CBC’s ‘Escaping NXIVM’ quotes former students who say they found good in the course

Josh Bloch interviews Sara Edmondson for CBC's Uncover: Escaping NXIVM.

CBC has an upcoming six-part podcast series  Uncover: Escaping NXIVM, coming out in September.

It features Sarah Edmondson and her escape from NXIVM.

Besides Sarah, CBC interviewed many former NXIVM memvers – including Barbara Bouchey, and others like Toni Natalie and myself.

What I found interesting is that many on this blog have criticized Barbara Bouchey for saying she found a lot of good in NXIVM – notwithstanding corruption at the top [which she helped expose ] and that Keith Raniere is, in her opinion, an evil man.

The producers of the CBC podcast said something that seems to support Barbara’s earlier statement.

Josh Bloch, host of the CBC podcast, said, “One of the things they did very well was create a really powerful hook. For whatever messed-up things happened in the higher levels of the organization, we’ve talked to dozens of people who took their entry-level courses … and almost everyone says they loved them. They’re really good, they were stimulating, we got a lot out of them, and we had these breakthroughs, etc.”

The experience of many of the thousands of students who took the NXIVM courses over the years, but did not get caught deeply in Raniere’s sinister web – they merely took an intensive and came back for no more – might be largely positive.
Keith was always seeking out select people, weeding out ones who did not interest him or were not interested in being his slaves.
It is likely there were attractive elements to the initial courses. There had to be. How else would you attract people in the first place if there was nothing good in it?
I like to think [paraphrasing Samuel Johnson] that NXIVM is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.
Others may disagree.
Here is the link to the CBC podcast


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Frank Parlato


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  • “I like to think [paraphrasing Samuel Johnson] that NXIVM is both good and original; but the part that is good is not original, and the part that is original is not good.”

    “Good” thought, even if paraphrased, Frank. It lacks subjectivity re: what’s good or not, however, to be true of NIXVM in my subjective view. Did Samuel Johnson use it as a paradox? Half of it is true.

  • Yes or no, did Sarah Edmondson knowingly participate in crimes for NXIVM? Yes or no, did Sarah Edmondson knowingly profit from NXIVM criminal activity?

    Sarah Edmondson knew exactly what she was a part of. She used her free will and personal choice to be a part of NXIVM. She knew that Keith Raniere was exposed as a pedophile in February 2012. She read the words of the victims of Keith Raniere’s pedophilia. She saw the police report. She knew about the sexual behaviour of Keith Raniere. She knew about the lawsuits against Toni Natalie, Rick Ross, Frank Parlato, Joe O’Hara, John Tigue, Susan Dones etc.

    Sarah Edmondson knew her husband Anthony Ames was named in Joe O’Hara’s February 2012 criminal lawsuit.

    Sarah Edmondson knew about Kristin Snyder and Gina Hutchinson.

    Sarah Edmondson knew about money laundering and tax evasion. She profited from it. This is how she made money, not from her “acting career”.

    I am sick of these high level NXIVM cowards pretending they are innocent victims. Pretending they had their free will taken away. They chose to go along with it. You can take a horse to water but you can’t make him drink. They went along with it because they wanted to feel righteous and/or to profit from it.

    I have no sympathy for any dickhead who joins ISIS. There is tons of information out there on the ISIS death cult yet dickheads still joined. It is a choice. People join cults because they have low self esteem and know they are not good enough. They want to fill the void.

    Sarah Edmondson spent at least 12 years in the cult, being a criminal. Where is the justice? Will the criminal go to jail? She is playing the naive victim card. The CBC is funded by the Canadian tax payer, as is Kristin Kreuk’s shitty show. Is Sarah Edmondson STILL profiting from NXIVM? Sarah Edmondson, over the space of a few weeks has gone from devoted cult criminal to pretending to be the face of the anti-NXIVM movement. Me, me, me, me, me… She is loving the television coverage she is getting. It is more then she ever got from acting.

    By the way, is there any truth Sarah Edmondson was fucking Keith Raniere? Someone in the comments section on Frank Report who had a problem with Barbara Bouchey made the claim.

    To any dickhead who wants to come to Sarah Edmondson’s defence, I encourage you to go visit Yazidi sex slaves of ISIS who witnessed the men and boys of their families executed by ISIS and all the women and girls taken into sex slavery to be sold at sex slave markets. I encourage you to go visit the starving children in Yemen who are being bombed the shit out of by the Saudis. The word “victim” gets thrown around to loosely these days, belittling real victims. Look at Asia Argento. All this talk about “women’s rights” playing the victim card and she is a victimiser herself.

    • While you make some valid points, your comparison of NXIVM with ISIS is a false equivalence. They aren’t comparable to NXIVM in their end goals, secrecy, actions, how they go about their pursuits, etc. This is just a tenuous negative association to get an emotional rise out of people via rhetoric.

      • All the points I said are valid. People just don’t want to speak the truth. Just because some morons want to say “poor poor poor little Sarah”, does not mean I have to go along with it.

        It is not a false equivalence to bring up ISIS. It does not matter what the cult is or their methods, the point is, people CHOOSE to join cults. People have chosen by free will to join NXIVM and ISIS. They also chose to stay on.

        My post was not about ISIS or their methods/end goals in comparison with NXIVM. My post was about Sarah Edmondson NOT being a victim. It was about Sarah Edmondson choosing to commit criminal acts. It was about Sarah Edmondson, through free will and personal choice, chose to participate in and profit from crimes, for a scumbag she knew was a pedophile.

        Sarah Edmondson did not want to bring down the NXIVM cult. She did not want the authorities to investigate her dear NXIVM cult because she profited big time from the cult. She didn’t care about the pedophilia, rapes, harem, lawsuit terrorism against real victims and real defectors, etc. For her, the money was worth it. She only defected when she was personally affected. How can anyone see her as an honorable person? I see a selfish, attention seeking, criminal coward escaping justice, milking all of this for attention and money. Now she is still potentially profiting from the cult through media appearances. Before anyone accuses me of “hiding” behind a anonymous post, fuck off. I would say all of this to any NXIVM moron’s face.

        Bringing up ISIS again… if some cunt joins ISIS knowing full well about the beheadings, sex slavery etc and go along with it all, they are cunts. They chose to do it all. Fact. If they have a falling out with ISIS over pay and being lashed for something (ethical breach?), then defect and go to the CIA and spill some of the beans (in exchange for a plea deal like Sarah Edmondson), that does not make things okay. Mr ISIS dickhead is still a piece of shit. Like Sarah Edmondson.

    • I do not know enough about ISIS and what goes on in Yemen to comment on those portions of your post, but I think your observations about Ms. Edmondson are spot on, and hopefully, in the end, she is properly identified as a criminal and no longer pitied as a victim.

      • Through NXIVM’s money laundering and tax evasion practices. She founded the Vancouver branch. There is zero way she did not know about money moving around illegally, how it was done and who was doing it. This was Sarah Edmondson’s “job”.

        Even recruiting for a criminal organisation on false pretenses should be punishable.

        On a side note…

        when Sarah Edmondson wrote that bullshit defense of top NXIVM coach and recruiter (and coward) Kristin Kreuk on twitter, she said Kreuk left in 2013 “before shit got weird”. Shit was always weird darling and you know it. Having Sarah Edmondson defend Kristin Kreuk is like having Harvey Weinstein defending Roman Polanski. What a fucking joke. Having Kristin Kreuk retweeting Sarah Edmondson’s message is even more pathetic, as if people should respect Sarah Edmondson’s bullshit words and as if she is in any position to defend her fellow NXIVM cultist who was one of the top coaches and recruiters in the whole organisation. That is like Emiliano Salinas defecting and posting some bullshit defense of Kreuk. Your words have zero meaning. Also, Sarah Edmondson knows full well Kreuk was still involved with NXIVM in 2015. Lies.

        Both scumbags are on CBC’s tax payer funded platform. Disgraceful. I don’t want my tax dollars going to them. And neither bitch “escaped” NXIVM. You were not Yazidi sex slaves.

        Where is Mark Hildreth’s accountability? What about Olivia Cheng?

        The “law” is a joke. No justice, no punishment, no consequences.

        • You are not venting your anger, it is festering in you and increases with every post.

        • So now you’ve found a new way to bash Kristin: by going through Sarah. And yes you are the same person who has been bashing her repeatedly here.

          Also, don’t make a false pretense about how you would say the same things to someone’s face while posting anonymously because such words are vacuous. That’s like the bully who picks on the isolated kid with his posse behind his back, and when the kid calls him out to fight one on one, he makes an excuse and leaves.

          Sarah may be responsible for more, but she is also responsible for helping bring down the cult. The easiest way to deny the credibility of her claims against NXIVM is to sully her character, and thus by extension, her words. Perhaps you might want to do that. I think you have a far greater stake in this than you’re willing to admit, whatever it may be. I also don’t like the fact that some of these high level NXIVM members seem to still be profiting from their association being labelled as “heroes” or whatever. I think they should just shut the hell up unless whatever they are doing is going to directly help and heal everyone who really was legitimately hurt by this group through their actions.

          By the way, the vast majority of people don’t do anything unless they are negatively affected in a deeply personal manner. That is just reality.

          You’ve made a number of claims against Kristin yet have provided no evidence, particularly the notion that she was still involved in 2015. You’ve been called out multiple times to provide it, yet you have repeatedly ignored such requests. You keep effectively “yelling” it in posts via character assassination but that will never prove it true. Some anonymous reddit poster allegedly thanking Kristin for recommending a course in 2015 or whatever is not credible evidence, nor does it prove such.

          And like someone posted earlier, comparing NXIVM to ISIS is an example of false equivalence. The goals of ISIS is to bring their warped interpretation of Islam to the rest of the world using war. This intent has always been out in the open. NXIVM at least hid its intent and operations behind layers covered by a mask of goodness relying on the reliability of generally good people. NXIVM also devolved over the years and people started to leave as more and more information began leaking out. So, yes it did get more crazy, with the revelation of a HIDDEN DOS being the apex of such craziness. While all of this was happening, the authorities did nothing but turn their heads for so many years until the shit really hit the fan and DOS serendipitously coincided with massive publicity of the #metoo movement.

          Sarah and Kristin are also not equivalent in their participation in NXIVM. The only equivalence is in having what both consider their primary careers, i.e., acting. I’m not even sure that Sarah considered it her primary career, but for Kristin it definitely was. Extent of participation, years of participation, internal knowledge, income dependence, success in their outside careers affecting their participation, how often they frequented Vanguard week, etc., and a number of other items that could be listed, all differ quite a bit.

          • Christ, you again. Whisper Kristin Kreuk’s name as POOOFFF, they you are.

            Go fuck yourself you worthless piece of shit. The thing that pisses me off about cunts over the internet is I can’t beat the shit out of you through a screen.

            “And yes you are the same person who has been bashing her repeatedly here.”.

            Of course I am, of course I am.

          • Fuck you. You’ve been “whispering” (as if anything you’ve said about her has such) her name all the time too, you big fucking hypocrite.

            Big talk about beating someone through the screen. You can’t even beat someone on the screen.

          • You argue with anyone who expresses the slightest of criticisms of Kristin Kreuk. You also accuse everyone you argue with of being the same person. Your recent babble against Joe O’Hara was particularly pathetic. At least that shadowstate1958 dude occasionally posts something different, you are million times worse.

            Unlike you Apu, not everyone worships d-list actresses like Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack, Nicki Clyne and the rest of them. They are all just NXIVM cunts to me. Period.

          • – You argue with anyone who expresses the slightest of criticisms of Kristin Kreuk.

            No I don’t. I have left many negative comments about Kristin without responses, and there have been plenty of them.

            – You also accuse everyone you argue with of being the same person.

            No I don’t accuse everyone I argue with of being the same person. I accuse the person who writes the same content over and over again of being the same person, like you.

            – Your recent babble against Joe O’Hara was particularly pathetic.

            There was nothing I “babbled” against Joe O’Hara. What I wrote was clear and distinct and still remains unanswered, especially my point about Sarah Edmondson, which is ironic considering the whole diatribe you just laid out against her in these comments.

            – Unlike you Apu,

            Fuck you.

            – not everyone worships d-list actresses like Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack, Nicki Clyne and the rest of them. They are all just NXIVM cunts to me. Period.

            No one is more obsessed than a hater.

  • Lol of course the did. People dont throw money at cuots unless they help them. Even Leah Remini admits that the crap she had to do as a Scientologist yielded positive results.

    • Of course there was good in some of the early seminars. That is the hook. But the good was stolen work from other self improvement platforms. KR stole everything. From his telecom patents to his tech straight out of Scientology. They could have gotten the same “wins” if they had just bought a book from the self-help section of Barnes and Noble. But it wouldn’t have cost them their life savings and self respect

  • Hey Pea, how come it doesn’t work the other way around? Why can’t Keith’s bed partners be free to go with other men?

  • There was no good in this group from the perspective of its intentions. There was no sincerity of purpose since the publicly professed mission was never intended to be realized. This was a business to make money for people at the top of the pyramid and just a hidden cult with a hook to feed the ego of a sociopathic narcissist so he could feed his ego, live his material lifestyle, and secretly recruit women to sleep with. Anything participants thought was positive they obtained could have done so elsewhere either on their own or through legitimate counseling, without the ramifications of time and money wasted, and the negative consequences it brought into people’s lives. Stop giving this trash some post facto rationalization of good existing in it. The only reason it had such is to simply abuse it to catch flies with honey. Those who stayed in this group were fooled by a fraud or thought the money was too good. That doesn’t make you bad people because perhaps your intentions were good. But that doesn’t change the reality.

    • And there are plenty of us who were harmed without even getting in that deep.

      Creating massive psychological trauma in the name of “helping” people is still wrong. Just because it works out better for some than others, doesn’t make it good.

      It is just rationalisation for small minds to want to talk about “the good”.

      If people are honest about it, there is no good in it.

      It’s just more comfortable to pretend there is.

      Especially for tv “stars” who are (and should be) afraid of the liability they have incurred.

      • Let me emphasize once again so there is no misunderstanding of what I tried to say. When I said there was nothing good in NXIVM, it is with respect to the real or true intentions of this group as dictated by its leader. There was no professed mission. People were fooled into believing it, and many people had good intentions and thought they were really doing something good or helping themselves and others, but that no longer matters. If you didn’t willfully engage in anything malevolent and were basically used, stop rationalizing and reinforcing to yourself that it was good. Accept that you were fooled and tricked into promoting a fake mission, or that the money was too good to pass up. Healing cannot come without acceptance.

        When the roots of a tree are rotten the whole tree eventually dies. When the foundation is weak, the whole structure collapses. Your leader was scam artist. You were deceived.

    • You try so hard to sound smart, but it’s pretty clear to me that your IQ is in the double digits, maybe 90 on a good day.

      • You’re one of these sophisticated “modern” people who fail to acknowledge the existence of evil in this world.
        Earlier generations understood that evil exists and must be destroyed.
        NXIVM is evil.

  • I hate the fact that you try to glorify Barbara Bouchey. She is the true fallen angel. She had the greatest privilege in the herstory of woman. She was Keith’s numero uno. Can you imagine and she blew that. She does not own Keith’s penis. But she tried to own it and she lost it all. Poor woman. Sure she found good. She misses it and him every day and will forever. Keith Raniere ? There will never be another one like him for her.

    • Pea,
      Why don’t you tell us how Clare financed Allison’s bogus acting school, “The Source”?
      Tell us how Clare and Allison relocated the acting school from Albany to Brooklyn where Allison would have access to more victims in the form of wannabe actresses.
      Tell us how Clare gave Allison a BMW to make a good impression on the future NXIVM slaves.
      Tell us how Clare gave Allison an expensive apartment in Brooklyn Heights, a very trendy neighborhood, to serve as a base for sex slave recruitment.
      Tell us how the true purpose of the Allison Mack’s Source was not to train future actresses but to recruit new sex slaves for the NXIVM cult.
      Tell us how the new slaves would be used to sexually service NXIVM’s Unholy Trinity of Keith, Clare and Allison.
      Pea, tell us how your friend Allison Mack sold her soul to the Devil.

    • @Pea Onyou : You’re just a troll, period. You feel lonely (that’s your fault, because you’ve got a lot of great friends and your family) and bitter (that’s your fault too, because in spite of all this crap you were in, you still have a very rich inner universe, and above all, your marvelous contemplativity). The only thing that you have is time to lose, a lot of time apparently (between two takes… You’d better read “Annihilation” !). So, be gentle and stop trolling here. Please become more productive and leave people here alone, even if you think “they need help”…

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.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was 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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com