A Total Cult : Keith Raniere and NXIVM

74 thoughts on “A Total Cult : Keith Raniere and NXIVM

  1. NarcAngel says:

    I had previously only heard bits and pieces about this cult (branding, sex, and the mother of one member trying to rescue her daughter from it), so I’m happy to hear (always a delight) your analysis. Very interesting to hear about other narcs being ensnared and their reactions to it being exposed as a cult. A good listen and one to share. Thank you.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

    2. lickemtomorrow says:

      I’ve begun watching another series on cults and extreme beliefs that had an episode dedicated to this group and apparently the branding was not done with some kind of hot iron, but in the manner of cauterizing the flesh as the initials were carved into it. Apparently the procedure lasted about 45 mins, no anaesthetic was used, and the women were held down by other women. Raniere was not present, but was known to be checking in on the process as it occurred. The woman who was speaking out about the cult, an ex-member, seemed like an out and out empath and I definitely experienced her sense of empathy, unlike the other woman I described whose partner had disappeared. And she had also been a top promoter of the cult, bringing upwards of 2,000 people into it. I think her involvement with D.O.S. was what finally brought her to her senses. The interesting thing is a lot of people seem to have left the cult without difficulty. In the sense that there does not appear to have been a great deal of pressure applied to them after making their decision to leave. That is an oddity to me where you generally sense that cults are all about pressuring people to remain.

  2. Chihuahuamum says:

    Hi HG…im not sure if youve done an update article on Trump but id love to read your thoughts on his npd and the election. How he’s dealing with the situations at present.
    Also cults in relation to Trump thx

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I have not done an update.

      1. Chihuahuamum says:

        I hope you consider doing so! This displays a lot of what we’ve learned here.
        I also think that this is no longer about a political party, but rather a cult. It would be interesting to hear your thoughts on these two areas.

        1. Violetta says:

          DM headline:

          “Trump was ‘talked out of’ launching a strike on Iran in punishment for ‘hiding its nuclear weapons program’ last week after his top advisers warned it could trigger a war – but he is ‘still mulling options to punish Tehran'”

          That jackhole will get us all killed before he’s dragged out of the Oval Office. If the Covid doesn’t get you, he’ll initiate mutually assured destruction.

  3. Chihuahuamum says:

    Boyyy is this ever relevant!! Ty HG!!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      You are welcome.

  4. Anm says:

    I read about the heiress who joined this cult to “better herself, and get over social anxiety”. It was interesting, because the way she overcame her social anxiety, was to become a bully. She used her inheritance to fund the cults legal team, she would threaten people, hire private investigators to go after any threats, and she constantly tried to take people down. At her sentencing hearing, the victims and prosecutors ask that the judge go light on her sentence if she denounced the cult. She refused.

  5. Witch says:

    I’ve seen a documentary about a Christian cult also based on sexual abuse. The cult leader made the women prostitute themselves and promoted them as “whores for Jesus.”
    He also made the parents send videos to him of their female children dancing.
    As time went on the sexual control escalated to the point that he dictated that parents had to have sex with their own children.
    One of the adult survivors of this cult got his hands on a gun and had a plan to kill his mother for having sex with him as a child. His mother wasn’t home but he ended up confronting his aunty who was also part of the cult and he kill her then killed himself.

  6. BC30 says:

    What is the tipping point with all these cult leaders? At what point does the desire for control and grandiosity make them reckless? There are Ns living behind the scenes who never get caught and many more, I would guess, are incapable of reaching such heights.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Depends on a variety of factors. There could be reckless behaviour from the beginning or it may manifest later. Depends on the school of narcissist, fuel levels, challenges to control, size of fuel matrix amongst other matters.

  7. lickemtomorrow says:

    I went ahead and watched a documentary on this group since this article was posted and it was titled “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” It was about women who had died or disappeared in relation to the cult. Nothing could be proven, or had not been investigated thoroughly enough, but all looked very suspicious. And at least one – the disappearance – is still an open case,though none were part of the current case against Raniere. It was a real insight into the kind of power and control that was being applied in the circumstances. There was a recorded discussion on the branding issue and Raniere’s thinking that the women needed to ‘request’ to be branded, probably in an act of willing submission to his control. Goes back in my mind to the narcissist needing you to let them in. In some ways that is much more powerful than forcing someone to submit. The narcissist causes you to make a choice in their favour. That is power indeed. And shows the force of their manipulation. Superiority and grandiosity at its best. I can make you do this willingly. I have you under my spell.

    There were apparently quite a few ex-members willing to speak out in the program. Narcissists trying to save their own bacon? Or empaths taken in? One woman whose partner disappeared never thought to mention to the police the fat that her partner was pregnant to Raniere and accusing him of impregnating her before she disappeared. Hardly a small oversight in the bigger picture. She was also involved with the cult. She claims she was afraid, but didn’t seem to be speaking with much emotional empathy. Saying all the right things, but I wasn’t feeling it.

    I never really thought about narcissist’s being part of these cults as well. I have always thought they were duped normals or empaths. This was an eye opener indeed to me. The other narcs get to feed off the greater narc.

    There is much to learn.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      There is more narc on narc action than you may realise. Furthermore, there are more (unaware) narcissists trying to tell you about narcissism who have not got a clue about narcissism. They copy other material , but fail to understand it and get it wrong or they just spew inaccuracy. There are far too many of these individuals on YouTube pouring out utter dross and people really need to understand this otherwise they will make mistake after mistake after mistake.

      1. lickemtomorrow says:

        This is so true, HG, and lol to the narc on narc action. I honestly had never considered it before, though now that I think about it I have seen it in action and been a victim of it in my most recent entanglement. So I am glad to have my eyes opened more fully on this one.

        The unaware narcissists are a big concern as they pull people in and then act on them in a manipulative way with neither being aware of what is going on. That spells real danger. Here we get the truth about both and that knowledge is constantly placed front and centre. I’m not sure I would trust most of these others due to that lack of awareness.

        I’m sure it’s frustrating to you at times to see people being taken in with the eye of awareness that you have. And many of us wouldn’t have had the full awareness before coming here. Now we know much better what to look out for and the various ways we can be duped. It is a must.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          I am irritated by the inaccurate information that is peddled by charlatans.

          1. lickemtomorrow says:

            As we all should be.

      2. aspemp says:

        “narc on narc”…. sorry HG….. that set me off again…. 😂😂 (I’m not patronising you & don’t get pi**ed off with me) – I’m an innocent little empath, honestly (I’m actually being good – in my eyes anyway)

  8. Fiddleress2 says:

    This was extremely interesting to listen to, thank you HG. I hadn’t heard of that cult. My naivety always amazes me – I am always astounded when I hear stories about twisted guys like that Raniere character. And dismayed at how some people, especially women, can be led to such extremes in the abuse department.
    Human beings, if you can even call him that, will never cease to baffle me. Just so long as I can hear or read about them from a safe distance!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      I am pleased you enjoyed listening.

  9. alexissmith2016 says:

    im really to excited to listen to this but dont have any headphones with me.

    HG, do you think Lucy Letby did it? she looks so nice

    1. alexissmith2016 says:

      ill take that as a yes then. thank you

  10. Bibi says:

    This was a really great reading.

    This guy is a real sicko. HG, you are spoiling us. Been playing some of your videos before bed and I think your voice entered my dreams.

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Understandable, I am everywhere, Bibi.

      1. Bibi says:

        I am loving the YT comments. I lol’d at the one saying you sounded like Sherlock Holmes. LOLOLOL

        [Insert random British fictional dude based on no criteria whatsoever.]

      2. Bibi says:

        Even in my dreams. With your Sherlock Holmes? (lol WTF?!) voice and the face of a beautiful Amish doll. How I seduce thee–with your blank fabric upon me.

        Those Amish are perverts!

        1. HG Tudor says:

          Every now and again you should get your Amish on.

          1. Bibi says:

            Bahahahahaha Oh dear. I am a little excited now.

          2. WhoCares says:


        2. aspemp says:


  11. BC30 says:

    After listening to this, I went straight to Hulu to watch the documentary. 😲 Holy shit. It was a completely different perspective than the one they were presenting. They used the word “narcissistic,” but I don’t think they really appreciated what he is.

    I was also left wondering whether the whistleblower an N, E, or Normal. I have no idea and don’t venture a guess, but she said something that was chilling because it was something I said to HG early on in my recovery. Verbatim. She sounded just like me, and the manifestation of my top 2 narcissistic traits.

    1. Bibi says:

      I have a friend who is able to download the world. I will have to ask him to get this for me, as I don’t have Hulu.

      ‘I can give you the world–just not Hulu.’ New marketing line.

      1. BC30 says:

        Please do. I am eager to know what you think about Sarah E. N or E or Normal? Pay attention about the 38 minute mark, that’s the clue.

        1. lickemtomorrow says:

          BC30, what was the doco you watched?

          1. BC30 says:

            A&E did a series. “Cults and Extreme Belief” They did a NXIVM episode, but all the other cults featured are religious organizations.

          2. StrongerWendy says:

            Associated docs:

            The Vow (hbo)
            Seduced (Starz/Hulu)
            The Lost women of NXIVM (originally on Discovery)
            The Frank Report (blog by a guy that Raniere tried to target with his legal tsunami tactics.

            My opinion: The more I read of his blog the more I suspect this guy is also a narc – relating to narc on narc action that HG refers to (albeit one whose actions had a positive impact on bringing NXIVM down) and one where Raniere picked the wrong fellow narc to mess with. The triggered fury caused a relentless and tireless campaign by the Frank Report author to bring down Raniere and the slowly increasing spotlight on the author provides tons of prime aim benefits for him.

          3. HG Tudor says:

            Good observation SW, you will often have “good narcs” bringing down “bad narcs”, of course the former is not doing for conventional reasons (although they may think they are) but they achieve the outcome all the same, often achieving where a non-narcissist might do because of the ambition, drive and relentless pursuit (all arising from the narcissism).

          4. lickemtomorrow says:

            Thanks BC30, and SW for that further info on what docos are out there on this group.

            Interesting observation by HG that narcs will get the job done for their own reasons and sometimes it works in our favour. I guess that’s why we’re here.

          5. HG Tudor says:

            What do you think allows you to benefit from my expertise?

          6. lickemtomorrow says:

            Exactly, HG.

            And we should always remember that.

      2. BC30 says:

        Were you able to get the documentary and watch? I was serious about wanting to hear your thoughts.

  12. WhoCares says:


    Excellent, excellent material. I was interested from the start as I have a real interest in cult phenomenon. And then I got excited when you said this will be a series!
    Great analysis – but I especially appreciate the built-in applicability to other dynamics regarding narc & narc behaviour, the use of the legal system, etc.

    I laughed right out loud at the “sexual energy” comment!

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Thank you, I am pleased you found it interesting.

  13. leelasfuelstinks says:

    What a cool idea! Analysing cults and cult leaders! Super interesting.

    “Hello, I´m H.G. Tudor, I´m a narcissistc psychopath and I would like to control you…” 😀 😀 😀 Maybe indeed not the best idea to attract new prospects. 😀 😀 😀

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Do at least put what I said in context.

      1. leelasfuelstinks says:

        Sorry sensei, that sounded just SO MEGA FUNNY! 😀

    2. Violetta says:

      “Hello, I´m H.G. Tudor, I´m a narcissistc psychopath and I would like to control you…”

      As (I think) NarcAngel has said, “Sounds like a terrible idea!….What time?”

      1. Witch says:

        There are literally people who would not scream and run away if a narc were to say that to them but still think, “he can change”
        Judging from the comments, I’m 99% certain there are women here who would still date HG knowing from the start that he is a narcissist and a psychopath.

        1. leelasfuelstinks says:

          100 % agree. H.G. is a wonderful mentor and I am really very thankful to him. But coming even close to H.G.? No, thank you!

        2. Violetta says:

          I wouldn’t think he could change; it’s more like after suffering from all these mediocre narcs, I’m not settling for anything less than a Grandmaster!

          Accept no substitutes!

          1. leelasfuelstinks says:

            Devaluation from H.G.? urm…… good luck!

          2. Violetta says:

            That could be one amazing Golden Period, especially compared to that half-baked crap I’ve encountered before.

        3. Chihuahuamum says:

          I think in relation to cults stockholm syndrome comes in to play with those who at first werent willing supporters but were pushed into it.
          I do see many that regardless of knowing someones deranged will still pursue them moreover find it attractive bc theyre just as sick.

          1. Witch says:

            I agree.
            I have contemplated the fact that depending on the context it must be just as harmful to a child having a very codependent parent. Primarily for the reason that potentially that codependent parent will continually bring and sustain narcs in the child’s life.
            I gave my sister the talk when my nephew was a toddler. I told her if I find out you’re in an abusive relationship and this person is around my nephew I will get authority’s involved police and or children’s social services. So don’t act shocked when I do what I need to do.

    3. Bibi says:

      See, the thing is, HG is able to control his behaviour but not his diagnosis. He is what he is. A sex cult? What nonsense. HG has bigger fish to fry.

      Women called this guy ‘Master’ and I must admit I don’t like using that term, as it does imply slave as the recipient.

      I prefer to refer to HG as a sensei. In Japanese literature, a sensei is a wise instructor. A teacher. And that is what he is. Some Prefer Nettles. Excellent novel.

      1. HG Tudor says:

        I am obliged.

        1. Bibi says:

          Virtual hugs to you, HG. My Sensei.

          1. Sweetest Perfection says:

            HG Miyagi, hahaha. Wax on, wax off.

          2. leelasfuelstinks says:

            Or H.G. cobra Kai: strike first, strike hard, NO MERCY SIR!

          3. Sweetest Perfection says:

            There you go! 🐍

      2. leelasfuelstinks says:

        WHAAAT??? There´s NO H.G.-sex cult, my upper sentence has NOTHING to do with my sentence below. I referred to what H.G. said in the tape, but I guess my totally messed up my own thoughts.

        1. HG Tudor says:

          No sex cult despite the best efforts of a few Mid Range Obsessives to suggest to the contrary!

  14. Contagious says:

    Was he celebrating?

  15. lickemtomorrow says:

    This was a very interesting breakdown of this group and the first I have really heard about them, though I was aware of their existence. They weren’t a ‘church’, which is what I had assumed originally, but all these cults or groups seem to hold certain things in common. Which is probably because their leaders hold narcissism in common. I’m thinking of the Warren Jeffs, David Koresh’s, Jim Jones, etc. Apparently a number of Jeffs followers have maintained contact with him in prison and he also continues to pull the strings of those outside the prison. When you listen to the stories it’s very hard to understand how people become so completely blinded. These are obviously very charismatic men, but for the most part they are also child molesters, and everyone one of these groups had an element of child sexual abuse attached to them. I was also gobsmacked that women in this day and age should fall for the notion of becoming slaves which is incredibly hard to believe as most of them sound like high achievers as well.

    Reminds me of the Pied Piper. I wonder if that story is about a narcissist?

  16. BC30 says:

    One of the individuals I am currently dating was raised in a cult and is demisexual and pansexual. I wonder if and/or how a childhood in a cult would have contributed to these identities/orientations. I do not believe this individual to be a narcissist, if anything, an empath. I suppose time will tell. 🙂

    It’s honestly dumb luck I didn’t fall prey to a cult. What HG says at 20:00 is spot on.

    Is it easier for Normals to escape cults?

    1. HG Tudor says:

      Unless you are chained to a radiator, as a general rule, yes it is.

  17. Sweetest Perfection says:

    OMG!!!!! Branding women? Child pornography? Sex-trafficking? What a revolting piece of shit!

  18. Asp Emp says:

    Lucky b**tard to only get “120 years”. Should be castrated.

  19. MB says:

    I’m looking forward to listening to this.

    1. Asp Emp says:

      You’ll be horrified. I read the information online – UNBELIEVABLE. But not surprised……

      1. Sweetest Perfection says:

        I don’t even know who this is, I need to find out before I listen.

        1. Asp Emp says:

          I gather from your comment below that you now know….. how many exclamation marks did you use? 😉

          1. Sweetest Perfection says:

            Asp Emp, not enough for my level of revulsion.

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