Artvoice/Reporter story: Cult of NXIVM Part 9: A Boiling Pot of Poison Stew


(The following story will appear in print and online in Artvoice and the Niagara Falls Reporter on Thursday Jan. 21, 2016. It is a story announcing this website.)

Cult of NXIVM Part 9: A Boiling Pot of Poison Stew

by Frank Parlato

Some of our readers probably feel that over the last few months they’ve read all they need to read about Keith Raniere, the Bronfman sisters and the many bizarre characters and victims flowing in and out of NXIVM Village.

Others tell us they can’t get enough of the NXIVM saga.

One reader compared the stories of Keith Raniere’s sexual debauchery and pedophilia, the intrigue among NXIVM members, the obscene wealth and the ruthless vengeance practiced by Raniere and the Bronfman sisters to the palace life of a depraved Roman emperor living with a conclave of witches. For those readers I’ve created the, a home where they can find Cult of NXIVM stories that go beyond the weekly newspaper articles. Here you’ll find a mixed stew of NXIVM dark tales.

While we will continue publishing the Cult of NXIVM articles, this week we’d like to publish an introductory sampling of what you’ll find on the site. Comments are included on the site and are always welcomed.

In the beginning Keith Raniere was a product of Amway. He took the Amway sales training in the 1980s and watched them manipulate people into the cult of Amway’s Multi Level Marketing. Then he copied it. Before Keith Raniere became a self-proclaimed divine spiritual guru seducing women with the promise he’d give them a child that would change the world, he was a pudgy, baby-faced infomercial guy hustling a multi-level pyramid scheme called Consumers Buyline. The only thing Consumers Buyline and NXIVM have in common is the lie that they exist to help people.

Debunking Raniere: Bio Claims about Consumers’ Buy Line

CONDENSED EXCERPT: According to his company Consumers’ Buyline, Inc., begun in 1990, had an estimated billion dollars in sales in its second full year and Keith was worth $50 million. However the Chief Operating Officer of the company at the time reported sales of only $30 million. The bio also fails to mention that the company went bankrupt. Consumers Buyline was facing lawsuits from attorneys generals in 25 states and in New York the attorney general shut the Consumers Buyline “scheme” down and levied a fine against Raniere. Details are on



It’s interesting how anyone can build a truly impressive list of unverifiable lies about themselves. Saying I graduated from Harvard is quite different from saying I could read by the age of two. Anyone would be impressed with either statement but only one can be proved. Keith Raniere made an art out of impressing wealthy women with dubious facts about himself.



Raniere makes 21 “fact” claims in his bio; what would find out?

(Read the to see all these claims deconstructed in a very entertaining way.)

He claims:

  1. By the age of one, he could construct full sentences and questions
  2. He was able to read by the age of two.
  3. He was an East Coast Judo Champion at age eleven
  4. By age twelve, he taught himself to play piano at the concert level
  5. He taught himself high school mathematics in nineteen hours at the age of twelve
  6. At age 13 he was proficient in third-year college mathematics
  7. At age 13 he was a professional computer programmer
  8. He is “noted as one of the world’s top three problem solvers,”
  9. He was honored in 1989 by the Guinness Book of World Records for highest IQ.
  10. He has an estimated problem-solving rarity of one in 425,000,000.
  11. He transformed a five-person organization into a corporation of nearly 400,000 in two years.

There are ten more “facts” about the amazing Keith Raniere, almost all of which are debunked at


Keith Raniere had been searching for the golden goose his whole life. In 2001 he found two golden geese in Clare and Sara Bronfman. Gaining total control over the daughters of billionaire Edgar Bronfman and their Seagram’s fortune inheritance meant Raniere could say goodbye to the low life get-rich-quick money schemes of his past. Much to the chagrin of patriarch Edgar Bronfman, Clare and Sara’s fortune basically became Raniere’s fortune. The sisters are so enamored of Raniere and NXIVM that they do his bidding no matter how costly or how illegal it may be. To dig into the depths of just how evil and important the Bronfman money is to the Cult of NXIVM you need to spend a good deal of time exploring


Where to begin? Let’s look at the names of the main players in the NXIVM saga: Keith Raniere; Nancy Salzman; Clare Bronfman; Sara Bronfman; Toni Natalie; Barbara Bouchey; Kristin Keeffe; Marianne Fernandez; Pamela Cafritz; Lauren Salzman; Karen Unterreiner; Susan Dones; Kim Woolhouse; Kristin Kreuk; Allison Mack; Nicki Clyne, Loretta Garza; Kathy Russell, etc. There are many more women to be named, but very few men. Other than lawyers, men have no place in the world of Keith Raniere. And the many women he has sex with are forbidden to be with anyone other than him.

Kristin Keeffe, former girlfriend and the mother of Keith’s son wrote “In the 24 years I have known Keith, 11 of which I lived with him, I have not seen him develop one working professional relationship with an executive level male that was not on the payroll before meeting him. Not one. The only professional male relationship Keith has ever had was with Yuri Plyam. A total crook.”

 Sometimes His Women Commit Suicide. Sometimes His Women Turn On Him:


Kristin Keeffe:

“I left because Keith abused me horribly in every way, orchestrated crimes at every level of NXIVM operations, and horribly lied…. I had to endure the most vile physical abuse by Keith, and attempted psychological abuse and disparagement by his closest sycophants, all directed by Keith. I took the abuse I had to take, and I acted the way I had to act, to keep them all in the dark about what I knew was happening. I had to for the protection of my son. It worked, and now my son and I are free and Keith can’t touch us.”

You will find more eye popping testimony from other women who escaped Raniere and NXIVM at the, including Raniere’s plot to lure Toni Natalie and Barbara Bouchey to Mexico to be arrested and hopefully raped in a Mexican jail as punishment for leaving NXIVM.


Snippets from reader comments:

  1. Shame to Clare and Sara Bronfman. They were born and given the trust of dirty money extracted through the blood of scores of people and the intoxication of millions. They stated that they would try to do something noble with this ugly money. Instead they enabled a criminal.
  2. If you have enough money you can bribe your way to anything: malicious litigation, prosecution offices, state police investigations, FBI investigations, etc.
  3. How selfish the women are – all of them demanding sex from Vanguard (Raniere); he never had a chance to be celibate.
  4. Raniere claims he mastered computers at the age of four? When he was a 4 year old they were all mainframe computers of enormous size and residing in huge corporations like Xerox, IBM, AT&T, companies that could afford them. I’m sure any corporation would be happy to let some 4 year old come in and play with their mainframe computer.
  5. You write how Keith (statutorily) raped three or four females from 12 – 15. In Mexico the age of consent is 12 and in most of South America the age of consent is 13-15. You are imposing your cultural imperialism on Keith who may be above these standards of common people …


It’s important to remember that the Cult of NXIVM series is not a news story like the reporting of a house that burned to the ground or a liquor store robbery. Sad events like that happen and are done. By contrast, the Cult of NXIVM is a crime against vulnerable people, mostly women, that continues devastating lives every day. At this very minute someone is being injured, either spiritually, financially, mentally or sexually by Keith Raniere and NXIVM. They need to be shut down and stopped! Or arrested!

I’d like you to know that you can do more than read the Cult of NXIVM articles or browse You can act! It’s difficult to believe but in spite of all that’s been written by investigative journalists in Forbes, Vanity Fair, Albany Times Union, and many other outlets NXIVM has never been investigated by the FBI or the NY Attorney General. Keith Raniere has never had to answer for the statutory rapes, the suicides or the relentless persecution of former NXIVM members. And in spite of all the shady money that has been used for bribes, coercion, frivolous lawsuits and the millions of Bronfman dollars in Raniere’s control that simply disappeared, the IRS has never investigated any of these people or the NXIVM corporation.

You can help stop the cult by calling or writing to the FBI, the NY Attorney General or the IRS and tell them that based on all the articles you’ve read about Keith Raniere and NXIVM you believe these people need to be investigated. You don’t need to explain why they should be investigated, just refer them to the

The is compiling a one-stop clearinghouse for all the criminal and noncriminal atrocities committed by Keith Raniere.

Why would you do that? Because the next Raniere victim of rape or mental abuse may be your daughter, your niece or your sister.


Andrew Vale

Special Agent in Charge

F.B.I. Albany Division

200 McCarty Avenue
Albany, NY 12209
Phone: (518) 465-7551

IRS at 1-800-829-1040 for the Criminal Investigation Hotline


Eric T. Schneiderman

Office of the Attorney General
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224-0341




There are six pictures in the story:


hqdefault (1)
From the FRANKREPORT.COMKeith Raniere pitching Consumers Buyline in an infomercial.

Caption #2

laughing it up
Clare (l) and Sara Bronfman, heiresses of the Seagram’s liquor fortune, have given close to $200 million to Raniere schemes and funding his relentless litigation. More than $100 million disappeared without a trace, and ex-NXIVM members claim there was “massive tax evasion” by both the Bronfmans and Raniere. 
K Raniere 4 brighterr
In a 2009 video, available for viewing at the frankreport, Keith Raniere claims to have had people killed, which, like many of the things he claims, may have been a lie.
ran 2011
The frankrpeort details how Keith Raniere told his followers that his own son was adopted and that he did not know who the father was.  

Caption #5

The frankreport features interviews with Raniere ex-harem members who describe the deception, cruelty and illegal activities Raniere – a so-called teacher of ethics and compassion – has committed.   
The frankreport investigated Keith Raniere’s published bio and uncovered blatant lies and exaggerations from the man who boasts he is the most ethical and smartest man in the world.   This photo has been dubbed ‘Ranierocchio.’

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