Behind the Bastards

There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.

Part One: The Child Molester Whose Sex Cult Taught Women Friendship

Part One: The Child Molester Whose Sex Cult Taught Women Friendship

Tue, 19 Jun 2018 10:00

Have you ever heard of a guy named Keith Raniere? You may have heard of his cult, 'NXIVM' which has been in the news a lot lately. In Episode 8, Robert is joined by writer/comedian Anna Salinas (badcomixbyanna, John Baxte) and they discuss Keith Raniere who describes himself as the 'conceptual founder of NXIVM, a group that focuses on the overarching philosophy of companies focusing on increasing joy and ethics in the world.' BUT we now know that is complete crap and NXIVM is actually a creepy sex cult that forced women to brand each other.

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Peace to the planet. I go by the name of Charlemagne the God, and this summer I'm bringing my show back to Comedy Central with a new title and a new podcast. It's called hell of a week. But don't worry, every Friday I'll be keeping that same, calling out the ******** energy, and I'll have some of the biggest names in comedy, politics and entertainment with me. So if the news is terrorizing your timeline and causing your anxiety to rise high and gas prices, don't worry, we got you. Listen to hell of a week with charlamagne the God on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey, I'm dua lipa. And I'm thrilled to be back for the second season of my podcast tulipa at your service. Alongside me and my guests lists and recommendations, the show features conversations with some of my biggest inspirations working across entertainment, politics, activism and much, much more. So please tune in and join me on this very special adventure. Listen to Dua Lipa at your service starting Friday 23rd of September on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Ebony K Williams, host of Holden Court, and I'm so excited to announce that Holden Court has a brand new home at interval presents. That's right, we're back and better than ever. Season 2 is here and we're bringing you the same in-depth legal analysis and cultural commentary that you know and love. Listen to Holden Court on the iHeartRadio App, Apple Podcast, Spotify, Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts. So y'all, let's hold court. Hello friends, I'm Robert Evans, and this is once again behind the ******** the show where we tell you everything you don't know about the very worst people in all of history. Our guest today is Anna Salinas, cartoonist, comedian, writer, person sitting across from me at the table. Location. You have so many qualifications. Yeah. I wanna thank you for joining us today. Thank you for having me. I'm so excited. Well, this show. Now, let me ask you, have you ever heard of a guy named Keith Ranieri? I will be honest with you. I had not until about 5 minutes ago. And you did introduce him. Very nominally. You're killing the movie magic Anna. Ohh, am I really? No, no, it's fine. Well, now I have to keep going. I feel like you. You you introduced him as the founder of, how do you say it? Nexium. So not the heartburn medication. Truly. It's the same name. Yeah, it's not. So it's spelled in, like, all capital letters in XI VM. OK, because they're super. Pretentious, you super pretentious. I was. I was very embarrassed when I thought it was the founder of Nexium, the heartburn medication? No, upon hearing it. It's the same. It is the same. And it's not your fault. It's their fault for naming their weird cult after a heartburn medication. Yeah, exactly. I think existed before late night. I've been taking it for years. Yeah, and how long the sex cult been going on? Well, we're gonna get into that today. So. If you've heard of Nexium as a sex cult, it's probably because Allison Mack, former Smallville actress, got arrested recently along with the founder of the cult, Keith Ranieri. There are a bunch of New York Times articles about it. They called it a a sex cult. And so I think if that's what most people know about Nexium. Did you read the New York Times articles about Allison Mack? Yeah. I mean, no, I read probably the lead of the article. You got that she's in some hot water. Yeah. And I used to watch Smallville, so it was a really big shock. Well, I wanna, I wanna make sure everybody listening knows, even if you read those articles that the New York Times posted and remember every word of them, 99% of this is going to be new to you. Because I started by reading those articles and then I started digging. And it turns out there's like 30 some odd years of stuff behind this cult and behind this guy, Keith Ranieri. And he is a fascinating ***** ** ****. So we're going to dig into him. A little bit, yeah. Keith Ranieri and Nexium kind of first hit the public mind most recently with a New York Times article last October called Inside a secretive group where women are branded. The article focused on the creation ambiguous, where women are branded, branded like, literally branded with a hot iron. Oh my God. Because when I first started, I thought it meant like, brand, like branded content. Like, yeah, where women are like they're the brand of the content. No, your Cheetos. No, no, no, no, that's not, that's not what happened. No, there would be like 30 to 45 minute branding sessions with a hot iron for women who were like part of a special sub cult within this larger cult. Can I ask a problematic question? There's no non problematic questions in this podcast. Did they like it? Well, you're going to get a different answer depending on who you talk to. A number of the women claimed that it was a positive experience. I think most of them were horrified at what happened. A lot of people left immediately. After getting branded, they sort of like stayed there and suffered through it because they were too scared to leave. But yeah, I mean, that's that's part of why there's charges against both Keith and Allison Mack. And she did the branding. Also, she says she came up with the idea for women within this group to be branded. What? It's a wacky story. She was acting in Smallville, and she took some of those storylines too seriously because some of them got dark. I never watched Smallville so. Well, Amy Adams made her debut on that show, so you missed out. OK, well, you can let me know if any of these parts of the story sync up with parts of Smallville. In a meaningful way, I will. Because I am the expert. Yes. OK. That's that's really good, then, because I know nothing about that show. I mean, I kind of fell out towards the end once they brought in Lois, but so Allison Mack was not Lois? Oh no, no, she was. She was like a journalist. She was a truth teller. She worked for the. I guess it was the school paper. Gosh, people are going to probably call me on my inaccuracies. Well, that's a fun segue, then, because Speaking of journalism, how much do you keep up with? Elon Musk these days? Only who he's dating. Ohh, then you're probably a little bit bummed. Well, ohh no. Ohh no. You like it that he's dating Grimes? Yeah. No, I hate it. OK, well, that's what I was going for. Yeah, she's well, I don't know. I I've done a deep dive into. Their relationship. And Grimes. She's so young. That is weird, right? That's the weirdest part. She looks like she's 12. I get that she's in her 20s, but she looks really young. My favorite thing to do with Elon Musk is look at pictures of him back when they were first starting PayPal, and he's like a chubby, schlubby guy who's gone bald. I knew it. I knew it looks. You can see it a little in his face that he used to be schlubby, but, like, got so rich that it's almost like the richness. Keeps on to his face and you're like, he's attractive. Yeah, it's I can't tell. There's a certain amount of money where you just pay people to make you make sure that you look good. Anytime you say hair, he probably has like personal trainers and personal chefs. Yeah, what he doesn't have is personal people to vet the news websites that he reads. Late last month, he got into a bit of a tiff with the entire independent news media and expressed his desire to create a service to rate news sites for bias, which is not an inherently. Problematic idea, although it's hard to imagine someone executing it in a way that wouldn't **** *** at least half the country anyway. At some point during this whole debate, a guy named Jens Eric Gould, who's the editor in chief at a site called The Knife, tweeted out an article his site had written in support of Elon Musk. Now the knife media purports to rate mainstream news coverage on its level of bias and slant. They rated the total integrity of several articles about Elon's proposed website, none of which scored higher than 42%. Musk retweeted the knives analysis and called it excellent. It didn't take long for users to inform Elon that the article he praised was written by a literal cult because the knife media happens to be part of the Nexium family. Ohhh thingamajigs. Yeah. So Musk's initial response was that the article had better his exact quote was. Sadly, it had better critical analysis than most non cult media. Which if you're praising if you're attacking non cult media. You should back away from the argument you're making. Yeah, like there's only so far you can go with that also. The whole like by now it's 2018. We know when we see a news source from something we don't totally recognize to be like, oh, this is probably I shouldn't retweet this and it's. I'll say this in fairness to must number one. He deleted those tweets once he I think did a little bit of digging. The knife doesn't look sketchy. It looks like it's got and it clearly does have some money behind it the layouts find the site like it doesn't look like some crazy website. He made teslas. He's. He's supposed to be so smart, and he couldn't be like, huh, the knife. I've never heard of this. And I am a adult man in my presumably 40s at least, right? Oh, he's older than that, man. Grimes is creepy. That Grimes is the creepy one. No. I mean, well, no. I would never kink shame her for dating an old man, but I will shame him for dating much younger. I feel like that's fair. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, so yeah, one way or the other, you can you can either attack Musk for not checking on it, or you can say that this is like a message that no matter how much money someone has, we shouldn't treat them as particularly smart just because they got lucky with a company once. Yeah, and I am. I have been, up until now, a Musk apologist because I was really rooting for him just because, like, you know, Teslas and SpaceX, that's all cool. And then I've, like, heard little allegations. Not little, but. Rumors that like he's manipulative and he can be abusive. Yeah, and I don't, I don't know. I haven't done my research on that and this, this podcast isn't going to be about Musk, so I'm going to steer us a little bit away from that. I guess the point I'm making is that if Musk got taken in by any of us, Keith Ranieri's umbrella of madness, he's not the first relatively intelligent person for this to happen to. That's kind of the story. Is Keith Ranieri's really, really good at tricking smart people into thinking he's got something to say so? Nexium starting to read about the knife and then Keith Ranieri's, you know, the the stuff with the branding of those women and the other crazy **** like they they would they would hook these women in this group up to brain wave analyzers and force them to watch videos of women being dismembered and stuff. He was craziness like he had. Yeah. So was Ala Allison Mack like a partner in all this or a late entry? She was a late entry. So. So that's kind of what we're getting into. So at its core as a business Nexium. It was a company that offered seminars helping business people be better at doing business. It ran a series of intensive and expensive clinics, often consisting of 517 hour days in a row for thousands of dollars. Everything in the clinics was based on Mr Ranieri's teachings, which amounted to a new science for how to succeed at life. So let's pull back a bit back before Allison Mack gets involved. Back before Elon Musk gets tricked by an article and talk about the life of the charismatic founder of Nexium. Keith Ranieri, I usually believe in going straight to the source first for things like this. And as luck would have it, his website is still up. His official biography opens with a picture of him, which we'll be putting up on our site,, so you can get a look at the guy. OK, this picture is not threatening. He's a normal looking guy. He's wearing a fleece. You wouldn't think he was weird if you passed him on the street. He'd just be a dude. Yeah, I think I would. I'm going to say this. I think I would trust anyone in a fleece. Really. Think about it. Well, if you're Trump, ever wear a fleece? Starting a cult? Anyone listening to the podcast, you've got one guaranteed member. If you buy a fleece, well, look, there's other tests, but that's the first one. That's the first Test I my cell phone, a fleece from Patagonia. And when I wear it, I feel. Like a like a mom. You know, and you trust moms. Yeah, and I trust moms. OK, that makes you looks like a. I don't know, like a guy you would find at a gelson's supermarket. Yeah. Yeah. He looks like a guy who's who buys really expensive cheeses. Yeah. And only the, like, $9 a pound grapes. Exactly. And it's like, there's no difference between gelson's and any other supermarket except that it's more expensive, but there's fewer people in the lines. And, you know, his fleece costs, like, 300 bucks. Oh yeah, yeah. He got the special edition north face for the Super rich people. I feel like he's a Patagonia. I really, I don't know why that touched me. That was. I thought that was delightful. More people should have Patagonia. Fleeces. Yeah, quality fleeces. We're not we're not attacking the man's choice in fleeces. I am going to start reading from his official biography now. So this is Keith Ranieri on Keith Ranieri quote, Keith Ranieri holds many titles to his name, scientist, mathematician, philosopher, entrepreneur, educator, inventor and author. But we're taps the most poignant among them. Is that a humanitarian? He has devoted his life to studying the human psychodynamic and developing new tools for human empowerment, expression, and ethics. His endeavors share a drive to enhance human existence as he works tirelessly and joyfully to help others elevate their awareness, success, and ultimately experience of life. Wow, I've never heard someone who is supposedly in the line of self help call themselves a humanitarian. That's such a stretch. My favorite thing about it is that this is the first paragraph of his biography and I have no idea from that what he does or has done. Well. From that, I feel like he sounds like Elon Musk. Right. Inventor. But he's not. He doesn't say what he like. If Elon Musk was writing the paragraph entry, he would say, like, he's the founder of Tesla. He helped make PayPal. Like there would be accomplishments that you could list. That is the red flag. Yeah, vagueness. Exactly. If you're trying to scam people, just makeup companies. Yeah. Don't be so vague. Tell me what book you wrote. If you're an author, tell me what you invented. If you're an inventor, tell me what company. Like, don't just say you're all these things and give me nothing. But also, but most of all, a humanitarian period. End of paragraph. That's the most poignant of his title, right? Yeah. Which is the most poignant the, the the title that brings people to tears. Yeah, exactly. I feel like crying a little bit. Yeah. This is a safe space, Anna his his Patagonia fleece delighted me. Yeah. And now his humanitarian credential makes me weep. Well, let's, let's get into Keith's more keiths biography. This is, this is sort of him going through his background. OK, OK. By the age of 1. So we're already. Up to a great start here, he could construct full sentences and questions he was able to read by the age of two. An autodidact, he directed his learning activities to learning itself, studying its art and science in order to find optimized learning strategies and methodologies. Applying his skill to athletics, Keith Ranieri excelled in judo and was an East Coast judo champion at age 11. He also excelled in numerous other sports including volleyball, tennis, table tennis, diving, softball, cycling, and skiing. At the age of 12, he taught himself to play piano at the concert level. His passion and aptitude for music would inspire him to master many other musical instruments. He taught himself high school mathematics in 19 hours at the age of 12. Only one year later, he was proficient in 3rd year college mathematics and was a professional computer programmer. I have so many problems with this. First of all, this is like when someone's trying to beef up their college application and they're like, oh, I I was captain of the. Cycling club. Yeah. It's like, this is all totally irrelevant. Yeah. You know, if the vagueness of paragraph one didn't turn you off immediately, this is. Yeah. Crazy. I love. I love him bragging about being a judo champion at age 11, because that is that. If I ever meet an adult human being and one of the first things they tell me is that they were a judo champion decades ago as a small child, you would be like, oh, this person. I don't want to know. Yeah, this is someone with no friends who's deeply looking for companionship. Yeah, his whole thing is like the feel of that kid in elementary school who totally had an uncle that was a Navy SEAL, only, like, he's he's clearly a a mature adult. In my case, that that was Lance and his dad was a book author who wrote about war pilots. I mean, he was nice thing to lie about. Well, he didn't lie. He just talked about it a lot. And it was like Lance was so boring. I almost said his last name. That would have outed him too much. He was just the most boring guy. But because I'm sure he's cool, he's working at like an accounting firm right now. And this would. Yeah. Yeah. If this information got, it would be, if I had to guess, accounting. Yeah. Yeah. That is the. I'm sorry if there's accountants listening right now, please keep listening are great. They saved my taxes. Yes. Yes, it's a good job. Umm, yes, they're useful people. Sure you know who's not a useful person? Keith ******* Ranieri. So I decided I wanted to Fact Check his bio a little bit. Wow. You know, you can such a thing be done. Can you really know if he was a jujitsu, judo, judo champion? Well, the the East Coast Judo championships are a real thing. And they do have a judo division for kids 7 to 14 years old. We know. Keith Ranieri was born on August 26th, 1960. Because he he that's what. He listed his birthday in a sworn affidavit that he filed for a lawsuit in 2003. So thanks to Google, I was able to find old issues of Black Belt magazine that gave winners of the East Coast judo champions, and unfortunately, none of them were from 1971. So there's no. Yeah, so close. I really thought you were going to blow the lid off of that. You are just like Allison Mack in Smallville. You did some investigative reporting reporting. Well, I did a little more because on his website, Keith claims to have. Started at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute at age 16. When I started looking into this, I found a bunch of articles from a crazy guy's website called the Frank Report. It appears to be the personal. Yeah, the Frank report. It appears to be the personal project of a man named Frank Parlato. He's a developer in Niagara Falls who worked for Nexium in 2007 and eight, and then started a new site dedicated to attacking the company and Mr Rainieri? That's still going on to this day. It's a weird website. It has the look of like, an unhinged nuts article about how the Earth is flat or whatever. But the actual information in the articles is often useful. Like he he has he does a bunch of weird Photoshop jokes and stuff, like about Keith Ranieri and his like. He's like, clearly so bitter. Yeah, bitter and a little unhinged. But like, it's also not just nonsense. Like, he provided links to the affidavit, which is where I was able to prove that Keith was lying on his bio about starting college at age 16, because in the affidavit he said he entered college just after his 17th birthday and then expands to say he didn't really enter. College. He just started taking some college classes. So basically he was taking AP courses in his senior year. That's like a lot of people. Yeah. He's just. He's a liar. Yeah. So thank you to the Frank report for helping us bust at least one of the myths conclusively. Cudos to Frank for having the balls to call his report his own name. He has been doggedly calling his news site by his own name for years now. Yeah, you can imagine his wife or friends or, I don't know, husband were like. Frank, come on. Just come up with a different name. And he's like, no, I'm gonna name it Frank. Frank, report. People need to know. People need to know who it came from, and they need to be amused by my Photoshop. Yeah. I don't know if he's from the South, but I'm. I think he lives up in, like, Albany. Well, he moved from Tennessee, so this way he has an accent. That's fired, Tennessee. Ohh no, I it's Frank. Frank's on her side, I think. Yeah, no, more or less. Yeah, he may have stolen $1,000,000, but what? Yeah, we'll get into this is so this whole story. I'm trying to tell this from this point in, like a chronologic point of view, but this is a ******* twisty, turny mess. Like, I need, like, a chalkboard. It would help trying if there was a component of this podcast that was like a wall covered in pictures and pieces of string. Yes, but our producer Sophie informs me that that is not possible with podcast technology. So wait ten years. Wait ten years. Yeah, and we'll have the holograms. Yeah, the holograms and like, holographic yarn connecting pictures, like just like in minority or yeah, that's the dream. So after bragging about Keith's education, his websites bio goes on to print what might be the most punchable paragraph I have ever read in my entire life. So buckle up. Quote noted as one of the world's top 3 problems. Solvers Keith Ranieri was honored in 1989 by the Guinness Book of World Records in the category of highest IQ. He has an estimated problem solving rarity of 1 in 425 million with respect to the general population. He has intellectual patents pending in the areas of human potential and ethics, expression, voice and musical training, athletic performance, commerce, education and learning, information processing, and human modeling. He also holds several technological patents on computer inventions and a sleep guidance. System that's so clearly fake. That's so clearly fake. It is a bucket of nonsense. But, you know, these are things that you will see as patterns as we go along here. He loves being really specific about how great he is, and in a totally nonsensical way because there's no problems solving. Rarity of 1 in 400 that's making up words. Yeah, that's that's just insanity. Yeah. Very important to keep that people understand just how smart he is. On the website for his main business executive success programs, Keith writes that he was accepted into the Mega Society in 1988, which is some nerd society that requires it demonstrated IQ of 176 or higher, which is an intellectual performance of one in a million level of rarity. As proof, he cites an article from late 1989 titled Troy Mann has a lot on his mind. IQ test proves what many suspected. He's one in 10 million. So I searched for this article and I didn't find it, but I found a plain text. Website that has the article posted on it. Yeah. So we're gonna get into Keith Ranieri's IQ a little bit when we come back, but we do have to break for some ads. So if you have an intellectual problem solving capacity of 1 in 425 million, which all of our listeners do, these ads will help you solve problems. OK, bye things. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for none of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. 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For more than a decade, we hear at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions. Sometimes there are answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing this research. With you for the first time ever in a book format, you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read or wherever you find your favorite books. Hey y'all, this is Caroline Hobby, the host of get real with Caroline Hobby, honest women, honest talk. I love podcasting. It is so much fun because I have the most in depth, spiritual, soulful, real, honest conversations with women who are mothers, who are entrepreneurs, who have started their own businesses, who are married to celebrities, who are celebrities themselves. These women are juggling motherhood, being a career woman, starting their own businesses. Taking leaps, knowing when to jump. These women are incredible and the conversations are so real it will hit every nerve in your body. As a woman, a little bit about myself, I was a country music artist and a trio. I traveled the country open for every celebrity you can imagine in country music. I also been on The Amazing Race twice and I'm married to Michael Hobby, who is the lead singer of 1000 horses. And we have our precious daughter Sonny, who's two listen to new episodes of get Real with Caroline Hobby every Monday on the Nashville podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio app. Apple podcasts or wherever you listen to podcast. And we're back. We're talking about Keith Ranieri and his IQ. So I was just telling you that he he cited an article from 1989 that that covered his joining into the the the Mega Society. So I found a plain text copy of this website. There's a lot of cringe worthy quotes in here, but here's another one of them. He's not your stereotypical genius. Watchful blue eyes. Look out from behind aviator glasses. His brown hair is parted stylishly in the middle. He has the physique of an athlete. She is he was East Coast judo champion at age 12, tied with the state record for the 100 yard dash is an avid skier, swimmer and windsurfer. He says he plays seven musical instruments and also sings high tenor in local musical productions. Well, that is also fake. Like, at first, when I found it hosted on a plaintext website, I was like, Keith Ranieri just lied and made-up an article, yes, but the actual website that hosts it is some dude who's obsessed with IQ tests who is cataloged every article about IQ tests for the last, like 40 years. And I think he just typed up news clippings he had and hosted them online. It's an exercise in madness, but I don't think Keith faked it. I do think he lied to this journalist, and it wasn't a good journalist. Yes. Like said, of course he's telling the truth. Look at how smart this piece of paper like, tilts his hand a little and it's like he says this. Yeah. Yeah, exactly. Wow. Yeah. So it's possible Keith actually is a member of the Mega Society and has a very high IQ. However, Keith also claims the 1989 Guinness Book of World Records honored him for having the highest IQ. That is clear and provable nonsense because Marilyn Vos Savant had the highest recorded IQ on the and was in the Guinness record for that from 1986 through 89. I don't even believe this man has had an IQ test. Yeah, that's I I could totally see that being a lie from the beginning. Yeah, because in the 1980s you could say anything you could. You think people couldn't Google it? Yeah. And all catch you. Albany Random newspaper isn't gonna check no one was looking. No. I don't know the way this guy writes. He doesn't sound very smart. He doesn't. Right. He he sounds like someone who's. Pretending to be smart. We're gonna listen to him later. I don't disagree with you, OK? We're gonna listen to him later. He clearly has a type of intelligence, just like Donald Trump has a type of intelligence. Otherwise he wouldn't be able to do what he does. It's very comparable. But he is not a genius in the sense that, like, he's able to usefully add to the human experience for people. What an interesting thing to get people. And I guess Trump does this too, by being like. I'm smarter than you. Yeah, and he does it in such a. Almost more frustrating way. Yeah. Like Keith does it. Like his focus on like, I have this IQ. I am this much rare. My brain is so this rare in the world. I'm one of the three greatest problem solvers on the planet. Yeah. Which is is even more nonsense than. Yeah. He reminds me of what we used to do in speech and debate in high school. Did you, did you ever? I was a speech and debate kid for four years. What did you do? Douglas debate. I did extem. I know. Boy, you were one of those kids. And what you learned in Extemp was, you know, you gave a speech for seven minutes extemporaneously. And what you learned is to just make up. Yeah. Thanks. Yeah. And to say them with confidence. And no one would ever know the difference because these were just parents. Yeah. He sounds like how how we sounded making up those, but also, like, looking back, it's like, Nah, the adults knew it was fake. We just. I don't know, I once gave a whole speech about is Macedonia going back to civil war? Oh, wow. Were they? How's Macedonia doing these days? I made-up everything from the beginning to the end. Beautiful. Yeah, and I thought I did great, but. Looking back, well, it was it was not unlike that bio. No, I mean the great, like, if you, if you're a student of history, the most important lesson of history is that if you get up and you lie with confidence, most people will buy it. Yeah, like, that's just human history from like 10,000 BC to now if you just get up and you're full of ****. Like, LD debate was a lot of that. Like, really? I always regarded debate as like, the smart ones. There's a lot of research involved, but in a pinch, yeah, lying will do the trick sometimes, especially if you're like. Me like a tall white guy. Because if you if you're a tall white guy and you say things with confidence, people just tend to trust you. It's amazing. It's like when I saw Keith in the in the fleece, I was like, I guess him off of this. I mean, look at this guy. He looks like he's someone who talks avidly about hiking. Yeah, show me a woman who looks exactly like me and I'll be like, I don't trust her. No. Ohh, boy. OK, well, moving right along. Keith claims, who started his first business in 1984, he called it the concept school and then later the life. Learning institute. Again, Keith gives almost no details as to what these businesses were. This is all from the affidavit, which I'm. I'm using because he presumably lied less in it because it would be perjury, right? Yeah. So that that. Anyway, that's why I'm using the affidavit so much. Yeah, that's smart. In order to start these businesses, he claims he distilled a lifetime of careful thought and his genius intellect into their creation, but he never actually says what they did. These first ventures wound up closing due to irreconcilable differences between Keith and his backers. This is 1984, which is code for he couldn't return. In the money, yeah. He wasn't actually doing anything. Keith did get up to something else in 1984, though. Molesting teenagers. Yeah, ohh, he was a little busy. He had a new hobby he's getting up to. Well, OK. He was living in an apartment building in Troy when he met Gina Melita. She was 15 and he was 24. They struck up a friendship and went to the arcade together. Ranieri was obsessed with Pac-Man and a game called Vanguard. He told her he was a genius and a judo champion, which he always he loves. Bringing up that Judo championship which again, nothing against martial arts. Find a way to stay fit. Great pastime. If you brag about the martial arts that you do, don't let it be better. Is the immediate. Well, that's also just the immediate. Like, OK, I'm gonna disregard you as a person. If the first thing you say to me is bragging about your martial arts career and we're not, like, at a martial arts competition or something, I I immediately, immediately doubt it. First of all, and I wonder if he said it just because it was like, yeah, I'm tough, don't mess with me. I could fight, but I couldn't fight in a maybe. It's like no one knows. Like, no one knows judo so they could never challenge him. Yeah, it was like safe. Yeah. Because I don't. I wouldn't know how to be like, OK, well, how did? Good. Yeah, you would judo or whatever. Yeah, let's judo. Yeah, so he anyway. But so he brings, he tells the 15 year old girl that he was great at judo at 11 and then he takes her virginity. They had a what some sources call a relationship and I think what the law calls statutory rape off and on for about four months. Keith Ranieri told her not to tell her mother and also urged her to lose weight. She was too fat for him. Ohh no. Yeah, it's gonna be a pattern too. Ah, this sounds a lot like Trump. They're not as different as I think he would want to be seen as. Yeah, the weight thing. Mm-hmm. Although he's a big Randian in Rand. That OK? Yeah. Yeah. Keith met another girl in 1984. Also, her name is Gina Hutchinson. She was 16. They started having sex. When Gina, sister Heidi found out, she confronted Keith Ranieri. Quote, Heidi said Ranieri told her that she did not understand. Her sister's soul was much older than her biological age. He explained. Gina was a Buddhist. Goddess meant to be with him. So goddesses and Buddhism. I mean, I don't know, there's a lot of different little sects, but I'm gonna guess this is just ********. I mean, it's obviously ******** but I'm gonna guess he was just lying about Buddhist goddesses existing anywhere. Man, what a thing to tell someone. Yeah, you. Look, I know it looks bad, but they're souls. Really old and I can see it. They're souls. Really old and Buddhist and Buddhist. So that makes this fine. Yeah, as if just that. Loan would make the sister be like, well, I did never notice that he did say Buddha's name. Yeah, I guess he's fine. That quote was from the Albany Times Union, which has done a lot of good reporting on Keith Ranieri. Yeah. So if you work for the Albany Times Union can Congrats. Anyway, none of the rapes are mentioned in Keith's official BIOS, obviously, or the affidavit. He claims that during this time he decided he was called on to teach people his remarkable theories on learning. I'm gonna quote from the affidavit here to test my theories and earn money. I became an independent contractor for several marketing and sales organizations, with one organization that had more than 200,000 representatives nationally that was able to personally recruit and train using my motivational methodology. 6 of the 10 top producers in a month doesn't give the name of the company he was working for, probably because it's a lie. You know, which is a big Keith Ranieri move. Yeah. Just say the thing without being the thing you did. Like people who have accomplished things do. Yeah, like you can still be kind of a scammer and have a like, but you just say, like, I did this thing. Yeah, even Donald Trump people say I built this building, I ran this company, I ran this company. Like Keith raniere. There's never anything specific it's mentioned, but it worked. People listened. They were usually younger, though, I assume. Yeah, or at least in this in the sexual way. Yeah. So he wound up quitting that unnamed organization because he says they didn't gel with his ethical foundations, which he never elaborates on, never tells us what those ethical foundations are. But, you know, by the time the 80s are over, he has sort of started to settle on a new thing that he wants to do. He's another quote from the affidavit. In 1990, I held a meeting with four of my friends in my living room to determine the principled structure of a new business. We call this business consumers buyline which like buyers and purchase OK and officially started business on May 1st. The business was based on my projective human model with ethics which does not tell you anything about what the business is. It was a multi level marketing scam. It was a pyramid scheme. People would pay 200 plus dollars for access to discount buying groups which were supposed to give them access to cheaper groceries and stuff. But if they signed up other people then they get monthly commissions. The grocery discount program was cancelled but the company kept charging people for it and they didn't actually pay people for selling memberships. Either eventually they had something like 1/4 of a million members, but also were paying out millions in legal fees because they were defrauding tons of people very brazenly defrauding people very brazenly defrauding people. Like they're gonna complain that they're not getting paid. Yeah, but if you keep getting enough new members fast enough to pay the legal fees, Keith Ranieri can live. Well, yeah. So in 1990, the year that Keith and his friends came up with consumers, Buyline Keith also allegedly sexually assaulted a 12 year old. Ohh no. Yeah, yeah, this is a ohh no pattern for him. This anonymous girl was the child of a saleswoman who worked for the consumers Buyline. According to the Times Union, her mother called Keith Ranieri an Einstein quote. Ranieri would call staff meetings to deliver sometimes tearful emotional messages. He frequently showed a film about a man who plants seeds in the desert to build a forest. He suggested he was that type of noble cultivator of people which the deserts the desert don't plant seeds in it. It doesn't need trees. I mean, like, not that it doesn't. I wonder what that video was. Yeah, like, did they stitch it together and make it seem like the guy did it? Like he planted a whole forest in the desert? I don't know. It makes me like, if I was going to do that, it would be like, I'm gonna, I'm going to start an ocean in the desert and just going to start dropping fish and water. And eventually we'll have us in oceans. Like, no, that's not what it is. Yeah, it doesn't work. But, like, if I were in his shoes, I think I would just show people a real documentary. Yeah. About an actual inspiring person with whom there are and, like, jump on that train. Yeah. So he apparently, you know, saw himself as a man who was planting seeds and he apparently decided to molest this 12 year old girl. So Keith Ranieri told the girl's mom who idolized him, that he wanted to tutor her daughter. At the same time, Keith's girlfriend apparently hired the young lady as a dog Walker. The girl alleges that Keith started by showering her with attention and then quickly moved on to molesting her quote. They told me I was smart and took an interest in me. They let me spend every afternoon at their house. She said. It was exciting to be somewhere people wanted me. I was perfect picking and secure at the time. Have someone that mature in that well thought of be interested in me? It was flattering. I was young and experienced, overwhelmed and out of my league. Yeah, so Keith continued to have sex with her for quite some time in his townhouse and empty offices, in an elevator, in a broom closet at the Plaza that hosted the consumers byline. She claims the relationship went on for about a year, with at least 60 individual sexual encounters. In 1993, she reported it to the police but withheld her name. The report didn't go anywhere. It's hard to say why, since police in the Capital Region of New York purged all their files. In the late 1990s, so. Whoa, it didn't nothing happened. How can nothing happen off of that? I mean, that's but that's the case with Cosby and Weinstein. It's always they don't go anywhere for a long time. Yeah, that's true. That's true. We're in such a radically different moment right now. Yeah, yeah. This was still the dark ages for that ****. Yeah. Yeah. Wow. It's weird how, like this idea of telling a young girl she's smart and showering her with attention. As ****** as that is, I feel like that's still so common. On college campuses and at high schools, yeah. With teachers, kind of. Coming up toward that line, I mean, it works for everybody because. High schools, yeah. If you're a thoughtful, smart person, usually not your favorite time. Yeah, it's rough for a lot of kids. And if an adult who is well thought of says that, like, you're special and takes an interest in you, like, that's that can be a big deal. Yeah. You feel misunderstood. You're doing Lincoln Douglas debate, which a lot of people probably thought wasn't cool, certainly did not. You know, get you dates. I'll tell you one thing, speech in debate at my high school got you dates. We had no sports, so it was like this. I mean, yeah, I thought it was like the sports team. Yeah, I grew up in Texas, so it was one of those, like, you know, if you're on the football team, you can murder people, but if you're anything else, they didn't really care all that much. Anyway. You remember that girl Gina from before? Yeah. OK, so Keith convinced her to drop out of high school. This is during the same time he's dating that 12 year old. He convinced a 16 year old to drop out of high school, promising he would tutor her. The two had kept seeing each other in Gina's family, assumed they would marry. She turned 17 at some point during this, which was the age of consent, so he was no longer statutory ****** her. He was just a creepy man in his 30s dating a high schooler. It's weird that that is a line that exists. Like, yeah, it's fine now. I guess it's not a crime anymore. Welcome to the family. Yeah, it's hard to say exactly how long their sexual relationship continued. She did eventually start going to college, and Keith reportedly got angry when male teachers would. Praise her for being smart. Ohh, because he's an abusive prick. Yeah, yeah. I feel like we're getting that aspect of him. Yeah, good for her if we're going to college. I mean for her, for going to college. Not a story that ends happily. But no, we'll move on for right now. So when you dig into the Keith's life, you get essentially 2 stories. There's the Keith story of what happened and the everything else that you can actually back up with. Objective evidence story of what happened. So in the everybody else version of reality, Keith spends the early 90s building a pyramid scheme and molesting young girls. His pyramid scheme falls apart. 1993, which is also the year that he gets reported to the cops from molesting another girl, which I think worked for now three. That's when investigations in 1983, yeah, his pyramid scheme collapses because investigations by 23 States and two federal agencies determined that the consumers byline is in fact a pyramid scheme. So Keith can't do that scheme anymore and he has to find another scheme. Now in Keith's version of reality, he just used his experience running a totally legit and awesome business which was super successful and then sadly had to shut down due to people's bigoted. Ideas of the world? Hmm. He used that experience, though, to learn about people. He was studying human beings the whole time. He was working with consumer biology. He's a humanitarian and his work in exploring human psyche and a scholar and a judo champion. Don't you forget that I was leading up to that. I was going in order of importance. When we get out of here today and someone asks who were you talking about today, you'll say Keith Ranieri and they'll say, what's that guy? And you'll say he was pretty ******* good at Judah 30 or 40 years ago. Yeah, yeah, they'll say sounds sounds legit. Sounds cool. Where can I give him my money? Yeah, and he'll say just Venmo me. Just. If you get the fleece, you can make that work. I own the fleece. Well, you gotta be wearing it. But I'm not. I don't look like. You and Keith. Whoa, whoa, whoa. OK. You know, it's fair. I don't know if I can pull off a period scheme. People are too suspicious of women. Well. Yeah, that's probably true. Yeah. OK, so Keith spent his time running a pyramid scheme and molesting girls, also learning about humanity. And he discovered in his own claims that mines work the same way as computers, only using words instead of numbers to program them. So he built a new form of communication called rational inquiry. And the R and the I are always capitalized, and it's always followed by a trademark sign. Oh, Oh no. This is serious **** we're dealing with here. Don't don't you dare dismiss rational inquiry. It sounds like a thing. When you hear the capitals, when I say it the capital, the first time I didn't. OK, but then when you said it again, I did. Rational inquiry now yes, now it sounds like a patented line of TM something CM RM. I don't understand trademark either. OK, so you're probably wondering what is rational inquiry? I've got a quote from Keith Ranieri trying to explain it here. Quote It enabled a person to find a common understanding with others and to logically build a belief system that matched a person's subjective. World highly individually at consistent. Using this model, people seem to understand themselves and each other better understand themselves and each other better. Do you get what rational inquiry is now? Talking. That is 100% of what Keith Ranieri does is is talk very quickly and throw out a bunch of big words. So we're going to get into the opus of Keith's life, the main venture that would define most of his time on this earth and would be his most successful project, Nexium. But before we get into Nexium, we need to go talk about ads for products that are, that are actual things that you can buy rather than nonsense words said by a child molester. So please buy some products. So by now we imagine that you've seen the theories on Tik T.O.K. You maybe even heard the rumors from your friends and loved ones. But are any of the stories about government conspiracies and cover ups actually true? The answer is surprisingly or unsurprisingly, yes. For more than a decade, we hear at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions, sometimes their answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing this research with you for the first time ever in a book format, you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read or wherever you find your favorite books. My name is Erica Kelly and I am the host and creator of Southern Fried True crime. There are so many people that just have no idea about some injustices in the world, and if you can give a voice to them, you can create change. To be able to do it within podcasting is just such a gift. I believe it was 18 months after I got on with Spreaker that I was making enough that I could quit my day job. It was incredible. I always feel like an ambassador for speaker. But that's because I'm passionate about podcasting. It's really easy to use. I always tell people I am so not tech. Took me 5 minutes to get comfortable with spreaker, and when I find a new friend that has an incredible show, I want them to make money. I want them to be able to do what I did. Follow your podcasting dreams. Let's break your handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to That's Get paid to talk about the things you love. Spreaker from iheart. Hey, it's Roy Wood, junior, host of The Daily Show podcast beyond the scenes, and we are back for season 2. Beyond the scenes is the podcast where we go even deeper into segments and topics we covered on the show, but they're topics that deserve a little more time, a little more finessing details, you know? So this season, we're bringing on more Daily Show writers, producers and correspondents. We're bringing on more experts to drop knowledge on all sorts of topics. You gonna get some knowledge that you can't get anywhere else. We're breaking it down this season 2. We talking gentrification, we talk in gun laws, book bannings, Black Trail Blazers in fashion, all the trash ways that people treat flight attendants as well. And shout out to the flight attendants how you keeping us safe and still got time to give me a biscoff cookie respect. Listen to beyond the scenes on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. It don't matter where you get it, baby. Just find us. We're back and we're talking about Keith Ranieri, humanitarian, judo champion, businessman and molester of multiple children. OK, he has a lot more credentials than that, you're right, but we only have so much time. That's true. And and I feel like I've read multiple lists of his credentials at this point, list inventor, cyclist. So at this point, Keith's first business may have been a gigantic and possibly criminal disaster, but he sowed the seeds of his next. Venture, obviously. Nexium. In 1998, Keith met a lady named Nancy Salzman, who he described as in the affidavit as an international authority on human potential. Which what? How can you be an international authority on potential? What do you do for a living? Oh, you know, I I write for television. What do you do for a living? Oh, I'm a I'm an accountant. I'm a I'm an expert on human potential. It's like going up to everyone and being like, you can be anything you want. Or is it the opposite? Going up to people and being like, I think. Dentist. I feel like it's just reminding people of what human beings can do. Like, everybody's sitting around talking about how to, like, build a road and you're like, you know, we landed a man on the moon at one point. We could build a road, but that is definitely what it is. Bunch of executives are trying to figure out a new flavor of Doritos, and you're like, you know, human beings made the Holocaust happen. Just, you know, just just reminding people of the human potential is either way. Yeah, yeah. Potential can go either way. And it's important that the Doritos people not fly too close to the. One it is because they've been flying real close lately. I know, cool ranch. We were never meant to have it. No, we can't handle it. I also hate Doritos. Cool Ranch is a disgusting line of chips and a sea of terrible chips. I just want to note to all the listeners that it is not the official standpoint of this podcast that Cool Ranch Doritos aren't delicious. No, I understand many people like them, but we're just trying to get the cool ranch people to put some ad dollars our way. Oh yeah, do they sponsor a lot of podcasts? I don't know, but we could be the first. And and I just want people to know if there is anyone from Doritos listening, please have a Doritos tastic day. Yes. God, I love a good dorito. Anyway, back to Keith Ranieri. Yes, a good segue. Speaking of super clear, Speaking of chips, Speaking of cheesy flavor. So he met this lady, Nancy Salzman, International Authority and human potential. He tutored her for six months on the techniques of his new breakthrough learning science. And then the two started Nexium. At this point, you may be wondering, what the **** was Nexium? Well, Nexium was an umbrella company, and its main initial purpose was to host professional development seminars focused around executive success programs. All caps. Again, uh. Devised by Ranieri and Salzman. You probably still wondering what the **** any of that means. This is by design and the affidavit Ranieri had to file. He claims that the basis for the training was a 12 point copyrighted mission statement. The actual text of that mission statement is a trade secret and you weren't allowed to know what it says unless you pay to take the class, at which point you're required to sign a confidentiality agreement promising not to tell anyone about it. So again, if you are sitting at home wondering what the **** is he actually doing, it's impossible to know. No, well it's not impossible because we have some inside data. But yeah, we did some digging on this ****. Did people break their NDA's in the course of this investigation? And how it and these aren't NDA, they're confidentiality agreements. So we're not talking about like a Weinstein level where like somebody who has very smart lawyers is drawing up actual ironclad legal documents. We'll get into what these are in a little bit. So what happened in these executive success programs? Thankfully we have reports from actual attendees. The following quotes are from a woman who showed up at one of these seminars in 2007 after being urged to do so by professionals she admired. The whole process started when the class received quote, a document entitled rules and rituals which informed us to never speak of any of our experiences and ESP. Attendees were also told to quote, remove our shoes, bow and pay tribute to founder Keith Ranieri. There was a lengthy explanation of how to perform a perfect handshake as well as the ESP secret handshake. An explanation of how different colored sash hierarchy works, which seems based entirely on recruitment rather than a measurable skill set, and the request that Keith Ranieri was to be referred to as Vanguard and Nancy Salzman as prefect. So First off, the game that Keith Ranieri played to impress the teenager he ****** was Vanguard. I just think that's interesting. Don't know if there's a connection there, but maybe. Weird, right? It's weird that people have to take off their shoes and bow to him. That is weird. Huh? Like, yeah, that's weird. But then I started thinking, I've been an assistant for various bosses and you start to do weird stuff that you kind of normalize where it's like, well, this is this person is above me. I have to please them. If I please them, things will go well. I guess what I'm saying is I'm the kind of person that would be in a cult. Well, you might be able to join this cult still, depending on how the court cases go. OK. But I there's a lot to dig into in that paragraph. And I do want to talk about the handshake thing for a little bit, because back in 2003, cult expert Rick Ross received several internal Nexium training documents from a disgruntled attendee. He had them analyzed by a cult experts, including Doctor Paul Martin, a licensed clinical psychologist. This is where the affidavit comes from because Keith sued Rick Ross. Saying that he was exposing Nexium's trade secrets he lost. And so the stuff is still up there. And now we have quotes from several sections of the ESP training manuals and guidelines, including Keith Ranieri's explanation of how to Shake hands. Are you ready to learn how to shake some ******* hands? Yeah. OK, OK. Quote Handshaking is a sign of respect and affords us an opportunity to make direct physical contact with others. We believe that many of society's problems have developed because people have come to view each other as objects. Rather than human beings. So far not entirely insane. Spoken from a man who has sex with 12 year old. Spoken from a child molester? Yeah, absolutely. But you know society is ****** ** because people don't make direct physical contact enough. That's an arguable point. Although creepy from the mouth of a child molester it is super creepy, but I'm listening. Here in ESP we use A2 handed handshake. This conveys warmth and a sense of community. Placement of the left hand denotes rank. Individuals of higher rank placed their left hand on the top. Individuals of the same rank shake vertically. Lower rank places the left hand on bottom. So simultaneously, society is ****** ** because we don't spend enough time connecting with each other. But also shaking someone's hand should be a sign of dominance. Wow. You know what? It makes sense though, because he still had to maintain this illusion that, like, he is always superior. Exactly, and you've got to reinforce that by changing the way people. What's also crazy is. Handshakes are that in real life, only with people who are lame. OK, make that argument. But I am not. I'm not much of a toucher. I am not much of a handshaker. I feel like it's very awkward, even a hugger. Yeah, but it's fine when someone goes in to hold your hand. Not to hold, but to shake it, and they have a steady, stern grip. There's a little part of you that's like. Ohh, a steady grip, but not like a crushing grip or anything like that. Like, I, I, I, I spent some time, you know, working as a war correspondent for a while in a couple of different places, and I met a lot of really formidable human beings. And none of them did the like, crush your hand. It was always just like a short, like, like the firm. But it was it was never like, like the people I've met who have always, like, really gone into it and, like, gripped the hand, like they're always lame. They're always like sad little men. Don't have any other way to feel. You have to overcompensate. Yeah, yeah, I bet. I bet Keith had a very. I bet Keith tried to ******* rip your hand upon. Yeah, yeah. So there is a detailed explanation for how to shake hands. OK, and you tell me if this gives you any good information on handshaking, because I can't understand what the **** he's going for here. Crux of the hand is the portion of the hand between the thumb and forefinger where they form a right angle. Wrist **** refers to the angle of the wrist, which can be used to gain control of the handshake. It is important to control the **** of the wrists slightly down as you move into the handshake. Positioning of the feet determines dominance. Stepping into the handshake with the right foot creates a more dominant position, expressing strength for the handshaker. Stepping into the handshake with the left foot will be perceived by both people as a more passive expression. The middle and ring fingers are used to gain control of the handshake. OK, I get it now I get is this still rational inquiry? Yeah, I mean, I guess it's hard. It's hard to say where one part ends in the end again. Doing is taking ways that people interact and explaining them as if you've never heard of it. Yeah, like you're an alien, but if you are an alien making stuff up because it never in my life have I thought about where my feet are in a handshake or been like that guy stepped forward with his left foot, he's showing submission. Yes. No. And I I feel like I should acknowledge the fact that something can be said for like, the way we stand and the way we sit subconsciously. Like when you. And this is something I've heard and all that, like lean and talk for women. But when you stand in a powerful stance and put your shoulders back, that can affect your confidence. Absolutely. But this, the way he's explaining it, is not like feel more confident. It's very different. Yeah. This is how to dominate the other person. This is how to take control of the handshake. Yeah, which so sad. Yeah. These leaked documents are also how we know the exact content of. Confidentiality pledge that attendees were forced to recite the methods and information I learned in ESP or from my use only. I will not speak of them or in any way give others knowledge of them outside ESP. Part of the condition of being accepted into ESP is to keep all its information confidential. If I violate this, I am breaking a promise and breaching my contract, but more importantly, I am compromising my inner honesty and integrity. You know, you're doing something embarrassing when everyone's like, yeah, but let's not tell anyone. Don't tell anybody about this. Yeah, let's let's not. No. There's every great thing people are a part of. Includes the confidentiality pledge. Yeah, anytime someone says that to me, I immediately want to tell the whole world. So I'm like, you don't get to tell me that. I feel like that's why some of these documents, like, yeah, like, whoa, whoa, whoa. This is weird. I'm gonna tell everyone going back to the experiences of the lady we were quoting earlier who attended an ESP. Course wrote about it. She also reported hearing an awful lot of nonsense about Keith Raniere's IQ quote. At times it was 211, at other times it jumped to 240, depending on who was praising his amazingness. Attendees were forced to watch a video of Nancy Salzman where she insisted that Vanguard was one of only two or three people in the world who could solve all of the planets problems. So this attendee actually sat through the whole session and says that she benefited from some of the exercises in the course. Once the instructor got done praising Keith Ranieri, it does sound like there might be vaguely useful stuff buried in the nonsense, but the session ended with a 2 hour lecture on why ESP wasn't a cult, which is the number one warning sign that something is a cult. Yeah, come on guys, this isn't. Well, this isn't a call. It's gonna get a little weird, but it's weird. But it's it's just how we do things. We're just worshipping a man who makes us isolate ourselves from society and our family. But it's not a cult. No. I wonder if this guy had any experience with Scientology. Ohh boy, he sure did. Oh, did he? Oh yeah, no. Scientology this. So we'll get into some of this a little bit, but his everything that he's done is essentially a melange of Ayn Rand entrance philosophy. In Scientology, including using some of the terms from Scientology. Worse things. Yeah, to mash up. Yeah, it's libertarian Scientology oht. Yeah. OK, so buckle up. So the session ended with a 2 hour lecture on why ESP wasn't a cult. The attendee who wrote that report noted that a majority of the other attendees seemed to be women under 25 who did not have a lot of self-confidence. Yeah. Now who report doesn't go into an awful lot of detail about the contents of the class, but fortunately we do have direct quotes from Nexium source. Material First off, here's an actual definition from the class of rational inquiry. Rational inquiry is a science based on the belief that the more consistent a person is in their thinking, the more successful the individual will be. That's ********. Well, that is in keeping with the vagueness that is the the vaguest way to talk about human thinking. Yeah, just be consistent. Which also, that's ******** because if you've ever worked a creative job, you know, one of the keys to being effectively creative in a productive way is to change your circumstances and situation, mindstate and whatnot, so that you can have, you know, better ideas even mean in this context, yeah, consistency is great if you're. Making car engines? Yeah. It's not great if you're a creative person trying to make a creative product, no? Yeah. Anyway, Keith Ranieri does go into more detail about what rational inquiry is, so we'll see if by the end of this paragraph you have any ******* idea what his breakthrough science is. OK? All adults have disintegrations because when they were children learning to be adults and learning about the world, our perspective was based on the perception, intellect and wisdom of a small child. These lessons become the foundation of our whole adult reality. Rational inquiry lets you re examine these childhood beliefs from an adult perspective. So. Keith Renieri claims he invented growing up. Yeah, you what? Literally all he's doing is taking things people do anyway. Yeah. And naturally. And giving them a bad name. Yeah. Giving them a bad name. Yeah. Claiming that, like, yes, of course we all learn things about the world that aren't true as children. Yeah. Yeah. Which is childhood. But I can see maybe I'm giving him too much credit. But I can see the way that this, like, grasps at the edges of, like, psychoanalysis and question what? You know to be reality. But in the like most useless of ways, yeah, yeah. I can't see how anyone could benefit in a major way from this stuff. But I can see how, because this is something you'll see when we play some of his audio later, he will start with like, this is an act, like citing an actual concept in psychology or in developmental psychology or whatever. And for a minute or two he'll say something that's not nonsense, and he'll use that actual fact to make the nonsense that comes later sound like it's got some basis in science, as opposed to just Keith Ranieri being. Full of ****. OK, so let's discuss the mission statement of Nexium. If you remember from the affidavit, Keith stated that his mission statement was so important that he had to sue a guy over it. Here's how Doctor Martin, who's one of the experts Rick Ross had reviewed the materials, described the mission statement. The first point is success is an internal state of clear, honest knowledge of what I am, my value in the world, and my responsibility for the way I react to things. The second point is, there are no ultimate victims. Therefore, I would not choose to be a victim. There's a pledge to purge oneself of all parasite and then based habits. There's a pledge to control as much of the money of the world as possible. Within each student's success plan quote, a world of successful people will be a better world, and indeed a world devoid of hunger, theft, dishonesty, and being insecurity. People will no longer try to destroy each other and steal from each other or rejoice at another's demise. Success, ethics and integrity are Co inspirational. I pledge to share and enroll people in ESP and its mission for myself to help make the world a better place to live. Then the parallels to Trump are so heavy. Hmm, like. I can see how offering people a way to empower themselves out of perceived victimhood could be enticing. But then tacking on and I'm going to make you super rich. Not just that, but the best thing. You know, if you're an ethical person, you look at it, all the ****** ** **** in the world and you're like, Oh my God, what could I do? He's saying the best thing you can do for the world is to make a **** load of money. Yeah, yeah. Wow. It's so broken. It's sad. Well, it's it's women. It's the way, I mean, if you like, not to compare Keith Ranieri to ******* Hitler because they're not very similar people, but it's the same. It's the same thing. Like if you can tell a group of young people how special they are and make them feel special, they'll do almost anything for you. But on the other hand, I certainly have been in that position. Uh, numerous times, like in high school, having a mentor who was a like a senior at the time who was, who seemed so politically smart and LED all the protests on campus. And then looking back, I'm like, I don't know. Yeah, he was just kind of getting off on having a lot of people look up to him. Yeah. And it's easy then because you're in a, you're in a very small pond. You don't need to know that much about the world to. Yeah, Keith didn't need to know that much. He just needed to be better at talking than these people. Yeah, yeah. And of course make them pay thousands of dollars to attend his classes because there is a sunk cost fallacy going on here, right? The five day intensive ESP course cost $2700. There was a three day intensive for $1200 and a 16 day course which won assumes had to run at least seven or $8000. So you're paying this guy a lot of money. You're going to be more inclined to believe he's not full of **** right? Yeah, you got to protect yourself. Exactly. Say what you will about improv, but it's cheaper than that. Yes, yes, do improv. Improv comedy. Cheaper? Yeah, than ESP classes. The healthiest cult you could join is improv. Yeah, maybe CrossFit is a notch above it. Well, but people poop themselves a lot doing CrossFit. True. Yeah, that's a real factor. If you know someone who got super into CrossFit, they look excellent. They do look great. Yeah, a cornerstone of the intensive classes was working to shed parasitic behaviors, which, you know, we already quoted a little bit. Examples of such behavior included complaining about. *** expressing hunger and statements like I know I promised, but I had no idea how hard or painful this was going to be. Oh God, Oh yeah. Keith Ranieri, probably child molester, also gave new definitions of the words good and bad. Quote When we were little children, we learned bad when someone yelled no or that's bad. Stop. We learned good when we were rewarded in some way. This sort of learning is inconsistent and limiting because in order to have a full understanding of each concept, we would have to examine every example of good. Every example of bad this practice session affords you the opportunity to reevaluate your definitions of these vital concepts to form a solid foundation for the future. Which is sounds like someone who's going to do something bad is going to do something bad and tell you it's good. Yeah. Yeah. And if there's probably no creepier thing than saying it's parasitic to tell someone that you don't want to do something because it's painful. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. We already talked about how there were long lectures about how Nexium wasn't a cult. Keith does in his training. Annuals define the word cult. Quote This is a label that conveys no meaning but to values the group. It is designed to keep people away from the group without saying what is wrong with it. Example that's a cult. Classic example. Classic example. That's a cult. They also call anyone who doubts Nexium, or anyone who breaks faith and tells other people at the classes a suppressive, which is straight out of Scientology. Yeah, yeah, I could go on about executive success program training all day, but we have some much more ground to cover. I do want to point out just how careful Keith was to stay just on this side of not making legally fraudulent claims about his services. So I'm going to play a selection from a video Keith made called what executive success? Programs does where he claims his seminars have supernatural healing powers in the Weasel West Way possible. And we will be posting links to all these videos on the site if you guys want to see Keith Ranieri's creepy face. But you'll get a lot out of hearing his creepy voice. And I will say within the thousands of people who've gone through, we've had some incredibly you might call it strange or or wonderful happenings and you could easily hold those that up and say, oh you know. We change this condition or we there's one person who in one of our intensives for whatever reason how, who knows grew like 3/4 of an inch and there had some sort of release, I think in their spine or their posture. Who knows what now that could have happened on the playground. That doesn't necessarily happen from us. We've certainly that would be at best a case study and inadvertent case study. We certainly haven't done a double-blind study, can we? You know, but. They have something like that and ohh, should we hold that up as a a poster child and whatever. And no, because I'm sure there are many activities, you know, public school is probably had more than we have of those sort of things. So when people get really good results from us, yes we do take testimonials at times or whatever, but we, we look at those results ideally as an effect of really the answer to the question do you have. Or joy in your life. We would have been very satisfied with our results, with you if you kept your full blown tarrats and all of that sort of thing, but came out saying you know something, life's better for me. So that guy is claiming that Keith cured his Tourette's, his turrets. Yeah, but no, but that's not what we're saying the course does. We're just saying this guy took the course, and we're not saying it'll make you taller, but it did happen to this one guy that's smart. Again, it's a Trump tactic, but I I didn't get it when I just heard the written version of him. But hearing that he does know how to speak, he's very good at bringing it back, like he was literally spouting ********. You said it best like supernatural capacity, of course. Like, you know, you didn't make someone grow. Yeah, that's nonsense. But to bring it back to like, this question of did we bring more joy into your life that's laser focused, that manipulating people. And Keith Ranieri, whatever else you can say about him, is a genius at manipulating people. Yeah. And this brings us to the end of the part one of our two-part series on Keith. This wound up being like an 8000 word thing that I wrote for this, so we have a lot more to cover when we come back on Thursday, we're going to talk about the first news articles that started to uncover the terrible story of Keith Ranieri back in the early 2000s. And yes, we will get to more detail about the branding and all of that horrible ****. And we will also have some really weird videos of Keith Raineri and Alex and Mac. So get ready for that on Thursday next by Anna with two ends. I make comics about depression, anxiety and cheese because I'm lactose intolerant and you can find me on Twitter at bad comics by Anna. Her comics are actually good. Thanks. Just we've got a we've got to throw that in for legal reasons. Yeah, we can't be false advertising here and by Doritos. Cool Ranch is the coolest of the ranches. I'm Robert Evans. You can find me on Twitter at. I write OK 2 letters from my book on the Internet at a brief history of. Twice it's on Amazon and you can find behind the ******** online or on Twitter at ******** pod. So check us out. We'll have you know some some video clips and pictures of this creep on there, and come back Thursday for the stirring conclusion to the story of Keith Ranieri. A real ***** ** ****. In the 1980s and 90s, a psychopath terrorized the country of Belgium. A serial killer and kidnapper was abducting children in the bright light of day. From Tenderfoot TV and iHeartRadio, this is La Monstra, a story of abomination and conspiracy. The story about the man who simply become known as. The monster. Listen for free on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Doctor Laurie Santos, host of the Happiness Lab podcast, the show that presents the latest science based strategies to help us live happier, more joyful lives. In the next season of the Happiness Live, we'll explore how to make friends happier parenting strategies and why drinking the world's hottest hot sauce can be fun. Oh my God. Listen to the Happiness lab on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. Hey there, it's Ebony Monet, your co-host for the San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we're speaking with Doctor Jane Goodall about the fascinating journey that led to her social discoveries on chimpanzees. So, full of months, the chimps ran away from me. I mean, they take one look at this peculiar white ape and disappear into the vegetation. Bring wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts.