This is a reflection piece on the HBO series: The vow. It is a very small overview of what happened in the mini series, PART 2 is coming soon; trailer below.
**Warning: this content may offend the offender!***
I paid a subscription and suddenly had the urge to have a glance at it; hesitant because I knew Keith Raniere got sentenced 120 years in jail. Sometimes — one is inclined to know the outcome— thus one doesn’t want to consume, the sandwich filling.
I do not reveal any other characters throughout this. I am not begging for him to get a out of jail free card either. (I may be weird and wonderful — but I am not from another planet!)
Here’s what I reflected upon:
- Debunking the intelligence factor of Keith Raniere.
- What is Coercion?
- Thank you male friends.
- Why is it important to have laws that state a person is not allowed to use coercive control over someone?
- Relationships of mutual compassion.
- Liar Liar pants on fire
- Does negative input equal negative results?
- What is consequential learning?
I was rather sceptical of Keith Raniere. Don’t be daft about this, you know he probably gave you the willies as well!!! (This needs to be light hearted, as he really was creepy)
If I was in his presence after experiencing my own ex I would definitely try and debunk the claim of his IQ. It’s the first thing which gives me a hair raising sensation on the back of my neck.
I have met some people in my time; whom are flat out geniuses and there is no way they are so arrogant about stuff; unless they have put the hard work into becoming a Doctor grad. (Give yourselves a pat on the back you earned it!)
Debunking his claims to have an IQ of 240, is literally the easiest thing. The greatest minds to have taken an IQ test are able to look at maths like it is a functional pattern. Of which, they can apply maths equations to everything and they can do this at the age of 11. I never saw a pattern, the most I have had is a bronze in a maths award.
“I am not a prodigy— just weird and wonderful!”— Weird and Wonderful 2021
I mean, I say this on a level where great minds are — not only able to master what we do with coding; these geniuses will do this with an applied method to metaphysics — even when they are in their twenties. We are talking about more than 4D printing; it is like robotics and nano tech. Way beyond my imagination!
A man with the highest IQ in the world whom was able to work in NASA at the age of 15 stated:
“Society should not judge anyone with unilateral standards. Everyone has different learning levels, hopes, talents, and dreams, and we should respect that. People always try to be somebody special by neglecting their ordinary happiness. “Kim Ung Yong.
Of which, there seemed to be no regular pattern of ivy league schooling from Keith Raniere, his records state: 2.26 GPA which is, a B +. He doesn’t have a record of anything of his childhood genius stages, there is no record of anything.
— Intrigued yet?
There are most of us around the world whom are able to achieve a B+, even with chaos happening around us. By having a structured learning program and dedicated time. You can even dedicate an extra hour in your day and you can get the results you need.
Even people you do not even expect to be clever can master an exam and change their life, but it takes discipline; a lot of time to do it, depending on their learning factors and determination.
— There is nothing the mind cannot do.
Unfortunately, I have said we as humans are capable of causing harm. I meant this because we have caused genocide in all parts of the world. It took just one negative reaction to cause an even bigger chain reaction.
What is Coercion?
If this is the first time you are reading weird and wonderful. I do apologise if you knew what this word meant but there are others whom do not know. I recently was informed that laws have been changed in the last year or so, to help victims of these circumstances around the world:
There is no discrepancy between being threatened to not see a friend or a family member either. These are people whom make you do things you should not be doing. Or they make, threats towards you preventing you from being around loved ones, or, they threaten you with you life or for sex. I use the UK as a link but, I know they are slow about the changes to laws. However, they exist — but it is hard for people to find lawyers.
Whilst watching the mini series on HBO— I quivered a little — because, I remember my ex-fiancé screaming at me; to show me “men are more dominant than women“. I was bullied by my dad and I met someone whom was willing to display dominance.
Therefore, this pattern of manipulation had become very important— for this man whom was 10 years older than me— to acquire. He would use any means necessary to do what he wanted; he would have me physically by the throat; actually bite me and yes amongst other things; I became the puppet. (I hope my child reads this an then empathises with me and knows I cannot say or do anything. This man has the power but not my respect! You do not gain people’s respect by taking a child from its mother by being coercive)
It took years for me to shrug the fear off and begin on my way to being a better person. To value myself. It is almost like someone whom has been in a war torn country because the body is always on constant alert.
So when I saw these people were divided in a way that was sexist. I am not going to ruin the plot twist but, there is some dark intent there from Keith! You see what he says because he wanted a documentary of himself. The ego is as extreme as the deception; I imagine a fragrance worse than ol’ spice, lingering and chocking everyone in its path. However, to some he had the elixir of wonder and awe.
I have to tell you about Bonnie. She went through— what I call mental torture and extreme coercion — where Keith had basically reached the point; even her husband with all the goodness in his heart; could not reach.
For many, this is the fight or flight stage turning point as well. Keith had gone the extra distance and pointed out her weakness of dirt (may I add, most people like to be clean or considered clean): Keith persisted Bonnie had a problem and had gotten her to lick a puddle.
There is no way on this earth that this is an equal measure of a platonic relationship between two people.
We should thank Bonnie for highlighting how a relationship between two friends should be.
I would like to thank my friends, especially my male friends.
I have a lot of male friends whom are like my brothers. I love them because they are strong, dependable to talk to— meaning, they are gentlemen— the do not make it a habit to talk about your problem to others.
Unless, it was something they cannot absolutely help you to resolve; will not stab you in the back with slander; are strong minded and have their own goals.
My friends are not so insecure — where they are malleable: can be manipulated or even want to manipulate.
Money is not an issue between my friends and I— It is when ever you want to give back.
They are there to give an ear. To help one another see something different, like go to the cinema or taste something different at a restaurant. We have things in common and we share some medial common goals.
I learned how to play bass guitar when one of my closest male friends was around. His set of skills helped me to be motivated to do.
There is no need for a coercive control relationship. You have a set of skills, and I give my advice in return. There is no manipulation, or subjective clauses where someone says one of the following sentences:
I do not want you to be around because you owe me money .
You have to pay me because I did ….. for you.
Why are you always washing, cooking or cleaning for me?
I would only like to talk to someone in my field.
No woman — or man should be put in a position — where they have to be told; someone is not able to discuss things on a subsequently normal day to day level. For instance, problem solving simple day to day tasks — the other person is not able to manage their own lives— encouragement is the only solution you need.
So, when it comes to controlling someone a person will say they want you to be strong and so forth and then tell you negative things to keep you in a grip, or a sort of a vice like mental hold. (Highlighted so you notice whilst watching the vow)
Not a lot of lawyers and judges are making this the top thing around the world. Not all social services around the world make this a TOP priority specialist case review.
But there are some people whom are smart— they can sense they are being manipulated; they leave or they try to leave once; try again, however, the control part is forever. These types of people would like to keep you under their control for a long time.
It is up to judges and lawyers to decide— finally — when enough is enough.
When someone complains about their relationships being coercive?
It is like people think this is— normal— to have someone dominate you in either a sexual way, or in a financial way. However, it really is not. A relationship which has the intention to be very clear and is friendly, there is no manipulation is like someone stating:
“I like you because you have these positive traits.(They list them) Due to you having these positive traits I have become (they list the things they have become.”
Keith did the opposite to a group of people and started to talk about their negative traits and this is documented.
When anyone does not talk about you in a positive manner, or, the admiration is not mutual. You have to get another person to believe you (which is the hard part): so they take you away from the negative person.
Relationships of mutual compassion
There should not be a battle of the sexes in terms of our lives anymore. We should not be talking about men in a negative way, because we should be treating others the way we wanted to be treated.
The scariest thing about this was the fact that women, would subject other women to some seriously undermining things like slavery.
If you are friends with someone for example and they suggest you live together, so you can begin your adult life; for instance. Follow it though, leaving all of your doubts and fears behind you so that you live a little. Most people leave home at 18, to start university. Grow and mould yourself into a person whom is independent. So, I imagine some of these women have not really had the room-mate scenario?
The slavery part is— when your friend no longer becomes your friend — begins to say you do not like them or, they do sly things to avoid you; as you are maybe left paying the bills, or, you perhaps, blame them for not washing up after themselves; they concoct a whole story because they do not want to pay bills and take responsibility for the place you mutually rent.
Mutually rent is having the paperwork included, there is no control there. The landlord or estate agent is involved. (Believe me there are women out there whom have left friends in legal ambush; not wanting to take responsibility for a legally binding thing.) You are not sleeping on the couch, the contract is signed— or you leave, when someone is going through emotional turmoil. You are not a friend. The respect is gone by then.
A good female friend is like a colleague, you work together and inspire one another. You tell them how you got some tips from them and you took something from the experience that was admirable. You try to tell them they mean something and you would like them to laugh together in spirits.
There are so many whom have some amazing traits of good positive role models in my life recently, the list is long. You know whom you are and thank you. I tell you positive things because you are my inspiration .
Back to the slavery part and the mistake I made — trying to get my friend to snog (French kiss) a holiday rep. She told me she likes him. I was on holiday and intoxicated, alright — so, I went and told him she likes him. They had the chemistry and I have to admit— I was actually impressed — I was trying to match make, whilst inebriated.
Here is the shades of grey part where, anyone can make a mistake with genuinely silly thoughts. I thought that we may get the holiday rep— to come to our room, so my friend would be less embarrassed to tell him. So, silly me (as I am taking ownership of my stupidity; as a dumb friend whom is intoxicated suggests; I will go and invite him for a drink, or two with us.
As I was orchestrating my plan.
I got my friend to massage this guy. Bearing in mind she is shy, I am already on the fifth oozo; a potent 40%abv spirit; as I am telling the story and recollecting my overwhelming sense to try and get her involved in some kind of an encounter with this man. I realise, I do not want to throw up but I also knew three is a crowd!!!
I feel, so terrible about it because I left the room after that. I now realise why my friend was terrified— but at the time I was drunk. There was no communication there from her behalf, she agreed. Because she wasn’t telling me don’t go — whilst I said, I will be back in a while — she did not refuse because she liked him. I came back like I said I would — I hugged her because, she had kissed the guy. Silly me!
However, I can see how easy it would have been if the guy manipulated me and thought: “threesome” but he was a nice character. An absolute treasure of a person. I have to say he did have an exciting story to tell about his travels. So, on one hand my friend now has a story to tell and the other hand; I realise now how wrong this could have become after reading the story about Alison Mack.
It could have been so— bad as I was intoxicated and should not have put my friend in a room with a guy on her own for 20 mins. I should have done the bathroom game where you wait for them to do their thing and come out when they are done. I realise this now, from watching this Alison Mack thing.
Our innocent ways to help a friend out can only become sexual if the person conveys they want this. However, there was not mutual respect between Alison Mack and Keith Raniere.
Everyone needs to have clarification of this — I mean, it’s not really fair to say people intentionally go and do things; however, my friend consented to a kiss and she kissed the guy. She said his tongue was like a washing machine; it whirled around. So, I can understand how men misunderstand women and how other men can take advantage of this.
Keith told the women they like to control themselves — women enjoy control.
By the way Keith— I would not even get you to snog my ex-friend even if you paid me! You are creepy!
Keith said this in front of both men and women. So, he was signalling that in order for him to have dominance he allows them to be in control of their weight for example.
Why would you have a woman control their weight?
Anorexia is not the type of mental suffering you should put upon a person. A woman can develop anorexia so quickly, under a lot of stress; or you are depressed.
Trust me, I had gotten to a size 6 at the age of 21 and people looked at me and thought there was something wrong. They saw my hip bones. I was so skinny.
It was only when my friend stopped me from being so controlling did I stop — she pointed me in the direction of the pub; back in those days the pub was just an amazing social place with a juke box; cheap booze and a pool table.
I missed the pub because we used to hang out there to be social — my friend could tell that I was depressed. She would comfort eat; whereas, I would control my weight. I love my friend because she would give the best hugs and then not say anything for hours; we would just listen to music; she is a quiet soul. Eventually, I stopped doing about 100 sit ups a day.
Goodness me, I am so glad people do not have photos of me because it really is bad how I became obsessed with my weight.
However, being around several women whom were not like my friend; I can only imagine I would have been worse for a lot longer. Plus — I would not have been able to try and drink over my friends 6 double vodka challenge. (I eventually maxed this 6 double vodkas challenge with a bunch of Russians at a bar, it was something like 10 and I felt like I was speaking Russian afterwards!)
My twenties, ladies and gentlemen were just full of the choose life methods.
Regardless, the relationship is not fun when you are not able to either, drink or participate in lots of activities with friends. It becomes an endless competition.
So the competition leads to board games or card games. Heavens above, weight loss is not fun! No way, that’s your own personal goal or hell; depending on your anorexia and depression.
I remember having a friend whom I would invite to concerts even. There is no control there just the love of the music. There is nothing like the development in a good friendship where, you have someone you can trust or confide in. Face the facts, it is really nice when we as humans connect.
I do recall seeing the vow and thinking some women are the hardest to read because they never convey how they think or what they feel. You would have thought men, have this problem; no women can be ice cold. The problem was, Keith did not want to hear what they had to say.
I remember specifically trying to encourage my friend to come out of her shell. I never wanted to put her in those uncomfortable situations with men; she would demand it was due to her shyness; however, she never really wanted to have help sometimes. This is okay because, the conversations we had with most guys was fun.
“Liar Liar; pants on fire!”
The ways the Beta male will try and lure you in is with a lie. The other day I came across the comedian Iliza Shlesinger and I have to tell you, she explains the Beta male and the lying to a fine tea. Just the fact that it should annoy you when someone lies.
I had one of my ex boyfriends tell me: “if you do not have anything positive to say then do not say it!”
Well, no you cannot stop a child from telling you negative things. It is impossible, so therefore, you need to have to learn to deal with some of what people tell you.
This is a controlling mechanism. It is like machismo but with the mind fudge!
Yes you guessed it! The ego comes right in and they will brag about— their intelligence just to gain a few brownie points or talk about— how much money they earn.
Iliza and I would get on like a house on fire. There is no doubt about it, the karma bus needed to stop by Keith’s house but, it took a while.
A Beta male is just needing some structural mind changes and some realistic goal setting. Yes, they can be surrounded by lots of women, but cannot make their mind up of whom they want to be with.
It is debilitating being around people whom do this.
These types of men, say the do not want to be with you because they are — easily manipulated and have never ever faced any difficult life task — avoiding being in the moment of reality, by drinking lots.
When debating with a beta male, it is uncomfortable because they will shout; got to command your attention; no delayed thought; just reactionary.
If you have ever seen Joe Rogan, he is not a beta male, he is one of those pause for thoughts inhale and exhale men. Why did I choose the hot man with the muscles to describe awareness traits? Because he is a comedian, as well, and he pauses like a timing break, to gather that time precision moment.
Beta males, cannot convey themselves in an abstract way from an agenda. They will lie and put a woman in danger, walk away and leave her there to clean up the aftermath of their destruction. No sense of accountability there. I like my male friends to be like my coffee, strong; keeps me alert; knows they have to be direct and to the point; gives me the ability to enjoy the moment.
Seriously, being in a relationship with a beta male is horrid because he will not have his own mind— he is easily led — the most deceptive of them all; for sure, a beta will stab people in the back and slander.
I give this Keith Raniere a really positive feedback of Beta male. I am awfully picky about whom I date and whom I associate myself with, so, these things are like important to me to avoid a Beta male.
You choose one woman and do not wrap yourself in a whole lot of lies. Then this is it, you love the drama! Face it!
Does Negative input equal negative results?
This was the part, I did not understand. How the some of the women, participating in this NXIVM were not at all interested in walking away.
Someone is talking about your gender in a negative way, and you just sat there and decided not to interrupt and say:
“Hey! You do not have ovaries; so therefore how can you sit there and speak for us?”
Or; ” Hey! Why can we not have a female speaker in front of the mixed group of both men and women?”
They subjected themselves to the barrage of insults from Keith, whom had then allowed the men to insult the women; due to his misconduct.
The sneaky way this was all controlled to have the women be downtrodden by the men; made me realise my own faults that we as women have been told our whole lives more than men:
“You don’t…. You can’t …. You won’t!”
It is so easy for us to fall into those patterns of negativity. Then, to say something negative to a man is like absurd; as he cannot handle you being negative.
A man is like your best friend, your brother, uncle or your dad; if this man is close to you. Most men whom are in that close proximity will not want to protect you if you have no desire for your future. They need to hear that they are important. Like anyone in your world trying to get your attention; they will not demand it. A man will just go.
The most amazing thing I noticed about the marriages of these couples from this organisation is: through thick and thin they were there for each other— listened by giving the delay reaction for information to be absorbed. Found solutions and became hopeful about the future— goal orientated: giving each other purpose and meaning.
You do not know how to be dependable person — until you are able to overcome something with someone you love.
This is the kind of grounding that we miss in our lives. We do not need negative input but we need the realisation that we have all the weakness in us. We all need help.
What is Consequential learning and thinking?
I notice that lots of people say that it takes them a long time to wake up from an experience. Now they are enlightened. I just want to apply this generally into our everyday lives where we can see patterns that recure in our behaviour, then try to address the situation before others can manipulate you for example.
Believe me when I say, this process can be painful and slow. However, it produces the most effective outcomes of self-awareness. More than a guru like Keith can tell you and here is a wonderful quote from Ravika Janowsi:
Consequential thinking is about engaging in proactive behaviour: considering the outcomes of our thoughts, feelings, and actions before acting. This involves including our feelings and those of others, taking a pause, and acting intentionally. It allows us to make choices and decisions with the best possible outcomes and results.RAVIKA JANOWSKI 15/6/2015
I challenge people to think about the actions we decide to take, not someone else— Individually, we can only do this through accountability and reconciliation. It helps all group members find the dependable person.
Some people leave the reconciliation too long, for others to respect them. Also, some are not aware they have to take some accountability for their actions.
So, for both men and women there needs to be this mutual respect. When you make a mistake, or you cannot handle something you try to take accountability for your half of the problem. You try to make amends with other people so you do not have to live in the spiral of guilt.
No, not everyone is going to have the same political ideology as you but you have to take accountability for the negative things you say to a person. You have to reconcile your differences and say:
“I know it may come of a shock to you but, I think this way. You do you; I will do me; somewhere we may meet in the middle.”
Eventually, people come around.
This was the greatest thing I noticed about the vow miniseries — was how they all tried to reconcile and save people as much as they could— taking accountability and feeling the guilt. But none of this would have been possible if people were narrow minded all the time and never took any responsibility for their actions.
It is not really an apology— you are just wanting respect for being you. Some acknowledgement of the feelings of loss or pain, caused by something or someone else.
This is fine.
It does not happen often enough in the world we live in.
Many women are still harassed by other women; as they look perhaps weak. It takes a bigger person to build that person back up and it takes an even bigger person to know when the harassment should stop and the belittling.
Men harrassing women is a man thing. As we women should not be challenging men on their behaviours. It means, we are having something to gain from the point. However, if the captain of the ship is going down, know you will be going down with him; if you do not choose to find a man to challenge the bully.
I say this because men, need to be able to rise above the challenge and make men look better. You can be better. You can have the friendships you want. However, you need to prevent other men from getting away with harming others. It will make you feel so much better. Especially, when you see the group of men and how they felt harmed by what Keith had done.
I will try not to ruin it!
By all means, watch the vow. Tell me what you thought about it in the comments below, please.
I just thought it was weird how all these people were able to see something, I could not in Keith.