Peter Longworth has a few questions and comments for DOS slave Leah Mottishaw.
Mottishaw has a provocative argument. She says DOS slaves had no reason to be upset by the surprising fact that the brand on their groins was not, as they were told by their masters, a symbol of the four elements, but actually Keith Raniere’s initials.
She says they signed up for mystery and obedience.
The DOS brand was described as a symbol of the four elements. When turned 90 degrees counterclockwise, one can make out the initials of a man who embodies all four elements and all 10 dimensions.
Here are Longworth’s questions, etc.
By Peter Longworth
Leah, your account raises some interesting issues, but I have a few questions for you, as well as some comments on the points you make.
MK10ART’s painting of DOS Slave Leah Mottishaw
“What if the brand had been a swastika?”
That’s a good question, Leah. Did you not think about that at the time?
Leah: I was focused on how special and meaningful it would be to have a secret, shared brand with other women committed to making themselves better, stronger, and wiser.”
But in hindsight, do you think it made you something different – a slave?
Leah: This leads to the question: should women be free to make decisions about their own bodies, even if others view the decision as wrong?”
Of course they should, but don’t you think the women should have been told the brand was Keith’s initials, and also where it was to be placed, to give fully informed consent?
Do you think it is possible that some women were acting under duress because of the collateral they had already given?
Why do you think Keith Raniere and his First Line Masters (FLMs) did not inform the women about these things? Do you think it was right for the FLMs not to tell their recruits about the Grand Master, and if so, why?
Keith Raniere instructed his First Line not to tell their slaves that he was the leader of the sorority.
Those are the outstanding questions, but I also have a few comments:
“You can judge the sorority women’s choice to accept the brand however you like. You can even sympathize with any woman who regrets making the choice to get the brand.”
Firstly, Leah, it can’t have been a ‘sorority’ when it had a Grand Master (who was a pedo psychopath by the way).
Secondly, because of the collateral, the choice she made was like Sophie’s in the eponymous movie, i.e. it was made under extreme duress.
Saying they had the right to the consequence of the brand is like saying a Holocaust survivor had the right to the number tattooed on their arm.
“I believe they included the initials without any intent to harm or offend”.
I believe you, Leah. And I also believe that people in a given context can act in a way that they normally wouldn’t. People can use racist language without meaning to. The point is, that doesn’t mean it was the right thing to do.
“The brand was never crafted to be scrutinized by society.”
Come on, Leah.
Did they really think DOS would go on forever and no one would ever twig?
In hindsight, would you not agree that’s just more than a little delusional?
I’ve seen the brand with and without the highlighting, and it’s pretty damn obvious what the letters are, whichever way you turn it. After the media got hold of it, there would be no more sexy bikinis on the beach, that’s for sure.
“Even if she didn’t, it was still my choice to join, with the understanding there were things I didn’t know.”
The innocence of youth.
What if the group had turned out to be a pedo-grooming gang (not too far off the mark), or engaged in some other nefarious activity (right on the mark)?
Did you not get just a little suspicious, or was the mystery of not knowing some kind of pull?
The point I’m trying to make is if you understood there were things you didn’t know, your consent to joining would therefore be diminished to that extent.
MK10ART’s painting of Leah…
“The fact that I never asked or was told about the brand’s design or what it symbolized doesn’t change the beauty of what it personally symbolizes for me – a physical symbol of a commitment to a sisterhood of strong women seeking to better themselves and the world.”
We’ve already covered the ‘sisterhood’ misnomer.
It’s perfectly OK for you to see the ‘beauty’ in it. That’s always in the eye of the beholder. And people should be free to put whatever designs they like on their bodies, unless they’re intended to incite hatred or give offense.
And yet what it has come to represent in the public consciousness is abuse, subjugation, sexual exploitation, slavery, torture and rape, and the reason for that is Keith Alan Raniere.
And if you’re happy with that, well I guess that’s just dandy.
Yes, Nicki Clyne has expounded the same lame theory about sexism concerning the brand.
MK10ART’s portrait of Nicki Clyne
All I can say is that if I knew about a bunch of guys getting brands next to their dicks, personally I’d think they were fucking nuts (no pun intended). I’m talking about the guys, not the brand!.
That’s just the point: It’s absurd to imagine a woman owning men, because they generally don’t. Exploitative cult leaders tend to be men for one simple reason: a cocktail of testosterone and the four elements, and you’re right about them being part of the brand, but for the wrong reason:
I’m not talking about earth, fire, air and water. The four elements of Keith Raniere were Psychopathy, Narcissism, Machiavellianism and Sadism, and those elements all inspired the idea for the brand:
He had no feelings whatsoever for anyone, and was entirely driven by his own self-interest, whatever the consequences for others.
He loved only himself and therefore had to have others, particularly women, worship him (look at his online CV, even Suneel thought that was over the top!) HIS initials on HIS women
He did things his way in complete contempt of civilized convention and the law of the land. Branding women like cattle, what a novel idea!
Nothing like watching a real life branding or bare-arse paddling video on a Saturday night in the Studies room.
No, Leah, men are not entitled to do stupid shit.
Getting branded with a symbol when you don’t even know what it stands for is completely insane behavior in my book.
Forget history, think now: Women are in all ways equal to men, and in some important ways superior. Sometimes men feel threatened by that, particularly in the modern age, when it’s not all about macho brawn, but more about patience and sitting down calmly to work things out.
That’s what men like Raniere are really afraid of – they feel so threatened because they realize they’re not only inferior to women, but they’re inferior to most men too. Think about it. I’m sorry to have to say it, but that’s about as meaningful as the DOS brand gets.
Sorry to burst your bubble, Leah, but the initials thing was Keith’s idea from the start.
I know it’s perhaps one of the most painful things to do, but sometimes in life you have to sit back and reflect honestly to yourself, however painful that sometimes can be, and ask yourself the honest question:
Did I really fuck up back then?
Don’t be afraid of the answer you get back. It may be the hardest thing in the world to say sorry, but you’ll come to realize later in life it’s the best thing you ever did.