Keith Raniere

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Christopher Bathum.  Keith Raniere is similar.

I am fascinated by these people who have no idea and leave nothing but a trail of dead, arrested, or mentally-crippled people behind.  One of the first I noticed is Aaron Hernandez.  He is dead but the persona remains and it is going to be resurrected by someone.  Raniere is a stunning example.

A page a day is a book…

Amazing how the FBI can do good things.


Frank report link.  It is one of those weird ones that you can’t just paste.  He’s on some kind of mission that seems illegitimate but the site is accurate.

Bouchey said ‘He’s gonna be after me the rest of my life and I just have to accept that.’  She added:  ‘unless he is in prison.’

CORRECTION:  It was Toni Natalie who said that:  “I live by the premise that it’s going to come; it’s just when is it going to come,” she said. “Because until he’s dead or in jail, this is what my life is.”  It is difficult to keep the characters straight.

Oh, I’m in a non sequitur, rambunctious mood.  She did get involved, she gave away the $1.7 million, but she was smart enough to walk away.  Once again 20/20 tells the story–it always sounds like hyperbole–in an amazing way and Bouchey finally comes to life.  The characters are complicated.  Anyway, don’t invest money with her; small, individual investment advisors like her are a risky place to invest.


Keith Raniere.  Women are submissive and inferior, he said.  Then he went out and proved it.

He is a con man from early on.  Just like so many of the main characters on American Greed he started early–legal system, Amway, shuttered companies.  He relied on friends and family and he swindled them.  He was a money-losing commodities trader.  It is a combination of money, sex, and power; probably the power is at the top of the pyramid.  He had little or no concern for the victims.

For Raniere nothing is sadder than the story of the 12-year old girl.


It is a story worth following.  The guy is in it up to the top of his 5’7″ head.  Homes are being raided and probably more will come out as they follow the money.

This is like the blog underworld:  people who join or study cults.  I don’t know what this is but it is good:  “Several students have achieved a high enough rank to qualify for a 20% commission on their new recruits.”

There sure are a lot of stories about victimized women.  And there are also a lot of good stories, ones that make you want to think or say, what would I do?  But the thing that grabs me about this one–almost certainly there is more to come–is schadenfreude.  People use the word often in sports writing–taking joy in the loser.

Here is a guy who wasn’t happy being in love, having friends and family, and running a legitimate business.  He is a con (confidence) man who was good enough to know his strengths and what others would fall for.  It worked much better on women than it did on men.  What is unique to each and every page/person is 1) victims and 2) a lack of empathy for them.

Obviously it is circuitous logic:  say you care, reel them in, and prove you don’t care.  It is extremely similar to ripping-off medicaid, perpetrating a stock swindle, or running off with people’s savings.

Again, the characters are sketchy and, aside from following the latest arrest news, I’ll wait for the movie.  Bouchey, Natalie, and Keeffe; during a period of around 1995 to 2005 he went through all three.  There are quite a few other really serious victims–suicide, rape, physical torture.  The numbers, well, I’m sure Mr. Report will add them up.

They’re heinous things, that were done, that contributed to berating these people  And that’s the thing–he could never leave well enough alone.

Now, Frank Report and others have turned the tide completely.  What were once “secrets” are now an internet offensive so pervasive that it is unstoppable.  Exactly the opposite is happening.  It will grow too and you could even say Raneire created another another cult and anther way to heal.  Kick him while he’s down.  The FBI, IRS, and now criminal courts will take care of other things.

Watch.  The Bronfman sisters will learn so freaking fast they’ll leave the “Capital Region” altogether.  Don’t throw good money after bad and especially don’t waste it on a reputation mired in crap.  No one else had any money because Raniere already took it all.  Now the priority is to stay away from fines, lawsuits (as the defendant), and jail.

One of the more bizarre aspects of this case is, many of these people “defected” some 8 or 9 months ago and the Times Union series ran over six years ago.  Most of this was exposed around 2010-2012.  Many lawsuits and depositions also exposed the facts, but nothing happened.  Don’t they have police in New York state?  Homeowners associations, businesses, neighbors–nothing happened.  There were bloggers too, as well as the rather organized group of scorned women.  They were up against well-paid attorneys for sure, but the reporting and exposure seemed more like armchair reporting than street-pounding, action reporting.

Schadenfreude for the victims?  Sadly, there’s a little of that.  Did any of them stop to ask, What is the guarantee, or money back policy, for your courses if I am dissatisfied?  I didn’t see any companies at all among the clients.  Why are you taking executive training courses when you are not an executive anyway?  There is no way you should be paying money to work for that company.

I’ve known a few people briefly on the periphery of “motivational training.”  Broader, more legitimate terms could be “organizational psychology” because to be a personal therapist you should be educated in it, licensed, and supervised in some capacity.  Boulder, Colorado is a real hub.  They all have fancy websites and instant, nationwide networks of experts.  Some serve a purpose and companies and individuals have discretionary budgets…

Raniere’s genius, or criminal culpability if you will, is combining self improvement teaching with Ponzi marketing.  You are paying for nothing with money or work and I/we want you to recruit more people to pay for it.

To the victims I say this.  You wanted to stand up for yourselves and hopefully you have learned to do that.  I don’t think ‘my life is now a reaction to Keith Raniere’ is a great plan either.