A commenter named Clifton Park, who I sort of picture to look like this…
commented on the article: From Prison, Keith Raniere: ‘My Codefendants Are Innocent’ Part 1: Attackers Destroyed Our Community!:
“Per the article/ramblings, [Raniere wrote] ‘Although I have been incarcerated for 18 months (as of this writing)…’ So that means KR wrote this sometime between his conviction (June 2019) and his sentencing (October 2020).
“Frank, when and how did you receive this writing?
“Why publish it now, nearly a year and a half after it was penned?
I replied to Clifton:
By Frank Parlato
I received Keith Raniere’s prison letter very recently. It is timely because he speaks about four of his codefendants who will soon be sentenced.
As far as when he wrote it, I do not know. I saw that he wrote in it that he had been incarcerated for 18 months. If that is accurate, he must have written at least the first part of it in October 2019, almost a year before being sentenced.
I understand he updated the series/article recently and only recently released it for publication.
As I explained in my introduction to the first part, it is important to publish his words from prison.
When it has direct bearing on his codefendants, it is doubly important.
You may note that I published every single victim statement delivered at his sentencing, with every gruesome detail about him. I have written some 5,000 stories criticizing and accusing him of various crimes and morally repugnant behavior.
I am not a follower.
I think Raniere is a despicable person and yet I believe he needs to be further studied to prevent this kind of thing from happening again: a community of mostly good people who followed a deplorable man.
Raniere is also going to mount an appeal which I plan to cover carefully. It is possible that a person could be a horrible monster, and yet, at the same time, prosecutors might have committed misconduct. Raniere is claiming this. I do not know enough to agree or disagree. However, I think these allegations are more serious than the allegations against Raniere.
When government runs amok, even in the prosecution of bad guys, the implication is that they can use the same methods on good guys, on innocents. Government is supposed to be the good guy. Due process, and the jury is supposed to decide if the defendant is the bad guy. If the government cheats, if they break the rules and do not provide due process, then they are both bad guys – the government and Raniere, then this needs to be exposed.
But let me be clear: I am not making the accusation of prosecutorial misconduct in Raniere’s case. He is making that accusation. I am covering it.
I repeat: It is possible for Raniere to be a villain and a ruthless criminal and for lawyers [prosecutors] working for the Department of Justice to be villains also and act in a way that would be criminal if a private citizen or defense lawyer did the same thing.
I believe that prosecutors for the Department of Justice often act in a criminal manner but are so unchecked and unmonitored that they can get away with almost anything, even convicting innocent people. I am not saying that this is the case in the Raniere prosecution.
But I have seen prosecutors at the DOJ act in a manner that I think is corrupt or which at least show a reckless disregard for the truth and an absolute carelessness about innocence or guilt.
Aside from this, if Raniere has something to say about his codefendants, I am interested in sharing it with readers. That’s why I am publishing this now. Readers often give valuable insights.
Even if everything he says is a lie, it should still be heard – and exposed.
If I were regularly writing about Adolf Hitler, Charles Manson, Tim McVeigh, Attila the Hun or anyone who the public despises, past or present, if I got my hands on their unpublished, original words, I would publish it.
It might just be that it will prove greater villainy, or prove guilt, or it might help explain why the villain did what he did. And it might also slightly modify our views of Raniere, or anyone we are so sure is villainous. We will learn something.
What’s the harm?
Raniere is in prison. Anything he writes or says now is not going to change that.
If he has any hope at all, and it is exceedingly slim, of ever getting out of prison, it lies with his appellate lawyers. Not with anything I publish or choose not to publish.
Since Raniere is in prison, he will not be recruiting anybody new to his sex slaver harem, or his life coaching – unless it is in prison, among prisoners [or perhaps guards]. He poses no threat to anyone outside of USP Tucson.
Some say my publishing his words is an insult, or will cause renewed terror to victims. Many of those victims stood up and made public statements at his sentencing. Some of them wrote books, made podcasts, made docuseries.
Many more of them [about 100, I am told] filed victim impact statements with the court under seal seeking restitution for their suffering. About 80 victims have joined in a civil suit, going after Raniere and the Bronfman sisters for millions.
If these victims can subject themselves to depositions and cross-examination at a civil trial, in order to collect money, they can tolerate a little bit of Raniere proclaiming his innocence and claiming his co-defendants are innocent on a website they do not have to read.
Of course, I sympathize with anyone who is a victim of this calculating wolf who pranced about in sheep’s clothing – as an ethicist, a teacher, a compassionate man.
I am a victim of him myself, but I did something about it.
I urge any and all victims to adopt a spirit of defiance and say, “Let the fool talk. It won’t change a thing. But perhaps I can learn something new about him and, in fact, understand how I became a victim. This will be good for two reasons at least: One, it should help prevent me from being a victim again to someone else, and two, it possibly might help someone, somewhere, avoid being a victim to such as he.”
For this reason and for others, I am publishing Keith Raniere’s written remarks about his codefendants’ innocence, written from prison.