Advice from an ex- ESP-ian who left behind the teachings of Master Raniere

By Jane Doe

I left ESP / NXIVM just over two years ago and I can say that I feel like I have my life back. I was always someone who has wanted to help people, and I really believed that what we were learning was going to make a big difference. The thing that helped me the most was that I reached a point where I was financially and physically at rock bottom, and had the wake up call that my life was becoming something very different than what I had been working for and what was “promised” through the curriculum.

If you are involved currently, I would try and take a snapshot of your life when you began and your life where you are now – are you closer to reaching your goals? Are your external world goals supported, or have they morphed into something very different than what they once were, and very specific to the group?

I know I kept trying because I believed that continuing to push was going to be the thing that would get me back on track, financially and physically. But that just didn’t happen. I had a steady and consistent job before I gave it all up to pursue all things ESP, and was left with nothing but debt, no health insurance and the need to start my career again. The insidious part of this is that you’re not told any of this directly, not told to give up your job, your friends, your family…you just slowly start letting more and more of this go. There’s a social pressure because you’re trying to match how everyone else is in the group – the question here is, what if everyone is just trying to keep up with what they see around them, and no one is actually successful at it?

If being a rational thinker means evaluating all data, taking in all information and then making an informed decision, I will ask you this: Have you looked objectively at ALL of the information, or do you automatically read articles like this and assume bad intent by the author, by the sources sharing information? I can’t tell you how many times I would recite to my family and friends that would challenge my participation: “There are some angry people out there who are challenged by what we are doing. We challenge materialism, we challenge the status quo of society and people don’t like that”. Or “there were some wealthy families that were angry that their children were starting to think for themselves, and they had deep pockets so they started a smear campaign”.

Did I really KNOW any of this? No. Did I really try to imagine that what was being said was true? Never once did I try to picture the actual people behind the stories, the complaints, the allegations. Who taught me to ignore these things? Keith Raniere and associated training.

The very first time I was open enough to consider WHAT IF IT’S TRUE? I can tell you I felt nauseous. For days. I voraciously read everything online that I could, and I started to see it from a different perspective. I felt it in my gut. Not the kind of “viscera” that I could chalk up to an inner deficiency, or some BS story of what was wrong with my internal guidance. I started listening to myself again. And I realized that my inner compass, my inner guidance had been stifled, but was not gone.

When I finally let myself imagine, even for a brief second, my life without ESP, at first I felt a huge shock of fear; it was almost too difficult to even ask myself “what would my life be like?” Then when I finally did, my first thought was “there is no good way to leave”. Stop and think about that for a second – no good way to leave? Doesn’t that raise an alarm? My second thought was “I would really miss my friends”, but the truth is, if someone is your friend, they will support and be a cheerleader for whatever it is you want to do with your life.

I started doing research into controlling groups / high demand groups to look at it from a psychological perspective. There is something called a “Closed system” which basically means that anything can be answered within the group, that they have the monopoly on reality; that anything outside of the group is lost / misled / not reality based, etc. Any doubts that you have are chalked up to an inner deficiency, an ethical breach, a dependency, etc to use the common terms. The truth is that there are many places to learn wisdom, to seek the truth, and ESP does not have the only answer.

I did miss my friends, but I did not lose all of them. The friends that were true are still my friends. We came together under a common desire to do good in the world, and our friendships transcend participation in the group. I have to say that since I left, I have found more love, more joy, and have gotten back to the roots of why I joined in the first place. I see how far away from myself I was, and I left with clarity; not with a nagging guilt that I was taking the easy way out, satiating, etc. I saw that what I read in some very impactful books was true, as hard as it was for me to overcome the first hurdle of considering another way.

Some very important resources. Please take a look and read, you can do it for you, ESPECIALLY if you are still involved but want to take in more information and make an informed decision that is right for YOU. Notice when you want to put a wall up before exploring. Much love to you. Trust your gut.

Here is a list of questions to ask yourself; I have to say that 6 out of 6 were true for me:

For this one, ignore the word “cult” in the title if that trips you up. For me, even getting through the intro starting lifting a veil and allowed me to see more clearly than I had in a very long time I tell you, read the forward and you will be changed (order on kindle, you can start reading today!):


Again, ignore any words that trigger you and you want to argue against. If that’s what it takes to start reading, just get over that hurdle!

About the author

Frank Parlato


Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional. To leave a name, click on the email icon)

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