Raniere: Consumers’ Buyline Was the Most Misunderstood – There Was No Fraud

By Keith Raniere

In 1990, I started a business called Consumers’ Buyline, which sold groceries and consumer goods at discount prices to members of the organization.

A person could gain the purchasing power of hundreds or thousands of people through membership in the company and get better prices on household items.

Headquarters for Consumers’ Buyline in Clifton Park, New York.

The company also served as an agent for the consumer, putting the consumer on par with the large corporation. Consumers entering Walmart or Target are at the mercy of a large corporation’s pricing structure. This pricing structure is coupled with other protocols designed to benefit the corporation at the expense of the consumer.

Keith Raniere founded Consumers’ Buyline. Here he presents to his affiliate members how they will make a fortune with him, the smartest man in the world. He must have been persuasive in that smart sweater.

Consumers’ Buyline was created to level the playing field, increasing consumer leverage. Therefore, consumers could buy goods that met their needs at lower prices.

As an entrepreneur, I transformed a five-person organization into a corporation of nearly 400,000 in a mere two years. I became a millionaire at the age of 30.

Keith Raniere explained, “It’s not a pyramid, because it doesn’t cost anything to be an affiliate and sell memberships. If someone drops their membership, they can still be an affiliate…”

My company’s second full year of business, Consumers’ Buyline, Inc., generated approximately one billion dollars in sales. There was a feature on American Spotlight about it.
After two years, I had a net worth of $50 million.

But by standing up to some of the largest corporations in the United States, Consumers’ Buyline ruffled feathers and disrupted the hold these corporations had on American consumers. In response, several government agencies conducted investigations.

Keith Raniere

“With 200,000 sales people, sometimes things are said that are improper,” said Raniere at the time of the state investigations. “If that was the case, we terminate them as affiliates.”

Due to defending this, the company was financially strained. However, no court has ever found that the company engaged in fraudulent conduct. Due to the investigations, the company was forced out of business. The result was that large corporations continue to have unfettered control over consumers.

On September 3, 1996, Karen Unterreiner, Pamela Cafritz, and I entered into a Consent Order and Judgment with the New York State Attorney General. It stated that the representatives of Consumers’ Buyline deny any improper conduct, and no findings of wrongdoing have been made.

Consumers’ Buyline agreed to pay the Attorney General the modest fine of $40,000.

Other states reached similar settlements. There was no finding of fraud, however.
Where a court was asked to pass on the merits, there was never a factual finding adverse to the company.

Before he became Vanguard, Keith Raniere started a business called Consumers’ Buyline. He called “multi-level marketing” such as that practiced by Consumers Buyline, “an industry frequently misperceived, and we are working to turn that perception around.”

Consumers’ Buyline was not shut down because of fraud. Furthermore, no court found fraud or wrongdoing.

Instead, the company ceased business in many states to end expensive civil litigation. Ultimately, the company sold its book of business, paid its creditors, and was administratively dissolved.

Keith Raniere hired actor Eddie Albert to be a spokesperson for Consumers’ Buyline.

About the author

Guest View

51 Comments

Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional)

  • Keith, I know you have a lot of time to fill up in sex offender prison.

    But the reputation and misconduct history of consumers Buyline is the least of your troubles.

    A smarter man might acknowledge the mistakes that they made in their first attempt at an MLM scheme.

    Then at least you could compare your second MLM scheme Nxivm/ ESP and say that you learned from the mistakes of the first attempt.

    But if we know nothing, we still know one thing; And it is that you are not a smarter man.

    The problem with denying culpability in every single thing that’s “happened to you” since the day that you were born is that it really throws suspicion over your later claims of Innocence.

    Just statistically there’s no way that nothing ever in your entire 60 years was at all your own fault.

    That’s an improbability that any person who is not indoctrinated into your cult will see clearly as a glaring red flag.

    And thus conclude that you are dishonest person and probably lying about your guilt or innocence in all areas of your life.

  • Wow $50 million in two years. Where can I learn his technique?

    Where is Mr. Raniere now? Is he taking on students? Damon Brink told Mr. Raniere built 1000 millionaires.

  • “an industry frequently misperceived, and we are working to turn that perception around.”

    How are you “working” to do that?!……..

  • “There was no fraud.”

    Says the grandmaster of fraud.

    How did anyone believe this clown? This guy is either a shameless liar or has completely duped himself into believing his own baseless narrative.

  • Frank, I hope that you cribbed this from elsewhere and are not directly communicating with that human shit stain as a guest commenter.

    • I am not on his approved callers’ list. I last time I spoke with Raniere was October 2020 before sentencing.

  • Suckers’ Buyline ain’t the place to be
    Pyramids? For Nile nobility
    Scams and crimes, from which you cannot hide
    How do we know that Cafritz really died?

    – with apologies to the late Eddie Albert and “Green Acres”

  • Raniere isn’t even a good liar.

    He claims CBI went from 5 employees its first year to 400,000 employees and $1 billion in revenue the next year. The 400,000 employee number would place it among the top 10 employers in the US, up there with Home Depot, Kroger and other giants that took decades to hire that many people. Of course, what he’s talking about are the number of people who signed up to be salespeople in his MLM. Only a handful of those were actually working hard on the project.

    Raniere says that he got $1 billion in revenue in his second year. If that were true, he’d be the fastest growing startup in history by quite a margin. One of the record holders was Groupon, which got to about $500 million in year 3 or 4 about a decade ago. Zynga games also grew that fast (Mafia Wars, Farmville and many others). So if CBI did $1 billion in revenue in Year 2, they’d be studied in business schools all over the world, particularly since they didn’t appear to have much financing — Groupon and other fast-growing startups typically had pools of hundreds of millions of investor dollars to use to fuel their growth. It’s impossible for a small self-funded startup to build the infrastructure to get to that revenue without a ton of money already in the bank, and a lot of smart people who know how to build the systems you’d need to support that growth.

    And if Raniere hit $1 billion in revenue in Year 2, he wouldn’t be worth $50 million, he’d probably be worth many billions of dollars. So he’s contradicted himself in a pretty clumsy way. Of course, he’s lying about the $50 million, probably by an order of magnitude.

    IIRC, Raniere was really just selling memberships for someone else’s volume discount plan. He didn’t actually interact with retailers or otherwise make the discount buying operation work. So the product sales through the discount operation would not be revenue to him. Only the net commissions that he earned for sales, which would likely be a tiny fraction of any large amount.

  • Rather than let this brain-rot sit here uncontested here’s the other side of the story. Or more accurately here’s the truth from an objective source. Anyone interested in the Raniere Nxivm story should read the entire story from the Forbes archive. https://www.forbes.com/sites/willyakowicz/2019/05/15/keith-raniere-the-leader-of-the-nxivm-sex-cult/?sh=46da2e2e35a9

    “…In 1990 Raniere decided to apply his theory to his new business, Consumers’ Buyline, a multilevel marketing program near Albany that promised lucrative commissions to old customers for recruiting new ones. He barnstormed the nation promoting discounts on groceries, dishwashers and even hotel stays, stoking crowds of a thousand pumped-up and profit-hungry people. “He was like a mythological figure—the guy with the 240 IQ was coming to town,” says Robert Bremner, a former distributor for the outfit.
    Raniere says by the end of 1993 he had sold $1 billion in goods and services, employed 80 people and had a quarter-million believers paying him $19 a month to hawk his goods. He claims he was worth $50 million. Yet he appeared to carry no money, says Bremner, adding that Raniere seemed to sleep all day, rolled into his office around 10 p.m. and sometimes held meetings at 1 a.m. Business flagged, debt ballooned and customers complained. Regulators in 20 states began to investigate. In 1993 the New York attorney general filed a civil suit alleging Consumers’ Buyline was a pyramid scheme. Without admitting wrongdoing, Raniere settled for $40,000, of which he has paid only $9,000. He says he can’t pay the rest, though he also says his ample finances let him live on savings.
    A year later Raniere created another multilevel outfit, National Health Network, which sold vitamins…”

    Raniere was running a classic pyramid scheme in which suckers paid him $19 per month for promises of riches down the road. A scam not a business, it collapsed within a couple of years as pyramid schemes do (main source of income being new suckers signing up and the pond of fools always dries up sooner or later)

    There is no “other side” to this story, no “controversy” and nothing to debate. Raniere was running a pyramid scheme he got caught and got shut down. Then he set up another pyramid scheme “selling” vitamins, then he set up the Nxivm scam, then he outsmarted himself as conmen will and ended up in Federal prison. For life.

    Raniere is a lifelong con artist who never did an honest day’s work in his life, a chronic liar, a cheat and a lowlife. After his career of deception and self serving lies anyone who believes a word he says is a fool.

  • This guy was a loser in the 90’s, will always be a loser, and will be a loser til his death. And that one cheeseball pic of him sitting wearing the suit, he looks like the loser boss from the movie, “Office Space” how fitting….”ummm, yeah, i’m gonna need you to come in on Saturday.” LMAO. Losers always lose.

  • Just like NiceGuy666, the smartest person in the world doesn’t understand what makes an MLM an illegal pyramid. The only difference between Raniere and NiceGuy666 is the latter is the stupidest person in the world. LOL

    • Hey Sh*t Bird!

      It’s been a longtime!

      Still cruising the highways and byways of Plano, Texas or has gas gotten too expensive to power your shit-box? Choosing Gas or Starbucks’ tea, must be like “Sophie’s Choice”

      I checked-out your radio (shoestring) show. Not bad! You actually are a decent interviewer.

      Take care and don’t feel too bad about being a loser – you try really hard at it,

      P.S.
      We both know you never left the
      Frank Report. One night, an idiot granted me privileges. I got to see behind the curtains.

      Sophie’s Choice movie:
      https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0084707/

      • Thanks (again) for displaying your stupidity for all to see, you don’t have a clue what the definition of an illegal pyramid is, just like most people on this or any website. At least you’re consistent, consistently stupid. LOL

        • Hi Scott Amway Johnson!

          —You don’t have a clue what the definition of an illegal pyramid.

          You don’t have a clue how to troll someone.

          We both know you’re not serious, you want me to respond, so you can validate yourself. You probably think, “Look Frank I trolled Nice Guy”. BUT the jokes on you tardo. You can laugh it off and pretend to Frank my words don’t cut you down, but we both know they do. Remember the time you lost it and informed me that you were an E5 in the Navy?

          You must of been quite the barnacle scrubber while in the Navy to leave as an E5.

          At the end of the day you’re not like Paul Serran, NutJob, K.R. Claviger, Frank or even myself. You’re a fat-pussy-loser, the same fat, pussy, loser you were when the black guy stole your swimsuit and you cried to the high school principal. LOL.

          “LOL” is a great signature sign off for you cuz you’re joke. Boohoo fat boy. Maybe the swimsuit guy will steal your wife. LOL
          You’re wife would be the lucky one in that scenario – cuz any black guy is better than a loser like you The best part of writing all this is knowing you’ll read it and prove my point that you’re a tard. Christ, a case of
          Monkey Pox is better than you.

          Have a great weekend!
          ***

          My guess is Frank will scrub this comment so the Texan Crybaby doesn’t have a
          hissy-fit and piss himself.

          • I don’t troll people I expose them for what they are. In your case, it’s pure stupidity. LOL

            I never said I was an E5 in the Navy, but you have said you have to sneak around on your wife to post comments here, what a big baby. LOL

            YOU are the who is too scared to come on my podcast, which makes YOU the loser, and a cowardly one at that. LOL

            Nobody ever stole my swimsuit. Try again. LOL

            Anybody of any skin color is better than you, RACIST. LOL

            My guess is Frank will post all of your stupidity unchanged for all to see. LOL

          • It’s like old home week having you and Nice Guy at each other’s throats. Admit it Scott, you like it.

    • Hey Scott-

      Who’s fatter: the wife or you?

      How often do the two of you use mobility scooters at the local Walmart? Walmarts are big – don’t feel to bad – Mr. Fat [redacted].

        • “My name is Scott Johnson one time Frank had lunch with me at the Dallas Airport.”
          (Scott Johnson)

          That’s some claim to fame Scott.

          Jesus Christ! I feel bad for you’re wife. She must have married you cuz she got knocked up and couldn’t afford an abortion.

          • NiceGuy666, I’ve never shared a meal with Frank or even met him in person, but he did come on my podcast. Not everyone is like you, too scared to defend your “ideas,” as stupid as they are, in a live setting. LOL

            The word is “your,”, not “you’re.” Frank’s nose just grew another inch, way to go NiceGuy666. LOL

            What does Jesus Christ have to do with how you feel about my wife? LOL

            You shouldn’t feel so bad for my wife, we had our first son almost two years after we were married and have been happily married for over a third of a century. Unlike your ugly whore of a wife, childless and having to put up with your stupidity, she must be at least as stupid as you in order to put up with you. At least your [sic] not continuing your DNA into future generations, thanks for that! LOL

          • You know, Scott, you keep talking about the size of my nose. And great men do have prominent noses.

            My dad used to say I have a Roman nose — then add – it’s roaming all over your face.

            Many people over the years have offered to adjust my nose swiftly.

          • Frank, when it comes to having a small nose(y) about MLM scams you are the smallest, after showing some initial interest. But it’s okay, I assume this site gets far fewer visitors than in past years.

        • Hi Scott Amway!

          That’s a crappy list I made up. If you’re stupid enough to comment again – I’ll promise to write a better one….

          BTW: You didn’t answer my question — what is that thing that slaps your wife’s knee caps?

          Her:
          A. Utters
          B. Vagina
          C. Belly
          D. A dead fetus hanging out the front.

          • Everything you do is crappy and made up, I wasn’t surprised. The thing slapping my wife’s kneecaps is E. The palms of her hands, as she is LOLing at your stupidity. LOL

    • Scott Amway-

      A few things:

      1. You’ve stated you were in the Navy.
      2. If remember correctly, Frank said you were a giant of man.
      3. Scott, you most certainly said that a “young negro child stole your swimming trunks” and you reported him to the school.
      4. You frequently have said racist and antisemitic comments, i.e., “brown fuzzies”, “lawn jockeys” and “yidds”.
      5. “You’re Childless”, wow Scott what an insult – anyone can breed, animals do it all the time. Congrats! You and your wife had more hogs. How’s her udders – still hanging to her kneecaps or is that her vagina?
      6. See any trans-prostitutes at Mardi Gras? You admitted that before too. I bet NutJob remembers it. We were both aghast.
      7. Are you still renting DVD movies from the Red Box at the grocery? I know you’re broke ass can’t afford internet and Netflix.
      8. Other than ask for money you don’t have – do your kids still talk to you? LOL, I already know the answer is no LOL!

      Scott you’ll always be my bitch.

      You have a nice night tardo!

      • Here’s a homework assignment for you NiceGuy666, go find the exact statements you claimed I made. Doing some actual research may make you a little bit not so stupid. Maybe, maybe not.

        1. I never said I was enlisted in the Navy.
        2. It depends what you consider “giant,” probably anyone over 3′ tall is a giant to you. LOL
        3. I never said anyone stole my swimming trunks.
        4. Find where I used the terms “brown fuzzies,” “lawn jockeys,” and “yidds.” Proper punctuation dictates the commas and periods be placed inside the quotation marks, and the next to last item in a list includes a comma. Unless you’re a stupid Brit (note the redundancy).
        5. I’m quite happy that your DNA has hit a brick wall. I answered your question in the other, more detailed post. Enjoy. LOL
        6. Everybody who goes to Mardi Gras in New Orleans has probably seen a trans prostitute, whether they know it or not. I stated a friend of mine almost picked up a man dressed as a woman, he never got far enough to check out the plumbing.
        7. I’ve never rented a DVD in my life. How do you think I’m on Frank’s website if I don’t have internet, DUMMY? LOL Why should I get Netflix when I have you and all the other idiots online for entertainment?
        8. How do you know whether my kids talk to me about money or anything else? You don’t even know what it’s like to have kids, and that’s a good thing. LOL

        You’ve been my b!tch this whole time, but keep thinking it’s the other way around. LOL

        • Scotty (🛵)

          I’ll provide the info!

          I have a file folder dedicated to you plus: Shadow, Sultan, and. Allen Aloonzo. I find you, and the other tool bags, intriguing.

          I am at least cognizant I’m a crank — but you buffoons aren’t remotely aware of your place in the world.

          You think you’re successful. LMFAO!

          I’ll share later. You have a great day!

        • Hi Scotty,

          No doubt the “illustrious one” will let you know how many clicks I made . My folder has the links not much “homework”.

          The, TRULY, hilarious thing is you asked me to post shit that highlights what loser you are.

          Next to you – Nutjob, Bangkok, Shadow, Sultan, and myself look like winners. LOL

          Pretend to shrug it off. You know deep down inside what an absolute TOOLBAG you are. LOL

          Shit – you live in Plano the Tract Housing Capitol of the USA. You actually live in a giant ant-hive every street and home – the same. You’re a goddamn ant – liven in a dystopian wet dream. LOL

          I’m going to post my “homework” – I’m just dragging it out to really annoy the shit-out of you. LOL
          ***

          BTW: I figured out what’s slapping your wife’s kneecaps…….

          ……..It’s her double-chin.

          • Scott Johnson-

            “Yawn….”

            Good to see you picked up something from Claviger. “Yawn”.

            The only problem is unlike Claviger you’re just a loser. Yawn. LOL

            I’m tired of reminding you what a loser you’re. Yawn. LOL

            Oink, oink, not yawn, is what YOU say.

            You take care, you fat, dumb, [redacted.]
            [redacted]

            I bet Frank doesn’t post that last part. You [redacted] can’t handle it.

          • Claviger picked up the “yawn” from me. LOL

            Claviger is the loser, she is a coward just like you, too scared to come on my podcast. LOL

            I never get tired of you exposing your stupidity. LOL

            I can handle any tripe coming from you. Frank doesn’t have to protect me, he has to try not to lose more readers. LOL

        • To Scott & Anyone wanting a laugh!

          Prologue:
          Scott asked me to sum up the various aspects of his life which cause him to be a loser – so I obliged him.
          Please read on!

          Scott “Amway” Johnson in 4 Parts:

          Part I

          Racist and Anti-Semitic Scott:

          Scott is heavily racist and follows David Duke.
          Scott, during a racist tirade said the following:
          “Hey David “jew-boy” Black, are you going to respond, or hide your head in the oven?”-Scott Johnson

          It’s so hard to imagine a Texan like Scott, who is racist, anti-Semitic, pro-incest and a Trump Supporter to boot.
          Source:
          https://dougwead.wordpress.com/2009/03/25/doug-wead-amway-adventure/#comment-2955

          Part II
          Mental Tardo Crybaby Scott Amway:
          Scott can’t handle being teased. When I razzed him one time — about his limited IQ he had a total meltdown. Scott, Baby Huey, went into a whacky dissertation on his Navy experience. Here’s a portion of what he said:
          “I’m a petty officer. Do you have an Electrical Engineering degree, have you qualified as ATM, BDSM, SPH, CIM, PAN, EOOW, EDO, or DTF on a nuclear powered US Navy -ship? I have more military grade acronyms then you have, so LOL”.

          Scott actually was in the Navy.
          Impressive Naval credentials for a tardo. I had no idea Scott was certified in ‘ATM’. Pretty cool!

          Source:

          https://frankreport.com/2019/12/13/scott-johnson-explains-whats-wrong-with-amway/

          Part III
          Perverted Scott Johnson

          Two years ago, Scott, anonymously, wrote a lampoon article with a touch of nonfiction for the Frank Report. The article was about a stalker and his man seed here are some passages from the article:
          “I the Mathematician [Scott] will compute the devotion Sultan has for Kristin Kreuk” in a experiment.
          I [Scott] possess first hand data [ejaculate]
          “Each ejaculation contains about 1 tbsp of semen contains 12 calories. A tablespoon of low jizz, every spank. So 32 Tbsp of Jizz equals 2 cups of [redacted]a week.

          Disgusting stuff for sure — oddly
          Scott later admitted – that he had measured his own reproductive abilities and copied the stats over.
          Source:
          Mathematician computes devotion Sultan has for Kristin Kreuk – Frank Report

          IV Scott Video Game Dork:
          This is the part of the Johnson story where Frank says, “WTF?!?”, to himself. That’s right Frank – Scotty plays World of Warcraft. A video game designed for people with no friends or life.
          This is the most shocking REVELATION in regards to Scott. At this very moment somewhere Frank is thinking “Scott’s ten times the loser NiceGuy is….”-Frank

          LMAO @ the Amway Cowboy!

          ….And so is Frank!

          ****
          BONUS:
          First Nice Guy versus Scott Johnson showdown! Plus other readers attack Scott. Go to the comment section here:

          December 18, 2019 at 11:32 am
          ***

          This has been my Scott Johnson send-off. I hope Scott enjoys reading it as I enjoyed writing it. I miss the banter and snarky insults.

          Take care & FU Scott!!!!

  • “This [Walmart/Target] pricing structure is coupled with other protocols designed to benefit the corporation at the expense of the consumer.”

    Yes, Keith, it’s called capitalism.

    “…in a mere two years. I became a millionaire at the age of 30.”

    What particular “protocols” did you use to do that? Not paying the people you got working for you?

    “Consumers’ Buyline ruffled feathers….In response, several government agencies conducted investigations.”

    The feathers ruffles were in response to potential breaches of tax, employment and company law.

    “However, no court has ever found that the company engaged in fraudulent conduct.”

    Likewise, the Mexican banditos in your imported snuff movie were likely not charged with, or convicted of, torture, kidnap and murder either. But they sure as hell were guilty of it.

    “Consumers’ Buyline agreed to pay the Attorney General the modest fine of $40,000”

    What was that for then if you did no wrong??

  • Meh. I was living in vancouver when this price club was being pitched. Didn’t have much need for a microwave or a vacation or anything else on offer back then. Sorry, Keith. For those who weren’t there, magnetic bracelets were also pretty popular at the time. Boring old MLM and tons of shady tactics that make you wanna buy.

    • Okay, wait, I take that back. What actually happened was that I was stopped in the street by someone asking if I had heard of (what I think was) consumers buy line. I said no, what’s that? And it was described to me as a price club for vacations and microwaves. It was a really long time ago. So, maybe I’m wrong.

  • Are the numbers Raniete quotes accurate? Or was he a self proclaimed millionaire at 30?

    In terms of owing $40,000 I don’t trust Raniere but don’t trust the government. It’s unclear how there was no fraud but Raniere happened to hand over $40,000? How was this number arrived at?

Frank Parlato

About the Author

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 to expose and 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 prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, 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, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Frank_Parlato,_Jr.

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com

Archives