Raniere studied a host of programming methods and created NXIVM


While I never took the NXIVM courses (I was however asked to write/create a module for a new class) I don’t want to dissuade anyone from taking the courses.

As for myself, I never saw much originality in it.

Although it took real intelligence to construct it.

To do so, Keith Raniere studied several models.

He studied multilevel marketing, a marketing strategy in which the sales force is compensated not only for sales they generate, but also for the sales of salespeople they recruit.

He studied est/Landmark, a company offering personal development programs, which uses theories formulated by Werner Erhard, author of the est (Erhard Seminars Training).

WE grey
Keith Raniere studied Werner Erhard


Raniere studied Scientology,  a body of beliefs and practices created by L. Ron Hubbard, as an alternative to psychiatry and as a religion with its own terminology, doctrines, the E-meter, and the practice of auditing.

Raniere studied Neurolinguistic Programming,  an approach to communication, personal development, and psychotherapy created by Richard Bandler and John Grinder which claim a connection between neurological processes, language and behavioral patterns learned through experience and that these can be changed to achieve goals in life.

By “modeling” skills of exceptional people, one can treat problems such as phobias, depression, habit disorder, psychosomatic illnesses, myopia, allergy, common cold, and learning disorders.


Raniere synthesized these into a brilliant scheme called NXIVM to train people who felt inadequate and frightened by life and in return to send money and sex partners to Albany for his delectation.

The courses I can say little about.

I chose not to take them.

The challenge I have with Raniere is that he is thin skinned, and willing to use the Bronfman money to punish any slights.

There is a lot in the NXIVM program that is cultish, and there are a plethora of preemptive defenses against outsiders pointing out the cultish aspects.

Are there some NXIVM people who have  benefited from the lower levels?

Maybe but I  did not see it.

What I saw was that the more classes they took, the less capable they were of functioning in the world, but the more obedient they were to the cult of Raniere/Salzman.

There was, I noted, an inability to focus that usually led to a disconnect at crucial times, almost as if the NXIVM student was programmed to be a good ‘worker bee’ but before they could gain the independence needed to accomplish tasks which required strength, they had a tendency to disconnect.

Following through on any tenuous project seemed difficult or impossible.

That is why NXIVM needed so many outside consultants since their own members were deficient in meaningful business and worldly matters that required subtly and perseverance.

Most could work only under careful supervision.

The women that Raniere bedded seemed to fare a little better than those he did not. I suppose they got to see a different side of Raniere and were more relaxed about their slavery to him.

Those women who were not attractive, or too old to be considered for the Raniere boudoir and the eunuchs/male members seemed to hold Raniere in the same kind of veneration that an acolyte holds his unseen God.

As I contemplate my time there, I have come to believe that Nancy Salzman is not a bad person. Were she out of Raniere’s shadow she might be a very good person indeed.

In any event I think she has made NXIVM less destructive than it otherwise would have been.

Somewhere along the line, Raniere convinced her that she could do more good (and make much better money) by helping him with NXIVM than she could with her private therapy practice.

One of my goals is to persuade members to resist Raniere’s vindictive instincts, or to leave.

Another is to make potential recruits aware of the dark side of the top of the organization. Especially the very top.



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Frank Parlato

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[…] a recent post, Raniere studied a host of programming methods and created NXIVM, I wrote:  “There was, I noted, an inability to focus that usually led to a disconnect at […]


[…] a recent post  Raniere studied a host of programming methods and created NXIVM,  I wrote, “What I saw was that the more classes they took, the less capable they were of […]

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
Email: frankreport76@gmail.com


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