The truth will set you free.
For me, the truth is there are many things I don’t know. I don’t know if some, many or all the allegations of Keith Raniere’s past are true or not. I don’t know if his intentions were good or not.
I barely knew Raniere before his arrest in Texas. I had become a student in Executive Success Programs for about a year and was an unpaid volunteer coach for about a year. I was not a fulltime NXIVM “member” or student.
I had my own self employment work as a computer tech consultant. I made a very good living.
Still, after his arrest, I became intrigued because a company I was associated with, a company I had spent time learning their product – a curriculum, which I believed held valuable lessons, and were comprised of a group I perceived as being very good people, was now, astonishingly, involved in a criminal prosecution and a worldwide scandal.
I wanted to hear the facts for myself.
I attended Raniere’s trial. I went every day and stayed all day, through all six weeks of trial.
It was the first trial I ever attended. I was not favorably impressed at how theatrical it all was, so often full of emotion, some of it seemingly exaggerated, and an awful lot of tears. Sylvie cried, and Daniela cried, Nicole cried, Jay cried. Lauren Salzman cried so much the judge stopped the cross examination. Even Mark Vicente cried, seemingly on cue.
Somehow I had naively thought it would be far more sober, more “just the facts.”
As the days wore on, something did not sit right with me.
Witnesses who had said they loved NXIVM for years now testified it was all evil. Witnesses who said they loved Raniere more than anything in life, now testified he was horrible.
What could account for such a change in perspective?
Toward the end of the trial I heard FBI Senior Forensic Examiner Brian Booth testify that EXIF data is hard to change. Now he was speaking my language; my expertise is computers. I damn well knew this was a lie. EXIF data is easy to change.
Brian Booth had been a forensic examiner with the FBI for over a decade. He knew very damn well that EXIF data is not hard to change. It is easy. So why did he lie?
I felt the case was handled in a very one-sided fashion, as things always went the prosecution’s way. For example, the way Raniere was apprehended in Mexico, outside the FBI’s jurisdiction, without extradition or deportation paperwork, to the way he was denied bail.
Raniere was apprehended in Mexico, outside the jurisdiction of the EDNY, and it was claimed he was fleeing justice.There were things that caused me to doubt and not blindly trust the prosecution. But nothing was tangible, nothing concrete, until I heard Booth lie about EXIF data.
This began my quest to find out what happened. With a defendant known to be as despicable as Raniere, why would an FBI witness need to lie?
MK10ART – Keith Raniere in prison.
After his conviction, I would say that Raniere became a friend of mine. I’ve spent time with him at his various prisons both before and after his sentencing.
Please don’t take this as condoning abuse. I don’t condone abuse, whether by Raniere, the FBI, prosecutors, or anyone.
So far, I have focused on the government because cheating by government is always a bigger threat to liberty than the crimes of one man.
I will not dismiss lightly the allegations made against Raniere. I am examining them, even allegations that are not necessarily criminal but morally repugnant.
In the end, if I find Raniere is, as they say, a monster, I will be disillusioned. I will condemn him.
But if the FBI cheated to get Raniere, even if he turns out to be the Devil himself, I will condemn that too..
Finally, some people think I only want to save Keith Raniere at all costs, whether innocent or guilty, whether the FBI tampered or not.
People think I’m brainwashed and idiotic.
Still you have my promise that I am going to investigate Raniere. I will expose anything I find that merits publication – good or evil.
More importantly, for all Americans, I’m going to prove one way or the other if the FBI tampered with evidence in this case. For me, it’s the right thing to do.