Part 10 Secret Recording: Salinas & Zarattini: Salinas bashes Frank Report; ties Vicente and Edmondson to it & extortion

As one of his friends described it: Puto [Emi] was lying when he covertly started using Pedro [Emi's male member] to penetrate Ludwika. By day, he would ply Pedro for Ludwika. At night Emi turned el culo for Alex's intrusions. But when it was time to switch, Alex wondered why Emi's Pedro was unable to put forth his best efforts nightly when Alex turned up el culo.

Part 10 of the secretly recorded phone conversation in August 2017 between Toni Zarattini and Emiliano Salinas.  After explaining to Toni Zarattini about how Anthony Ames created a row at Coach Summit in May 2017 and how Sarah Edmondson quietly left NXIVM, Emiliano  explained the role the Frank Report had and how he claimed it appeared Mark Vicente and Sarah Edmondson were in cahoots with Frank Report and possibly Barbara Bouchey to extort Salinas – a bullshit claim. [My explanatory comments in bold].

Emiliano Salinas [ES] … By this time Frank [Parlato] was already reporting everything, right? I got in [online on Frank Report] and I saw what he was saying about the group of women [DOS slaves] that there was some kind of woman abuse, and sex trafficking, and everything that it [Frank Report] says. [This conversation took place on August 2017 – and you have to admit I nailed the sex trafficking long before the feds charged Raniere and months before the NY Times had their story].

Toni Zarattini [TZ]: All the shit that´s written there [on Frank Report].

ES: All the shit he [Parlato] says, and I said, ‘Well this is like, “shit,”‘ but I was trying to understand what the truth is. I could not talk to many people because I was in San Diego and everyone in Albany was going crazy about the issue, trying to arrange all this, trying to fix it, but I could not talk to many people and so I read the Frank Report and it said that’s it.

TZ: Okay.

ES: And the truth is that one day I get into the Frank Report and basically I find myself involved [written about on Frank Report]. He was messing with my marriage, talking about my family, questioning my fatherhood, wondering if my children were Keith’s – with all that implies – that they were an experiment of Keith’s to create a super Mexican, talking about my wife’s shit, practically saying that she is a whore, putting together a theme of ‘what if I was really married to Alex,’ if my relationship with Mika [Ludwika Paleta, his wife] was a good screen. Well I mean –

TZ: Pure scumbag [Frank Parlato], Emiliano.

ES: Pure scum and in the same article that he had written a day before, he was exonerating Mark [Vicente] and Sarah [Edmonsdon] of anything. Saying all ESP was crap, all they [NXIVM] are doing is sinister and is evil, blah blah blah blah and that Sara and Mark were doing good because they, when they realized this, they left and closed Vancouver ESP Center and Los Angeles Center and he applauded them for that. So, I said ‘No. I do not have anything to talk to Sarah about. If the same guy [Frank Parlato] who is destroying my family and my reputation is exonerating her and Mark, well, definitely, I already know where this is coming from.’

TZ: Yes, I understand

ES: So, what this guy [Parlato] posts is very exaggerated, is distorted and it looks very badly written. For me, it has no credibility. You know what is the worst, and what is also a strategy that is known, it’s not a house recipe, or a secret, it is a well-known strategy, but it is a very effective strategy: You say something that has certain grains of truth and then you add everything you want, and the people who read it will tell you, ‘but at least that is true, at least I know that little piece of it is true,’ then you know that it makes everything else look, if not true, at least possible. It makes everything else possible, and that is ‘plant a doubt’ that you never, ever get out of your head. We see it in the module of Pride and Prejudice [Raniere lesson] and that is precisely what it is [the Frank Report does]: to speak with dishonor when you manage to put something in the Internal Representation of someone especially if you can link it with something that the person knows is true. You can put all the shit  you want in the Internal Representation of that person and you’re never going to take it out. Nobody is going to take it out, so then it turns out to be not that some people are not happy or satisfied, it’s a personal attack. Then I have information that these same people [Vicente, Edmondson] searched for Barbara Bouchey and are now working with Barbara Bouchey [Former NXIVM member who quit in 2009 and was sued by Raniere and Bronfman repeatedly] and with all that group that is extorting us, and now those are their instruments to carry out their extortion. And this is not something I’m saying, I’m telling you that this is [what we learned] in previous investigations in several countries.

[This of course is a lie Salinas is saying. Barbara Bouchey was not extorting NXIVM in 2017. She quit in 2009 and was trying her best to avoid NXIVM. It was Raniere who was pursuing her – suing her repeatedly. She was not working with Sarah or Mark or for that matter myself. She was merely trying to get on with her life. This is the true sinister nature of NXIVM, Raniere and Salinas. They lie at will. They attack other human beings and then claim that the people they attack are attacking them. It is dark and evil. And I am so proud that Emiliano got a taste of his own medicine via my Frank Report. There is a difference however: What I wrote about Salinas is true.]


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  • NXIVM thrived because of its many female enablers.
    Wealthy half wits like the Bronfman sisters financed Raniere’s dog and pony show and his numerous law suits.
    And Hollyweird half wits like Allison Mack and other Air Head actresses served as the public face of NXIVM to reassure everyone that the group was on the up and up.
    Just the same way that the “heterosexual” Tom Cruise serves as the public face of Scientology.

    The only way to really destroy NXIVM and root its poison out is to have Nuremberg style trials for the entire NXIVM leadership.

  • The ‘Sex Cult’ That Preached Empowerment

    Why did female members of Nxivm follow a guru named Keith Raniere, who now stands accused of sex trafficking? He made them feel like they were in control.

    By Vanessa Grigoriadis

    May 30, 2018


    One winter morning in a conventional suburb outside Albany, N.Y., Nancy Salzman, the 63-year- old president of a self- improvement company named Nxivm, sat on a mahogany-colored stool in her kitchen. Her tasteful home was surrounded by other Nxivm members’ modest townhouses or capacious stone mansions that seemed to spring up out of nowhere, like mushrooms, on the suburban streets. In Salzman’s den, a photo of her with her two adult daughters hung on a wall, the three of them wearing smiles as wide as ancient Greek masks of comedy; the same happy photo served as the wallpaper on Salzman’s laptop. A hairless Sphynx cat prowled the lovely buffet of croissants and fruit on her kitchen island.

    Salzman, an extremely fit woman wearing the type of thin athleisure sweatshirt that’s all the rage with the middle-aged bourgeoisie these days, turned her attention to a woman sitting at the island: Jacqueline, a 27-year-old with long dark hair, who was a psychology student in college, told me that she hadn’t experienced anything as effective as Nxivm (pronounced “nexium,” like the heartburn medication). Like Scientology’s L. Ron Hubbard, whose 1950 handbook “Dianetics” was billed as the “modern science of mental health” and whose pseudoscientific methods were, in his view, world-changing, Keith Raniere, Nxivm’s 57-year-old founder, believed his organization could heal individuals and transform the world. The way Nxivm did this was through techniques, or “technology,” meant to rewire your emotional self.

    Salzman, who has training in neurolinguistic programming, which involves hypnosis and techniques of mirroring another individual to create deep rapport, was about to embark on a therapy session in which she would ask Jacqueline to cast her mind back to her childhood, as Nxivm sessions often do. Jacqueline had come to her with a phobia: She flips out when she gets on a plane. One time, she had to get off an airplane that had boarded because she became nervous, and when she wanted to get back on, the flight attendants wouldn’t let her.

    Salzman nodded. In a near whisper, she asked Jacqueline a stream of intimate questions not only about her fear of flying but also about her parents’ relationship. She ascertained that Jacqueline believed her mother was ill used by her father, who forced the family to move often, by air. “It was always gray around her,” Jacqueline said sadly, of her mother. “She had a horrible life.” But at the same time, she said, her upbringing made her feel as if she always needed a man to protect her.


    Listening to Salzman’s questions, it became clear that she was positing that these issues — Jacqueline’s fear of flying; her belief that her mother was forced into a terrible life by her father; and her inability to be an independent woman — were connected. We are controlling our own lives all the time, Salzman said. We are all in complete control. Jacqueline’s mom had been in control but had chosen to be a victim. And Jacqueline was in control and had chosen to be a victim, too. “Are you pretending to be a helpless woman?” Salzman said earlier.

    “That’s the way I receive attention, that’s kind of my thing,” Jacqueline said.

    “Women are allowed to be dependent on men,” Salzman explained. “A great part of being a woman is no matter how you screw up your life, you can always move back in with your dad. Every time you have chosen to stay dependent, you have made a decision not to be independent.” What if she became the person she relied on?

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    Within half an hour, Jacqueline had “upgraded” her belief system; closing her eyes, she said the tightness in her chest that she typically got when she thought about flying was gone. She also agreed to do one thing that terrified her each day for the next 30 days, and on a day when she indulged in a man’s attention, she would do two terrifying things. Facing your fears, especially in conjunction with penance, was key to Nxivm. As Jacqueline prepared to leave, the two women hugged. “I don’t know what happened,” she said. “I feel really good.”

    The scene in Salzman’s home was intense but mostly cheery. Yet last October, The New York Times published an article reporting alarming practices by Nxivm. The article explained that some female members of the group, who called themselves “masters,” had initiated other women, calling themselves “slaves,” into a ritual of sisterhood at homes in and around Clifton Park, near Albany. First, they stripped naked. One by one, they lay on a massage table while a female osteopath, also a Nxivm member, used a cauterizing pen to brand the flesh near their pelvic bone. She carved a symbol that some women thought represented the four elements or the seven chakras or a horizontal bar with the Greek letters “alpha” and “mu,” but if you squinted and looked again, contained within them a different talisman: a K and an R — Raniere’s initials. Not all the women were told that these initials were present in the symbol.


    Hundreds of members fled Nxivm after they learned about the branding, but much of the inner circle remained. Citing the fact that Raniere had a cast of girlfriends, the media declared that Nxivm was not a self-improvement company at all but rather a “sex-slave cult.” A federal investigation was opened, culminating in Mexican police officers plucking Raniere from a pricey villa; he is now in a federal jail on the Brooklyn waterfront after being denied bail as a flight risk. Another Nxivm member, Allison Mack, a blond actress who played Clark Kent’s friend on the long-running “Smallville,” was arrested and later released on $5 million bail. Raniere and Mack were charged with sex trafficking and conspiracy to commit sex trafficking and forced labor. Federal agents also raided Salzman’s home, seizing $523,000 in cash, some of it in shoe boxes. (She has not been charged with a crime to date.)


    Allison Mack at United States District Court in Brooklyn in May.CreditJemal Countess/Getty Images

    The group found itself under a microscope, its secrets exposed. Some members came from the highest reaches of society, forming a kind of heiress Illuminati. There were two daughters of Edgar Bronfman Sr., the former head of the Seagram Company; Pamela Cafritz, who died in 2016, the daughter of political donors Bill and Buffy Cafritz; a number of well-to-do Mexicans, including Emiliano Salinas, the son of the former Mexican president Carlos Salinas de Gortari, who has since publicly disavowed Raniere but remains affiliated with the group, and Rosa Laura Junco, the daughter of the president and chief executive of the newspaper publisher Groupo Reforma; as well as prominent TV genre actresses who discovered Nxivm on location in Vancouver, including Nicki Clyne from “Battlestar Galactica” and, of course, Mack.


    These puzzle pieces formed the ultimate tabloid story in an age of the vast tabloidification of media, and a tale about female empowerment and lack thereof in a time of feminist uprising, laced with questions of consent and coercion wielded by a man of power without accountability. Some women were severely thin, possibly as a means of mind control. Key defectors began speaking out. “We were both upset,” Sarah Edmondson, a former leader of Nxivm’s Vancouver chapter, wrote by email recently about why she and her husband left after a decade in the organization. “And disgusted. About the brand and a lot more. Nothing was what we thought it was.”


    Sarah Edmondson in 2017, after she left Nxivm, showing the brand she received at a ceremony.CreditRuth Fremson/The New York Times

    From inside the group, all this looked very different. “Come on, man, this sounds like a bad horror movie,” a member named Eduardo Asunsolo told me incredulously about the recent media coverage. Since the group’s founding in 1998, it has been a tightly knit organization, “like a family,” as Raniere has described it. About 17,000 people have come through Nxivm’s doors, though the number of those who have committed for life was far smaller, perhaps in the hundreds. (By comparison about 25,000 individuals in the United States are self-identified Scientologists.) Members believed that Raniere could heal them of emotional traumas, set them free from their fears and attachments, clear patterns of destructive thinking. Some believed he could heal them sexually too. “This is the white-collar spiritual path,” an ex-member says. “You’re on the monk’s path, but you’re not wearing a red robe with a shaved head.”

    Raniere presented himself as a great philosopher, an ethical man and a scientist pushing the bounds of human capability. He had not only devised classroom-based courses that lasted as long as 12 hours a day for 16 days — recalling the Landmark Forum, a group-therapy company that has its origins in the 1970s consciousness-raising seminar EST — but also advocated that his followers control habits of mind and body, like food and exercise. He also seemed to have a unique, pulsating idea that resonated with women, particularly wealthy ones. This was an intersection of theories about femininity, victimhood, money and ethics, much of it influenced by Ayn Rand, one of Raniere’s favorite authors. The ultimate Nxivm member was “potent,” in Nxian lingo — not only rich but emotionally disciplined, self-controlled, attractive, physically fit and slender — or, in the word most members themselves preferred, “badass.”

    Much of today’s upper class is engaged in a frenzy of self-improvement. They want to be skinnier, healthier, younger-looking, smarter, nicer, more loving and, since Trump assumed the presidency, more politically aware too. But were they truly improving? They may eat more vegetables, but this age seems more narcissistic than any before, more beholden to snake oil, and has put many individuals in the grip of an uneasy self-image toggling between unrealistic grandiosity and soul-crushing envy. Nxivm positioned itself as the true self-improvement gospel.


    As I observed in Salzman’s kitchen, its core tenet was wildly optimistic. Members believed that humans can alter our emotional triggers and our beliefs about ourselves, particularly those formed in childhood. We don’t need to be angry because our mothers withheld love; or selfish and self-protective because we were bullied in school; or fall in love with people who bestowed gifts upon us because we loved a grandmother who did. The unexamined among us allow these ancient self-perceptions to run the show in current time, but not Nxians. They “integrate” these experiences in intense, hypnotic, secret-telling sessions like the one I saw called Explorations of Meaning. In an E.M., you often “explore the meaning” of a memory and observe the misperception that has made it painful, thus reducing the power that the memory holds over you today. “It’s the most potent way to deconstruct an emotional trigger” and permanently change the way you process it, a former member told me. Experiencing integration after integration, the Nxian feels light, buoyant and more powerful than before. “We are just trying to create joy,” another member said.

    Breaking down identity was only the first part of Nxivm — replacing your identity with another, or “replacing data with data,” in Nxivm speak, was the second part. As Nxians erased their fears, they began doing what they truly wanted to do with their lives (or perhaps what Raniere or high-ranked members wanted them to do). I talked to a banker who remade himself as an actor. I talked to a diversity specialist at a Connecticut boarding school who decided she wanted to start a farm.

    India Oxenberg, a daughter of the “Dynasty” actress Catherine Oxenberg, spoke to me about taking courses taught by the group in Los Angeles. She wanted to feel closer to her friends, boyfriend and family, whom she often felt like pushing away, whom she felt “not to use such a harsh word, but so repulsed by. Why can’t I just be in the same room with my family who I love but at the same time I want to crawl out of my skin and run away?” After she took Nxivm courses, she said she realized that “I’m the one who is choosing to feel bad about the situation.” She also decided that she didn’t want to be in the entertainment business. She wanted to be a caterer.

    Oxenberg moved to the Nxivm motherland, Clifton Park, to “focus on my growth.” She signed up for the group’s “university,” which can reportedly cost $5,000 a month. Raniere’s courses largely teach neurolinguistic programming techniques and introductory ethical and psychological theory, which students are encouraged to understand in the context of their own lives. Oxenberg took courses like Mobius, about healing the parts of yourself that you reject and not hating them in other people; and Human Pain, about understanding that love and pain often go together. Nxivm taught the power of penance as a time-tested shortcut to achieving self-improvement. Oxenberg took long walks alongside Raniere, her guru, to discuss her goals. He encouraged her to start her own business, and she did, calling her catering company Mix, because it was a mix of vegan, vegetarian and Mexican food. When she was done cooking, she delivered meals through suburban developments in a BMW.


    Many members and ex-members of Nxivm that I spoke with — most of them fans of science and math, funny and strikingly perceptive — agreed on one thing: The “technology” worked. Raniere could program you. He had solved the equation of how to be a joyful human. Decide on your ethics and make them the guiding force in your life; do not make decisions that are not in line with those ethics. Look to create strength and character through discipline. Look to create love. Do not reject your family (unless your family rejects Nxivm, in which case some other steps may be necessary). Do not be a slave to your fears and attachments. Pain creates conscience; do not be afraid of pain.

    Nxivm had not granted access to a journalist for an article for 14 years before it gave me a tightly stage-managed tour of its leadership and operations this winter, ahead of potential indictments. It remains highly secretive and exquisitely paranoid. Members not only tape-recorded my interviews with them but had a practice of extensively taping or video recording within the group, including documenting many of Raniere’s statements. They have also answered some defectors, journalists and critics with lawsuits. A New Jersey-based lawyer, Peter Skolnik, who represented the author and noted cult deprogrammer Rick Ross in a 14-year suit with Nxivm, told me that he estimated their cost of the suits at $50 million.

    My initial contact within Nxivm was Clare Bronfman, one of the two Bronfman daughters who are staunch supporters. To meet her, I traveled to Mexico, where Nxivm had built educational centers and where she was staying with Raniere, in an urban location I was asked not to reveal. This was a fancy neighborhood of gated homes and German cars and builders’ cranes creating more expensive apartments. They were staying there on the advice of lawyers and consultants and also because Bronfman was fearful in the United States. She was fearful here in Mexico, too, worried that someone connected with a disgruntled ex-member or someone who had read about her wealth might kidnap her when she was out for a jog.

    Bronfman was wry and slight, polite. We met at one of Nxivm’s midcentury-chic Mexican centers, behind a gate. She walked its airy halls, gesturing to the room where they keep their instructional materials (with a keypad lock on the door), a framed photograph of Raniere hanging on one wall and a stenciled quote from him on another — “If in the next moment your behavior would affect all of humanity for forever more, how would you behave? Every moment is such a moment.”



    Clare Bronfman, Nxivm member.CreditStefan Ruiz for The New York Times

    She took a seat on a cozy couch, set up for intimate chats among members. Bronfman told me she was an introvert, and her voice was so soft that it drifted away, but she answered my questions directly and seemed highly in touch with her emotions. The only jewelry she wore was one of Tiffany’s most famous pieces: a silver outline of a heart, dangling on a delicate necklace chain. She told me that she had shared a handful of necklaces with the women in the group when they were on vacation on an island she owns in Fiji, just months before Cafritz, a bubbly woman who was Raniere’s most important long-term girlfriend and a beloved mother figure to Nxivm members, died from cancer. Bronfman began crying as she told me about her friend’s death.

    Bronfman outlined the shape of the group for me. Raniere was called “Vanguard” because he was the leader of their philosophical movement. Salzman, his first student, was “Prefect.” Bronfman and everyone else were students of Vanguard’s. Centers like this one were the place for Nxivm courses, though they weren’t taught by Raniere, who had “duplicated” himself when he made Salzman headmistress. Nor were they often taught by Salzman anymore, but rather by members she had instructed, members whom those members had instructed, and so on. All were told not to deviate from Raniere’s blueprints.

    Nearby, a number of colorful sashes hung on hooks. Each color in the hierarchy was not only a higher state of self-awareness but also reflected a member’s ability to recruit more members. Some higher-ranked sashes have never been attained, Bronfman whispered. You don’t trade up directly to a new color of sash but first must get four silk stripes ironed onto your existing sash, a process known as “moving up the stripe path.” The rigid hierarchy and doctrinaire teachings pushed members to revere those with a higher level of sash, to whom they were encouraged to pay tribute in words and deeds.


    Anything in the group about skinniness, about punishment, about self-denial was simply to help members evolve. “If something’s uncomfortable for us emotionally, we choose to smoke, we choose to drink, we choose to eat, we choose to dissociate,” Bronfman told me. “We have so many strategies.” The purpose of Nxivm was to “feel those things so that you can work them through and then they’re not uncomfortable anymore.”

    I thought I was meeting Bronfman before I met Raniere because Raniere liked to sleep late. But after talking to ex-members, I learned there was a pattern within the group of not allowing people to meet Raniere before a Nxivm member, usually a woman, had spoken of his great gifts. Raniere, whom members have compared to Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu, didn’t step from behind the curtain until he had been properly introduced.

    Bronfman and I had lunch together at a local restaurant, though she didn’t eat because she didn’t like the vegetarian options. Then we arrived at a nondescript condo building. Pushing open a heavy wood door, I was greeted by a tall woman with surging dimple creases wearing the Tiffany necklace. She wasn’t authorized to speak to a journalist, so she quickly departed.

    When Raniere materialized — waking from a micronap — it was as if a record skipped. He was built like a wrestler and dressed in business casual: a sky-blue polo shirt, gray slacks and round tortoiseshell glasses. He was graying at the temples, but the rest of his dark hair was cut with flair and volume. He spoke in a nasal, New York-accented voice and often tossed his hair, a feminine gesture that he used to punctuate his thoughts. He didn’t seem like a man who could make other people orbit him like moons. He seemed like a high-end real estate broker trying to come off as friendly but anxious about closing a sale. “It’s quite a point in life for me,” he said, his eyes somewhat lost behind his glasses. “I question my values, how I conduct myself, all of these things.” He later added, “I don’t think I’m seen as the person I think I am, and I also want to be the person that I think I am.”


    Those lines portended some grand finale. And Raniere, who seemed intelligent and intensely sad, broke into tears several times, particularly when talking about Cafritz’s death. He was honest about the fact that he was polyamorous and spoke to me about the importance of not only sex but intimacy. But what was important to know about him was that what he does every day is simply walk and think, he told me. He walked 14 to 20 miles a day, calculated by a Fitbit on his wrist, and during those walks, he thought about how to solve humanity’s problems. “I’m like a nerd who has read too much, only I’ve thought too much.” In Nxivm, the point of integrations was reaching what they called “unification.” I asked Raniere later if he was unified. “That’s more a theoretical or goal state,” he told me, adding, perhaps coyly, “I don’t think if someone was unified they would particularly talk about it.”

    Yet through many hours of conversation, Raniere did not progress to new points. There were some light spots, like when he told me that humanity needed to develop more humanity, and we deserved to, because we were a special species; cats don’t have “catmanity,” he said. But I watched as he drew into himself, seemingly intentionally, becoming a black hole of anti-charisma. In a slow, calm, metronomic voice, he emitted sentences about scientific and philosophical theories: whether humans are biological robots or have free will; whether mysticism is inherently bad or “a tool of understanding but is often abused”; how to interpret Zeno’s dichotomy paradox, a classic logic problem; the possibility that interrelationships with families and friends persist in the afterlife.

    Raniere has considered himself special for a long time: He has said he spoke in full sentences at a year old, read by 2 and taught himself to play concert-level piano at 12, the same year he learned high school math in 19 hours. His home life was something quite different, and he claimed this was what had led him to create Nxivm. His mother had a heart condition and was often in bed. She and his father fought. About the rancor, he said, “I didn’t blame myself for causing it, but I didn’t know why I couldn’t stop it.” His parents divorced when he was 8, and as an only child, he said he became his mother’s “sole caregiver.” She died when he was 18. Relationships outside his family became of paramount import to him.


    Raniere graduated from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., with a triple major in biology, mathematics and physics. He wanted to be an academic, but for a child who felt out of control, control of others may have been appealing, and he became interested in the science behind multilevel marketing. His first entrepreneurial foray was called Consumers’ Buyline, which sold groceries and other goods at a discount to those who signed up for memberships. It was enormously successful, at least at first. Local papers in Albany portrayed him as an eccentric, appealing genius, noting that he slept only a few hours a night and could juggle and unicycle. Several years after its founding, Consumers’ Buyline was investigated by state attorneys general as a suspected pyramid scheme, and Raniere and his associates agreed to close shop in 1997.

    The structure of Consumers’ Buyline brings to mind Nxivm’s set up, with members recruiting other members and the way that Raniere was often introduced late in a participant’s membership, standing out of reach at the top of the pyramid. It might be surprising that people would sign up for a self-improvement endeavor led by a man who might have led a pyramid scheme, but today in Nxivm, leaders explain to incoming members that Consumers’ Buyline had been unfairly targeted, but Raniere refused to be vengeful and instead conceived the group as “an opposing thing that would be good in the world,” as one member told me. After developing another company — a health network selling vitamins and dietary supplements and recommending alternative doctors — with his girlfriend of the time, Toni Natalie, Raniere began thinking more deeply about persuasion and how you could talk people into anything, even helping themselves.

    When Raniere met Salzman, who had a successful therapy practice near Albany at the time, they began having conversations, just two people going back and forth talking, and soon, Salzman said, she started to feel better, more joyful. She asked Raniere if she could watch him do his persuasion model. “He said, ‘On a person?’ And I said: ‘Yeah, on a person. Can I watch you do it on a person?’ And he said, ‘You mean other than you?’ ” She lowered her voice for dramatic effect. “In that moment, I went, ‘Oh, my god, I do feel good.’ ”

    Like Raniere, the Bronfman sisters were seeking to heal familial relationships, particularly with their father, a pillar of New York society and president of the World Jewish Congress. They were also drawn to Raniere’s emphasis on ethics. “My whole life growing up, I always wanted to do something to impact the world,” said Sara, a lovely woman who made me eggs in her Albany-area mansion this winter — the proportions of her home were so preposterous that I felt I had shrunk to a hundredth of my size, like Alice after she drank the potion in Wonderland. “My dad, as we were growing up, he was bringing Jews out of Russia, he was taking on the Swiss banks.” After a friend from Sun Valley recommended the group, then called Executive Success Programs, to Sara, she asked Edgar to take a course, and he liked it. “All my dreams of saving the world with my dad were coming true,” she said.


    When Clare, who was a professional equestrian competitor in her early years, took her first course, she was unimpressed. Then she listened to Raniere’s theory about money. Like Ayn Rand, he taught that money isn’t inherently good or bad: It simply is. “I thought that money made people bad,” she told me. “When I was at horse shows, I would spend time with people who didn’t have money. I would never connect with people who did.” But she began to realize that “money’s money. And people are people. So rich people can do good and bad, poor people can do good and bad.” Before Nxivm, Clare didn’t deal with her finances. As a wealthy woman, it was all done for her. “My family had lawyers. My family had accountants.”

    A profound rift developed between Edgar and his daughters a few years into their involvement in Nxivm, but Clare continued to want to use her inherited money ethically. Raniere, like Rand, taught that dexterous use of money — the assigning of value to various goods and services — was one of humanity’s highest virtues. Raniere told me money was “noble.” But after the Consumers’ Buyline debacle, he was careful not to put his hands on much of it himself. In fact, Salzman owns Nxivm, and Raniere has nothing to do with it, officially. He received no salary from Nxivm, nor possessed a credit card, A.T.M. card or a car. He told me, “I don’t pay taxes because I live under the poverty level.” I asked him where he got his clothes, which require money to buy. He answered that they usually appeared. Pointing to the polo shirt he was wearing, he said, “until I put this on this morning, I don’t think I’d worn it before, and I didn’t know about it.”

    In 2010, documents from a lawsuit stemming from a real estate dispute claimed that many millions of the Bronfman fortune had been spent in connection with Nxivm, and Raniere had also lost nearly $66 million betting on the commodities market. (Raniere insists it was less.) When I asked Raniere about his relationship with Clare Bronfman, he said only that she’s “so supportive, so pure.”

    With access to Bronfman funds, Nxivm engaged in all manner of legacy-creating enterprises, many demonstrating kindness and concern for others. The group invited the Dalai Lama to Albany, though he initially canceled his 2009 trip after the press drew attention to the mysterious nature of the group; several members traveled to Dharamsala to smooth things over. They’ve designed a “peace pledge” for Mexicans and made a film about Raniere’s ideas to solve violence in the country. They formed an a cappella group named, appropriately enough, Simply Human. They host “Vanguard Week,” an annual celebration of Raniere’s birthday, running triathlons and solving Rubik’s Cubes. Through the year, they played volleyball, Raniere’s favorite sport, usually after 9 p.m., when he preferred to play.



    The Dalai Lama with Keith Raniere, right, after giving him a Tibetan scarf at the Palace Theater, in Albany, N.Y., May, 2009.CreditPhilip Kamrass/Times Union

    As the group opened centers in New York City, Vancouver and, strikingly, Mexico’s big cities, including Mexico City, Monterrey and Guadalajara, it became more certain than ever about the power of the tech. The day before I met Jacqueline, Salzman introduced me to an 18-year-old high school student she was trying to help surmount Crohn’s disease through Nxivm’s technology. Bronfman has also produced a film about Nxivm improving the symptoms of Tourette patients, which screened at the Newport Beach Film Festival this spring. Raniere had free rein to indulge his interest in scientific experiments. He conceived a new type of school to teach children as many as eight languages at a time; each teacher speaks one language, on the theory that children pick up language more easily from a beloved caregiver. I visited one of these Mexican schools in a pretty stucco building, though school wasn’t in session, so I couldn’t gauge the children’s octolingualism.

    Nxivm members also created and operate The Knife, an active website that uses “scientific analysis” to gauge the relative honor of news outlets like this one. News was disinformation that could encourage fear, start wars and convince people of anything, but the Knife wielded its powerful tool nobly. The site and its editor in chief were featured last July on “Fox and Friends.”

    Women filled many high ranks in the group, so it is not a surprise that one of its enterprises involved gender relationships. In 2006, Raniere created Jness, a “made-up word that we are defining as we define who we are,” a female member told me. Some of its teachings seemed reasonable enough: In the beginning of the course titled Raw, men and women were encouraged to talk about their gender’s genuine experience of life, and sex, and how the other sex often made them feel repressed, denigrated and ashamed. By voicing these feelings, which can be taboo to speak out loud, men supposedly developed compassion for women, and vice versa. Jness cost $5,000 for each eight-day workshop, of which there are 11.


    “We were so angry at each other, both genders,” Lauren Salzman, Nancy’s daughter, a clever 40-year-old and perhaps the group’s most persuasive junior leader, told me. “Women feel oppressed, and we have so many examples of how that’s true. And the men would try to stick up for themselves and we would all attack them. … We cut them off constantly just

      • What is interesting about the NYtimes is that it shows how the elite members of Nxivm see themselves, or how they whant to be seen. It is all planed and controlled by Raniere from A to Z. And it gives us a view on how the Raniere’s defense will argue in court. It won’t be son easy I think, if they play the “consensual” card and if Mack takes all the blame.

      • “The ultimate Nxivm member was “potent” in Nxian lingo — not only rich but emotionally disciplined, self controlled, attractive, physically fit and slender — or in the word most members themselves preferred, “badass”.”

        And there you have the catchy title for the NXIVM movie or miniseries: “Badasses with Empty Minds”.

        Just a note to those who think Allie Mack can somehow take the fall for DOS, allowing Raniere to escape significant prison time:
        The extent of the criminal enterprise which is NXIVM (waiting for additional indictments and arrests) goes well beyond DOS, and we will likely see the arrest trial and sentencing of Clare Bronfman, the Salzman gals, “Doctors” Porter and Roberts, and the head Mexians.

    • Gotta get ready for work. Just finished reading the first part of this great article. “Facing your fears, especially in conjunction with penance, was key to NXIVM.”
      That bothered me when I read it, and then I realized why. It sets a woman up for the sort of punishment that is meted out by DOS.
      To me the unnecessary focus on penance can potentially thwart any gains people get from their therapy. It sets up a bad power dynamic with the group. Freedom is Slavery.

    • “The day before I met Jacqueline, Salzman introduced me to an 18-year-old high school student she was trying to help surmount Crohn’s disease through Nxivm’s technology.”

      That might be [Name Redacted], daughter of [Name Redacted]. From the 5/21/18 The Times Union article on [Name Redacted]: “My youngest daughter… is currently doing her senior year of high school [home schooled] and first year of college simultaneously at Hudson Valley.” Haley is also front desk support at the [Name Redacted]

    • Why would the skilled manipulator ever want the person he’s manipulating to feel manipulated? That would defeat his purpose. The entire point of the manipulation is to get you to feel like you’ve made a decision consciously via your own volition.

    • Where do I begin?

      First off, you can definitely tell the difference between a credible journalist such as Barry Meier versus a fluff piece writer. Which is most likely why they granted this lady access. She sounds very much like they do. Narcissistic. You can tell by the way she drones on loving the sound of her voice.
      I also heard from a little birdie that she went through hours with nutty nurse nancy and loony lauren, where they most likely did their nlp bullshit on her. She actually sounds very programmed.
      This article was endless and most of it more about painting a pretty aesthetic picture instead of the actual facts.

      Oh and the overly-photoshopped pictures. 😂
      What she does do is give her opinion and then fluff it up.
      I think crazy clare may have actually thought this would help exonerate them. Lol. Nope. All it did was make them all look extra crazy and not credible with any sane person.
      My favourite part was how Ranier’s clothes just magically appeared and he didn’t know they existed, until he did. It is true that he doesn’t pay taxes on his earnings from NXIVM. It is true that he doesn’t have credit cards in his name. What is true is that he doesn’t have to, because he has a harem of heavily hypnotized women who pay for everything. I mean everything. Food. Clothing. Cars. Houses. Pleasure. Services. All of it. Every woman was his slave before there was even a DOS.
      I heard Allie was going to sacrifice herself, but this is the final nail in her coffin. In this day and age, a woman who enslaves other women, will get crucified. A woman who enslaves other women for a MAN, forget about it. Also, in admitting she created DOS, she probably has heavier or more charges coming her way. Unfortunately for all concerned, this was printed a little too late. He’s been arrested and charged. She’s been arrested and charged. There is so much evidence against them, their rhetoric is meaningless.
      Thank you Vanesa for your piece through, it makes a wonderful cat box litter liner.

      • – My favourite part was how Ranier’s clothes just magically appeared and he didn’t know they existed, until he did.

        Yeah, that was a hilarious. It is similar to his capability to not get wet in the rain.

        – What is true is that he doesn’t have to, because he has a harem of heavily hypnotized women who pay for everything.


        “There were some light spots, like when he told me that humanity needed to develop more humanity, and we deserved to, because we were a special species; cats don’t have “catmanity,” he said”

        This guy calls himself a philosopher? He obviously hasn’t read Aristotle. Certainly humans are a special species of animals, but what all humans share in is the essence (the philosophical term) of “being human”, or “humanness”. A similar notion applies to all cats except it is the essence of “being a cat” or “catness”. Any other *being* can be classified into a species (the Aristotelian definition of the term). What distinguishes a species of animal (a genera) including humans from all other animals is their differentia, e.g., human beings are *rational* animals. The essence is the definition of a specifies. All attributes that are part of the essence (as opposed to accidental attributes) must exist in an instance of the specifies for it to be classified as that species.

        • “How do you know but ev’ry Bird that cuts the airy way,
          Is an immense world of delight, clos’d by your senses five?” W. Blake

    • Really Great Article! Again, provides a good analysis of the NXSCUM machine. Only by exposing these con artists, can we destroy the myth and put an end to NXIVM forever.

    • Reading this New York Times piece one could conclude that Vanguard is being punished for Allison Mack’s sins.
      Her over-zealousness and jealousy of other women.
      And now Vanguard is in the jail’s medical clinic suffering from hypertension.
      All brought on by Allison Mack’s immaturity and many personal failings.
      And Allison Mack admits the idea of branding women is hers because mere tattoos do not show enough devotion to the Vanguard.
      Vanguard is dying for Allison Mack’s sins.
      Monte Blu is right and the New York Times endorses Monte Blu’s theory that Keith Raniere is the new Christ and Allison Mack is the new Judas Iscariot.

      Burn the Witch!

    • Actually, this is a FLUFF PIECE. But it does give interesting perspective on the ‘Denial Mechanism’ of NXSCUM members. And how far down the rabbit hole they are…

  • It reveals the very heart of Keith Raniere’s influence:

    “[I]t is a very effective strategy: You say something that has certain grains of truth and then you add everything you want, and the people who read it will tell you, ‘but at least that is true, at least I know that little piece of it is true,’ then you know that it makes everything else look, if not true, at least possible. It makes everything else possible, and that is ‘plant a doubt’ that you never, ever get out of your head… You can put all the shit you want in the Internal Representation of that person.”

    • That’s called stacking realities. Say something true, true, make something up(suggestion) then back to true, true, true then suggestion. Crital thinking gets bored an stops, suggestions go right on in.

  • Just my impression but it seems to me that the macho Mexicans are a bunch of “maricones”

    By day, he would ply Pedro for Ludwika. At night Emi turned el culo for Alex’s intrusions. But when it was time to switch, Alex wondered why Emi’s Pedro was unable to put forth his best efforts nightly when Alex turned up el culo.

    • shadowstate1958:
      A pinch of homophobia, a pinch of racism without forgetting a good dose of misogyny…apart from that, you have anything else to say??

      • Shadow’s brother was a genuine hero in a long-ago war while Shadow is just a crazy hate-filled old man, also involuntary celibate and lover of Trump. Being ugly on FrankReport is what gets him excited. He’s @AmericanGadfly2 on twitter and American_Gadfly on reddit, where he’s active in the ShadowPeople subreddit and where he obsesses about Allison Mack:

        • My brother is a supporter of Trump and has met the President 3 times.
          Moreover, my brother has met Vice President Pence.
          It’s part of his job as an industry lobbyist.
          And once again I am not American Gadfly.
          The only Gadfly I know is the Gadfly Suite by the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich.

          • Shadow is pretty much on the level. Instead of attacking one another, we need to focus on exposing NXIVM and its leadership through media, social media, and word-of-mouth. Alone we are weak. Together we are STRONG!

        • I’m not defendiing Shadow state or criticizing him, (as I think we all are entitled to our opinions) but I sm critisizing you because what you are doing is absolutely childish and abusive.
          You consistently write comments that criticize him and his opinions , and honestly, I can’t say that I see ShadowState doing that at all.

          And then, if I happen to comment in favour of Shadow states opinion, you illogically accuse me of being him. Obviously you can’t understand how ridiculous you sound.

          If you have an opinion on the topic of NXIVM then share that here, like a rational ADULT.

          • if Allison’s mother were a rational adult her daughter would have turned into a sex trafficker that exploits children and other women?

          • Thank you.
            I state my opinions and readers can either accept or reject them.
            If others wish to publish their opinions I will read them and try to avoid attacking anyone personally.
            Even if my opinions are attacked as “ancient” I will still express them.

            Many of the opinions I express that are labelled antediluvian yet those opinions were considered the norm in America until quite recently.
            In looking at NXIVM we see a cult that apparently engages in child molestation and has set up a society with a harem of one man and fifty plus women.
            In America’s history both pedophilia and polygamy/polyamory have been frowned upon.
            Indeed in 1857 the United States almost went to war with Mormon Utah over the issue of polyamory.
            America has dealt with freaks like Raniere before.

        • “So you’re part of the Hate America chorus that wants to substitute the Rainbow flag for the Stars and Stripes.” Being gay isn’t unAmerican. Mindless nationalism is. They aren’t the same thing.

        • At least you and Trump have that in common, you never served your country.

        • to the trolling.

          It is probably just Allison’s mother again who should turn off the computer and go take care of her daughter since she failed so utterly, miserably as a mother and a human being.

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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.

IMDb — Frank Parlato,_Jr.

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083