Partner of longtime Nxivm member describes despair of spouse caught in Nxivm web of deceit

Nancy Salzman teaching students in class.
By a Nxivm Spouse
My partner was in NXIVM for many years, thanks to a certain [redacted] enrolling her.
Basically, he wore her down.  I knew right from the start that this company was a money making pyramid-type scheme.  I also knew, due to my various qualifications and studies, that there was absolutely nothing new about the organization.
Everything has been taken from elsewhere, and I went to great pains to explain this to my partner.  She was love-bombed and felt it was the cure-all for every little insecurity and that it would enhance her earning abilities.
Also she very much liked the community and a lot of them were good people who were hoodwinked.
The cost of all the intensives is staggering and a huge amount of money went into her trying to get up the ‘Stripe Path’ in order to become a coach, proctor etc.
I truly believed it to be a total waste of money and a couple of books could have helped just as much, if not more so.
The whole affair almost ended our relationship and only my tenacity in trying to keep my relationship going stopped us from splitting up.  I was labelled a ‘suppressive’, of course.
I did a short intensive myself, as I was sick of my partner saying, “But you don’t know as you haven’t been”.
The intensive was total rubbish and although I came away feeling that it was a total waste of money, it didn’t stop my wife from continuing.
My wife turned into a different person, and not for the better.  She was so obviously being totally manipulated.  She spoke in a different language and questioned everything I said.  Gaslighting in the extreme, word salad etc. etc.
I am so very happy that eventually this ‘house of cards’ fell, and as far as I’m concerned Raniere can rot in hell for what he did to people.  I just wish it hadn’t taken so long and cost people so much money.  Perhaps there will be a civil suit so those who got so caught up can get some of their hard-earned money back.
[Editor’s note: There is a civil lawsuit ongoing for those who were cheated by misleading advertisements and false claims about Raniere. It is not too late to join in. The attorney handling the case is Omar Rosales, a former student of Nxivm. He also wrote the first book about Nxivm – “Nxivm, An American Cult”. Contact Rosales at:  
Omar W. Rosales
Attorney-at-Law, Certified Mediator
Texas Bar College 6-year Member
ABA Class Action & Derivative Suit Committee
Licensed in New York & Texas

11 Broadway, Suite 615
New York, NY 10004
(646) 405-6369 Tel
(646) 851-2271 Fax
Attorney Omar Rosales represents Nxivm students in a class action in New York State.

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Frank Parlato


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  • I found this on some blog or forum last year. Thought it was interesting and seemed to jive with what Catherine Oxenberg and some other ex-members said about the type of people who were most susceptible to being lured into this cult.

    “Well my girlfriend was in it, or had been, at least. She wanted to go back for more classes. I did a bunch of research, and frankly, I was creeped out by what I discovered. However I really cared for her and she wasn’t open to changing her mind, so I decided to take one of their cheap courses ($500 weekend intensive) to see what all the fuss was about.
    Honestly, I went into it extremely skeptical, but I loved the experience, and to be fair, I really credit a lot of who I am today (a person I really like) to growth experienced through their courses. So really it wasn’t all bad, but that’s why people do it in the first place. They get something they want, something they’ve been craving, genuine growth, and so they figure it must all be ok. That’s when the trouble starts though, because they start rationalizing everything said as being true, because everything else has proved to be true, why wouldn’t this too? And you start getting sucked down the rabbit hole of dependancy and honestly the actual abuse of power doesn’t start until you’ve been involved for quite some time. The pressure to spend more, to commit to more, to give up more, just to get another dose of their “drug”.
    Keith Rainere is a lot of things, but he is indeed a very smart man, and what’s he’s crafted is expertly designed to appeal to and suck in a certain kind of individual. The compassionate ones, the open minded, the creative, the determined. People willing to sacrifice just about anything to become more of what they really want to be.
    Its detestable and abusive and unethical and I’m glad the man is behind bars.”

    Also anyone have an example of the type of message someone would get from the cult when they left? I was listening to an interview with someone who had left the cult and they mentioned a threatening email they received from the guy in charge in BC. No name was given, but from the description made me wonder if the guy who sent the email was Vicente.

  • Nicki Clyne is Pea Onyu like I am secretly Steven Tyler.

    All you Hollywood drama queens need a reality check.

  • Thanks, Spouse. Must have been an insufferable existence. Happy you and your wife are still alive, together and NX-free.

      • No, Schlock, “he” (or she) never said he was a “he” but describes the partner as a “she” and as a “wife.” Observe this quote:

        “My wife turned into a different person, and not for the better.”

        “Wife” generally = spouse. The uncertainty you feel is introduced by the mixed use of the term “partner” with “spouse” and is reinforced by the undeclared gender identity of the author through lack of use of gender pronouns to describe himself or herself.

        You’ve misinterpreted that uncertainty as being in the status of the relationship and seized on it, as you always do, as an opportunity to humiliate someone else over your own self-despised “failings.”

        Please read for comprehension. Lol. Better yet, see a shrink as you are oft advised.

        IDK why FR’s returned to allowing you and your alias’ to act out, misinform, insult, annoy and quash others, especially when there’s plenty of entertainment on here otherwise.

        Don’t you even realize what a laughing stock you make of yourself, Scott Johnson? Or is that supposed to be part of your entertainment value?

        • I found it slightly amusing one after another we had used the word spouse. After all it’s in the frigging headline!

    • Thanks for writing, Spouse.
      I have a few questions for you….who labeled you as a suppressive person? How was your wife gaslighted, and by whom?

  • It’s very interesting hearing from a spouse of a member. Great you held on to your relationship and got through this. I have so many nosey questions but I won’t be intrusive and ask! I will just say I hope you are both happy and well!

  • “I was labelled a ‘suppressive”

    Nicki Clyne, writing as Pea Onyu, told me I had too many “disintegrations” to join NXIVM.
    Not that I wanted to.

    ” She was love-bombed ”

    The key part of the word Love-Bombed” is bombed.
    Recently, I had a conversation with an acquaintance who told me, “Shadow, you’re a genius! You must be a college professor.”
    Actually my father and late uncle were college professors.
    But my parents taught me to beware of people love bombing me
    Once I discovered the acquaintance’s angle, I kicked him to the curb.
    Basically he lost his money “investing” in a Nigerian money scam, his internet ‘girlfriend’ cleaned out his bank account and he needed money from me.

    More women at NXIVM should have kicked Keith, Clare, Nancy, Lauren and Allison to the curb.

  • Surely, there are individuals not entitled to getting money back. Kristin Kreuk and Mark Hildreth as an example. They both were named in a anti-NXIVM lawsuit all the way back in 2012 at the same time Kreuk was named as a member of NXIVM in the expose that revealed Keith Raniere was a pedophile.

    If you knew even a rumor but stayed on, that is your own fault.

    By all means, take all that money off NXIVM and it’s enablers and donate it to a good cause such as animal shelters, wounded veterans etc.

    Also, what about those who made huge amounts of money from NXIVM? Barbara Bouchey said Sarah Edmondson made $30,000 a month with this bullshit. That is a ton of money. She knew she was in a cult and she must of known something about financial crimes. She should hand all that money back. She chose to stay on for years through all the controversies. And now she gets to walk away with all that cash? How much money in total did she make from NXIVM? She should go get a real job and earn honest money, not money she cheated out of other stupid people. There are a ton of good causes for that money to be donated to.

    • Kristin Crook and Mark Hildreth probably made money, so there is nothing to give back to them. Perhaps they and others who were “net winners” should be disgorged, as is commonly done with MLM scams. Being named in a lawsuit is not proof of a crime, and there is no legal basis for proving someone was aware of a rumor. Why not give the money back to those who lost money?

    • But if it was a pyramid scam, then someone like Edmondson put a lot of that money, even most or all of it, back in.

      The interesting question, is how much she netted – perhaps a lot, but maybe not as much as you might think.

    • I’ll second that appreciation.

      Based on some personal experience, and a long time watching and studying these sorts of groups, this is a pretty insightful and sadly typical account of the dynamics at work. Though, actually it’s rare for a spouse to be manage to hang in for so long – I hope that his wife is really “out,” including recovering psychologically.

      There are good resources for ex members of such groups, including therapists with specialized experience who can do sessions online. I’d suggest starting with Steve Hassan’s books, and website.

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.

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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083