This comment came in from one of our readers:
“Hi Frank. I watched the E True Story on NXIVM and noticed that not only did you not appear, but your name wasn’t even mentioned. Did they interview you or ask you to appear? I know you despise Hollywood and its virtual signalling liberal actors and actresses, so am wondering if you refused to participate in that production and that is why you were ignored. But Oxenberg praised the New York Times. Why no acknowledgement for you?
“Will you be in the HBO documentary series? Do you get paid when you appear on shows like that Lifetime interview? Do some of these shows not use you because you charge too much?”
These are reasonable questions and here are my answers to them:
I don’t despise Hollywood or virtue signalling liberal actors. “Despise” is not the right word.
I may not approve of some of it – but I believe in freedom of speech and expression.
As for the E True[?] Story about Nxivm, I was not asked to participate in it and I have not seen it.
I suspect it was not very good – since I have yet to hear a single person discuss it or ask me about it other than one reader.
It was met with a unique form of total silence – like most inferior productions.
It was likely a very amateurish, ill-informed production, which is why there was no buzz about it – before or after its airing.
I suspect it was produced by people who knew little to nothing about Nxivm or the real back story of how it imploded – and were just filling up air time. I also don’t think the E True[?] Story was very true – if no mention of my role in the takedown of Nxivm was made.
But it is not important to me one way or the other. I neither seek nor avoid appearances. If I am called – which I am often, I try to comply with interview requests. I do not, like some ex-Nxivm members, try to get into documentaries or media interviews.
I am busy enough as it is and there is no payment for appearances on documentaries. That’s the industry standard.
[Recently I was asked to appear in UK, Australian, French and German documentaries about Nxivm.]
So I don’t charge for interviews for documentaries. However, it is standard – if the producers want you to travel – to be paid for travel expenses.
As for Catherine not praising me on the E -True[?] Story about Nxivm – it is possible she did praise me during her interview – but that part was cut. All documentary producers film much more then they use.
I will not bother to ask her about it for it is not important and it is understood that the executive producers and the network control the final cut.
As for whether I will appear on the HBO upcoming series on Nxivm, I was filmed on numerous occasions, including an extended two-day shoot in Niagara Falls – with Catherine Oxenberg.
I also filmed for a couple of days at Catherine’s home in Malibu, and in and around Los Angeles, along with Mark Vicente and Bonnie Piesse.
I did not go to Los Angeles to shoot for HBO – I was there on investigative business and was happy to accommodate the request to be interviewed and spend some time with my friends, Catherine, Mark, and Bonnie.
I also was filmed on several days in New York and Brooklyn – when I came there to report on the Raniere trial – and twice with Catherine and her mother, Princess Elizabeth, who says she is an avid reader of the Frank Report.
I am told I will be appearing in the HBO series.
By the way, the reason Catherine came to Niagara Falls was not to film with me for the HBO series. We were doing the real work of taking down Raniere [and her rescuing her daughter]. I was putting together a complete dossier – about 40 pages – on the details and the evidence I had gathered of the crimes that Raniere had committed. I also detailed what the actual state and federal statutes were and how Raniere had violated them including the way the prosecution could meet all the elements of those crimes.
This was in November 2017, five months before Raniere was arrested.
Catherine left my home with my files and presented them to the NYS Attorney General and later they were presented to the FBI.
Many of the charges that I laid out, actually became part of the FBI investigation and I’d like to think that my work [I was aided immensely by Mark Vicente] helped a little to form the foundation of the case against Keith Raniere and his codefendants.
As for not praising me on E True[?] Story, I might point out that Catherine did praise me in the Lifetime documentary.
And the intelligent producers there saw fit to not only keep the footage in the documentary but to invite me to appear on camera.
Here is what Catherine told Gretchen Carlson about me on the excellent, true and factual Lifetime Documentary, Beyond the Headlines: Escaping NXIVM Cult with Gretchen Carlson, “Frank was fearless. And once I’d given him this information [about her daughter, India, being branded] he ran with it, and he didn’t stop.”
Here is a clip from the documentary where Catherine speaks about my role.
Here is the transcription of this clip from the documentary.
I’m in bed panic-stricken that I’ve lost my daughter forever to NXIVM because she went back on a plane to Albany. I literally called 50 people and Frank Parlato was one of those 50 cold calls.
At that point, Frank Parlato was running a website called the Frank Report, a site that had been actively investigating NXIVM for years. Frank knew Keith well because he ran public relations for NXIVM for 9 months in 2007. But when Frank discovered some suspicious financial activity, Keith fired him. Frank fought back and the Frank Report was born. Parlato consistently published interviews with defectors, insights into the cult-like ways of the organization, and anything that seemed slightly suspicious.
Members of NXIVM were forbidden from reading it, which didn’t stop some members from following Frank.
When Catherine called me that very first day, and she told me about the branding, my initial reaction was, if this is true, I’ve got him. I finally have this guy. I’ve written a lot of stories about him but nothing could really quite turn the tide. But if he’s actually branding women, he’s done.
He knew NXIVM from the inside?
He did because he worked for NXIVM in the mid-2000s as their PR person, and then he became enemy number 1 for a period of time.
And so he would write these blogs. Was the rest of the world paying attention to them at that point in time?
Well, the point for me of him writing the blogs is a way to get the information out at least into the NXIVM community.
I ran with the story. I wrote my first story about the branding on the Frank Report. Women who were actually in DOS quit because they read the story. Some women who didn’t know they were going to be branded thought they were going to be tattooed, were set to go under the branding table, read the stories, and they bolted.
Frank was fearless. And once I’d given him this information he ran with it, and he didn’t stop.
So he would put out these blogs?
Sometimes 3 blogs a day, with more and more information and people started calling him and giving him more information. So he was an unstoppable force.
And then we’d go farther. The NY Times picked up the story. And when they wrote it, it then became official. Now, this is true. They have the credibility of the New York Times behind it which inspired the Department of Justice, Eastern District of NY to begin its investigation.
Here are a few other clips from the excellent Lifetime documentary, Beyond the Headlines: Escaping NXIVM Cult with Gretchen Carlson,.
This is a clip describing Keith Raniere’s arrest and how he hid behind the women.
A clip discussing how India Oxenberg stayed on with Nxivm for a time after Allison Mack and Keith were arrested.
I take Gretchen Carlson to the neighborhood where Nicki Clyne and other DOS slaves presently live in Brooklyn.
I describe DOS slave Nicole’s sex trafficking by Raniere.
In conclusion, and to answer the original questions, I can’t say anything about how good, bad or inaccurate the E True[?] documentary was but I suspect it will be soon forgotten – lost amid much higher quality presentations – such as the upcoming HBO series and the recently completed and superb Lifetime documentary with Gretchen Carlson.
In fact, I am reminded of an old Aesop fable of how lower quality productions like E True [?] Story sometimes try to act as if they are equal to superior presentations such as HBO or Lifetime.
It is not one of Aesop’s better-known fables but it is a good one:
An apple orchard and cow pasture were side by side along a river. One day, the rains came and washed the apples and the turds alike into the river. As the turds and the apples were being carried downstream, the turds were heard to exclaim, “My, how we apples can swim!”