Actaeon: Nxivm Was Their Religion and Keith Their Prophet!

In General

By Actaeon

According to the story in Frank Report, “Keith’s accusation was that Dani had pride. It was a catch phrase that Keith would use. If you want ice cream, that’s your pride.” Ah yes, pride, one of the Seven Deadly Sins.

This Nxivm cult is looking more and more like a religious cult. It was presented as rational and scientific, but was in fact the inverse. The damn fool followers never picked up on this, of course, but rational inquiry is about asking questions and being skeptical, and above all thinking independently.

Religion is about unquestioned obedience and belief in doctrine, no matter how contradictory. One set of rules for Keith, another for his minions. Seeing blue lights when bespattered by his goo, and affecting the weather with his mind, psychic connections, and the rest of the mystical crap is the opposite of scientific inquiry. The fools never thought to ask to see the evidence, they just accepted it on faith.

Nxivm was their religion and Keith their prophet.

The courses seemed to be filled with meaningful-sounding blather, rather like the so-called mysteries of Zen, the self-contradictory books of the Bible (an eye for an eye, or turn the other cheek? take your pick, and if you pick wrong, be sent to Hell by the God who loves you, there to be tortured for eternity.)

Keith’s acolytes could always be shamed by him, because the blather he taught was deliberately confusing and no matter how hard they tried they were forever vulnerable to his condemnation. They put their necks in the noose and he pulled the rope.

So Keith could have a jealous tantrum and lock himself in the bathroom like a petulant little boy, whining that “you hurt me!”, and it made no difference to his acolytes. These women still worshiped him, because he remained their prophet. Their faith in him is religious faith and cannot be affected by the evidence before their eyes. Keith was not at fault, he can never be at fault; no, it was Dani’s fault. That’s why they went along with her punishment. She had sinned. She had to confess and do her penance. That, as in any religion, is the path to redemption.

“To be hanged by the neck until dead. And may Almighty God have mercy on your soul.”

So the mystery of why these fools put up with it, why they followed this creepy little nonentity and did his bidding, the branding, the computer hacking, the lying and blackmail and recruiting, why they gave up their last penny and went into debt and abandoned friends and family and career, is really no mystery at all. It’s the irrational appeal of religion. Nxivm is a religious cult. His minions didn’t necessarily even have mental issues, there’s no abnormal psychology needed to explain faith in the irrational. After all, Nxivm promised the true pathway to the good, to a better world, to personal happiness and success. Just like any megachurch preacher. Spiritual enlightenment, just like any Santa Barbara guru.

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44 commentsOn Actaeon: Nxivm Was Their Religion and Keith Their Prophet!

  • “…the self-contradictory books of the Bible (an eye for an eye, or turn the other cheek? take your pick, and if you pick wrong, be sent to Hell by the God who loves you, there to be tortured for eternity.)”

    Best Descriptive Bible Paragraph Ever.

    • I meant to say ‘Best Paragraph Ever, Describing The Essence Of The Bible’

    • Yusra Anonymous

      My friend please the Koran. It is the Holy Book of Allah. You must read be enlightened and then act on behalf of the Prophet. The infidels will suffer for eternity.

      • The Koran is very similar to the Bible, I dare say. Did anyone hear POTUS say who got him elected this morning? Not the Russians, not the Nazi’s, not God,

        “You wanna know who got me elected, I got me elected.”

        What’s missing in that equation?

        • Yusra Anonymous

          No you are infidel. The Holy Book of Allah gives you no standing. Women are here to serve men. What does infidel Trump have too do with the Holy Book of Allah? Allah will avenge America for voting in Trump

        • The Koran is VERY different from the Bible. I’ve read both. It’s not even close. And taking a quote out of context is what we’ve come to expect from you.

    • Wow! Deep…So Actaeon would say Moby Dick was about fishing for a whale? Or McBeth was simply about some guy killing someone. Your in depth analysis is as deep as a mud puddle.

      • Sorry to say but if you search for a deep analyze, FR is the worst place…
        We have pseudo psychologists, pseudo lawyer (in comment, i mean and i don’t refer to a certain attorney from Albany but common posters), pseudo cult victims (some might be true but most are trolls)…etc

        That is how deep Actaeon can think.

        • You need to read my comments for deeper thinking.

        • Best comment ever made by an Anon. As far as Johnson’s idiotic comment goes, all his deep thinking is flushed after his weekly bowel movement

        • I’d bet a lot of the people commenting here have belonged or would easily be taken in by cult like groups. Human behavior is fascinating and this story has a fantastic and diverse audience commenting. Plenty of emotion for someone like Raniere to work with and prey on.

          • Mitch ya sonovabitch. 99% of the world with the exception of Islam does not belong to cults. Usually you make good comments, but this one you look stupid. You are projecting your own human frailty on everyone else.

        • Anonymous,

          Frank’s credible reporting has now been validated by the information and testimony coming out of the trial.

          The FBI and other justice officials, news reporters, and the NXIVM defense attorneys have all cited the Frankreport.

          Anonymous please go back to troll Village.

      • @ Jarhead LOL!

      • MacBeth.

  • When Raniere told the story about walking through a rain storm and not getting wet he was basically comparing himself to Jesus walking on the water.

    • I can’t see how anything that Keith did had any religious connections. He didn’t talk about God, or sin, or quote from the bible.

      Of course he organized his cult by portraying himself as a “god” , but all cult leaders will do that – they need to brainwash their followers into believing they are infallible, and must be obeyed at all times, (which is the same basic principal all abusers will use.)

      However, Keith’s followers came closer to worshipping the devil than to worshipping a loving and positive entity.

      The stupidity of these people is hard to believe.

      • ” Keith’s followers came closer to worshipping the devil than to worshipping a loving and positive entity.”

        Flowers, you’re right.
        The Bible warns people against worshiping False Prophets.
        While I am not terribly religious, I last went to church for my Uncle’s funeral in 1995, growing up in North America one is marinated in religion and absorbs many religious teachings, some of which are quite good.
        Like the Deist Thomas Jefferson we must judiciously pick and choose among religions to find true wisdom.
        Keith Raniere is clearly a False Prophet.
        And many of the people in NXIVM are empty vessels with no inner core of values or sense of self.
        Combine those traits with low self-esteem and, lack of moral values and fragile egos and you have a Perfect Storm ripe for exploitation by any cult.

  • Interesting article Acteton!

    Does anyone know the name of the cult that Dani’s mother joined after leaving NXIVM?

  • No, you don’t “take your pick when it comes to “…an eye for an eye, or turn the other cheek….” You fail to understand what the Old and New Testament are all about.

    • The New Testament supercedes the Old Testament.

      • Even though the “eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth” may sound brutal, it was actually trying to keep things from getting out of hand. For instance, if somebody poked your eye out, you may understandably want to poke both of their eyes out or chop their head off and this was being discouraged by the Old Testament. Also, the New Testament does not state to keep turning the other cheek. Doing it once helps determine the original intent, but there is no instruction to keep taking abuse.

        • Hammurabi before Judaism, Christianity, and Islam codified the eye for and eye type laws. Even before Christianity there was morality, societies can not function without some level of morally from most of the inhabitants

          Scott is exactly right the sole purpose of the law was to keep things from getting out of hand. It’s not the harsh of considering the time period and the alternatives.

  • Excellent!

  • “It has been accused by former members and apostates[by whom?] of being a ‘sex cult’, wherein Wulf Zendik was presumed to have sexual access to females on the group, and was also the final say on who was allowed to date or have sex with each other.” Right here in NC!! I didn’t know about this hippie cult, but they are everywhere, small and large. Cults are not new. Cults are simply people who put themselves into the position of God over other people- in a cruel, power-hungry way. Because people can be prideful and greedy, cults only hurt, never help. Here is the old Zendik website. Nothing new under the sun.

    • Interesting example, thanks for that.

      There are indeed cults like that all across the country – and particularly across the Bible Belt, Christian-based ones that have insinuated themselves into small communities and get a certain protection due to sympathy for any group claiming to follow the Bible, no matter how extreme, such as the Word of Faith Fellowship in Spindale, NC. The fundamentalist Mormon FLDS polygamist cult is the perfect example of a group that grew quite large over nearly a century, and completely took over towns in Utah and Arizona, with the acquiescence of their co-religionists.

      • Interesting that in your blowhardiness, you always leave out the biggest cult of all; your own…Islam.

        • It’s not mine – and it’s not really relevant here, regardless. Sensitive about the faults and foibles of Christianity, like the Catholic church’s institutionalized pedophilia and its ages-old “lavender mafia,” and all the moralizing evangelicals who get caught with their hands in the till and their private parts in gay rentboys? You’d be hard pressed to make a detailed, well-supported argument that any one major world religion is more or less culty than any of the others, overall, though it’s easier to see the cultiness in practices and ignore the strange things that somehow seem normal in our culture and religions.

          People who grew up in North American were sucked into NXIVM’s inner circle in part because it tapped into Judeo-Christian cultural undercurrents. Raniere’s harem worked much more like the FLDS than anything in Islam, and also in some ways took from the open marriage cult that Ayn Rand created around herself in New York City.

          • Interesting that you look at the faults of Christianity which is made up of sinful people and has been from the beginning but never seem to mention the evil that has been done for centuries by your own pedophiliac. cult. Basically you are a hypocritical blowhard leftist Anti Christian bigot….. a trait you share with the likes of Stalin, Mao Hitler among other evil bastards who gained power to act out their intolerance much like your own cult of Islam.

        • No hypocrite, the Muslim track record far outpaces any other evil in the world’s history. Your blowhard hypocrisy totally exposes your brainwashed devotion to your Islamic cult. Less than one percent of the clergy does not institutionalize pedophilia in Catholicism you phony.You are a member of the worlds largest cult filled with intolerance and violence.

          • You don’t know your history.

            Islam is about 600 years younger than Christianity, and they do unfortunately seem to be on a tear to catch up with what Christians were doing at about the same stage in their history. Read up about the Wars of Religion – which wiped out up to a third of the populations of some European countries – and the Inquisition, witch trials and Martin Luther’s granting of indulgences for men to have multiple wives; and don’t forget that Luther was almost genocidally anti-Jewish, and helped inspire the much more recent Holocaust.

            Intolerance and violence? Unfortunately, that’s yet more that sadly crops up too consistently in human affairs, and to fall into the culty us-against-them thinking that sees another group as the evil ones, is to misunderstand the problem in a way that risks perpetuating it, not solving it. As Jesus said, take the plank out of your own eye….

    • soccermom is it possible this “cult” was yet another thinly veiled limited hangout for clowns disquised as bohemian?
      unlike the venus fly trap which is uniquely only in NC in all the possible places on earth {who woulda thunkit}

  • don’t lump in every religion to your hypothesis, it makes you look as dumb as the people that stayed in NXIVM

  • orangecountydreams - OCD

    Keith ought to review the seven deadly sins:

    Lust – to have an intense desire or need: “But I tell you that anyone who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Matthew 5:28).

    • Gluttony – excess in eating and drinking: “for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags” (Proverbs 23:21).

    • Greed – excessive or reprehensible acquisitiveness: “Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more” (Ephesians 4:19).

    • Laziness – disinclined to activity or exertion: not energetic or vigorous: “The way of the sluggard is blocked with thorns, but the path of the upright is a highway” (Proverbs 15:19).

    • Wrath – strong vengeful anger or indignation: “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1)

    • Envy – painful or resentful awareness of an advantage enjoyed by another joined with a desire to possess the same advantage: “Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation” (1 Peter 2:1-2).

    • Pride – quality or state of being proud – inordinate self esteem: “Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall” (Proverbs 16:18).

    Hmmm. They all seem to fit…him.

  • Great piece.

    It’s interesting how high control groups or cults that are nominally non-religious or even supposedly based on science and reason, end up falling back on the same patterns and archetypes – including pure belief.

    The hypocritical leader who doesn’t follow the teachings and practices that they insist followers must adhere to, is also typical.

  • You’re a bit confused, Confucius.

    FIRST… From the site Cult Education Institute – Rick Ross. Leading psychiatric authorities on mind control, cult and hypnosis wrote articles examining Rational Inquiry and Vanguard’s Executive Success Program and Nxivm. They had the pervy pedophile prophet pegged as a scam years ago.
    • A Forensic Psychiatrist Evaluates ESP, by Dr. John Hochman, M.D. February, 2003.
    • A Critical Analysis of the Executive Success Programs Inc., by Dr. Paul Martin, Ph.D. February 12, 2003.
    • Robert Jay Lifton’s Eight Criteria of Thought Reform as Applied to the Executive Success Programs, by Paul Martin, Ph.D. February 12, 2003.
    • “Recruitment – Indoctrination Processes In a Mass Marathon Psychology Organization” – By Philip Cushman, Ph.D
    • Secrets of NXIVM — Albany Times-Union/February 12, 2012 – “Through the years, Raniere has shown an interest in “hypnotism” and “neurolinguistic programming,” a technique that identifies how people have been “programmed” to think and act and analyzes their words, reactions and body language in order to shed those beliefs.” (And… SURPRISE — Nancy Salzmann was a psychiatric nurse – and also familiar with hypnosis and neurolinguistic programming.)
    • Vanguard and Prefect followed every known cult and mind control indoctrination procedure to the letter.

    FYI — Turns out the majority of cult victims overall are of above average intelligence and education and in general quite successful folks. So your theory that cult followers are “fools” (inherently naïve and irrational) is just wrong. Which brings us to…


    Your conclusion — “His minions didn’t necessarily even have mental issues, there’s no abnormal psychology needed to explain faith in the irrational” — makes the invalid proposition that all religion is by default irrational – and by extension religions are all cults. Dude, just as a rule of thumb – if you are making an allegation others are irrational and/or “fools” – you may want to use a cogent “rational” argument. Your theories about “religion” and “ignorance” contain multiple logical fallacies and contradiction.

    Syllogisms with missing or invalid premises lead to unsubstantiated conclusions – and FWIW your case for Biblical contradictions misquoted and out of context, are just silly.

    Logical fallacies originated with Aristotle and Socrates et al 500 years BC. Aristotle also first discussed the concept “Rational Inquiry” — which Vanguard tried to appropriate to validate his dopey dogma. Congrats – you managed to get 7 logical fallacies into, what, seven or eight paragraphs. Almost as good as a political speech!

    • Equivocation
    • Ignoratio Elenchi
    • Non sequitur
    • Non causa pro causa
    • Reductio ad Absurdum
    • Circulus in demonstrando
    • Post hoc ergo prompter hoc

    • Huge round of applause for you, SwedeWorld.

      Coming here lately, I’m reminded of when we did ‘The Crucible’ at college and the cast and most especially the director went temporarily mad.

    • Wrong, asshole.

      Your own argument is full of gaping holes, Mr. Helper.

      You argued that a person of above average intelligence (i.e. a person with a good degree and/or job) cannot simultaneously be ‘naive’ or a ‘fool’.

      That’s 100% bullshit and not even close to being true.

      The very fact that a successful & intelligent person can be conned into worshipping a cult leader (i.e. worshipping a blathering idiot) for years is PROOF of their naivety and foolish lack of common sense.

      If you pledge your allegiance to a sexual deviant and blathering idiot for YEARS, you’re by definition a NAIVE FOOL. 🙂

      Common sense tells me that.

      No amount of word salad bullshit can change this self evident fact.

      Guess what, asshole?

      There’s a difference between ‘book smarts’ and having the ability to think rationally while applying common sense when a cult leader and sexual deviant tries to recruit you.

      If you’re too fucken dumb to resist a wackadoodle cult leader, your photo should appear in the dictionary next to the words NAIVE and FOOL. 🙂

      • Good point, but that leaves a lot of inadequacies in your original story.

      • “asshole – fucken dumb, self evident fact & yada” — ad hominem, argumentum ad populum, argumentum ad ignorantiam and non-sequitur, as absurdum.

        Stunning command of rhetoric, reason, rational reality and rudeness, there kooky. And positively brilliant application of emoticons to add “credibility” to your emotionally based propositions. Don’t bother reading the linked information from the sources above. Facts would likely confuse you.

  • NXIVM and the Siren Song of Cults.

    It turns out that many of the empty, rootless people who fell for NXIVM also fell for dangerous cults like Ramtha.
    For example before Mark Vicente became enraptured by NXIVM and Keith Raniere Vicente was a follower of Ramtha, a cult run by a woman named JZ Knight.
    Vicente even filmed a movie about Ramtha titled “What the Bleep Do We Know.”

    Here is what scientists had to say about Vicente’s movie:

    What the Bleep Do We Know!?. has been criticized by the scientific community due to its mis-representation of quantum physics, and an unnecessary connection to consciousness. The American Chemical Society’s review criticizes the film as a “pseudoscientific docudrama”, saying “Among the more outlandish assertions are that people can travel backward in time, and that matter is actually thought.”

    The film has been described as an example of quantum mysticism, and has been criticized for both misrepresenting science and containing pseudoscience. While many of its interviewees and subjects are professional scientists in the fields of physics, chemistry, and engineering, several have noted that the film quotes them out of context.!%3F

    JZ Knight was born in Roswell New Mexico in 1946 and lives in Yelm, Washington just outside of Tacoma and Olympia, Washington in Thurston County.
    JZ Knight has done quite well for herself and Ramtha living in a 12,800 square foot mansion on 80 acres.
    Unlike Keith Raniere JZ Knight is not a renunciate.
    JZ Knight enlightening her followers.

    In her vaudeville style routine Ms.Knight goes into a trance and transforms herself into a 35,000 year old Lemurian Warrior named Ramtha.
    Lemuria is a lost continent located in either the Indian Ocean or the Pacific Ocean depending on which way the wind blows.

    Ramtha speaks in a masculine voice with a slightly British accent.
    JZ Knight herself has a standard American accent.
    And to JZ Knight’s credit she actually speaks sentences that have nouns, verbs and proper syntax unlike the verbal vomit that spews out of Keith Raniere’s mouth.
    Of course Ramtha and JZ Knight’s teachings are still full of crap.

    In channeling the spirit of a long dead 35,000 year Lemurian warrior JZ Knight is a halfway decent actress.
    Better than many of the actresses who infest NXIVM.
    And like NXIVM the Ramtha cult attracts pseudo-intellectual actresses who enjoy pretending to be smart.
    And Ramtha attracts a better class of stupid actresses than NXIVM.
    Among JZ Knight’s Hollywood followers are Linda Evans, Shirley Maclaine and Salma Hayek.
    Linda Evans also dabbled for a time in NXIVM.
    Picture of JZ Knight with Linda Evans

    And JZ Knight has attracted wealthy air head Heiresses to help fund her research into alternate realities.
    One of Knight’s donors is Rebecca Oppenheimer, heiress to the South African De Beers diamond fortune.

    Knight taught Oppenheimer the sport of Blind Archery.
    Practicing Archery while Blindfolded.

    JZ Knight and her Ramtha cult control the politics of Thurston County Washington through massive donations to the county Democratic party in just the same way that the Bronfman funded NXIVM made large donations to Democratic party candidates in New York State.

    “From 2014 through 2016, the Thurston County Democratic Party has raised $526,391 according to their reports with the Public Disclosure Commission. For contrast and comparison, the Thurston County Republican Party has raised $115,468. Of the over half million dollars the Thurston Democrats raised, $145,000 of it came directly from racist cult leader JZ Knight/Ramtha. This was more money than all the cash raised by the local Republicans during that same time.”

    Picture of Barack Obama with JZ Knight on the right and Knight’s granddaughter in the middle.

    More recently while JZ Knight has continued to support Democrats like Hillary Clinton, her masculine Ramtha alter ego has endorsed Donald Trump.
    I suppose that’s one of the advantages of having a split personality.

    Like Keith Raniere JZ Knight tried to make one of her followers a slave.
    Knight actually sued a woman named Virginia Coverdale to make Coverdale an indentured servant.
    Indentured Servitude was a form of slavery common in Colonial America.
    Fortunately a Federal Court rejected JZ Knight’s lawsuit.
    Cult Leader JZ Knight fails in Federal Court

    The nastiest litigation saga by the most litigious cult leader – JZ Knight – finally came to an end last month. Knight lost her final legal effort in Federal Court to turn former cult member Virginia Coverdale into a perpetual indentured servant. Federal Judge Brian Lynch wrote in his findings of fact filed December 15th:

    “Overall, this Court’s conclusion is that JZK was intent on suppressing efforts by Coverdale to expose tenets and practices of RSE because it might cause serious damage to its reputation. JZK attempted to use its superior financial resources to intimidate its dissident ex-students by its lawsuit. Coverdale had the temerity to defend herself in a lawsuit pursued vigorously by J.Z. Knight and JZK.” The 31-page court findings of fact and conclusions of law document is a damning rebuke of JZ Knight’s abusive harassment of a former cult member.

    Virginia Coverdale was a former member who left the cult and attempted to warn local government officials and current cult followers about JZ Knight’s racist and bizarre behavior. JZ Knight initiated aggressive legal action against Coverdale in an attempt to silence her and intimidate other followers from exposing the truth about Knight.

    Coverdale had few resources and sparse legal representation during most of the five year legal drama. JZ Knight spent nearly a million dollars to harass Coverdale over the past five years, and it is difficult to prevail in Washington State’s court system with such a disparity of resources. Eventually Coverdale was forced into bankruptcy by Knight’s relentless legal harassment.

    Even Keith Raniere did not have the balls to go into Federal Court and try to make one of his followers an indentured Servant.

    What does it say about Mark Vicente that he would drift from one totalitarian cult leader to another totalitarian cult leader?

    And what does it say about cults that cult leaders behave in such remarkably similar ways?

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