Chelsea Brown cancer operation successful; recently split NXIVM member likely saved by leaving cult

Much attention has been given on this blog to the mother of Keith Raniere’s youngest child, Mariana Fernandez, who birthed the dark one’s son in August 2017. The whole Fernandez family was involved in NIXVM for years – with three sisters, one brother, plus mom and dad, deeply involved.

The whole family [usually whole families don’t go in deep like this] saw Raniere as akin to the second coming.  One sister – the first to come in – and who brought in the others – became defiant and left. She was ostracized by the family, Then the mother, Adriana Aguilar, left the cult.

Mariana and sister Camila, both of whom were part of Raniere’s harem [they were literally sister-wives] remained. So did brother Adrian “Fluffy” Fernandez and their father, Hector. They believed their duty to Vanguard was far higher than to mother, sister or daughter – even if they had been foully abused by the creepishly horrid one.

Adrian ‘Fluffy’ Fernandez served under the Vanguard for years. Then his eyes were opened and he left the sinister one.

Finally, Adrian and his NXIVM girlfriend/wife, Chelsea Brown, also left Raniere – earlier this year. This left only dimwitted father, Hector, Mariana, with Raniere’s babe, and sister Camilia [who had been groomed for Raniere – when underage – by Karen ‘Pimp-those-little-girls’ Unterreiner] remaining in the cult that brands women, among the Fernandez clan.

It was a fortunate thing Raniere was arrested in March [and Adrian and Chelsea left the cult]. Otherwise, Raniere, like he did for other cancer victims, might have undertaken the treatment for Chelsea who, on October 12, 2018, was diagnosed with Iris Melanoma, cancer of the iris, an extremely rare condition.

Here’s how it happened: Chelsea went to an optician who noticed she had a spot on her left eye during an eye exam. Actually, Chelsea had this spot or freckle, also known as a nevus, in her left eye since she was a child. Sometimes, a nevus can become malignant and spread to other parts of the body if not treated in time.  Her optician recommended she see a specialist.

Without the world’s smartest man to guide them [since he was in jail], Adrian and Chelsea traveled to New York City to see an expert in the field. [Had they still been in NXIVM, they would have been required to admit that this expert doctor knew little compared to Raniere].

The doctor discovered the spot was malignant and recommended Chelsea undergo Plaque Brachytherapy within a month to treat the cancer and prevent it from spreading to other parts of her body.

The doctor explained that if treated in time, iris melanomas have the best prognosis, with mortality being 2%-3% in cases with metastasis.  Plaque brachytherapy is the most widely used treatment, delivering a highly concentrated radiation dose to the tumor (with relatively less radiation to surrounding healthy tissues). The radioactive plaque, called a ‘radiation implant’ or ‘radioactive source’, is placed, in the operating room. The specialist attaches the plaque to the wall of the eye, covering the base of the tumor.

The plaque stays on the eye for about a week and then is removed in a second surgery.

Obviously, the diagnosis took a toll emotionally, mentally and financially on the couple.  Because Chelsea had been an employee of NXIVM [the Knife Media], she had no health insurance that would cover the costs of this expensive surgery.

Adrian created a crowd funding page, writing “We are hoping and believing for a successful surgery, a speedy recovery, and complete restoration of her eye and life. We would really appreciate support from Friends and Family if you are able.  Please know that anything helps.”

In less than a month, they raised $31,233 of their $35,000 goal.  Some 148 people contributed to the Go Fund Me page. Chelsea was able to schedule the surgery. 

It was gratifying to see the names of both ex-NXIVM and current NXIVM members donate to the cause.

Still, I wonder, if current NXIVM members would have been permitted to help Chelsea if Raniere and Clare Bronfman were still at large. Raniere is in jail and Clare is subject to home arrest and prohibited from contacting NXIVM members outside the presence of her attorneys. She might have been able to stop these donations but for the court prohibition on her contacting members.

Neither Clare nor Sara Bronfman donated to help save the life of their young friend – who they knew and interacted with for years. Neither did the members of the Fernandez family – Mariana, Camilia or Hector – who are still in the thrall of the wicked one.

On October 31, Chelsea got the operation and we learn the good news from Adrian: 

“Friends and family, surgery was successful today! Chelsea has her radioactive plaque that she gets to keep for 7 days in order to kill the tumor, after that she will have a second surgery to remove the plaque. thank you friends for all your support.”

This sounds hopeful and may I just say, “Viva Executive Success” – with the understanding that success begins the minute you leave ESP.


About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Toodles, are you okay? Pour yourself some wine, or open a beer, and just chill. You sound as though you’re a bit tense.

  • Only Scott would find something sinister in this. He really has a remarkable desire to hurt others and insult them. And no I’m now an anonymous coward. You can easily find me. But a woman leaves Nxivm. She gets cancer and gets surgery which evidently is successful. It is a success story and people are trying to heal. The only person who has a discouraging word is Johnson. He dampens it with a message of looming prison while the young woman is healing. This woman was a low level player in nxivm. She worked at the knife media. She had been sold (much like Scott was sold on Amway ) she fell in love with Adrian and together they tried to build a life and they broke free from nxivm and overcame some obstacles. Only one person has a hateful comment. It says so much more about the pettiness of the man. And in this respect I am glad that Frank has not banned Scott. He is a teacher of human nature. Warped negative needy and I rather suspect a little cowardly.

    • Don’t worry. Flowers and the emoticon troll will be right behind him before you know it. Hard to tell which is the slimiest of the three.

      • Still writing under the cowardly anonymous name I see. Grow up already.

        For those interested in looking at the comments of people who commented back when Clare first tried to have Edmondson arrested, check out the Niagra Reporter article from August 17th, 2017.
        It’s interesting because all the comments about Edmondson at that time were so supportive and positive, and many ex members left comments. It was a very different atmosphere than this current comment section.

    • I agree William. Only one person and there’s always a snarky hateful comment, no matter what the topic. Hateful comment about recovering from cancer, really nice. Says a lot about the person.

      I recently lost someone close to me to cancer. First it was basal cell carcinoma in the eyelid and the surgeries for that were successful but by the end of the same year the doctors found bone cancer amongst other small tumors.

    • A “little” cowardly?

      Ever notice how Schlock disguises his name when he makes ludicrous attacks on big fish like AUSA Moira Penza, then tries to imply it wasn’t him when he falls flat?

      Yet “Scott Johnson” has no problem lashing out at anons — which is just DUMB as one of those Anons could be an even bigger fish than those he cowers from.

      Judging from what bad karma Schlock’s accrued on here alone, I can fully see why he’s so scared and cowardly he feels the constant need to attack those he perceives as defenseless. Shame.

      • Perhaps a need for attention? Scott’s comments are insulting and rude. People he used to get along with are now being insulted too.

      • Yet every time he challenges you to a real debate in person (via phone) —- he’s not the ‘coward’ who runs away making all kinds of phony excuses about why you can’t debate him. You are, Ms. Heidi. LOL.

        Look Ms. Heidi, it’s clear that you’re afraid to debate him. So I’m not sure it’s very LOGICAL to imply that he’s the coward.

        If somebody challenges you to a fight and you run away shaking, with your tail between your legs, guess who’s the COWARD? lol 🙂


        BTW, what ‘anon name’ (or anon post #) are you referring to when talking about the ‘attacks’ on Moira Penza?

        Scooter is located in Texas and I’m sure that his IP address reflects this fact when Frank views it.

        The other person attacking Penza probably has an IP address far away, such as in California (LOL), as Frank can verify.

        Therefore if you REALLY believed what you said, you’d ask your Uncle Frank to verify that Scooter is not the “anon” person attacking Penza — then you’d come back here and eat crow.

        But you’re too chicken to verify this stuff Ms. Heidi, since you don’t like being proven wrong and looking like a fool.

        But guess what? I just proved you wrong and showed you for the fool that you are, so there’s no need to bring Uncle Frank into it now. 🙂

        Oh, and Toodles. 🙂

        • More good points. I have no need to use a fake ID, because I’m not a coward like Heinous, aka Heidi. Although I did make a few “Anonymous” comments when Frank had one of his “I’ve got to get control of the comments section” episodes, just to prove how effective it is to allow people to post anonymously. He even posted one of my comments as its own thread.

      • I’ve noticed this too, Heidi. Your perceptions are correct. Despite the intent of this website / commentary, I think this website is imploding for the sake of click bait relevance. For what you have contributed, thank you!

      • Heinous, I don’t do that. But it’s logical you think I do, since you joke about your sister committing suicide that you didn’t help prevent, you couldn’t stay married, and have many nutty ideas. I’ve invited you and many others on my radio show, but all of you are cowards.

    • Let us all remember that bad sad day when Scott Johnson found the Frank Report when the comments went from helpful to foul and decent gentle people had to wince at his presence. it is true that Scott advances our understanding of human nature: That there are petty people who like to dispute and insult because it gives them pleasure. Scott is wonderfully unaware of others. He seems to have a need for attention and for hurting others feelings. But he does not see it as reckless or stupid for he is singularly unconcerned about others’ feelings. Even his crusade over Amway doesn’t seem to me to be about helping others avoid the pitfalls of it but rather to hurt Amway’s Feelings. As if they care. He’s quite a small being and is a lesson to us on pettiness and ill humor. Please welcome his comments and never take his comments personally since he doesn’t care nor is he even aware of you. It’s all about him. Pure small little guy. He has become part of the Vanguard story.

    • Sinister? LOL.

      Dude, Scooter made a quick ONE LINE post just mentioning that at least she’ll be around to serve her jail sentence, if she gets charged.

      It’s not that big of a deal.

      Sinister, you say? You really need to lighten up. You have thin skin, bruh.

      You’re clearly suffering from SDS (Scooter Derangement Syndrome) and making mountains out of molehills.

      Grow some thicker skin cuz you’re just too butthurt and thin skinned to be on a forum.

      It’s called free speech.

      I’m guessing you’re the first person to laugh at verbal attacks on Trump’s family and kids, and if Trump got physically harmed you’d probably be cheering along with Heidi and Flowers —- yet the 3 of you are the first people to cry “foul” when somebody insults a person that you actually like. It’s called hypocrisy. Pot meet kettle.

      You 3 clowns claim to be civilized but what you really mean is:

      “I can dish it out but I can’t take it, cuz I’m a wittle baby”

      BTW: Please spare me the “I love Trump” speech since I know you’re a lowly liberal hypocrite, no matter what you claim here.

      Oh, and toodles. 🙂

    • I forgot the Shadow Rule: Only Mack is evil. I said I was glad she overcame her cancer, what’s wrong with that? Do you not think she should get punished consistent with the crimes she committed? How do you know how low level Chelsea was? Frank reported she was in DOS, that’s pretty high level to me.

  • Just thinking that if Chelsea and Fluffy hadn’t left NXIVM she most likely wouldn’t have been “allowed” to have this life saving and successful surgery.

  • It’s amazing to hear ex and current members both donated. That says a lot about who these people are inside regardless if they see the dark side of Nxivm some did the right and moral thing

  • Heartening story. Hooray for Chelsea and Fluffy!

    Say what you will about the DOJ prosecution efforts or Frank, Joe, Toni, Catherine, Sarah, Mark & Bonnie, Susan & Kim, Omar or John — all the battle scarred Nx fighters — but these Nx demons are finally being stopped from claiming and maiming more lives and souls.


    Prayers for those still enslaved.

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


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