By Lucid Moment
This is in response to Suneel, who sees the prosecution’s case against Keith Raniere as trying to “dirty him up” while piecemealing and isolating every situation in his trial. Then he can say these situations are not relevant or in themselves crimes.
This is a supreme disservice to all women and all victims of human trafficking.
I am a nurse.
Health professionals are educated about human trafficking so we can see, as best we can, situations as symptoms of a larger, nefarious picture. This education is a requirement to practice our profession in at least two states.
How Human Traffickers Operate
The trafficker does not announce to any of their victims his or her intentions upfront. Their objectives are all the same: manipulation and control for the sinister reality of abuse and exploitation.
When you look at the construct of Keith Raniere’s modus operandi, it checks off all the boxes of human trafficking:
- After carefully targeting susceptible individuals, Raniere utilized grooming or love-bombing, with flattery and promises of prosperity and help. Only to not help, often not providing living wages, and using threats of legal and social repercussions in the form of collateral.
- He then shamed, humiliated, dehumanized, manipulated, intimidated, triangulated, gaslighted, and coerced them, until enculturation and bondage seemed to them to be their only option.
The victims do not go around talking about their situation typically — not until they can talk about it objectively in a safe environment. That is how badly damaged they are. To a person who has not gone through [human trafficking] themselves, their emotional pain and feeling of no other way out may not be seen.
But it exists.
Even if they laugh or try to be happy. They are trying to survive. In Raniere’s case, he set the stage up front by providing the mission statement to indoctrinate them:
“There are no ultimate victims.”
This is why health professionals, who already have a license in health care, have to take continual training in detection in [human trafficking] to help break the cycle.
The victims often hide in plain sight to the outside world, because if they confront it themselves with no one else to lean on, their burden to live like that would be too much to bear.
Raniere created a culture by which he withheld food from his victims. He shamed, humiliated, and dehumanized them by reviewing their bodies for their “correct weight”. This after proclaiming himself smarter and grander than everyone in every way, including ethically. This after surrounding himself, and them with his special group.
So now, group behavior, crowd contingency, entered into the victim’s reaction to comply. Some were, by that time, undernourished and most likely had chronic low blood sugar and vitamin and mineral deficiencies, which can obscure one’s will, personality, and mindset. This ensured that they were not in optimal physical mental condition to self-advocate.
Does Suneel Understand the Difference: Healthy vs. Unhealthy Behaviors?
During Suneel’s tony college education, did he study the social sciences to be able to differentiate healthy from sick and unhealthy behaviors that, under these circumstances, descend into the criminal realm? In the health-professional training for victims of trafficking, it is taught that traffickers control the food and sometimes fluid intake of their victims.
Check off another box.
Another sign is that the trafficker/abuser withholds medical (and dental) care from their victims. Raniere assigned one of the victims to stay alone in a room. He carefully groomed and indoctrinated her parents to not advocate for basic needs of their daughter, like socialization, health care, and further education. Thus time passed with her missing out on normal growth and development. In truth, she was a commodity, not a human being.
Forced abortions. Not, “Gee, our relationship or activity caused a pregnancy, Now what do we do? Well, after much thought and discussion, we have mutually agreed an abortion seems the best answer to this dilemma. Now how can we avert it in the future? Gee, we better get on some birth control.”
No, in the climate of having other women as his flying monkeys, he had these women take them to the abortion clinic. He didn’t want to get his hands dirty. Glad he didn’t have to dirty himself up. In health profession-training for victims of trafficking, it is taught to look for women who cannot advocate for themselves in the clinic.
Check off another box.
What is the big red flag of a trafficked human?
Suneel, this is well-documented. Truck drivers, as well as health professionals, are made aware of this. You present yourself as a bright, educated individual. This shows some real holes in how you proclaim yourself.
Why are you advocating for Keith?
Maybe the True Story of a ‘Caring’ Madam Could Teach Suneel Something
I am from a town in which a famous Madam once resided and worked for about 40 years. Before she died, she told her story for a book that was written about her. She spilled it all so her story could be told. In it, it was revealed that, yes, she kept, and managed all the prostitutes in our town. She shared how she, herself, was groomed for her job, with lies about who was at the top of the organization.
She was brought to our town under false pretenses.
She let it be known that she was well-known across the region for having “clean girls” and how she was always concerned for their welfare. She proudly told how they had money to send home to the rural corners of the county for their families who needed it. The riverboats brought loads of food for them, she bought them treats, and even bought a favorite, longstanding woman, a brand new car with a full tank of gas to drive around town, to thank her for her service.
By the time the story was over, its intended purpose was met.
One felt sorry for the grooming and coercion done to the Madam herself to get her into her life’s profession, how she saved lives along the way of unfortunate girls that well-meaning persons brought to her doorstep so she could take them into her group and care well for them by having them work for her. How her “girls” were so much happier and better cared for than other prostitutes in other cities — and this was well-known in that part of the country.
Interspersed with this story was the revelation that the women were chosen as high school girls, by a custodian employed at the school who looked out for at-risk persons.
They never saw it coming.
A friend of mine in town, whose now-deceased mother was a hairdresser, had a story about the Madam and her (trafficked) workers.
The Madam would bring them to the salon for their hair appointments. When my friend’s mother tried to engage them in normal salon banter, the Madame would tell her, “Don’t speak with the girls. They are not to talk.”
These girls were free? Same climate, same fear.
When I worked as a young nurse in another city, I told a patient, who had a criminal background, what city I was from. Immediately, he said the Madam’s name. “I used to run speed down there for her girls. So they could work all three shifts.”
So the question remains: If Suneel is as bright and educated as he seems, a well-meaning fellow who is just concerned about justice for poor, misconstrued Keith, how can he turn a blind eye to the bigger picture? To the whole construct of Keith as a human trafficker, with all the nefarious sides that come with holding up this kind of activity?
Perhaps the only accolade to be given to Keith is his creation of his sinister reality.
An Anonymous commenter asked the fundamental question of Suneel in a comment:
Who is funding Suneel’s time and effort in his defense of Keith Raniere?
In my many years working as a nurse, I have seen administrative practices in healthcare that over time, it came to be realized, were not best practices for the patients. Despite warnings by the bedside nurses and nurses leaving their professions at times so as not to have to participate in care that was not best for the patients, the one thing that drove the change was not the moral high road.
It was when funding for the practices were cut.
So, Anonymous’ question was spot on.