A former cult member gives her view on Allison and India – and their mothers

Allison Mack [l] and India Oxenberg [r] -

Here is a letter from a reader. 


Dear Mr. Parlato;

I follow daily, with interest, your reporting on NXIVM and the many players.
I do so because I too was in a cult back in the years 1982 to 1984.
All cults, whether religious, pseudo religious, ideology, cult of personality, etc. operate the same and all seem to end up the same way with power and sex being paramount.
Having such experience and intimate knowledge of over 30-plus years of what happens to cult members, I can predict pretty accurately what will happen to certain key players.
Allison is too long invested, morally, physically, financially bankrupt, her life all but stolen by Keith and his cronies that she is a lost cause.
Should she awaken from this dream to realize what has been taken from her, I fear she will end her life.
I would like to note it is never brought up that Allison’s mother never dissuaded her from this group but in fact appeared to have supported her in this.
India, on the other hand, has a mother who sees openly what this group is, fights for her daughter and will not stop to free her from the evil clutches of this group.
India is young enough that with therapy, her mother’s love and support, she can regain her life.
Her mother must always be vigilant as long as any of the others still exist.
Catherine Oxenberg
Catherine Oxenberg fought to get her daughter out of NXIVM and she succeeded – and basically took down the cult in so doing.
The group I was in still has a core group of about 5,000 or less,  greatly diminished from its pinnacle back in the 80’s when I was sucked in.
If you have not done so, I would suggest you read a book titled Snapping by Conway and Siegleman.
These groups all use the same techniques.
I have found it is not intelligence, nor the lack of it, that attracts people to such groups. It is something within us.
To this day I find myself still taken in, though momentarily, by the same techniques, but my recognition and recovery is almost instantaneous which makes me exclaim WOW! Duped again – yet now I am unafraid to backtrack and remove myself from the person or situation.
You are free to use this email, and my first name, in your report.
I have been there, survived, at a cost, and only got out by the grace of God.
Others still remain, in one fashion or another, sadly.
I wish you the best.
PS: Please do not publish my email address nor my last name.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • I don’t know how much anyone needs to said beyond the words “child actress”. Allison’s parents sold her even as a child. Her mother and father have both been NXIVM members, and her father was profiting off that membership giving high priced voice lessons. Allison’s mother made it clear she supported any and all involvement in NXIVM.
    Allison’s parents welcomed into their home for house arrest the person who wrote a fake letter to child protective services against their other child saying that her nephews are abused. It would appear only their famous child matters, and definitely not their grandchildren.

    Catherine Oxenberg on the other hand appears to actually care about her daughter.

    They are vastly different situations IMO.

    • Are you saying that AM’s parents knew about DOS before it went public? Supporting involvement in NXIVM and supporting involvement in DOS are quite different. I had thought her family found out about when the public did.

  • Shadow State
    What is the difference between Allison Mack and an inner city pimp who brands his “girls”? The difference is that Allison was first brainwashed and victimized by a man.
    The facts are indisputable in regards to which sex is the most violent. The facts are indisputable when it comes to domestic violence ….so why so focusesi on this one isolated case when hundreds of women and killed and assaulted daily by men – usually by the men who claim to love them!
    Those are facts and statistics that can be proven….
    The “facts” about Mack and her mother are, at this point, nothing but assumptions.

    That doesn’t mean she isn’t guilty.
    It means she hadn’t yet been proven guilty, and everything said about her here is mainly speculation.

    • “The difference is that Allison was first brainwashed and victimized by a man.”

      Do you understand how out of touch with reality your response is.
      Among the vast majority of North America’s males the branding and enslavement of women is regarded as criminal and unacceptable.
      Even in NXIVM when males discovered that this practice was occurring, they left the cult in droves.
      NXIVM affiliates in Vancouver, Seattle and San Francisco quickly collapsed and males led the way out the door.
      You regard Allison Mack as a victim unable to take care of herself.
      When Kristen Kreuk discovered sexual improprieties in NXIVM she left.
      Many of the NXIVM females were upper middle class or upper class women with resources of their own.
      Even Allison was working in media up until the cult business was publicized. She was doing voice work in the Amazon Prime “Lost in OZ” cartoon.

      Before you call Allison Mack a victim consider these facts:
      1.) Mack drove a BMW that was a gift from Clare Bronfman.
      2.) Mack had a “gorgeously decorated” apartment in Brooklyn Heights, a trendy expensive neighborhood in NYC,
      This apartment was also probably a payment from Clare Bronfman.
      3.) Allison traveled around the world in 2017 including trips to Paris, London and Ecuador.
      4.) Allison relished the title “Pimp Mack.”

      Allison Mack is NOT a victim.
      Allison Mack is a PREDATOR who profited from her abuse of other women.
      Allison Mack’s crimes are not so much sex crimes as crimes of abuse of power.

  • If you’ve read Catherine’s book, you’ll know she is an eloquent, loving, hot mess dumpster fire of a mom and India had/has a child like mentality even as an adult.

    • “India had/has a child like mentality even as an adult.”

      And the Unholy Trinity of Keith, Clare and Allison were willing to exploit India’s unsophisticated nature.
      Which makes all three of them, but particularly Allison, dangerous to naive young women.

  • Never say never. Allison may yet wake up. People can surprise you. For example, there are Scientologists who walk away even though they have done bad things while inside. Even though their family is still in the cult, and even though they have no money or support system on the outside.
    Never say never.

    • I think you are right–the only thing we can predict for people to actually do is change. Yes, Allison Mack wasted a good deal of her life on this cult, but she is a 36 year old woman who can still live the rest of her life in a positive manner. After, she’s held accountable for her crimes of course.

      I think India has come from being controlled by this cult to being controlled by her new boy friend–she needs massive amounts of therapy before even beginning a new relationship.

  • NXIVM is ruled by an Unholy Trinity of Keith Raniere, Clare Bronfman and Allison Mack.

    What you liberals and fan boys forget is that the criminal law is built on VENGEANCE and destroying evil and evil doers.

    Allison Mack is a slave master who has profited off of enslaving young women and destroying their souls.
    Why did Clare give Allison a BMW and an apartment in trendy Brooklyn Heights?
    Out of the goodness of Clare’s heart?

    Allison Mack sold her soul to the Devil..
    Allison Mack relished being called PIMP MACK.
    It’s high time for Allison Pimp Mack to harvest the bitter fruit of her evil endeavors.

  • it is never brought up that Allison’s mother never dissuaded her from this group but in fact appeared to have supported her in this.

    In Catherine Oxenberg’s book she mention’s how she and a friend traveled around Brooklyn Heights looking for Allison’s apartment.
    This was after Raniere’s arrest but before Allison’s.
    And who did they spot leaving a coffee shop and heading into an apartment building?
    Allison and her mother.

    Allison has gone ALL IN on NXIVM and her mother can’t or won’t stop her.

  • No one knows what happens behind closed doors. We can send our positive hope that Allison’s mother is doing what every mother should, maybe just quieter and less bold than others… Who knows if she can be saved, but a mother would be the one with the power to bring one back to his/her senses in any situation. I’d like to imagine any sane mother would utilize this precious power in such times.

  • Just because somebody has a lot of experience with cults doesn’t mean they get to say that Allison will probably kill herself. She might go through a period of being suicidal, but to say she will kill herself is to completely disregard the support of her family, her friends, and (hopefully) the mental health community.

    I have no idea what Allison’s family is like, but they put up their house to keep her out of prison until trial, so they obviously care about her.

    • The FBI isn’t giving up on Allison either.

      The FBI consists of good decent family men, many of whom have daughters and they understand that Allison Mack is a PREDATOR who sucks the souls out of young women.
      The FBI won’t rest until the whole world understands the EVIL of Allison Mack the Slave Master.

      • “The FBI consists of good decent family men”? (who used false evidence to illegally obtain an umbrella warrant under FISA for the purposes of illegally spying on a private citizen and rigging the outcome of a US election).

  • Thank you much, Georgia, for your bravery and trust in sharing your experience and insights.

    I’m curious: What do you feel it is in you, in us, that compels you, compels us, to give ourselves over to such leaders — even when we may suspect they do not mean well for us?

    I wouldn’t give up on Allison just yet. India may have a great advantage with Catherine as her brave, even fierce, and powerful protector, but a mother’s love ought never be underestimated once Ali’s mom hopefully takes Catherine’s lead and realizes what’s right for her daughter.

  • Some people are lucky enough to have those who see through the bullshit to fight for those who they care about who for one reason or another can’t see it, being under a spell so to speak.

    It’s a sadly stark difference between two matriarchal figures here.

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
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com