What Is Nxivm? Part 2 — Raniere’s Harem Secretly Ran Nxivm

This is Part 2 of What Is Nxivm?

What Is Nxivm? Part #1

Some people who have not been following the Nxivm story for long have asked for a basic primer to explain the background of Keith Raniere and his followers.  This is my response. It is a beginner’s guide to Nxivm.  Long time readers perhaps will not find this post of interest as they know most of what is contained in it.

In the beginning, recruiting for Nxivm went well.

One man, a Mexican named Edgar Boone, a trust fund baby, became one of their most prolific recruiters. He began recruiting prominent Mexicans – including the son and daughter of former Mexican president Carlos Salinas, the daughter of former Mexican president Vincente Fox, and the daughter of the nation’s leading newspaper publisher, Alejandro Junco.

Edgar Boone opened up Mexico for Keith Alan Raniere.

Many wealthy Mexicans joined because of the glamor of the elite Mexican membership.

This made the company an international success.

Keith Raniere ordered that money in cash paid by wealthy students in Mexico was to be smuggled northward to him without bothering to report it to the IRS.  He had students carry it – as mules – across the border – and, to keep him in the clear, handing it over for safekeeping to the company president, Nancy Salzman.

Nancy [Prefect] Salzman cuts the ribbon opening up the Mexico NXIVM center. With her are trust fund baby Alex Betancourt [l] and Emiliano Salinas [R], the son of a former president.
There were times she claimed she had more than $2 million in cash stored at her home. When the feds raided her house in 2018, they found $520,000 in cash. Where the rest of it went is unknown.

Since the company was not in his name, Raniere felt confident that if anyone had to take the fall, it wouldn’t be him. In this, he was mistaken.

Some of the cash seized at Nancy Salzman’s home.

In 2002, less than four years after founding the company, Raniere got his next big break.  Two Seagram’s heiresses, Sara and Clare Bronfman – both in their 20s, became students. Both became enamored and bought into the dream of creating a “more noble civilization” using the teachings this wonderful man created for the welfare of the world.

Leaving their lives in New York City, London and Paris behind, the sisters relocated to Albany NY where Nxivm headquarters were and where Raniere – who was referred to as Vanguard – and Salzman – who was called Prefect – lived.

The game changers for Keith Raniere: Clare [l] and Sara Bronfman.
At first, the two sisters believed Raniere was not only a genius but an extraordinary guru in the tradition of the celibate monks of India and Tibet. He was higher than any high lama, they believed, and he gave them a greater purpose for living.

Finally, they could use their wealth for the good of the world and not just for vain and selfish endeavors.

They had never worked for money. They had inherited it and so they felt that this was their life work – to use their great wealth to support the noblest of all men in his noble mission.

With their wealth and dedication – and his brains and great heart – they would change the world.

Keith wisely assigned Nancy Salzman to watch over them and they soon were groomed and prepared to invest their entire fortune to advance this new wonderful teaching method that would uplift the world.

Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman.

They recruited their father, billionaire Edgar Bronfman Sr., former president of the World Jewish Congress, who, at first, endorsed the programs, claiming privately it had, among conferring other benefits, cured his impotence.

He would later become disenchanted when Clare told him she lent several million dollars to the group.

During those early days, the Bronfmans did not know that Raniere was not celibate. He kept a harem and his harem doubled as teachers of his Executive Success Programs.  The Bronfman sisters would find out in time. Both sisters would have sex with Raniere – with Clare, who previously identified herself asd a lesbian, eventually joining his harem.

Keith Raniere with three of his inner circle: Karen Unterreiner, Pam Cafritz and Barbara Jeske. {Cafrtiz and Jeske died.]

The women of his harem are a fascinating study. Many came to an unfortunate end.

Two of his longest-serving harem members, who were with him before he started Nxivm, died of cancer. New evidence I uncovered shows that they and others may have been poisoned before contracting their fatal diseases. Both women died leaving seven-figure estates to Raniere.

Pam Cafritz, daughter of DC developers and socialites William and Buffy Cafritz, was his pimp woman recruiting other women and underage girls to his bed.  She died of renal cancer. Her body was moved shortly before she died from her hospital bed to Raniere’s home where she was placed in a bathtub filled with ice.

The late Pamela Anne Cafritz

Raniere claimed that he was about to invent a method of bringing the dead back to life and wanted to preserve her body in ice until he could transfer it to a cryogenic tomb.  He kept her death a secret from most of his followers for weeks. It is still not known where her body wound up. What is known is that Pam willed her entire estate – about $8 million – to Raniere and that he arranged to use her bank accounts after she died.

Early harem members and purple stripes – the late Barbara Jeske [l] and the late Pam Cafritz [r].
Then there was Barbara Jeske, his top recruiter. She was in his harem – and, in fact, aborted three pregnancies per his orders.

Barbara had money coming in from her downline after recruiting hundreds if not thousands of people to take the Nxivm classes – who, in turn, recruited thousands of others.

She was to contract brain cancer, but she did not know it first. She came to Raniere as did all the women when they were ailing.  Raniere told her she had carpel tunnel syndrome. So, she delayed getting checked by a doctor.  Finally, she was so ill that she went to a doctor who diagnosed her with brain cancer.

She went to Raniere for treatment rather than follow normal medical treatment.

Jeske’s sister told me that Raniere prescribed something called “Doo-Doo balls” – little malodorous brown balls which she said Barbara told her contained excrement.

Another source informed me that the late Pam Cafritz was also prescribed Doo Doo balls – and, in addition, a milky white drink that some have speculated contained his semen.

When Jeske died, she left her entire estate to Raniere.

Then there is Karen, who Raniere took under his wing when she was 17. She was his longest-serving harem woman – for more than 40 years.

Tests I made on her hair for a film for Investigation Discovery showed Karen had been poisoned with barium and bismuth – leading up to her bout with bladder cancer. It was odd that all the women Raniere lived with wound up with cancer.

Another harem member who got cancer was Kristin. She was astonishingly diagnosed with cervical cancer at the same time she was eight months pregnant. At that late-term, Raniere could not order an abortion and the child was born, a boy, believed to be his firstborn child.

This presented a problem for Raniere because other than his harem, his students believed he was celibate. He sent Kristin away for a time and she came back with the baby and a fictitious story.  Keith told the community that the baby was an orphan whose mother died giving childbirth and the father was unknown and that they had chosen to take this child and raise it.

The lucky child would have the advantage of being tutored by the smartest man in the world.

Keith Raniere with some of his followers

In fact, Keith devised a new childhood teaching method that he would place the child in – and allow the parents of his wealthy students to participate [at $10,000 a month]. It was a revolutionary method for teaching children.

Some years later, when the boy was 7, Kristin fled the cult with her son. I gave her refuge and provided her with housing. She became a source for me – and was able to provide the DOJ with information about the many crimes of Raniere.

With regard to the cancer his closest women got, Kristin told me she suspected she had been poisoned for years.  In fact, Keith admitted that it might be so but put the blame on someone else.

He claimed that the Bronfman’s father, upset about his daughters working for the welfare of the world, which might upset his greater Zionist plans – and his connections to the Illuminati – was trying to poison Raniere but lamentably infected the harem women instead.

They would be martyrs all, Raniere said.

Keith Raniere had an answer for everything. Maybe because he was the world’s smartest man [in prison].
There were many other harem members.  Dawn Morrison, a beautiful blonde who dedicated her life to Raniere and wound up broke.

Dawn Morrison keeps on trying for Keith Raniere.

Barbara Bouchey, a successful financial manager, who he stripped of her life savings of $1.6 million by losing it in commodities trades.

Barbara Bouchey with Keith Raniere

Nancy and Lauren Salzman ran Nxivm’s day-to-day operations.

Mother Nancy and daughter Lauren Salzman shared the same man, but he is gone now.

Kathy Russell, the bookkeeper.

Kathy Russell

All of them became part of his harem.

Kathy and Lauren routinely participated in one of Raniere favorite pastimes and arguably one that was efficient for him – threesomes.

There were also TV actresses Allison Mack and Nicki Clyne who both gave up their acting careers to be in his harem. In order to keep Nicki, a Canadian, in the US, Raniere ordered Allison to marry Nicki in 2017.

Nicki Clyne and Allison Mack, sex slaves for Raniere and married to each other.

Then there were the Mexican women who moved up to Albany to be part of his harem.  Daniella Padilla, Rosa Laura Junco, Monica Duran, Loreta Garza, Melissa Rodriguez, and others.

Keith Raniere is walking with his DOS slaves – Dani Padilla


Rosa Laura Junco


Monica Duran: Assistant to Clare Bronfman and slave of Keith Raniere.


Loreta Garza and Keith Raniere


Melissa Rodriguez


Keith Raniere with some of his harem.


Miss Nevares

There was the beautiful Ivy Nevares who did his writing for him. He lied to Ivy – telling her she was the only one and that he would have with her an avatar baby.

When she fell out of favor, he told her to never cut her hair until she could cure her “ethical breach.” She let her hair grow down below her feet, so earnest was she to show she would sacrifice for him.

Behind her back, he would mock her to others [not telling them that he had told her not to cut her hair] – saying “Have you seen how long Ivy’s hair has grown?”

Raniere loved pitting his women against each other.

There was Daniela, a highly intelligent young woman, who was confined to a solitary room for 700 days because she kissed another man.  She became a source for me after she escaped – and was a star witness at the trial of Raniere.

Raniere also had in his harem two of Daniela’s sisters. Mariana, who he fathered a child with shortly before being arrested.

Mariana and Keith Raniere



And Camila, who began having sex with Keith when she was 15. Cami became Keith’s undoing for he chose to keep her nude photos – which he took when she was 15 – in his library after he fled to Mexico. It was more than a year after the feds arrested him when they realized that among the hundreds of graphic nudes of his harem seized from his home, were pictures of Cami when she was 15.  It was Frank Report that first published the fact that Raniere had begun having sex with Cami when she was underage.

This revelation led to a second superseding indictment which included charges of possession of child pornography and sexual exploitation of a minor.

Up until this point, all five of Raniere’s co-defendants seemed to be prepared to face trial.  But this ugly new charge – of child porn and exploitation of a minor – sent them scrambling.  His female co-defendants all made motions to sever their trials from his.  The judge denied their motions. Knowing that they would be tried alongside a possessor of child porn seems to have prompted them to promptly take plea deals.

Raniere stood trial alone.

There are so many other women who came into his harem – all with unique and fascinating stories. We will get to them in their proper place.

Most of them paid a heavy penalty for being near him.  All of the women were on restricted diets – all of them were slender, some to the point of emaciation. It was one of Raniere’s goals that women should eat so little that they should stop menstruating.

In fact, disciplining women and keeping them on diets were obsessions for Raniere and for all the women he allowed in his harem.

He would punish them if they gained a pound and would examine their bodies, naked, telling them that fat disrupted his spiritual energies – interfering with the growth that he was seeking for them through having sex with him.

Raniere always told his women that the sex he had with them was not for his enjoyment but strictly for their spiritual growth.

Keith Alan Raniere

In fact, he told them that his semen had magical properties and that if they drank it or acquired in on their bodies, it would inure to their great spiritual benefit.

He taught the women of his harem that their own orgasm was not important – for this was not about pleasure. It was his semen that was all-important – that they should get some of it and ensure the greatest boon of spiritual progress.

With all of his women it was a hard and fast rule that while he could have sex with any and all of them as he pleased, none of them could ever be with another man the rest of their life – not after he had bestowed the boon of his semen. Once he offered his precious sperm, they were – by his decree – his slaves forever.

Should they touch another man, the effect might be so disastrous, he told them, that he might die – because of the deep spiritual connection he had with the women.  And if he died, the world would lose this fabulous mission that otherwise was destined to save the world and the world would be destroyed.

Under these curious conditions – with his harem women actually operating his company, Nxivm prospered and grew.

The average student knew nothing of the behind-the-scenes life of Raniere and his harem.

Click here for Part 1: What Is Nxivm?

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • A question related to this article and a general comment:

    The “Harem” (including Bronfmans here) supplied a major portion of the funding and seemingly did a lot of the dirty work? Why couldn’t (didn’t) these women get together and say: “Imagine how successful we would be if we had a leader with actual qualifications?”, or alternatively, “Why do we need him at all?” Hard to believe the dressing on the word salad had such an intoxicating effect.

    Comment: NXIVM was a criminal enterprise/ cult, identified as such by the “Saratoga in Decline” blog, the Vanity Fair article about the Bronfman girls (2003?), The Times Union reporting (2010), and of course The Frank Report. But it was only when the sexual behavior of the cult’s leader and inner circle was exposed that the law took interest in Raniere/ NXIVM. To me, something wrong here, even aware as I am that politicians/law enforcement were probably bought off with Bronfman gelt.

  • It’s pretty amazing to realize that this whole NXIVM fiasco, including Frank’s own 12 year battle with NXIVM — including his trumped up indictment and upcoming trial — was brought about by a guy who simply wanted to steer Clare Bear away from Keith.

    If Frank had not attempted to pry Clare away from Keith, none of this would have ever happened.

    If Frank had not attempted to lure Clare away from Keith and to install her as his benefactor, everything would be different now.

    How would it be different?

    Well, there would be no pending indictment against Frank.

    Plus Frank Report would have never been created, which means NXIVM would have never taken a fall —— since without Frank Report, the NY Times would have never gotten behind this story.

    So the question remains…

    If Frank had a time machine and could go back to 2008, would he now choose to ignore that Keith was fleecing the Bronfman gals for $60M?

    Would Frank choose to mind his own business, if he could go back in time to 2008?

    Or would Frank choose to do everything the EXACT SAME WAY, knowing what he knows now?

    Is Frank at peace that he risked his own freedom (via indictment) in exchange for knowing that he put Keith and Clare behind bars?

    Or would Frank gladly remove Keith from prison and let him walk free if it meant making his own indictment disappear overnight?

    I’m not so sure.

    I think Frank is a man living in DEEP REGRET for his actions back in 2008.

    I think he’s a man in deep turmoil over his past decisions.

    • I wish I could agree with you and say I would go back in time and undo things and weasel my freedom. But I did what I thought was right then and now. So no I am not living with the slightest regret.

      You are also working off a false assumption. I did not think Keith was guilty of fleecing the Bronfmans back then. I thought the commodities broker fleeced them and Keith would be glad to support my investigation. I guess I was wrong But it was an honest mistake.

      And finally, no I wasn’t trying to steal Clare away. I liked the arrangement I had and wanted it to continue.

  • Thanks for these synopses, Frank. I’ve been following all this for a while, but it helps to be able to see the whole picture (as disturbing as it is).

  • Is Edgar Boone also evil? manipulative? naive? What is his story? How did he get those people to join?
    Great article, frank

    • Yes Edgar is evil and belongs in jail with the rest of them. He once told me I was defiant because I questioned the recruiting of members and not being paid commission. He told me I needed to take more Intensives and get EMs. I left!

  • The Insider
    We know that Keith Rainere- is a convicted Child Rapist/seducer. He is also a murderer!!!!!
    The women that have poison in their hair- and their bodies.
    Rainere is SO like the cult leaders in Sputh Dakota, Arizona and Utah. They, along with many others, are sex addicts- and killers.
    John Daniel And Paul Kingston, of the “ORDER”- or the “Kingston Clan”- need to go away for good.
    Why is it- that Keith, the abuser- is the ONLY one in prison?
    We have Warren Jeffs- the top so called prophet/ abuser in jail- while the Kingston Brothers are out walking around. They have raped 2-400 children in the “Kingston Clan”. Why aren’t they in jail?
    Please help me get them too.
    Please watch Escaping polygamy/ the insider/YouTube. You will see what needs to be done.
    Keith Rainere needs to stay in jail- please help me jail the others.

    The Insider

    • Thanks for that information – and reminder that there are still cults that need to be taken down.

      There seem to be quite a few groups in the heartland (including the bible belt) that seem not to get the same sort of attention as those in California in New York, probably in part because they are located in more out-of-the-way places and don’t attract prominent people and celebrities (or their children). But it also often seems that state officials may be somewhat sympathetic to them as they’re typically Christian (or Mormon), while the groups often manage to insinuate themselves into local political and law enforcement establishments and effectively get protection to an extent greater than even what NXIVM, Raniere and the Bronfmans managed in Albany. In the case of polygamists, there’s often pedophilia and child marriage, incest and other abuses of both young and older women, not to mention men; Raniere seemed to be doing something similar, a sort of FLDS on the Hudson.

      A group that’s been on my radar for a while – partly because they have been getting away with human trafficking of members used effectively as slave labor, like Scientology – is the Word of Faith Fellowship based in Spindale, North Carolina, which has been back in the news recently:

      Review: `Broken Faith’ looks inside the Word of Faith Fellowship
      “One of America’s Most Dangerous Cults”
      “the charismatic Jane Whaley has built the Word of Faith Fellowship into a virtual kingdom, not just drawing followers to Sunday services but also extending the group’s influence overseas and to businesses run by WFF members. WFF also forged links to police and courts who tend to look benignly on the group’s practices”

      • Slick the most dangerous cults in America are Islamic. You always seem to leave that out when you fling your bullshit.

        • Ah, a 1-4 sentence troll with all the intelligence of a bot running on a half-height Linux box in a server rack in Siberia.

          Well, then show us an example of one that’s more dangerous, and doing more harm to Americans, than the FLDS, the Word of Faith Fellowship, the Children of God, or Scientology. You can’t actually form a coherent argument referencing facts, anymore than Raniere.

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
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com