Keith Alan Raniere AKA Vanguard on stage at V-Week talking to his mostly female followers.
News NXIVM To export

Actaeon: The Fools Who Follow Are the Muscle Behind the Cult Leader

By Actaeon

Interesting thing about indoctrination.

Why is it that some people are able to see through the nonsense in childhood? I saw through Catholicism at about the same age I stopped believing in ghosts, monsters, and the Easter Bunny.

Couldn’t understand how adults actually believed these fairy tales of Christianity.

“He who can make you believe in absurdities, can make you commit atrocities”- Voltaire.

Image result for sarin gas in the Tokyo subway

Believing this stuff is harmful. At best it rots your brain, at worst it leads to Nxivm. Scratch that, at worst it leads to releasing sarin gas in the Tokyo subway, the shootout in Waco, TX and flying jetliners into the Twin Towers. So, yeah, it’s “easy to shit on cult members”, moreover it’s sometimes necessary to do so, because they’re not just victims. They’re the muscle behind the cult leader. Without them, without the gullible followers, he’s just some lonely loser with a tenuous grasp on reality.

Rainiere is nothing by himself. Zero.

So I puzzle over why people join cults. I’ve read the opinions of some of the experts (most of whom seem self-appointed) and I’ve read some tales told by ex-members. The psychological theorizing seems to lack any real academic rigor, it’s really just supposition. Or tautology. Unhappy childhoods are a dime a dozen, and growing up in a cult doesn’t explain why the cult member doesn’t leave when he reaches the age of reason.

Kids hit a certain age and they rebel. And nobody lives in isolation, not in this day and age. Parents have limited ability to mold their kids, and always have. We’re not the products of our upbringing; if we were, nothing would ever change. Think about it. We don’t listen to our parent’s music, we don’t dress like them. We grow up and become our own persons.

Very few people join cults. What’s wrong with them? Nothing, really. It’s not some kind of psychological pathology. It’s not upbringing: the Nxivm clowns grew up for the most part in prosperous, non-loony families. So what is it? Seems to me the people who joined Nxivm are weak-willed, gullible, and ambitious. They lack simple common sense. They want someone to tell them how to live their lives – how pathetic is that?

They lack what the ancient Romans called virtue: that combination of wisdom, justice, civic responsibility, integrity, and strength that was the ideal of the Republic, and of this nation’s founding fathers. In place of virtue, Nxivm embodied blind ambition, thoughtless selfishness, childish desire for the quick fix and the easy answer, slavish loyalty to their clownish leader.

People who join cults are weak, and lack integrity. They are thoughtless (in both senses of the word).

Being a decent human being isn’t all that hard. Cult members fail that test. Yes, a lot can be blamed on the leaders. But they wouldn’t be cult leaders without cult members. Without the fools who follow them.

Keith Raniere with followers in the heyday of Nxivm. [Photo courtersy Barbara Bouchey].

Who can Keith Raniere blame his legal troubles on?
Keith Raniere speaks to Nancy Salzman, Clare Bronfman and others.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Actaeon,

    Great point, “Rainiere is nothing by himself. Zero.”

    Convential wisdom at its best…..

    ……..”People who join cults are weak, and lack integrity. They are thoughtless (in both senses of the word).”

    Acteon when I use the words “convential wisdom”, I use them with the same meaning that John Kenneth Galbraith did when he coined the phrase “conventional wisdom”.

    I believe Acteon you may be something of a Sophist.

    All human beings are flawed.

    The fact that our dear friend Shadowstate agrees with you , whole heartedly, should be quite sobering.

    • “The fact that our dear friend Shadowstate agrees with you , whole heartedly, should be quite sobering.”

      The fact that you still don’t fully understand that what Allison Mack did is ILLEGAL should be even more sobering.

  • I note an attack on Catholicism and Christisnity right off thr bat but absolutely about the other unnamed religion which has one billion adherents.
    Once again, Frank, why allow this at all.
    It has nothing to do with the trial at all. Just a mouthpiece to damn Christians and also a gross musrepresentation of the process of conversion to an ideology.
    This piece has no place in this blog at all.

  • Some good points as I read on, but don’t lump Christianity or religion into destructive cults. There are a lot of good Christians and other religious people that hold to their values and do a lot of good in this world. A select few among these groups cross over into committing the atrocities you mentioned.

  • I see that the first image in this post has a triangle in the center as if it’s a screenshot from a video- and I’m wondering if anyone knows where I can find any old NXIVM/ESP videos like this to watch? The only video I’ve been able to find on youtube was the Dalai Lama talk in Albany.

  • More Christian bashing from a vacuous atheist blowhard. Funny how the cowardly wonder won’t mention the cult of Islam

    • Islam is fairy tales too. They’ve even got one about the prophet flying to heaven on his winged horse. Seriously.

  • You don’t know that Jesus doesn’t exist. You haven’t proven jack shit, in that regard.

    I believe in Jesus Christ.

    I have taken Jesus into my heart.

    I am saved. I will get admission thru the Pearly Gates.

    My sins are forgiven.

    And believe me, I fucken love to sin.

    It’s so cool cuz I can partake in poontang, swearing and boozing, while still being forgiven.

    Christianity is awesome.

    Fuck yeah. 🙂

    You’re a lonely soul who’s gonna have a pitch fork shoved up your butt by Satan, when Jesus turns you away.

    I hope you get ass cancer too, for your non-belief of the Lord.

  • Mr Parleto,
    When you allow articules or esays like this one, and decide to publish this bullshit, the credibility of your blog going down. In escence you look for justice insulting, abusing, being unresponsible about the content. More than 16000 people took the tools, most of them did with the intent of be better person in ourselves, some go beyond and trying to change the world, help other people, others go futher in a hidden intent or practices. So respect your audience mr parleto, you are selling ads based on them, making business with this gossip or fundamented case

    A former esp member

  • Sounds like Actaeon is lobbying to build his own cult with his “everyone who goes to church on Sunday is stupid and lack virtue, responsibility, and knowledge…but trust me, I am smarter than that” routine.

    So please, everyone who wants to join with Actaeon, who apparently is far more intelligent than everyone else because he doesn’t believe in anything; contact him asap! The world would be a better place if everyone would do Actaeons bidding. I am sure that he is also handsome, and likely has a much bigger penis than all other men too. So he has that going for him.

    Ironically, the more Actaeon writes and reveals his ideas with us; the more he seems to be like Raniere! He tries to gain credibility by making himself superior to most others in his discernment of scientific knowledge over faith. I suspect that he may even be a bit jealous of Raniere. Based on his incessant anger towards Christianity, I wouldn’t be surprised that he may have been molested as a child by a priest, perhaps. I’ve known many people who have left the faith, but they weren’t angry. Your anger and superior moral aggrandizement reveal some deep seated hostility, as I have never seen you post anything without first making critical comments on religion. But not only are they critical, but you always place yourself in the higher moral high ground.

    So Actaeon, please keep writing as we are learning a lot about you! And as we learn about you, we get a little glimpse into the mind of Keith Raniere as you seem to be very similar to him. Raniere doesn’t believe in God, neither does Actaeon. Raniere abided by his own ethical barometer, and evidently so does Actaeon. Raniere was one of the smartest men on Earth, and so is Actaeon per his own admission.

    Perhaps at some level, it will be therapeutic for you! And maybe some people may actually contact you about starting your own cult! Maybe they’ll even allow you to have sex with their little girls (or boys, whichever you prefer). After all, since you are intellectually superior, it is only fitting that the commoners should make offerings to you, right?

  • You’re hilarious, Actaeon!

    Insert any other word for “cult member”:

    “Yes, a lot can be blamed on McDonald’s. But they wouldn’t be McDonald’s without McDonald’s eaters. Without the fools who follow them.”

    And certainly you’re not suggesting that only cult members are “weak-willed, gullible, and ambitious.” Or that only cult members “lack common sense…are weak, and lack integrity.”

    Sure, I was thoughtless. How may I remedy that? Hmmmm? Perhaps by reading about other cults and trying to make sense of my own life? Are parts of the story sad? Yes. But I am getting over it. It takes time and effort to combat the control measures that were imposed or even self-imposed.

    I challenge you about one thing. Do you really see cult “kids hit a certain age and they rebel.” Which ones? Do you see the Duggar children, or any Quiverfull teen dressing differently than their parents or listening to different music? Could “Blanket Training” have anything to do with that? Where are the JW teens acting like regular teens? I don’t see Apostolic young women cutting their hair or wearing pants. I don’t see SDA teens eating bacon or going out on Friday Nights. The La Luz del Mundo teens certainly aren’t acting like normal adolescents. Mormon girls aren’t wearing sleeveless tops or short shorts. Sea Org cadets aren’t out having ice cream with their friends. If they are, they they’re not really “in” the group.

    Why else would the success stories like Rachel Jeff’s or Tara Westover’s be so rare?

  • Are you trying to equate any legitimate religion to a cult? Christianity at no point expects their followers to do any of the grossly criminal and immoral acts that Raniere expected the NXIVM followers to do. Saying that followers of an actual religion are like cult members is deeply offensive and just shows how narrow-minded you actually are.

    • Actaeon obviously has an ax to grind (regarding his views towards religion) and his emotional diatribes reveal the mental state behind his passionate rants. Notice how he has to resort to lots of subjective adjectives in order to make his point(s). Reason and logic are not a large part of these posts. So there’s little point in trying to argue with him about it – people who are clinging to emotion that strongly will convince themselves of anything they need to in order to maintain the beliefs they have about the world (founded or unfounded as they may be), and that includes ignoring any logic that might contradict those beliefs. (It’s interesting how some of the most emotion-driven people are anti-religious ones – not merely non-religious – who like to claim that religion is illogical while using very little logic in their arguments.)

      For anyone who wants to look at why people actually get into cults, and not just blindly accept the raving of someone with such obvious bias, take a look at this article, which I think does an excellent job of explaining why people get into cults (and who):

  • “Rainiere is nothing by himself. Zero.” Absolutely correct . He would not be able even to hold a job or support himself. He consistently ropes others into paying the bills and doing the work. Couldn’t any in NXIVM see that? From the outside, it seems so obvious.

    Or maybe I was especially jaded about the world of MLM “get rich quick with little to no effort”, from which he came.

    • Orange, things got much worse after CBI.
      When Salzman and the Clinton Foundation — I’m confident that’s a fact — AND Ana Fox, President Vicente Fox’s daughter, and the PRI Drug Cartel Elites that followed invaded it was and is, to quote Ayn Rand, “only a matter of time…”

      You’re lucky you didn’t stick around.

      You probably weren’t being brainwashed for sex trafficking to India, or virtually so, or groomed to be “suicided” or “criminalized,” or virtually so.

      Did you notice the Monarch butterflies and flowers amid the pics of a dead body lying in a pool of blood on that alleged Kristin Kruek fan’s home page?

      FANBOYS, listen up PLEASE. Do not go to those sites linked on here. And careful on their Twitter sites. Do not follow Sultan on Twitter not bc he’s Muslim, which he is NOT as FR reported, but bc they want to elicit a response and distract us. So please stop bashing on him. (Why do you think the jury is Muslim?)

      And, btw, Johnson I returned your fire ONLY to protect Frank, FR and myself. But I’ll prolly see a print out of it in conservatorship court next.

      We need a link-tester.

      If this blog makes it past the next holocaust it’ll be a nice “black box” for the psychos left in the tunnel under the WHITE house to amuse themselves with.

      Won’t they be proud of Schlock’s Trumpability then? Mebbe they’ll even hire you on and you can make it to the tunnel with the sociopaths they’ll kill and eat when the food supply runs low.

  • Congratulations on your superior levels of awareness, strength and integrity. Yawn.

  • NXIVM won’t die because Raniere and a few others do some jail time. It will become a much reduced version of itself, kept alive by the few remaining fanatics who will follow Raniere no matter what. The likes of Nickvi Clyne just can’t see beyond the cult, and don’t want to. They think Raniere’s thoughts instead of their own. They see the world through his eyes instead of their own. I don’t think any of them will come to their senses. They will always love their Vanguard.

    • “NXIVM won’t die”

      I fear that you are right.
      And I believe there is the frightening potential for NXIVM to revive and come back stronger than ever.
      If Raniere and his co-defendants are somehow painted as martyrs the cult will not be wiped out.

      • They will make Mexico their new centre of operations, and go underground in the US. I don’t think they expected the Salzmans, Bronfman and Russell to be arrested. That probably sunk any previously made continuation plans they had in the US.

          • Nicki has probably been covertly cooperating with the US government in return for legal immigration status.

            Shadow: Is Nicki Clyne very dumb or very devious?

            [Editor’s Note: A source told Frank Report that Nicki Clyne is likely cooperating with the Feds. Sometime before Allison Mack pleaded guilty, the Feds noted that Allison Mack and Nicki Clyne had “a sham marriage” which suggests they may have learned that based on Clyne informing them. Clyne and Mack married, it is widely assumed, in order for the Canadian Clyne to remain in the USA to be nearer to Keith Raniere. It was her fast track to permanent US residency.]

            It is not unusual for people in criminal organizations to secretly cooperate with the government and still work for the criminal gang.
            Example Whitey Bulger

    • Paul, why are you trying to make all these chicks out to be Squeaky Fromm? I’ll bet the “girls” allegedly visiting Raniere in prison was staged by NX & Aggie, ET AL, too.

      I’m disturbed by the implications on the reputations of the “slaves” insofar as their ability to renew their lives once they’ve been pigeonholed as nutcases for life by these crooked clowns.

      Not all of the slaves are making a movie although some could be virtually cast in one or even in an actual crime scene or in a porn film to spare their families’ lives. Or be pigeonholed as the kiddie porno filmmaker behind the camera.

      There are people who can and do this seemlessly. It was done first by my ex for the film, “In the Line of Fire,” to which I contributed without pay of my own. The old-fashioned way.

  • “I saw through Catholicism at about the same age I stopped believing in ghosts”

    • The Catholics collated the first Christian Bible.

      Historical Fact: King James or whatever ever you read came hundreds of years later. Sorry.

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