Alex Trudel: Kristin Keeffe was “the Rat” who helped expose Keith Raniere

Editors’ note: It is the policy of the Frank Report to publish views from various contributors. This does not mean Frank Report endorses these views. In this guest view, Alex Trudel advances a theory, propounded by Heidi Hutchinson, that Kristin Keeffe is the anonymous writer who sent a damning comment to John Tighe’s  Saratoga in Decline in 2010, using the moniker “The Rat.”]

By Alex Trudel

After the comment made by Heidi on the post “Guest View: We should consider the Rat as being possible two persons”, I’m now almost 100% sure that the Rat was Kristin Keeffe, whether directly or by using someone else to reveal the things written in John Tigue’s Saragota in Decline blog.

The Rat wrote facts that only a few inside Raniere’s harem could have known in 2010 : Pam, Barbara (not sure), Kristin, Karen.

Even with the rare things we know about Kristin Keeffe, everything points out that she was the Rat.

In an email sent to some NXIVM’s attorneys in 2015, Keeffe wrote: “In the 24 years I have known Keith, 11 of which I lived with him (…)”.  She knew Raniere since 1990 or 1991, she was then present since the beginning of CBL (1990).

Even if no prosecutable criminal acts were committed, The Rat shows lot of remorse and guilt over the suicide of Gina Hutchinson (Keeffe’s closest friend for years) and Kristin Snyder, even saying that she “put the idea in their heads”. We know that some people who took ESP classes had serious mental health issues just after. Snyder had a psychotic reaction after Raniere tried to overcome her sexual orientation (having sex with her?).

Remorse and guilt can be seen in all Keeffe’s public actions after she left. Maybe it’s the maternal instinct or something else, but she wanted to help and save the others, although her actions were very limited as she was being in hiding. One year after she has left, she phoned Barbara Bouchey in 2015 and told her a lot about NXIVM’s criminal actions to help her with her defense. She didn’t have to, but came forward and revealed things so disturbing that they are probably under investigation today.

The same can be said about the letter she wrote to the attorneys in 2015. She said she had to try to protect Clare, Sara and others victims of Raniere’s manipulations and abuses.

She wrote to the attorneys: “I am sorry for my role in playing along with Keith’s crazy conspiracy theories to you both. I had to, to protect myself and my son until I had the resources to escape. Keith began planning his attacks on Bouchey etc. in 2009, and they were small potatoes compared to how he would perceive me, once he knew or even suspected I was his enemy. In the years while I played along, I had to endure the most vile physical abuse by Keith, and attempted psychological abuse and disparagement by his closest sycophants, all directed by Keith. I took the abuse I had to take, and I acted the way I had to act, to keep them all in the dark about what I knew was happening. I had to for the protection of my son. It worked, and now my son and I are free and Keith can’t touch us.”

Again the feeling of guilt. Keeffe explained also very clearly the duplicity she had to adopt for years : she had to play the role of an Raniere’s devotee while inside her heart she was disguised and angry. But obviously she was totally afraid and had to keep silent. I don’t know exactly when she finally saw Raniere’s true evil self and turned against him, but I suspect it was around 2007 with her son’s birth. The Rat message was written in 2010, 3 years after Gealyn’s birth. The Rat’s message’s cries despair and madness. The one who speaks is trapped and has to hide his identity. The Rat’s weird message (with the 3rd point of view) shows trough his enunciation the same duplicity in which Keeffe was kept into.

For 7 years Kristin had to be very prudent and prepared her escape, gaining Kirsopp confidence while watching Raniere’s horrible experimentations on her son. Of course to write the Rat’s message would have been foolish for her in that situation. But it may have been an impulsive and unprepared action made out of anger, drunkenness or whatever. The silence was to hard to bear. Maybe Keeffe was thinking that being Gealyn’s mother would protect her from Raniere’s suspicion? Also she was probably quite good with computer hacking (a NXIVM’s speciality), so she was probably prudent enough not to give any incriminated IP address (but if Kirsoop, got Rat’s identity through the IP address, he may had get some power over Kristin’s panicking mind. Then, some exchanges must have been made between them, a kind of family settlement. They are still so much mysteries into Kirsopp’s relations with NXiVM and Keeffe: maybe one day we will understand more.

This scenario means that for years Raniere was kept in the dark: who between Kristin, Pam or Karen was hiding behind the Rat? That must have made him crazy. In 2014 when Kristin left with Rodger Kirsopp’s help, he finally knew.

All we can wish now it’s that Keeffe is working with the FBI and tell them everything she knows. With Keeffe’s help, maybe one day Gina and Kistin Snyder’s love ones will understand a little bit more about what have happened.

About the author


News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.


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  • I hope Kristin Keefe is working with DOJ on this case.
    They would be far more sunk than any of their lawyers can possible imagine.
    That could be why the prosecutors are holding firm on not giving anything away until 2 weeks before trial. I think they are usually much more lenient with that.

    • Kristin has to be working with the DOJ. The most underrated part of this case.
      Also, a big part of the reason Nancy must know she’s screwed if she doesn’t make a deal.

  • I guess my focus was wine-woozy when I first skimmed this, but, for a moment, I found myself thinking the “Kristin” being referred to was Kreuk—panicking that she was too high profile to leave without incurring KAR’s wrath. But the more I read on the FR the more I think most women would be worried that what they revealed in EMs or encouraged to do for the cult could be used against them if they left and/or spoke out.

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