At Catherine Oxenberg’s Malibu fire-destroyed home – only statue of Ganesh – Hindu god of fortune and overcoming adversity – survives

Catherine Oxenberg has had a tough year-and-a-half. But it was crowned with some victories.

She found out about her daughter, India, being branded in the spring of 2017.  In late May 2017, she contacted me for the first time to tell me about the incredible fact that Keith Raniere and his ghouls had branded India and other women.

I published the first branding story on June 5, 2017 – and it rocked NXIVM causing an exodus of DOS slaves. But India remained.

In mid-October, with Catherine, Sara Edmondson, myself and others as sources, the NY Times came out with their shocking branding story which corroborated my stories.  The Times story got worldwide attention – and attracted the interest of the FBI in the Eastern District of NY.

What followed was Raniere’s arrest on March 26, 2018, followed by Allison Mack’s arrest, April 20. This was followed by a superseding indictment and the arrest of Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, and Kathy Russell on July 24.

Still, India remained in NXIVM.

Catherine was threatened with litigation and possible death threats by the Mexican contingent of NXIVM.  Her daughter was defiant and blamed her mother. Even her ex-husband fought her efforts to get her daughter out – chastising Catherine for exposing the fact that India was in a cult.

Catherine’s book, “Captive”, was published – and revealed what she knew about the cult and her daughter’s involvement in it.

Finally, the weight of common sense, Catherine’s efforts, and perhaps the fact that India found a non-cult boyfriend – something she would not have been permitted to do under the rule of the pig-like Raniere – led India to break from the filthy cult.

With mother and daughter reunited, Catherine purchased a new home in Malibu. It was a time to rest and heal. She moved in with India and her other daughters and, sadly, within four days, the Malibu fires consumed her home.

Fortunately, no one was injured, but they lost most of their possessions. Her cats were saved but, unfortunately, her pet chickens were lost in the blaze.

Catherine shared photos on her Instagram.

Remnants of Catherine Oxenberg’s new home.


The statue above was the only thing that survived the fire. It is the Hindu god Ganesh – the god of fortune and prosperity. He is the god to supplicate to overcome adversity.

Ganesha’s survival may indicate success will prevail for Catherine and her new fire-borne obstacles will be overcome – despite the apparent adversity.

Much like it happened with her rescue of her daughter – she went through many sorrowful days.  But she overcame adversity and India was led out of the vicious cult of that Satan-imitating Keith Raniere.

So, she will rebuild again and with her daughter free. It is not easy to face a fire and the loss of all material things. But it also was not easy to face a vicious cult funded by heiresses with a demon at its head either.

It is too trite to say that despite her loss, she gained something more precious – her daughter’s life.

It is not a quid pro quo. This was not a fire sacrifice. But I think it is striking that only Ganesh survived.

Overall, it was a tough – and, at the same time, a very good year-and-a-half – for Catherine Oxenberg.

Way to go Ganesh! And Catherine too.





About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Did her ex husband fight her efforts to get her away from the cult or did he disagree with the manner which she fought? Specifically that India was in fact branded?

    I guess it can be said he fought her efforts in that regard. I’m not sure it’s fair. It could be said writing about him in such a way is punishment for not cooperating with you and your writing. Something Keith did. I say that because like the comment section it is another area of animosity among people now that the only way to achieve something is my way or the highway. It’s no longer “agree to disagree” but with me or you’re against me.

    That might be harsh of me. And to be fair I have no idea what he did or didn’t do. Other than the one post here I haven’t heard how he handled it. I’m curious if he’s seen India and has been in her life now that she’s home. I thought I had read elsewhere that they remained close after the divorce? Was that not the case or is it another result of NXIVM?

    Also if I remember correctly there is a Dad and step Dad ? Did they have a close relationship with India or was that something she might have been searching for? Honestly I don’t expect answers. She deserves her privacy. I hope she recovers quickly from this and can move on as quickly and easily as possible.

    I have so much respect for Catherine and can not imagine what it was like. I would not want to get on her bad side. 😀

  • Sending all of the Oxenbergs lots of prayers in their rebuild. For India, it’s not just about rebuilding a home – sending all the best of wishes on their next steps!

  • My thoughts and prayers go out to Catherine and her family. It was been a rough time for them. One more thing such as this, it just seems too much to endure.
    Catherine, know many people have their hearts open for you during this time. Know we send you love and hope only the best from here on out.

    • Hi Susan. I/we are still waiting for your answer as to why you deliberately went to the press and lied about Kristin Kreuk leaving the NXIVM cult in 2009. Can you give a reason(s) regarding why you lied to protect her.

  • Catherine Oxenberg has proven herself to be a true mother above all else. I am so sorry for this loss, but I have a strong feeling you may have been protected from something much worse.
    I pray the rebuilding of a new home will bring your bond with your children even stronger.
    As a mother who has lost a child, you would give up anything to get them back, I tried bargaining with God to please take an arm, a leg, my life anything to get my daughter back.
    So I thank God on your behalf that you got your daughter back and that none of your children were harmed in this devastating fire.
    India has shown tremendous courage under adversity for a young woman who has been through what she has to leave this cult knowing what it would mean to those who stayed.
    Often great things come from tragedies, this is my sincere hope for you and your family.

    • I like the way you provide support to those in need on this site!!

      Also, very fitting the God of Overcoming Adversity survives. That’s what every human must do… survive adversity with our being and spirituality intact… and that takes courage

      • Double Anon! Hope you’re still processing things and coming to the root of the drive behind your Nex experiences. There is forgiveness and redemption and learning to be had here. But it only happens through sincerity.

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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