By Aristotle’s Sausage
An adult man screwing a schoolgirl is icky. It’s disgusting and exploitative and it’s also highly illegal. Only a real asshole would do it.
Keith Raniere’s an asshole. A stupid, immoral, perverted jerk. So carried away with his own self-importance that he ended up serving life in prison.
The world’s smartest man? Top problem solver? Guru of ethics? What a fuckin’ joke.
There is a reason why it’s icky for an adult man to have sex with a schoolgirl. It’s not just some arbitrary taboo specific to our culture.
There is a large power imbalance between a school kid and an adult man. I don’t need to go into details here to prove the point, the fact is obvious. Exploiting that power difference is… exploitation.
The strong exploiting the weak goes against the fundamental principles of society. All societies, as far as I know. Ancient Rome, the tyrannical Middle Ages, authoritarian dictatorships. We are not lions in the jungle after all, we are civilized people.
Even Nxivm and its fucked-up ethics supposedly upheld the standard of not exploiting the weak (see their “Society of Protectors”). Therefore, Raniere proved himself a hypocrite and a liar.
How anyone could still defend Raniere – or insist that we should “keep an open mind” about his character or guilt and innocence – is beyond me. The facts about his actions – deeds that continued regularly for years and with multiple victims (yes, victims) – have been established beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law and so judged by an independent jury. These are no longer allegations or accusations. They are facts. The presumption of innocence ends when the Jury foreman declares, “We find the defendant guilty, your honor”.
Raniere sexually exploited a minor. He blackmailed and branded women with his initials. He led a criminal conspiracy to assist him in these crimes. Crimes that included forced labor (a nice legal term for slavery).
Cult loyalists would like to ignore all these facts. They’d like to switch the narrative to some imaginary media conspiracy. To decry “hate” and thus pretend to take the moral high ground.
Y’know what? I don’t hate Raniere, not in the least. I don’t take personally anything he did. Doesn’t affect me. I think he’s a stupid asshole, a real jerk who did some really cruel things. I don’t hate him for it. In fact, I get a big belly laugh from the whole sordid tale. The fool ended up with a 120-year prison sentence— a perfect ending!
This is a tale of triumph, not tragedy. The justice system works. He’s in a concrete cube for the rest of his life. He really is the celibate renunciate he feigned being when he was the Guru of Knox Woods!
It’s like a goddam morality play. It’s a big happy ending. Hate Raniere? He’s the centerpiece of a real-life tale of folly and clumsy criminality getting what it deserves.