Seth Abramovitch, Senior Writer for The Hollywood Reporter, interviewed Mark Vicente this week and published this story, “‘The Vow’ Star Mark Vicente on the ‘Horror’ of NXIVM”
The Hollywood Reporter interview of Vicente is a great read and a must-read for those who have been following the Nxivm story and watching The Vow, HBO’s 9-episode series on Nxivm.
In the Hollywood Reporter interview, not only does Vincente reveal some great new insights on Nxivm and its characters, but Abramovitch takes a turn my way – asking about my theory that Nxivm founder, Keith Alan Raniere, convicted of sex trafficking, forced labor, identity theft and racketeering, may not have been charged for his most serious crimes – murder.
For the first time ever, Vicente speaks about the possibility that Raniere was far more deadly than anyone knew.
I urge you to read the entire story in the Hollywood Reporter, but here is the pertinent excerpts covering the topic of possible murder.
After several introductory paragraphs, Abramovitch writes, “Vicente spoke recently with The Hollywood Reporter about Raniere’s seductive allure, NXIVM’s obsession with surveillance and documentation and the theories that Raniere may have poisoned or even killed some of his followers.”
Abramovitch then asks a series of questions about the filmmaking involved in “The Vow”, and how Vincente interacted with Raniere. He then poses an interesting question about Nancy Salzman, especially so because Mark declines to answer.
Abramovitch: What do you feel about Raniere’s NXIVM lieutenant Nancy Salzman? [Salzman took a plea deal, confessing to racketeering, and awaits sentencing.] Watching The Vow, I’m left wondering, was she complicit or not?
Vicente: I’m going to have to pass on that question.
[Does this mean Mark still has a soft spot for Nancy, someone he was very close to for a number of years?]
Abramovitch then asks Vicente about my film, “The Lost Women of Nxivm”.
Abramovitch: I watched the Discovery ID documentary, The Lost Women of NXIVM, and I’m wondering what your thoughts are on that. It posits that Raniere may have poisoned several women who eventually died of cancer. It also suggests two of his followers who allegedly committed suicide may have died by more nefarious means.
Vicente: Here’s the thing that’s interesting: I don’t remember when exactly, what the year was, but it was around the time that a number of the women closest to him were getting sick. You know, cancers and different things. And I remember saying to him at one point, “What is going on? Why are the women closest to you getting sick? Is it something in the building, is it something in the water?” And he would say to me, “Yeah, it’s a mystery.” And I’m like, “Yeah, it is a mystery. Like, how come them, of all people?” I don’t know if I know, but I do find it incredibly strange and statistically staggering that the people closest to him were getting sick in that fashion. Now, you could say he used hypnosis. You’ve heard of a placebo, right? People that get well with a placebo? Well, there’s a thing called a “nocebo.” And a nocebo is literally planting the idea in a person’s mind that instead of getting well, they might get sick. That’s a theory; maybe it’s that. But I do find it really, really strange that everybody close to him had some kind of sickness and some kind of cancer. It’s truly bizarre. It makes zero sense.
Abramovitch: In the doc, Frank Parlato, who runs The Frank Report and broke the NXIVM branding story in 2017, has a hair sample from one of the victims tested, and it comes back with a high level of barium in it, a toxic substance found in rat poison, among other places.
Vicente: Right. I hear you. All I can say for sure is, as I said, it’s statistically staggering that it’s this random. It’s weird.
Abramovitch: Didn’t Raniere once boast of having “killed” for his beliefs? Is he capable of murder?
Vicente: Is he capable? I have no idea. I mean, there’s conjecture. One thing I know about leaders like this, and there are many, is that they usually have other people do the dirty work.