Ex-NXIVM Part 5 – My conclusion on my days in NXIVM

Keith Alan Raniere AKA The Vanguard.

By An Ex-NXIVM Member

Part 3 V-Week and the Remaining 11 Days of Level 1

Part 4 I took Level 2 in Albany


In the time after I quit ESP, I did much thinking about my experience, the people I met, what I had learned, the time and money I had spent, etc..

My overall assessment of NXIVM, ESP, Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman ranges from negative to very negative to horrendous.

I learned some things that were useful in my everyday life to this day.

Most of the people that I personally met who were heavily involved in NXIVM were always positive and seemed joyful and seem to care about the well being of others; however, I still have feelings of deception.

I will explain my assessment in the following points:

ESP is a Multi-Level Marketing Organization whose only focus is to recruit people to all NXIVM companies and to keep them enrolled for life taking the curriculum and activities that they design, at a very high economic cost.

All the content is designed exclusively by two individuals (Keith and Nancy) — in a regular company, there would be a design team or an R&D department.

If you want to grow within the organization, there is only one way: Recruit more people. The more people you recruit and maintain, the more you grow. Your other skills do not seem to matter.

People who are heavily involved in ESP rarely mingle with people outside of the organization (that is why they marry each other).

Keith is viewed as a mythical deity figure and people are not allowed to question him.

Influential and important people are generally treated differently and praised constantly.

There is an extreme emphasis on secrecy. About the curriculum, content, people, events, etc…

The organization is always defensive from the ‘outside world’.

ESP has taken many, many tools and material from other methodologies and claims to be proprietary. The resemblance with Scientology is scary.

Many core and fundamental ideas are taken from a 2nd (or 3rd) level fiction writer – Ayn Rand.

Moving through the rank system all the way up is impossible.

Criticism within and from outside the organization is always ignored. Keith is right. Always.

They use the legal system as a tool to intimidate people who would disclose anything about NXIVM.

Keith seems not to care about members. He never visited Mexico until he was escaping from the US Justice.

The curriculum is heavily overpriced.

They use plenty of lies about Keith to recruit people in a blatant way. Their main talking point when recruiting is that Keith is the smartest person in the world. And that he only sleeps 4 hours every 2 days.

They are willing to do whatever is needed to reach their recruitment goals, like love-bombing people, do EMs, scorn people, etc…

I know this is very subjective but I always thought of Nancy as an evil person. There is something about her that I cannot define, but she feels not trustworthy nor sincere.

During about 4 years I spent $20k – $25K in NXIVM (I know it is petty money compared to many other people)

I learned some things and it helped me in a few ways but I could have gotten the same help and learned much more for far less money.

My advice: If you are still in, get out ASAP and never look back. If you know someone you care about and you want to help them, try to give them the facts. They will be way better off outside ESP…

Thanks for reading.


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Frank Parlato


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  • Frank, your conclusive thoughts about what ESP is are extremely acurate and concise.
    I have said most of those things to people who ask my opinion on it. I was there in Albany and NY for about six months althow i always considered myself skeptikal . Nancy ( i couldnt agree with you more on the creepy non trust feeling) always said i was there chaperoning for my girlfriend, and she got that right imudt grant it to her.
    In six months the organization managed to infiltrate in my girlfriend’s entire family and caused huge damage that i’d rather not elaborate. Luckily i had a close friend at the time who grew up in scientology and left, he was instrumental in helping me help my girlfriend snap out just before she moved to Albany.
    Ugh!! Creepy feeling. This was a dozen years ago but I knew their crap would float and Keith and Nancy would face their demons.
    Glad you are doing what you’re doing.
    Keep up the good work
    And I personaly Thank you.
    J L

  • Thank you for sharing your personal story, if more folks would do the same it would show those of us who have made unnecessary judgement calls on ex-nxivms that not all were members of a cult. You may not be able to answer this but I’m curious if businesses ever hired ESP for group courses? I’ve been to 2 to 3 day seminars through work that remind me of ESP without the bowing and sashes of course or a creepy vanguard. At least not a visable one. Any credible program would go after companies.
    Those of us not familiar with Nxivm prior to the first arrest in Mexico were hit with a ton of bizarre info on the cult and certain members. As things are settling down and ex members are feeling safer telling their stories and our awareness that recruiters went after specific demographics it is easier to see how one gets in. Best wishes to you.

    • I know of at least 1 story in Mexico in which a company hired NXIVM, but not in they way you may be thinking.

      Since recruiting more people was a requisite to grow within their rank system, there were company owners who had taken the course and sent some of their staff to the intensives, so they could become coahces and/or proctors.

      There may have also been some company owners who hired NXIVM to provide the curriculum to their employees because they found it helpful, but it was too expensive of a course from my perspective…

  • — All the content is designed exclusively by two individuals (Keith and Nancy) — in a regular company, there would be a design team or an R&D department.

    Is that really true that Keith and Nancy designed all of the content because Frank said that he was asked to create and write a new module for them. I don’t know if Frank ever said which one it was. I think someone said it was the one for SOP

    • I would not know for SOP as i left NXIVM without knowledge of such group.
      The ones that i was aware were (to my understanding) only designed by Keith and Nancy.
      It would be interesting to know who else was desiging modules.

  • “I know this is very subjective but I always thought of Nancy as an evil person. There is something about her that I cannot define, but she feels not trustworthy nor sincere.”

    Once Nancy reaches a plea deal with the Feds, there’s no more room for deception.
    Nancy MUST tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.
    She can’t hold anything back.

    And the Feds will match what she says with the computer files.

    Nancy will no longer be dealing with dumb heiresses or dopey actresses.
    “Influential and important people are generally treated differently and praised constantly.”

    Lesson: Beware of butt kissers and brown-nosers.
    Especially if you are rich, influential or powerful.
    Many core and fundamental ideas are taken from a 2nd (or 3rd) level fiction writer – Ayn Rand.

    Ayn Rand’s prose is turgid and almost unreadable.
    Rand was an anti-Communist Russian born writer who came to America and became a movie script reader and a two bit philosopher.
    She was a bit of a nymphomaniac who would openly chase after married men.
    A heavy cigarette smoker Ayn Rand died of lun g cancer around 1982 or 1983.
    Her top disciple Alan Greenspan controlled the Federal Reserve Bank for about 20 years.

  • Great post, and appreciate you coming out and supporting that regular, sane people have gotten in and gotten out. It is a testament to your character to be able to look back on it, and see it for what it was. I maintain that people, even now, continuing to emphasis the good of intensives and such are either just attempting to rationalise it or still completely brainwashed.

    Shame on the trolls trying to say only nutjobs and such would ever get involved in NXIVM. Aside from just being ignorant, it keeps other people who have suffered because of their involvement from coming forward.

    • Firstly, you’re the one who came forward to announce — several different times — that you were on the pretty girl scholarship. You did this on several occasions, not just one time.

      I have no doubt that you’re very attractive when not pregnant, as are 35% of all women — but it’s been my experience that women who feel a psychological need to tell others how pretty they are (on message boards) are usually trying to fill a void of self doubt, and are usually not quite as pretty as they think they are.

      If you need strangers to validate your self worth by telling them how pretty you are, that’s an indication that you have psychological issues and lots of self doubt (you’re a semi nut job).

      BTW — If you were truly a Playboy Bunny level model, you probably wouldn’t feel the need to tell strangers how pretty you are and seek their validation (just basic psychology 101).

      So yeah, I’d say the REAL reason you went to a NXIVM intensive is because you suffer from massive self doubt and are looking to fill some type of mental void.

      You’re not a total nut job by any means and you seem fairly intelligent and normal, but you’re probably a partial nut job who suffers from lots of self doubt and a lack of self worth.

      I wouldn’t let Keith and other NXIVM men gaze at me for a free scholarship. That’s just twilight zone type stuff. That’s what a mentally weak and pathetic woman does.

      You didn’t attend that intensive for your “friend” (as you claimed) — that’s just an excuse that you tell yourself to avoid having to face the REAL reason you attended.

      *As dumb and narcissistic as Flowers is, she wouldn’t let Keith (or other NXIVM men) stare at her for a free scholarship. At least she has some standards. LOL. You really should look into the mirror and be honest about why you went to a NXIVM intensive.

      • I’m not sure why you keep posting….I’m sure you must have some personal reasons not clear to anyone else, or serious mental health issues. Whatever.

        I have to wonder why you continue to believe that pretty girl is telling a true story. I’m sure you know she really isn’t (as you’re probably pretty girl yourself) so what’s your game here? It’s a weird way to troll…to make up a story and then write posts to argue with yourself.

        • You sure have some bee in your bonnet ’bout ‘pretty girls’ – relax! you were probably a pretty girl yourself once, let whosoever shine as they do, the moment is brief, try to be happy about it!

      • I hope you find more happiness in your life, so you have less of a need to attack strangers on the internet with baseless accusations. Get well.

        • Congrats on your kind response to a couple of the dumbest comments here.
          You can’t argue with madness.

        • And I hope your fake twins fall out of your fake twat, nutcase .
          I know you’re a a liar who fabricated your story, probably fabricated several fake stories .
          You have no reason to keep posting your dimwitted comments here ..so why do you? No one cares about story or even believes that its real. Plus you’re a snotty little bitch who is too stupid to even be a convincing liar .

          • Flowers, I really do hope you find happiness in your life. It must be really difficult to be so unhappy. The world is a beautiful place ! Enjoy it !

        • Pretty dumb girl
          I dont attack strangers on the internet, but I do attack the trolls here, trolls who sound exactly like criminals who have harassed me for a few years. You, with your fake story and your snotty attitude, are surely one of them.
          You know what would make my life better, little miss snotty? If I didn’t have criminals harassing me and my family and vandalizing our property. Sound like a reasonable request to you?

          • Well, if you talked to them like you talked to people here, did you ever consider you may be the direct cause of the person problems in your life ?
            Perhaps if you chose to be kinder to others, you might receive some kindness in your life.
            Give it a try.

          • Snotty twat girl
            You make a lot of baseless assumptions about someone you dont know. And in case you don’t understand the law, let me explain…criminally harassment is illegal. It would not matter if I was a bitch, these criminals would still not be entitled to steal my property , vandalize my property, harass my family or trespass onto my property to spy in my windows . Understand? And that’s only a small part of what they have done .
            If you actually think it’s legal to harass people you dont agree with, then you have more than a few loose screws.

          • She’s just awful, Just Saying’, I think you’re right about Flowers needing some happiness in life, but until and if ever, don’t engage with her, just speak your things which are always interesting, and the reason people come here to read. Flowers is just a basic nuisance, possibly in great pain?

          • So anonymous, you re saying you think its legal to harass and vandalize people if you dont like them? Do you think the police would agree?

  • The fact that members have to pay tribute to KR and Nancy, from day one, is the very first red flag that should make them open their eyes and get away.

      • I attended an 16 day intensive in 2001 when they made their only trip to Michigan. Tribute to Hitler and the statuary rapist is heavily emphasized from the first day. If I remember correctly it is the first thing they teach.

        • Tribute to Hitler and the statuary rapist is heavily emphasized from the first day.

          Tribute to Hitler?
          Statuary Rapist?

          Those ought to be big red flags to anyone attending.

          • “coming from a Chicagoan, it looks like we’re making real progress on the pro-Hitler front.”

            Let’s set the record straight on how Chicago treats Nazis who violate the law.

            One of the Chicagoans who was a neo-Nazi was a guy named Frank Collin.
            Collin led a neo-Nazi parade through the Jewish suburb of Skokie Illinois.
            Mr. Collin was the son of a Jewish man whose parents died in the Holocaust.
            In other words Frank Collin’s paternal grandparents were both Jewish victims of the Nazis.
            “Collin’s father, Max Frank Collin, born Max Simon Cohn in Munich on August 23, 1913,[4] the son of Jewish parents who later perished in the Shoah (Holocaust), was a survivor of Dachau.[5]

            The US Supreme Court ruled that Collin had a Constitutional Right to march through the predominantly Jewish suburb of Skokie.

            Also in 1977, Koehl’s NSWPP began a campaign in their paper White Power about Collin’s father being Jewish,[2] including publications of what they stated were Max Simon Cohn’s naturalization papers.[2] Collin and the NSPA leadership continued to deny the claim and said the images were fakes.[2]

            During this time, according to Jeffrey Kaplan, Covington found pictures in Frank Collin’s desk that linked Collin to the sexual abuse of young boys.[14] In what Kaplan describes as a play for power in the organization, Covington and the other NSPA members turned the evidence on Collin over to the police.[14] After Collin was arrested, Covington took over leadership of the NSPA and moved the headquarters from Chicago to North Carolina.[2] A 1980 article in The New York Times reported that “Frank Collin was expelled from the American Nazi Party for illicit intercourse with minors and the use of Nazi headquarters in Chicago for purposes of sodomy with children. The report indicates that the Nazis “tipped” the police who arrested Collin.[15] Collin was convicted of child molestation[14][16] and sentenced in 1979 to seven years in prison at the Pontiac Correctional Center. He served three years.[14]

            In 1979 the Jewish Nazi Frank Collin was convicted of child molestation and lost his position in the Nazi Party.
            “After Collin was convicted and sentenced in 1979 for child molestation, he lost his position in the Nazi party.[2][3]”

            Unlike New York State the State of Illinois actually punishes and imprisons child molesters.
            Exactly when did Saratoga or Albany counties convict Keith Raniere for molesting young girls?

        • Walt, you just refuted the entire 5-part series by Ex-NXIVM and every single other person on this website who claims to have been exposed to NXIVM. Perhaps they tried this approach in the early days and it didn’t work. I’m assuming you never got your NXIVM sash, did you?

      • Your usual ignorance about NXIVM shows. It starts day one right after you sign your non-disclosure agreement when you have to bow to come and go from the room, and start your day with the list of affirmations that include it.

          • I think WJNIII is referring to Nancy (whom Keith taught was reincarnated from AH) and Keith (who is among other things, a statutory rapist)

          • Scott, are you really just realizing that most of those commeting are lying about ever attending a NXIVM course? The real members are not going to comment here. Get real. And it’s obvious that “Just being stupid ” invented her entire experience …her story made no sense and her experiences were not corraborated by other people’s accounts. These people have read about NXIVM and then written fake stories using that information .
            So why bother to question them? They won’t answer or go on your program, as it will expose the fact that they’re lying.

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