Keith Raniere

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Keith Raniere
Born Brooklyn, New York
Nationality American
Alma mater Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute
Occupation Founder, NXIVM
Known for Personal development, multi-level marketing

Keith Raniere is an American businessperson and founder of NXIVM, a multi-level marketing company[1] in upstate New York that has been referred to by some detractors as being "cult-like".[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Raniere is the son of a New York City adman and a mother who taught ballroom dancing; he grew up in Suffern, New York after having spent his first five years in Brooklyn.[2][3] He arrived in the Albany area at the age of 16, around the time his mother died, to attend the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1981. There Raniere triple-majored in math, physics, and biology with minors in psychology and philosophy, and earned a BS in Biology.[2][3][4]


In 1998, Raniere and associate Nancy Salzman founded NXIVM, a company offering "Executive Success Programs".[5] In 2007, Raniere founded A Capella Innovations.[6] Raniere founded World Ethical Foundations Consortium, an organization that brought the Dalai Lama to New York to deliver a public address on Compassionate Ethics in Difficult Times.[6]

As conceptual founder of NXIVM, Raniere has been embroiled in controversy for many years. He has been accused of running a "cult"-like organization centered on him where he has donned the self-chosen title of the "Vanguard". This set of events culminated in a four-part exposé of his past history and the activities of the group under his leadership behind the scenes in the Times Union which was recognized by the Associated Press Association of New York in October 2012 by winning first place for its in-depth reporting.[7] A little over two years later after this story was published, Kristin Keeffe, a longtime partner of Raniere and mother of his child split from the group, allegedly due to his activities, and generally described him as "dangerous".[8] Such a designation would seem to confirm an earlier article in the Times Union where NXIVM former coach Susan Dones had alleged that students are "prey" for Raniere to satisfy either his gambling or sexual proclivities.[9]

Raniere holds various patents in technology, architecture, and manufacturing; many are related directly to his work at NXIVM.[10]


  1. ^ William D. Cohan (November 18, 2014). "How a Strange, Secretive, Cult-like Company Is Waging Legal War Against Journalists". The Nation. Retrieved May 27, 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Kohler, Nicholas (2010-09-09). "How to lose $100 million". Macleans. Retrieved 26 April 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Tkacik, Maureen. "Poor Little Rich Girls: The Ballad of Sara and Clare Bronfman". The New York Observer. 
  4. ^ Freeman, Michael (13 October 2003). "The Best Business Schools: Cult of Personality". Forbes. Retrieved 17 April 2011. 
  5. ^ "NXIVM". NXIVM. 
  6. ^ a b "KR page". Keith Raniere website. 
  7. ^ Odato, James (24 February 2012). "Secrets of NXIVM: The untold story of Keith Raniere". Times Union (Albany). 
  8. ^ Odato, James (12 May 2014). "A split from NXIVM". Times Union (Albany). 
  9. ^ Odato, James (22 November 2010). "Ex-NXIVM trainer: Students are prey". Times Union (Albany). 
  10. ^ Google Patents. "KR Patents". List of Patents. Retrieved 2012-01-12.