Reader has Questions about writer’s role in NXIVM

Having evidently read several of my posts on NXIVM, a reader asks:

How did they try to control your mind?

It sounds like you were allowed close enough to the inner circle to be able to see at least the sex-charged nature of NXIVM, if not the criminality.

Were there other non-ESPians living in “company housing” like you were?

Some of his lawyers perhaps?

Did they also catch on to the sex?

How did they get treated?

Were they at least sympathetic to the great “ethical” program of NXIVM?

Did they seem to be under Keith’s control?

Did that degree of closeness happen immediately, or do you think you were “on probation” for a while, while they decided how much you could be trusted?

I expect that they would have tried to get you to take the Ethos course, so they could get your list of emotional weaknesses, tear you down with them, and tell you that they (and only they) can teach you how to overcome them.

If you wouldn’t take the course, they would have to use other means to decide if they could trust you.

Did Keith spend a lot of time with you, feeling you out, before trusting you?

Another tool that Keith would have to control people is his harem.  With so many women under his total control, he could tell one or more of them to come on to you.  If he could get you into a relationship with one of his women, he could use her to get you to do things, and to spy on you.  If you were married but he could get you to stray, he would have blackmail material
Was their initial contact with you about real estate deals?  Some news stories imply that at first you were told they wanted help with public relations, and the real estate issues were several months later, perhaps after you passed probation.

Have you figured out exactly what you did that caused their trust in you to be lost?

Was it simply disagreements about how to handle the LA real estate deal?

Or was it that you told Keith to his face that he was wrong about something?

Or was it that you questioned Keith’s infallibility in front of the girls?

Or was it that you convinced the girls that Keith was fallible?

I would have expected you normally to have sufficient written agreements that it would not be possible to make a fraud charge stick.

Did Keith exploit the trust that he had caused you have in him, to get you to bail out the LA real estate deal without getting things in writing?

That would make it easy for the girls to invent some excuse to accuse you of fraud in the LA deal (not that I have any reason to believe that you did anything wrong).

Do you understand how they got the authorities to subpoena your records and then do a fishing expedition in them to find other things?

Who would they have to have under their thumb to do that?

I don’t actually expect you to answer any of this.  But these are the things I would be thinking about if I was in your shoes!25

About the author

Frank Parlato

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About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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