Vicente Catches Raniere in Bed With Woman After He Blew off Meeting With Society of Protectors

Mark Vicente with Keith Raniere in Raniere's library.

This is our next in our series on the testimony of Mark Vicente, one of the main whistleblowers that helped take down the cult of Keith Alan Raniere.

AUSA Mark Lesko is examining Vicente and in this selection, Vicente explains that he was becoming increasingly perturbed by the way Nxivm was treating people. He also describes events at Vanguard Week 2016, where he espied Raniere in a cabin with a woman.

AUSA Mark Lesko


Mark Vicente

Q   Okay. Mr. Vicente, let’s talk about some events that occurred in 2016 and 2017. Okay?

A   Okay.

Q   All right. Do you recall sending a letter to the defendant and others in January of 2016?

A   I do, yes.

Q   And what did you say in that letter — well, first off, who did you send it to?

A   I sent the letter — I sent one letter to Nancy Salzman, and I sent another letter to Nancy Salzman and the entire executive board listing some of my concerns with things I was seeing in the company.

Nancy Salzman

Q   Okay. And what did you specifically say in that letter?

A   I said I had concerns about the way we were treating people, that we purported to be a humanitarian organization, and that when people came in we did not treat them that way at all. We treated them quite poorly. We were demeaning to people that actually knew what they were doing. And I was trying to point out the way the company was operating was like a cloistered religion that was cut off from the rest of the world. And that people that came in that had a lot of knowledge were considered they don’t know because they don’t have our ethics, or, you know, they don’t know because they’re not humanitarian enough. And I was trying to explain that there was a duplicity in the company in terms of what was stated and the way people were treated.

I also said that I was concerned that we’re not really promoting people’s dreams. We’re not really helping them become greater. In fact, we’re doing quite the opposite, that we’re squashing their dreams and we’re squashing what they wanted to do.

I also said that I had grave concerns about the way that Raniere was treated like he was some kind of god, and that people — some people couldn’t make decisions without him, and he was seen as like almost an oracle — I don’t know if I used that word, but he was like an oracle, and that he was just a person, just a man, and that I was just very concerned about the almost religious nature of people’s devotion to him, this belief that he had the answers to everything.

And I also talked about that there’s a tremendous fear in the organization. That they’re afraid of the upper ranks. That they’re afraid to say the wrong thing, and that they’re afraid to step out of line. And I said, so much so that even I am afraid to write this letter because I might become the problem in the organization, you know, in essence,  meaning you know, well, maybe, you’re going to come after me if I say these things. And I was trying to in essence get a lot of these — to get things across to them because I was seeing a lot of the effects of these things in the company, and I was seeing that people were deeply unhappy. And as I said, it was like cloistered, closed-off, you know, a convent of sorts.

Q   What response did you receive, if any?

A   One person sort of said, Well, yes, we have these problems and we don’t know how to fix it. Another person said, Well, it’s out of cause, you know, meaning that I’m not owning my emotions. And there was a pretty consistent philosophy that, you know, if you had — if you were emotional about something, then you — what you were saying had no validity. Only if you were unemotional, zero emotion, no attachments of any kind would what you were saying be valid, which I was — I’ve always found insane. And so I was told that, in essence, I was out of cause, and everybody just pretty much ignored it.

Q   I would like to direct your attention to V week in August of 2016 later that year. Do you recall something peculiar that happened during that V week?

A   2016?

Q   Yes.

A   Yes. There was an event that really deeply concerned me. So at that time, the Society of Protectors consisted of Raniere, myself, Jim Del Negro and Anthony Ames. And we had a number of significant failures, including that weekend that was canceled and, you know, we were evolving the way he hoped we would. So we thought, well, maybe what we need to do is have more face time with him. So at V week, we decided, well, let’s make sure we meet with him every single day. And, in essence, the idea was if we are not able to meet him by midnight, then we were to stand at his cabin outside for an hour and in silence as a kind of penitence.

Jim Del Negro

Most of the time we found him on time. I think one day we couldn’t find him, so we went to the cabin and we stood there for a while and I thought to myself, Well –…

Sources said Vanguard was seen at the Bayview cabin on the Silver Bay Campus during Vanguard Week in 2017.

Q   Mr. Vicente, you can continue.

A   Okay. So the idea this one night we were — we couldn’t find him, and so we stood outside on the — on the porch of the cabin. There was a — he had two cabins. And eventually, I thought, well, this is very strange. It’s very unusual that he wouldn’t show up, knowing that this was something we were doing [working to meet him every night by midnight] and knowing this was a penance we would take on [for not meeting him].

So I began wandering around, and I had a flashlight and I was shining it in different places. There was a cabin further down the road. And I shone it in the cabin and I saw him and a woman in the bed together. I believe they were clothed and their legs seemed to be intertwined. And I was very just shocked and disturbed, because given what I understood the Society of Protectors was and what I understood about showing up when you say you’re going to show up, I just thought it was very, very strange.

And I began walking back to the other men realizing I’d just seen that and switched the light off. Walked back to the other men and I didn’t say anything, but it really worked at me for a while. You know, part of me was going, ‘Well, you know, was that thing he was doing more important than this? Is it something that I don’t understand?’ But it deeply disturbed me.

And then I saw– and then I saw the woman leave. You know, he came back and I saw the woman leave and walk down the road and that stuck with me.


Of course, Keith Raniere had no concern that a number of men were waiting for him and would undergo some kind of stupid penance if they did not meet him by midnight. He had a woman he wanted to have sex with – and that took priority.

The secret of Nxivm and of many destructive cults is that the leader is almost invariably a sex addict and that takes precedence over everything else. It often leads to the destruction of the cult. And even when it does not, it often leads to the destruction of people, oftentimes women, in the cult.

Raniere had another psychosis. In addition to being a sex addict, he got enlivened by the idea of destroying his followers. He did not care about their well being, and enjoyed their ruination.

While the SOP men were so sincere and wanted to learn from their glorious master, he was busy having sex with a woman and probably laughing at her and at the stupid men who were waiting for him.

He had no regard for anyone other than himself and this I think is the secret of a cult. The leader really has no regard for his followers. He is only in it for himself.

Mark Vicente slowly figured this out and was, once he found out, Raniere’s worst nightmare. I know there will be commenters who will be quick to say that Vicente profited for years. Maybe he did and if he did, he could have gone right on profiting. He did not need to risk his safety and his income by exposing the varmint.

But he saw that it was wrong and gave up his income to expose the demon. This deserves praise, not calumny.

He could have kept quiet and just slipped away. He did not have to try to rescue others. He did not have to work with me to expose the rascal. He did not have to cooperate with law enforcement. He did not have to expose his name to The New York Times and indelibly link himself to this notorious group.

He did it because he thought it was right. Sure you can mock him. Say he was a fool because he was a sincere and perhaps gullible follower. First, he followed Ramtha and then when he found that wanting, he went with Raniere.

Through it all, Vicente was a genuine seeker. A man searching for the truth and believing what he was doing was good. The fact that as late as 2016, he could be shocked to find Raniere in bed with a woman shows how well Raniere kept his sexual deviancy hidden from the men.

But the point is this: [as we shall see more clearly in our next post] once Vicente realized the fraud – and it took him some time to do so and I am sure all the armchair quarterbacks out there will tell me that they would have realized it sooner – but as soon as he did, he probed, he investigated and then he exposed the monster.

Without Vicente, the monster might be still in business.

It’s clear his realization was gradual. He noticed that people were not being treated as he thought the company should based on their self-proclaimed ideals. And he wrote a letter. He saw Raniere in a cabin with a woman and it deeply disturbed him. He is slowly seeing that the man he invested years of his life into following and into trying to build a business and perhaps even a mission to do good to the world, was not who he thought he was.

And rather than slink away, rather than continue to rake in the money, he chose to take a stand and expose him and rescue others.

Mark Vicente deserves to be praised as a true whistleblower.




About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • I’m fascinated by the SOP stories. Frank, please continue to give us as much info as you can about this bizarro group within a bizarro group.

    • Yes, more SOP more!
      BTW, the bravest thing Vicente did was to say, under oath, for the world to hear, that he was such a silly little wuss that he handed over his balls to his Vanguard.

  • Curious no description of the Woman of that night.

    He saw their legs intertwined with clothes on with the flashlight and saw her walk down the road when KAR and her concluded.

    He most likely would have recognized her. Known her rank, position, and who/if the woman(?) was married!

    A detail left out. Why?

    Just KAR hooking up (a 50yo male) is not going to bother anyone. I doubt 4 other middle-aged men are going to be disturbed or irritated, who are left happing late in the evening. As it was KAR’s Birth Day celebration.

    Smell a play here. And the irritation felt and remembrance of the discovery is because of who the woman was, And what that information meant to Vincente

    • If the unnamed woman was the wife or GF of one of those SOPers, he would have done penance for KAR”s trangression.

  • “But he saw that it was wrong and gave up his income to expose the demon. This deserves praise, not calumny.”
    AFTER A YEAR (and more since Allison’s state started in 2013…he had her around by the end of 2012.
    He saw the damage Raniere did and he did what? He blamed her!
    He blamed her for Raniere’s destruction of her, he blamed her for not getting the position he wanted (while admitting she wasn’t in control of it), and he blamed her for the behavior of some others…
    Like for Cat’s behavior (she is responsible for the recruitment of her daughter), like for India (who was grown up and loved Allison and this is unhealthy (why? since he didn’t know anything back then) and he blamed it on Allison)…
    He doesn’t take any responsibility once!

    Not about his ignorance of the suffering of victims, not for his position in nxivm…a position that gave him tons of bucks.

    He supported Raniere and tried to rationalize everything (even the unrationalizable)…but when Allison was trying to do the same, because she was coerced, she was forced to do it and because she was mentally abused, nope…it doesn’t work.

    He deserves calumny because of his embrace of this cult for WAY too long when he saw the damage.
    Heck, he wrote a letter beginning of 2016 (this is years after he saw Allison’s destruction), he knew what Raniere did was wrong.
    YET he left when? a YEAR after that!!!

    “Through it all, Vicente was a genuine seeker. A man searching for the truth and believing what he was doing was good”
    And this is an excuse that could be used for certain victims who said in public…yet he decided to blame one of them.
    Knowing that she was also trying to do what was right.Knowing she was abused by Raniere. And when he was “doing good” by ignoring her and she was destroyed more and more, he was SOOO good, that he continued to follow the monster for another year…

    Nothing can excuse him for his ignorance of the suffering. He continued to follow for as long as it was not too dangerous and he was (well) paid.
    Not the sign of a great man.

    “And rather than slink away, rather than continue to rake in the money, he chose to take a stand and expose him and rescue others.”
    Are you actually really understanding what you just said?!

    HE SAW THIS ‘DISTURBING’ SIGHT IN AUGUST 2016 and he left when? JUNE 2017…


    He doesn’t deserve praising at all…especially not when everything he says is exonerating Allison but he managed to try to connect her to unrelated things (all this while admitting he wanted this lead and that she didn’t lead anything as it was more like a collegial decision of 13 members (including him and his wife))

    This guy accepted the truth of Raniere and then, when it was smelling bad, he left only to blame a victim that he saw being victimized.
    This guy accepted (mostly) the money of HIS victims as he continued for more than a YEAR (after writing how nxivm was destroying people’s dreams and lives).

    He is a nobody that deserves, at best, to be ignored or to be seen for what he was!
    A pathetic jerk who took advantage of poor victims until he felt like it was too hot for his freedom.

    A selfish idiot who followed blindly (for his own advantages) a monster…a monster he saw (for years) destroying the lives of his many victims.
    He deserves to take responsibility for his long time serving the devil…

    But it seems like it’s better (for him) to blame everyone else for his own choices.

    • Just because he’s a lifelong cultist and was therefore slow on the uptake doesn’t mean he wasn’t a major whistle blower. LOL

      Just because Mack was much slower on the uptake doesn’t mean she should be let go. LOL

      Mack didn’t get on the deal bus until very late, so she lost – that’s how it works. LOL

  • It’s indeed telling that Vicente wrote letters about his concerns regarding things he thought were wrong, knowing that it risked resulting in him being fingered as a sort of troublemaker.

    It’s a fairly typical mechanism of high control groups, including Scientology, from which NXIVM seems to have taken a lot of cues, that those involved aren’t allowed to find fault with leaders, or the organization – though they are often subject to withering criticism from the hierachy, and as part of doctrines of self-criticism. Members with concerns, or even just critical thoughts, are told the problem can only lie with them, and directed to look inside themselves.

    Many cult whistleblowers are those who only finally have a change of heart, once they themselves end up being the target or victim of the things going wrong in the group, and often ones they long ignorned troubling signs of or even turned a blind eye to – I think Sarah Edmondson may be an example of that. As far as I can tell, Vicente’s disaffection and eventual disaffection was principally over troubling abuses he witnessed, not ones he suffered.

    This seems to me a very fair treatment that recognizes the reality that people have a hard time pulling themselves out of something once invested in it, and that groups like NXIVM are often surprisingly compartmentalized.

    • “It’s indeed telling….”

      “It’s a fairly typical mechanism….”

      “Many cult whistleblowers….”

      “This seems to me a very fair….”

      Do you ever write like a normal person? LOL

  • Takes a real man to admit when he’s afraid and I’m very impressed that Vicente did — in writing to Nancy Salzman and the NX Board back in 2016. (…Nancy prolly took it as a compliment. Goal achieved.)

    Forcing everyone to doubt their feelings — in part by shaming them for having any — and adopt Raniere’s superior, twisted “logic” was key to manipulating NXIANS but Vicente should have listened to his a lot sooner. Easy to understand why he, none of them, dared to.

      • While your point (for once) actually has some humor in it, your cowardly/anonymous/soyboy post minimizes the horrors that Raniere dumped on his perceived enemies – like Dani, Frank, Joe, the Hardy Boys, and any person who dared not lick his boots.

      • Scotty,

        “Afraid of What?”; “Hiding in the Bathroom.”

        Excellent point. LOL

        You would know. Pu$$y!!! LOL

        You hide in the closet…..

        …..You cuckold.

  • Interesting how Vicente wrote the letter with his concerns several months before he saw Raniere in bed with an unnamed woman, apparently with their clothes on. LOL

    However, I believe Vicente had previously testified that he knew Raniere was sleeping with multiple women, so this should not have been much of a surprise. LOL

    Looks to me Raniere couldn’t get it up and the woman left, probably unsexed, except perhaps by his tongue. LOL

    Raniere’s mistake appears to be not kicking Vicente out of NXIVM after he wrote the letter, as everyone else was onboard with his behaviors. LOL

    Interesting how the men thought it was THEY who should pay a penance when it was Raniere who didn’t show up. What a f*cked up organization. LOL

    • “Interesting how the men thought it was THEY who should pay a penance when it was Raniere who didn’t show up.”

      It’s bad enough that grown “men” would be part of a club with a name so silly that it would embarrass any boy over 12…but to punish yourself for your leader’s faults means they were as mindfucked as the DOS girls. This make me certain that Keith also showed his domination over the SOP boys in some demeaning SEXUAL way, that Vicente and the others are too ashamed to admit as yet.

      • These were not men coming in fresh off the street, they had been slow-boiled for years, just like the women. LOL

        Except in their case, they were taught they were superior to the stupid women. LOL

        • Scott,

          You’d certainly know about “stupid”, you stupid retard.

          Give anyone a $20 ride in your flat bed pick truck? Or is the wife out of town.

      • The SOPers feel the need to punish themselves for their leader’s failures, so I can imagine whenever their Vanguard can’t get an erection with a cult-girl, the SOPers do penance by jerking off on each other’s faces.

    • I agree, he obviously knew.
      Also, I doubt about this letter…
      He saw Raniere destroying life for ages and ignored it systematically.
      He was way too well paid to care.

  • I have to say, this post has finally changed my mind about Mark Vicente. I see now why Frank says he is a true whistleblower and one of the main people who took this cult down. I was very skeptical, mostly because of the Ramtha connection and the sheer abysmalness of What The Bleep.

    I’m also beginning to think that Frank’s theory about Keith Raniere, that he was totally dedicated to the ultimate destruction of everyone who came under his spell, is exactly correct. You can see it in everything Raniere says — he’s always undermining the other person, making them doubt themselves, making them feel inadequate. Everything goes exactly one way.

    By their fruits ye shall know them, says the big black book. Couldn’t people just take a look at themselves, and ask — am I feeling better or worse now?

    It seems it took Mark Vicente finally to ask that simple question. To put it all down in writing as he did was extremely brave. It seems Vicente is genuinely well meaning, and initially really believed what he was told about this hydra-like organization. A multilevel-marketing sex-slave scheme is an unusual business plan. No wonder Raniere thought he was being clever.

    And it was Raniere getting caught out having sex just once, at the wrong moment, that finally seems to have jolted Vicente into realizing that something truly wrong was happening here. And taking the first steps to bringing down the house of collateral.

    Thanks for these insights, Frank, very interesting, not least to see that I’m still actually able to change my mind. It’s been a long time since I last did that. There was an occasion back there when I thought I had made a mistake, once, but it turned out I was wrong.

    It’s all quiet on the Ramtha front, incidentally, apart from some gossip about this rather strange lady Dr. Judy Mikovits, in that she spoke at a Ramtha event in 2015:

    Whether she was just using any platform open to her, or whether she has any other connections with the Ramtha cult, I haven’t been able to ascertain. But it’s having guest speakers like her around that enables the Ramtha followers to feel they’re getting special inside knowledge. They thrive on anything that’s riddled with conspiracies and hidden information, Judy Mikovits is a classic case. These speakers are very carefully chosen, there’s no question, the Ramtha School of Enlightenment is a major operation.

    One of the worst peddlers of such conspiracy theories is the very shady Micheal Ledwith whom Mark Vicente highlighted in What The Bleep, Ledwith talks more than anyone else in that movie. As a Vatican insider (he was on a committee advising Pope John Paul II for many years) Ledwith tells the open-mouthed Ramtha acolytes all kinds of supposed Vatican big secrets. One such story involves the giants who live under the earth in the Himalayas, the secret rulers of the world. They were supposed to appear on the surface and lord it over us in 2012, another prediction from the Ramtha School of Enlightenment that spectacularly failed to occur. I was told this by a spellbound Ramtha follower who had heard this himself at the Ramtha ranch in Yelm.

    And you think I’m nuts. Sheesh.

    • As Scott has said several times before, Vicente and all other NXIVM participants are each a mixture of good and bad, normal and abnormal, etc. LOL

      Therefore, Vicente could be both a cult follower and a whistle blower. LOL

      It’s not just one or the other. LOL

      Also, Fred can agree with Frank and still be nuts. LOL

      As stated in another comment, Raniere in bed with a random woman was not a new concept to him. LOL

    • Now it’s time for payback and for the parasitic Keith to have a retributive destruction imposed upon his life.

  • “So at that time, the Society of Protectors consisted of Raniere, myself, Jim Del Negro and Anthony Ames”

    Did he mean that was the SOP board members, not the full membership of SOP?

  • Mark Vicente is a cultist by nature. Look at his social media posts. He can’t help it. Low self-esteem, pretentious, self-righteous and arrogant. He thinks he is a moral crusader. Yes, he did profit for years, yes he did know about unethical things, yes his mother was involved with money laundering, yes he and his mother were named in Joe O’Hara’s lawsuit, yes he did love whatever status he had and yes, he only turned on NXIVM to save his own ass as he knew what NXIVM did to defectors and he didn’t care. This cunt is also a Trump basher, thinking he gets to point the finger at others when he is a literal professional cultist. Fuck him. People like him kept the cult going for years, despite everything out there. He is responsible for that.

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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