By K. R. Claviger
We’ve all heard the term “Born Loser” – and most of us have used it on occasion to describe a person that we held in low regard.
And, for the most part, we all have a common understanding of the type of person we’re talking about when we use that term.
Surprisingly, the standard Merriam Webster dictionary does not include a definition for the term
But the Definitions website defines the term as “A person who is habitually unsuccessful or unlucky or who is prejudged to be a failure in life especially one with a defeatist outlook”.
So, based on that definition, it would be inaccurate to describe Keith Raniere as a Born Loser.
He was not “unsuccessful”. In fact, if you define “success” as having achieved your goals, then Keith has, in fact, been quite successful in life.
He was not “unlucky”. Indeed, most would consider a guy who has a harem of gorgeous women – and access to virtually unlimited money – to be quite lucky.
He was not predetermined to be “a failure in life”. To the contrary, he was born into a fairly well-to-do family, doesn’t have any major deformities (except for the square feet – which are unnoticeable when he has shoes on), went to good schools, and got to do lots of activities when he was growing up (including, of course, judo lessons).
And he certainly never showed any evidence of “having a defeatist outlook”. At least not until he became an inmate at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY (We’ll have an update on that situation later in the week).
He hasn’t worked at a real job in almost 30 years. Yet, by most standards, he’s lived a pretty comfortable life during that time period.
He didn’t live in a McMansion – but he had access to many of them.
He never went hungry – as is evident by his pudgy little body.
He was able to have almost any toy he wanted: a $90,000 grand piano; a “Library” complete with a hot tub and another piano; an annual 10-day long celebration of his birthday; etc.
He was driven everywhere he wanted to go.
He had women who would procure other women for him.
He had hundreds of people who hung on his every word – and teared up when he shared his insights about life.
He had access to private jets whenever he wanted to fly anywhere.
He got to pretend he was an inventor with hundreds – maybe even thousands – of “patent pending” inventions.
He never had to pay a bill, file taxes, or bother with any other of life’s little unpleasant necessities.
But, despite all that he had – and all that he did – Keith is still a “Born Loser”.
Just a different type of one.
In Keith’s case, his undoing is his inability to accept success.
Which means that no matter how much he succeeded, he had to keep pushing until he failed.
When he went to the casino, he had to keep playing until he lost whatever money he brought to the table. Even if he won on a given night, he would have to lose it all the next day or the day after that.
When he started Consumers Buyline, he could have structured it as a legitimate business – and probably been quite successful (It was, in some respects, like a predecessor to Amazon). But that wasn’t enough for Keith – which is why he structured it as an illegal Ponzi scheme.
He could have operated NXIVM/ESP as a legitimate “training program”. But that wasn’t enough — he had to add in all the illegal activities that became part of the NXIVM/ESP crime syndicate.
When he got people to underwrite his interest in the commodities market, he may have been able to share in the profits of those investments. Except he wouldn’t listen to his broker’s advice – and, instead, claimed to have invented some trading formula that would allow him to beat the market. After $70 million of losses, he gave up on that idea — and moved on to real estate development.
When he got the Bronfman sisters to underwrite a $26-million dollar real estate venture in Los Angeles, he could have watched it grow into a very profitable venture. But Keith can’t stand success – which is why he had to blow that project up – fire Frank Parlato and put Jim DelNegro in charge of it.
He had numerous women that were willing to attend to his sexual wants and whims. But that wasn’t enough – which is why he decided to start branding them.
And on and on and on…
A life full of potential successes that Keith turned into abject failures.
The Master at snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
A Born Loser…