapping into the common associations people make with the term, e.g. scam artist, fraudster, or Ponzi scheme.

Note that Keith was not charged with running a Ponzi or pyramid scheme. 

I do agree with Claviger that the prosecution manipulating perception this way – as dishonest and unjust as it is – is likely not sufficient grounds for appeal. However, it does beg the question, why was it necessary to insinuate anything at all?

If Keith is the criminal they claim, why not simply list, point by point, his criminal conduct and let the facts speak for themselves?

 

 


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  • After reading all the comments on this page I have come to the conclusion that K.R. Claviger is a very patient man.

    • Claviger-

      Nothing like spending time telling a bunch of people the truth and have them get mad at you for it.

  • KR, You’re being baited now. You’ve stated everything. The appeal will play out, the end.

    You did an awesome analysis.

    But these leftover Nxians are baiting you now, and I would ignore them.

    Sounds like they are blindly following marching orders from their seriously sociopathic leader to bomb you.

    This sociopath branded women. Ignore them.

    You did an amazing job. Let them spew. But in my opinion, ignore them. They know the issues. Don’t let yourself be played.

  • Hi Suneel-

    The article below is a civil lawsuit case involving “forced” labor which is not exactly “forced”. It kind of questionable.

    The article is timely and pertains to a certain degree to one of your points regarding “forced labor”.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/amp/ncna1254398

    If Raniere had not been charged and prosecuted using RICO, the DOJ would have had an extremely difficult time prosecuting him.

  • On the Law there is no distinction, there is a principle of law, which did not happen in the trial against Keith Raniere, since it is evident that his case was not treated with equity, and was influenced by the hatred and prejudice of the orchestrators of the complaint and preceded by a tenacious and fierce smear campaign by the media, which was reflected in the Jury, as has been affirmed, and which was accredited almost immediately and hastily, as well as, the non-deliberation of the Jury when issuing its conviction, which does not happen in procedures in which only the facts considered as crimes are analyzed and the decision is based exclusively on them.

  • NXIVM Photo Subject Guidelines:

    1. Stare into the camera with an unblinking stare as per Scientology TR-0. (See Communication Course Pack.)

    2. Open mouth slightly.

    3. Show top teeth, but do not smile.

    4.ALL NXIVM spokespeople must adopt this pose for any photos relating to the organisation.

    This same pose should be adopted when faking sincerity or denying any misbehaviour.

    L. Ron Raniere

  • K.R. Claviger, I agree that the judge ending the cross of Lauren is the best leverage for an appeal, but that it falls short.

    That suggests a Hail Mary ineffective assistance of counsel claim is the only hope.

    As I understand it, Raniere would need to show that Agnifilo’s counsel fell below “an objective standard of reasonableness” (i.e., speculative Monday morning quarterbacking is not allowed) and that “an objectively reasonable probability that the outcome of the proceeding would have been different absent the ineffectiveness.”

    I fail to see how Raniere could satisfy either criterion, let alone both.

    I assume you agree…

    • Unfortunately for Keith, when you hire a high-priced legal team, the odds of convincing an appellate court that you had “ineffective counsel” go way down. So, “Yes”, I agree with your assessment that it will be very difficult for Keith to win an appeal based on a claim of “ineffective counsel”.

      That said, I do think that Marc Agnifilo made several questionable decisions before, during, and after Keith’s trial. The problem is I have no way of telling whether those decisions reflected Marc’s professional judgment or Keith’s directives. I do, however, expect that Marc has documented every single time he did what Keith directed him to do when it was something that he disagreed with.

    • NXIDVMDVM. Please explain why you think stopping the cross examination of a key witness is not grounds for a re-trial. Image the opposite scenareo; the prosecution was not allowed to finish their examination of Lauren because the judge didn’t like that she was upset by the questions, and the prosecution couldn’t get the key peace of evidence into the trial that it needed to make their case.

      • If you relied on your memory in making this comment, you need to go back and re-read the transcript from this portion of the trial so that you can see what really happened. If, on the other hand, you’re just throwing out statements that you know to be false, you don’t need to do that.

        As I have already mentioned in a couple of prior comments, Marc Agnifilo (and the other members of Keith’s defense teams) had several optional courses-of-action they could have taken when this happened. Unfortunately for Keith, I don’t think they chose the right one.

        On a 10-scale, this is, at worst, a 1 or 1.5 judicial error. But it’s most certainly not the level of error that will result in a new trial — especially not when Keith’s attorneys could have handled the matter differently.

        • This comment is either another attempt to defend Raniere via revisionistic twistings of what really happened in court, or the commenter is believing and has adopted false information and is writing from that position.

          Every word of what occured during Agnifilo’s cross-examination of Lauren Salzman has been recorded, is seen and is known. Many of us were on the spot and heard Judge Garaufis instruct Agnifilo to cease his particular line of questioning with Lauren Salzman.

          Agnifilo didn’t comply and kept going instead, ignoring the Judge’s order. Then Judge Garaufis interceded. This was on Agnifilo. Every word the Judge said then is on record as well.

          Enough with the chatter from disgruntled groupies and/or culties with the obfuscations. Chimpanzee consciousness is busy picking through their very own lice, or is that LIES? Call it as you have seen it. Who is wearing blinders?

  • Pedophile. Just keep ignoring that rather important fact.

    As for the rest of his stupidity…. let’s argue Suneel is 100% correct. Guess what – doesn’t matter. It’s not new evidence. It’s not enough to get a charge of misconduct and get the case tossed, re-tried or Raniere released. For a guy that claims to know the legal system….he really doesn’t know the legal system.

    This is all just an amusing thought exercise, at most maybe useful for debate clubs in law school but little else.

    I get it, Suneel is a NXIVM/Raniere believer so he has passion for the subject but it quite literally accomplishes nothing. Especially when he has no credibility when he just keeps ignoring the whole pedophile aspect like all the other NXIVM supporters (This is a red flag of who they are for those not paying attention).

    • Just to clarify: Suneel and Keith’s other supporters have two options: Option #1: Come up with “newly discovered evidence” that was not available or known about before now — and that would serve to exonerate Keith on one or more of the charges of which he was convicted (This would be the subject of a Rule 33 Motion); or Option #2: Identify errors that were made during the course of Keith’s prosecution that are so egregious they warrant the granting of a new trial (These would be the basis for an appeal).

      • Good point, their goal is to find egregious behavior, not new evidence. No choice as I do not see how they could find new evidence that would help their case.

        But when getting into the weeds on semantics like he is doing here with definitions of pyramid schemes, he has already failed at the goal before it started. The court isn’t going to overturn for semantics. Especially not for these crimes. If the egregious-ness does not get at least close enough to also be a case for disbarment, they can forget about it.

    • Technically, Keith isn’t a pedophile. But if his victims are to be believed, such as Rhiannon and Cami (which they definitely should be), Keith suffers from hebephilia and/or early stage ephebophilia, not that I’m trying to defend him at all as they can be just as bad as pedophilia–I’m just trying to be more exact so that his followers don’t harp on the “fake” reporting due to this technicality–not to mention acting out on such urges is illegal.

  • Great response to Claviger. I commented on his article as lawyers at my company looked at it and they immediately told me he was not being objective. And I agree with your question at the end Suneel. Prosecution don’t need to lie ,make up anything or use hate to get a conviction. I don’t know Keith and there seems a lot of things went on in his life. He might be guilty or not, the prosecution by abusing power have brought this question for me. Either they are really bad at doing their job and they had to lie to convict a criminal or they couldn’t prove the crimes, either way it’s terrible! Justice system needs to be fair!

    • Perhaps do not allow Suneel to tell either you or your lawyer friends how or what to think, regarding exactly what occurred in court. In other words, start at square one and examine the trial transcripts for yourselves. Or have you made up the bit about knowing any attorneys?

      Suneel has his agenda. Are you seriously taking him as a reliable source? Come on.

    • Anthony-

      —I commented on his article as lawyers at my company looked at it and they immediately told me he was not being objective.

      What company? Did you know Lawyers are lawyers because they didn’t pass the bar? Claviger is an attorney. All this does not matter because your making all of this up.

      Somewhere out there, Claviger read your comment and laughed his ass off.

  • Nxians:

    I agree there’s a huge need for prison reform.

    From pulling battered women from their children and throwing them in jail, to lengthy sentences for non violent crimes.

    Drug offenses? We need rehab, not prison.

    How about employment rehab upon release, more humane conditions, etc.

    I agree 100 percent.

    But using Vanguard as a poster child is the wrong approach. Clammering in public about him is making both your cases weaker.

    1. Offer help on the appeal

    2. Link up with existing groups that have more traction.

    My opinion.

    • Yes. A bullseye where everything led. Keith started DOS and came up with the idea. Keith got all the sex and benefits from DOS. Keith should get all the punishment.

  • US Department of Injustice = Nazis
    Keith Raniere = Jews
    Never Again
    Time for D-Day to liberate the concentration camps

    Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr said

    “One has not only a legal, but a moral responsibility to obey just laws. Conversely, one has a moral responsibility to disobey unjust laws.”

    “A just law is a man made code that squares with the moral law or the law of God. An unjust law is a code that is out of harmony with the moral law.“

    “Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust.”

    “Law and order exist for the purpose of establishing justice and that when they fail in this purpose they become the dangerously structured dams that block the flow of social progress.”

    “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

    “That old law about ‘an eye for an eye’ leaves everybody blind. The time is always right to do what is right.”

    “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”

    “An individual who breaks a law that conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law”

    • No. No. No. 6 million women, children, men tortured, murdered, starved to death, gassed, experimented on for being Jewish (and other atrocities) is not equal to Keith Raniere sitting in prison after a prolonged, really expensive jury trial. You cannot be so heartless and obtuse. Please stop making these comparisons. It is such a bad look for you Nxians. Wait until the Jewish groups get a hold of these statements. I will personally start forwarding them to the Simon Wiesenthal Center. Knock it off.

      • More human rights orgs need to know about Keith’s case. Unbiased people like Scott Adams see how there is bias and more every day. Jewish groups know best what happens when minorities get bullied. If Keith Raniere can be convicted, no one is safe.

        Martin Niemoller said

        “First, they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Socialist. Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out because I was not a Trade Unionist. Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew. Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak for me.”

  • I agree with Suneel. If I hear pyramid or pyramid scheme I’m no longer thinking of them as well a company. Ive looked into it and the companies under the NXIVM name did not operate in a way that qualifies them as a pyramid. Simply having a hierarchy is what pretty much all businesses have. A president, a CEO, managers, bosses etc.

    • NXIVM/ESP — and every affiliated entity — operated as a “pyramid organization”: i.e, they each had one CEO – and several layers of management/bureaucracy.

      Whether they all operated as “pyramid schemes” is a separate question — which would only be relevant if the prosecution described them as “pyramid schemes”.

    • Yes, May I add that most businesses sue the “f45k out” of their former staff and blackmail them into accepting to be branded with the shareholders’ initials right between their legs. What’s all this fuss about?? This is all so common like watching someone get multiple headjobs… most men do this several times a week… What’s the problem??

  • I don’t agree with everything Keith did but there’s so much objective fact and not emotion that the prosecution didn’t have a win unless it won by media trial. He’s treated just like the Jews by the Nazis its prosecutors who should be in concentration camp not Keith. Due process is fact not hate even if people don’t like someone

    • It seems that you cannot be made to understand that the persecution and murder of 6 million Jewish men, women and children being compared to Keith Raniere’s trial is beyond hyperbolic. It is deeply, deeply offensive. Please hold something sacred for once. Please find God. Religion if you need it. Or humanity of some kind. Anything. It is really hurtful to those who lost (in some cases all) their families, relatives and friends. I am asking all of you nxians out of any kind of empathy and decency you may possess. Stop comparing Keith Raniere to Jewish people during the holocaust. You go too far. Stop. You cannot be so blind and disrespectful. It is horrifying.

  • Prosecution use labels such as cult, pyramid and so on to bias the judge and the jury.

    It is a strategy as well as allowing emotional reactions to prevent proper questioning from the defense.

    Seems like the prosecution looks to win all the time, not achieve justice, and has the power and resources to do it.

    If such is the case, why sent the accused to trial? Just make them guilty as the prosecution charges them.

    This will save taxpayers a lot of money.

    • Most (not all) prosecutors operate exactly as you describe them: i.e., they push as hard as they can — within the established boundaries and limits — to convict defendants in criminal trials. And most (not all) criminal defense attorneys do everything they can (within those same boundaries and limits) to convince juries that their clients are innocent. That adversarial process is the core of our criminal justice system.

      I agree that there are many aspects of the system that are in need of reform. In the meantime, however, individual cases — like Keith’s case — will be adjudicated within our existing system.

      For those who are truly interested in getting a new trial for Keith, I suggest you start looking for “reversible errors” that occurred during his prosecution and trial rather than wasting time writing about what an ideal criminal justice should look like. And for those that are interested in building an ideal criminal justice system, I suggest you stop using Keith’s case as an example of what’s wrong with the current one.

      • I strongly and respectfully disagree Claviger. After speaking with lawyers at my office and showing them Suneel’s article and yours, they actually believe there is enough arguments for an appeal, and even a mistrial. Maybe I’m/we’re being too utopical but it seems objective for us who are not in criminal law. I understand your point however it looks heavily one sided. Could you comment on how Suneel’s/Keith’s aren’t reversible errors? For example, judge ending a cross-examination before the defense dismissed her. Wouldn’t that be one? I think so. Appreciate your response.

        • If you have lawyers at your office who are willing to render opinions on a case that is not their client, ask them your questions. Seems like you are just asking, asking, asking until you get the answers you want. That isn’t going to help your Vanguard. And it’s probably going to add to your cult-y obsessed vibe.

        • Have the lawyers at your office identify the specific reversible errors that they think occurred during Keith’s trial. I’ll be happy to review — and share my thoughts on — each of those. BTW, do any of those lawyers practice criminal law for a living?

          As for the example you’ve chosen, let’s look at the facts:
          – When the judge said “You’re done” to Agnifilo, Agnifilo had several options: (a) He could have disagreed – and asked for a short break before he continued. But he did not do that. (b) He could have said “Your honor, I agree this witness is in serious distress. I still have questions for her, so perhaps we can adjourn for the evening and I can continue tomorrow.” But he did not do that. (c) What Agnifilo did do is agree with the judge.

          – The next morning Agnifilo could have moved to re-call Lauren to the witness stand (She was there and available). But he didn’t do that.
          What Agnifilo did do is ask for a mistrial — which was promptly denied.

          – Had Agnifilo asked to have Lauren brought back to the stand and been refused, any appeal based on that point would have had a much better chance of succeeding. Instead, by simply accepting Judge Garaufis’ruling and not recalling her, he essentially abandoned this as an issue — and pretty much guaranteed that the judge’s actions will not be found to be a “reversible error”.

          – What’s really strange about this is that Agnifilo could have done both: i.e., request to have Lauren re-called — and also filed a motion for a mistrial based on the prior day’s events.

          If you want to learn more about this topic, go to https://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/fre/rule_611

        • Please tell me the names of these lawyers at your office, or just the office you work at, so I can be sure to NEVER seek to hire the services of any of those who work there if I ever run into any unfortunate legal situation that necessitates a good lawyer.

  • Georgia gets it right: https://behindmlm.com/mlm-reviews/financial-education-services-fined-1-million-for-pyramid-fraud/#more-61013 “FES violated the Georgia Multilevel Distribution Companies Act (MLDCA) by selling its credit repair products through a multilevel marketing scheme in which agents primarily earn money through the continued recruitment of other participants, rather than through the sale of credit repair products to non-participating consumers.”

  • Keith Raniere IS filthy. No need to ” irty up” that gross, smelly, pervy, old, rodent-footed man. I think the dirty, inside and out, took root in Vanguard many years ago.

  • “…Dirty up Keith Without Evidence”

    Keith did a fine job of that himself by 1) creating a sex cult and labeling people within it “masters” and “slaves”, and 2) just being a morally decrepit, selfish individual who left a trail of victims in his wake…among other things.

  • In a pyramid scheme, “The real profit is earned by participants, not by the sale of the product, but by the sale of new distributorships.” In NXIVM, most were told that the way to make money is to start your own downline of slaves and enrollees.

    India Oxenberg even described it like that in “Seduced.” Describing NXIVM as a pyramid scheme is like describing a Ford car as a vehicle.

    Yes, it portrayed NXIVM in a bad light, but that was just the truth of what it was. You can’t have slaves and then be upset because you get portrayed in a bad light.

    • Where did you get that definition from? It is wrong. A pyramid scheme is where the products and/or services are purchased only/mainly by the distributors versus outside non-distributor customers. NXIVM had a handful of people trying to make money, the remaining 17,000 were customers who never attempted to sell the courses to others, they merely behaved as a customer and purchased an expensive course or two and were never seen again.

    • In NXIVM, the term enrollee/student would be correct – not slave. Most of us enjoyed and benefited from the curriculum. Many were happy to take the next step and share it with those we cared about.

      Just a clarification I wanted to add to this comment.

      I’m unsure if the term slave should be applied to the other organization. I wasn’t there so I can’t comment first hand.

      • All the people who were in DOS acknowledge the master slave grandmaster nomenclature. It is on emails & texts. Sworn testimony.

  • A very eloquent, well thought out and logical expose of the power words have to push forward an agenda.

    Sometimes, using words as a tool of persuasion is good, like in business negotiations, or helping your child off a tantrum or a coach/trainer helping an athlete.

    Other times, words can be used as a tool to inspire fear, anger and prejudice. Mr. Raniere’s alleged crimes should speak by themselves. There is no need of adding charged words, like “pyramid scheme”, to prove the prosecution’s point.

    I am enjoying these articles with opposing narratives. Thanks, Suneel, and thank you, Frank, for posting them.

    • Minerva, how do you suppose the downline recruitment is going now that the Grandmaster has solidified his place in the Guinness Book of World Records as The World’s Smartest Child Rapist™?

      Care to share your thoughts about how hard it is for NXIVM to attract raw, young, unbranded flesh now that the brand is associated in the public mind with Scientology and Jonestown?

      Any opinions about how frustrating it must be for the drinkers of Keith’s Koolaid™ to face the cold reality that President Trump is ignoring their plea for a pardon? That the only person willing to publicly support them is a wacko, minor YouTube personality? That Scott Adam’s statement of support was met with so much horror on social media?

      What do you think about the real estate market in Tuscon, AZ?

      • Perhaps real estate prices in Tucson will rise when the ‘large’ Nxivum community relocates to Tucson and a second Nxivm-Albany is created. Think positive, don’t be discouraged by reality.

    • ‘I am enjoying these articles with opposing narratives’

      What your refusal to recognise truth does, is impose an infinite regression on the discourse. All you do is oppose – and truth be damned and dragged through endless malformed rebuttals. its like you’ve sprung from an infinite 3rd form debating society. Or some pervy old dude’s head.

  • Malignant Narcissists do not deal fair and square, they TRIANGULATE – and easily do so within a “PYRAMIDICAL” aka MLM illegal human pyramid environment such as NXIVM.

    So, graphically, since I know how much you Nixers love to chart, you may want to draw a giant pyramid comprised of little triangles, then add the names.

    Then shove it up whatever triangular space is handy bc at this point I don’t give a fuck which one of you blows your head off or takes a kayak ride to oblivion or gets cancer or poisoned, long as it’s not me, my son or anyone I know personally, or otherwise… but it’s not my job.

    As Banger would say, “Toodles.”

    • You can’t talk sense to these people. They are not interested in engaging in conversation.

      We tried. No go.

      Someone came up with the hate mantra, and now they’re bombing this great blog.

  • What’s more annoying?

    – Urinals fighting back by sprinkling pee on your legs.
    – Suneel trying to change the narrative to make Keith the poor victim.
    – Scott demanding that you come on his podcast, and calling you a libtard COWARD when you refuse.
    – Flowers calling you a liar.
    – Bangcock drooling over Niceguy’s wife, and Lauren.
    – Not knowing if Claviger is male or female.
    – Knowing Shivani’s comment is probably funny, but not getting it.
    – Shadow posting another link proving Biden is a space alien who eats children.
    – Your eyes tearing up because Frank redacted your comment.
    – Frank and Joe playing Hardy Boys for the day and letting your brilliant comments decay.

  • “The prosecution believes they ‘need’ to apply this hate because it increases their chance of ‘winning’”. They knew that the jury will fit and feel then the were looking not for justice but feelings.

    • It was just insurance – how could the DOJ have predicted the entire courtroom would laugh out loud at Raniere when his texts about the taste of his sperm and size of his d!ck came up?

      • My nonserious opinion:

        The DOJ has excellent experts on jokes. Everyone at DOJ had to laugh who heard about it. That made them realize that it would be the same in the courtroom. It’s just like tryouts for television shows.

  • I think the answer to Chakravorty’s last questions is unfortunate and the reason people should be asking for a re-trial. People often want to win at all costs and lose sight of the moral good they are doing within their job. A salesman can help a customer get what they want or can use any means necessary to get a sale. Two very different processes. I would hope that our prosecutors would like to pursue justice and not just win for purpose of advancement, power or political favor.

    • In an ideal world, many aspects of our current criminal justice system would be very different. But, we don’t live in an ideal world — and wishing and hoping otherwise is not going to help Keith get a new trial.

      • An ideal world doesn’t just happen. We have made it and, thus, and it’s up to us to change it, for the betterment of all.

        The justice system was created by humans. It’s up to all of us, fellow humans, to steer it in the right direction, the direction of justice.

        • I agree 100% with your statement — which is why I work with several organizations that are focused on changing our criminal justice system via the development of new policies and programs. I also work with the staff of several elected state and federal officials who are also interested in making changes to the system through corrective legislation.

          I do not see Keith Raniere’s case as one that will likely spearhead any significant changes to our criminal justice system because it has so many underlying issues and connections to issues that others interested in reform will find repugnant (e.g., the branding of women; the use of the legal system to punish those who left; the failure to pay taxes; the sex with underaged women; the illegal immigrants; etc.; etc.; etc.). Nor has anyone who is trying to help Keith get a new trial produced any real “evidence” to show that any specific legal standard was violated in his case.

          I am not saying that Keith’s case did not have flaws. What I am saying is that many of those flaws are simply the norm in our flawed criminal justice system — and that other flaws were not properly identified as issues on a timely basis that could be raised on appeal.

          • I am reading here on and off. Thank you to all who take the time to add thoughtful responses.

            Clavinger, I would be interested to know what type of case you think could spawn the significant change you spoke of. If not Raniere’s case, then what case? I believe you when you say you’re doing profound work elsewhere. That makes it all the more interesting with what you’re choosing to communicate and focus on here. I’m sure many people feel the same reading your comments versus another reader who is just calling people idiot zombies. Thank you for the time, but I am more curious about the next level of your analysis than I am about how right or wrong Suneel or Frank or anyone is.

            Guilty or innocent, shouldn’t such an explosive/emotional case as this be the perfect breeding ground for change, assuming there was prosecutorial misconduct? It would seem to me that the more inflammatory the case, the better place to prove the point that the trial should still be treated fairly.

            Take Keith out of it. Take the supposedly brainwashed people out of it. What elements of this trial should have been conducted differently regardless of how much we hate the guy? I’d love to know what other cases in the world have experienced similar issues, and what good people are doing to try to right those wrongs.

            Thank you for your time.

          • I’m going to copy your comment — and work on my response over the weekend. You’ve asked thoughtful and thought-provoking questions and I want to respond in kind.

    • The Doobie Brothers, 1979. What a Fool Believes.

      Doggy wanna rotten, no-good cookie? How about a kookie? Semi-coherency, designed to ignore any aspect of Raniere’s character or actions which would be too inconvenient for debate fodder or for this miasma of argumentatively impotent discussion.

      Why not just breathe into a paper bag and get over yourself, Chakra boy? At least until you can educate yourself beyond the three notes which you keep piping, off in the fucking gloaming, this dim awareness, which po’ widdle chinless Suneel seems so devoted to inhabiting. So far, so tragi-comic.

      Sorry about the chin. It simply looks so symbolic for someone using word salad to defend a pedo-perv, who fools believed.

  • Pyramid is clearly a trick to make something sound bad. It’s a pretty weak argument to state that it was not used like that. The argument would be better of with the truth, the prosecution used anything to dirty Keith’s name, one can even say that they believe in doing that kind of thing when someone feels bad enough to them. That’s a better argument.
    I personally think that there are reasons to try to win at all costs, but I’m not sure this prosecution had any noble interest in doing that, maybe just a career advancement at whatever cost.

    • I don’t disagree that the term “pyramid organization” has negative connotations for most people. But as I already pointed out, that term is also used by academics and others to describe a certain type of business model — which means that it is not per se a pejorative term.

      I do not recall Keith’s attorneys objecting to the prosecution’s use of the term — but, when I have time, I’ll go back and check the trial transcripts to see if that happened. I am certain, however, that Keith’s attorneys did not attempt to diffuse whatever negative connotations the term has by calling an expert witness to explain its non-pejorative meaning to the jury.

      If Keith’s attorneys didn’t object to the use of the term — and they didn’t call an expert witness to explain what the term means to the jury — then there is zero chance that the Second Circuit Court of Appeals is going to grant Keith a new trial because of this issue. Keith and Suneel may think it’s unfair to let prosecutors use language like that to paint a defendant in a negative light — and if we were having a discussion about legal ethics, I would agree with them. But this discussion is about whether Keith is going to get a new trial because of this issue — and in that context, the answer is clearly “No”.

      • K.R. Claviger:

        Yep, I concur, “Pyramid Organization” — which is a euphemism for “Pyramid Scheme” — is a loaded moniker.

        • Agreed — but since it also has a legitimate, alternative, non-pejorative meaning, it would most likely mot be considered as being per se pejorative. That is why it was incumbent on Keith’s attorneys to challenge the prosecution’s use of the term — or, alternatively, to present evidence regarding its non-pejorative meaning.

    • You have a warped, cynical view of other people. Maybe you experience all non-Nxivm followers as “outsiders” and are hyper suspicious? Or believe them to be inferior? Being in such an insular cult world also makes you present as very fragile. Keith is a filthy man. No need for anyone to sprinkle extra dirt on the very soiled Vanguard.

  • Suneel-

    —Prosecution’s False Use of ‘Pyramid’ Was Meant to Dirty up Keith Without Evidence

    You are 100% correct and I sincerely agree with you. However, we agreeing on a fact will not help Keith Raniere win an appeal.

    Suneel, I believe you are a good person at heart. I am no longer going to be one of the commenters who ridicules you with ad hominem attacks. Take care.

  • I find this being the most compelling point: “If Keith is the criminal they claim, why not simply list, point by point, his criminal conduct and let the facts speak for themselves?”

    I never understood why prosecutions paint people into being monsters. If they committed a crime, it doesn’t seem necessary.

    • I agree with the point you’re raising but in the world we live in, this issue is not going to get Keith a new trial — especially since his attorneys did nothing to refute the negative connotations that the term likely had for some/all of the members of Keith’s jury.

      • Why do you keep responding in the context of “he won’t get a new trial” because of this or that factor, when the point being made isn’t about that? [redacted]

    • You don’t understand how the system works. It is the prosecutor’s job to make the defendant as bad as the judge will allow them and it’s the defense’s job to make the defendant look as angelic/innocent as the judge will allow them.

      It’s called the adversarial/confrontational environment, it’s always been that way and will always be that way. You are powerless to change it so learn to understand it and live with it.

  • Should the prosecution have called them multi-level marketing businesses? Don’t structure your businesses this way if you don’t want them labeled this way.

    Suneel – IMO, this is a waste of your time to be discussing this, OR it is part of the deflection long-game. We know Keith is an expert at playing the long game and certainly will have that as a major part of his desperation strategy.

    Maybe if Vanguard had been more picky on choosing slaves and had played the long-game on DOS, he’d be free. Instead, he pressured his slaves to quickly fill their downlines (sorry, is downlines prejudicial?) and didn’t have all his slaves ride-or-die. Very sloppy, Keith.

    • If the DOJ wanted to be accurate, they would have called NXIVM a legitimate MLM, one of very few in the country, because of the level of retail sales to customers, and DOS an illegal pyramid scam, because the entire value chain was inside the network. Both also committed many other crimes.

    • It isn’t — which is exactly what Keith’s attorneys should have pointed out when the prosecutors first used the term “pyramid organization”. But, unfortunately for him, they didn’t do that — which means that from the appellate court’s viewpoint, it’s a non-issue in terms of any appeal.

      • The position may not have been different, but Raniere’s behavior was different, which would have destroyed Raniere’s lawyers’ credibility in the jury’s eyes. Not that you know much about credibility, because it won’t change the outcome of Raniere’s appeal, the single note you keep playing over and over again.

      • KR, I disagree here.

        1. Are Nxivm and DOS basically alter egos? ( I don’t know the answer)

        2. A ” pyramid scheme” has both a pyramid management and pyramid sales structure. They are different.

        The way I see it, in DOS, the CEO initially used trickery, hiding his identity. He was management.

        But the way the masters brought in slaves brought in masters etc that’s pyramid recruiting.. That’s where the scheme comes from.

        This was in the judge’s sentencing report, and I agree.

        In my opinion, its a no brainer for DOS and the recruitment for slaves.

        For nxivm …up for grabs….but there’s the alter ego situation.

    • ” how is Keith’s position any different than any other ceo”?

      The branding, the constant thirst for vagina shots for blackmail, asking women to vow to only have sex with him, the woman kept in a room for 2 years, the demand to grow out your pubic hair, being a grandmaster to female sex slaves, keeping immigration documents from desperate people, forced Labor, child pornography.

      A few of the ways he’s different…

      • I’d just like to add two of my favourites.

        1. Running into trees: Of course, there was no intention of causing Frontal Lobe Damage, at all, at all,
        2. Puddle-drinking: Not like a whole host of parasites and pathogens are a necessary outcome of this but it’s at least sufficient.

        All things all told, the worst boss I ever had, we called her ‘gruppenfuhrer R.’ was bldy angelic. I feel bad about the ‘cheer me up’ post-it note on her back and joining in with the childish humming during her endless motivation speeches.

  • Great article, Suneel. I think your best point is if Raniere is such a criminal, why does the prosecution need to add insults to sway the jury? It seems someone would only need to do that when they are in a weak position.

  • Nxivm will be featured on an upcoming episode of, ” American Greed”. I don’t want to spoil the ending for anyone! I will just say they are more aligned with Claviger

  • The defense had the opportunity to call expert witnesses in to testify DOS did not operate as a pyramid.

    Keith can’t now argue his case in the press.

  • This is from the judge’s sentencing report. Are you saying the part about recruitment is inaccurate? How?

    “DOS was comprised of all female masters (who were Nxivm members) who recruited and commanded groups of all female slaves. When identifying prospective slaves, masters often targeted women who were experiencing difficulties in their lives, including dissatisfaction with the pace of their advancement in Nxivm. Each DOS slave was expected to recruit slaves of her own, who in tum owed service not only to their masters but also to masters above them in the DOS pyramid. Raniere alone formed the top of the pyramid as the highest master. Other than Raniere, all participants in DOS were women.

    “Raniere’s status as head of the pyramid was concealed from all newly recruited slaves, other than those directly under Raniere. DOS masters persuaded slaves to join DOS by falsely describing it as a secret women’s empowerment group and that the goal of DOS was to eradicate weaknesses in its members. Prospective slaves were required to provide collateral to prevent them from leaving the group or disclosing its existence to others.”

  • Suneel:

    Aren’t there texts of your Vanguard telling his slaves to bring him new girlfriends?

    Wasn’t each slave supposed to recruit new ones and become their masters, and so on?

    That sounds like a pyramid to me.

  • “Should the prosecution even be concerned about ‘winning’?”

    Oh, I don’t know, Keith. Winning seemed pretty darn important to you.

    “He who has the most joy wins!” ~ Keith Raniere

    • Perhaps that’s why Raniere lost most of his lawsuit cases, he enjoys losing and now he gets to lose the rest of his life. How much more joy could there be for him?

  • Suneel, the vast majority of your support on this site comes from your friends and other Raniere supporters. Don’t try to twist the facts to make it seem like you are convincing people with your arguments. Also, there is way too much emotion in your arguments and irrelevant rabble that I doubt Vanguard would be proud of this document.

    If this is a guy who you say “may” be guilty of abusing women and was convicted of such, then you really need to look in the mirror and evaluate your “principles.”

    Maybe there are better causes for your activism.

  • Suneel!

    You’re back!

    Still looking forward to reading the results of your investigation!

    You do a fine job here of relaying your guru’s hurt at having his endeavors described as a “pyramid organization.”

    He’s feeling like a victim of the prosecution. Hopefully you reminded him of NXIVM Point #2: “There are no ultimate victims; therefore, don’t be a victim.”

    I agree with you that this issue “is likely not sufficient grounds for appeal.”

    I’d say it is even more accurate to say this issue “is not sufficient grounds for appeal.”

    Can’t wait to read all your “data” that, unlike the “pyramid” matter, will provide solid grounds for appeal.

    If you run into “The Crucible,” please say “Hi!” for me.

    Abrazos,

    NXIDVMDVM

Frank Parlato Investigates

Frank Parlato Investigates

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work helping take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg; “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson; “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La secta que sedujo al poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been featured prominently on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and acted as lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” 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, Gretchen Carlson Show, Dr. Oz and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato scored the first ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest, which many credit Parlato with engineering. He will be featured in an upcoming episode of American Greed.

His IMDB page ishttps://www.imdb.com/name/nm11802178/

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