Vicente Tries to Explain to Raniere What His Concerns Are

Mark Vicente

This is the next in our series on the testimony of Mark Vicente in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere. Mark was the second witness called.

In the last post, he began to reveal how he became disillusioned with Nxivm but still had faith in its leader, Raniere.

In this selection, he explains a little more of how he realized that no one was succeeding in Nxivm. That in order to advance in the hierarchy, one had to become more obedient and more rule-bound to Raniere’s commands.

And no one was succeeded.

The time he is discussing is late 2016 and early 2017. DOS had already begun but Vicente did not know anything about it. He just sensed something was wrong.

AUSA Mark Lesko is examining Vicente.

AUSA Mark J. Lesko


Mark Vicente was the principal videographer for Nxivm for years.

Q   At this point in time, where were you living?

A   We were living in — well, actually, between LA and Halfmoon, New York. …

Q   So you were in Halfmoon?

A   Halfmoon, I believe at that point, yes.

Q   No longer in Clifton Park?

A   We had at that time, yes, moved to Halfmoon, which is right next door.

Q   And you also had a residence in Los Angeles?

A   We had an apartment in Los Angeles, yes.

Q   Was anyone else living in your residence at Halfmoon?

A   My mother was living with us.

Nxivm west coast celebrities – Mark Vicente, Sarah Edmondson [standing] Mark Hildreth, Kristin Kreuk below
Q  Approximately January of 2017 did you have a discussion with Sarah [Edmondson] about Albany?

A   I did. She and — and her husband were in town for the coach summit. I think it was called Winter Fest. And they’d expressed to me that they wanted to buy a house in Clifton Park, and so I asked them if I could meet with them and talk with them. And so at that point, there was the production office for Living Pixel was in Rome Plaza which was next door to Apropos.


So they came over for lunch and we had a conversation. And in that conversation I said to them, ‘I really wanted to dissuade you from moving here. I don’t think people that move here do well. I think that they end up giving up on their dreams. They’re not successful. And I have severe concerns about something that’s going on with all the women and with Raniere. And I don’t know what’s going on, but I have severe concerns.’ So that was the nature of my conversation with them.

Q   Did Sarah and her husband move to Albany?

A   They did not. They had an apartment, but they were thinking of moving permanently, but they did not.

Q   That Winter Fest coach summit in January of 2017, did you participate in that summit?

A   I did. I wasn’t there all the time. But I was there for some of it.

Q   Okay. In the next month, in February of 2017, did you participate in an ESP intensive?

A   Yes. There was — we ran intensive in Orange County, California. It was a five-day intensive, and I was traveling down there to help with the intensive, which was, I believe, trained by Jim Del Negro, that one.

James Del Negro frequently trained Nxivm students.

Q   In February of 2017, did anyone from NXIVM express concern to you about you possibly leaving NXIVM?

A   Yes. Alex Betancourt and Lauren Salzman said to me that they thought it might be good if we met in person, and they were suggesting flying to Los Angeles. I dissuaded them from that because I had a sense of how that would go.  I was having deep concerns, but I couldn’t figure out exactly what was going on yet. So I said to them, it’s not a good time.

And I knew — I’d been through a lot of these things — these discussions before where, you know, in essence, you get surrounded intellectually and, you know, EM’d into oblivion. And I wasn’t interested in doing that. I would just rather try and figure out what was going on.

Lauren Salzman wanted to go to work on Mark Vicente to get him more obedient to Keith Raniere.

Q   Did you return to Albany after the Orange County February 2017 intensive?

A   Yes. I returned in March 2017 for a number of things. I returned to shoot some material of Raniere and somebody else for a website. I also was packing up the townhouse that we had there. And I was also attending the Jness X intensive, I believe, it was.

Q   Upon returning to Albany, did you meet with the senior proctors of the Greens?

A   I did.

Q   Who did you meet with?

A   So my recollection was — I mean, Nancy Salzman was there. Lauren Salzman was there. Omar Boone, Loretta Garza, Sarah, I think Emiliano was there. Alex Betancourt was definitely there. I believe Esther Carlson was there. Basically, all the Greens and the executive members. So I believe, Karen was there. Clare Bronfman was there.

Nancy Salzman went to work on Mark Vicente.

Q   Had you told the defendant beforehand that you were going to meet with the Greens?

A   I had. I had a discussion with him where I … shared a realization I had, and the realization I’d had was that it … didn’t seem to be by accident that people were doing poorly in the company. It seemed almost by design. And I said to him, I’d begun to recognize that this entire system is actually built not to actually grow people, not to actually give them what they want, but to do the exact opposite. And that the upper ends, especially, because of their fear and rule boundedness, just crushed any growth that was occurring. And I said it’s a terribly oppressive environment, and I began to realize like it seems to be by design. It seems like everybody’s in on this thing, and it’s a huge problem. So, that was the conversation I had with Raniere. And then I said, I’m going to go have that conversation with the Greens, and I did.

Keith Raniere and Mark Vicente had a conversation about the concerns Vicente had.

Q   Let me stop you there before we get to the conversation with the Greens. Did you and …  the defendant, discuss the ranking system in that conversation?

A   Yes. I did say to him that I felt the ranking system was broken. That it made no sense to me anymore. It didn’t seem to be based on earning, and that the ranking system to me, if it was what he said it was, that surely as you went up the ranking system, one would develop more wisdom and more maturity. And all I was seeing was the higher up you went, the more obedient and rule-bound people were, so something wasn’t making sense to me. And I said to him that I thought it was broken.

Q   Did you indicate to him that you nonetheless respected the ranking?

A   I did. I also expressed to him that one of the concerns I had was that I had a lot of things that I wanted to share. But because he was, I think I said, the boss of everything, I felt constrained by the ranking system.

Q   What was his reaction, if any?

A   I believe he said he respected that I respected it.

Q   Did you subsequently meet with the Greens?

A   I did. And I shared to the best of my ability what I was understanding about the entire organization. Some people seemed very upset. One person in particular got very angry at me.

Q   Who was that?

A   Omar Boone got very angry at me. Alex Betancourt seemed to think that he might understand. But … my general sense is people really didn’t understand what I meant.

Omar Boone became angry with Mark Vicente because he was not willing to obey Keith Raniere, according to Vicente.

Q   Did the defendant eventually join that meeting that you were having with the Greens?

A   He did…. and that was the thing that was strange to me is that when he came in, he — he moved into the usual line of, you know, we need to work harder, we need to enroll more, you know, all the stuff that had been happening for years. And I was very confused because we had the conversation about what I was going to talk about…. I just kept quiet and listened. But when he was done, I said to him, You know, this was the meeting that I wanted to talk to everybody about what we discussed. And he said something to the effect, Oh, I didn’t realize. And I was like, Really? Because you have a very good memory. It seems strange. So I just felt that I … wasn’t getting anywhere with communicating this, so I just thought, Okay. Well, I guess there’s nothing I can do.



Poor Keith Raniere. He crashed the meetings of the Greens, a meeting Vicente had set up to discuss his concerns about how everyone in Nxivm was a failure and that the higher ranking members were merely rule-bound, obedient followers of Raniere.

Raniere comes in and hijacks the meeting. It worked perhaps in the short run but not in the long run. It only made Mark more concerned.

He advised Sarah and her husband, Anthony Ames, to not move to Albany. By doing this, Mark was already out of the rule-bound stage with Nxivm. He was gradually becoming loosened from the grip of the cult. It would take him a few more months to finally figure out that he needed to leave and get out.

He also had to make a colossal decision, one which makes him rank high in my estimation. He could have slithered away and probably just quit and left. As we shall see in subsequent posts, he did not just quit and leave and hide. He sounded the alarm bell and helped others to get out.

I liken this to a man on a sinking ship. He could have taken a life-boat and escaped by himself. Instead, he stayed near the ship to save others, putting himself in jeopardy.

All this will be explained in subsequent posts.




About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • excerpts from The Atlantic Anne Applebaum JULY/AUGUST 2020 ISSUE

    In any organization, private or public, the boss will of course sometimes make decisions that his underlings dislike. But when basic principles are constantly violated, and people constantly defer resignation—“I can always fall on my sword next time”—then misguided policies go fatally unchallenged.

    In other countries, the trap has other names. In his recent book on Putinism, Between Two Fires, Joshua Yaffa describes the Russian version of this syndrome. The Russian language, he notes, has a word—prisposoblenets—that means “a person skilled in the act of compromise and adaptation, who intuitively understands what is expected of him and adjusts his beliefs and conduct accordingly.” .

    For those who have never experienced it, the mystical pull of that connection to power, that feeling of being an insider, is difficult to explain. A friend who regularly runs into (former never-Trumper) Lindsey Graham in Washington told me that each time they meet, “he brags about having just met with Trump” while exhibiting “high school” levels of excitement, as if “a popular quarterback has just bestowed some attention on a nerdy debate-club leader—the powerful big kid likes me! ” That kind of intense pleasure is hard to relinquish and even harder to live without.

    • –For those who have never experienced it, the mystical pull of that connection to power, that feeling of being an insider, is difficult to explain.

      You don’t have to be some sort of insider to a big political group that holds power or the like to experience this feeling. This type of feeling can be experienced at multiple levels, even when you’re not much older than a child and you want validation from a particular member of a group or individual that you look up to and they provide it for you. Parents can often provide this for their children. I think almost every individual has experienced such a feeling some time in life.

    • Onetime someone stole my gym shorts in school and I tattle-tailed on him. LOL
      Afterwords, I became the most popular kid in my school; all the kids would take turns dunking my head in the toilet bowl. LOL
      I got baptized every day. LOL

  • Ties between top California Democrats and Cult Leader Jim Jones

    Background and career launchers of Nancy Pelosi and Dianne Feinstein. Look at all these Dem heroes who backed and endorsed Jim Jones, that’s right, the cult leader who led many to their deaths drinking the Kool-Aid!

    • Pelosi obviously didn’t know what Jones was up to, she thought he sold high-end ice cream. LOL

  • Mark Vicente is a liberal cry baby for the same reason he spent twelve (?) years in NXIVM and generally cult hopped, looking to feel the void within. His social media is like all the other libtards. You can always come back with the NXIVM card. If you were anti-NXIVM, you were a “suppressive”. If you are not a liberal, you are an “ist” and “phobic”. They just don’t see it… Cult mentality. Echo chamber, follow the herd degeneracy.

    • I would not be surprised if Vicente, after being in Ramtha and then NXIVM, would be looking for his third cult.
      Simple minded liberals are attracted to cults the way flies are attracted to crap.
      Just look at all of the Liberals attracted to Anti-Fa and BLM.

  • In posts about his time as a consultant for NXIVM, Mr. Parlato noted that many NXIVM members close to the inner circle had trouble making basic business decisions without restating everything in Raniere-speak, or simply defering to Raniere. That is why NXIVM needed people like him, and Joe O’Hara before him as business consultants.

    Clearly the NXIVM curriculum was not producing “executive success.”

    The interesting question is, was this due to the promotion system filtering out people who could think for themselves, so those never got to the inner circle, or did the curriculum actually damage people’s ability to think?

  • “In this selection, he explains a little more of how he realized that no one was succeeding in Nxivm. ”
    He succeeded further than this untalented fool could…he is the one person (with the Salzmans) who shouldn’t talk about it.

    Successful talented people were destroyed by the cult but he wasn’t one of them…he also helped a lot to destroy them.

    “Q No longer in Clifton Park?

    A We had at that time, yes, moved to Halfmoon, which is right next door.

    Q And you also had a residence in Los Angeles?

    A We had an apartment in Los Angeles, yes.”

    Poor Mark, penniless, obviously…and this was definitely paid with the “artistic” work he never did…he took advantage of the golden goose until it became illegal to squeeze her…

    “Q Did Sarah and her husband move to Albany?

    A They did not. They had an apartment, but they were thinking of moving permanently, but they did not.”
    Another penniless member…again, it’s definitely her career that allowed her to own several properties…definitely *wink*.

    “you get surrounded intellectually and, you know, EM’d into oblivion”
    Yet he doesn’t acknowledge the effect of EM for other victims…poor Mark, the exclusive victim …

    ” I’d begun to recognize that this entire system is actually built not to actually grow people, not to actually give them what they want, but to do the exact opposite”
    Once again, it took him long to see that and he wasn’t the one deprived of his dreams…they (him and the others) destroyed thousands of good people’s life.
    People who wanted to do good and joined believing in the BS HE and Sarah were giving to them…

    It took him years of seeing Allison being destroyed and ignoring it…but all of a sudden, an epiphany and boom he sees the light.
    But on the side, blame it on a victim. what a nice guy!

    “He sounded the alarm bell and helped others to get out.”
    After bringing them in, it’s the minimum he should do. But yet, he left some of the victims behind and decided to blame at least one of them.
    What a wonderful man he is!

    • — Once again, it took him long to see that and he wasn’t the one deprived of his dreams…they (him and the others) destroyed thousands of good people’s life.

      You didn’t even have to be part of this group to have your life destroyed in some way, just associated to some member with it and trust the lies they told 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