Branded Slaves and Master Raniere – the Series on a Blog That Took Down a Dangerous Sex Slaver Cult

Heat is used to apply the brand.

Frank Parlato wrote a series of stories that literally unhinged the Nxivm cult. He published them on a humble blog called Frank Report.  [Since then, Frank Report has grown into a major internet resource for cult activities, Nxivm, and other bizarre injustices – with a much as a million views per month and growing.]

Parlato was first contacted by Catherine Oxenberg in late May 2017 and wrote his first story about the branding of women on June 5, 2017 – after confirming what Oxenberg told him – that, as incredible as it sounds, Keith Raniere and Allison Mack were branding women on their pubic region – with their initials.

She also informed him her daughter India was among those branded.

Parlato, after confirming it was true, began writing a series of stories on it – one after the other. Hundreds of stories.

It led to the decimation of the cult and, ultimately, to Raniere’s and Mack’s arrest – along with four other leaders of the cult – Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, and Kathy Russell.

Many media sources credited Parlato and Frank Report for his expose on NXIVM. There are more than 400 citations not only in the USA but around the globe – UK, Canada, Mexico, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Israel, Switzerland, Italy, Venezuela, China and more.

Here are a few of them:

New York Times
Many of Mr. Raniere’s followers learned of the secret society from a website run by … Parlato Jr. Mr. Parlato had been locked in a long legal battle with two sisters, Sara and Clare Bronfman, who are members of Nxivm and the daughters of Edgar Bronfman, the deceased chairman of Seagram Company.

Inside Edition
Former NXIVM publicist Frank Parlato has worked for years to document the inner workings of the group, which purports to be a self-help organization.

Title: How Frank Parlato Helped Bring Down Keith Raniere And His Alleged Sex Cult NXIVM
Frank F. Parlato, Jr., a newspaperman and blogger in upstate New York, spent years fighting to
expose Keith Raniere, who is accused of branding and enslaving female followers of his organization,

Big League Politics

The Rainbow Cultural Garden’s human experiments on children in Albany came to light courtesy of
NXIVM whistleblower Frank Parlato

Fox News
As pressure on Raniere and NXIVM began to mount following the revelations of branding that were first exposed by Parlato and then in a lengthy piece in The New York Times last year, the alleged cult leader fled to a $10,000 a week villa inside a luxury gated community in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, sometime between late October and early November.

New York Daily News
Frank Parlato, an ex-NXIVM publicist turned whistleblower, was the first to write about the group on
his website … and he’s written extensively about it ever since…

New York Post
Parlato… first broke the story, in June, of women being forcibly branded as part of the ­NXIVM “sorority.”

The Sun
Parlato… was the first to lift the lid on the cult’s sordid activities on his website The Frank Report.

The Daily Mail
Frank Parlato… first exposed Allison Mack as a member of Nxivm, the actress was a
‘pimp’ for Keith Raniere and was responsible for bringing young women to his ‘secret sex lair’, a
two-floor house in Albany, New York with a huge bed and a hot tub.

Rolling Stone

Frank Parlato, a former NXIVM publicist turned whistleblower whose independent reporting is widely credited with helping to spur the FBI investigation into the group

Vice – The Man Who Blew the Whistle on Alleged Sex Cult Inside Nxivm [HBO]

Hollywood Life
Frank Parlato, the journalist who first published the horrors of NXIVM and used to work as the
group’s publicist… ”

Vice (Canada)
Former Nxivm publicist Frank Parlato was first to expose the alleged “sex cult” on his website before
the New York Times picked up on the story last year…

Page Six

Frank Parlato, who once did p.r. for Nxivm before he started a Web site to expose the cult…

Miami New Times
But Frank Parlato Jr… [is] credited with first raising concerns about NXIVM…

The Epoch Times
Frank Parlato,… first broke the story about the [DOS] society’s schemes.
The branding allegations published by the Times in November first appeared online in June when the anti-Raniere blog “The Frank Report” announced “Human branding part of Raniere-inspired women’s group,” a multi-part series it calls “the first story to appear on the blackmail and branding scheme known as DOS….”

Stern (Germany)
…. The private online report by Frank Parlato revealed the structures of the sex cult. The sect is said to have recruited its members through brainwashing and simple extortion. About 70 to 80 women are said to be trapped in him.

Cine Click (Brazil)
Frank Parlato… decided to reveal the secrets of the group.

Kien Thuc (Vietnam)
[J]ournalist Frank Parlato… first wrote about the shady activities of NXIVM sect in June 2017.

Dnevnik (Croatia)
The cult was revealed by … Frank Parlato, who had public relations at one time, launching a web site where he discovered all the dirty tricks that led the leader.

Tibet Sun (China)
Parlato… worked to expose the workings of the ‘cult’…

So what were the stories that unhinged the cult

There they are. If nothing else, it shows the power of words – it shows that one man with a modest blog – and no funding – could enter the world of the internet and ultimately take down a mammoth cult – funded with Bronfman millions and a ruthless leader who seemed to have control of law enforcement officials in his area and elsewhere.


Part 1: Branded Slaves and Master Raniere; Sources: Human branding part of Raniere-inspired women’s group

Originally published on June 5, 2017. This is the first story ever to appear on the blackmail and branding scheme known as DOS.

Allison Mack offers women an opportunity to receive the teachings of Keith Raniere.
Keith Raniere teaches women who vow to serve him.

[This report has been developed from information provided from sources. For their protection, they are unnamed. It is up to the reader to judge whether the information presented is factual or not.]

According to sources:

Former television actress Allison Mack is making her mark as the leader of a secret society of women who follow the teachings of Keith Raniere.

Entry into the group requires members to be branded with a hot iron on their pubic region with the initials of Mr. Raniere and Miss Mack.

Miss Mack offers membership to the select group which is referred to as DS [Dominus Servus (Latin for master-slave)]. The initiation ceremony is meant to afford an opportunity for the women to enjoy a more deeply personal access to Mr. Raniere and his advanced teachings.

In order to enter into this necessarily exclusive group, where Mr. Raniere is willing to impart both his hidden teachings and afford, in some instances, personal communion with the women, the branding ceremony is required.

In this ritualistic ceremony, which takes about three hours, the women make what is known as “The Vow” which includes a lifelong commitment to the service of Mr. Raniere and Miss Mack.

After a probationary period, women who are accepted by Miss Mack are invited to participate in the ceremony and the use of a cautery, made of metal, heated to a dull red glow, is applied to the cleanly shaven skin of the pubic area of the woman being initiated.

The hot iron cauterizes the pubic area leaving permanent tissue scarring that form the letters KR and AM [for Keith Raniere and Allison Mack.] The process is similar in effect to the branding of cattle. Dr. Danielle Roberts MD, a licensed physician, performs the branding to ensure the safety of the women.  Dr. Roberts is a student of Mr. Raniere and one his ardent followers.

The branding ceremony – the existence of which has never before been published – is held in strict secrecy and only performed on women who are invited and who agree to be branded.

By mutual consent, a woman, who has been trained in the preliminary teachings of Mr. Raniere, is met at a predesignated location by one or more women of DS where she is blindfolded and taken to the secret place where the ceremony is held.

There, she is placed in a ‘slave pen’ a room where one or more other female initiates are waiting for their initiation and she is undressed. At the appointed hour, the woman, naked and still blindfolded, is led to the branding table where one of the women read specific teachings of Mr. Raniere. Dr. Roberts performs the branding. Miss Mack as the slave master is in attendance. Because the cauterizing process, which takes about a half an hour, is painful, several of the other women of DOS hold the initiate down to prevent accident or injury.

Videos are taken of the naked woman and kept as a record of the initiation and are considered part of the collateral a woman pledges to Mr. Raniere.

Before a woman is accepted for initiation, a woman must first provide ‘collateral’ in the form of nude photographs, or audio and video records of admissions of activities which she would otherwise wish to remain secret. These records and photographs are held by Mr. Raniere or his agents as collateral.

After initiation, a member is required to make monthly offerings of additional collateral. This collateral is said to provide assurances to Mr. Raniere that those who have pledged their slavery to him and Miss Mack – and in return will receive more fulsome instructions from him – will be less likely to flee as others have done in the past.

In the past, the has referred to women who dedicate themselves to Mr. Raniere as “members of his harem. The term of art preferred by Mr. Raniere and Miss Mack is “slave.”

Several women close to Mr. Raniere have defected from his group revealing some of his hidden teachings and secrets of his personal life. This has caused egregious financial harm to Mr. Raniere, according to court documents filed in lawsuits Mr. Raniere has brought against former followers.

Mr. Raniere divides his time with his female followers and resides with Miss Mack in Half Moon, New York a suburb of Albany.



Part 2:Branded slaves and Master Raniere; More details of secretive master-slave ‘branding’ revealed 

Part 3: Branded Slaves and Master Raniere: Low Cal Diet Helps Slaves Receive Energy From Master Raniere 

Part 4 Branded Slaves and Master Raniere: Branding is slipped on like a noose and by surprise 

Part 6: Branded Slaves and Master Raniere: Allison Mack Left Acting to Brand Women 

Part 8: Branded Slaves and Master Raniere: Rules of the harem conform with DOS Rules of obedience

and hundreds more…

All told Parlato wrote some 3,000 stories on Keith Raniere.


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George Frobisher

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[…] Branded Slaves and Master Raniere – the Series on a Blog That Took Down a Dangerous Sex Slaver… […]

4 years ago

What an accomplishment while up against Clare’s wealth and vindictiveness and corrupt public officials. Bravo Frank!

Scott Johnson
4 years ago

As the NYT states, the first source cited above, Frank is still locked in a battle with NXIVM, except they turned the keys over to the NDNY division of the DOJ, with Frank’s trial currently scheduled to start in May 2020.

I haven’t counted, but I believe quite a few of those 3,000 stories were about people other than Raniere, even topics other than NXIVM, and written by people other than Frank, but all of them were published by Frank.

The half-hour of cauterizing without anesthesia is much more painful than a “quickie” cattle branding iron, which is why I prefer to not use the term “branding,” as this term does not capture the duration of the pain. By the way, they do make electric models, and I didn’t notice anyone who made a comment here by the name of Keith R.:|

4 years ago

Great Job, Frank!

And still the job remains of mopping up the NXIVM Rats who escaped the first round.
Namely the Bronfman Sisters who still have enough money to revive the gang and the Mexican elite with deep pockets and no scruples.
And members of NXIVM like the Salzman family who might try to revive the self-help scam.
And let’s not forget the corrupt local government officials and lawyers who enabled the gang.

After Nazi Germany was defeated in 1945 it still had to be denazified, a process that took years.

We are proud of you Frank !

Nice comments from journalists and news organizations.

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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