Part 2: Gems From Trial: Raniere: On Sex With Children: ‘Is the Person a Child, or Is the Person Adult-Like?’

This is Part 2 of “Gems from the Trial” of Keith Alan Raniere.

It includes a clip from a longer video shown at trial to the jury. The entire video is about an hour long and it features Raniere speaking to his students on a number of topics.

One of the topics, shown in the clip below, features Raniere, known also as the Vanguard [the leader of thought for his community] ,speaking about children having sex with adults.

Keep in mind that Raniere called himself an “ethicist.”

“An ethicist,” by definition [Wikipedia] “is one whose judgment on ethics and ethical codes has come to be trusted by a specific community, and is expressed in some way that makes it possible for others to mimic or approximate that judgment. Following the advice of ethicists is one means of acquiring knowledge.”

So the context of this clip is that Keith is speaking as the ethicist for his Nxivm community. He has thought out for them the ethics of certain things and they – the ones he has allowed to follow him – have accepted that he knows better than they what is ethical and that they can become wise by following his advice on ethics.

For me, the value of publishing this clip, perhaps first and foremost, is to show his remaining 100 or so staunch followers – some of whom I am told are now reading the Frank Report for the first time – what happened in trial and why he was convicted.

They have likely heard his teachings on adults having sex with children before. But it may be of interest to them to understand how he flubbed it, by failing to heed his own words.

[For Nicki Clyne, Michelle Hatchette, Brian and Marc Elliot, Danielle Roberts, Samantha LaBaron, Dawn Morrison, and a cadre of Mexicans – listen up. And yes, I realize, that Brandon Porter, Edgar Boone, Jimmy Del Negro, Esther Carlson, Omar ‘Cuckie” Boone, Lucas Roberts, Clare Bronfman, Jimena Garza, Jack Levy, Loreta Garza, Carola Garza, Chris Pearson Smith, Dani Padilla, and others, will not heed this. At least for now.]

The clip is also for people studying this unusual case and how it impacted others. It is a case study on the human mind and the ability for one man to control so many seemingly good and intelligent people and ruin so many lives – while his followers all the while thought he was sincerely trying to help them.

Here is Keith at his most manipulative. Trying to justify adults having sex with children – something he did himself – but chose not to reveal to most of his followers.  Although it does seem he was preparing the way for their acceptance of it.

Here is the transcript of the clip.

Keith Raniere:

Abuse is inconsistent, depending on where you are, what cultural you are, and things like that.

And that doesn’t mean that the person is somehow ultimately abusive. They are abusive by some standard and you have to understand not only what that standard is, but the morality behind that standard.

How does this relate to human conduct in the world? 

You know, the thing, for example, with sexual abuse. In some states, there’s ages. There’s the age of consent. Some states, it’s 17. Some parts of the world it’s 12. Some parts of the world it’s– right? What’s abuse in one area is not abuse in another.

But what is it really? Abuse is – is the person a child, or is the person adult-like?

Does the person have a certain type of understanding of, cognition, morality, to make such a choice?

Because that choice has effects potentially on them physically but also on effects in society later.

Often when you counsel people who were say children of what you call abuse. You know the little child, some little children are perfectly happy with it until they find out what happened in later in life, then it’s more society that abuses them than actually the parent.  

Because in other societies in the past – like in Rome or whatever – the standards were completely different.  But we’re not in Rome and we should know that. So, it is an understanding, a wise understanding of the society and the morality in which we live. That’s part of it.

Part of it is cultural you know. Someone outing another person for being gay in certain societies leads to death. 

You might say that it’s an abusive friendship. If someone has a trust that, alright, they let their friend know that they’re gay and then that friend outs them for money, or for glory, or for revenge or for whatever it is, that’s an abuse of their power because they have the power literally to cause that person to be killed.

***

Commentary on the Clip

They were no friends of Keith Alan Raniere who outed him as a pedophile. But they did out him, and it sunk him. Those non-friends were the FBI and US Attorney’s office in the Eastern District of NY.

Probably more than any other criminal act, it was pedophilia that convicted Keith Raniere.

I think it was the evidence of pedophilia that caused his five codefendants, all females — Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, Allison Mack, Clare Bronfman, and Kathy Russell – to take plea deals and not risk going to trial alongside him.

It was pedophilia more than any other thing that turned the stomachs of a jury of his peers.

Keith, residing in federal prison in Brooklyn, awaits sentencing for sex-trafficking and other crimes, including racketeering – where the predicate acts proven against him include possession of child porn and sexual exploitation of a minor.

That minor, Camila [or Cami], who was 15 at the time he took nude photos of her [November 2005], became one of his long-term harem members and, ultimately, a first line DOS slave. She is now 29.

Cami was the only First Line DOS slave whose last name was not used at trial. Her photo was redacted from exhibits released to the public. This was done in part because she was considered a victim of his sexual exploitation based on her being under the age of consent when he first began his sexual relationship with her.

Keith, however, and unfortunately for him, did not entirely practice what he preached in the video clip.

He said in it, “We are not in Rome and we should know that. It is an understanding, a wise understanding of the society and the morality in which we live. That’s part of it.”

His understanding evidently was not so wise. He had sex with Cami, a girl under the age of consent – even if she had, according to him, an adult-like persona. It was illegal. And he got nailed for it.

More than anything, Cami sunk him and this video – of him justifying it – was the icing on the pedophile cake.

He had kept nude pictures of Cami for more than a dozen years on a hard drive and it had the dates the photos were taken. And with this video clip, the prosecution had the alleged pedophile justifying pedophilia.

So let us take a moment to parse what Keith is telling his students in this video. His remarks are in bold.  My comments, in regular typeface.

***

Abuse is inconsistent, depending on where you are, what cultural you are, and things like that.

Keith is saying there is no fixed standard for sexual abuse. It varies based on geography, jurisdiction, etc..

And that doesn’t mean that the person is somehow ultimately abusive.

He is saying that a person who has sex with a child is not necessarily, ultimately, objectively abusive to the child merely because the society he lives in has an arbitrary standard of abuse which he violated.

They are abusive by some standard and you have to understand not only what that standard is, but the morality behind that standard.

Keith suggests that standards, made by society, which differ in different locales, create the standard of what is called “sexual abuse.” But, he says, it does not mean a person is actually a sex abuser. He might merely be living in the wrong place. Keith explains that a person has to understand what the standards are for the society in the area in which he lives – for his own protection.  If a person is going to have sex with a child under the age of consent in a certain area or jurisdiction, that person has to understand the standard [i.e. the law] and also whether that standard is moral or not.

How does this relate to human conduct in the world? 

Let’s make it practical for students. What kind of “sex with children” conduct can Raniere’s followers expect to engage in ethically?

You know, the thing, for example, with sexual abuse. In some states, there’s ages.

Actually, all 50 states have age of consent laws. These range from 16 – 18 years old.

Image result for age of consent in world

 

There’s the age of consent. Some states, it’s 17. Some parts of the world it’s 12. Some parts of the world it’s– right? What’s abuse in one area is not abuse in another.

In New York, for example, where he lived and had sex with children, the age of consent is 17. He had sex with girls from 12 to 16.  It would have been legal in Mexico or the Philippines.

 

Image result for age of consent in world

 

 

But what is it really? Abuse is – is the person a child, or is the person adult-like?

This is Keith’s ultimate justification for having sex with children below the age of consent:

“Is the person a child or is the person adult -like?

If a child is adult-like [and who judges this?] then, for Keith, there is no abuse. He is flatly saying the adult-like child is capable of deciding to have sex with an adult.

He is not saying, ‘adult”, he is saying “adult-like.” Note the use of language – he calls the child a “person.” “Is the person a child, or is the person adult-like?”

Does the person have a certain type of understanding of, cognition, morality, to make such a choice?

By choice, he means “to have sex.” By person, he means a child under the age of consent. He is here flatly saying a child – with a certain level of understanding – can choose to have sex.

The law states otherwise. That a child under a certain age – regardless of understanding  – and it varies from state to state, nation to nation – does not have the legal ability or right of self-determination to make the choice to have sex. The child will not be punished for engaging in sex, however.  The adult will.

But Keith is saying that a child with a certain type of understanding, an adult-like child, who has the cognition, the understanding of morality, can make the choice to have sex with an adult.

And the adult, by extension, also has the moral right to participate in sex with the child. Which is convenient for Keith since he chose to participate with several girls under the age of consent – in New York.

So, it is the child then, Keith claims, who can decide, regardless of the law, to have sex with an adult. But the child has to be careful in deciding to have sex with an adult, he adds.

Because that choice has effects potentially on them physically but also on effects in society later.

A child who is “adult-like” – who is perhaps 13 years old – should exercise care that she might not have a negative effect, physically. For instance, she might get pregnant or might get a venereal disease. [Keith was said to have herpes and spread it in his harem].

In addition to physical dangers, the child must also be cognizant that having sex with an adult [such as Keith] might also later cause emotional distress – because of society.

Often when you counsel people who were say children of what you call abuse. You know the little child, some little children, are perfectly happy with it until they find out what happened in later in life, then its more society that abuses them than actually the parent.

Here, Keith explains that many a “little child” was quite happy having sex with their parents or some other, wise and ethical adult [like Keith]. They were fine with it. It was good. But later, as adults, when they learn of society’s condemnation of adults having sex with children, they become distressed. It is society, Keith teaches, that abuses the child, [now an adult] – for having sex as a child.  The abuser was not the parent, or the wise adult [such as Keith] but it is society that abuses by having these arbitrary laws that punish adults for having sex with persons who are adult-like but happen to be under the age of consent.

Because in other societies in the past – like in Rome or whatever – the standards were completely different.  But we’re not in Rome and we should know that. So it is an understanding, a wise understanding of the society and the morality in which we live. That’s part of it.

Keith seems to have lacked that wise understanding of, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. For when in Clifton Park, where the age of consent it 17, and where a man goes to jail for violating this law, he had sex with 15-year-old Cami and then kept her nude pictures of her on a hard drive for the FBI to find.

Not wise at all.

Part of it is cultural, you know. Someone outing another person for being gay in certain societies leads to death. 

This is a slick analogy. Keith is comparing the brutal stoning of gays in some Muslim countries to the outing of an adult who has sex with children.

You might say that it’s an abusive friendship. If someone has a trust that, alright, they let their friend know that they’re gay and then that friend outs them for money, or for glory, or for revenge or for whatever it is. That’s an abuse of their power because they have the power literally to cause that person to be killed.

No. It was not for money, or glory, or revenge, but, I think, to protect little children from Raniere that he was outed – first in the Albany Times Union, then in Saratoga in Decline, then on the Frank Report – outed for having sex with children.

Finally, he was outed, and it was dispositive, by the Office of the US Attorney in the Eastern District of New York in their successful prosecution of Raniere.

When Raniere arrived in the courtroom just prior to hearing the verdict – he knew what it was going to be by the quickness with which the jury reached their verdict – he proclaimed, “This is not justice!”

But maybe it was. For it was Raniere who abused his power by raping little children.

And while the DOJ did not literally have the power to cause Raniere to be killed, in one sense they did.

They, through their splendid prosecution of him [they and the jury], have ensured he will be caged, most likely, until he dies, and no, never again, will he have the chance to have sex with children, even if they are, according to him, adult-like persons, ready, willing and able to decide to have sex with him, the monster, and be perfectly happy about it.

For most of us, we are happy that he will likely never see a child again for the rest of his life.

And that perhaps is something that the monster, in his head, may be just starting to realize. He may now be just beginning to have that certain type of understanding of, cognition, morality, a wise understanding – that he is utterly and totally, irrevocably fucked.  

MK10ART’s beautiful painting of Keith Alan Raniere, living in a secure and adult-like place – just where he belongs.

Rhiannon, Keith claimed, was adult-like when he started raping her when she was 12 years old. He once taught her to hug like an adult by pressing the pelvises together, and not just the upper body. The prosecution wanted Rhiannon to testify at the trial but Judge Nicholas Garaufis ruled that her testimony was not admissible because her alleged rape occurred prior to the time period which Raniere was charged with beginning his racketeering enterprise.

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Author: Frank Parlato

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