Irish Woman who rescued daughter from NXIVM – talks about cults

By A Mother In Ireland

Catherine Oxenberg’s book Captive arrived a couple of days ago. I’m about halfway through.   Part of me can see how they got caught in this NXIVM deceit.

I was almost caught in a mess myself several times when I was in my 20s and 30s.  The first was a neighbour who tried to recruit my husband and I into Amway. They wined and dined us in 1981.

I smelt it at 50 yards and that was the end of the matter – but not for him and his wife. A few years later they were bankrupt, divorced and homeless. They gave up everything for Amway.

The next lot I had to tackle were professional opera singers. I had trained for 12 years when I was young and I was encouraged to attend this husband and wife team who had performed all over the world from Glyndebourne to La Scala.

I knew as soon as I met them there was something edgy. They had three children – ages 9, 11 and 13. They roped me into to minding their children for 17 days. It turned into something from a Stephen King horror movie. I found out they were involved in a rebirthing cult. I confronted them when they came home and I hoofed it.

Two years later, Paul, the husband turned up at our door full of remorse. He spilled out a horror story. They ended up divorced. She went to Australia. They lost their house, lost their kids and he was dead at age 59. Very sad.

The third was in 1988.  I was standing at the school gate waiting for our first daughter and was pregnant at the time. Several mothers became very friendly and invited me for coffee at one of the homes.
All was nice and innocent until the conversation turned to religion. They belonged to a cult/sect called the Community of the King and like the others before, they were incredibly keen to rope in my husband and I.
I played it cool went and did some research – which in those days was not the internet but more like gumshoe behaviour. In a week I had it well figured out. It was a hodgepodge of religious control freakery, money making, and multilevel marketing.
It was rather like a miniature version of ESP with a dollop of religion.   I politely declined to join. They did not give up easily Then I had to play hardball and off they went. Still, I had to meet these people for years at the school gate.
The head honcho of this lot was Philip Crossey, a well-known solicitor. It ended horrifically after about 20 years. Families were rent apart. Philip went on the run and lost his solicitor’s practice, changed his name, married a foreign national doctor, blew the money, ended up in prison, ignored his diabetes, had both feet amputated and died 18 months ago at age 60. He left his wife and four children almost destitute.
So, now you can see how I smelt toast burning coming out of NXIVM and the women who were so eager to “help” my daughter and so – with my own research and the help of the Frank Report to back me – I was able to rescue my daughter from the cult – in the nick of time.

I had several things going in my favour. The first was an inquiring mind. The second, a wonderful, honest, normal, well-rounded, intelligent, clued in, deeply loving parents who were in business. I did manage to listen to them and learn from them. Without a doubt, that helped saved our bacon many times.

The older I get, the more I appreciate my parents and I was not an easy child, but the advice must have penetrated eventually.
But it did not protect us from our own children getting hooked into things, including my youngest daughter coming – I don’t know how close – to being branded – but believe me they were well advised and warned.
I was in my 20s and 30s when these cults were trying to hook us in. Yes, I had the wisdom to resist but perhaps if I had the lifestyle of some of the people being targeted by the ESP bunch, perhaps I too could have fallen for it.  Who am I to judge? Their powers of persuasion can be mighty.
And, of course, I have a  “slice of Frank Report ” every day to keep me posted.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • It’s amazing how someone else’s story can bring up old memories. These cults must be operating in every small town in America. We know Amway is, after the memory came back about my brothers involvement, I recalled a woman I worked with also was all in with her husband and grown children. I simply wasn’t interested nor did I have money to waste as a young mother and a bad economy. But I did buy products from Amway through her. Also my eldest daughter who is the last person I could imagine falling for bullshit went into a new vegan restaurant even though she wasn’t vegan and they talked her into trying one of those Scientology meters right there. I had no idea we had Scientology where we live. A town of 16,000. She said they talked about a church. I told her what they were and she was stunned, she had no interest either way but who knows what can happen. That is why I was shocked to see NARCONON mentioned in Artvoice last week as the best option for opioid treatment. Teresa Reile wrote the article she even mentions a Dr Carberry who runs AMI , WISE is mentioned , these are active Scientology Programs. Dr Michael Carberry and his Wife run these programs and through 2011 they were mentioned as active Scientologist on the internet, even though I couldn’t find them after that they would have to be members to be running a treatment program that belongs to Scientology and was created by L.Ron.Hubbard. I got no response from Teresa Reile as I am sure Artvoice would never endorse Scientologist run programs. I’ve seen footage of some ex members and their horrific experience going through this program,
    What this tell us is we have to be vigilant to spot these posers, they are never going to tell you who and what they are and by the time your hooked it’s to late. How many desperate parents, family member or addicts might see that article and try Narconon not realizing they are a cult run treatment program.


    On July 23, 2017 Allison Mack posted to her social media a quote from Lewis Carroll’s “Alice In Wonderland.”

    allisonmack729…. and the trees grew from the sky…. “Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said. ‘One can’t believe impossible things.’ I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the Queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.” #lewiscarroll #nourishment #soulfood #imagination
    joshuamneff Any Lewis Carroll quote of great way to begin or and the day. Thanks, Alice! I mean, Allison! 😉

    Oddly enough Lewis Carroll and Allison Mack had the exact same hobby.
    Taking pictures of naked females.
    Lewis Carroll, born Charles Dundrige, took pictures of naked girls.
    And Allison Mack likes to take pictures of naked women to blackmail them.

  • You can’t compare NXIVM technology with Community if the King or Amway. That is BS. Our tech is transformative. Theirs was about insane religion and bullshit sales of crap. This should not have been published.

    • Pea:
      The most disturbing pictures I have seen of your brave and heroic friend Allison are the pictures of her going to the movies with her nephews.
      Allison looks like a loving Aunt.
      But I know the back story and the letter the FBI has where Allison confesses to molesting her nephew.
      Allison is no loving Aunt.
      Allison Mack is the evil Wicked Witch of the West.

      BTW Pea, Today is my birthday.
      Wish me a Happy Birthday and sing my praises for the next ten days like you did with Vanguard.

        • Allison Mack’s confession would be disturbing whether real or fake.
          If the confession were fake but still got in the hands of state child welfare officials a protocol would be set into motion.
          The child and its siblings would be removed to a foster home while an investigation was conducted.
          If the father of the child happens to be a school teacher,
          he would be suspended from that job during an investigation.
          Ms. Mack herself would be investigated.

          Lots of bad consequences because Allison Mack does not recognize the difference between reality and fantasy.

    • Your the one who shouldn’t be published, we all overlook you BS name which should be enough to show your a joke. But since you keep on writing ridiculous stuff why not make an effort to at least look at the other side. What if your the one who is wrong ? Imagine a life free from NXIVM. What would that life look like? Just a thought in case your a real person.

    • Pea, an organization can have transformative techniques and still be a dangerous cult. A person or a group can espouse advanced ideas or ideals without being spiritually advanced themselves.

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