Former Nxian: Vicente Saved Women; Brought Down NXIVM; Is Not the Villain as Shown on India Oxenberg’s ‘Seduced’

India Oxenberg and Mark Vicente

The following is by a former Nxivm member. The individual, who asked to remain anonymous, knew many of the members, including those who got arrested.

By a Nxivm Survivor

The Executive Board of Nxivm. Standing Nancy Salzman. L-R Mark Vicente, Alejandro Betancourt, Karen U. Clare Webb Bronfman, Lauren Salzman, and Emiliano Salinas.

If you have been following the NIXVM nightmare on television and the news, I’d like you to meet the board of ESP, NXIVM. And I invite you to share this with other viewers.

There are probably only three of them familiar to you: Lauren Salzman, who testified at the trial and was Sarah Edmondson’s coach and master in DOS; Clare Bronfman, the Seagram’s Heiress and litigious bulldog for Keith using her millions to sue ESP defectors into bankruptcy; and Mark Vicente, who has been a central subject of HBO’s The Vow.

I’ve been horrified that since Starz’s Seduced started airing that a lot of hate and judgment has fallen on Mark for some reason. One person on Twitter ranked Mark as third on their list of top NXIVM abusers. This, I believe, comes down to two central reasons: He is the only member of the executive board who left ESP, and then agreed to dump his guts on the table as he and others fought for their lives, fought to save others while on camera for an HBO series; and he was closest to India as they were both members of the small, insular, Los Angeles centre.

So; Mark gets a lot of screen time. Which seems to have Twitter and reviewers having a lot of opinions about his abuser status and whether he deserves compassion or should be forgiven for his “crimes.”

But here is where we need to focus on reality: Mark was not indicted for any crimes or listed as a co-conspirator.

India Oxenberg has made a four-part docuseries, Seduced, that has portrayed Mark Vicente as one of her abusers.

If you really want to know the truth, read the court transcripts. To my knowledge, only one member of that executive board was a member of DOS and that was Lauren Salzman. Only two were charged and convicted of crimes, and those were Lauren Salzman and Clare Bronfman.

Lauren enrolled Sarah Edmondson in DOS and was also her coach in ESP. She was someone I considered a friend and, frankly, someone I admired. But she was a high-level DOS master and the head of education on the board of NXIVM and was charged and convicted of crimes.

Lauren is not interviewed in The Vow for various reasons and barely appears in Seduced. As several episodes of The Vow illustrated, Clare Bronfman funded and drove litigious campaigns against NXIVM defectors and critics that destroyed lives. For decades. And at her sentencing, Clare defended Keith Raniere. But somehow Mark is outranking Lauren and Clare on the public’s list of top ten NXIVM abusers.

Please remember that Bonnie, once she left, and then Mark, once he followed, were afraid for their lives. All counsel was that they should stay quiet and disappear lest they get sued into oblivion by ESP/NXIVM (Clare Bronfman) the way other defectors had in the past.

L-R Nicki Clyne, Kristin Keeffe, Bonnie Piesse and Mark Vicente.

But they did not. They were the first people to knock on all the doors of law enforcement agencies as early as May 2017. They decided to risk it all to save the women from DOS. Perhaps most important of all, Bonnie and Mark and a few others were the reason India Oxenberg’s own DOS slaves escaped branding.

After Catherine Oxenberg contacted Frank Parlato to tell him her daughter India was branded, Sarah Edmondson and Mark Vicente confirmed the story was true. Because of stories Parlato wrote – which Vicente and Edmondson confirmed as true to Nxivm members – hundreds of people quit Nxivm and future branding sessions were canceled.

This is the terrible game survivors wrestle with, and the public seems to engage in: Who was an abuser and who was a victim? I’ve heard people suggest that anyone who made money off ESP is an abuser. That probably accounts for 1/3 of the organization. Though I am not convinced anyone made much money. Others have suggested anyone who was on the coach path is an abuser. That was almost everyone.

Cults are psychologically like abusive relationships, but not systemically: ESP was a parasite that ruled its hosts with one awful lie: that each person had a “life issue,” that we were flawed, and the only way we could overcome that shameful flaw was to take more courses and get more EMs. That guiding lie was something you were indoctrinated into before you even became a coach. But once you were a coach, you moved up the stripe path the more you embraced that lie.

What this means, more generally, is that everyone was to some extent both abuser and victim. Except for Keith. Keith was only, ever, an abuser.

I hope that Mark and the others who have poured their hearts and pain and suffering out for the documentary cameras know, and I need the casual viewers to know, how by sharing they have given us survivors a chance to heal, a chance to see our stories through them, not the TMZ salacious “entertainment” commodification of our trauma.

How through the episodes over the nine weeks we survivors have messaged one another, processing, remembering where there was goodness between each other, sorting through the wreckage, understanding the guilt and pain instead of being alone in shame. I hope Mark and the others know that.

At Vanguard Week: L-r Nancy Salzman, Keith Alan Raniere, Mark Vicente and Clare Webb Bronfman

So I ask you first not to play the game of public prosecution and jury. These are not reality show people. They are trauma victims. And remember you have only heard from one member of the executive board. And he helped save women and bring down NXIVM. His grief and sadness, his apologies on-screen (for not believing the defectors and for not seeing the poisoned path we were all on) are not signs of guilt or evidence he is an abuser more than any of us who were on the coach/stripe path in ESP/NXIVM. It might look like it can let people like me or India off the hook, but it does not. We were all abusers. And victims.

Save your anger and judgment for the monster who masterminded this poisonous destruction of so many. And maybe for his true believers still doing his work. For the hundreds of people who did pretty awful things who scuttled under rocks. For the fifty-odd people, the “true believers” still following and supporting the lizard king, and the five very public people and the DOSsier women trying to distract you from the crimes, trying to get you to not believe the victims. They deserve it.



About the author



Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional)

  • Thousands of people “left” in the past meaning they stopped taking classes.

    The idea that there was something to leave is a farce. But of the thousands who stopped taking or teaching classes in the past a small handful committed crimes against the companies so they were sued.

    This is not that Keith or Clare sued anyone who “leaves”. People who committed crimes were sued. Period.

    Mark and Bonnie saying they were afraid for their lives is unfounded. They were not able to provide one single shred of evidence of this in court. Not one text message or threat of any kind. Mark was paranoid because he was destroying companies worth millions of dollars and destroying the lives of people who had been his friends for over a decade.

    When you commit crimes and do unthinkable things to people and you’re on the run you are often paranoid. Mark even stated in The Vow that he was paranoid long before he even knew NXIVN existed. He was paranoid as a child growing up in South Africa with a father who was a spy and he was always looking over his shoulder.

    If he feared for his life years before he ever met Keith this is just a person who has these tendencies that certainly would be exacerbated while committing crimes.

  • I used to know Vicente too. What he has done is horrific. He enrolled hundreds of people, filmed them for internal use only, spread horrific lies about the organization illegally, sold that footage to HBO, STARZ, etc., and now thousands of people (and their children!!!) appear without their consent and against their will. Most of these people are people who were his friends. Now, even if someone took one class or attended an event, they can appear in these shows which leads to potentially getting fired, having their children banned from schools, hate mail, death threats, you name it. Mark also lied under oath about many things. I hope he pays the price soon! I imagine that’s why he admittedly is so paranoid (as he expresses on The Vow) When you do criminal things and get away with it, you always have to look over your shoulder.

  • I used to know Vicente. He had good intentions. It is sad how media can destroy the image of someone who was trying to do his best

  • Let us see…Vicente had previously been a member of the Ramtha cult, so he knew how it worked. He also had greater access to Keith so he saw more of what was happening.

    The writer is acting as if DOS and the branding was the totality of the abuse.

    But Vicente (and the writer) knew about the EMs. They did nothing to stop them. They did nothing to dissuade people from joining the organization. The abusiveness of this practice was obvious to anyone who is not willfully playing dumb.

    I can understand being caught up yourself. And I understand that the writer is not able to face their own complicity in this abuse. But the rest of us are not so blind.

  • “In lieu of unpacking the layers of conspiracy, manipulation, and profit that allowed Raniere to carry out genuinely monstrous acts on NXIVM members — apparently, for years — The Vow zoomed in on the self-flagellating Scooby Squad that’s assembled, on camera, to take him down. We see their remorse and emotional catharsis, disbelief at their own naivete. What we don’t see is the depth of their complicity in the master’s sins (all but Oxenberg had been longtime, high-ranking members) though we get a few hints. And we’re shielded, to great extent, from the master’s sins themselves.”

  • It is a really confusing/important discussion around those lines of where a cult victim becomes a predator themself. I mean clearly Allison Mack crossed that line and was firmly in that predator role, no matter how victimized she was. Seems Nancy Salzman started right on the front end as predator (she to me is every bit as disturbing as Raniere and it’s too bad , but unsurprising she crafted herself a better deal than even her own daughter). But where is that tipping point? And victims were abusing other victims. It’s just a lot of really blurry lines and hard to decipher — legally as well as just in basic human ethics.

  • “ lot of hate and judgment has fallen on Mark for some reason”

    I believe I tweeted something like, “Something doesn’t smell right here” when episode one of The Vow aired. That’s when I found The Frank Report, Albany Times, Art Voice, Rick Ross, etc. Once I started reading it then started to make sense, what exactly reeked of gas-lit propaganda.

    That statement above is so dishonest. “For some reason”. Put his name in the search window of Twitter and sit back for a few hours. Google his name to read what seasoned professional writers have to say. It’s laid out in detail EVERYWHERE.

    “‘For some reason, I don’t understand the patterns of abuse everyone is noticing”.

    Right, it MUST be everyone else. SURELY it’s not your lack of perception.

  • I haven’t read this yet. You betcha I’m going to read it later and comment further. I just wanted to address the headline.

    If you don’t understand WHY and HOW The Vow makes Mark Vicente look far worse than Seduced, pay for the sessions with your therapist and watch it with them.

    The last people capable of recognizing the patterns of an abuser are those fresh out of the abuse. After you’ve spent 10 years in trauma recovery, THEN you can speak to patterns of abuse. That’s how long it takes to peel back the layers, and your mind won’t take short cuts. Longer if it’s long term. Anyone in the 2017 defection wave hasn’t had time to re-wire their mind yet.

    I’m going to take a wager now that this is going to sound like all of Keith’s letter to the judge. And mind you, Mark and Sarah chose to be judged by the public instead of a Federal judge. The public is far worse, and not obligated to stick to those rules.

    Bait taken, I hope you’re chuckling

  • I grew up in a religious cult – one that is now being sued up to their eyeballs for child sex abuse and cover-ups, as well as being taken to criminal court for inciting hate and discrimination. I had many uncomfortable experiences during my 19 years in this cult (many people don’t see it as one – I believe Steve Hassan has defined the religion as a cult after many years of research) and yes, as I was born into it, I acknowledge it was not my choice, but especially through my teenage years, I was so brainwashed by the organization and so fearful of the repercussions of leaving, that I then put the pressure on other young people within the organization to follow suit. To be committed, to be zealous, to convince people at school to have bible studies, to go door-to-door for at least 9 hours a week, to not go to university, to not practice “independent thinking”, so follow the Elders at all costs, to not be friends with anyone “worldly”, and most importantly – rejected them if they ever did or said anything against the religion. I have no excuse for this and take full accountability for my actions, but as someone who was systematically brainwashed for many years, I understand how – even if they had committed wrongdoing and helped KR commit his crimes – they can still finally wake up one day and realize the horrors of what they have done. And I admire them for owning up to it and going well out of their way to set things right. Which is SCARY. I was shunned when I left my cult and abused and shunned some more when I did peaceful and respectful activism against the organization. Eventually, I was emotionally blackmailed into silence for fear of completely losing my family again. Words cannot express how hard it is to leave a cult, accept what has been done to you, accept what you have done to others, reprogram your brain and attempt to save as many others as you can. You leave yourself up to persecution and vilification from all sides, but I respect the hell out of all these survivors for doing what they have done and for using the most important tool at their disposal – their voices.

    • But your situation is different since you were raised in a cult. All of these people joined the cult while they were adults and so their brains were either fully developed or mostly developed prior to entering it. To me, your reasons and your bravery are far greater in weight than what any of these people put forth because you had to overcome indoctrination and/or trauma as a child and that is not an easy thing to do.

      • Yes, I see your point entirely. I guess where I am coming from is that as someone who has experienced something similar. I somewhat understand their actions and know how hard it is to speak against an organisation like this. Thank you for your kind words 🙂

      • Born into a cult is not in the same ballpark as walking in as an adult.

        I understand the united empathy with those in similar situations, but applying what you went through to what he went through, is not the same.

        Also, as a man in a misogynistic cult that controlled women’s bodies and minds, he had particular power that women in that cult could not hold.

    • Thank you for sharing your perspective, Melissa. I don’t know if you’re familiar with Megan Phelps-Roper; so much of what you’ve said reminds me of her. She grew up in the Westboro Baptist Church. She was very, very zealous before she left as an adult. She’s smart and insightful and her book is called “Unfollow.” She’s also done lots of interviews, which are available on YouTube. I wish you all the best. Thanks for speaking up.

      • Yes, I have heard/read a lot about her, especially through the Louis Theroux documentaries on the Westboro Baptist Church. She is a remarkable woman for not only leaving but also speaking out the way she did, considering the hate and isolation she was faced with from those that remained. Watching them in those documentaries throughout the years – as children and teenagers – resonated with me so much. And whilst I know the survivors of NXIVM are very different, their stories still resonated with me but in different ways. I’m just glad the world can see NXIVM for what it really is, as so many cults fly under the radar and continue to brainwash, abuse, and shun.

  • Re The Two Documentaries on Nxivm:

    The fact that we all came away from the two documentaries with such a different array of view points is odd.

  • Both India in Seduced and Vicente in The Vow ask us not to judge them. However, had they used their own judgment and reasoning- RANIERE WOULD HAVE BEEN STOPPED.

    Yes, we should judge their actions. They should have judged Raniere. Now, all the key players want our sympathy without judgment- JUST AS RANIERE DEMANDED.

    I was once recruited for a high-pressure self-help $2000 a meeting woman’s group. They used many of the same tactics as NXIVM. The way they tried to make me feel awful to convince me to sign up set off every alarm in my head. I didn’t join their club.

    The same gut feeling I got from that group I get from Vicente and NXIVM members when they talk in a monotone voice and implore you to understand how they feel.

    Feels like Vicente is still using NLP and NXIVM cover-up tactics to convey his own story. Catherine Oxenberg is the one who actually brought the case to the Feds.

    • I would like to add that I prepared the dossier that Catherine brought to the feds – with the various laws that were broken – which might be described as a blueprint for the case. Mark Vicente provided me with a lot of information on crimes that went into the dossier which Catherine took to law enforcement.

      • Thank you, Frank. I was extremely happy Catherine found you. I often wonder if the case would have happened if you two hadn’t joined forces.

        I am a fan of Vicente’s work and definitely have sympathy for him and admire him for sharing his story. However, I think it is dangerous to ask us not to judge these people and their actions in facilitating a sexual predator. They actively worked, as you know more than anyone, to keep his past aggressions hidden and anyone who went against them afraid. I found the way Vicente spoke to you with such apprehension in that first conversation on The Vow very telling.

        I also wonder what choice Vicente had at that point but to come forward with any info he had. I would think it was his best shot at avoiding prosecution himself.

        We all owe everyone involved gratitude in stopping Raniere but especially Catherine, Bonnie, and yourself.

      • I noticed that dossier and I was impressed. I can’t imagine the time and energy that went into that. Years. The way Catherine clutched it was touching.

        The problem is that Mark owned a lot of evidence before Bonnie said anything. It took convincing to bring it forward. He had evidence. He was sitting there with him creating it. He profited from it. He participated in it. It was sitting on his hard drives when he gaslighted his wife. That pattern hasn’t changed in recent interviews.

        The delusion is thick in the Lisa Remini podcast.

        Fair enough “people make mistakes”. It’s the dishonesty and the further NXIVM techniques to shield his culpability, liability and ego. When people fuck up and come clean, the path to redemption is far smoother.

        I think Espians are pathological liars to themselves. I think you sometimes enable that.

  • Both India in Seduced and Vicente in The Vow ask us not to judge them. However had they used their own judgment and reasoning- RANIERE WOULD HAVE BEEN STOPPED.

    Yes we should judge their actions. They should have judged Raniere. Now all the key players want our sympathy without judgement- JUST AS RANIERE DEMANDED.

    I was once recruited for a high pressure self help $2000 a meeting woman’s group. They used many of the same tactics as NXIVM. They way they tried to make me feel awful to convince me to sign up set off every alarm in my head. I didn’t join their club. The same gut feeling I got from that group I get from Vicente and NXIVM members when they talk in a monotone voice and implore you to understand how they feel.

    Feels like Vicente is still using NLP and NXIVM cover up tactics to convey his own story. Catherine Oxenberg is the one who actually brought the case to the Feds.

    • It appears that the attempt to shame someone for the act of judging another in modern times has been moderately successful such that one often hears others preemptively start any opinion with a disclaimer such as “I’m not judging”, or “I’m not one to judge”, which is then subsequently followed by a judgement :). However, any felt shame for such is simply misguided because everyone judges all the time, implicitly or explicitly. Besides, the original imperative to not judge is contextual and more of a warning, to be wary when judging “lest ye” be judged (and be judged a hypocrite). It cannot be wrong per se to judge as it is one of the three acts of mind, the others being apprehension and deductive inference (or reasoning).

    • “..We had already started working and developing our idea when we learned — and had already started working with STARZ on filming it — when we realized that HBO was going to release it as a multi-part series. It was really when the trial started in Brooklyn, both our crew and their crew were in the courtroom together. ..when we realized that HBO was going to release it as a multi-part series. It was really when the trial started in Brooklyn, both our crew and their crew were in the courtroom together. …”

      So Catherine was being filmed for The Vow even before India left Nxivm but never thought to inform her daughter, so her team had to learn about The Vow at trial. Are we supposed to believe that?

  • Frank, if you have been wondering what happened to our beloved Shadowstate1958 he is on the new Parlor social networking site.

    His new alias is Hildegard1958. Yep, the truth is stranger than fiction.

      • I will let Shadowstate1958 expound. I might be wrong. But the tag Shadowstate1958 was linked.

        Can’t prove it beyond a reasonable doubt.

        Now that we’re no longer a political site, I see us talking about shadow my friend.

        Shadow does definitely add to the Frank Report when it’s not political comments. Seriously.

  • Mark is a hero, today and in a hundred years. He woke up, he left and he stopped it! Nothing tops those three together.

    • I flipflop like a politician on my view points of the participants in the documentaries.

      I believe they basically all had the best of intentions, were all somewhat opportunistic, but they all did the right thing at the end of the day.

      They are good people and had good intentions. The end.

  • “So I ask you first not to play the game of public prosecution and jury.”

    That’s the exact venue they chose. They asked for that in exchange for cash. They aired a 9 hour version of The Real Housewives of Clifton Park, then they went on fluffy podcasts so that no one would ask critical questions. Like shady cowards.

    What you’re asking is that we continue their comfortable state of having everyone kiss their D list asses and agree with a big cult smile.

    Whomever you are, you’re still eyeball deep in indoctrination.

    • The Atlantic article is fairly superficial, the writer doesn’t see the whole picture and barely makes any insightful comment.

      The article is an inane rant.

      The writer of article gives more thoughtful considerations but then goes off on a rant about stuff that’s completely irrelevant.

      From these articles, I’d say Ashley Ray-Harris and Alice Bolin are unhinged…

  • Then, Clare Bronfman is also a victim, as she has been deeply brainwashed, and I think she needs psychological help. But she also was an abuser. She acted by being influenced by Raniere. But now, she has to serve almost 7 years in prison. And Mark nothing, as he is being protected by the prosecutors in a plea deal or something like that. But Vicente is also guilty, he should be also in jail, because he knew long before the DOS conflict, Raniere was an outlaw. Vicente modified a video against Rick Ross, with Megan Mumford, and he knew he was modifying evidence. Vicente also knew that most of the Mexicans were illegal aliens, and some lived with him. Or what about Keith with the Dalai Lama, as Vicente knew Keith had legal matters and cannot abandon the US? He traveled with them. The prosecution didn’t explore this, but Raniere traveled illegally out of the US in 2009. We don’t know if at that moment Raniere’s passport was valid to fly as he had a flight restriction. All the NXIVM board committed crimes. All of them. The mastermind of course was Raniere and he must be in jail. But all the other NXIVM members are also guilty. I understand that Frank has some sympathy for Mark Vicente as he helped him to dig NXIVM, but that doesn’t mean that Mark isn’t guilty at all. I think India is angry about this situation, as Vicente wants to be shown as a hero and he is not. Also, you are assuming that The Vow was shot like a reality show, and it is mainly a recreation. You can notice in several parts where they are acting, like inside the room when Catherine, Bonnie, Mark and Sarah are working to deliver the proofs. Or also, when they are at Parlato’s house. Neither Mark nor Sarah are heroes. Bonnie is the woman that provoked NXIVM fall. Catherine is a mother who loves her daughter and wants to rescue her.

    • If Bonnie Piesse had kept quiet to Catherine Oxenberg about the branding of India, Mark Vicente would still be active in NXIVM and would be continuing as before.

      • This^^^
        Yet Bonnie is shoved to the side on The Vow in the end episodes and we get Edmondson and Vicente in full hero roles.

        • Bonnie may have the personality and values to not air her personal struggles for public consumption. She seems introverted, but I’m just going off what everyone else has seen of her that didn’t know her personally. She seems uncomfortable with the spectacle of Reality TV intrusion into her trauma. Perhaps she’s established a boundary for her own self care. Sarah Edmonson often looked like she was enduring MK Ultra torture during interviews. This venue is exploitative and unhealthy for trauma victims. Its grotesque. If you watch The Vow, watch Bonnies eyes when Mark speaks.


          Mark is still dominating her to keep quiet about his role in 10+ years of complicity.

          Regular people that aren’t narcissists dont put their lives on display like a cavalcade of Reality TV “stars”.
          If it’s her choice, it speaks highly of her values that she didn’t.

  • Oh, another strawman argument from someone without the capacity to distinguish right and wrong.

    No thanks, I’ll take my advice from professionals and experts. Do your homework and address what has been written, not what you imagine the issues are.

    This is like the letters for Keith.

    • Both shows leave out many crucial points, and so does The Atlantic story, “There’s some vague talk of humanitarianism, via campaigns to tackle inequality and world hunger.” The absurd inequality and extreme hunger within NXIVM went without comment. LOL

    • “…[Vicente and Edmondson] ascertain quickly that going public is the best way to insulate themselves not only from Bronfman-funded legal attacks that have bankrupted other NXIVM apostates, but also from public and legal condemnation.” What a concept, they must be the first ones who ever thought about speaking up to expose scam artists. LOL

      Notice how Frank isn’t mentioned even once, these media types love to take all of the credit for themselves. LOL

      • Frank’s is modest. It’s a virtue and it’s a liability.

        The documentary stars are manipulating the truth and crafting their own narratives.
        None of which give Frank his true due.

    • Anonymous 1:35pm-

      Good article, Thanks!

      The Vow definitely shows NXIVM through rose-tinted glasses as well as sugar-coats the financial enrichment Vicente and Edmondson received.

      I’ve been following the Nxivm story for a while and I believe Seduced is more accurate.

      If people watch The Vow, they come away thinking “The Nxivm cult wasn’t that bad”.

      Most of the evil parts of Nxivm are sugar-coated and glossed over.

      Vicente and Edmondson never truly mention the cash they made from the pyramid scheme enterprise.

      • I totally agree… I have followed ESP/NXIVM for well over 10 years, and The Vow was very weak to me and very slow progressing. Seduced was much more informative, and I honestly did not see Mark as a villain in Seduced.

        • Neither do I! I don’t understand the reaction at all. India doesn’t go on and on about Mark. She just tells her story about how he was trying to get her not to take a job, but that was when he was still in the cult. He wasn’t behaving in any surprising way. People are being way tooo harsh about Mark and Sarah. Who cares that they made money form NXIVM, they also turned their backs on it when they saw it for what it was.

          However “JL” pointed out that Bonnie gets pushed aside in The Vow, and it’s a good point. She is 100 percent the reason Mark finally left. But it seems to me, that’s just how it happened, she instigated the flight form in and then Mark and Sarah took on other tasks as it got going.

          Idk. It would be interesting to know what Bonnie thinks.

      • Both docs are good. Seduced is a traditional documentary. The Vow is showing how seductive the whole company was, and then, in using all the recordings Mark had, gradually you learned what he learned and why he got out. Yes, it doesn’t go into everything in detail but, again, like someone else said that will be covered in season 2.

        I hadn’t heard of any of this before seeing The Vow and ep 1 did what it set out. It showed the allure of it all. The curing Tourette’s, the helping peoples’ lives, etc, seeing all these promo videos of people happy. It was putting you in the shoes of a potential client, etc. Also, I didn’t think Mark came off as bad in Seduced, they mention he left after finding out about DOS. They all had been brainwashed into thinking the SOP classes were bonding and growing themselves. People are generally reactionary and illogical.

  • If you tell a child he’s a genius every time he sneezes, he gets an inflated sense of himself and turns into a wacko.

    Ever hear of the Emperor’s new suit?

    Everyone who treated Keith as brilliant for his idiocy is guilty of abusing him. But I know it feels better for people to project all badness on him. Everyone is guilty. Everyone a victim. Everyone confused. Where do you find a starting point? You don’t.

    • This is such a horseshit argument. Yes, you can feel bad for abusers who were abused in the past and such behavior had a negative influence on their future. But for how long does such past victim-hood become an excuse for existing behavior? What gives someone more leeway to victimize others who are innocent just because he was victimized in the past by someone else? Plenty of those who were abused don’t turn into abusers. In fact, many promise to themselves that they will never become like them and live those promises out. We are not automatons of cause and effect without choice. This type of idea where everyone is a sinner or its like is just a red herring deflection from the current issue at hand.

      • So you’re saying enablers have no responsibility for the crazy behavior they enable?
        KR didn’t do all this alone. A normal person listens to his dementia and moves on and tells their friends to move on. They don’t become slavers and collect blackmail.

  • Amongst the ex-nx’ers. No one else cares. You cannot decide who was right or who was wrong; who was predatory or who was a victim after the fact. All of the participants of NXIVM/ESP/DOS were heavily brainwashed and mind-fucked, each having their own realities in these extremely bizarre circumstances. Cease pointing fingers and move on with your lives in whatever new reality you choose to create.

  • I have seen ep. 1 – 3 of Seduced and have watched the Vow. I didn’t find Seduced so far too anti-Mark V. It just mentioned he was in and quite high up. However, I have certainly not analysed it scene by scene. They are both good programmes.

    Those who left and lost their way of making a living understandably are making some very interesting programmes and if they make a profit from that as with Leah Remini and Scientology good for them.

    The issue of whether you owe money morally to people you dragged into a cult or even children you have who are born into a cult is never easy and as these people are not making that much money really compared to what they lost. I don’t think it is reasonable to expect them to be sharing it out to refund the course fees others paid.

        • NiceGuy 666, I asked how much money they ARE making (books, shows, appearances, etc.) not how much they WERE making from NXIVM. LOL


          • LOL-BOY,

            My bad. I didn’t answer your question. The answer is simple. They are making more money than you do. Don’t feel bad. I bet they don’t have an above ground pool with a slide. Stay safe and don’t join any MLMs. I hope you have a great and groovy day.

  • It’s always better trying to resolve something in a private conversation than to throw people under the bus publicly.

  • Two very important points I’d like to add:

    1. Mark turned against Keith many months before he knew if charges would ever be brought, while India stayed loyal to Keith 6 months after he was arrested – according to her own words.

    2. India has resentment towards Mark, Sarah and Bonnie – evidenced by her deletion of them as friends on Facebook – while still remaining friends with the women who still support DOS and remaining friends with Allison Mack.

    I would love for someone in an interview to ask India about her reasons for no longer being friends with Bonnie, Sarah and Mark.

    • Two very important points I’d like to respond with:

      1. Vicente’s process of leaving NXIVM started before Oxenbergs, and they both took time to leave;

      2. We’re talking about a spoiled, Hollyweird type, why does logic matter?

      You wouldn’t get an interview to ask that question, and if you did, you wouldn’t get an honest answer. LOL

    • Why does India have resentment?

      Did you watch Seduced sober?

      To be clear, I believe they were all victims.

      But if anyone deserves to be pissed off at anybody, it’s India

      • Anybody in NXIVM who had slaves have diminished rights to be pissed, and being pissed at someone who took NXIVM down (Vicente and others) have even less rights. LOL

      • Disagree, Cami had it worse than anyone else. A child bred to be a servant and tool for Keith’s sexual whims. No one had it worse than Cami.

        • Anonymous 10:11-

          Let me clarify…I meant out of the two documentary dramas, India had it the worse.

          Cami and Gina Hutchinson suffered more than anyone else with the exception of Cami’s in-prisoner sister.

      • Surprised to see this comment from you Nice Guy. Usually, you are more logical. But India should resent Bonnie and Sarah in your opinion? Without them, she’d likely have been sentenced as CC-2. I do believe India is a victim. However, why would she keep friendships on FB with Mack, Clyne and most of the DOS loyalists but not Bonnie and Sarah? Makes no sense, unless her resentment is mostly about getting caught and being outed!

        • Logic,

          You are right.

          I just think India’s position is she is mad at Sarah and Mark because she started out as a 20 something kid and they were full adults. I believe she is being a tad sanctimonious.

          None of the stars of the documentaries have clean hands.

          The Facebook friends’ thing is creepy. Is India still active on Facebook?

          Another creepy fact is that Mack has not divorced Nicki Clyne yet. Why? Michele Hatchette wore a white dress to dance night outside MDC, which happened to be an exact copy of the white dress Allison Mack wore for a performance at V-week.

          Nicki stated in a recent interview that she and Allison are still married.

  • As someone raised in a cult and who understands the mind fucking that goes on there is no way I would ever see Mark as an abuser in any capacity. He’s quite obviously a good man who fell victim to Keith as many others did. He is very talented as well which assuredly Keith took advantage of. I have watched both series and have followed this page for several years. I think Mark is a hero. He was lost in the dark but set himself free, eventually. He deserves so much love and respect for sharing his journey, as do all the survivors.

  • Comments here accused Mark of having sex with dozens of Nx women.
    Where did that come from?

    On Seduced, India said lots of Nx couples (like Mark and Bonnie?) were sex swapping.
    But Vanguard taught that Nx women had to be monogamous, so how could they be swapped?

    What the Bleep Do We Know!?

  • “There are probably only three of them (NXIVM board) familiar to you” No, this is the Frank Report, we are familiar with all of them. LOL

    “I’ve been horrified that since Starz’s Seduced started airing that a lot of hate and judgement has fallen on Mark for some reason.” The reason I’m not happy with Vicente and the other Hollyweird “heroes” is because they have made lots of money writing books, making shows, appearances, etc., and not giving one dime to the numerous other victims to make them at least partially whole for the money they lost, counselling they need, etc – this makes your reasoning totally WRONG. They are simply selfish and disgusting. LOL

    “But here is where we need to focus on reality: Mark was not indicted for any crimes or listed as a co-conspirator.” That is not even remotely close to reality – the reality is Vicente cut a deal AND committed crimes, specifically the court evidence video that he modified. LOL

    “If you really want to know the truth, read the court transcripts.” The court transcripts have only a tiny bit of the truth, reading the Frank Report confirms everything that was said in court and so much more that was not said in court. LOL

    “She [the daughter/witch Salzman] is not interviewed in The Vow for various reasons” The only “various reason” that matters is because she is a convicted felon, not exactly a reliable source of information, and she also appears in The Vow. LOL

    “All counsel was that they should stay quiet and disappear lest they get sued into oblivion by ESP/NXIVM (Clare Bronfman) the way other defectors had in the past.” Wrong again, Frank did not give that counsel. LOL

    “Cults are psychologically like abusive relationships, but not systemically” Yes, they are, in fact that is a good definition of a cult. LOL

    “What this means, more generally, is that everyone was to some extent both abuser and victim. Except Keith. Keith was only, ever, an abuser.” I find it hard to call Bronfman or the mother witch Salzman a victim. LOL

    “So I ask you first not to play the game of public prosecution and jury.” Too late, I did that a couple of years ago. LOL

    “We were all abusers.” I wouldn’t call all of you abusers, naive and ignorant, yes. LOL

    “Save your anger and judgement for the monster who masterminded this poisonous destruction of so many.” Raniere doesn’t have a monopoly on anger and judgment, there were many people, mostly women, who share it with him, many of them dead or otherwise out of the limelight for unknown reasons. LOL

    Other than that, great article. LOL

    • Prove that Vicente made a deal and we can talk further. Otherwise, it’s just a baseless claim with no facts to support it.

      • It’s not baseless at all. Somebody with half a brain (and in Vicente’s case, THAT is debatable) would see a lawyer before he went to law enforcement. LOL

        Any decent lawyer would check to see whether Vicente had any ghosts in his closet before advising Vicente to talk to the Feds and ensure he got blanket, or at least partial immunity before Vicente started to spill the beans. LOL

        The Feds also like to nail those at the top, not the relatively minor criminals, so they often cut these deals in order to catch the big fishes. LOL


  • Legally, they can all be abusers, as they participated in a system that physically and psychologically tormented the majority of members. At the same time, they are victims, because until they were recognized, they were blind participants in events that were closed to the outside world deep in the cult. I think Mark is one of the most prominent figures in the few pioneers who first took action against the eradication of the NXIVM.

      • I didn’t say he is an angel. He’s a nuanced personality, like most people. But he’s trying to do good.

        • He’s not just “nuanced,” he is also very selfish, making a lot of money while he was in NXIVM and now after NXIVM, only because he was in NXIVM, and keeping it all to himself instead of helping others as well. LOL

          Has Vicente helped others recover at least part of their financial losses with his spoils, or helped them pay for counselling? No. LOL

          • Those in The Vow don’t make money off of it. It’s a documentary. India makes money off Seduced because she is an exec producer. And then those who have published books might have.

          • How do you know they didn’t make money from The Vow, just because they called it a documentary (which it wasn’t)? LOL

          • LOL,

            —He’s not just “nuanced,” he is also very selfish, making a lot of money while he was in NXIVM and now after NXIVM, only because he was in NXIVM

            Sounds like jealousy to me.

            “Mark makes money before Nxivm, in Nxivm, and after Nxivm. Boohoo ain’t fair.”

            It surprising what hard work can accomplish. You should try it some time.

            Maybe you should ask Frank to be your life-coach or something.

            Frank and Vicente make money because they work hard. No one gave them shit.

          • Of course, it sounds like jealousy to you, NiceGuy 666, that’s because you missed the point. LOL

            The point is I don’t have any issue with people making money, but if they were part of the criminal activity, they should help others later on. LOL

    • Omg..this bs about how everyone was abused is absurd…as an early defector and head trainer with the organization for over a decade …this is a gross overgeneralization. Most students…90% took programs that helped them from good trainers…used the material to help them in their lives ..never met Keith…To act as if 17,000 people were mentally and physically tormented is just not true.
      It’s like word salad from the victim side. Yes, Keith had no moral compass and chose a small group of carefully selected followers to forward his perversities. No doubt…this is why I chose to leave many yrs ago upon seeing that the “great one” was great at lying and manipulating and deceiving us.

  • Another story that makes perfect sense.

    Mark Vicente showed he had guts, as soon as he understood what was going on.

    All those captain’s hindsights with their trusted sidekicks, shoulda, woulda and coulda, all those keyboard warriors, and their opinions don’t matter anymore.

    • One thing that is indisputable is that Mark Vicente took down Nxivm. I am frankly astonished that people who think Nxivm is evil want to condemn him constantly, giving a pass to many who did nothing to take down Nxivm.

      • Mark Vicente was only out to save his own ass. That is why he got immunity. People are right to judge him and if he really feels regret, he should understand why he smells so fishy.

        And which nxiscum members are getting a free pass for doing nothing?

        I’m sure many would be happy to throw shade at them too.

        In fact, give me a list and I’ll go through them all.

        • Mark Vicente was the head of Society of Protectors and pioneered alongside Keith the most hideous, horrible misogynistic curriculum to terrorize, demoralize, and bankrupt women India included.

          Mark was the leader of Society of Protectors and taught its curriculum for five years. The idea that “He took down NXIVM” is ridiculous. Mark left NXIVM and immediately, not months, not years later, but within days, started staging his fake reality show fiction which is The Vow.

          The story about NXIVM is a story about the subjugation and torture of women. The idea that some people in Hollywood thought it was a good idea to make a story about NXIVM that featured a man, let alone the leader of SOP, as it’s lead protagonist was a serious error in judgement and now it’s quite spectacularly blowing up in their face. A spectacle well deserved.

          If India and the producers of Seduced on Starz hadn’t persevered, that shit would have flied. Well, guess what, it didn’t. The world sees the huge disparities in the two productions and has taken note.

          Everything in Seduced is true and wholly accurate, and the show is far superior to The Vow. Before Seduced no one dared speak out about Mark because of his power in Hollywood. The public is seeing The Vow for what it is and Seduced for what it is and making comparisons. Free speech is alive and well.

          Mark made a quarter of a million dollars a year in NXIVM, preying on women like India. Disavowing Keith and setting up cameras in your house in your next breath is pretty disgusting. Anyone who thinks Mark “took down NXIVM” is a fool.

          Mark made big money terrorizing women and when he sensed his gravy train was ending he set up cameras around his house to stage a reality show to repackage himself. Mark preyed on women in NXIVM and he’s tried to profit on the backs of the women who suffered under his rule when he left NXIVM. That is the truth.

          Whoever at HBO greenlit this project obviously did not do their due diligence and weren’t considering that Sarah Edmondson and Bonnie Piesse were abused women who couldn’t be honest with themselves (let alone HBO) about the realities of their husbands.

          Thank you India and Catherine for coming forward with the truth.

          • I’ve spoken up about Vicente being a creepy, fake, and selfish Hollyweird type for several months. LOL

          • This makes me want to BARF. If you’re condemning Vicente and Edmonson, do more research. Seduced was produced by INDIA. who is preserving her own image and MAKING MONEY. Catherine never owns that she was also a salesperson in the pyramid scheme. And even when she started to be less active, she was promoting another cult- called ONE TASTE.
            India went from being controlled by one psycho to another. India – way to be grateful to the people who helped get you out.

        • If he didn’t blow this up in media, there never would have been a case, so he wouldn’t have needed immunity. He didn’t need to testify, he could have taken the 5th, but he did and his testimony was believable and damning. He helped convict that pseudo-genius conman pedophile.

          • Vicente didn’t take the 5th because he cut a deal with the Feds, simple as that. LOL

            They needed him and he needed them. LOL

      • You shouldn’t be astonished for the reasons that I’ve listed regarding why Vicente should be condemn constantly. LOL

      • I agree fully.

        The whole master/slave DOS thing wasn’t there at the beginning.
        I read some where on the FR, a compelling theory on the flight DOS took, during or after Pam got sick/died.
        around 2013. That when Pam wasn’t around anymore, to make sure Keith wouldn’t go fully mental, things took a turn for the wurst

        DOS was a secret. Not to be talked about. The collateral took care of that.
        So…. its a secret only known by the inner-inner circle and Keith. Vincente was NEVER a part in all of this.

        Why should Vincente feel guilt for things he haven’t done?
        Why should he take ownership for secrets he couln’t be aware off?

        Everyone makes huge mistakes in life. It’s how you,as individual, decide to deal and own up to your mistakes.

        That shows what kind of human being you are.

        • That is either the best troll, or best typo, ever !!

          You may be remembering comments I think I have made here (there have been many over the years, Mr. Parlato may remember me as an early (and still) anonymous supporter).

          Karen Untereiner was Raniere’s college girlfriend. Very smart, likely introverted, co-signer of mortgages in Clifton Park, aide in the Consumer BuyLine pyramid scheme that eventually collapsed. The money Raniere made then let him vacation in Aspen Colorado, where he used his voodoo to seduce Pam Cafritz. Karen tolerated the third wheel (there had likely been other wheels, like Toni Natalie, and others frequently underage,) Pam became Raniere’s wing-woman and pimp in the ESP era, love-bombing attractive students into 3-ways with Raniere.

          Karen seems to have been distanced moderately from Raniere since Pam took that role. A young Mexican was recruited instead to share the master bedroom (that was of course not mentioned to the unwashed masses taking the 5-day Intensive).

          Pam and the Mexican were the front-women for JNESS, the “women’s empowerment” program. ESP women were encouraged to join JNESS, and recruit for it, and JNESS recruits were encouraged to join ESP. Attractive female ESP recruits were love-bombed, eventually, to Raniere’s “wurst.”

          Allison Mack was sucked into this path, and was exploited as a recruiting aid, and bed-warmer.

          There is a case to be made that while Pam was a leader of JNESS, it delivered some value (likely at an inflated price) and it certainly wasn’t DOS. But it does appear she did enable it as a path to Raniere’s “wurst.”

          Sadly, Pam was a victim of cancer. Allison Mack seems to have moved into the role of Raniere’s wing-woman after Pam’s death. She did what Pam it seems would not: be the ambassador for DOS, which was JNESS on steroids (estrogens?) She recruited young and pretty women for Raniere’s pleasure.

          Raniere seems to be either lazy, or terrified with taking any responsibility for his choices or actions (precisely the opposite of the ESP curriculum that he stole from est/Landmark, etc). He probably had realized he wanted to start his own cult after CBI collapsed, but he didn’t until he found Nancy Salzman to do the work and be the fall-girl if it collapsed. He wanted JNESS to feed him sex partners, but had to have Pam front it for him.

          I think he wanted JNESS to become DOS and give him fuck-toy slaves, but Pam wouldn’t go that far. But when she died, Allison Mack was willing to step in.

          The rest is history.

          • –Raniere seems to be either lazy, or terrified with taking any responsibility for his choices or action

            He *is* lazy in working for himself. He’s not lazy in getting others to do everything for him so he can parasitically live off of them, i.e., be a grifter.

            I don’t know if he’s necessarily “terrified” of taking responsibility. He just doesn’t want it unless its glorifies him, and even then he’ll humble-brag to make it look he’s not really glorifying himself. If responsibility casts a negative image onto him, he’ll do whatever he can to disassociate from it because he’s narcissistic megalomaniac, including usage of manipulative word salad. In his court statement post sentencing, there was a classic example of this.

        • Vicente should feel guilt for not helping others financially because of all of the money he made while in NXIVM and after NXIVM. LOL

          • How do you know how much money Mark V. made during or after NXIVM? You act as if you have data, but you don’t, Scott/LOL. As NiceGuy said, sounds like jealousy to me!

          • I didn’t say I know how much money Vicente made, but I’ll bet it’s much more than most of the others who were scammed by NXIVM. LOL

        • “DOS was a secret. Not to be talked about. The collateral took care of that.
          So…. it’s a secret only known by the inner-inner circle and Keith. Vicente was NEVER a part in all of this.”

          How can you know what he did not know? Maybe someone admits that he knew earlier because he was there when Mark Vicente himself talked about it and there are one or more witnesses who heard it. Or someone who told him earlier and it is obvious that he should have known earlier than Mark Vicente himself admits.

  • Sorry, but I think that the idea that everyone was an abuser and victim (except Keith who was all abuser) is a false dichotomy. Being a part of this cult did not necessarily make one an abuser. Sure, there were those who were both abusers and victims but not everyone was both.

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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,_Jr.

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083