Keith Alan Raniere had more than 100 people submit requests for restitution or statements of how they were his victims to the US government. All of these people, most of them women, at one time, thought he was their teacher, helper, mentor, guide, philosopher and friend. Here is a guest view, which discusses the curious nature of dependent friendship and Raniere.
None of Vanguard’s most devoted followers were, or are currently, true friends to him. They didn’t challenge him. They still don’t.
They did nothing to keep Keith from severely damaging himself or others in their “community.”
Keith was too much of a totalitarian and ego-driven fool to understand the benefit of having at least a few non-yes people around.
People who are truly smart and successful in business and other areas welcome feedback, instead of shutting down constructive criticism or dissent.
I guess you cannot be a blind follower and faithful friend. A slave isn’t a peer. So with no one to check him, Keith ended up in prison.
Ultimately, it is 100% Raniere’s fault. But the dead-enders still can’t see that enabling a person’s downfall isn’t friendship.
The “loyalty” many pride themselves on toward Keith is not only misplaced. It was never loyalty in the first place. It was more of a shared sickness and catering to a selfish little dweeb’s every urge, twisted desire, and base instinct.
That’s not friendship. Or loyalty.
Remember when Lauren Salzman had the epiphany she described in court? That she went into “protect Keith” mode?
MK10ART’s painting of Lauren Salzman
And while Lauren stood facing the guns, Keith hid in the closet. And Lauren concluded she was protecting Keith, and Keith also chose to protect… Keith.
But none of them ever really “protected Keith” because they were never friends. They just encouraged, supported, or allowed Keith to do whatever he wanted, whether dangerous or illegal, or harmful to other people. Without question or reproach.
Imagine in that recording of the front-line slaves and Keith when Vanguard revealed the deceptive design of his initials.
What if instead of oohing, ahhing, and fawning all over Keith, even one of those front-line slave women spoke up and said, “I don’t think it’s a good idea to deceive the women we recruit about the brand”?
“I won’t lie to.my friends about the brand being your initials?”
But it’s probably harder to speak up when you’re sitting naked with seven other women at the feet of your shared boyfriend and slave master. And you’ve forsaken any independent thought, deed, or action.
MK10ART: Master Raniere with some of his Front-Line
Or maybe these slaves were all in on lying, blackmail, and forced sexual contact/sex trafficking of their closest friends?
Maybe the cult’s definition of “friendship” is different from the rest of the world.
But there were so many opportunities for people who truly were a “friend” involved in DOS and other Inner Circle members to speak up and protect their community, themselves, and their precious Vanguard.
Both Drs Brandon Porter and Danielle Roberts could have explained to Raniere that they took an oath, and this kind of medical request would potentially violate that oath.
MK10 ART’s Brandon Porter
So many missed opportunities to protect themselves, each other, and ultimately the person they profess to love and revere above all others, Keith.
That’s what a real friend would do. But then again, they were never really friends.
This marks the end of Suzanna’s erudite comments.
I agree with Suzanna.
When one is financially dependent, or required to obey as a disciple, or on a stripe path in the quest of colored sashes dependent on his approval, or his slave, or grand slave, or required to offer him tribute for all the things he has done, imaginary or real, or required to have sex with him at his sole desire, not yours, and with only him for the rest of your life while he is a harem keeper, and you’re required to not only seduce him, but to require your friends to seduce him, after they branded their groins with his initials unknowingly because he required you to lie to them, and gave him as you did also an abundance of blackmail material so he could destroy every aspect of your life, what true friendship can there be?
Friendship occurs between equals. Raniere had no one he considered his equal, and had no friends as long as he was Vanguard.
But times have changed, and his world – at least externally – has collapsed. We do not dispute his claim that he is unified and therefore all things are the same to his inner joy.
He is the Vanguard who lives in the SHU.
But, he now has a friend to share his joy.
Never before in his life has Raniere ever been so tightly associated with a single friend in tight quarters.
His name is William Anthony ‘Toni’ Fly.
After nearly six months together in the SHU, they have gotten to know each other well.
How many of his loyal ones on the outside would gladly trade places with Fly to be close to their Vanguard? To have unadulterated access 23 hours a day, five hours a week, and 24 hours all weekend.
Ah if only dreams could come true.
Marie White’s Toni Fly and Keith Raniere