don’t be like Keith

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Long ago and far away I wrote about Keith Raniere.

I still check Frank Report regularly, but I really only like to read what Parlato himself has to say (coverage of the trial is better elsewhere) and most of the writers who rose from the level of commenter just do not hold my attention.

It is OK, you don’t have to follow it now. There is plenty on the web for posterity and there will be a lot more. In terms of timing, look the day after he is convicted and there will be a spike. Since with his demise–the leader is always key–NXIVM will sink further into the history of squashed cults, even more people will talk. For those whom the branding did not get their attention, maybe the sentences will. Clare Bronfman is yet to come too.

What is currently going on is everything the feds said made him a monster is coming out. We are privy to more texts, photos, and the like but people are actually saying it. Raniere is a buffoon and a half for sitting there day after day and taking it.

Why would someone do that?

The reason is that he is a superb example of a narcissist. At trial Lauren Saltzman broke down on the stand. The judge called her a broken person and stopped cross-examination. It is a rare move–the defense asked for a mistrial (denied) and it is sure to be brought-up on pointless appeals.

Raniere is also smart and controlling. Those closer to the trial than I have commented that he sends notes to his lawyers dictating the questioning. He tries to make eye contact. Despite his complete downfall he is still trying to stake claim to his powers in the courtroom too.

They are parading all these women to the witness stand to show what a destroyer of lives he is.

He takes it as they still love me. Look how emotionally attached they are. (Send note to attorney.) Listen to how they believed in my mission. (Another note.) They said they would do anything asked. The sex was consensual.

That was written when the trial ended. Soon after the verdicts (very fast and all guilty), I thought about Nancy Salzman. He could not have done it without her, and vice versa. She was the first to accept a plea and did not testify against her long-time boss. She is at the mercy of the judge for sentencing, and she is, when it comes to guilt, second only to Raniere. Bronfman, with her money was perhaps more dangerous, but Saltzman was irreplaceable. The getaway money ($.5 million in laundered cash) was in her house.

If Raniere was vanguard emeritus, Nancy was ceo and daughter Lauren was coo.

Lauren, who married NXIVM’s former chief hacker, was one of the few who made a stable salary. I am not sure when it began, but it was her job and life. Convinced? She was controlled, as they would say in a cult, by both her mother and Raniere.

She managed the confinement of the young, family-less and friendless Mexican woman. When Raniere was arrested in Mexico he was in bed with Lauren. The police busted in and Lauren confronted them, guns and all, while Raniere cowered in the closet.

Her testimony was so damning no one else who confessed had to appear at the trial. “Everything he taught us was this … what men do, what women do,” Salzman said. “And then he didn’t do it — and I did do it.” She is, still today, conflicted. There is much more here and elsewhere.

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