Former Commissioner of NY Department of Health and others once praised ESP

Dr. Antonia Novello, former NXIVM student.

In two letters sent in July and September to Sarah Edmondson and Jen Kobelt, respectively, New York State Department of Health officials said they declined to take action on their complaints because the alleged actions of Dr. Danielle Roberts D.O. and Dr. Brandon Porter M.D. did not meet the agency’s standards of “medical misconduct.”

Some people were surprised that NYS Department of Health officials chose not to investigate.

At one time, some of the Department of Health staffers were supporters of ESP.

Here are several “Testimonials” that NXIVM/ESP used to use to promote their training programs. In this regard, I think readers should consider that most of these came from people who took courses VERY EARLY ON in the evolution of NXIVM/ESP – and that they are not to be taken as an indication that any of these people would endorse the cult’s current practices.


The Executive Success Program was very good, it brought people together to think out of the box; coming up with ideas you’ve never thought of and redefining words that previously had no meanings. I learned how to relate to people more on my level and learned more about how people interact with each other . . . People should take this program as a way to learn how to relate to others people more effectively. This program causes you to realize how tied in you are to your own beliefs and how to comfortably incorporate change. People might not want to think outside of the box, but this program is a way of bringing people together to do just that. We all have a fear of the unknown, and at the end of the program, you realize many people think the same way. After taking the program, you’ve been touched by change.” – Antonia C. Novello, MD, MPH, NYS Commissioner of Health/Former US Surgeon General  

“How do you express in words your gratitude when a program gives a person their life back. Thank you.” – Joyce Chupka, Director Strategic Planning/NYS Dept. Health

“I’ll admit that I was skeptical at first, for several reasons. My main concern was that I might be getting involved with some New Age/Self-help course that would be inconsistent with my Christian beliefs.  I have never regretted my decision to become involved with ESP. It has given me some of the most powerful tools for effecting positive changes in my life that I’ve ever experienced. I used to feel like I was the only one playing by the rules… ESP taught me how to ethically and morally succeed in a world that does not play fair.  I was worried about the monetary investment…the course paid for itself in the first week! My schedule is extremely full and active. I had no idea how I would find the time…but I’m making the time for ESP. Everybody needs to take this program. When one of the top 3 problem solvers on the planet creates a technology that gives us the tools to optimize our own potential, what excuse can there be for not taking advantage of such an opportunity? How can anyone rationalize saying no?” – Dr. Edward Kinum, Chiropractor

“I was really impressed with how the training helps you to look at your inner self. How surprising to learn that things you don’t know about yourself can cause you to react to situations in certain ways.   I am more cognizant of the causes for my own impatience with others, and I realized that a good portion of my frustration was due to recognizing things in others that I have some of too.  It helped me a lot with my teenage son and making him more responsible because I learned not to take responsibility for him.  I think most people should take this program and my colleagues were very much impressed with the information.” – Lydia Sotto, Director of HIV/Aids Research National Institute of Health

“The program has provided me with tools to examine my behavior, values, and code of conduct.  Now, I better understand why I act the way I do and this understanding gives me more choices to make better decisions.  I have a broader range of emotions that enrich my life, yet these emotions do not drive my behavior or decisions.  I have a greater understanding of what is required to have mutual, fulfilling relationships with my children and spouse.  I highly endorse this program for individuals who value personal growth, improved productivity and deeper meaning in their relationships.  It will empower you to make those changes that are currently only in your dreams.” – Dr. John B. Waldman, Professor of Neurological Surge, Albany Medical College

“I think one of the greatest benefits I got from this program is having a clearer sense of how people interact with each other and a fuller understanding of how they think and feel.  With that, I have a better grasp of people I deal with.  As for my patients, I can now understand more of what the underlying cause of their illness may be, along with the physical illness.   My skill at learning and understanding what their true needs might be is far more enhanced than it was before.  I guess I feel indebted to the school for the tremendous value and benefit I got in advancing myself, and also, humankind.  That’s why I feel everyone should take this course.  As a physician, I feel that my abilities and talent have been greatly augmented by this technology and feel that everyone should take this course.” – Dr. Eric Roccario, Physician, Albany Cardiothoracic Surgeons P.C.

“The two-week program provided me with unbelievable clarity and tremendous insight on issues I face in the world and in my personal life. It is amazing to me the difference in how much more energy I have in the day, not to mention, the greater enjoyment and appreciation of life in general. Additionally, my efficiency in surgery has been raised to a much higher level with much shorter operating time.  My communication skills with my patients and staff are far more improved.  I would highly recommend the Executive Success Program to anyone.” – Dr. Noelle Nielsen, Partner, Women’s Care in OB-GYN


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.

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