Branding that Keith Reniere would cauterize on all of his “slaves”. Source: Courthouse News Service.

It Took 20 Years to Sentence Keith Allen Reniere to 120 Years in Prison

From homicide, to motivational speaking, cult-leading, sociopathy, child sex trafficking, and outright branding in the name of slavery

Has the world ever heard of Keith Allen Reniere? Because everybody from the Dalai Lama to several executives seem to know who he is.

When I think of the self-help gurus or motivational speakers of the world, I think of Keith. His prominence began when I was a child, and his name popped up in articles I would read growing up. Everything from the Forbes article in 2003 to the New York Times story in 2017 told me about a singular truth in that industry: Nobody knows how full of shit you might be.

In fact, when it comes to gurus, nobody really knows anything about their craft or whether it truly helps you. The theme of the industry is necessarily cauterized to the secrecy of the gurus within it. They’re like illusionists, except where not only the illusion is fake but the illusionist is a cult-leader who has the capacity to kill you whenever he wants.

“I attended a course called Executive Success Programs … based out of Anchorage, AK, and Albany, NY. I was brainwashed and my emotional center of the brain was killed/turned off. I still have feeling in my external skin, but my internal organs are rotting… I am sorry life, I didn’t know I was already dead. May we persist into the future… No need to search for my body.”

This was a note found in Kristin Marie Snyder’s car, approximately 120 miles out from Seward, Alaska. The car was found on February 8, 2003. She was last seen on February 6, 2003, leaving an NXIVM seminar. NXIVM was the self-development company Raniere had founded. To this day, Snyder’s body hasn’t been found.

Snyder’s sister said in an interview that about a month before her disappearance that her demeanor had changed.

“She was out of it, and I mean out of it. Screaming and crying whereas she was always level-headed. Never anything out of the ordinary.” Her sister Kim said.

I wish I could say that this was the only singular occurrence for those in Raniere’s inner circle. But Raniere was an evolved and ever-more-demented version of Jeffrey Epstein.

As a 24-year-old, he was sexually involved with 15-year-olds. He took a bogus, made-up, purely fabricated test without any supervision or validation and the Guinness Book of World Records named him the highest-scoring member of an “exclusive ultrahigh IQ society”. Marketing fraud for the purpose of gaining power didn’t end there.

The building blocks of high-level manipulation was just beginning.

Raniere’s co-founder, Nancy Salzman, recruited members from rich families such as the Bronfmans. Sara and Clare Bronfman had gotten involved with NXIVM seminars. The following year, Sara and Clare’s father Edgar Bronfman had remarked on the cult-like nature of Raniere and his associated businesses. In that Forbes article, what most people saw as a multi-level marketing company Bronfman saw as a pyramid scheme.

But while Edgar Bronfman was attempting to reveal Raniere’s true nature, his daughters were reeled into Raniere’s teachings. By the mid-2000s, Raniere had lost over $70 million in commodities trading. The Bronfman sisters covered the losses — covering nearly $150 million using their own funds as an illustration of respect toward Raniere.

Raniere learned that Daniela, a member of his “inner circle”, kissed another man. He ordered her to be locked in a room with only a mattress and cameras. She was held there for almost two years.

Raniere has tried to lure his critics out to Mexico to be arrested on fabricated charges where he had bribed law enforcement and the federal judges.

It leaves room for further inquiry: How many people has Keith Raniere killed over the years? While there is speculation for homicide, Keith was not found guilty of murder on October 27, 2020. In fact, he was not charged on murder, either. Gina Hutchinson, a woman Raniere was involved with, was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head. That was ruled a suicide. Kristin Snyder disappeared. Girlfriends Barbara Jeske and Pam Cafritz both died of cancer. Kristin Keeffe survived cervical cancer.

According to a documentary in 2019, a woman who lived with Raniere developed bladder cancer. She submitted a hair sample which revealed evidence for dangerous levels of bismuth and barium.

The self-help world is an unregulated cesspool that is disguising itself as an oasis to recalibrate your life and reimagine your inner-power. Whether it’s being read on any medium, whether that’s the internet, some article, an independent guru’s website, or what-have-you, you’re reading something that is ultimately unfounded and ungrounded. The problem with self-help in general is that those who gravitate toward it are usually those who are vulnerable. In the same way religion and politics play on those who are hurting, self-help gurus prey on those who are suffering in real-time.

It was on June 5, 2017, that Frank Parlato reported that members of a secret sorority called DOS were cauterized with Raniere’s initials. In a New York Times story, it was further detailed that the women needed to provide damaging information about themselves or nude photos. A private recording with DOS slaves had Raniere acknowledging the connection:

“the [branded] monogram as it is right now is very directly related to my initials.”

In that element, you are most susceptible to the power of suggestion. When things are all going wrong, and you’re at rock bottom, anything is better. To anybody looking from the outside, it’s obvious. But to the pains of those who sought Raniere, it wasn’t. Raniere actively recruited those who were damaged and looking for answers. In many ways, Nancy Salzman was his Ghislaine Maxwell. He had someone to actively hunt his prey for him.

For over 20 years, he was free to actively hunt without fear he would be caught. Understanding that sex-trafficking, bribery, slavery

UC Berkeley, mathematics. Los Angeles. Long-time runner. Top writer on Quora, 100M+ total content views. New to Medium. Inquiries: Moumj@berkeley.edu

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