CBC story details how Vancouver was impacted by branding revelations

Sarah Edmondson

CBC reporter, Jason Proctor has written an intriguing story of how, when the Vancouver Chapter fell to pieces – with news of the branding, shocking its membership – it was the beginning of the end for NXIVM.

“The fortunes of NXIVM have been very much reflected in the state of its Vancouver chapter,” Proctor writes. “The organization flourished in the city’s acting and self-improvement communities. And it was Sarah Edmondson, co-founder of the Vancouver centre, who led an eventual exodus with revelations about being branded with Raniere’s initials.”

Read the whole story here:  

Proctor reveals some new information which should be of interest to people following the NXIVM story.

He writes that, while the NXIVM scandal and implosion received reams of publicity, “what has received far less examination is the impact …  on everyday members like those in Vancouver.” The ones who weren’t in an alleged sex cult or secret sorority. The ones still asking questions such as: ‘What if?’ and ‘What now?'”

Proctor writes about Gabrielle Gendron, a Vancouver woman who took NXIVM intensives that “transformed the 33-year-old homemaker’s life, giving her confidence and a new outlook on issues she’d been grappling with since childhood.”

Supporting what Barbara Bouchey argues – that NXIVM courses are ‘transformational” –  Gendron said the courses “forced her to root deep into the past to unearth how events triggered behaviours she thought she couldn’t change.”

“It’s like years of therapy in five days,” Gendron said. “You are mentally drained afterwards. You’re crazy, but you’ve challenged everything in your entire life.”

After the cult imploded, Gendron became confused. She told Proctor, “I feel like my brain has been wiped, and I’m back in this confused state of a kid again. What is good or bad? What is right or wrong?”

Gendron, it appears, also had a near miss with connecting with the evil one – Keith Raniere. She might have even joined DOS and got branded.

Almost a year before Frank Report broke the branding story in June 2017, Gendron and her family went to V-Week in 2016 and met the Vanguard himself for the first time.

Not unsurprisingly, when Vanguard saw Gabrielle Gendron at V-Week he waved her over and invited her to communicate with him privately.

“He waved me over,” she said. “I remember that feeling of, ‘Oh my God, he wants to talk to me. He wants to see me. That’s amazing.'”

They became friends on social media. She had his email address.

At one point, Gendron thought about sharing some personal, troubling events from her youth that left her “constantly feeling the need to please men.”

“I almost wrote him to tell him the story of my life and my trauma,” Gendron told Proctor.

Luckily she didn’t.

Looking back, she wonders if Raniere might have encouraged her to become enslaved.

“If I would have sent that email and that message to him, that would have been the perfect way to have me come in to be in this DOS group,” she said.  “I look, and I think — Oh my God, I was only one phone call away from being, like, ‘I’ll do this. Let me try it out.'”


Proctor also writes about cult expert Roseanne Henry who has worked with some 20 former NXIVM members. Henry thinks Jness was designed to teach women to be subservient, self-critical and bone-thin.

With an intense environment, very little sleep and peer pressure, Henry said women “were basically socialised and manipulated into wanting to become the person that Raniere needed them to be.”


Candee Clark, a graphic designer from Squamish, north of Vancouver, was also interviewed.  She took classes for years before quitting because of the high cost.

NXIVM intensives start at $2,000.

Clark said NXIVM’s general pitch was “it was a scientific thing, like, ‘We’ve studied and researched, and we’ve figured how to grow the person, how to be happy.’ And there’s certain points in your life where you — where I — want to be told what to do.”

Of course, if the program worked as its name suggests  – Executive Success Programs – Clark would have easily made enough extra money to pay for the courses.

Again and again, Frank Report has pointed out that what people learn in Executive Success Programs [NXIVM] do not pay for themselves but rather tend in the opposite direction – promoting poverty, via lack of thinking for oneself and an increasing willingness to want to be told what to do – by Raniere and his minions.

This is not the method executives achieve for success.

The entire program – while it may on the surface feel good and appear transformational – is actually deception – meant to destroy and enslave. The program does not make one more successful or better – it makes one weaker, poorer and more dependent.

It is, as Bouchey says, “transformational” – but in my opinion – in a negative way.

Despite what its apologists say, most people who took the courses did not advance in wealth or success and have nothing tangible to show for the thousands of dollars they invested in Executive Success courses.

Sometimes I think the NXIVM apologists are trying to justify their investment of time and money or their recruitment role in the vicious cult – that leads them to say it was transformational – instead of admitting they were deceived and that their good intentions were misused by Raniere., who preyed on good intentions and good people – while having none of his own.


In his CBC story, Proctor also reveals some of what happened in the battle that loomed between the monster Clare Bronfman and Sarah Edmondson.

Files with the addresses, credit card details and private information of some 1200 people who took NXIVM classes in Vancouver are presently locked in a downtown Vancouver law office.

“Edmondson petitioned the B.C. Supreme Court last December to place the information out of NXIVM’s reach,” Proctor reveals. Bronfman made every effort to get it.

When Frank Report first revealed the branding practice of NXIVM [DOS], almost every member of Vancouver quit. It was a wholesale exodus. Only about five members – led by Concordia University Associate Professor Diana Lim and Apple computer home repairman, Lucas “Cuckie” Roberts remained in the cult in Vancouver.

With everyone quitting, and with NXIVM’s policy of automatically billing members monthly — Edmondson decided to move the files [including credit card info of members] out of NXIVM’s reach.

It prevented the rapacious company from automatically billing the now ex-members’ credit cards for various fees, without first contacting them to see if they wanted to keep on paying for such things as Ethos, Jness, the Society of Protectors and other programs – in light of the fact that the leader of the companies was branding his initials on women’s pubic regions – after getting blackmail-worthy material from them.

As reported first on Frank Report – angry about losing access to the credit card info, Clare Bronfman flew to Vancouver in July 2017, and filed a criminal complaint against Edmondson – seeking to have her arrested, handcuffed and imprisoned – and, in so doing, likely lying to police – claiming Sarah stole the files from NXIVM.

Frank Report detailed this dishonest criminal claim by Bronfman in a series of stories on Frank Report and Artvoice – alerting the Vancouver Police and the Royal Canadian Mounties – about the propensity for perjury that constantly emits from the mouth of the horrid and now indicted heiress.

Edmondson was never charged but there were harrowing and nervous days in the interim – as Vancouver Police sought to question her.

At the time – from June 2017  until the NY Times story came out with its blockbuster story in mid October 2017 – only the Frank Report was writing about NXIVM and its branding and blackmail practices.

It was understandable that Edmonsdon would be worried.  We all were worried, since Bronfman came from a famous Canadian family and with her wealth and influence, her ability to hire lawyers friendly to prosecutors and police chiefs  – she – we feared- might be able to influence, bribe and pressure Vancouver police into arresting Edmondson – which may have destroyed the whole resistance movement to the powerful and dangerous cult.


For his CBC story, Proctor interviewed me. We spent about an hour on the phone going over my recollection of what happened in Vancouver.

Proctor wrote, “Parlato was the first to break the news of DOS and the ritual branding…. He broke the story of Edmondson’s ordeal…  The news spread through the Vancouver NXIVM community like a virus. Parlato says a slew of defections cut the numbers for that year’s Vanguard week.”

V-week “was missing, in large part, the Vancouver contingent,” [Parlato] said. “When Vancouver bolted, the cult cratered.”

“Vancouver was the real breakaway that destroyed NXIVM,” I told him. “If Vancouver hadn’t acted so virulently [to the branding] the cult might not have cratered.”


Indeed it has cratered – and the germ of it began with the people of Vancouver – who could not quite stomach women getting branded – and blackmailed  – and who left in droves.

Keith Raniere, who had told them he was the world’s smartest, hadn’t figured on that.

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Frank Parlato


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    • How does the media do it all the time? Are you suggesting journalists CONFRONT Sarah in a public place? Stake out her home? Exactly what do you mean by CONFRONT?
      Since there are no charges against her, she could probably sue them for harassment, dumbass.
      Why does it concern you anyways, troll. Just mind your own business, and stop poking your fucking nose into other people’s lives.

        • And exactly what do you suggest the media write in order to call her out? Should the Vancouver Sun write an article about how she is involved in crime and quote their sources as the moronic trolls who post here?
          Responsible journalist dont write that kind of bullshit.

          • Who is this woman? Her name has cropped up a few times. What do you mean by “Defamation, Threats, Extortion.”?

  • Back in the Pierre Trudeau years Canada changed its media laws to promote movie and TV production in Canada.
    Canada established new Canadian content rules that mandated Canadian TV networks produce a certain percentage of their shows in Canada employing Canadian talent.
    In the process a whole new industry was created in Canada employing thousands of Canadians.
    Tax laws and lower labor costs prompted much of North American movie and TV production to move out of Hollywood North to Vancouver and Toronto.
    So much so that Canada became known as Hollywood North.
    And the creation of new TV networks through cable television created an insatiable demand for more product.
    And the Bronfman sisters, coming from a wealthy, politically influential Canadian family with heavy investments in the entertainment industry, understood that the young Canadian actors of Vancouver were ripe pickings for a group like NXIVM.
    Those young Canadian actors would seduce many young people to join the new cult.
    And they deliberately targeted such actors as the Canadians Kristen Kreuk, Sara Edmonson, Nicki Clyne, Grace Park and the expatriate American Allison Mack.
    Thus the birth of a bogus self-help group covering for a dangerous sex cult
    Although the cult was headquartered around Albany, Vancouver is where it first gained lots of supporters.

    As for what caused the FBI to intervene before it wanted to the Feds started to become concerned when it appeared that NXIVM members were setting up social media accounts in DOS members’ names.
    It appeared that NXIVM was ready to upload “collateral” or blackmail into these accounts to punish rebellious slaves.
    To prevent Raniere from punishing his slaves using information industriously collected by Allison Mack, the FBI stepped in very quickly and had Mexico arrest and deport Raniere.
    These new social media accounts as well as the possibility of Raniere fleeing Mexico prompted the FBI to act sooner rather than later.

  • What is the best e-mail address for getting information to you directly.
    Ms Gendarmes recollection of meeting KAR brought back an old memory of my brother, at the time he and his wife were a beautiful young couple, he was also a recovering alcoholic at the time. Am not sure how he was targeted by Amway but they went to an Amway event in a large city a few hrs from where he lived, and the leader at that time called him over. His reaction was “He wanted to talk to me, the crazy fervor in his eyes when he said this and he repeated it using his own name , none of us wanted to even get in a car with him, he had tapes he insisted those trapped in a vehicle with him had to listen to. Luckily I wasn’t one of them. I wish I could ask him more about that time but he is no longer married or in recovery and we haven’t spoken in a few years. As a family we saw what was happening but you can’t get through to certain people when I will use a Nxivm word , when they are being love bombed. I believe it was the money they spent that finally got through to him. There’s of course a lot more to this story now that I’m remembering it. But it’s a reminder to me that anyone can be caught in webs like this at certain times in their lives.

  • It is interesting to hear from the regular people who just wanted to better themselves and were manipulated and taken advantage of. Hopefully they can find someone to help them/deprogram them but they may be forever skeptical and be very untrusting because of this experience. I do feel sorry for those people. I hope those who recruited realise how many lives they have played with. It’s really disgusting they won’t see justice.

    • Natashka,
      Lots of people sold their souls to the devils of Raniere, Clare and Sara.
      And in turn some of these people ended up being devils themselves.
      It’s a story as old as the human race.
      How greed and lust for power cause people to lose sight of the difference between right and wrong.

    • “I hope those who recruited realise how many lives they have played with. It’s really disgusting they won’t see justice.”

      Agree. There are known recruiters still being silent cowards. Kristin Kreuk was a BIG recruiter. The coward has not even admitted to being a coach let alone the recruiter she was. She has shown zero remorse for the many many people she recruited under false pretences. No mention of Allison Mack who she recruited. Mark Hildreth has not said a single thing. His testicles are like acorns. Proof that those who virtue signal and pretend to care about “causes” are full of shit. When the time comes to step up and prove themselves, silence. Olivia Cheng was a big recruiter too. She fronted NXIVM shell company “One Asian”. Where is her accountability? When Frank broke the DOS story, he was calling out Kreuk/Crook to get her to draw attention to NXIVM and do the right thing, nothing. She even left Allison Mack to rot.

      • Oh look, you again. Nothing about Kreuk in the article, yet the obsessed one who mocks others for being obsessed keeps bringing her up.

        – Kristin Kreuk was a BIG recruiter.

        And yet you can’t name more than her friends that she recruited when called out for it. It is so YUUUUUGGEEE that such a list consists of less than five people.

        – The coward has not even admitted to being a coach let alone the recruiter she was.

        So what? You become a coach by taking a certain amount of courses and then you help out at intensives. Big fucking deal.

        – She has shown zero remorse for the many many people she recruited under false pretences.

        A claim of false pretenses presupposes that there were underhand motivations to her recruitment other than selling self-help courses or helping in NXIVM’s professed mission of creating a more ethical civilization. What are you suggesting are the real ones? That she was trying to bring women into Raniere’s bed? [rolleyes] Good luck in proving that one.

        If she wronged anyone she wouldn’t have to show remorse publicly anyway. She merely has to show it privately to those individuals who can show to her how she wronged them.

        – When Frank broke the DOS story, he was calling out Kreuk/Crook to get her to draw attention to NXIVM and do the right thing, nothing.

        She’s not remotely connected to DOS. She never even knew about it until someone like Sarah Edmondson likely revealed it to her. You know why? BECAUSE IT WAS A FUCKING SECRET. That didn’t prevent Frank from illegitimately tying her to DOS via her Smallville connection to Allison Mack in sensationalized internet media for hits. She did the right thing and responded to the malicious allegations and I for one am glad she did.

        But that wasn’t enough for certain people who have and ax to grind. [cough]

        – She even left Allison Mack to rot.

        Allison brought that rot upon herself by “cozying” up to the source of it by falling for a charlatan.

        • Stop coming to my defence you creepy stalker. I will never fuck you. You are worthless. You are old and beta. I wouldn’t bat an eye lid at you. Find a tall building and jump off. You make my vagina dry like a Rajasthan desert.

          • Translation:

            Please go away so I can vent my bullshit claims without providing any evidence in peace and repeat them over and over again in every article so people will think they’re true.

            Waah! Sniffle. Sniffle. Boohoo. Waah!

            Someone call the Waaaaambulance.

        • Damn Rasheed, how many jars of vasalene do you get through with all this spanking to Kristin Kook? I bet you’ve got it narrowed down to about 20 seconds before you shoot your low testosterone load on your computer screen.

          • Translation:

            Please go away so I can vent my bullshit claims without providing any evidence in peace and repeat them over and over again in every article so people will think they’re true.

            Waah! Sniffle. Sniffle. Boohoo. Waah!

            Someone call the Waaaaambulance.

          • What would SultanOfSpank’s Muslim name be in a universe where Kristin Kreuk would bend over for him?


        • SultanOfSpank, do you ever spank it over the quran or is it just over Kristin Kook? I bet your little dinky looks like a grape. You only need your thumb and forefinger to pinch grip your little brown sausage.

        • Kristin Crook may have recruited only a small handful of people, but then they each recruited a few, and each of them recruited a few, etc. Pretty soon, it gets to be a pretty large number. Plus, she was the “movie star” who could be used by her downline to recruit others.

          • That was an “admirable” explanation in your own words of some unsound logic based on wild speculation. Well done.

            You just effectively laid out the slippery slope fallacy in your own terms:

            From Logically Fallacious:

            “When a relatively insignificant first event is suggested to lead to a more significant event, which in turn leads to a more significant event, and so on, until some ultimate, significant event is reached, where the connection of each event is not only unwarranted but with each step it becomes more and more improbable. Many events are usually present in this fallacy, but only two are actually required — usually connected by “the next thing you know…”

            or from Wiki:

            “A slippery slope argument (SSA), in logic, critical thinking, political rhetoric, and caselaw, is a consequentialist logical device in which a party asserts that a relatively small first step leads to a chain of related events culminating in some significant (usually negative) effect.”

          • Well you really should learn the difference between world salad and the rules of logical reasoning because to conflate to two may cause you to fall for a scam such as Amway.

      • When KK left there was still no DOS and still no branding.
        At some point Mack made her peace with the evil of NXIVM and accepted the madness.
        Again Kristen Kreuk is no Profile in Courage.
        But at least she saved herself and avoided the Wrath of Clare.

  • Why, oh why, is the media not confronting the attention seeking, lying, manipulative Sarah Edmondson about her own willing criminal behaviour in NXIVM? Why are they not demanding she acknowledge she participated in tax evasion and money laundering crimes and profited from them? Sarah Edmondson held down women to be branded and even filmed it. Nobody forced her to do that. If she had no idea whose initials were scorched onto the flesh above her genetals, she would still be in NXIVM being a criminal. Why is she not being called out? NXIVM needs to be destroyed and ALL it’s criminals need to be held accountable. Instead, Edmondson is arrogantly appearing on television doing interviews pretending she has done nothing wrong.

    • It does seem that the victems were also perpetraters in different ways. I believe nxivm set it up this way bribing people to do wrong for financial benefit, they had many ways to trap people and use them. I think Sarah Edmonson had to know that she was taking a huge risk to herself and her Family ( which I imagine is permanently damaged by this) by coming forward. She was the catalyst that was needed at the right time to open an investigation. This case is far from over I think we will see a lot of ex-nxivms members who did wrong but compared to what was done to them have paid a much larger price than we can imagine. I was also surprised at Barbara Bouchey ‘s interview on Megan Kelly , I expected her to be more open and truthful about her participation and all the things that went on before and after she left the cult. Maybe as time goes on these people will be more open

      • NXIVM used to use the “trainings” to get information about the students. They wanted to find those who were likely to do bad things. Tax evasion and being encouraged to be money mules was common. No one was forced not to pay taxes or take cash across he Mexico-US/Canada-US borders. It was all a choice.

        Are you familiar with the College Project Kristin Kreuk and Allison Mack were promoting? It was a NXIVM market research survey that the two cultists deliberately pretended was an independent project for a teen website. The questions were designed to find college kids for Keith Raniere. They tricked college kids into taking part. Somebody said on twitter how they took part, not knowing it was for the cult. That was deliberate. NXIVM wanted to find out who would be game.

        I don’t feel sorry for Sarah Edmondson one bit. She is no victim. She chose to hand over collateral, to be branded, to pin down other women to be branded and to film it all. She was happy to stay in the cult after that for, was it two more months? Before that, she took part in the money laundering scheme as the Vancouver branch founder. A victim she is not.

        I don’t know anything about Barbara Bouchey but a lot of people on this site seem to really dislike her and see her in a bad light.

        • Psychics frequently use the trick of interviewing people mining them for information.
          Then it seems like magic when the Swami tells an audience member, “I see you have a sister named Debbie who lives in Cleveland.”
          No, the Swamis assistant mined the audience for informatyion beforehand.
          NXIVM and Scientology work the same way.
          And the cults use the info for more than parlor tricks.
          The cults use the info for blackmail.

    • I see its time to take your meds again. You have no fucking idea what Sarah Edmondson did or did not do or know about activities in Albany and spout off with a lot of self-righteous indignation. You have no proof, nor does anyone here that Sarah broke any CANADIAN laws or US laws, you are just assuming she did. You obviously haven’t cleaned out the wax in your ears and listened to the CBC podcasts because if you have you will understand how cults work on people and maybe learn to have a little empathy.

      If you have any evidence that any of the people that you bash in posts under different user names give it to the appropriate authorities and let them handle the information. Nobody appointed you judge or jury.

      And I can predict the four letter vulgarity will start in the next post as a reply to me. And no I am not Flowers or ShadowState.

        • All of those dozens of aliases that you don are increasing your paranoia. Better wear your extra thick tinfoil hat. You never know who may be “listening” in on your ISP before they start coming for you.

          Bad boys, bad boys, what you gonna do? What you gonna do when they come for you?
          Bad girls, bad girls, what you gonna do? What you gonna do when they come for you?

          • You know what I find humorous? The fact that you think you actually affect me with your third-rate sex jokes and the religious and cultural bigotry. They don’t affect me one bit. Not even in the slightest.

            What’s weird is that I’ve started to kind of enjoy the fact that you just keep on saying the same shit over and over again. So keep on doing it. Keep on digging your own graves. At the end, we all get what we earn.

          • You need to wear a thicker tin foil hat. Add an extra two inches of thickness then stick your head in an oven heated at 400 degrees fahrenheit for about ten minutes. I think they can still hear your thoughts.

      • Irrational Enquiry
        I’ve never bashed Sarah, ever. You won’t find a single post where I bashed her. I 100% guarantee that, and go ahead and search for one. You’ll not find it, as it doesn’t exist.

        The only NXIVM members I have said anything negative about are Keith, Clare, and the 2 doctors who were involved.

        Its funny how you criticize others for making up facts, when that’s exactly what YOU are doing to others, troll.

    • The media has no right to CONFRONT people, Anonymous. It’s not the media’s job to investigate people.
      If the police, who are conducting the investigation, find evidence of wrongdoing, then they will charge her.
      It’s best you just shut up now, anonymous, ….you only sound ignorant.

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.

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