Part 5 NXIVM Woman: My thought was I wanted to escape but I had to keep it secret

How many women were coerced into being branded? Voluntary? No. Not at all.
How many women were coerced into being branded? Was it voluntary? No, not at all.

Part 5

By a NXIVM Woman 

The old cults and religions, which are really also cults, to a greater or lesser degree, claim they were founded on love or justice. NXIVM is founded upon hatred.

In NXIVM, there are really no emotions permitted except fear, rage, triumph, and self-abasement. Everything else Keith destroys — everything.

Keith knew in advance what Nancy Salzman would say. That NXIVM did not seek power for its own ends, but only for the good of NXIVM. That Keith sought power because women were frail cowardly creatures who could not endure liberty or face the truth, and must be ruled over and systematically deceived by a man who is stronger than themselves.

That the choice for womankind lay between freedom and happiness, and that, for the great bulk of women  happiness was better. That NXIVM was the guardian of women, a dedicated group doing evil that good might come, sacrificing its own happiness to that of others. The terrible thing, I thought, the terrible thing was that when Keith said this, Nancy believed it.

I knew better. I knew that Keith sought power entirely for its own sake. Keith is not interested in the good of others; he is interested solely in power. Not wealth or luxury or long life or happiness: only power, pure power. Keith is different from all the cult  leaders of the past, in that he knows what he is doing. All the others, even those who resembled him, were cowards and hypocrites.

Keith knows that no one ever has power over another with the intention of relinquishing it. Power is not a means; it is an end. One does not establish a cult in order to safeguard its members’ freedom or safety; one creates the means of enslavement in order to establish the cult. The object of persecution is persecution. The object of torture is torture. The object of power is power.

The first thing you must realize is that my power is collective, he said. The individual only has power in so far as she ceases to be an individual. You know my slogan: “He [not she] who has the most joy wins”? Has it ever occurred to you that it is reversible? Whoever has less joy, loses? The woman is always defeated. It must be so, because every woman is doomed to die, which is the greatest of all failures. But if a woman can make complete, utter submission, if she can escape from her identity, if she can merge herself into Me so that she is the slave of Vanguard, then she too is all-powerful and immortal.

What can you do, I thought secretly, against this lunatic who is more intelligent than me, who gives my arguments a fair hearing, and then simply persists in his lunacy?

He continued, mistaking my terror for adoration. “Obedience is not enough. Unless you are suffering, how can I be sure that you are obeying your will and not my own? Power is in inflicting pain and humiliation. Power is in tearing human minds to pieces and putting them together again in new shapes of my own choosing.”

One day Keith said he wanted to control all of our orgasms as a test of loyalty. There will be no loyalty, except loyalty towards me, he said.  There will be no love, except the love of Vanguard. There will be no laughter, except the laugh of my triumph over a defeated enemy.

All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this Ivy, always there will be the intoxication of power, constantly increasing and constantly growing subtler. Always, at every moment, there will be the thrill of victory, the sensation of trampling on an enemy who is helpless. If you want a picture of the future, imagine my mind controlling India Oxenberg’s mind and body forever.

I control life, he said at another time to me, at all its levels. You are imagining that there is something called human nature which will be outraged by what I do and will turn against me.  But I create in my followers human nature. Women are infinitely malleable. If you are truly a defiant woman, then you are the last. Your kind is extinct. Do you understand you are alone? You are outside history, you are non-existent.

“Tell me,” I said when I first thought of leaving, “how soon will you kill me if I left you?”

“It might be a long time,” Keith said. “On the other hand, you will not leave. You will surrender. You made a vow. You are my wife in spirit. Everything else you do must follow. However hard you struggle, nothing can change except your attitude.”

For the first time I perceived that if I ever wanted to escape him, I must keep it a secret not only from him but I must also hide it from myself. I must know all the while that it is there, but until I was ready, I must never let it emerge into my consciousness in any shape that he could read on my brow. From now onward, I must not only think NXIVM; I must feel NXIVM, dream NXIVM. And all the while I must keep my hatred of him locked up inside me like a ball of matter which was part of myself and yet unconnected with Vanguard,  a kind of cyst.

To die hating him, that was the only freedom I had left to imagine.

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Frank Parlato

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[…] Ivy Nevares write the five part NXIVM Woman series? In part 5, eleven paragraphs down, first line […]

Working Your Way Back To You - Joy of Leaving
Working Your Way Back To You - Joy of Leaving
5 years ago

The problem with Keith’s ego is, he thinks he can controls other’s thoughts. He thinks that they will buy his bullying and when they leave his sorry ass program that they will live in so much fear that there is no possible way they can have joy ever again in their lives.

Well crazy man, the day I walked out the doors of NXIVM, was one of the most joyful days of my life. No longer did I have to put up with your or your mobsters abuse.

I have people ask me if I’m afraid that you will send one of your goons after me to have be “killed for your believes”. I almost always answer the same. It’s possible but I’m not going to live in fear of that. I could as easily die in a car accident on the way to work tomorrow.

When it’s time for God to call me home, it’s time to be with God. I’m not going to live in fear and waste my any more of my life on you. I wasted enough believing you and your other lying staff.

I had faith you had something wonderful to offer in the name of humanity. It was all based on lies. When that faith was betrayed by the truth you were nothing more than than a con man, and a crazy one at that.

When I found out the truth, I left immediately with no hesitation as my morality and ethics had a strong foundation long before I entered NXIVM. You and your mob of mind-benders could never break me down no matter who you sent my way.

Kristen told me after she left that you hated me for not buying into your crap. Barbara told me you would spend hours talking about what a problem I was with my defiance (suppressive you called me and spread the word) and tried to come up with plans of what to do about me. When they didn’t work, you started to destroy my reputation within the organization.

People just need to return to their true inner selves. Some of it is burred below a lot of nasty feed back you have gotten over the years, from several people sent your way. Some knowingly gave it to you, some not knowing but they were sent to you. They wanting the approval of those who sent them to you with their messages.

Pull out old pictures of yourself, times when you were really happy, times when you achieved things, even if it was a small thing. Pull out pictures of time with your friends from the past – pre-NXIVM, things you used to do that filled your soul, goals you used to have. Journal about your old self, talk to old friend and family and those you can trust with in your NXIVM community about getting back to you.

There are ways to move the world forward that don’t involved NXIVM that you can be involved with if that is still something that is important to you.

Hello Ivy
Hello Ivy
5 years ago

Eleven paragraphs down, first line says…

“All competing pleasures will be destroyed. But always — do not forget this Ivy,”

Has Ivy just outed herself as the person writing these stories? Has she left Vanguard? Is that why her house windows are all covered up do not one can look in?

Let’s hope this is a good sign for Ivy and she has finally gotten herself away from the crazy man. She’s smart and a good writer. When I first started to read these, I thought it might be her.

5 years ago

great job copy/pasting! frank, you might want to think about filtering out obvious plagiarism

5 years ago

From which source?

5 years ago
Reply to  Anonymous

1984 by george orwell. see my comment on part 4 for a direct quote comparison

k g
k g
5 years ago

I’m crying, reading your story.

I have a room in my house, with lots of love attached <3

Conrad Whey
Conrad Whey
5 years ago

I think Keith should read 1984 to give him more ideas on how to operate NXIVM.

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


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