Raniere Had No Friends Just Sycophants, Worshipers, and Blackmailed Slaves

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.

By Suzanna 

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.

FRP comment:

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


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  • To Nicki Clyne, Allison Mack and Lauren Salzman:

    A new music video to remind you of the good old days in Puerto Vallarta fellating your Vanguard.
    Cosmic Gate: Puerto Vallarta Sunset Set

  • When you summarize his actions and how he treated his loyalists it’s clear what a narcissistic psychopath he is.

  • Who recorded the discussions between the front-line slaves and Keith regarding the brand’s design? Is there only one recording or multiple recordings? Did they explain their intentions behind recording their conversations? Is there a full transcript of the recordings?

    I would appreciate it if anybody could provide links to Frank Report articles, other media articles or court documents regarding those recordings and the associated questions. I think those links will serve as an excellent background for this article.

    I was only able to find a single recording on the web. The best audio quality version is the NYT article that I linked below. Sometimes paywall shows up. I also included a direct link to their audio. Soundcloud also has the same audio.

    Frank Report article (linked below) about this recording contains excellent commentaries by Frank and Suzanne.

    I noticed that the first four seconds of the audio in that Frank Report article was blank. Fear not; I will tell you what’s missing. In the NYT version, the first four seconds of the audio starts with Allison saying, “Keith and Allison, Aaah, what’s the date, …”. Those four seconds show that the audio was not secretly recorded. It gives the impression of an audio log that Allison kept.

    One reader stated in the comments section that a second audio was featured in ‘Seduced’ on Starz. I couldn’t find that second audio. I don’t know if even more audio recordings were presented as evidence to court.

    Please reply if you have any information, and let’s create a curated list of web resources regarding these audio recordings that were part of the court trial.

  • Narcissists can’t have friends. Narcissists respect nobody. They do a push and pull of their victims, which keeps them fearful of disappointing the narc so they are kept in place and kept loyal. It’s all fear based. Nope, none of this is friendship or love. Even the person thinking they love Keith. It’s all based on a game, a manipulation.

  • ‘The Vanguard and the Fly’, stuck in the SHU sounds a bit like a Grims Brothers story. Frank you could write the nightmare bed time story and Marie paint the story.
    Before I read this article, I didn’t take into consideration how unfriendly the dead enders are to their Vanguard. They lie for him. Eduardo says Keith never raped anyone. How does that help Keith?

  • It doesn’t fit my definition of friendship either, what Raniere and his minions had.

    But it fit their definition. Friendship as an alliance. For mutual gain. Like business partners might describe themselves as friends. Business rivals even, as they shake hands over a deal that benefits them both. That too is a kind of friendship. That warm fuzzy feeling they get when they each get what they want.

    Mack described Raniere as her friend and mentor. I believe her.

    Thing is, Raniere and his inner circle were a lot alike. They’re all assholes. They were all getting what they wanted. They knew what kind of man he was; they had to have known, most of them were intimate with him. They knew what kind of person he was and they liked it. Because they’re so much the same. Thick as thieves.

    They admired him because he was IN CHARGE. that’s what they wanted for themselves. Power. That’s why they were such eager slave masters. That’s why they took his advice, emulated him. That’s why they sucked his cock, literally as well as figuratively.

    They were more than just friends with Raniere, they loved him and admired him.
    Some of them still do.

    • I think they also wanted him to do their thinking for them, to make their decisions, to take responsibility for them. He was lazy, and so were they.

      • Mr. Parlato,

        Imho this is one of the best & most insightful comments from you, regarding the followers, Keith and their dynamic.

        Thank you!

        • Thank you. Their dependence on him was the secret ingredient that made them coparceners in their victimization. Be dependent, be a victim.

      • Frank,

        In your opinion, what did Clare Bronfman get out of the entire scheme?

        The Frank Report article that summarizes TNT’s The Heiress and the Sex Cult shows her wanting to be in charge and boss people around. That article does not associate her with sex-cult-related activities before or after DOS.

        Currently, it looks like she purchased the wrong company as an investor. She kept investing money and did not get a financial return. She looks like a CEO who did not see the sex-related activities going under the company’s roof. And those sex-related activities brought the company’s downfall. At least, that is the picture painted so far.

        She could have just bought another company and bossed people around there. Or she could have started her own company. Why did she want to be in this specific company? What other perks did she enjoy at NXVIM, that would never be available at another company?

        Or is it really as simple as investing in the wrong company?

        • I know I know nothing, but after asking myself about her(Clare), I wonder if he didn’t blow hot air up her sweatpants by professing love, making promises of a baby, or something to that effect to her. She just strikes me as the “ugly duckling ” sister (and that isn’t cuz she’s ugly. But she’s the quieter, more bookish of the sisters). Maybe she was really in love with him? Who knows what he may have promised her…

        • I’ll enter my opinions:
          She paid for Keith’s friendship. $10 million per year for Keith to pay attention to her.

          It wasn’t about bossing people around. It was about POWER and DOMINANCE AND ABUSE.

          Clare is a sick, twisted person.

    • Aristotle-

      This is one time you hit the nail on the head. I’d say more but I don’t want to make you get an inflated head or inflate anything else.

      When you’re right you’re right, as long as I agree.

    • I’m not so sure they wanted power. They were, and some still are, obsessed with his being. To them he was their Vanguard, their leader, their prophet, a man with mystical powers and eternal truths who was going to change the planet. They were merely his devoted acolytes who were there to serve him and do his bidding. Like a nest of worker insects they sacrificed their individuality in the service of the cause. It’s not so surprising that we share a third of our DNA with ants.

      They say that people are either leaders or followers. While that is sometimes the case, it does not preclude people switching between those roles in the myriad complexities of daily life. What makes cults so unusual is that members imbue their leaders with such infallability that they lose their ability to critically evaluate them or hold them to account. No one should be beyond reproach. When you place someone on a pedestal, you not only do them a disservice, more importantly you do yourself one.

      Unfortunately, it is often the narcissists who end up being venerated. It is almost as if their narcissism attracts the sycophants whose opposite nature is to find a narcissist to pay homage to. Fundamentally such devotion is authoritarian and undemocratic; it’s no coincidence that the world’s worst dictatorships tend to be led by narcissists. Once in power they’re going to make sure their people toe the line. Obedience is what they want, not debate, and power will never be shared.

      • The DNA of humans matches that of bananas by 50 percent. Humans are genetically more closely related to bananas than to ants.Do humans want bananas as leaders? What idiotic theories you come up with. Start thinking.

  • I love Lauren was protecting Keith and… Keith was protecting Keith (as he hid in the closet). It’s unreal. Reflective article, and agree with Suzanna’s assessment.

    While Keith is reprehensible, I still think the Shu is inhumane. And he’s been there for many months. He’s not a murderer and even if he were, to inflict psychological torture on any human being, willfully and over time, is a crime in itself. Our government is frightening.

    • What is inhumane is this human piece of garbage’s criminal behaviour. The SHU pales in comparison to the inhumanity he perpetrated on people for decades. Get a grip on reality.

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.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

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

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