Inside the Cult  – Mark Vicente Explains the Various Nxivm Groups and Subgroups

Mark Vicente

While we are doing our ongoing series on Sylvie, of which we are at part #4, I think it will be good to also review the testimony of former Nxivm member and whistleblower Mark Vicente, the second witness called in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere.

Since we are studying the cult of Nxivm, I think this is appropriate  – and the two series [Sylvie and Mark] can run side by side.

Between Vicente and Sylvie, readers can gain some insights into Nxivm and perhaps cults in general – and if we are really lucky, perhaps we can formulate some ideas on how to take down vicious cults.

In the interest of transparency, I consider Mark Vicente a friend of mine and a staunch collaborator in the takedown of Nxivm. We worked together, along with his wife, Bonnie Piesse, Catherine Oxenberg, and Sarah Edmondson for months during 2017 and 2018 and well prior to the New York Times story.

I believe it was Mark, along with a friend of his, who first contacted the NY Times and got them interested in writing a story.

Mark was one of my main sources for Frank Report – especially before the Times came out with their story and I was the only publication that was writing about Nxivm, DOS, and the branding.

Without Mark’s help, I doubt Nxivm would have been taken down so hard and fast.

He was also an invaluable asset to the prosecutors in this case and they relied on him for what I think was the best and soundest judgments on Raniere and Nxivm.

Vicente was called to the stand on the second day of trial, May 8, 2019, after about a day and half of Sylvie’s testimony.

So we will be alternating now between Sylvie and Mark’s testimony.

I want to complete theirs and others’ testimony prior to the sentencing of Raniere, which is likely to be rescheduled for June. I think it will be helpful to compare what we learn with the sentence Raniere, as well as his codefendants, receive.

Vicente was examined by AUSA Mark Lesko.

AUSA Mark J. Lesko


Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis

The judge was Nicholas G. Garaufis and in the transcript, he is referred to as THE COURT.

Q            Good afternoon.

A             Good afternoon.

Q            What’s your name?

A             Mark Vicente.


Q            How old are you?

A             Fifty-three years old.

Q            Where were you born?

A             Johannesburg, South Africa.

Q            Could you describe growing up in South Africa.

A             I was born in 1965. I spent my early schooling years there. I traveled a great deal, Canada, Brazil, Portugal. I ended up going to university in Johannesburg, I went to a film and drama school. This was during apartheid era, so I became pretty active in politics, you know, making films about what was going on at the time and then worked way up the film industry for a number of years, then finally in the early ’90s moved to the U.S.

Q   So are you a citizen of multiple countries?

A   I am a citizen of the U.S. and of Portugal.

Q   And you’ve alluded to it, but what is your profession?

A   Film maker.

Q   What made you become a film maker?

A   I saw a number of things in my country when I was young that disturbed me greatly. It was a very difficult time, apartheid era. I felt as a young child that something needed to happen, I had no idea what I would do. And then when I was pretty young I saw a film that moved me very deeply. Funny enough, Star Wars and I decided that this was the method I would try and use to express what I wanted to express, which is basically I didn’t think it was necessary for people to be killing each other. I grew up in a family that was very much on the side of very oppressive government at the time, and I decided that I would make films to somehow get my ideas out, which were basically at that time anti-apartheid humanitarian ideas.

Q   How long have you been film maker or film producer?

A   Since 1986.

Q   And what types of films have you made?

A   So my early career was — when I first began was feature films, then music videos, some documentaries and for many years I was a cinematographer shooting, you know, feature films, then when I came to the U.S. I continued that. It’s been a mixture of commercials, feature films, then more recently documentaries.

Q   Is there a particular documentary that received a significant amount of attention or notoriety that you made?

A   Yes. In 2004, myself and my producers released a film called, What the Bleep Do We Know.

THE COURT: I’m sorry, what is it.

THE WITNESS: What the Bleep Do We Know.

THE COURT: What the bleep —

THE WITNESS: Bleep as opposed to the —

THE COURT: I understand.

What the Bleep Do We Know audiobook cover art

THE WITNESS: Yeah. That was the politically correct name.  That came out in 2004 and I began touring and, yes, the film got a lot of attention, we got a lot of attention. We began making a second film. We began writing a book about it, but, yes, we got a lot of acclaim.

Q   What was that film about?

A   It was about pseudo-quantum mechanics, neurobiology, the biology of emotions. It had to do with a certain amount of science and also we did a lot of cartoon animation about what happens in the brain and body. And there was a narrative portion as well. Marlee Maitlan played the main role. And there was a … narrative role to explain the journey of the character to some kind of awareness.

Q   Where do you currently reside?

A   Los Angeles, California.

Q   Are you married?

A   I am.

Q   What’s your wife’s name?

A   Bonnie Piesse.

Bonnie Piesse

Q   When did you and Bonnie get married?

A   We got married, I believe it was June 2011.

Q   Where were you married?

A   In Half Moon, New York.

Q   Where did you meet Bonnie?

A   I met Bonnie via a mutual friend…. She introduced us a few years before and we kept in touch and then finally we were in touch a lot more, then we finally got married — we actually — she actually joined the organization that we’re going to talk about.

Q   And what’s the name of that organization?

A   Nxivm or Executive Success Programs.

Q   Did you try to get her to join Nxivm?

A   I did actually for a number of years.

Q   What is your wife’s profession?

A   My wife is a singer and an actress.

Q   How is Nxivm spelled?

A   N-X-I-V-M.


Q   When did you first become aware of Nxivm?

A   I received a letter — once the film What the Bleep came out, you know, I was receiving a lot of letters and invitations to all kinds of things and I think it was towards the end of 2004, perhaps 2005, I received a letter from Nancy Salzman and Barbara Bouchey inviting myself and the other producers to some kind of a symposium with a number of scientists who I admired greatly, so I decided to respond.

And I called and I think I spoke to Barbara Bouchey and we had a chat and they both wanted to meet me. And so they were – I think they were flying to LA, I met them in Los Angeles and we began our conversations about the organization.

Barbara Bouchey and Nancy Salzman

Q   Who specifically did you meet in Los Angeles?

A   I met Nancy Salzman and Barbara Bouchey.

Q            Where did you meet?

A             It was a Beverly Hills hotel and I can’t remember the exact hotel right now.


Q            So when you’re meeting with Barbara Bouchey and Nancy Salzman, what did you discuss?

A             They wanted to talk to me about my film and they said basically “we love your film; we think that many of the things you hypothesize in your film we actually know how to do. We know how to sort of hack the human behavior equation. We have this incredible mentor that you should definitely meet, he’s a scientist, mathematician, an incredible human being and, you know, we’d love you to come at some point, maybe as soon as tomorrow” kind of thing, and I said, “well, I’m a little busy right now, but let’s definitely keep the doors open and keep talking.” But the idea was to try to get me to come to Albany so I could see what their methodology was.

Q   Did they describe the methodology?

A   To some degree they did. I don’t think I understood at that point. They described to me that they had this unique patented method of getting into the — I’m not sure how to describe it. My recollection is getting into your subconscious and being able to help people make the changes they ordinarily were not able to make usually in a very quick amount of time and it was a completely scientific method as well, completely measurable.

Q   Did you meet them again?

A   I met Nancy Salzman and — a few weeks later. I didn’t meet Barbara Bouchey until much later. I met Nancy Salzman and Sara Bronfman a few weeks later after that first meeting.

Nancy Salzman with Sara Bronfman at V-Week 2017.

Q   Where did you meet them?

A   They had called me, I believe Nancy Salzman called me and said to me, you know, we would love to meet some of the scientists that are in your film, do you think it would be okay if we flew to — at that point I was living in Ashland, Oregon. Do you think it would be okay if we flew to Ashland, picked you up and we flew, you know, all over the place and we met some of these scientists. And I said that sounds great.

I began calling a lot of the scientists and, you know, we sort of created a plan of where we would go and a few — I think it was a week later they landed in Ashland, Oregon to pick me up and we flew all over the place for a number of days.

Q   Who landed in Oregon —

THE COURT: They landed in Ashland, Oregon?

THE WITNESS: In the airport in Medford, Oregon.

THE COURT: Medford, Oregon.

THE WITNESS: Medford, Oregon.

THE COURT: You were producing shows in Ashland, Oregon at the time?

THE WITNESS: I was just living there. It was a community of, I thought, like-minded people. I was spending time there.

THE COURT: All right, go ahead.


Q   Who picked you up in Ashland or Medford, Oregon?

A   That’s funny, I actually went to the normal terminal and thinking that that’s where we were going to go and they said, “no, no, we have a private jet so you’ll be going, you know, to where the private jets land.” So the jet landed, and it was Sara Bronfman and Nancy Salzman that met me there. And shortly after that we took off and I believe we went to University of Oregon first, I think.

Q   Whose jet was it? Who owned the jet?

A   My understanding is the jet belonged to Clare and Sara Bronfman, I think they co-owned the jet. It was one of those — I mean it was a Lear — you know, I think it had 12 seats, twin engine type Learjet.

Q   Can you approximate the year that this happened, the first trip?

A             I think it was around 2005.


Q   So, did you, in fact, travel and meet with scientists on the Bronfman private jet?

A   I did, I don’t remember the number of days but we flew to a number of different places to meet a whole host of the scientists that were in my film.

Q   And did you have discussions or did you overhear discussions with those scientists and Nancy Salzman?

A   I mean we spent a good amount of time together and Nancy Salzman was trying to explain to each of them what this unique methodology was. She was also trying to, you know, do it on me as well. I didn’t understand what it was at first but I was having a number of awarenesses and she was also at times using me as sort of a Guinea pig to demonstrate to the scientists what the methodology was, but we had a number of discussions about many things.

We also discussed film projects. They wanted to know what I wanted to do with my life and the kind of films I wanted to make and they discussed that the organization they worked for had, you know, tremendous resources, that they could possibly help me with some of the projects I wanted to make but they really thought it would be good if I could come to Albany and meet their mentor and discuss these things further.

Q   These trips to visit the scientists, was there one flight or was it a series of flights to multiple destinations?

A   It was a series of flights to multiple destinations.

Q   After those series of flights did you fly on the Bronfman private jet again?

A   I did a number of other times over the years, I believe they eventually sold the jet sometime between — before 2010 but I did take a number of flights I believe to Seattle, to Mexico, to Los Angeles a few times.

Q   During these discussions did anyone use the term “exploration of meanings”?

A   Yes, they talked about the term and I wasn’t quite clear exactly what it was yet but they did discuss it a number of times and Nancy Salzman was demonstrating it with me. You know, she at one point, for instance, she decided — we were having lunch somewhere and my girlfriend at the time had some kind of a dairy allergy and Nancy Salzman said, “oh, I can fix that very easily.” She began having a conversation with my girlfriend at the time and I had no idea what was going on but the conversation became very deep, my girlfriend became very tearful and Nancy said, “well, I think you’re done now, I think it’s going to be fine, don’t drink any dairy or don’t eat any dairy for like a day but I think it’s gone.” And I was pretty impressed with that because, you know, a day later my girlfriend did actually try some cheese and she didn’t have the reaction she had always had. I was like, “okay, they’re definitely on to something.”

Q   Was the term “Executive Success Program” used?

A   Yes, it was.

Q   Who used that term?

A   Both Nancy Salzman and Sara Bronfman used that term.

Q   And how was that term used?

A   That was sort of the company they kept on talking about, I don’t recall if they used the word NXIVM so much but they did talk about Executive Success Programs and I remember because they said ESP, I said ESP like ESP, extra sensory perception, and I thought that was just a funny joke. They said, “no, no, Executive Success Programs.”

Keith Raniere with some of his devotees and harem members.

Q   Did they mention the name… Keith Raniere during these meetings?

A   They did, they did, they used his name and also they talked about him as their mentor.

Q   And did they describe him at all?

A   They described him as, you know, a unique individual….  they said to me that he was one of the top three problem solvers in the world, he had one of the highest IQs ever scored in history, concert level pianist, judo champion, incredible human being, he sort of unlocked the keys to the human condition. They spoke about him quite a lot.

Q   Did they indicate that Mr. Raniere had a background in mathematics?

A   They did. In fact, I think they said that he had majors in mathematics, physics …  and … there

were minors in, I think they said psychology, biology. I think there was also majors in computer science I believe.

Q   Did they indicate the position that Mr. Raniere had in their organization?

A   At that point I think they just described him as the founder and as, you know, the philosopher behind the entire company.

Q   Did you later come to know Mr. Raniere?

A   I did.


Q   What was Nancy Salzman’s role in the company, in NXIVM?

A  …  she was considered the CEO of the company. She had a title. Her name was Prefect, that was the title she was given. She was at that point when I came, you know, seen as the head of education. She would take all of Keith Raniere’s philosophical ideas and working with him she would create an educational model out of it with him that she would then teach.


Q Now, you mentioned ESP and you’ve mentioned NXIVM; what was your understanding of the relationship between NXIVM and ESP?

A   My understanding… was NXIVM was the sort of umbrella organization that all the other companies fell under. ESP was one of the many companies that were under the umbrella of NXIVM.

Q   So, let’s talk a little bit about the other companies, okay, and we’ll do them in order.

A   Sure.

Q   Was there a company named Jness?

A   Yes, there was.

Q   What was Jness?

A   Jness was supposedly a women’s movement. It was created by Keith Raniere, he was the philosophical founder of the women’s movement. The idea, to the best of my understanding, is for women to get a sense of their own — their own essence and who they were separate from men. So, everything they did, towards the beginning anyway, was completely separate from all men other than Keith Raniere, the founder, and they met typically, my understanding is, once a week to go over curriculum. They had little groups that they did, they had a whole bunch of activities but most of the activities were invisible to the rest of us, we had no idea what they were doing because it was a women’s only movement.

The Emblem of the Society of Protectors.

Q   Very well. Was one of the companies named Society of Protectors?

A   Yes.

Q   Was that also known as SOP?

A   It was. SOP began I think around 2011 and it was, again, the brainchild of Keith Raniere. There was a number of men including myself who had seen some of the women’s curriculum from Jness and said it would be really great at some point if men could have some form of education as well and he talked about it with a number of us for many years. Around 2011 he said “I think it’s time now, let’s get this thing started” and the name he came up with was Society of Protectors.

Society of Protectors was a male organization. There was, you know, a curriculum, there was all kind of different trainings, there were different activities and that ran certainly up until the time I left, it may be even still running now.

Q   Was there a company or program named Ethicist?

A   There was. Ethicist — my first exposure to Ethicist I think was around 2006. My understanding of Ethicist was it was sort of this newly hypothesized job that people could learn and eventually take out into the world and it was to help people in essence figure out how to become ethical, moral, how to be the most ethical person they could and then go into corporations and, you know, organizations and a bunch of different things and basically give people tools for conflict resolution, for figuring out what is the right thing to do in a situation, what’s the most ethical thing to do in a situation.

A lot of the training was basically first trying to figure out what were your ethics and how to improve them.

Allison Mack directed the Source.

Q   Was there a program or company named The Source?

A   Yes, there was. The Source began around 2014. The Source was a program for presenters and performers. We thought of it commonly as an acting curriculum. It was a very different acting curriculum in the sense that I’ve certainly — I was in drama school so I’ve done a lot of that kind of thing. This was a very different curriculum. It was basically based on the idea that rather than trying to embody the emotional let’s say truth of a character, don’t worry about that so much, just take on the physical aspect of what that would look like.

So, for instance, if you were to do sadness, rather than feel sadness, just project sadness in your body; if you were to act humble, you don’t have to be humble, just look humble. So, it was sort of an outside aiming kind of acting curriculum.

Q   Was there a program or company named Reverence?

A   There was. Reverence was termed the emotional gym. It was suggested that it would give you emotional flexibility, it would teach you how to feel certain emotions, how to move towards the emotions that you were afraid of, become more rounded emotionally and, again, understand there are two versions of any answer, the one version is what it was reported to do and then there’s my understanding of what they actually did so I’m not certain which one we want to delve into.


Dr. Danielle Roberts directed exo/eso

Q   Was there a program named exo/eso?

A   Yes, my understanding ofexo/eso was it began as a physical program much like yoga, for instance, and there were different levels. I’m not sure if I understood all the levels. In fact, Reverence was one of the exo/eso levels, I’m not sure which level it was. Exo/eso was a physical program to develop strength and flexibility and basically use your physical body as a tool.

Q   Was there a program or company named Ultima?

Ivy Nevares helped direct Ultima

A   Yes. Now, Ultima — actually the same way that NXIVM is the umbrella company for ESP and others, Ultima was the umbrella company for Reverence, for exo/eso, for The Source.

What Ultima did, it did have a beginning where it talked a number of basics about emotional flexibility and that kind of thing and then you ended up specializing in one of the areas, for instance, like exo/eso or Reverence or The Source.

Q   Was there something called Ethos?

A   Yes. Ethos was part of what I’ll call the Level 1 curriculum of ESP. My understanding is that when ESP began, and this was before my time, classes were taught in this format and what it was like basically a gym membership is what I was told, you would go to class, you know, maybe six times a week, it would be two-hour classes, there would be certain topics that you would deal with in each two-hour session, you had a coach; for the tuition you paid you would have a coach and you would go, you would attend classes, and then Ethos eventually turned into another program as well but it was how I believe, to my understanding, how ESP started.

Q   If you could briefly describe how Ethos evolved into another program?

A   My understanding, because I wasn’t there when it happened, was that people felt that it was — Ethos was wonderful if you lived in an area that was close to a center that taught this but some people didn’t and so the idea was brought forward about what if we ran like an intensive.

Basically the idea was to take the Ethos curriculum along with another curriculum called Origins and turn it into a longer intensive and I believe…  it began as a 20-day intensive or something like that and eventually ended up being a 16-day intensive.

The “Corporate Books” for several of the NXIVM-related corporations, including First Principles.

Q   Is there a company named First Principles?

A   Yes, there was a company called First Principles. My understanding of First Principles is somewhat limited, is that First Principles was the company that owned what was called “The Tech,” all of the whole educational model was known as The Technology and the short term was The Tech. So, I think it was any, you know, written or video material that was made of the actual education I believe was owned by First Principles.

Q   And when you use the term “education,” are you referring to the curriculum used by these programs?

A   Correct, the curriculum, yes, but also the curriculum you would learn in class but also the methodologies that coaches would use in coaching…  so a whole range of things.

Q   Okay. Was there a company named Delegates?

A   There was a company named Delegates. Delegates was something akin to TaskRabbit where you could hire assistants to do certain tasks for you anywhere from picking up your groceries to driving you somewhere, driving somebody else somewhere and that program was run by one individual I believe.

India Oxenberg directed Delegates

Q   And who worked at Delegates?

A   Generally the people that worked at Delegates were some of the younger members of the community that were living in Albany, they all did tasks for Delegates. So, if somebody called the head of Delegates, you know, to say I need such and such, you know, they would get a call back saying, well, so and so is going to, you know, pick up your mail or, you know, drive you somewhere or pick up your groceries.

Q   You used the term “community,” is that a term that people associated with NXIVM used about themselves?

A   Yes, there was — it was a philosophical concept like anybody who had taken the education, who had committed to the education and also obviously spending time there, that was a philosophical community. Then the community itself were the people actually living there, some that were, you know, born there, many people had moved there, that was termed the community and that word was used very, very often.

Q   Was there another term that was used for people involved with ESP?

A             Another term was Espians, you know, people that had taken ESP, Espians. There was a big focus on community, on Espians, you know, anybody who arrived back in Albany, you know, they’d say things like welcome home, don’t leave home, that kind of thing.

Loreta Garza directed Rainbow Cultural Garden

Q   Getting back to the companies and programs, was there a company named Rainbow Cultural Gardens?

A   Yes. Rainbow Cultural Garden was something developed, as far as I remember, pre-2012. It was run by Loreta Garza. It was an idea once again that Mr. Raniere developed, the idea being creating children that are citizens of the world. He would talk about that in a child’s natural development there are windows of opportunity they have when they’re little to learn certain things and that once those windows close, they can’t learn as much anymore and his proposition was, you know, we can teach them in such a manner that those windows stay open much longer, in essence creating smarter, more brilliant children. And then also the idea of creating citizens of the world which is teaching children multiple languages, so children were learning anywhere from three to up to seven to nine different languages at a pretty young age.

Q   Did the participants in Rainbow Cultural Gardens pay tuition or fees in order to participate in that program?

A   My understanding is they did, they paid it to the company and then for that I believe they got to put their children, you know, in these different centers if they had them and they also got in essence nannies to take care of their children.

Q   And what type of fees were paid, are we talking hundreds of dollars, thousands?

A   My understanding was thousands of dollars. I don’t have the exact number but it was a significant number. I remember because people said to me this is as expensive if not more expensive than private school. It was many thousands.

Q   The other programs that we discussed, did they also involve tuition or fees?

A   As far as I remember, all the programs that I mentioned thus far involved tuition, involved fees, yes.

Q   And same question, could you approximate the amount of fees generally?

A   If you look at, for instance, Ethos, depending on where you took Ethos, you know, it was anywhere from, you know, $2,000 for the year to, you know, 3,000 something; when you look at an intensive, an intensive could be — I mean I’m talking full price $7,500 for 16 days. Ethicist I believe was $10,000 per intensive and I believe it was eight or ten days.

Jness intensives were in the region of $6,000 per intensive. Significant amounts of money.

Q   Under this NXIVM umbrella were there foundations?

Clare and Sara Bronfman directed the Ethical Humanitarian Foundation.

A   There were. I recall the Ethical Humanitarian Foundation, I recall the Ethical Science Foundation. There may have been more, I don’t recall right now.

Q   Let’s talk about those two. What was the Ethical Humanist Foundation?

A   I don’t entirely know, I just remember that there was an event that was created that the Dalai Lama was supposed to come to the first time that got cancelled. Then there was another event he did come to and I believe …  the Ethical Humanitarian Foundation put that on. I believe everything was run financially through that instrument, that’s to the best of my recollection.

Q   What was the Ethical Science Foundation, if you know?

A   My best understanding is that the Ethical Science Foundation was the foundation that was responsible for scientific research. Mr. Raniere wanted to do a lot of scientific research on all kinds of things. That was I believe supposed to fund his research and also there was a certain percentage that he received for his position that he said was for scientific research. I don’t know if it went to that particular foundation or not but I think that was the theory.

Q   Okay, we’ll get into the percentages a bit later.  Did each of these entities, leaving aside the foundations, have their own curricula?

A   Yes, they did. It was all — it was different but in many ways based on, you know, a single core idea or a number of single core ideas but there were differences.

Keith Raniere ultimately directed everything

Q   And who developed the curriculum for each of these programs?

A   My understanding is Mr. Raniere developed all of it in essence, he worked with Nancy Salzman and in some of the other companies he worked with some of the people that developed those companies but my impression was that he was developing all of it.

Q   And was the curriculum similar between companies?

A   There were many similarities, yes. There were – you know, I mean an example of a commonality is, you know, the philosophical idea of overcoming one’s body, overcoming one’s emotionality, you know, using one’s logic, being less attached to other people or other things. Those kinds of things were commonalities pretty much throughout.

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  • Mark Vicente has a LOT to answer for, for the movie What The Bleep Do We Know.

    I don’t even want to begin talking about the quantum woo and the bloated face of JZ Knight channeling Ramtha in that movie. Taking a look at that execrable production again, I was really amazed to see the prominence given to one Dr. Miceal Ledwith of the Ramtha cult.

    This fellow is a truly devious piece of work, a former top Irish theologian and President of St. Patrick’s, a college of the National University of Ireland and the main Catholic seminary in the country. He was “advisor to the Pope” for 17 years, serving on John Paul II’s international theological commission:

    This, before he “walked away to pursue a completely different kind of spiritual life — one of humble, internal initiation and transformation.” He doesn’t mention the trail of accusations of abuse by young men, whom he managed to buy off or otherwise silence:

    Having been defrocked by the Vatican for heretical views, he then made a very comfortable home for himself on Ramtha’s ranch. And it’s in this guise that he appears throughout the Bleep movie. Just watch and see how much shite he talks:

    He probably gets more airtime in this movie than any other single speaker, with this extremely glib line that … what. People with bad attitudes attract bad things to themselves.

    Or to quote Ramtha’s White Book: “Thus the one who needs to molest and the one who needs to be molested—because he needs to understand it—are brought together for the experience.”

    Several people have reported Ledwith boasting at Ramtha wine ceremonies about having sex with young boys:

    His name is actually Michael, but it became Micheal or Miceal after he skedaddled from Ireland. Just the shady change of name tells you something.

    In fact, the “-El” at the end is the name of God, you should actually pronounce the name “Micha-El”, like “Gabri-El”. These were the Elohim, so you should never interfere with that ending, it’s the ultimate honorific; and Monsignor Miceal’s theology is not as lofty as he fancies.

    But as for Mark Vicente: Keith Raniere was clearly fascinated by the woo of What the Bleep, and wanted some of that hokum for himself. So having touted for a really nasty sexual deviant, masquerading as a New Age guru of theology, wine and sodomy, Vicente now ends up running a business franchise with another really serious sexual deviant, blackmailing and trafficking and raping young girls.

    This is not a great track record for Vicente, who claims to have always wanted to make movies that would do some good, after his early experiences in apartheid South Africa.

    Just to have been involved at a top level with one of these creeps, is enough to make you stand out. But Mark Vicente seems to be the only person who was seriously at the top of both of these cults, certainly in a PR function.

    And do not think, just because it was the most horrendously hideous movie ever, and I simply cannot watch the parts with Marlee Matlin, they are just so appalling — do not think that this movie did not have influence. It’s actually amazing what bizarre traction it’s had. Everyone now seems to think they need to have some quantum “woo” in their presentations with a pretty girl waving her hands. This is supposedly produced by a serious company trying to raise capital:

    I wouldn’t give these hucksters a fake dime, but you can see how they were influenced by WTB.

    This movie was so underhand, so manipulative, so deceptive, that it has to go in a category all of its own. It used a device that particularly drives me mad — in fact, I routinely walk out of movies that use this trick, it was amazing that I managed to sit through the whole of WTB when I first saw it in a movie theatre.

    The movie shows talking heads, without telling you who these people are. You are somehow supposed to infer from the lines on their faces, and the snorkeling sounds they make when they breath, who they are and why we should take them seriously.

    The guy who made the funny noises when he talked — I was not the only one to notice, it was in the YouTube comments — turned out to be a chiropractor somewhere. A real dweeb.

    But then there is the very nasty abuser of young boys, and proud of it, Miceal Ledwith, and his big evangelist, Mark Vicente. Just how much did Vicente know about Miceal Ledwith, when he promoted him to the whole world as a shining example of ethical behaviour? Humble, even in Ledwith’s own words?

    They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions. Mark Vicente may have wanted to make movies for good ends; but he’s ended up promoting two of the very worst cult scumbags we’ve seen in recent years. Doing serial PR for serial sexual predators … is not cool. Doing a plea deal does not excuse him from having to explain exactly what he knew and when he knew it, about Raniere and Ledwith and the Cult of Ramtha the Enlightened One.

    • More on Vicente and movies
      I recall that Vicente made a movie for Nx in S America that was supposed to laud the people there, but Vanguard changed the focus of the film onto himself. Vicente was pissed, knowing he was lied to and used, but he stayed in Nx and stayed in power…maybe for the money, status, or chance for more pussy.
      Vicente, like Edmondson, kept silent FOR YEARS about the BS they knew about–maybe they ignored the corruption and lies so they could personally profit from Nx. The branding finally made them come forward (I’m glad they did) but without DOS, Nx might still be going on, with “heroes” Vincente and Edmondson still as leaders.

  • Everyone who aided NXIVM knowing about illegal and immoral things should be exposed.

    *YOU* keep attacking people who call out NXIVM members and *YOU* think everyone who you attack is the same person. You sound like a NXIVM cult member who wants to defend other NXIVM cultists.

    • “Everyone who aided NXIVM knowing about illegal and immoral things should be exposed.”

      Sure, I guess. However, that you suggest that they’ve done such things, doesn’t mean they’ve actually done them. If you provide your proof, I’ll be more than happy to submit to it. Of course, that could only apply to illegal things, since not everyone finds the same things moral or immoral, the latter of which can’t be prosecuted anyway.

      “*YOU* keep attacking people who call out NXIVM members and *YOU* think everyone who you attack is the same person.”

      Well, that’s some roundabout form of projection. Granted, I don’t know for sure that you’re the same person who commented here several times in a row attacking Vicente’s–and in other comments–Edmondson’s motives, but it sure sounds like it. Also, I’m not sure how you’re aware of some sort of repetition to my comments since that was the first time I responded in the previous set of them that formed a kind of thread, a comment wherein which the only contrary position towards what was repetitively being insinuated was taken, albeit anonymously, since Mr. Parlato was the only other who seemed to contradict it as well.

      “You sound like a NXIVM cult member who wants to defend other NXIVM cultists.”

      Not at all. But I do wonder about the motives of those who seem to mostly attack former members of this cult, especially the whistleblowers of it.

      • Are you Spanky, or just another insufferable c***? That is a lot of effort in your post. You are not the NXIVM police. If people want to ask questions about things that don’t get answered about NXIVM people, they can. There are many questions to ask and if you have no inside knowledge, shut your face and stop butting in, trying to discredit people asking legitimate questions. You are very predictable and easy to identify, due to your know-it-all smugness. And it is you who projects. You are just too smug to notice.

          • Well done for displaying your trademark projection that identifies you. Your “I know you are, what am I” asshole-ness is a character trait of yours. You really are a smug little prick.

        • I like how you’re mentally blind to what you request—as much as telling someone to “shut your face” or “stop butting in” can be called one—of others what you don’t do yourself.

          Besides, you asked your questions a number of times and got answers from the man himself, but you didn’t like what you received, so you continued to press on for what you only wanted to believe. So, it doesn’t appear you really care for them, unless they happen to conform to what you want to hear.

          • “Besides, you asked your questions a number of times”

            Who do you even think you are talking to retard? What questions has one person asked a “number of times”?

            “and got answers from the man himself“

            What are you talking about dickhead? What man? What questions did I ask and get answered?

            “but you didn’t like what you received, so you continued to press on for what you only wanted to believe.“

            Again, what’s the fuck are you talking about?

            “So, it doesn’t appear you really care for them, unless they happen to conform to what you want to hear.”

            Care about who? What do I want to hear? You are mentally spasticated.

  • Frank,

    Serious question time….

    Did Raniere have so many excessive organizations as a marketing ploy solely or do you think it was ego driven?

  • “Allison Mack directed the Source.”
    No she didn’t, he stated (later in trial) that several person were fighting over the power (including him and his wife who considered they deserved it…) 13 peoples if i remember well.
    It’s happening when , you know, the thing you like to ignore was talked about too…the victimization of Allison by Raniere (and with the “support of your dear friend who saw a young girl being dragged close to death but decided to ignore it…))

    Don’t try to drag again Allison in this…if the trial showed one clear thing is that Allison had no power at any given moment…and that the little crime(no s because only one crime is proven) committed is under coercion.

    He (vicente) also avoid to admit that he was more than heavily involved in the source…Aswell as being an executive (second trip on the island, he and Sara became executive…unless your story was (again) BS.

    I don’t find any excuxes from him for the life he destroyed by supporting a con man for decades…

    Funny thing is i shouldn’t go against him as in a way , his testimony showed clearly that Allison is a victim…but for me he is an hypocrite.
    As long as he was making money, Raniere actions were ok (even when he learn that Raniere was destroying Allison , he was fine with it!!! and he learned it first hand and before it was too bad…he (like cat also did) ignored the distress of a young girl and later blame her for being a victim.
    What a nice person this guy is!

    • Vicente is a loser. Nobody knows of his work. I doubt anyone will ever give him visibility. He is weak and uninteresting.

      Ignore him. I wouldn’t even worry about him. Allison should have gotten out sooner. She could have pushed the Source on her own. She did not need the competition.

    • Yes. Mr. Vincente admitted to the judge that he willingly changed video evidence for a civil trial. Judges really hate that.
      I believe it’s a felony. I’ve always assumed that Mark was going to be indicted in the new round of indictments that are probably coming down the pipe.

      I have long deplored this blog for its persecution of Allison Mack. There appear to be more articles on Allison than on Raniere himself. In Canada, Frank Report and a few of its trolls would be investigated for hate crimes.

      I’ve been in a cult and am far more understanding and forgiving of Allison’s actions than the trolls. Yes, she was coerced into doing some untoward things. They are not things she would have done on her own or understood what she was doing.

      Raniere appears to have been practicing very sinister things and hiding them in plain sight. And the women closest to him, except for the few who began to secretly hate him, didn’t see or understand what he was dong.

      I hope she is able to walk away from the experience and build a new life. I truly think she should write a book.

      • Mark is in no danger of being indicted. He, as much as anyone, helped the feds win their case against Raniere.

      • Vicente was given immunity by the Feds for the crimes he committed. Probably for the crimes his mother also committed, which, according to John Tighe, included money laundering.

        Could Vicente still be charged by NY state for any of his crimes?

        According to some comments in articles about NXIVM, Vicente was also like his master Raniere and would use his position to sleep with the young female members, one of whom was obviously Bonnie who is some 18 years younger than him. Poor Bonnie. Does Vicente actually really not know when he got married?

        “Q When did you and Bonnie get married?

        A We got married, I believe it was June 2011.”

        One interview I listened to some actor was talking about attending a few ESP classes and mentioned the creepy guy in Vancouver who wanted to be in charge and sent threatening emails to him when he quit. I assume he was talking about Vicente but it would be interesting if Frank did an interview with Mark where he could come clean about his behavior back then and ask him how he could spend so many hours filming Raniere doing and saying all of those disgusting things and not see Raniere for the evil fraud, liar and vile conman that he is.

        It’s sad to see the chain of events that Vicente getting suckered into the cult by Salzman and Bouchey sets off. Of course without Raniere nothing necessarily bad happens but without Unterreiner, Cafritz, Keefe, Jeske, Salzman, Morrison, and the Bronfmans it’s highly unlikely Raniere could accomplish much of anything on his own.

        • I have seen no proof that Vicente committed any crime. His editing of the video for the Ross case – charged against Raniere in his trial – was done without bis knowledge at the time that it was to be used to obstruct the courts. He was only asked to edit a video without being told what it was to be used for. Vicente did a lot of editing of videos.

          Later he found out what it was used for. Consequently, he whistleblew on this. After all, he was the one that told the feds that the video was edited. They would not have known about it but for him.

          • Frank, you couldn’t seriously think Mark Vicente knew nothing illegal. Remember, he wanted Raniere charged for his own protection, not for ethics. Same with Sarah Edmondson. Do you really believe there is not one illegal thing Vicente knew about? Do you not think Vicente used his position to get with women like Raniere? What about his mother? Even if you don’t know about anything, do you at least acknowledge the likelihood? Vicente likes to attack Christians and comservatives on social media like he levitates above everyone. He is fake and self righteous.

          • Since when is helping an organization avoid taxes and launder money not a crime. Vicente was named in O’Hara’s lawsuit, your friend John Tighe wrote about Vicente’s crimes and how he used his own mother. He was named Executive of Enrollment because he was so good at selling NXIVM poison. He knew about Keith’s rape and pedophilia but was fine telling the NXIVM community and people like Catherine Oxenberg that it wasn’t true. He even helped Clare circumvent campaign contribution limits. Even if he was really stupid, that doesn’t mean what he did wasn’t illegal.

            If Vicente didn’t commit any crimes, he wouldn’t have needed an immunity letter excusing him from prosecution. On the stand, he even admitted he knew what they were doing:

            “Vicente and several other members spent hours in the summer of 2008 inserting glitches into more than 10 tapes and then aging the tapes themselves using sandpaper and rocks to make them look like they had not been altered, he said.

            Lesko asked Vicente if he thought at the time that what they were doing was illegal. “Yes and no,” Vicente said, explaining that his mindset had been that NXIVM and Raniere’s ethics were superior to those of the government or the courts.

            Clare Bronfman, heiress to the Seagram’s liquor fortune and high-ranking member of NXIVM, wanted to make a donation but was barred by campaign contribution limits. So Vicente wrote a check for two or three thousand dollars and Bronfman paid him back, he said.”

          • That you have repetitively focused on attacking Vicente and Edmondson several times here, and previously in other articles, even though they were both critically involved in helping to bring down NXIVM, strongly indicates that you have some other bias in play that seems to align yourself with the goals of members who would still belong to this cult. Many people within this organization believed they were doing the right thing. Whether they were naive to believe so, weren’t smart enough to see the “obvious”, lacked self-esteem, gullible, etc., or whatever other speculative general negative characteristic can be come up with that ignores each one’s personal history and the evidenced and well known psychological trappings of a cult, doesn’t remove that intent. In fact, these are just the kinds of people Raniere sought out, because he knew that people who are more trusting and had such a strongly driven intent within them, enabled him to hide behind a number of layers formed by them which would mask his sordidness. These people aren’t the “rats” of the mafia, although I’m sure Raniere, et al, would like to think so.

          • Mark Vicente has the “the best and soundest judgments” about destructive cults because he participates in all of them already.

    • Instead of Kreuk using her celebrity to help charities, she should beg Anon’s forgiveness for all the wrongs Anon has decided she is guilty of, because for Anon, it is all about Anon.

      • Hey jerk-off, just because you think it is acceptable for Kristin Kreuk to pretend she had no moral responsibility to even acknowledge the existence of NXIVM, something she is strongly connected to, and instead attach herself to things that have nothing to do with her, with no sweat, all because you want to either be inside her vagina or want to be her vagina, does not excuse her. You might think it is fine for her to do celebrity charity PR instead of using that same celebrity to point people to the NXIVM story, but that is because you are a sad groupie. You might get sexually aroused by cowering hypocrisy, but not everyone else does. Nothing you say changes anything. You didn’t mind Mark Vicente being called a fag rabbit above. It’s all about this one NXIVM member. Literally, any fleeting reference to this cultist and there you are like flies around shit. Or hungry Kashmiri peasants around a bowl of curry with a naan bread side dish. Your response is to attack anyone who says anything critical of this cultist, like you will be rewarded in stalk heaven. Stop being you. It is not healthy.

        • Your comments are never going to be taken seriously unless you—

          —stop claiming everyone who disagrees with you is Sultan
          —stop writing juvenile racist comments
          —in a sense, stop being you

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