Vice News Tonight on HBO has report on my battle with Raniere

Frank Parlato [From Vice/HBO]

A crew from Vice News Tonight on HBO came out to my home in Big Pine Key Florida about a month ago to film me for a story they aired on May 16, 2018.

The crew, including correspondent Elle Reeve, and producer, Lindsay Van Dyke, spent more than 9 hours with me and went into a great detail to get the story right. Afterward, they spent several weeks doing research and vetting everything I told them.  The video below appeared on HBO and was reposted on Youtube.

Here are the introductory comments Vice posted along with the video:

The story of alleged cult NXIVM has all the makings of a binge-worthy docuseries. A secretive leader who allegedly had women branded with his initials, wealthy heiresses who helped finance the organization, and a Hollywood actress accused of luring in fresh recruits.

But before all that was public, back in 2007, NXIVM, correctly predicting in advance the firestorm of press that lurked ahead, hired Frank Parlato to help with its public relations. They hoped he might go after detractors of the group accusing it of being a cult. He ended up exposing the story that made the alleged cult famous: that it had a secret sorority that was branding female “slaves” with leader Keith Raniere’s initials.

“I turned on an instant and said this is more than a cult. This is a deadly cult. This is more than a kooky group. This is a crazy group, a criminally insane group and it’s not just Raniere,” Parlato said.

Raniere and actress Allison Mack have since been arrested and face sex trafficking and forced labor charges. Both have pleaded not guilty. NXIVM denies its a cult and says it’s working with the authorities to demonstrate Raniere’s innocence.

Their lawyers wouldn’t comment for this piece.



About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Oh please. You were NXIVM’s fixer, nothing more than a thug who helped to ruin peoples lives as long as you got paid. It wasn’t until you fell out of the good graces of Raniere and the Bronfman sisters that you felt the need to expose NXIVM. You are no champion of truth and justice and you only decided to turn on NXIVM when you were indicted. When you ask the people you have hurt for their forgiveness then perhaps you will deserve some thanks and acclaim.

    • Say hi to Keith when you visit him in MDC this weekend. Mr. Frank is the main reason KR is incarcerated, rather than free to ejaculate on the faces of B minus actresses and Mexican teenagers.

      • I have nothing to do with Raniere or NXIVM and never have, so I won’t be making any visits to anyone anytime soon. I do however know people who’s lives were ruined by Parlato and NXIVM. I speak for them. In fact, I have it on good authority that the indictment of “Mr. Frank” as you call him will not be going away any time soon and in a twist of irony, he may eventually wind up with his own government accomodations. To that I toast and say good riddance to the lot of them!!

  • I can see this ‘crime novel’ in instalments becoming Frank Parlato’s ‘In Cold Blood’. Often think of Truman Capote while reading your work. An intriguing interview, thanks a million Frank.

  • Great job Frank on your interview, helping to expose Raniere and his wolfpack. Thanks for being a bright light that drew in those to tell their stories and helping to expose the bugs that light is going to squashed due to too much light shining on their dirty deeds.

  • After watching this video, my respect for Frank went up 10 notches. I don’t agree with his attacks and mocking of anyone in the cult below VanDumbAss, not because I don’t think they deserve it, it’s just not the ideal way to free someone from mind control. That being said, the peanut gallery always has critical comments about those who take action to make a difference. In this case, I’m just a member of the peanut gallery, so I applaud Frank for ignoring the naysayers and charging ahead.

    I played the role of Frank in breaking up a much smaller cult that comprised of approximately 60-80 members that suckered in one of my kind-hearted but naive family members. While trying to reason with my family member, I sunk deeper and deeper into despair, as I witnessed the mind control infect her identity. Then one day I decided to fight.

    I found a group of concerned people who had been trying to break up the cult for over a year. Their strategy was gentle & ethical as well as utterly ineffective. I read a few books, hired an expert in cults for a few consultations, and took the fight straight into the gutter. Yes, it wasn’t ethical, and some of the things I did (or hired people to do) weren’t legal, but my actions were instrumental in making the paranoid leader of the cult even more paranoid and unhinged. The atmosphere in the group went from euphoric happiness to depression and misery within a few months, and people began to leave. Within a year the cult was down to just a few members, and now five years later it no longer exists.

    Since then former members of the cult and their family members have called me to thank me for taking action against the leader. While I was slugging away at the leader, I felt guilty about some of my behavior and wondered if I was just making things worse. Hearing the gratitude of former members helped to assuage my guilt. In hindsight, there are some things I would have done differently, but I know for sure that I wouldn’t hesitate to jump right into that gutter and start slugging it out again. Why? Because it works. You gotta fight fire with fire.

    Frank, I’m sure you’ve received many messages of thanks from people who’ve credited you for freeing their minds. For every one person that lets you know how much you’ve helped, there’s ten more who haven’t let you know for whatever reason and hundreds more who found your site and learned what the cult was all about before being drawn into it. You are a hero. There’s no other way to say it.

    • Congrats on being successful at your attempt despite doing things that you felt regret in doing. I also understand where you are coming from when it comes to acting out of character when the in character or a non-confrontational approach doesn’t seem to have an effect and take hold. These cults seem to bypass the conscious and affect the subconscious in their programming, so it makes it difficult to free people who have been affected using a process that focuses on the mind’s conscious rational processes. And the deeper the person has traveled down the rabbit hole so to speak, the more difficult it is to extricate them. This particular cult is particularly insidious because it also seems to damage the normal guilt and shame process that is felt in human beings, making it similar to sociopaths. I’m not talking about triggering guilt and shame from a manipulative perspective, which is wrong in itself, but that which should be triggered when something objectively wrong is done. This cult seems to inculcate into its participants the idea of ignore and it will go away, and if you respond it only gives it credence. Their methodology of poisoning the well when it comes to the media was also quite effective.

  • Way to go, Frank. Thanks for sticking to it when it was difficult to do so. Ironically, “Vanguard” would be proud of your persistence. 🙂

  • Loved this piece! After reading this site for years, getting to see a really personal interview with Frank at ease, in his “natural surroundings,” calmly explaining his work to take down NXIVM, was a real treat.

    Frank, you are not only a hero to hundreds, if not thousands of people whose lives and families have been damaged by Raniere and his cronies, but you are also an inspiration to anyone who believes in the power of independent media to create incredibly powerful positive change when the mainstream media has failed.

  • Nice to see a piece on you rather than Raniere and hope you enjoy your lovely day with the best of life’s offerings: wind skimming the face as the ocean floats you downstream, and creating one’s own music, with a touch of vindication. Far more satisfying than what Raniere considers to be offerings of life!!

      • First, I credit Frank for my nom de plume. When Cat Ox’s book is published my real name and a few others who assist me and her and Frank and before that John Tighe will probably be revealed. I may show up on camera or my voice on a podcast at some point and I may not. My job was to shed light and point those who had the ability to do something in the right direction. I am a good internet sleuth and really good at doxing people as you all have probably figured out . I am horrible with makes and models of cars however. The only thing I could have done better was bought a dog and walked it all over Knox Woods and Stage Run Plantation. People who own dogs and walk them see and know a lot about what is going on. Trust me on that!!

        I was never part of ESP. Thankfully, I never fell for the recruitment tactics of CBI and during the vitamin days my former boyfriend was selling a competing product thru NuSkin I think it was. I did know a very high rank ESPIAN and had many interactions with her over the years 1991-2004 ish and then I did my best to avoid her at all costs because she was annoying (and I had moved into her development of Knox Woods!!). It wasn’t until 2009 and the Dalai Lama’s appearance in Albany that I put all the dots together and realized she was in a cult (but it all made sense, and her being annoying was largely because she was trying to recruit).

        The 2012 TU series set me off and it was at that point that I decided i needed to do something, however small it was even though I had no family members involved in NXIVM. My interest waxed and waned from 2012- current. The waning was largely due to law enforcement in this area not doing anything.

        I have to take a trip up into my attic. Stashed with a bunch of Freihofer’s run for Women stuff there may just be a cellophane packet of vitamins and supplements from National Health Outlet. I will always remember one pill was Blue Green Algae, I am sure Toni may remember that!! And with that may be a brochure for Ivy Nevares dance studio that she tried to get off the ground years back.

        • No probs! As always, we appreciate your insight Laura. Anonymity is good. But, it also feels good to reveal… 🙂

          I bet Knox Woods is a fking ghost town though…

    • Is it perhaps more than coincidence that Raniere/NXIVM/ESP threatened to sue Chet Hardin for $65 million? The same amount of Bronfman $ that Raniere lost in the commodities market?

  • Frank,
    I for one am very proud of you, we should all be thankful. It is not easy being a whistleblower, one day they love you, the next day they hate you.

    This should be more than enough to prove that they were behind the charges brought against you, just as they were behind the false charges brought against myself, Joe O’Hara, Susan Dones, Barbara Bouchey, Toni Zarattini, Sarah Edmondson and all the others they threatened into silence because of collateral and/or their political and financial connections.

    Without you, Keith would still be branding women, Allison Mack, would still be bringing in slaves, Branden Porter, would still be doing fright experiments, the words of Emiliano Salinas, knowledge and participation in DOS, along with other crimes he participated in would not be out for the world to see. ESP, NXIVM, Rainbow Cultural Gardens, The Knife Media, The Source, EXO-SOS…. along with the rest of their bullshit companies would still be up and running.

    As I have said before, the three things Keith Raniere never considered – maternal instinct, the Internet, and Frank Parlato’s Frank Report. Keep up the great work, you have, “one more story to write”.

    Now, we need more orange jumpsuits for – The Bronfman sisters, Nancy Salzman, Karen Unterreiner, Branden Porter, Danielle Roberts, Lauren Salzman, Emiliano Salinas, Alejandro Betancourt and the rest of the criminal enterprise. It’s way too late to say “I didn’t know”.

    • Well said Toni! Thank you for saying what many of us who follow Frank are feeling for him and what he has accomplished. Thank you for sharing your music with us Frank. You are the true hero of this American story.

    • Where are the Boone brothers in this? Edgar and Omar Edgar once approached me in a threatening maner about how I needed more work to cure me of my expecting payment for selling Intensives

    • Where are the Boone brothers in this? Edgar once admonished me for expecting payment for selling Intensives

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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