Part 4: ESP coach talks about coaches: their value, feedback, and quitting ‘degenerate’ ESP

In a letter to her coach, an Executive Success Programs coach addresses the issue of undervaluing the coaches.

During one upcoming intensive in 2015, no coaches were willing to volunteer, including her.

She wrote to the ESP person who was conducting the intensive:

You have told me on more than one occasion that you could run an intensive yourself without coaches if need be.

I really do hope that’s not the case for you this time around, as I think it would be extremely draining trying to do all the things you do as well as the things the coaches normally do.

But I have always thought it was a statement that didn’t respect what the coaches really contribute to the intensive.  It is a richer experience for the students to have coaches there, and I can’t imagine anyone would disagree with that.

I think that what you articulated on the Facebook request reflects this:

Sr Pr ….  has been enrolling like a deman ( she is also someone I aspire to be more like) and because of that we really need staff. My desire is to have the students have recognize what this is and continue and to help the entire communiity to grow. That includes you as coaches.
I understand we have other commitments in life, and as we grow all of that gets better and better. With that said I am asking if I can enroll more of you to coach this intensive.”

It’s possible that I am the only one who has had the thoughts I’ve expressed above, and that coaches aren’t signing up to coach for very different reasons.  I don’t know what those might be, and hope that they are brave enough to step up and articulate what it is for them.

Feedback is essential to help an organization to grow and evolve.  Just because ‘it’s always been like this, doesn’t mean it should stay that way.  Or maybe it should – it needs to be evaluated.

As I said, I am not privy to the inner workings and budgeting of the company.  I only observe and make conclusions based on the data I have.  I would have coached, if I was in the city.

So, based on all this,  you’re probably wondering why I coach and want to continue doing intensives.  Although I really don’t like the way coaches are treated in some respects, I get a real charge from helping people discover the material.

I love to see students have a genuine ‘aha’ moment, and recognize that they can move their lives in a more positive direction.  I have benefited from the education in such a positive way for my life.  I’m happy now . . . and I wasn’t when I first came into the organization.  I’ve transformed the way I think.  And it’s a way better place in my head than it used to be. If I can help others along this path, it’s a great joy to me.  And so I recognize that because I enjoy doing that, and ESP offers me the vehicle to do that, I am willing to take part.    I don’t love the vehicle 100% because of some of the things I’ve said here, but one can usually effect more change from within than from without.

I think I have clearly stated my thoughts here.  Hopefully the message is received as genuine feedback.  It is a bit scary to say some of these things and I hope it doesn’t negatively affect my standing in the company, as I do wish to remain a part of the community.    I have been as honest with my thoughts as possible.

One of the things I have learned as a coach is that employees need to feel valued.  It’s a lesson I could have applied in my own business – I don’t think I valued the employees I had as fully as I could have.  It is through this experience that I have begun to understood how I could have had richer dynamics in my own company.  Should have started coaching sooner 🙂

Anyhow, that’s it.  It’s late and I am probably rambling. If you’d like to discuss, I’d love to talk with you.  And I’m OK with you sharing this.

Hope the intensive is a rocking success!

Sorry – I realized as I was going to sleep that I didn’t summarize my thoughts the way I wanted to.
Coach exchange at 10 hours/week at $15/hour = $150 per week, $600 per month and $7,200 per year.  In an intensive it’s $187.50 per day at $15/hour or $937.50 for five days.  If a coach works 4 intensives, their total exchange is at minimum $8,137.50 for the year.

In the world as it is outside ESP, if coaches were paid by the organization as employees, there would be overtime, CPP, EI and tax implications to all this.

In the world as it is outside ESP, if the coaches were independent contractors, the rates would be calculated at an even higher rate:

My cleaning lady charged me $25/hour to clean my house.  (compare to centre cleaning, shopping for intensives)
My lowest-paid office worker was paid $19 per hour.  (compare to committee work)
Most coaches in the ‘outside world’ charge out at $100/hour and up.  (compare to facilitating, coaching)
If these numbers were applied to the coach time exchange, the exchange becomes much higher.

The value that coaches bring to Ethos and to Intensives is very high.  The value the proctors bring is higher, when they are teaching.  I don’t know how the proctors are compensated.  It’s none of my business. I do remember sitting in my first intensive doing a mental calculation on how the numbers worked with all the staff that was there.  It didn’t make sense to me as a business owner. Now that I know the coaches aren’t paid, it makes it easier to understand.

If my past experience of giving feedback is any indication of how this feedback will be received, I expect to be told that ‘this is my shit coming up’.  That of course is true.  I can only give feedback based on my filters.

However, it doesn’t feel great receiving that as a response – it remains valid for me, and if I think that my ‘superiors’ don’t think what I have to say is worth even considering or discussing, then it doesn’t feel like it’s worth it to give feedback.

What I have noticed is there is a very high level of coach attrition, so something isn’t adding up for others besides me.  I think we all believe in the mission of ESP, and we all want the world to be a better place.  I suspect many of those who have left would return if things were different.  I wonder if there is a bit of a disconnect in the organization and if that could be fixed, could we all take it to greater heights?



Editor’s note: The ESP coach who provide the info for this post must have at one point had a change of heart about the value of ESP.  She quit as a coach and as a student and wrote that ‘Many of us are feeling duped and wonder how we could not have seen” ESP is ‘degenerate’.



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  • The following is a little data regarding what happens when you put up with all this BS as a coach and become a Proctor.
    You’ve been led for years to think that when you get to Proctor it’s this big hooplah and suddenly you’ll make lots of money and get lots these privileges. But then you discover you’re actually MORE obligated to attend and teach MORE events, put in MORE free time to counsel people, show up at understaffed intensives, EM coaches with issues. And because there are hardly any students in any centers, you get paid VERY little to teach even an ethos class. What happened? You thought you’d be rich but now you’re more of a servant? And the guilt and extra negative feedback is upsetting to say the least. So in answer to the above question you do not earn well as a Proctor, but become more of a beaten slave. Fine if you like that kind of thing. Fraud if you don’t.

  • These people think they are growing (hearing NXIVM/ESP people repetitively say this word along with “evolve” has made me so annoyed with these words because of the association) and experiencing joy, but if you ask them how this is so, they can never articulate it. Also, how often they speak about it goes to show you how much they’ve been thought reformed into it.

  • I completely agree with this ex-coaches thoughts! I’ve never broken down the math like this, but now that you did.. Jesus!! I recall several occasions of choosing to work over an intensive simply because I needed to work to pay my rent. And the daily fees they would charge coaches just to attend and WORK at the intensive were ridiculous. I don’t know a single other employer who charges their employees to attend work. It’s not even like we got a discount on any of the curriculum ourselves. My understanding is even the proctors have to continue paying for an ethos membership after they are promoted. Thanks for sharing this!! Sincerely an ex-coach/slave/bitch to this system.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

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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.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was 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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

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