The Main Reason I Started NXIVM Was to Have Someone to Play Volleyball With by Keith Raniere

Hello, my name is Keith Raniere and I am writing to you from my C block cell in Alcatraz Federal Penitentiary. The reason for this epistle is that I feel as if my reputation has been tarnished lately and I wanted to speak to a few items I have seen in the newspapers people keeping peeing on and stuffing in my shoes. First, I see how it is easy to blame the whole ‘sex cult’ thing on the guy who created it, but I don’t think that has anything to do with me. Second, I feel as if a lot of people didn’t ‘get’ the sash thing and I want to reiterate that I still think that was a cool idea. But finally, and I mean this with all honesty, I never meant to hurt anyone, I just wanted someone to play volleyball with.


Now obviously I haven’t seen the supposed ‘documentaries’ that have been made about me, but I think it would have been impossible to capture what NXIVM was without any sort of vball footage, so I am assuming you have seen me play. And as you probably noticed, I never seemed happier than when I was setting, spiking, or serving.


I would often hold small groups and EMs after the games because I was just riding the high of competition. You think I didn’t intentionally bring on Mark Vicente because of his height? Think again.


The goal or ideals of the company were fine or whatever, but literally the only reason I got involved with Nancy was she told me that the place she had in mind upstate had a huge indoor volleyball court. I didn’t need to know more than that, I would do anything to have access to that hardwood.


Oh and that whole ‘vanguard’ thing? That was what I wanted people to call me on the court, but it didn’t catch on when it was a casual thing, so I had to make it mandatory.

Image of Keith Raniere in his volleyball garb. From HBO’s The Vow


So far, prison has not been great in terms of volleyball. Or any other aspect for that matter. Personally, I think there should be a special prison for people with over 200 IQ, but I save that for my letters to the warden.


Ultimately, prison has only given me the one thing I never had: time. I’ve been using this abundant new resource to learn every inch of my prison cell. Each day, I count every brick to make sure they are all there. Until one day, there will be one less, and one less, and one less, one less, one less.


And then I’ll be gone, off into another world. A world without responsibility, a world without consequence. Only then will I be free.

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