Kiss of Death – Some Answers on the Final Days of Barbara Jeske

Keith Raniere gives a loving hug to his aging inner circle member Barbara Jeske.

Ed. Note: The Lost Women of Nxivm may still be viewed for free at

Shivani wrote a comment that asks a meaningful question about how Barbara Jeske was allowed to die the way she did and after her death – the insane notion that Keith wanted her decapitated and him given the head to freeze.

First let us read Shivani’s  very colorful and disturbing comments. Then I will reply.

By Shivani

Group insanity is the prevalent note here.

Can even one person reading Sister Calls for Inquiry Into Barbara Jeske’s Death begin to imagine these ghouls asking for the HEAD of their dead, adult 65 pound family member? Jesus Christ!

Excuse the fuck out of me and the Irish temper.

That body weight alone is a horrible indication, [Jeske weighed 65 pounds when she died. She was 5’4″] never mind the fact that Barbara Jeske spent years of her life, right up until she died, immersed in this utter madness, this deathly self-imprisoned lifestyle of absolute and utter SHIT.

This is how Barbara Jeske lived, and it is how she died.

Inner circle women Barbara Jeske and Pam Cafritz, both died of cancer after living with Keith Raniere for years.

Can you in any way comprehend tolerating your family member or loved one taking unknown concoctions and/or pills that smelled like fecal matter, from a manwhore pretending to be a mastermind? A predator surrounded by idiotic fanatics who was self-authorized to govern medical treatments and adamantly supported by his slave hags?

Along with his complete asshole of a fake, Raniere-possessed Doctor Death? That’s right, Brandon Porter, a willing minion head, a mini- Mengele.

How does one even begin to accept any of this, at all? These inner circle members suspended all ability to think rationally and gave their individuality away to Raniere, to maintain their pathetic atmosphere of peer pressure, abuse, jealousy, misery and base criminality.

Total interdependency on WHAT?

Some vague and chaotic unutterable inhumanity, in the name of some pathetic level of psychotic “enlightenment” or “advancement” is about all that one can see. The land of the surrendered lost, all of whom conspired to keep this madness going.

Well, it is too late to see it then, to be able to do anything about what was happening. But come hell or high water, see it now.

Can anyone begin to imagine tolerating a party to celebrate a dying woman handing over her remaining assets to these grotesque freaks? Would you let this happen to your sister, your brother, your son or daughter, parent or friend?

I know how hard it is to even try to get help for someone who has lost the ability to reason or to be the least bit self-protective anymore, via Alzheimers or even due to severe brain injury. This understanding has come from personal experience. However, what could Barbara Jeske’s sister do, being forced to contend with Raniere’s asylum?

How did she bear these circumstances? Is she now haunted, for the rest of her life by what happened to her sister?

Oh my God, I am heartily sorry…. But what good is this sorrow now?

Usually people say “live and learn,” but not around monsters, I guess. This is don’t learn a damn thing. Just drop dead, as arranged by Raniere and cohorts.

Barbara Jeske


Towards the end: Sarah Edmondson with Barbare Jeske.


By Frank Parlato

To try to answer your question, Shivani, I interviewed Barbara’s sister, Cynthia, her brother-in-law, Mark Liberatore, and her brother, Brad. I went to Cynthia’s home in Stuart, Florida. And I interviewed brother Brad on the phone.

From what I could gather, Barbara had always been an independent person, a free spirit. No one in the family had any control over her. Unlike many others of the Nxivm inner circle, she did not entirely break free from her family. She would visit them often and had a loving relationship with them.

Barbara always seemed to be in good health, was athletic, although quite slender – she was usually around 100 pounds.

She had her same sense of humor and apparently was making good money. Barbara was also good, like the others in Nxivm, at keeping secrets from her family.

It was not until her last visit home, when she was looking seriously ill, that Cynthia, who is trained as a nurse, advised her to seek medical attention [other than Keith]. She did and found she had a brain tumor.

Barbara Jeske

Reportedly, Keith advised her not to get medical attention and that all that was wrong with her was carpel tunnel syndrome.

Once she was diagnosed with cancer, it was a battle with Raniere and the family. Barb had the final decision at least while she was still coherent.

Cynthia flew up to Albany from Florida to help care for her. She was outnumbered, 100 Nxians to one. Still, she stood her ground and stayed with Barbara until she died – six weeks later.

At that point, there was no curing Barbara. But Cynthia stood up to Keith, Nancy Salzman, and Dr. Brandon Porter, who was ostensibly in charge of Barbara’s medical care.

Dr. Brandon Porter was in charge of the patient Barbara Jeske.

But the battle was already lost. Barbara was dying. It was all Cynthia could do to give her morphine and demand hospice care.

Porter, following Raniere’s instructions, wanted her off all pain medication.

Raniere wanted her – just days before she died – to go to Vanguard Week – in a rented trailer. Cynthia stood up to them and said, “No way are you taking her there without me. I am caring for her.”

Nancy Salzman said, “You can come, but you have to pay $3,000 for Vanguard Week.”

Cynthia refused to pay but said they could not take Barb without her. A showdown was avoided because Barbara went into a coma.

As for the will party, it was the occasion when Barbara signed a new will, from her sickbed, a will crafted by Keith, in front of dozens of Nxivm members as witnesses.

Barbara had a lot of residual income due to her from Nxivm. It amounted to millions. She was at the top of the pyramid line for all the Mexicans in Nxivm. Cynthia did not know this. Barbara did not tell any of the family, other than she had a lot of money coming from the company.

Keith wanted to ensure the family, after Barbara’s death, would not come after her residual income. Barbara had always left the money with the company, only drawing what she needed. She had, I estimate, more than $3 million due to her.

Not that she was ever going to be paid.

When she got sick, Keith cut off her money, only allowing her to take what he wanted her to have. Toward the end, he would not let her have money for prescriptions that he did not approve. Cynthia had to buy them.

Barbara Jeske had been with Keith prior to Nxivm. Here she is in one of the earliest Executive Success classes in 1999. She soon became the company’s top recruiter.

Most importantly, Keith did not want a lawsuit from her estate. Cynthia’s husband is a very successful businessman who could well afford to take on Raniere and his Bronfman litigation machine – dollar for dollar.

But I don’t think they knew Barbara had a likely estate in the millions. Barbara lived in a modest home, after years of living with Pam Cafritz [cancer], Karen Unterreiner, [cancer] Kristin Keeffe [cancer], four cats [cancer] and Raniere [cancer-free].

Keith Raniere with three of his inner circle: Karen Unterreiner, Pam Cafritz and Barbara Jeske. [Cafritz and Jeske died of cancer. Karen survived cancer.]
So Keith arranged a “will party,” telling Barb that by signing a will, leaving everything to him, she was helping out so many struggling, future Nxivm students who would get scholarships in her name for Nxivm classes.

The Nxivm cast – from Esther Chiappone Carlson to Clare Bronfman attended.

There was nothing Cynthia could do. Barbara agreed to it.

So Raniere, who had for years handled her diet and her exercise and any medication or supplements she took – prescribed and provided to her by him – got her entire estate and avoided litigation from her family.

Did he poison her?

It seems possible, based on the evidence we have.

Fortunately, Cynthia did not provide Raniere with the head of Barbara Jeske. She was buried in Stuart, Florida.

Law enforcement may one day exhume her body and find out what was in her system when she died. Her hair may provide the answer.

While I was making the documentary film, “The Lost Women of Nxivm”, I spoke with a former Nxivm member. He was very frightened. He was there when Barb was ill and worked with some of her Nxivm caretakers.

He told me that one caretaker fled from the house because he was convinced Raniere/Dr. Porter/ Salzman/Clare Bronfman were engaged in poisoning Barbara Jeske.

He fled because he was literally afraid he might be poisoned too.

He refused to go on air with Investigation Discovery.

I plan to do a follow up on this, or perhaps, if it advances quickly enough, the actual follow up will come with the homicide division of the New York State Police or the FBI.

Stay tuned…


Keith Raniere makes a visit to Barbara Jeske just weeks prior to her death.


Kiss of death. Keith Raniere bends over to kiss the woman he ruled for years – and who he may have poisoned.







About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • What is it about American people which, makes them so susceptible to these type of cults? It repeats and repeats from decade to decade with a different mask on: e.g., scientology, WACO, children of God, doomsday cult, the list goes on. Maybe US society needs to live in the real world a bit more instead of the unreal fantasy perpetrated which seems more prevalent in America than any other developed nation.

    • Ho No Hana Sanpogyo, Freedomites, John Frum, Rajneeshpuram (its origins), etc. Those are just to name a few of the non-American cults. Cults are a human issue, not at all specific to one country. The issue with them is always the leader. That’s where the focus should be. Keith is the problem here. Not American. Not anything else.

  • How could Barbara Jeske be of sound mind to sign any Will that close to her death?

    Dear Dr. Porter practicing malpractice once again. How could a patient with advanced brain cancer make such a decision?

    Dawn Morrison, NXIVM’S local on-call Notary, make it all legal when any illegitimate notary wouldn’t have signed knowing a person in Barbara Jeske’s situation was not of sound mind.

    Raniere had everything he needed to fleece Barbara Jeske out of every last penny upon her death.

    However, when other Field Trainers left and requested their residual income, Raniere called it extortion and sued them. Hum…..

    • And Nancy Salzman wants to reintegrate into the community.
      The judge took pity on Lauren Salzman who took no pity on Dani whom her, her mom and Keith locked up for almost 2 years and Lauren refused to give Dani her ID.
      To top it off Barb Bouchey still wants to br8ng us the BEST of NXIVM.
      That’s like saying let’s bring the best of Nazixm and the concentration camps where 11 million perished.

      I strongly urge Barb to live a private life and stop going to CrimeCon and give up any idea of a future NXIVM.

      Nancy, and her daughters she pimped out, need to be house bound, away from us.

      Frankly the entire lot are disgusting.

    • “How could Barbara Jeske be of sound mind to sign any Will that close to her death?”

      Actually the phrase “of sound mind and body” in writing a will is just a formality.
      So long as the decedent knows who his next of kin are and what he owns the court will assume the decedent is “of sound mind and body.”
      That is true even if the decedent is holding daily conversations with Napoleon and Teddy Roosevelt.

  • Frank, do you or Joe know if Raniere claimed this money to the DOJ?

    As we all know he said he was broke when he was first arraigned?

  • Oh, how precious this is. There’re the heartwarming pictures of little Keith in his black Nike jogger outfit, cooing and snuggling up to Barbara Jeske in her last days. I bet she asked little Keith to do a few judo moves, kicks and grunts, just for old times sake. Sniffle, sniffle.

    Btw. I’m sure Nike was extremely happy that the televised investigation blurred their logo on Keith’s little black outfit. Whew! Goes to show you, just be extra careful as to what kind of designer clothes appear out of nowhere for you to wear. Be alert 🙂

    Still, I’m curious as to who shared in the task of shopping for Keith’s clothes. Did they frequent the fancy bargain bin scores at Kmart or Walmart? Maybe? Well, all in all, and truth be told, Keith’s clothes still just appear out of nowhere for him to wear. At least we now know who is paying for them.

    • I’ve worked as a background actor on TV and movie sets, and the rule is to wear no logos. If production sees a logo on your apparel, they will cover it with black tape. The reason for this is that the clothing or shoe company might sue the movie production.

      Sometimes you will see a branded product in a movie. That’s called product placement, and it’s a whole other matter.

      • About product placement in movies I remember many years ago when reviewers Gene Siskel and Roger Ebert complained about a James Bond movie where the product placement was very blatant.
        Companies pay big bucks for product placement in the movies and TV shows but I doubt if any company wants product placement in a movie or TV show about NXIVM.

    • Nike is now extremely unhappy that you are revealing its brand name here on the blog. Now everyone knows it’s Nike apparel that Raniere was wearing. Isn’t that reputation-damaging for Nike? Or a new trend that the brand can take advantage of. Dress like a criminal sociopath.

      • Hopefully some of Keith cellmates will get creative and brand a Nike swoosh on Keith’s hairy ass. Most likely have to shave it first. Can’t start a fire. You know what Smokey the Bear says.

  • This is incredible. The family wants to be careful that the Nxivm scum doesn’t dig up and snatch her body unless they already have. They are all sick and twisted

  • I watched a special several years ago where researchers scientifically analysed samples of Napoleons hair that had been given to family members and museums after his death to determine if in fact he had been poisoned.

    It was shown conclusively that not only had he been poisoned, but the placement of the poison residue in the hair demonstrated a timeline where two or three attempts to poison him had been made before the third attempt was successful.

    The producers even speculated on who might have poisoned Napoleon based on diaries of his retinue that described who visited the Island and had access to food preparation.

    If they could do it with Napoleon’s hair, I’m sure it’s absolutely possible to learn if those in Mr. Raniere’s inner circle were likewise poisoned.

    • I was kind of curious about that, so I fact-checked – and it doesn’t appear to hold up (see below).

      Perhaps you watched a TV special that was trying to read more into something than was really there, in order to make a good story and garner ratings.

      “Arsenic poisoning did not kill Napoleon, a new analysis suggests, contrary to claims made in recent years. The results of the study show high levels of arsenic in Napoleon Bonaparte’s hair throughout his life, suggesting he was not poisoned at the end of his life while in exile on the island of Saint Helena. Rather he probably absorbed arsenic constantly throughout his life, the researchers say. The cause of Napoleon’s death has been in dispute for a long time, with some saying he died of stomach cancer and others suggesting arsenic poisoning during the Emperor’s final years on Saint Helena, off Africa in the South Atlantic Ocean. Hair samples For the new study, physicists at the University of Milano-Bicocca and the University of Pavia compared the arsenic levels in hair samples taken from Napoleon Bonaparte at various stages in his life with levels in hairs from Napoleon’s son (the King of Rome), Empress Josephine and 10 living persons. ”

  • Mr. Frank, keep up the good work.

    Sadly, I think once Raniere’s appeals are exhausted, and he realizes he will spend the rest of his life as a fucktoy for the Aryan Brotherhood, his time on this Earth will not be long and he will unfortunately not stand trial for any and all crimes he has committed or ordered. My opinion is that his hopes/chances of a successful appeal (less than 5%) are all that is keeping him alive right now. My only hope is that Raniere’s attorneys exhaust all appeals, further depleting the reserves of the Bronftard sisters.

    I think it would be interesting if Raniere, on his deathbed, confessed to many crimes, ratting out some of his loyal followers, such as Emi Salinas and Nancy Salzman.

  • Shivani:

    I wrote recently that NXIVM must really be treated as Organized Crime, not as a cult.
    The top members of NXIVM were and are Gangsters.

    When you think of Organized Crime the main threat Gangsters face is not from the police or the FBI.
    The police and FBI generally try to play by the rules.
    The real threat Gangsters face is from their fellow Gangsters.

    Gangsters are always paranoid that their fellow Gangsters are skimming money from the operation.
    The operations are usually already illegal so what is the extra crime of skimming money from the operation?
    Gangsters are also always afraid that their fellow Gangsters will at some point “rat” them out to the cops or the Feds.
    The only way to stop that is through homicide.

    All of the top people at NXIVM are or were at some point Gangsters.
    The Bronfmans built their family fortune out of bootlegging during the days of Prohibition.
    The Mexican elite are heavily involved in illicit activities.
    Mexico has six or seven well armed drug cartels.
    As well armed as the Mexican military.

    The NXIVM story is Organized Crime.

    • Organized crime it is. Now collecting organs near you, so what can be done?

      “You can come, but you have to pay $3,000 for Vanguard Week.”

      Wait and see. Will anyone else who helped murder Barbara Jeske ever even face charges?
      Or would it all feel better to call this slow suicide? Watch Nancy Salzman get her wrist slapped, no regrets, and she never quit a thing. Her stench follows her everywhere she breathes, but she is not capable of waking up and changing herself, or her adult diapers. You know she was too supreme to ever bother with Kegel exercises, that old dried-up Prefect, the empty Hoover Dam-of-the damned. She calls herself a consultant and a trainer, but God help even a ferret stuck anywhere near Nancy Salzman.

      Brandon Porter might be pathetic now, yet he still walks freely. His fingernails might be chewed down to the bone, but probably he is still a happy Raniere camper, glad he has not been apprehended and dreaming that he has faced the music. So strike up the band everytime that Porter shows his face. Nothing he did or is doing ought to inspire polite silence. Remember what he has done. He was not just a mere sapsucker. He was a sapsucker who devoted himself to foul action, to delivering harm to others. This is how Raniere and “his disciples” decided to live their truth, as a total descent into cruelty and madness.

      This is disorganized crime, the land of a thousand maniacs, sure that they know something, have something to sell you. Losers who want to sell you a piece of hell are going to try hard to make sure that you become possessable. Then, next you will become possessed, and finally you, too can be a possession.

      Denial isn’t going to help change a thing. Stick one’s head in the sand and you end up getting eaten alive. Or maybe it will be your child instead. Why would anybody want someone else to tell them what to think? Learn how to think, not WHAT to think. Take your time and get to “know yourself.”

      Learn how to recognize know-it-alls. See through their motives, gather your thoughts and your strength and do not let yourself get caught by falseness. If you were trapped and now have broken out of a batch of hyenas, what can you do, to live with whatever is still left of you and your family, your friends?

      Well, you can Look Back in Anger. But what else, is there anything that can be done, except to feel the burn and to try to outlive the pain, the fury, the regret and the losses?

      What one can do is to make sure that you and your loved ones are never targets or suckers for groups or for individuals like these Raniere creeps. Most of us are born with all that we need already waiting inside of us, so let’s take the time, get educated and learn how to think for ourselves, individually.

      If you build trust with your own self, you won’t ever want, need or trust anyone else to get between you and your mind or heart or to demolish you and your own conscience and freedom.

      It is simple, but it doesn’t come easy. There is nothing superficial about learning. Most of us have been told or taught, “love your neighbor as you would love yourself.” If you do not even begin to work honestly to know yourself, love is not going to have much of a chance. Complacency is a severe condition.

      When my grandsons say “move it or lose it,” these boys are not talking to you and you and you. These boys are looking into their own love and awareness. Respect still means “to see again,” and never giving up this way of insight gives them a chance to give something of themselves.

      There will be no Ranieres or Bronfmans or Salzmans. “Don’t come around here no more.”

      Also, who gives a shit about which dipshits or victims of dipshits had French Bulldogs? What’s next? A roundtable discussion all about what brand of sneakers this bunch of disorganized criminals wore? Bubblegum for everybody! Yeah, yeah. What else is popping?

    • I’ve been saying that MLMs are RICO frauds for years. You can treat NXIVM and other MLMs as cults, but since cults aren’t illegal, they will not be prosecuted. RICO statutes were new rules, created when the mafia wasn’t cheating on each other enough.

  • Didn’t Barbara Jesse used to have French Bulldogs? Nxivm cultists Kristin Kreuk and Mark Hildretn had a French Bulldog called “Dublin”.

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