Pivotal Nxivm Moment Documented in HBO’s ‘The Vow’: Vicente, Edmondson, Oxenberg Go to Frank Parlato to Reveal Raniere Is Branding Women

Episode #4 of HBO’s “The Vow”, entitled “Building Character” captures in real-time an actual historic moment in the takedown of the Nxivm cult.  You can watch The Vow for free on Flixtor 

Much of the series is capturing the efforts to take down the cult, but in this episode, at around the 46-minute mark, Catherine Oxenberg, Mark Vicente and Sarah Edmondson agree to go to me with the story of DOS and I publish it on the Frank Report.

This was during the time it really happened and includes the actual phone call between Vicente and myself where he confirms that the branding was real.

Here is the transcript of “The Vow” beginning with Catherine Oxenberg’s call in real-time to Mark Vicente telling him she spoke with me.

Because this is a rare glimpse at what really happened in the takedown of Nxivm, I think this is worthy of publishing.

First, I will give the transcript then I will show the clip from “The Vow”.


(Phone rings)

MARK VICENTE: Catherine…

CATHERINE OXENBERG: I just spoke to this guy Frank Parlato…

MARK: You talked to Frank?

CATHERINE: Yeah. Do you know him? He has this whole website dedicated to taking this cult down…

MARK: Yes, I know the guy, he used to work for Keith.

CATHERINE:  Well, I just kind of laid the story out for him about what’s happening with India…

MARK: Yeah…

CATHERINE: And he didn’t know about DOS.

(music, car sounds)

CATHERINE: I think it would be good for you to speak with him.

MARK: Yeah.

(music, car sounds)

MARK: Frank Parlato used to work for Keith, and NXIVM. He left on bad terms, and the company went after him. To fight back, he created a blog called the Frank Report, to share news he was hearing about NXIVM. Back then, I was very wary of him.

(music, car sounds)

MARK: There’s a case against Frank, from Keith, so I believe his motivation is try to take them down before they can actually do any damage to him.

CATHERINE:  Well, he seemed very helpful with me, very supportive.

MARK: Yeah.


MARK: We knew there was a branding ceremony that was about to happen. For Catherine, the hope was that India might even read it, and realize “Holy shit, this is bad”. It was like, “we can’t wait, we have to get the story out”.  And Frank will report it.

(phone rings)

FRANK: Hello.

MARK: Frank?


MARK: You’re aware of who I am?


MARK: OK. I have an over-abundance of paranoia, at the moment.

FRANK: Oh, there’s always some paranoia with everyone that deals with Keith Raniere.

MARK:  Yeah.

FRANK: If you could give me some background information, then that would be fine. Do you think it’s true there’s a branding ceremony?

MARK:  I know it’s true.

FRANK: How did you find out about this?

MARK: I won’t tell you names, but I have one informant giving me information.

FRANK: How do you know it’s true?

MARK: She had photographic evidence.

FRANK: Is she branded?

MARK: Yes.


SARAH EDMONDSON: I decided to tell Frank about the branding, it was pretty terrifying, but my name wasn’t attached. So I felt safe, and at this point, I was kind of like a vigilante on a mission, I was angry, I was like “fuck you, you fucking messed with the wrong person.”


MARK: When Frank came out with the news, it set the whole organization into a panic. A lot of people began asking questions. And that was the idea, it’s not just to expose what’s going on, it was also about getting people to leave, getting people away from danger.


JANE [A DOS SLAVE WHO HAD NOT YET BEEN BRANDED}: When the Frank Report came out, I was in shock. I didn’t know about the branding, or Keith’s initials on the brand. I hadn’t thought of myself as having been traumatized, until that moment.


JANE:  I was sort of like: “W-what do we do?”… “We fucking leave!” This option was opened.  “Oh, that is something that I can do.”

DOS WOMAN 3: I was terrified about my collateral, but I just wanted out.

Catherine gets a text from her daughter India after Frank Report broke the branding story:

CELL PHONE TEXT: The people you’re working with are actually accused criminals. Frank, your expert, has only ever written slander and was paid money to do so.

CELL PHONE TEXT: I’ve actively decided not to speak with you out of principle because I think what you’re doing is so damaging to me and my friends and my family.

CATHERINE:  There’s no way, with the child that I’ve known for 26 years, that she would be involved, or condone, the things that she’s participating in right now. There’s no way. She’s convinced herself that being branded with some man’s initials and being recruited for sex, that that’s a good thing, this is character-building. This organization has taken my child, and I will do whatever it takes to get her back.


About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • “FRANK: Oh, there’s always some paranoia with everyone that deals with Keith Raniere.”
    that made me laugh so hard 🙂 Stay strong, Frank!! All of us with any sense of sanity love you!

  • I can’t watch “The Vow”. I hate seeing Mark Vicente.

    I feel also disturbed he was taping the whole thing. It feels like he jumped on the opportunity to use human trafficking to boost his career in filmmaking.

    Is anyone else disturbed by this?

    I did love seeing Frank Report !!

    I would love to hear what Frank thought when he first heard about the branding. Was it obvious this was the death of Nxvim and Keith?

    How did Frank get the idea of doing Frank Report first?

    • I did think that if the branding was true – when I first heard about it from Catherine Oxenberg – I thought this would be the end of Keith Raniere. I started the Frank Report in late 2015 because Clare Bronfman and Keith Raniere sought to destroy me and I had to fight back.

      • Thanks for explaining. You are right, all the other torture he did was hard to explain. Branding is clearly wrong and is human violence. It is very extreme.
        What a fool.

        Congrats, Frank, on your victory

  • Congrats, Frank !!! Magnificent participation!!!

    There should be just a show on the Frank Report!!

    Frank’s part was the most interesting.

  • “I won’t tell you more unless you give me collateral. ”

    Followed by Vanguard’s new, self-imposed definition of collateral, BLACKMAIL MATERIAL. ”


    Part 1 of counseling is deprograming.

    Part 2 should be what basic building blocks were missing to allow yourselves to fall for this in the first place.

    My opinion.

  • Re Keith Raniere Word Salad & Meaninglessness Proverbs:

    In episode 4, Keith shares some of his best (dumbest) word salad with Allison Mack.

    “The most excitement that you’ve ever felt is yours to have all the time.” -Raniere

    “What if art was just an excuse for those who couldn’t do.” -Raniere


    Allison Mack actually was memorized by the word salad and cried afterword. The clip is a testament to how enthralled Allison Mack was with Raniere.

    • Yes. I remember my sibling giving me a book for Christmas of the words of Baghwan (another cult leader back in the day) and it was the same issue – load of old rubbish what was being said yet. Also, he seems to be trying to break her down – a bit like the English expression – “If you can do – do. If you can’t do – teach.” I think KR was trying to suggest something along those lines

  • After watching the first 3 episodes, I was convinced Frank’s role in taking down Nxivm was going to be excluded or diminished…..

    I was pleasantly surprised after watching episode 4.

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.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was 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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com