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Shock & Awe: Why The Prosecution Will Win The Trial

“Shock & Awe” is a military tactic that involves the use of overwhelming power – and spectacular displays of force – to paralyze the enemy’s perception of the battlefield and destroy its will to fight.

Its technical name in military jargon is “rapid dominance”.

Regardless of what it’s called, it’s likely going to be the prosecution’s basic tactic in the upcoming trial of the remaining defendants in the case of the U.S. v. Raniere Et Al.

As of right now, the remaining defendants are Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman, and Kathy Russell – but many believe that Russell will take a plea deal within the next few days.

Jury selection for the trial will begin on Monday, April 22nd – and will likely be completed by mid-week.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis will preside over the trial of Keith Raniere et al.

The trial itself, which will start on Tuesday, May 7th, will begin with an “Opening Statement” by the prosecution.

That will likely be followed by an “Opening Statement” by one attorney for each defendant (The defense attorneys do have the option to delay their “Opening Statement” until after the prosecution has finished the presentation of what’s called its “Case-in-Chief”).

Moira Kim Penza is expected to be the lead prosecutor for the DOJ in the case.

So, let’s just imagine that we’re members of the jury – and try to think how we’re going to feel after we hear – and see – evidence of some or all of the following crimes and events:

(1) That Raniere made all sorts of bogus claims about his intelligence, his athletic abilities, his musical talents, etc. – almost none of which were true. Some examples of these claims are as follows:

Keith Raniere in this rare photo on the volleyball court.

– He could construct full sentences – and ask questions – by the age of 1.
– He was able to read by the age of 2
– He was East Coast Judo Champion at age 11.
– He tied the New York State record for the 100-yard dash
– He excelled in numerous other sports including cycling, diving, ping-pong, skiing, softball, skiing, and tennis.
– He taught himself to play piano at the concert level by the age of 12.
– He taught himself high school mathematics in 19-hours at the age of 12.
– He was proficient in third-year college mathematics – and was a professional computer programmer – by age 13.
– He entered Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at age 16 – and excelled as a student (His actual GPA was 2.26).

(2) That Raniere’s first business venture, Consumer’s Buyline, Inc. (CBI), was forced to close after investigations by 23 State Attorneys General and 2 federal agencies concluded that it was a pyramid scheme.

(3) That Raniere reneged on numerous financial obligations related to CBI – including his agreement to pay $40,000 to the State of New York.

(4) That Raniere has claimed to be a renunciate since the collapse of CBI – and has not reported any income – nor filed any tax returns – in more than 20 years.

(5) That NXIVM was structured – and operated – the same way that CBI was structured and operated.

(6) That Raniere stole much of what he called NXIVM’s “technology” from Scientology and the writings of Ayn Rand.

(7) That NXIVM claimed its “technology” was “patent pending” even after its patent application had been formally denied in 2003.

(8) That NXIVM spent 14-years suing Rick Ross, a cult de-programmer who published some of its “technology” in an effort to show that NXIVM was, in fact, a cult.

(9) That Raniere lost $68,827,000 of other people’s money in commodities trades that were based on a “patent-pending algorithm” that he had developed – and then blamed those losses on (a) Edgar Bronfman, Sr.; (b) the commodities broker who placed Raniere’s orders; and (c) the people’s inappropriate attachment to money.

(10) That Raniere lost more than $26 million of other people’s money [Bronfman sisters] on a real estate venture in Los Angeles, CA – and then blamed the losses on the developer who was carrying out Raniere’s directives.

(11) That Raniere preached that sex with underage girls was “normal” – and, in fact, engaged in sexual relations with girls as young as 12.

(12) That Raniere possessed pornographic images of a 15-year old girl.

The police report. Note that the victim said she had “sexual intercourse with a man named Keith Raniere. This occurred when I was approximately 12-13 years old and occurred either at Keith’s townhouse at 3 Flintlock Lanes, Clifton NY or his business located at Rome Plaza Clifton Park, NY”

(13) That Raniere was once named in a rape complaint.

(14) That Raniere preached that women are inferior to men, that men are naturally inclined to have multiple sexual partners while women are meant to be monogamous, and that women who had been sexually assaulted are likely to blame for what happened to them.

(15) That Raniere preached that rape is the only way certain women could have an orgasm.

(16) That Raniere maintained a harem of 20-30 members – and routinely replaced older members with younger women.

(17) That Raniere had several women recruit – and groom – new sexual partners for him on a regular basis.

(18) That Raniere required women in his harem to maintain diets of 500-800 calories per day.

(19) That Raniere required women in his harem to never again have sexual relations with any other man.

(20) That Raniere required women in his harem to never trim their pubic areas.

(21) That Raniere required women in his harem to pose for multiple nude photos in certain positions that he found appealing.

(22) That Raniere designed treatment plans for two members of his harem who had been diagnosed with cancer – and both of them died prematurely. After their deaths, Raniere continued to collect checks that had been issued in one of their names – and to use an American Express card of the other deceased woman.

(23) That Raniere created a secret organization named Dominos Obsequious Sororium (DOS) – which loosely translates to “Master Over The Slave Women”.

(24) That members of DOS were required to turn over “collateral” that would be released if they ever left the organization or revealed its existence to anyone (Examples of this “collateral” include very graphic nude photographs, embarrassing admissions, and deeds to property).

Jurors will learn a lot about Keith Alan Raniere during the 6-8weeks of trial.

(25) That members of DOS were required to be a slave to their designated Master – and then directed to recruit their own slaves.

(26) That members of DOS were required to have Raniere’s initials branded onto their pubic area via a cauterizing pen (The branding process took 20-30 minutes and was done without any sort of local anesthetic).

(27) That members of DOS were required to recruit other women to be Raniere’s “fuck toys”.

(28) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to commit identity theft by hacking into the computers of non-members and stealing passwords and other personal information.

(29) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to file false criminal charges against people who left NXIVM.

(30) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to alter company records for use in a lawsuit.

(31) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to participate in illegal schemes to disguise donations from the company y to elected officials and candidates for office.

(32) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to bring undeclared cash in from Mexico so that the company would not have to report it as income.

(33) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to engage in various illegal activities in order to bring non-citizens into the U.S.

Allison Mack and Nicki Clyne, both members of DOS. They might be married.
Allison Mack and Nicki Clyne were married. The DOJ alleges it was a “sham” marriage – even before Allison Mack pleaded guilty. This suggests Nicki Clyne is cooperating with the DOJ and told prosecutors that their marriage was a sham.

(34) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to enter into “sham marriages” with non-citizens so that the non-citizens could remain in the U.S.

(35) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to force a young woman to be restrained in a room for more than 18 months because she developed romantic feelings towards another man – and refused to become a member of his harem.

Kristin Kreul, Nicki Clyne, and Allison Mack appear on stage at an a Cappella innovations concert. Note Keith Raniere’s name on the banner behind them.

(36) That NXIVM created numerous affiliated companies in order to generate more income – but never filed tax returns for any of these companies. This included, but is not limited to, the following companies:
– A Cappella Innovations
– Applied Principles Inc
– Axiology Inc
– Coalition Of Ethicists
– Ethical Humanitarian Foundation
– Ethical Science Foundation
– Ethical Value Exchange LLC
– Etholutions
– Executive Success Program
– EXO-ESO
– General Service Payments
– JNESS
– Knife Of Aristotle
– My Images INC
– Nxian Corporation
– NXIVM Corporation
– NXIVM Properties LLC
– One Asian LLC
– Principled Products
– Rainbow Cultural Gardens LLC
– Rational Inquiry
– Society Of Protectors
– The Knife
– VWEEK
– Village Hall LLC
– World Ethical Consortium

(37) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to recruit people to work for the company by offering them lucrative positions – and to then inform them, after the fact, that they were not being paid everything they were owed because they had “issues” that needed to be resolved before that would be done.

(38) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to illegally gather personal information – e.g., bank records, credit card records, medical records, etc. – about his perceived enemies.

(39) That Raniere directed members of NXIVM to illegally gather personal information – e.g., bank records, credit card records, medical records, etc. – about various federal judges who were presiding over cases involving the company.

(40) That Raniere created an unlicensed daycare operation that employed non-citizens as “nannies” – and required them to “kickback” part of their earnings to the company (Their visas required them to earn at least $20/hour but the daycare operation required them to pay back half of what they earned to the company).

*****

At the outset of the trial, jurors will be instructed to withhold making any final judgment on the guilt or innocence of the defendants until both the prosecution and the defense have presented their evidence.

Unfortunately for Raniere and his co-defendants – jurors are human beings and not machines.

After the lead prosecutor, Moira Kim Penza, rises from her chair – and announces “The prosecution rests” – the judge will likely call for a recess before the defense attorneys begin their presentation.

During that interval will be a time when the “Shock & Awe” of the prosecution’s presentation will likely cause Keith Raniere to foolishly decide that he has to take the stand because he is the only person who is smart enough to rebut all the evidence against him.

At least that’s what I’m hoping and praying for…

 

Keith Raniere – will he testify at his trial?

 

About the author

Artvoice

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

62 Comments

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    • I’m with you Snorlax. Popcorn will be ready. And an ice cold Coke. I would give just about anything to have this thing televised like the OJ case was.

    • Unfortunately we’re going to have to hear it all second hand. Watching the prosecution tear Keith to shreds would be priceless.

  • I’d just note for clarity that Raniere and NXIVM’s “tech” took about equally from both Scientology and NLP/hypnosis (one or the other often seem to get left off), along with other sources including est/Landmark and MLMs – and that the philosophy was strongly influenced by Ayn Rand.

    Using the military analogy, I think the outcome may, however, come down to asymmetrical warfare on the part of Bronfman in particular. That may take the form of everything from jury tampering, to appeals on any and every grounds possible. While the prosecution may wage an overwhelming conventional campaign, and even secure a traditional initial victory, it’s possible that a dogged and resourceful asymmetrical campaign will ultimately lead to strategic victory for Bronfman, whether it is something like the overturn of a conviction, or a plea deal for little more than house arrest wrung from an exhausted prosecution facing a retrial. Bronfman has the ability to spend so much as to actually stress the AUSA’s resources and budget (neither is unlimited), and possibly force them into a cost-benefit concession, which is a strategy that Scientology has leveraged effectively.

    • Scientology was successful because it threatened to launched multiple lawsuits and threatened to launch many more against the IRS. Bronfman does not have the resources.

      • Scientology did that at a point long ago when they had many more members they could deploy in an effort to file lots of individual suits – which they no longer do. A number of experienced observers with legal and financial backgrounds have stated that they believe that the IRS won’t go back after Scientology, even after egregious violations of the agreement reached originally, because the government calculates that even a likely single case would consume too much resources and time.

        Also, Scientology beat the rap in a criminal case over a death in Florida, including coercing a coroner to overturn the initial cause of death, by spending a reported $30 million, until authorities finally gave up and the case was dismissed. Bronfman has already spent about $10 million, and could almost certainly spend $20 million more to get into Scientology’s league.

        There have been several other cases where observers have concluded that authorities haven’t acted, because they simply can’t match Scientology’s resources and make a case stick all the way through appeals. What deters prosecutors is facing the sort of spending in the $10+ million range (the level of spending Scientology now puts into defending individual civil cases – deterring even big-pocket class action lawyers), and the dragging of out appeals for extended time periods in the range of a decade, that Bronfman is perfectly capable of.

  • This covers Raniere, but the prosecution will also be addressing the primary financial enabler, Bronfman. Without her, Raniere couldn’t have accomplished but a small fraction of what he did. This assumes Russell has plead by this time.

  • And suppose everything is a lie and is easily rebutted. Your asinine characterizations are meaningless. #GoMarcAgnifilo.
    #HeroismLives
    #AllisonWho?
    #RiseOfTheEternalVamguard

    • Suppose gravity works backwards on the trial date. Three defendants have already plead guilty, how easy is it going to be to rebut them? There are other witnesses and lots of seized documentation as well. Good luck.

    • Please, Yolanda, tell us the traits of heroism. Tell us what is good about Keith. I honestly have no idea how you think. Because the facts prove otherwise. What would it take to get you to wake up? Like others are doing?

  • Ironically, Ayn Rand, a proponent of individualism and vehemently opposed to collectivism, created a cult around her own followers. No deviation from Rand’s opinions was tolerated. No reading of opposing viewpoints was allowed. Rand was held up as the greatest human being who ever lived. Objectivist psychotherapy reinforced the hold she exerted. Here is an article:

    https://www.lewrockwell.com/1970/01/murray-n-rothbard/understanding-ayn-randianism/

    • Thanks for that reminder – and the link. The piece does a good job of explaining things in terms of classic cult dynamics.

      There is also another parallel with NXIVM, in that Rand and her inner circle had “open” or polyamorous relationships – though of course it was framed to the guru’s advantage, in allowing her to have relationships with multiple men.

      I wonder if they realized the irony of calling the group “The Collective.”

    • I read further into Rand’s actual “cult,” and was amazed at the extent to which it was indeed a group with most of the classic high control mechanisms, based around a guru – I had no idea. I think it also goes towards explaining why Rand has what could be considered a cultish following in general.

      It also seems to have operated with eerie similarities to the way Raniere ran NXIVM and its inner circle, though high control groups almost inevitably follow the same patterns. But one almost has to wonder if there might have been some actual connection between Raniere’s later upstate group, and Rand’s New York City following, either through an older former member he had contact with, or someone closer to his age who had grown up in the inner circle of that earlier group.

      Oh, and I take it now that members’ reference to it as “The Collective” was intended to be ironic – except that it turned out not to be so much so, with the group taking on many of the same sorts of ideological and social controls as Soviet Russia or Red China, if not economic collectivization. Raniere’s inner circle, on the other hand, ran on a rather blatant basis of sacrificing individual economic advancement, and giving up assets, to forward the collective “mission” – except for a few “firsts among equals” who got to indulge their pursuits and living lavishly.

  • Lock them all up. Keith can start a new sex cult in the slammer. Mack will make for some tasty opportunities behind bars also. These people are pure evil and deserve every bit of the ugly life ahead of them in prison and then in the afterlife.

    • The article that VillageDiane suppplied a link to is excellent!

      The article is a good read if you happen to have some free time.

  • KR Klaviger
    I’m curious if Klaviger is a pen name or legal name? If are a lawyer and what your specialty is? I assume you’re a lawyer in the Albany area who does criminal law but it would be great to have more definitive biographical information.

    • I would like to apologize to everyone I am sure my last comment offended many people.

      Please pardon the alliteration I made in my previous comment. I know that alliteration is offensive to many people. Some cultures are deeply disturbed by alliteration and consider the use of alliteration blasphemous. I promise to never use alliteration again.

      Have a nice day;)!!!!!

      • My previous 2nd comment was to do with alliteration but I was actually rhyming in my first comment. I hope I did not offend anybody with my use of rhyming. Rhyming can be hurtful and is considered hate speech. I am sorry.

  • Lenny Wood: It doesn’t make Keith less guilty. I am pointing out that Ayn Rand, whose ideas Keith freely borrowed from, also created a cult. It sounds like you are implying that I am somehow excusing Keith and his minions?

  • nor filed any tax returns – in more than 20 years……. HEY! Who does he think he is …. michael avenatti !

  • The NYState Attorneys office had much of this information (besides DOS) from several different sources in 2011-2012 and never did a damn thing.

    Think of the damage to human lives that could have been saved if the State of NY would have stepped in and done it’s its job.

    They knew about;
    Cash coming across the Mexican border

    The shell companies

    The pyramid scheme

    No taxes were being paid

    The underage girls

    Large amounts of money being fleeced from students.

    The bait & switch of jobs

    Illegal marriages

    Position earned and taken away by board members to fleece money away that was earned.

    Illegal political campaign contributions

    Illegal cafe within NXIVM training center

    The list goes on of illegal activity the AG office was made aware of. The State of NY did nothing. The DOJ should be investigating this also. 8-9 years past and this monster Raniere and his gang of criminals were allowed freedom to destroy people’s lives.

    Maybe the State of NY should be sued.

  • I don’t want to bring inappropriate topics to the Frank Report but I don’t believe I’ve read BDSM hierarchy applied to NXIVM & DOS. This is why I believe Kathy is a lost cause, though.

    IMO, Kathy is trying to live the Story of O. She’s waiting for René to return to Roissy. If he doesn’t, she’ll serve Sir Stephen or wait forever for another master.

    She grosses me out because she’s playing a sex game in public. I do not buy her being a fragile butterfly at all. I don’t want her unmonitored.

    All she has in life is being head submissive for the NXIVM “masters.” But in the lifestyle, she has prestige & authority- a coveted position for submissive minded people. She gets to tatty tale on those below her, be the paradigm of exemplary behavior and it keeps her valuable to those in charge… giving her a purpose and a “home.” Kathy wants to keep the thrill alive & the party going. Bet she truly enjoyed cleaning the hot tub at the “library.” Bet when they humiliate her, it’s actually positively reinforcing her perceived value & strengthening her desire to belong.

    I don’t want her in my neighborhood viewed as a lowly victim. I want proof she’s left “sub space” before she’s ROR. Kool-Aid Kathy aka Squeaky the Ballerina is likely Keith’s deadly weapon. She’s physically strong and unremarkable, brainwashed, trustworthy and determined. Women her age are virtually invisible. We still don’t fully know what they were up to.

    Bet Keith loved Story of O. Bet Allison loved 50 Shades. Bet they talked about these “great works of literature” like Fountainhead as they developed DOS. (In college I was taught to disregard Rand -she was just a cerebral romance novelist)

    Just eww, gross. These people are sick.

    • BDSM has been mentioned as a possible parallel of sorts, from time to time. Someone not long ago brought up financial domination, or FinDom, specifically, in its use of blackmail – through for play.

      I think you have a pretty good take on it. I’m not quite sure Russell is that sort of sub – but then again, she could be, and the model at least goes towards explaining some of her subservience. Which reminds me, besides the apparent cuckolding of males in NXIVM and SOP that has been mocked, as you describe with Kathy, there’s an element of female cuckolding (cuckqueaning) among the women forced to share Raniere – or even finally left just to watch from the sidelines, and clean up.

      I hesitate to bring it up too much because, though it’s not my cup of tea, I respect that serious BDSM people seem to have pretty thoughtfully worked out principles and practices – ethics, even – particularly including strict norms and guidelines about consent, which the DOS crowd seem to have not even thought of.

    • Girls By Design, fronted by Kristin Kreuk, was described by an alleged former GBD member and now branded DOS slave, as a “feminist approach to BDSM”.

    • Tim, I have been wondering about this for over a year now. Reeking of B.O., Stumpy, Hairy. Effeminate. Square rat feet. Homer Simpson overbite. Short. I can’t wrap my mind around it. Goes to show it’s not looks that attracts women. It’s a slick smooth tongue – giving praise, flitting, manipulating, perception of power. Mostly just lying though. Hook line and sinker. Women by the droves.

  • How can we encourage Keith to take the stand and explain himself? This would be the icing on the cake. Watch him try to manipulate the jurors, deflect wrong doing, blame others, etc etc. Is there anything anyone can do to encourage him to do it? I bet Penza makes him cry.

  • Damn. What a slow week.

    Look how pathetic this blog has become in my absence. 🙂

    Claviger is wrong yet again.

    The judge will NEVER allow the jury to hear claims that Keith lied about:

    1) Being a judo champion at 12
    2) Forming sentences at age 1
    3) Reading at age 2
    4) Breaking the 100 yard dash record

    Nor will the judge EVER allow the jury to hear that:

    5) Keith stole technology from Scientology
    6) Keith lost $68 million dollars trading commodities
    7) Keith sued Rick Ross for years

    Why?

    Because it’s NOT RELEVANT to the CRIMINAL charges which Keith is currently facing. The judge will deny that motion by the prosecutor to introduce such information.

    You’re confusing personality traits with criminal acts.

    This evidence does NOT help to show a ‘pattern’ of criminal activity — since none of those things relate to the CRIMINAL charges which are part of NXIVM’s racketeering conspiracy.

    Guess what else?

    The judge will NEVER allow the jury to hear any claims about Consumers Buyline — since it’s not relevant to NXIVM’s criminal racketeering enterprise. It’s like comparing night and day.

    CBI was charged with a civil complaint, not a criminal complaint — YOU DOUCHEBAG.

    Guess what else?

    The ‘structure’ of CBI does NOT relate to the manner in which criminal activities were structured or carried out at NXIVM.

    Thus, the judge will NEVER allow the jury to hear that stuff — YOU IGNORAMUS.

    Need Proof?

    NXIVM used forced sex, forced labor and sexual blackmail as a common practice of doing business. *That wasn’t true of CBI. Dummy.

    Need more proof?

    NXIVM used computer hacking and immigration fraud to further its criminal racket — whereas CBI did NOT do those things and was never charged with racketeering.

    God you’re fucken dumb.

    The prosecution is merely RUNNING OUT EVERY GROUND BALL (by filing this motion). This motion has no hope of being granted.

    I can’t believe that you actually passed the BAR exam. You’re just too dumb.

    I can only assume that — just like My Cousin Vinny — ‘six times was a charm’ for you too. 🙂

    • Dennis, want to bet Claviger has never been censured and fined by his bar association, like you have?

      And I’d bet Claviger wasn’t using a b.s. “state government committee” as a front for helping drug cartels with illicit weapons trafficking, like you & others apparently were.

      How many people on the Mexico side do you think were shot up, murdered, with those weapons? How many families still suffer as a result?

      Going to keep lying, like how you lied to the Terry family, in their own home?

      Oh wait, I forgot for a minute. YOU DON’T CARE, because you see -everything- “your way,” even when you’re called a liar in the national media.

      According to you, none of it matters..because..you’re the master of self-serving rationalizations and manufactured b.s.!!

      And because you’re backed by THE MAN HIMSELF, now, the Salinas clan!! Viva Mexico Cabrones!!

      What a crooked, corrupt individual you are.

    • LOL You may be right, but my understanding that RICO is a lot more evidence is allowed compared to a “normal” criminal charge. And the rest of you can STFU about this comment being politically incorrect, because some valid points were raised.

    • An HBO documentary would bring needed publicity and help push the State of New York to prosecute the dropped RICO charges and perhaps even prosecute additional individuals…..like the doctors…

      I wonder if the Producers of the documentary wil interview Frank Parlato…..

      Thanks La La Lad for the link.

    • “Noujaim’s interest in the subject began in 2010 when she took NXIVM’s introductory “Executive Success Program” workshop.”

      Hopefully that doesn’t mean that the group will get favorable treatment. The “Wild Wild Country” documentary about the Rajneeshees in Oregon was partly the work of people with old ties to the group, and while exposing a lot, glossed over some of the worst, and failed to interview key insiders turned whistleblowers.

    • “HBO Documentary Films is currently in production on a documentary series exploring the NXIVM sex cult case. The series will follow a range of people who joined the NXIVM self-improvement group and take a “deep, nuanced look at experiences of its members, spotlighting their universal desire for personal growth.”

  • Interesting photo of Keith at the gym. What’s up with the head sweat-band, knee pads and white socks? You’d think by his choice in apparel that he’s one bad ass on the court. In reality, he looks like a goopey blue blob that stepped onto a gymnasium floor for the first time. Such a Cinderella.

    • Where are those who can give us feedback on Keith’s volleyball skills? Speak up! COWARDS!!!
      I’m also curious about Keith’s supposed mastery of ping pong and tennis. Has anyone ever seen his little legs run? If you are holding back information on his skill level in ANY sport, then you are a COWARD!

      • Nutjob,

        LOL

        I Believe like you Nutjob that insulting people is the best way to get them to answer your questions. Scott Johnson is on to something…

        Nutjob thanks for making me laugh. I needed a good laugh today!

  • This may be a dumb question but bear with me, I don’t know anyone in prison – does Keith have access to the internet? Obvs but while in the SHU but in general. Can Keith read FR?

    You can tease me. I just truly don’t know.

  • I dont watch the news. Is there coverage of this trial? Why no in-court footage? Youd think with the #metoo movement, and the fact that some semi famous celebs are involved, something like this would be somewhat heavily publicized. Makes you wonder..

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