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.
Thu, 21 Jun 2018 10:00
In Part Two of Episode 8, Robert is joined again by writer/comedian Anna Salinas (badcomixbyanna, John Baxte) and they continue to discuss Keith Raniere and his sex cult, 'NXIVM.'
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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 again behind the ********. We're doing part two of our series on Keith Ranieri, creator of the Nexium sex cult, child molester, judo champion and humanitarian. My guest for Part 2, as with part one, is Anna Salinas, cartoonist. Comedian list creative earist. So thank you for joining me again, Anna. Thank you. Thank you for listing all my official titles. Creative wrist is the one that I'm most proud of. Yeah, I could tell that from the business cards. Yeah. So we're going to get are you excited to get back into talking about Keith Ranieri? I am. I feel like we did all this, like, homework to get up to the juiciest part. Oh, boy. I mean, it's been juicy. It's been juicy, but, well, it's crazy to say it's been tame because he's been molesting. After three women, yes. Is sexually assaulted three children and he's built his cult? Yeah, but I don't want to know the crazy stuff. It did well. Buckle up. By 2003 / 3700, people had enrolled in Keith Seminars, including some famous Irish people, the cofounder of BET, a former US surgeon General, the daughter of 1 Mexican president, and the son of another. For whatever reason, lot of success with the children of Mexican presidents. Keith Ranieri was good at that. The young female heirs to the Seagram's. Like a fortune were also big fans of his his work, as well as Stephen Cooper, the acting chief executive of Enron. Oh yeah, those are huge get there's some big gets in there, although 2003 is not the best year to have the CEO of Enron. To be fair, it's not. It's not. But the son and daughter of a Mexican president, two different Mexican presidents, two different ones. Yeah, yeah. One of them is the daughter of Vincente Fox and the other, his name was Salinas. I'm not great at my Carlos Salinas. Carlos Salinas. I should know that because Salinas is my last name. I know Vincente Fox really well because he is probably the best name of any president. Fantastic name. Anna. Vocal antagonist of Trump. Yeah, he's he's definitely been a big daughter within this. Yeah, that's huge. Well, OK, so I want to be fair to the people who remembers this when I say that these were enrolled in his seminars. This isn't the same as like being a Scientologist or in the heavens gate. These people are spending a lot of money. They probably think he's great. They may have bought into some aspects of it, but they're not worshipping anything like they're paying into his money scheme. So some of these people, like the heiress to the Seagram's vodka fortune, this couple, these two sisters, are definitely in the cult. Full on. I don't know if that's the case with all of these people, and in fact I think for most of them they just treated it like a professional development thing. And they had money to burn, right? They had money to burn. That's still so wild. I mean, like, he was he was normalized. Yeah. Yeah. And he was, he didn't have, like, you'll notice there's that huge numbers of people. I think maybe 17,000 people took his seminars at the Max, but they're paying a lot of money and. Yeah, yeah. And they're doing classes over and over again. Because that's something he insists. Is that like, if you you gotta retake the classes a bunch of times to really get the maximum benefit out. That does sound like UCB. That sounds uncomfortably similar to the Upright Citizens Brigade approach to improv comedy. Well, what? That's what that was Co created by was the Lady on 30 Rock, Amy Poehler. OK, so maybe we'll do an Amy Poehler episode. Ohh, God, I I don't want to be responsible for throwing Amy Poehler under the bus, but if you find something, the next time you see her, ask how she shakes hands, and then I'll tell you what you need to know about whether or not she's starting a cult. I will if she puts out her right foot and then immediately makes a right angle with her thumb. And that's as much as I remember. Yeah. There's so much to keep track of. What the handshake guidelines. Tilted wrist. Yeah. That the wrist tilt. 100% about the wrist tilt. Yeah. Yeah. But anyway, 2003, Keith Ranieri is doing great. That is the same year that a reporter from Forbes asked to interview him. He was delighted. Who wouldn't be, you know, having ever having Forbes. He was going to be on the cover of Forbes. That's a big. That's a big. That's the sort of thing he would make up. Yeah, that's the sort of thing he would lie about shamelessly. Yeah. Unfortunately for Keith and Nexium, the article that ran in October 2003 titled Cult of Personality was not positive towards keeping his program. Forbes, unfortunately for Keith. Where actual journalists and they did some actual journalism and they found a number of fun things in Keith's past, including an ex-girlfriend who was in the process of suing him. She claims he had harassed her, disrupted her business and manipulated her into giving up her 10 year old son to the boy's father. This woman, Tony F Natalie, told Forbes that she believed Ranieri brainwashed her, telling her that you know, she had to give up her son to her son's father because she was put on Earth to carry his baby and this was quote the baby who would alter the course of history. Now, Ranieri called this claim ridiculous and not rational, which it's certainly not rational, but I'm 100% sure he made this claim to her based on some stuff that's going to happen next. Spoiler Alert, this is not the last time we're going to hear about Keith Ranieri trying to steal a baby. So it really has been building in craziness because first she was like, well, what if I just, like, have sex with kids? Now it's like, or I could make my own. Or steal them. Make my own child who's going to alter the course of history. Yeah. Yeah. Oh, wow. So, I mean, Forbes runs the story. They sure do. And he refutes it. Does the company take a hit? No, no, no. So we're not even through everything in the story at this point when Forbes, Forbes is being legitimate journalist. So they they they meet this woman and she has the story about Keith Ranieri trying to like, manipulate her into giving up her kids so she can have another kid for him. And they go to Ranieri and they said these are the allegations. Someone's making and he refutes it. So the author of the Forbes article did spend a lot of time talking to Keith. It's clear that Ranieri really played up the enigmatic guru portions of his personality while they were together. Here's a quote from the article that I think. Presents Keith the way that he was trying to present himself for this. He has no drivers license, relying on friends for rides and walking up to 12 miles a day. He says he has no bank account and that he forgoes any salary from the four million a year coaching program he created. That's steaming ********. I consider everything payment for what I've done, though he Co owns a small home near Albany, NY, with a female friend. He spends most nights at one or another of three friends homes. He claims not to own a bed. I live, he says with a disarmingly warm smile. A somewhat churchmouse type existence. I'm gonna go ahead and call out this journalist for saying he had a disarmingly charming smile. You see, I think that's probably fair. I mean, you saw a little bit of the video. We're going to watch some more later. No, this is what he's good at. Got a good voice? Yeah. And in fairness to the journalist, the journalist didn't just take this like he dug up the **** load of dirt on him. The writer was just pointing out Keith's good at being charming. He's good, yeah. But uh, I don't believe that whole Jesus, I don't have money. I don't have a bad thing. He's really going for the Jesus he vibe. Yeah, yeah, which is smart. If you're being accused of things, it's like, Oh no, I misunderstood. So the Forbes article brought more insights into Keith Raniere's view of the world. It revealed that he believes most non Sep people try to quote, destroy each other, steal from each other. Down each other and rejoice at another's demise. And so it is essential for the survival of humankind that as much money as possible be controlled by successful ethical people like the folks trained in his seminars. Now the Forbes article may have been inspired by someone with an vendetta. One of the articles main anti Nexium sources was a guy named Edgar Bronfman, senior former head of the Seagrams Company and patriarch of the family Fortune. Edgar Bronfman's daughters wound up being the two big whales of Keith Ranieri's con man life, putting 10s of millions of dollars into keys. Countries and these poor girls were definitely in the cult side of things. Yeah, like the now. I don't know if he ever did anything untoward with him, but he for sure bilked them out of a fortune. And I wonder, so where did all that money go? Well, that's what we're about to get into. You have 8 pages? We're about to find out. The Nexium particular line of ******** seemed tailor made to ensnare young, rich, naive people. Keith was a big Iran fan, so his philosophy simultaneously elevated wealth to a virtue while also letting people feel like they were saving the world just by being rich and buying into Keith's ********. ESP had a sash ranking system where different colors and bans on your sash would signify if you were a coach or whatever. So they were like 60 total different types of sashes, and by going to the same class over and over again and going to multiple classes taking, you would get better sashes. So yeah, then. Similar to UCSB, UCSB is the Upright Citizens Brigade theater. They do a bunch of classes on improv and being funny people, yeah, wait, are there sashes? And you should be. We don't have sashes, but there's levels 101213141, advanced study, and then you get on a house team, which is like a sash because you get to go into shows for free. I I'm on a team there. I spent a lot of time there, but. Man, if if there were a checklist of is this a cult, they'd be checking off those boxes. We're at like 7 out of 10 and it's, you know, there's a thin line between a successful business that relies on repeat customers, teaches things, and a cult. You're always going to use some of the same tactics. So, you know, they had these sashes that had a bunch of ranks, and this was like a reward people got for paying an enormous amount of money to take classes. And this is probably why the programs were so addictive to people like the Bronfman sisters. Here's a quote from Sarah Bronfman, one of the heirs to the Seagram's vodka fortune. I don't know how much you know about my family, but coming from a family where I've never had to earn anything before in my life, it was a very, very moving experience for me to be awarded this yellow sash. It was the first thing that I had earned on just my merits. So. Keep making these, you know, young women who grew up super rich and for whom money isn't really a thing. Like, they don't have a concept of money, but they want to feel like they've accomplished something. Yeah, and he's giving that them that opportunity. I mean, if there's anyone who is an heiress out there listening and they want to feel like they've earned something, feel free to Venmo me. Any amount of money. She has so many sashes for you. Yeah, how filthy with sash. I'll make a sash. I'll get one on Etsy. It will be hand embroidered. Yeah, that's hey, it's smart. The guy. I doubted his intelligence at the top of this. He is a deeply smart man who works in the art of total ******** of bilking people out of money. That's his genius. His scam wasn't just timelessly ripping off rich families. Forbes interviewed former students who reported aspects of the training that sounded quite abusive. So to start off, here's some background. One of the different types of classes that you had, the different courses was just called money. And in money students were taught that every dollar spent represented a portion of effort and that quote. Vanguard identified the concept of giving and taking with integrity. Coaches were supposed to urge students to take each session several times at a cost of several $1000 each. Each dollar spent was seen as a representation of the effort they were putting into the class and a core piece of the program known as Exploration of meaning. Teachers are supposed to basically get into students beliefs and. Backgrounds and look for emotional buttons. Students are encouraged to reveal negative habits or negative behaviors from their past. Describe how, like why they think they started doing that thing and then pledge to replace it, which both seems like it might be a reasonable thing. You know, you're getting into this thing. You're trying to purge yourself of your negative behaviors, but also kind of gives them leverage on you. That's Scientology. Scientology is exactly the same thing they do where you would go in and you'd have the E meter reading, you'd have to tell them things you feel guilty, isn't that what? Say it's going on with John Travolta. I mean, probably right, John Travolta is definitely killed a man. Well wait, that's not a legal claim. Allegedly, definitely killed a man. Ohh yeah, he has allegedly, without a shadow of a doubt, killed a human being. Allegedly, allegedly, but without a shadow with no, not a doubt in my mind. Say their secrets about, like, his sexuality and Tom Cruises. And that's how they keep them. I'm going to be so sad if we find out the truth in all it's been for this whole time is that he's gay. Yeah, dude, you didn't. No one would have cared. Yeah, specially Greece. Just as much. Yeah, like we we're fine with it. No, I I don't know. I I wonder if it's more than that, though, too. Who knows? I mean, maybe he really likes it. It may just because I feel like with the celebrities in Scientology like Tom Cruise, they treat them well. Exactly. Maybe there's no bilking going on, right? There's like 2 tracks in Scientology. There's the people that they like trap in rooms. I saw going clear. This is all very factual, no? But there's the people that they really milk for their money and then put into to those brutal conditions. And every good cult needs also people who are genuinely having a good time to sell the cult. Or maybe a mixture of the two. Yeah, I think it it takes it takes both. Yeah, because even the people having a great time are being manipulated to some degree and may be abused. The Bronfman sisters are having a great time with this. Yeah. So basically you were supposed to spend a lot of time and money sitting right in a group telling a coach all the bad things you did. In 2003, a 35 year old woman named Christian Snyder went missing after her Nexium session in Alaska. A note was found in her truck. It read I was brainwashed and my emotional center of the brain was killed turned off. Please contact my parents if you find me. Or this note. I am sorry. I didn't know I was already dead. She's presumed dead. Yeah. Did they kill her? I mean, I think she killed herself. I think she would. And we're gonna get into some more of the abusive **** because this is just like the top of the barrel where they're having you talk about all the bad things that you've done. There's seemed to have been things that happened during some of these training sessions that really ****** with some people's heads. So the Forbes article kicked off years of dogged coverage of Keith Ranieri's world. The Observer published an article a few years later calling out billionaire Richard Branson as affiliated with Nexium. Well, Branson spokesman, was forced to deny he had anything to do with the group. The Nexium, using the Bronfman sisters money, had hired an island that he owned to host an event. Branson cancelled. He said. Yeah, well, I mean. These girls are putting a **** load of money into into Keith Raineri mean millions, 10s of millions, 10s of 1,000,000. We'll get into exactly how much in a little bit would I join a cult if they hired out an island? I would definitely go to their island. I would go and then that's the creepiest place to be. If it's a cult, it is. But island with these *****. But everything's free. It's Richard Branson's island, so it's probably a nice island. Yeah. He's so personable. He seems like he has good taste in islands. Oh yeah, he has a bathtub. Is that the end of the well, I realized I'm pulling this from like a VH1. Lives of billionaires or whatever from like 2002, but he is a bathtub on an outdoor balcony overlooking the ocean. I thought at first you were just saying he is a bathtub and I feel really bad for you. He has a bathtub. How many of us have shower bathtub combos? Goes outside, he's got a bathtub, he fills it up, and he sits like a riches. Yeah, he stews in his well. OK, so yeah. In 2010, Vanity Fair published an article that expanded on allegations of mental abuse and ESP seminars, which helps to give a little bit more context to Christian Snyder's disappearance. Quote. Today people describe Nexium therapy sessions in which they were convinced that they are reincarnated Nazis or responsible for 911. Looking back on her experience, Natalie says Keith finds your vulnerabilities and then he preys on them. He broke them. Yeah. Some of them at least. Yeah. He broke her. Yeah. I mean, that's what it seems like happens. Who knows? Maybe it was something else, but telling people they're Nazis probably doesn't help. Uh, and we all have that. I feel like and responsible for 9:11. Yeah, like, man, there are things I feel guilty about that if you tugged on that thread, you might be able to get me to think I am responsible for bad things. I mean, I've been blaming 911 on you for a while. Yeah, and I'm getting a lot of negative tweets about it. People people don't feel right about it. Shouldn't a 911 it? I take responsibility. Fine. Finally, yes. Justice has been done. I'm sorry. So I should probably point out here. This seems like an appropriate point to say that. Gina, who you remember from earlier, the young lady Keith started saying when she was 16, she ran off to a Buddhist monastery and committed suicide at age 33 in 2002. So that's two deaths we can link at least tentatively to Keith Ranieri. Of course. Nothing that would legally implicate. But two people he had a big influence on who wound up, you know? Yeah. That sucks that there's not more you can do when it's such a clear link. Yeah. And this is the girl he claimed was like a Buddhist Princess or goddess or something. She goes to a Buddhist monastery and kills her. She was the Buddhist goddess. Uh, it's real ****** **. This is so bad because that must have been such a loaded statement for him to say she's a Buddhist goddess. And then she goes after she's been totally broken down to a Buddhist monastery. He was doing something very dark to her. He was in somehow combination with whatever version of Buddhism he was selling her. I have read so much about Keith Ranieri at this point, and I suspect at most I've got about 30% of the ****** ** stuff he did. Like, because most of it no one's ever found out about right in these poor, dead girls's heads. Yeah, a couple of other people who aren't willing to say anything about it. That's such a sad ending to that, yeah. So that 2010 Vanity Fair article that arises, and the cult gave the first full accounting of just how heavily Keith Ranieri had milked the Bronfman family. The so if you bought Seagram's vodka, you were supporting that you were supporting. I did. Oh, God. I bought a case of Seagram's vodka once. I didn't buy it. I stole it. OK, well, no. Then you hurt Keith Ranieri. I heard him. You were on the right side of history. It was. It was already it. Was that like a music festival? The morning after it was a very backwoods music festival, and there were all these cases of seagrams, and we just took one. Yeah, so we drank seagrams for a while. That makes you the hero of this story. Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah. I'm reconciling. Never feel bad about stealing vodka from a music festival. That's one of my very few rules. They were rich in it. Yeah. Always steal liquor from music festivals. Yeah, they can take it. They charge you an arm and a leg. Yeah, for sure. It's fair. Anyway, here's a quote from the Vanity Fair article. According to legal filings and public documents, in the last six years, as much as 150 million was taken out of the Bronfman's trusts and bank accounts, including 66 million allegedly used to cover Keith Ranieri's failed bets in the commodities market, 30 million to buy real estate in Los Angeles and around Albany, 11 million for a 22 seat, 2 engine Canadair CL600 jet, and millions more to support a barrage of lawsuits across the country against nexium's enemies we're going to get into after. Some ads the story of how Keith Ranieri used Seagram's vodka money to back his second attempt to raise a perfect child. But first, here are the good people who support our show with products and or services. 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, Mint mobile will give you the best rate. Whether you're buying one or for a family, and it meant family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. 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And yes, they're always spoiler free so you don't have to worry about anything getting ruined for you. Plus interviews with actors, directors, and writers covering the behind the scenes of your favorite movies. I also keep you in the know with all the latest movie news and movie trailers. Listen to new episodes of movie Mikes Movie podcast Every Monday on the Nashville podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio App Apple Podcast, or wherever you listen to podcasts. And we're back. We're talking about how Keith Ranieri stole, like, $150 million from the heirs to the Seagram's vodka fortune. And he used a chunk of that money to back his second attempt at raising a perfect child who would change the course of human history. Man, I got so many questions. That's so much money. I understand that if you have that much money, you're renting an island. Yeah, you rent yourself some islands, for sure. But what was their facility like? It was in LA, right? They had a number of facilities, I think, right? And I think a lot of this real estate was like, essentially just bets because that was like the thing that Keith nearly lost $66 million betting on the commodities market. Oh yeah, I think he it's important to him that everyone know he's super smart. And so, like, he was trying to prove that he could make a **** load of money. If he just got a nest egg from these rich girls, he could turn it into more. He could be mismanaging it because he's not very smart at this stuff. He's only smart at manipulating rich girls, which he's a genius at. He is a genius at it cause $150 million. That is a successful con. Yeah, that's that's an A list con and they had a plane. They they bought a plane. He was living a rich life. He super was. How could he say he didn't own a bed? Because he probably didn't. There was probably nothing in his name. That's part of how you keep the ******* heat off of. It's all the company. It's all the company. Or church mouse type man who is just dedicated to thinking about learning. Yeah, what a St we're going to talk about the second child he tried to steal from? No. So Johara former Nexium consultant wrote to the New York Attorney General to allege that Bronfman money had paid for the care of a boy named Galen, who was a mysterious 3 year old being raised to Keith's specifications. Now, no one seemed to know Galen's real name. The story among Nexium was that his mother had died. And his father had given the infant to the care of one of Ranieri's long term followers. Keith Ranieri apparently decided to make the boy his heir and in accordance to his theories on child development, the boy was fed a raw diet, isolated from other children and cared for by a team of five nannies who each spoke to him in a different language. No, no, no. This is I. Is this kid OK? He's not with Keith anymore. I don't know if he's OK. I mean, who the hell are you? I mean, he was three, so you gotta hope he can. Yeah. So Frank Parlato, if you remember Frank from the Frank report. Of course I remember Frank. Good old frank. Frank also wrote an article for the Niagara Falls Reporter where he claimed to know that Galen was actually just the child of Keith Raineri and a woman named Christine Keefe who was the long term follower who was caring for the kid. According to Frank, the adoption story was necessary because, number one, it added like a layer of mystique that this child's real parents died. Keith took him under his wing, but also because Keith's followers believed him to be celibate. Yeah. So do you believe that it was his real son? I don't know. I have no way to figure that out. That's a very journalistic response. Yeah. Now, I am not a journalist. I'm going to go ahead and make some wild speculative claims. Roll with it. I think he was having all kinds of sex. I think he definitely gave birth to this son. But I also bet there was a lot of, like, ***** *** going on and mixing of partners, because that happens in cults. So, like, maybe it wasn't even his son is probably unclear. But see, I don't think that and we'll get into this a little bit. I definitely there's a lot of groups going on. I don't think Keith was letting any other men be involved in the ***** ***. This isn't like one of those cults where everybody's got free love. Yes, this is that kind of cult. So here's a quote from Frank Parlato, who again was a member of Nexium for like a year or two. Quote some of his inner circle knew he wasn't celibate because they had sexual relations with him. They knew he wasn't celibate, and they believed he would, when the time was ripe, have a special child with a chosen woman who he had preordained would be the mother of a child who would carry on Rainieri's work to save the world. Frank alleges that, you know, Keith getting this woman pregnant was an accident and she wasn't someone he viewed as special enough. To be his Mary Magnol or no, not Magnolia. What's the Mary that had Jesus? Virgin Mary? That's the Mary, yeah. Frank of the Frank report says that he didn't want to get this woman pregnant and so he just told her to lie and say the real mother was someone else who died. Quote from Frank Rainieri immediately required Keith to lie about her maternity. He helped her hide her pregnancy and being thin, she hardly showed for months. When her pregnancy became visible, he told people she was severely ill and could not be seen. Again, Frank Parlato is a guy with a real grudge against Keith Ranieri and Nexium. I also believe 100% of that. I believe 100% of that. It gels with everything else we know about. The more we hear about Frank, the more we hear from the Frank report, the more I like this guy. Frank report. Yeah, I'm a fan. He also stole $1,000,000 maybe from the Bronfman sisters. They sued him over it. It's hard to say what happened. I really. I didn't. There's so much to dig in here. I didn't get into that that much. No, and I don't. It seems like they were just giving away money. They're giving it away. They've got 10s of thousands of. I'm just saying numbers. They've got enough. He may have been innocent of this. I really have no idea what happened. I didn't look into the case. I'm still pro. Frank. Frank, if you're out there. Eat at me. Let me know your side of the $1,000,000 store. You can read his side on the Frank report. There are literally hundreds of articles on that plain text website. No, no, this isn't the plaintiff. That was the weird IQ website. I had to do a lot of strange digging through this Frank's website looks like a website that an individual person would make to settle a grudge, but it is just articles about Nexium and Keith Ranieri and the Brockmans. Yeah, it's like he copied a real looking website. It's. Something else. Put the name Frank in there. It's something else, but I don't think he's lying about this. This seems completely in line with everything else about Keith Ranieri, including the fact this woman he got pregnant was normally dangerously thin. Oh yeah, which we'll get that. He really likes that. So eventually Keith left the cult and took her son with her. So we will never know how well Keith Ranieri's remarkable child breathing strategies actually worked. I hope nothing but the best for that poor kid. Wow. Yeah, that kid has scars. I hope his mom got him out early enough that maybe he doesn't have that bad. Especially the mom left so she probably won't kind of woke up. Yeah, I'm like, don't want to say woke up because I'm like, am I victim blaming? But I'm not. She got out. Gonna be blaming her or any other women in this story except for maybe Allison Mack. Ohh, I wanna blame her heart. Yeah. First I want to know everything she did. Yeah, this woman just seems like she got caught in for a while, and then she woke up and got her kid the hell out of there, which is the responsible thing to do. So good on you, Miss Keith. Or keffi. It's KEFE. Which is. I've never seen that last name before, so I'm just going to say Keith. Keith. Now, in spite of the mixed press coverage Nexium received, it was a big financial success. And Keith made millions, mostly from. Drifting his wealthiest adherents. He wasn't the kind of man to sit on his laurels, though. Over the years, a number of different spinoff groups joined Nexium's executive success programs. The nearest and dearest to Keith's heart and his other parts was the woman's group. Janess JN ESS. Usually all caps. So what is genes, exactly? I can see that question on your face on it. Yeah, and I can. Sounds like a birth control pill. It does sound like a birth control pill. Like trinessa. Yes, Janess stops the babies real fast. That's how all birth control commercials do sound. Umm, tell us about Jeanette. Yeah, let's talk about janessa. Well, you know what? I'll let janess themselves explain what they Are you ready for this? Yeah. Our Jenness is our highly personal version of being a woman. It is an affirmation of our independent life journey with its lessons, tragedies and magnificence. No2 women are the same. Each of us has a unique, powerful self secret formed from our experiences in life. No one said of words. And quite quantify us, and no collection of rules can categorize us. Geness in general is the personal work of empowered women in this world. You get a clear idea of what janessa is. Yeah, yeah, really? Because that seems like nonsense. It's nonsense. But I can sort of like imagine them writing that up, you know what I mean? Like, they're all sort of gathering round. They've, they've ordered food, probably Italian food. That seems right from like a Carrabba's. And they're like, Oh yeah, put ohh yeah, we we uplift each other. I, I. I feel guilty making fun of this women's group. I don't think any woman wrote any word of that statement. I think this is all Keith Ranieri, but I don't know. We'll see. We'll get into this. Oh, I have so many questions that that's my theory. I really have no idea. It's his. It's his trademark vague style and there's some other stuff that makes me think if he maybe he had some input from some ladies on this, but he definitely exercised a strong editorial hand, I think, because Keith Raineri is a control freak. That's true. I was gonna say, well, who knows, maybe he had some right hand women. Speaking like him, imitating his voice, but no. Well, the Guinness website gives the whole story of how Jenness was conceived of and founded, and I, I would be doing you on and the whole Internet a service if I didn't read this story in its entirety. So. Take a moment to think about some of the most meaningful needs of society from your perspective. Is one of those needs world hunger, or possibly more pressing, is the issue of abuse of power in government, or maybe even more important as a war in a foreign country? Or you might focus upon difficulties closer to home, such as the lack of community in your community, or possibly some type of social prejudice. Or for some, just the simple lack of caring amongst friends and neighbors is most disturbing. There are many, many other equally important challenges in the world, but what is a primary concern is which issues are more important. To you directly personally, on a spring day in 2006 in a car driving down the highway. This was the topic of discussion amongst 3 dearest friends, Pam Mariana and Keith Keith. Author didn't Keith offered an expertise in educational methodology along with a body of knowledge relating to the human dynamic. The most essential thing for Pam and Mariana was their struggles as women in a world where women's values are distorted over the next few days. The initial codification for a new method of gender transformation Geness was born from the loving intent of three people who desired to create something meaningful together to make the world a better place. Wow. Wow. Indeed. The beginning sounds like a Miss America pageant answer because it's like it's what it's if you asked someone who hasn't read the news ever in their life what our problems in the world would be like. There's war in places, government, bad people not talking. Talking. Yeah, it's just so people not close. Yeah, like there's actual wars you could drop. Like there's actual problems in the world that you could be specific about to, like, make this seem a little bit. That's like a moon man wrote it, I think that Keith fancies himself a bit of a poet. I think he thinks he has a writerly literary touch to his work? Why else would, he paints such a vivid picture like on a spring day. And really are driving down the highway. I really saw it. I saw the scene unfolding. I felt like I was there. I felt like I was one of these two generically named women. Being enchanted by his new methodology of generalities, what I love is that the creation of this woman's group, what the two women bring to the table is their struggles as women. And what Keith says he brings to the table is knowledge. Yeah, he's there's one thing he's good at, and it's mansplaining. He is the embodiment of it. He is. But what did what did this group do? Well, let me mansplain that for you. It's not mansplaining if I'm inviting it. Well, do I? Do you? I don't know. I didn't even know myself until I said that. I don't know. I just felt really guilty after this paragraph that I'm about to read another 6 pages. Oh no. So I bet you're probably still curious as to what exactly janess does. It feels very foreboding. Yeah, well, I think what Jenness is, is Keith believing he invented the concept of women having friends. Yep, so I'm gonna quote to you again from the website janess. Friendships are the foundation of this movement. Women start their journey with gayness by attending an introductory weekend. The weekend is 2 1/2 days, packed full of powerful and engaging curriculum. At the close of the weekend, your weekend facilitator will guide women in the process of joining or creating a new friendship. So. At the end of my seminar, you will make friends. You'll know how to have friends. Wow. Yeah, you know, I get it. He spent his career up until this point, pitting women. Against each other to some degree, it sounds like. Like isolating them and brainwashing them and having sex with them when they were children, when they were children. So yeah, he's probably like, you know what? Now it's time for me to. Allow them to be friends and Janess had a lot of powerful positive impacts on a lot of women. Which I know because there are testimonials on the Genesis website, like this one from Marissa Zaragoza. Since I was little, I remember my goal was to be like my father. He is an engineer, so when the time came to pick a profession, that path was natural to me. There I was graduating on electrical engineering on a class where only 8% were women. I learned to work with men and among men, always competing to demonstrate my abilities and earn their approval. Years past, I decided to get married and create a family. I understood that those developed abilities were not enough for my new role as a mother. I decided to disguise my incapacity. Covering it up with my professional success and depriving myself of enjoying the first years of my two children. When I met Janess, I started a journey to make amends with myself, with the sensible and motherly woman within me. I stopped trying to run away from myself and built the strength to face my fears, evaluate and surrender to my true passion. Which is having kids and not a career. A woman didn't write that, no. Like it's. I think Keith Ranieri wrote basically all of this. Yeah, yeah, definitely. Yeah. That sounds like Keith Ranieri pretending to be a woman in Mexico. This feels relevant to Handmaid's Tale. Oh yeah. Yeah, I think he was trying to create a Handmaid's Tale, right? Because in his worldview, everyone has amazing potential and should be fabulously wealthy. But also, women's main calling is to have children. Well, his children. We're about to get into that right now. So in the actual sessions themselves, Rainieri posited some pretty radical theories on gender. He believes men are unable to enjoy the world with as much depth and complexity as women, but men know the difference between right and wrong. Women lead rich lives, but they're prone to tantrums and using bad behavior to get what they want. According to Keith's, men are naturally polyamorous, while women are naturally monogamous. If you're keeping track, that's just polygamy. Oh man, I was giving him so much credit. He's such a bad person. But I was truly giving him be polygamist. But don't call it that, but only if you're a man. Well, Mitter polyamorous, everyone. But women aren't. Yeah. We have to break for some ads. When we get back, though, we're finally going to get Allison Mack, Smallville star into the mix here. I know, I know. It took a while, right? It really did this, but now it feels so earned. Yeah, now we're ready to get into that. So all that and more after we talk about products which are available for purchase. Being a real estate agent isn't about listing houses, it's about connecting to people. I need to find new buyers every day, so I promote my listings using radio commercials from iheartadbuilder.com. Now every time I have an open house, it's a full house. A custom radio ad from iheart AD builder is the fast, affordable way to drive customers to your business. Put the power of radio to work for you. Get started now at iheart adbuilder.com. More than a movie, American Me is a new podcast that digs into the history and mystery of American Me, a film directed by and starring Edward James Olmos that had a huge impact on Latino cinema and culture. I'm your host, Alex Fumero, and I'll be diving into the behind the scenes controversy, including an alleged backlash from the Mexican mafia. Several people who worked on the movie have been murdered and even today people are still scared to talk about the film. Everything else, I mean. You know, I I don't want to speak about it. And we had to sign a paper saying that if we were taken hostage that they would not bargain for us. Eddie, I know he said that he had permission to do the bill, so I don't know where it got lost in translation. Learn about what really went down from the people that were there. Listen to more than a movie American me that's part of the Michael Duda podcast network, available on the iHeartRadio app Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Anderson Cooper. Earlier this year, while packing up my late mom's apartment and her things, I felt isolated and alone. Weighed down by grief, I began recording a series of deeply personal conversations with others about their experiences with loss and helped me and I hope it'll help you. Whatever you're going through. All there is with Anderson Cooper listen on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. We're back. The podcast is back. Everyone's OK. It's been an emotional rollercoaster. It's caused me to question my own. Potential involvement in cults. But one thing I can say for certain. I am so excited to hear what Allison Mack did. Oh boy. So Allison Mack, Smallville actress, presumably actress on other things, but everyone just says the lady. Smallville. Yeah, I'm tempted to say no real other credits. I have no idea. She was definitely on Smallville though. She was such a big character on Smallville. But then she never did anything else. And now I know why she started attending Nexium sessions in 2007 once her career hit a plateau. Keith apparently took an interest in her. She begged him to quote make me a great actress again. OK. OK. I don't know if I'd say she was ever great. Look, the standout on Smallville was Amy Adams. I don't know who Amy Adams is either. Oh my gosh, really? I'm super pot culture ignorant. She is arrival. Oh, that's a great movie. Yeah. She the scientist lady. Yeah. She's really good. She's phenomenal. And she was on an episode of Smallville and played this like a crazy, monstrous person who, like, desperately wanted to lose weight. So she drank something or something and it was an accident. And then she started losing weight but had an insatiable appetite. That eventually causes her to eat people. Ohh, I do want to set the record straight. OK. Allison Mack has had other credits. Unfortunately, quite a few good ones. She was on Wilfred. Oh, ****. That's a great show. Yeah, the following. Another good show. Other things. I don't know. She's been she's had a solid career. Yeah, like she was. She was on her way for sure. She was on her way. So she joins Nexium, gets really involved with Nexium. She wound up helping to start a sub cult within genes called Dominus Obsequious, Sorum, or DOS, which I think means master over submissives and master and Latin. Dominus and Latin is like a masculine, the masculine version of that word. Domino would be the feminine. So yeah, it's like at this point they're not trying to fight the creepiness, they're wholeheartedly embracing it. Bring in some laughs. Yeah, let's cut straight to the point. Has anything good ever come from the Latin language? No. Moving on. So this little subculture, deep dots, is anything good ever come from DOS? No, the band DOS. OK, fair one. Good thing, but not the computer thing. I don't know what you're talking about. So no, I don't even really know what I'm talking about. So this sub cult eventually consisted of around 150 women who were sort of the elite lady cult members of Nexium, the New York Times. Revealed how it all worked in an interview with Mac. Quote the woman who invited you to the group was your master, Max said, tucking in her blue socked feet under her. Or the representation of your conscience, your higher self. Your most ideal masters would help slaves count calories to save them from the trap of emotional eating, according to other women in the group. Again, Keith Ranieri. That's always big. Focus on women being thin. There's so much wrong with this. Yeah. Masters would dictate an act of self denial, like cold showers or rousing yourself from bed at 4:00 AM and standing stock still. For a time, slaves were told to do acts of care for masters, perhaps bringing them coffee. Slaves might be told to abstain from orgasms, ostensibly to heal their negative sexual patterns. Max said that this was about devotion, and like any spiritual practice or religion, I thought about free will. Did she believe in that? She said. You're dedicating your life one way or another so. Wow, Allison Mack. Why did they have to? Why did it have to go to orgasm? Denial? I don't know. Like, they already have the creepy Latin name. Now they're like, let's just call it slaves and masters and. Wow, this is so bad. Yeah, it's it's gotten really bad. Reaction of that word don't know, would be the feminine. So yeah, it's like this point. They're not trying to fight the creepiness, they're wholeheartedly embracing it, bringing in some laughs. Yeah, let's cut straight to the point. Has anything good ever come from the Latin language? No. Moving on. So this little subculture, deep dots, is anything good ever come from DOS? No, the band DOS. OK, fair one. Good thing, but not the computer thing. I don't know what you're talking about. So no, I don't even really know what I'm talking about. So this sub cult eventually consisted of around 150 women who were sort of the elite lady cult members of Nexium, the New York Times. Revealed how it all worked in an interview with Mac. Quote the woman who invited you to the group was your master, Max said, tucking in her blue socked feet under her. Or the representation of your conscience, your higher self. Your most ideal masters would help slaves count calories to save them from the trap of emotional eating, according to other women in the group. Again, Keith Ranieri. That's always big. Focus on women being thin. There's so much wrong with this. Yeah. Masters would dictate an act of self denial, like cold showers or rousing yourself from bed at 4:00 AM and standing stock still. For a time, slaves were told to do acts of care for masters, perhaps bringing them coffee. Slaves might be told to abstain from orgasms, ostensibly to heal their negative sexual patterns. Max said that this was about devotion, and like any spiritual practice or religion, I thought about free will. Did she believe in that? She said. You're dedicating your life one way or another so. Wow, Allison Mack. Why did they have to? Why did it have to go to orgasm? Denial? I don't know. Like, they already have the creepy Latin name. Now they're like, let's just call it slaves and masters and. Wow, this is so bad. Yeah, it's it's gotten really bad real fast. I mean, it's been bad the whole time, actually. What R Kelly sex cult was like, are you guys going to do him? I mean, I I should at some point. I have not done any research into that. I've read, like one article about. Yeah, I mean, if this is what a sex cult is like, this is definitely a sex cult at this point. Yeah. Also, abstain from orgasm. I feel like that is such a small piece of whatever was going on in that situation. Yeah, that's not the only creepy orgasm based rule. If there's one creepy orgasm based rule in a cult, there's a lot of like, that's a cult rule. Yeah, yeah. Subcategory. There's it. It sprawls out. Yeah, there was like a ******* list. Yeah, yeah. Extreme weight loss was encouraged within DOS, especially for the women Ranieri fancied. Here's the AP quote. Investigators said Ranieri preferred exceptionally thin women, so slaves had to stick to very low calorie diets and document every food they ate as punishment for not following orders. Women were forced to attend classes where they were forced to wear fake cow utters over their breasts while people called them derogatory names or threatened with being put in cages. Oh my God, this is around the same time. Is also hooking women's heads up to brain scanners and showing them video of women being cut apart, stuff like that. Whoa. Yeah, it's real messed up now. Ranieri only acknowledged having sexual relationships with two members of DDoS or DOS or whatever. This is like, he acknowledged the New York Times like, he did this. Mea culpa. Like, yeah, I've been bad. But, you know, it was it was like, it was not, like, really bad. It was just, like, I couldn't control myself. And they cared about me so much, so I just he doesn't think he's done anything wrong. Is he a sociopath? He might be usually I'm I'm really hesitant to call people associate. I don't know because it's right it's a but it's a real thing and he certainly that would be a a thing to check on if you were a psychiatrist working on Keith Ranieri. He certainly there's some warning signs here. Or maybe just a narcissist. Definitely, yeah, accept no responsibility like that. But the cow letters, yeah, the cow waters. Like, that's so the women were in a state of starvation. Yeah, so already a deeply altered state. And then being fed those images, they had lost their minds. In interviews with other members of the of DOS, the New York Times reported that quote, promising to seduce Ranieri, which was apparently the way he preferred to be approached sexually rather than putting himself on the line. Is also one of the ways some women later said they were told to show commitment to the Sisterhood. So at some point the women of DOS started branding each other with hot metal pokers, possibly in the shape of Keith Raniere's initials. The branding sessions would last 30 to 45 minutes and were apparently as painful as you would imagine a 45 minute branding session would be. What do you do for 45 minutes? You're in a horrible pain, like my understanding of branding as it relates to livestock is. It's like. Poke. I've never branded cattle. Neither have I. But I don't know if it's fast enough about it. You think a lot about that? I think a lot about it. No, I mean, I'm. I'm a vegetarian. Thought about things we do to animals and branding always seemed weird. It doesn't seem like a nice thing. I think they usually, like, do a chip now anyway. Oh, do that sounds much worse. Really? I don't know. I think the cows prefer the chips. Yeah, that's true. They prefer not being eaten. Probably. Who knows? Yeah, I don't though. I don't eat them, but who knows? So the 45 minutes of having the ******* hot metal poker shoved into your skin until it burns you horribly. There's pictures in the New York Times article of one of these women's brands. It definitely looks like it's Keith Raniere's initials. What else would it be? What are they claiming? I don't know. I haven't heard a direct claim for what? The branding symbolically at that point, it's like, why are you even denying it? Mac says that she came up with it because basically she thought a tattoo wasn't enough of a commitment. Which. Ohh, I'm looking at the image. Hold on in. It's a big brand like you. Again, the pictures are online. You can look at them. These are not like a tiny it's not getting a little bitty tattoo or whatever. Like, this is a substantial thing to have. Painful? Yeah. Agonizing. So Allison Mack again says that she came up with the idea herself. Here's another quote from the New York Times article. It was a scary experience, like any real rite of passage, but some of them kidded around through it. Even if they cried when they were getting the brand, even if they wore surgical masks to help them with breathing and the smell of burning flesh, even if the brand was much larger than they were told it would be and looked like an ancient hieroglyph. Even if they were in a state of sheer terror, they were still able to transcend the fear and cry out to one another. ****** warrior ******* let's get strong together. Oh yeah, it's like they're using pop feminists. They sure are jargon to validate the most degrading, dehumanizing practice. We're ******** because we're going to get this man's initials branded onto our crotches. 2018. 2017, I think, is when this is happening. OK, this is 2017. Umm, so now that paragraph right there makes me think back to a quote in those Nexium packets from 2003 where Keith Raineri wrote that complaining about pain or expressing hunger were both examples of parasitic behavior. His specific example of a parasitic statement was the sentence I know I promised, but I had no idea how hard or painful this was going to be. So. What's interesting is Allison Mack was seemingly like a crazy person who by serendipity came into contact with this already insane group and then was able to like, enact her craziness through it. But is there more to the story? I mean, there's no definitive answer on that. It is possible that Allison Mack just was a ***** person who had her looniness opened up by this. I don't think she came up with the branding. Yeah, I think she's dedicated to Keith Ranieri and he told her to say that it was her idea. I I feel like it's the kind of thing Keith Ranieri would do. She's drinking the Kool, she has chugged the kool-aid. She's **** chugging the kool-aid at this point, like she's going through it too. Yeah, but I don't think she came up with this idea. When you look at the the pictures and stuff of her most recently being LED into court, like her lawyers are holding her up. She can barely walk. She's so scared. She's culpable to an extent because she helped. Some bad things here, but I also think she's more of a victim of Keith Ranieri than anything else. That's that's my thinking. I may be being too charitable here, but that's interesting because all this time I had been sort of thinking, oh, it really goes to show you that women can be horrible. She definitely did some people too, because I think she was active in this. But yeah, I can see how she was brainwashed by them especially. I mean, actresses are already so primed. To be. Obsessed about their weight in a way that's already, I think, making them kind of insane. Maybe all women did something mean and especially living in LA. Yeah, like I get some of that. I'm a ******* dude. Yeah, it's crazy. The images we receive coupled with the messages I can see her being a victim to him. She's definitely both a victim and a perpetrator. Yeah, but what's going to happen to her? We don't know. We are now into the stuff that Keith Nereye most famous for. The stuff that the most recent New York Times articles talked about. Keith and Allison Mack. Have both been charged with sex trafficking. Ohh right, this is the headline that made its way to this is the headline that made its way to you. But before everything fell apart, before the New York Times articles, Keith Ranieri used Allison's legit actress Hood to help him produce ads for his seminars. Here's one she put together for ESP in 2014. When I first came to ESPN, I had, on the surface, something that seemed to be like the perfect life for a pretty good life. Like superficially materialistically, I was very successful. I had the job, I had the dog, I had the car, I had the boyfriend, I had the blah blah blah blah, blah blah blah blah blah, the clothes, everything that I thought I needed in order to be OK. And yet I couldn't stand to be with my family for more than two hours at a time. And the idea of being honest with even my best friend was something that was so far outside the realm of possibility that I just kind of thought you always lived your life inauthentically. And when I came to ESP and I started to do the work in the goals lab, do the work in the classes. I started to transform in a way that I never expected. Like, I literally didn't know that you could spend time with someone and not be nervous. I literally didn't know that it was possible to have a week with your family where you didn't feel like leaving. I just thought that that wasn't really possible. I thought it happened in the movies. And now that's my wife, that's my reality. I have an experience of my family that is nothing but joy and it's. It's astounding. So that's her ad for executive success programs. And I tell you, when you read it on paper, it sounds so crazy. Especially if I read it to you. Yeah. And so evil. But she too, like seasoned actress that she is. She's good. You feel it? Yeah, I mean. And she's making it feel relatable. But to know that that is the woman who was leading branding session, even if it wasn't her idea. Oh my God, people are wearing masks because the stench of burning human flesh is so thick in the air. She willingly gave those details. I don't think she gave the details. I think it was other women who had been branded who talked about how awful it was, but she willingly admitted to the New York Times that that was my idea because I thought it was more ****** than a tattoo. Man, that's crazy. It's wild. But the biggest ******** of all of this is going this deep into it. You I don't know. I'm like, starting to empathize a little bit with her and I don't like how comfortably close I am to understanding how these people did these things, but that's what makes me feel close. I think it's important to get there, though. Like, that's my whole motivation with this show, with any of these episodes, is to try to get you a little closer to, like, something ****** **. That somebody did. Just so you can understand how these things happen because then maybe you're a little, because that's my optimistic. But then you read the headline and it's like, that's crazy. Yeah, it's crazy. This is only crazy. People get involved and it's like, well, no, Allison Mack, it's hard to get a regular role on a big TV show in Hollywood. That's an achievement. She had a career. She is a smart person who set her mind to a goal and accomplished things and also bought into this weird cult and maybe had them start. Branding women. Yeah. Like, and it made sense to her at the time. Yeah. And I especially seeing her talk just now, how she was saying, oh, I I can connect with my family now. I don't have that social anxiety. There's like a part of me that's like, OK, I can see how in a really ****** ** way, if you impose great suffering on people with this guise of, like, pop feminism. There's some level on which they feel bonded and are so broken that they don't maybe feel certain anxieties anymore, but. I kind of get it, yeah. She also put together a number of other video interviews for Jenness, and this is an awkward segue, but I I had to make it somehow. They all consist of Keith Ranieri and Allison Mack sitting at a table and talking to each other. I think these videos are fascinating, both for the looks on Allison's face, which sadly won't transmit over the podcast. So you can look at the video online. We'll post it on behindthebastards.com, but they're most interesting for the insights they give. As to how Keith Ranieri works, as to how he sort of, you can kind of see how he ensnares. People on A1 on one level, here's him talking about gender in a 26 minute long video called beyond age or Gender, Human first. We're not going to play all 26 minutes. Was thinking there's a push right now just culturally similar to like the creativity push. Feels like a lot of people are talking about writing books about and doing things studies on this idea of like, the need for more female strength in the world. You know, we have like the elections happening with Hillary Clinton is being a candidate and all this and everybody's like, women need to take more leadership roles and things like that. And I was just wondering, like, what your take was on that, given that your perspective is more humanist. I'm going to give you a short thing. Yeah, you're using a lot of male language, right, and male, male things to describe this, and that's disrespectful to women. Now, you know, should women be in leadership roles? I think women are in certain types of leadership roles. Unfortunately, it is controlled a lot by men. Can women rise to be fuller in the world and in the principles that they experience and bringing that wisdom, they're unique upbringing and even the cultural poison that they have to transform the world? Absolutely. They have to become aware of it. And they have to have that desire and they have to struggle. It's gonna be a big struggle, and it's a type of struggle because they have to struggle about against the type of oppression, a type of box that they've been placed in by men, if you will. And. You know, it's it's not just men now, it's men that were formed by literature that were formed by men, that was formed by literature that was formed by men. It was formed by the jungle, right. It's sort of that. And you know, men need to change in a different way, but both sexes have to become more self aware and understand outside of gender, outside of sex. There is human. And there are things that are transcendent as human. I'll say this if you saw that clip or listened to it without any context. Even if you weren't half listening. If you were listening. And I say you, but I mean me. I might. Go along with it. I mean he is using. The language of contemporary gender thought in a very vague and sort of wishy washy way I suppose. Umm. And that alone is kind of chilling. It's like, I think it makes me think about so many of the conversations I've had that sounded like that. Yeah, it's the only thing type place where it slips in there for me, where he's not making a good impression of like, a super woke intellectual dude is when he chastises her for being disrespectful to women. That was that's like the part where it's like, wait, what the ****? But then he immediately moves on to talking about how we all have toxicity in us because of the. Literature we're raised on and stuff, and it's like, but I've I've heard men talk like that, like and and and not always in a way that is enraging. It is true that we have gendered language and cutting to her, smiling very pleasantly, like deeply taking it in. Sort of, though it, like, it did bump me. There was a part of me that was like, cool, but she gets it. She doesn't feel like she's being mansplained. It was chilling. It is chilling. There are so many of these videos out there. I've watched an uncomfortable amount of them. To make this podcast. There's a part of me that almost wants to just run that one to completion, but obviously that would be really boring on a podcast. They are cheesy and uncomfortable and also oddly compelling and hard to watch past a certain point. I'm only going to play a clip from one more because I think it really emphasizes the colting nature of Keith's crazy empire. We've been talking a lot about what makes something a cult. One of the really critical things to make something a cult is developing your own language. Scientology does this a lot. You know SP suppressive person, you know you've got your OT levels and whatnot, but you know other you can talk about like weird Snake handling. Christian cults within parts of the United States do this to every every cult does this where they try to create different terms for things then the majority of society uses. Because cults are all that isolation. They're all about separating you from everybody else. So if you can. Create a different sort of vocabulary for your cult. Then you can isolate people very effectively without them even knowing that that's what you're doing. Which is something that social groups do. Yeah, absolutely. Which makes the line feel so fine. It does, because you do this with your friends. You have inside jokes and terms that would be nonsense to anybody else, but means something to you. All the stuff. Like there's none of the cult making techniques at their most basic level are inherently toxic. Their successful in helping to make a cult because they're all things that people do normally, right? You know, there's a lot of used to talk about the similarities between UCSB. If you talk to anyone honestly who was in a combat unit in the military, they will talk about a lot of culty kind of behavior and different terms that people come and like. Because whenever you're isolated with a group of people, whether it's a friend group or you're all studying to be at improv, or you're in battle together, you develop certain bonds and you become isolated from the rest of society to a certain extent. And that's absolutely normal. With families are too. Cults utilize these as weapons in order to. Take Peoples Free will away and essence and I think this clip, what's interesting to me about it, it's it's called journeying through the stages of development and it's nonsense. The conversation they're having is nonsense because the terms that they are using don't mean the same thing to them that they do to us. So like stages of development I assume to them have some slightly more specific meaning you know no because they're they're talking about on display that'll that'll that'll be the easiest way to get across. I'm trying to say here I've been thinking a lot about just the the concept of. Like compulsion. Like something is good, something is nice, something is pleasant, something is. Loss of self through the body and the emotions. Yeah, yeah. And I I just, I'm curious about that because it seems like something that's irreverence issue. It is. It's a reverence, reverence, reverence, siculum. It's interesting, you know, we're born. As bodies and emotions and not much cognitive facility, you know, people don't realize that there's even something called mind of other. There's a whole progression of our self-awareness. You ask a young child. And so he starts talking about stages of the bell. He dropped some actual educational psychology after that point. But that early thing where they're talking about, it's a reverence issue and loss of the body through like, that's all nonsense. It's nonsense. But yeah, you can really feel that they have these. Instructed meanings behind them, like how she's searching for the word compulsion. Yeah. That's in their curriculum. Exactly. And he responds with the definition from the curriculum. She said, Oh yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yeah, yeah. So. I don't know. I'm sure at this point some of you are pulling out your credit cards to go book an ESP training seminar because this is some compelling ****. And I mean, I get it. I listen to some self-help stuff. I think Ted Radio Hour feels like a self help. Flower. It's all compelling. And I I think that the, the toxic parts of this happens, number one, when it's centered around one person. So, you know, UCSB may have some culty aspects to it, but Amy Poehler isn't asking you to give her money directly and follow her guidelines on life and dress the way that she dresses and believe the things that she believes that is. And it it is a company that is taking all of this money, which I think unsettles some people. You see B. It does this, but what truly makes this a cult and not just a hack self-help group is all the dark stuff that's a big part of it is is it maladaptive? Is it hurting people? So, Spoiler alert, executive success programs is no longer hosting seminars they're not taking. Yeah, they've got it. If you go to their website, I'm going to show you what their website looks like, because it's as pretentious as everything else Keith Ranieri has ever made in his life. I love the first thing on the website is a picture of Albert Einstein and we cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them. Hey, I that's him. He's trying to tell you that everything you know is wrong. We'll have a picture from the website up on our website, which is not a cult website. Although if you want to pay me $7000, I will talk to you for a week. OK? Absolutely. So that's an offer on the table. If I were the heir to the Seagrams fortune, who knows? Bronfman sisters, look me up. I will not charge 150 million, $10 million. You know what? I'll give you all the sashes. And I wonder what their life is right now. They're probably still super rich and fine. Yeah, right. I'm sure they're OK. They're fine. They're not the people. Like, I don't know. Hopefully they weren't physically or sexually abused. If they were, then I feel terrible about this. But I think they're still rich. OK, I think the justice of the world, they kind of just. Hopefully they're wiser now and will not fall for a cult again. So the New York Times published their first article on Keith Ranieri and Nexium in October. This led to a federal investigation. Mr Ranieri fled to Mexico, ditched his cell phone, and only communicated to his followers through encrypted messaging apps. He was arrested in late March in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, because encrypted messaging apps aren't as encrypted or secure as people. 10 they are, which Paul Manafort also learned recently. Yeah. Another great guy. Yeah. Don't commit crimes and assume that your encrypted messaging act will protect you. So this is so messed up. But a part of me was kind of hoping that he was, like, still in Mexico and, like, this was still ongoing and, like, no, that I could, like, get in there, you know, like, oh, and learn how to reference issue conceptualizing self matrix. Get into the vigilante just, like, throw pipe bombs at him. Yeah, he's still out there. Ohh yeah, but he's the he's been caught. I'll find one of these guys who hasn't been caught and we can go. We can go blow up someone's car. Yeah. Absolutely fine, but he was caught so he's he's in process right now. I assume yeah, so he Allison Mack was arrested a few weeks later, she was released on $5,000,000.00 bail last. I checked which was like Wednesday when I was finishing writing this. He is still in jail US attorney, Richard Donoghue. When they were both arrested stated as alleged in the indictment. Allison Mack recruited women to join what was purported to be a female mentorship group that was in fact created and led by Keith Ranieri. The victims were exploited both sexually and for their labor to the defendants benefit. Which seems like an accurate statement. The most accurate statement of anything so far. Of all the quotes I've read, this is. Raineri does not appear to have taken to prison. Well, on June 6th, 2018, the day I finished writing this, Keith's lawyers asked the court to allow him to pay $10 million bond to be released. He even agreed to live under armed security until his court date in October. As far as I know, he hasn't been released, although maybe something happened in the last day or so, but you should check up on that. I think he's still in jail and hopefully they don't let him pay $10 million bond. If he left one, yeah, exactly. He's definitely a flight risk. Yeah. Ranieri's attorneys referred to the US Justice Department as the, Quote, Morality police. They accused them of wrongly implicating Ranieri and sex trafficking. They said their client, who is being held without bond since his arrest three months ago, is an accomplished ethicist who is not a danger and should be released from custody. So I don't trust anyone who calls themself an accomplished ethicist, ethicist, humanitarian, judo champion, OK? Yeah, you will. Judo champion. I'll believe. I'll just think very little of them. So that should be the end of what I have to say about Keith Ranieri. But there's so much more. And again, I didn't even talk about the men's groups. There's other. There's so much **** going on here. But there is one more thing I have to talk about. You remember earlier in the episode how I talked about Elon Musk being taken in by that weird website called the Knife? Well, let's start talking about there's no more about Elon Musk here. I'm not. I'm. As podcast isn't about attacking Elon Musk. I can't protect him. Anymore? No, I he he's not one of the bad people in this thing. So fake news became a buzzword in 2016. Obviously, it's been a thing for as long as there's been news, what with the Spanish American War. But it, you know, it became a buzzword after the election. And in 2017, Nexium launched a pretentiously named website called The Knife of Aristotle. Come on. The knife of Aris, the knife of ******* Aristotle. Their initial ad campaign just said, subscribe to the knife of Aristotle and see what it is. Which **** you. On May 30th, 2017, recently unemployed journalist Brock Wilbur published an article in Pace magazine called The Knife of Aristotle isn't just a fake fake news site, it's a cult. Barack and his wife found a job opportunity at a legitimate journalism, you know, job opportunity site, and it took them to a website. Calledethicalmedia.org journalists were being recruited on it to a team that would evaluate news articles based on an objective system of measurement, which was, of course, proprietary. Brock sent them an inquiry and they responded right away, offering him three to five. 1000 per month to let him work remotely. But there was a catch quote. We use a proprietary methodology to carry out our writing and analysis process. Our writers are required to have a working knowledge of our rating system and standards. In order to learn this, they attend five weeks of advanced training and communication, logic and ethics. The first week of the training is focused on personal development and ethics. Our analysts get to deeply explore their belief systems and gain an understanding of the human mechanisms of perception that influence our communication and culture. So five weeks of training. Was required to get this job in New York. It was not paid the training. Brock kept looking into the group and found out that they seem to have a weird right wing bias and evaluated new sites using an unclear rubric. They had a staff page, and many of the people on that seemed questionably real. Of course, Brock Wilbur elected not to go. He wrote an article about it instead and delved into a bird's eye view of the Keith Ranieri story. He notes in a postscript that the knife of Aristotle removed their staff page after his article. The staff stuff on there sounds exactly like the the gayness it does. Yeah, like one of the journalists talks about how I went to school in Mexico and worked for Mexican magazines. You know, Mexican, Mexican magazines. That's how you talk about your professional career. I worked in American magazines. They had Keith had some something going on with Mexico. He really did. He really likes Mexico. Yeah. And seems to be good at getting the children of Mexican presidents to give him money. I guess he was rich by that point. I will say he is definitely the world's number one authority on getting children of Mexican presidents to pay him several $1000 as far as I'm aware of that. And that is a credential. List on his website. Absolutely it's specific credential it is. If I saw that, I'd be like. That's that's something I, too would like to grift the children of Mexican politicians. Yeah, they're not innocent. Sure. Yeah. Politicians. Yeah. Uh, so Umm. Brock Wilbur's article went relatively viral and did some damage to the knife of Aristotle's reputation. But if you think Keith Ranieri is the kind of man who would give up on a good scam opportunity just because a journalist caught him, you don't know Keith Ranieri. The knife of Aristotle continued, instead building itself as a scholarship opportunity rather than a job. Egyptian American author Yahia Lababidi was browsing a journalism job board one day when he came across a posting for an ethical media scholarship. They claim to be a media watchdog working to revolutionize the way we read. News winners would receive full admission to their training seminar and cash prizes of 10,000, three thousand, or $1000. Yahya applied and arranged a Skype interview with a journalist to work for this watchdog. The guy claimed that quote. We want the news to read more like science, less like fiction. A few days after that, Yahya received a letter awarding him a $3000 scholarship, as long as he met the work requirement with 18 hours per week for a minimum of one year. Of course, this guy was a journalist too. And he did some digging and quickly discovered the Keith Ranieri connection. Yahya didn't take the scholarship, but the knife of Aristotle is still active today. They've rebranded, of course, and now call themselves just the knife. They look pretty legitimate if you just skim them. Like, I can't blame Elon Musk for running across an article and not thinking too much. I can, OK? I probably could too. #1. I'm judged out right now. You wouldn't believe the knife. No, no. But I I've been working in journalism for years, so I would be like, I have. This is a news site I've never heard of. How were they saying the New York Times is 37% reliable? What is their rubric? And you look into it and stuff. Yeah, but that is almost everything about Keith Ranieri that I thought was relevant. I hope bad things happen to him. He's in prison. I hope bad things happen to him. Not necessarily when he's in. I would be fine if just a rock fell out of this. And hit him? Yeah, that would be OK. Yeah, yeah, I'd be fine with that. But it's crazy to think too. Like, he's touched so much so who has totally internalized his crazy way of thinking and will continue it. I mean, I suppose, like, without the charismatic leader, I don't know how much you have. I don't think Nexium's got much of a future, but there will be another Keith Ranieri. Maybe it'll be someone who took some of his classes and does it a little better and a little bigger. Maybe it'll just be some other random guy. But or lady, or lady, or lady with an IQ of 240 and a judo championship when she was eleven? Yeah, could be. Yeah. It would be nice for one of these creepy cult leaders to be a lady soon. Like, well, Alice, we got close. Allison Mack. You've ever gotten. I think, yeah. Yeah. And she's breaking barriers. She is. We didn't get a lady president, but we got a lady Co cult leader. Yeah. Kind of best part of it is that she cited Hillary Clinton in her like, yeah, women. Rock, hashtag Girl power interview. *** *** *******. You know, do stuff, man. This makes me get branded disenchanted with pop feminism and the way we talk about feminism now. Like, yeah, bad *******. We got this. Girl, stick together. Jenner is a construct. It's not real. Yeah, that's how I feel. Well, how Keith feels too. Yeah. I mean, my, my big thing. Like, always be scared of slogans. Yeah, if somebody tells you you're a war. Yeah. Thread now. Good. That was my whole goal here. I apologize for some of this was confusing. There's so much to keep track of. It made sense to me, that story. Yeah, but that is almost everything about Keith Ranieri that I thought was relevant. I hope bad things happen to him. He's in prison. I hope bad things happen to him. Not necessarily when he's in. I would be fine if just a rock fell out of this guy and hit him. That would be OK. Yeah. Yeah, I'd be fine with that. It's crazy to think too. Like he's touched so much so who has totally internalized his crazy way of thinking and will continue it. I mean, I suppose, like without the charismatic leader. I don't know how much you have. I don't think Nexium's got much of a future, but there will be another Keith Ranieri. Maybe it'll be someone who took some of his classes and does it a little better and a little bigger. Maybe it'll just be some other random guy, but. Or Lady, or Lady, or lady with an I. You have 240 and a judo championship when she was eleven? Yeah, could be. Yeah. It would be nice for one of these creepy cult leaders to be a lady soon. Like, well, Alice, we got close. Allison Mack. We've ever gotten. I think, yeah. Yeah. And she's breaking barriers. She is. We didn't get a lady president, but we got a lady Co cult leader. Yeah. Kind of best part of it is that she cited Hillary Clinton in her like, yeah, women. Rock, hashtag Girl power interview. *** *** *******. You know, do stuff, man. This makes me get branded disenchanted with pop feminism and the way we talk about feminism now. Like, yeah, bad *******. We got this. Girls stick together. Jenner is a construct. It's not real. Yeah, that's how I feel. Well, how Keith feels too. Yeah. I mean, my, my big thing. Like, always be scared of slogans. Yeah, if somebody tells you you're a warrior a bunch of times, they're probably lying to you to get you to do something fun. Yeah, if somebody tells you you're a *** *** and you're not doing anything *** *** or the thing that you're doing is just letting someone hurt you, then get the **** out. Be afraid of catchy slogan. You're welcome to do that too. This behind the ********. We're back every Tuesday and we will be back next Tuesday with yet another ******* so check us out. My name is Alex Fumero and I host the new podcast more than a movie, American Me, a film directed by and starring Edward James Olmos. I'll be diving into the behind the scenes controversy, including an alleged backlash from the Mexican mafia. Several people who worked on the movie have been murdered. I don't want to speak about why would people be murdered for being in a movie? Listen to more than a movie American meat on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. My name is Lauren Ober, and in addition to being a charming podcast host, I am also a newly diagnosed autistic person. My new show, the loudest girl in the world, is all about my weird, winding path to diagnosis, my decision at age 42 to finally get evaluated for autism. Listen to the loudest. Girl in the world on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts piece of 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 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.