Filmmaker Took 16-Day Intensive and Uses Nxivm to Attract Publicity for Her Film

Nicole Cannon once took a 16 day Nxivm intensive. She is one of the 17,000 who took a Nxivm course.

Nxivm is hot at the moment.

Barry Meier called the growing popularity of the two Nxivm docuseries, “The Vow” and “Seduced,” “pandemic”.

People all over the world are coming to Frank Report to learn about the modern-day monster American cult.  For most, it is fun. It’s salacious. It’s bizarre.

A big-time TV producer told me yesterday that “Keith Raniere is fascinating. I mean he was evil, but he has almost unlimited interest and appeal in a bizarre and excruciatingly absorbing way. How he did what he did. He is a genius. An evil genius.”

Hundreds of media outlets have written about Nxivm and Raniere, with at least half a dozen yesterday alone, most of them reporting on a story that first appeared in Frank Report.

Still, are Nxivm and Raniere anything more than a passing fad, a titillation for bored people to be forgotten in a year or so, or will it be something studied seriously over time, as it represents something significant to the human story?

MK10ART’s painting of Daniela

Daniela, a beautiful, intelligent woman, who spent almost two years in solitary confinement in an unlocked room in her family’s house,  because Raniere wanted her to cure an “ethical breach,” told Raniere during her victim impact statement at his sentencing that he would be soon forgotten.

She told him, “We must teach our children about [evil] people like you. Not about you, about people like you. Because you, Keith Raniere, your words will disappear, your name will disappear.  All memory of you will disappear.”

I am not convinced she is right. He might be remembered, perhaps not as Raniere said he would be remembered, as a noble benefactor of humanity, but perhaps as Rasputin is remembered. Or Charles Manson.

Keith Alan Raniere in his library in Knox Woods, where he brought numbers of young, slender and attractive women who looked up to him as a mentor. He used sexual contact as his purported method of teaching.

Whether you think him good or evil, and I speak with people on both sides of this debate, he held together a remarkable group. There were some dubious people in the group, especially in leadership,  but they were talented too, albeit, in some cases, very morally compromised.

And keep in mind, his reign as Vanguard lasted 20 years. Manson came and went in a couple of years. Raniere held it together for two decades and it would have gone on longer but for his arrest.

While Manson’s followers were largely kooks, the bulk of the Nxivm group, regardless of what they now think of Raniere, were good people.  If this is an evil cult, it was comprised of a membership of good people.

Perhaps they had weaknesses that would allow them to be blinded by Raniere, but their intentions were good.  I was convinced of this when I was a consultant for Nxivm in 2007-08 and lived and worked in the Nxivm community.  These were good people then.

Over the years, when I attacked Nxivm and Raniere relentlessly, I spoke with many people who had broken from him. Victims.  I found almost every one of them to be what I would call intelligent and good.

Again, this year, communicating with the remaining followers of Raniere, I am convinced more than ever that they too are good people.

The Nxivm 5, L-R Suneel Chakravorty, Nicki Clyne, Eduardo Asunsolo, Michele Hatchette and Marc Elliot.  These five, plus numerous others are presently supporting Keith Raniere

As Raniere’s attorney Marc Agnifilo said, speaking of both those who were once for and now are against Raniere and those who remain loyal to him, “I can say that the people that I’ve met, some of whom testified at the trial…  I thought were outstanding people.  I thought they were loving, wonderful, sweet, good people, each and every one of them. I haven’t met a bad person yet.”

Could it be that this is Raniere’s true genius, that he could enroll good people into trying to do more good, make them make it their whole life, guiding them, shaping them, encouraging them to believe he was the best guide to their success at being good, truly ethical?

And while he was doing that was he secretly deceiving them and trying to destroy them, as his victims say?

To hear his supporters tell it, he does not have evil intent. He meant all of them good, even those who hate him now, but that his methods were unconventional, unique, edgy. People misunderstood and found themselves blaming him for their lack of understanding or their inability to follow his teachings, they say.

Meantime, there is a new story from the Daily Beast by Nicole Cannon.  What caught my attention is how Nxivm was used in the headline: “How My Long Journey to Overcome Sexual Abuse Landed Me in NXIVM.” 

Her story focuses on her struggles, leading up to her making what appears to be a low-budget film.

We learn Cannon took what appears to be dozens of different new age, or self-help courses from various groups to try to find contentment. Nxivm was one of many.

Unlike the headline suggests, Cannon did not really quite land in Nxivm. She merely hopped there and left.

Still, I understand the reason it was used in the headline: Nxivm attracts eyeballs and she is, after all, plugging a film.

Nicole Cannon wrote and produced a film called “Transference,” which she describes as a “psychological drama/horror film about my journey of healing and recovery from sexual abuse.”

In the article, Nicole tells readers that she spent 13 years doing or receiving “deep psychological work, analysis, trauma therapy, psychics, gurus, healers and self-improvement courses.”

This, she explains, was in response to childhood sexual trauma. Her mother abandoned her when she was two years old and she was “abused several times by an older cousin at two and subsequently by a male babysitter at the age of four…   [M]y father’s colleague … tried to reach inside the leg of my shorts when I was 7, the school janitor…  exposed himself to me when I was 10, the modeling agent …  intimidated me into taking nude pictures when I was 16, the real estate agent I caught holding up a pair of my dirty panties in the garage of the house we were selling when I was 17, the Hollywood producer I was seated next to at a dinner party in my thirties, who whispered inappropriate things to me unbeknownst to my husband sitting by my side. Why didn’t I say anything? Why didn’t I tell them all to fuck off? Because at two years old, in front of my sleeping grandparents, my abuser whispered, “shhhhhh!” while he hurt me.”

As an adult, Nicole became an actress and married a director. They had two daughters and lived in a “dream home in the Hollywood Hills” but she was unhappy.

“While on the outside I had the perfect life, on the inside I was crawling out of my skin. I didn’t want to abandon my children like my mother did, so I went to India to attend … the Oneness University…

“When I came back to Los Angeles, I had an identity crisis…  Over the next 10 years, I continued to seek help in the process of rediscovery, healing, and integration. I found an excellent psychologist. I went to several different energy healers. I learned meditation at Isha Foundation. I even tried plant-medicine therapies like sassafras, psilocybin, and ayahuasca.”

She also took a Nxivm course. And for those who know Nxivm well, it is interesting to hear her tell about her experience.

She writes, “I was Facebook friends with fellow actress Bonnie Piesse, who’s married to Mark Vicente, then one of the senior members at NXIVM. [Bonnie] reached out to me via DM to tell me about the program. I met with Mark for coffee and shared my struggles with feelings of failure in my personal life and career. He told me about the program. Like myself, he had tried several different modalities to achieve a level of self-confidence and success, but said that none of them worked except NXIVM, which he described as being scientific and quantifiable. He explained how EMs (‘Exploration in Meaning’) worked to unravel Pavlovian links that were formed in early childhood. This made sense to me. I understood early programming and brain plasticity. I still had some triggers that were deeply entrenched in the neural pathways of my mind; I just didn’t know how to rewire them. This seemed like the thing that could help…

“The next day I signed up for my first five days of the 16-day program. Very early, I recognized how different this organization was to the other self-help programs I had attended. They had a special handshake, there was a mission statement we all had to stand and say at the beginning of each class, they made us vow not to share any of the curriculum we were learning in the program. I didn’t like the hierarchy of the pyramid scheme and hated having to call Keith Raniere ‘Vanguard.’ Of course, I didn’t state any of this aloud because I didn’t want to be labeled a ‘suppressive’ or a ‘parasite,’ some of the shaming terms that were used for anyone who questioned or disagreed with their philosophies.

“… I found some of the curriculum and tools very effective in helping me integrate the trauma from my past, especially the EMs. I finished out my 16-day course over the next 18 months and left shortly thereafter. During that time, I even held a Jness meeting with Nancy Salzman and Allison Mack at my home in Brentwood. One of the biggest red flags for me was that the organization valued logic above all else and believed anything that came from intuition was founded in your ‘deficiencies’ and should not be trusted. Because of all the deep intuitive work I had already done up to that point in my healing process, I think it was my intuition, the exact thing that they were telling me to mistrust, that stopped me from getting sucked into another abusive relationship.”

After her 16 day intensive, Nicole did not take any more Nxivm courses. She did put her acting on hold, left her marriage, and continued to take self-improvement courses from other groups.

“At Hoffman Process I learned forgiveness,” she writes. “At University of Santa Monica’s Spiritual Psychology Program, I practiced Gestalt Therapy,” and was asked to do a “sacred yes” project.

Finally, her story moves into her decision to make “Transference,” to “tell this story so that my suffering was not in vain. I wrote this movie because there is power in reclaiming your narrative. I wrote it because there is freedom in finding your voice and speaking out against horrible injustice, and I wrote it in hopes it may help other survivors on their path of healing and let them know they are not alone in the journey to recover their lost innocence.”

The reviews are mixed on her film, at Amazon, some calling it about the best film they ever saw, and others panning it severely and claiming the superlative reviews were the product of friends of the filmmaker or the actors. It is surprising to see such disparate reviews, with no middle ground whatsoever.

This is either one of the best or worst films ever made.

Regardless, Nicole’s Daily Beast story is interesting because it describes a woman who spent most of her life with the consciousness of being a victim, and who went to many places to try to find peace.

Nxivm is really not significant in her narrative, certainly nothing that happened there justified it being mentioned in the headline.  Hers was an innocuous experience with Nxivm  She does not add it to her list of victimizations, nor does she credit it at all to her healing.

Nobody at Nxivm seems to have deceived her or preyed upon her sexually.  She got what she paid for – a 16 day intensive – which she apparently took in installments. She evidently did not find it satisfying enough to continue.

She is like probably thousands of others who took the course, got something more or less, then moved along. In her case, moving along meant other self-improvement courses.

Putting Nxivm in the headline is merely, wisely, making use of a trending topic to land a story in a major media outlet and bring attention to her product –her film.

It buttresses the point I made earlier, that Nxivm and Raniere are hot. Whether this is a momentary heat – like say the touch of a cauterizing pen – or whether the scar is permanent, is hard to say.

Perhaps his infamy will continue to grow.  Which raises an interesting point: If a Vanguard, or anyone, wanted to be remembered as someone wonderfully great and it turns out he becomes notorious, does he prefer to be forgotten?

If Raniere was given the choice of being forgotten or remembered as evil, what choice would he make? Of course, there are those who believe that time will correct the record – and that their martyr will be known for his noble ideals when humanity evolves.

Meantime, you don’t have to wait to see Nicole Cannon’s film Transference. It is available via Amazon, Google Play, and other providers.

If any readers view it, I would love to hear what you think of the film.

Nicole Cannon’s IMDB page is also worth checking out.



About the author

Frank Parlato


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    • To Frank and Scott-

      Scott how truly familiar are you with Jesus Christ?

      This quote is applicable and timely in regards to Frank.

      This quote seems to be you current mantra
      “Love your enemies! Pray for those who persecute you! In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike.”
      Jesus Christ, Matthew 5:43-47

      Now one gives you grief Frank just post the quote. 😉

      I’m not a religious person but I am very familiar with scripture.

      The cold is one of my faves.

  • I’m sure the little lady loves this post, Frank. (Word to the wise scribe: don’t dingle where you jingle.).

    • Jingle Jangle???? Reminds me of a limerick……

      There once was a man from Niagara
      who took a shit load of Viagra……


  • The Vanguard doesn’t even have the common decency to be embarrassed or mortified by his own behaviors. Guy doesn’t have an ounce of remorse. Any publicity is good publicity in his brain – I think his biggest fear is being forgotten. I think that would be more torturous for him than landing in super max. jmo

  • Manson did not go away. We all know who he was.

    What is fascinating about NXIVM is not KR, per se. It’s how so many people allowed themselves to be taken, right down to letting this bullshit artist write marital vows.

    So many people I ask just laugh at the Vanguard crap and would have walked away.

    How this fat, folly polly, fair looking psychopath set himself up for group blowjobs is mind-boggling. Blue light? Block rain and radar? Smartest man?

    Holy shit! How stupid do you have to be to fall for that?

    He is hands down a brilliant marketer, with psychopathy being the wind in his sails.

    His followers are either really stupid or really lacking important faculties for self-preservation, or both.


  • It is very possible that Ms Cannon did not write the headline. In newspapers and magazines, headlines are often written by the editor’s staff, with no input by the writer/reporter.

    • Thanks I got hit by the “Google Rewards Bug“ server-side malware. This exploit is on every other 2nd tier server this week.

      I think Frank has it patched today.

  • Frank, I think your definition of “good people” differs from mine.

    I don’t call Raniere’s co-conspirators “good people”. Neither is this Nicole Cannon, who you yourself say is exploiting the current Raniere infamy to plug her film.

    She seems like a flake to me. With her 13 year quest for self-discovery, a believer in gurus, energy healers and psychics.

    How self-involved can a person be? How foolish and silly? How gullible and credulous?

    Oh, but she’s a victim. She has trauma. Just like everyone else in LA.

    Self-indulgent latter day hippies who believe in psychobabble and “healing energy” and trek off to India to enrich some charlatan guru don’t fit my definition of “good people”.

    They sure do fit the Nxivm mold, though. Sarah Edmondson was another one. A flake on the make. Raised by hippie parents, thinking herself the center of the world, desperate to claw her way up in the world, naive and greedy. And that’s the impression she gives in her own book!

    Not good people. Not ethical, not sensible, not wise, nor modest.

    • Mr. Sausage-

      —Frank, I think your definition of “good people” differs from mine.

      I believe Frank is using the term “good people” loosely and in a relative-type-way.

      Like for instance… Raniere’s co-conspirators are “good people” when compared to members of ISIS or al-Qaeda.

      I personally believe Nicki Clyne is an incredible human being when compared to Abu Baghdadi.

  • I lasted 15 min watching the film, which is 10 minutes more than a Lifetime movie. Incidentally, is Sarah Edmondson working on any new projects?

    • You do realize California is the size of France? That’s not representative of the entire state. Let’s do West Virginia Oxy junkies next!

      • Anonymous-
        Some people gained their knowledge of California from watching the television Documentaries: Dragnet, Adam-12, and S.W.A.T. At least to me, California seems like a dangerous place.

      • “Let’s do West Virginia Oxy junkies next!” Anonymous

        Who made Oxycontin?

        Purdue Pharma, a company owned by the Sackler family who were big donors to Hilary Clinton!

        Hilary’s career was financed by drug money from the Sackler family!

        • —Sackler family who were big donors to

          Shadow you have ferreted out another “Bronfman” type crime family.

          I remember when you wrote about Rosenbergs Atom Bomb Spy-rings and George Soros.

          The Führer would be so proud.

          BTW: The Amway family, Mormons, and Raniere are all Christian by birth.

          Adolf Hitler‘s family were practicing Catholics when he was a child. Hitler got the idea for the design of the swastika from the interior of Catholic Church his family patronized.

    • Shadow,

      What does that video of a guy and the lovely woman (depending on your definition of lovely woman) have to do with LA overall? Cmon. I could post videos of Detroit, Baltimore, Plano, or Compton.
      What’s the point?

      The video is completely off-topic.

      Why did you post that particular video of OilCan Boyd, the former Red Sox pitcher player?
      [It’s nice to see he still has his throwing arm. Not too many people can throw a brick at 90 miles an hour]. As a Red Sox fan, I am deeply offended.

      It’s not my fault you are a Cubs fan.

  • There is no good in someone who tries to appear good in order to take advantage of you, that’s how Amway and other MLM scams operate and where Raniere cut his teeth in learning MLM scam tactics. LOL

    Does Cannon realize she said this, “…I didn’t want to abandon my children like my mother did, so I went to India…” Did her mother go to Pakistan instead? LOL

    At least she didn’t go to India Oxenberg. LOL

    I do agree with this, in part, “One of the most important and final steps in my healing process was to tell this story so that my suffering was not in vain. I wrote this movie because there is power in reclaiming your narrative. I wrote it because there is freedom in finding your voice and speaking out against horrible injustice, and I wrote it in hopes it may help other survivors on their path of healing and let them know they are not alone in the journey to recover their lost innocence.” However, the goal should be to prevent/limit the damage in the first place. LOL

  • I’m liking the “Nicki Clune” caption typo very much. “Clone” is lovely, too as a Nicki Dickie typo, but “Clune is more musical and maybe snowy. The article’s story itself reminds me of a departing paddy wagon being clutched somewhat too eagerly, by someone who became overly-caffeinated and obsessed, while hoping to win a speaking part of 3 or more words on a $hoot for a Clairol ad. Like a despairing sweathog stuck in a chimney? But that’s showbiz.

    • Nicki [Nicole] Clyne has nothing against nicknames, and likes to play with words and nicknames:

      Nicki Clyne
      11. Dez. 2010
      …nickels, nickaloo, tricky, nine, katie (long story), clicky nine, knicki, nickity-nackity-noo. i guess i’m pretty nicknamable.

  • I’m stuck at home with too much time on my hands so I watched Transference out of curiosity. I don’t recommend it – I found the storyline predictable and shallow, and the acting fairly wooden and flat. The only brief spark was an ancillary character who walks out early on a therapy session – I cheered. I would have a found a different therapist – dull dull dull. Even that character had to be stereotypically goth/emo’d out to bludgeon the audience with “look – you can tell how distressed I am inside by my distressed outside!” I can see that the Ms Cannon was trying to portray her experience of confronting and integrating her victim self from her past abuses and moving forward from there. But the portrayal itself just plain doesn’t pack a punch – it’s an “eh”, shrug your shoulders, change the channel sort of show. Even the supernatural ghost-like girl figure can’t even deliver one good jump-scare let alone any real sympathy.

    I wish Ms Cannon well in her future endeavors, but I probably wouldn’t invest my time again. Sometimes the reason you don’t succeed in a particular career path is that you just don’t resonate in the skills needed to excel there.

  • What constitutes a good and intelligent person? Empathy outside of yourself? Critical thinking skills? You have more information than the rest of us, but I have yet to see goodness, ethics or humanitarianism before and after dissolution. The label is repeated without evidence. What is the evidence of this? I’m willing to consider the context of your opinion.

    What’s the path to redeeming one’s goodness? Intent, as Agnifilo proposes?

    I’m interested in the stories of those who took a few classes and left, but not in the context of this kind of self-promotion. I’m tempted to watch, but after immersing myself in THIS, I can’t handle any more of these stories for a while.

    • I’m interested in the people who were approached about Nxivm, took one look at this absurd cult, and laughed.

      • Me too! Not only for insight into what makes some people susceptible and others not. Also for more Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia hot takes.

        That would have been me. I am not a joiner, and I detest group think. I grew up on George Carlin, and his humor has served me well throughout life.

  • At the very least, men around the world want to learn more about his pickup strategies. Women want to learn more about his “blue light special.”

    That would probably go over better if I wrote it in limerick form.

    I keep asking myself why I’m so gripped by this story, and I keep generating more answers.

    I might check out the documentary. It sounds fascinating, based on that article. Not sure about the reality.

    • Most men have no interest in Raniere’s pick up strategery, which was to find some f*cked up women to do his bidding. LOL

        • — Scott is dead on with that observation!

          I am happy/relieved/comforted to hear that. (Sincerely).

          They are (hopefully) not interested in his pick up strategies once they learn more about what happened , but men still want to know how the hell this short guy with glasses managed to do it.

          I am just talking about on a _surface level_ that it draws curiosity. anyone who looks deeper into it and finds out about any of the abuse will be repulsed. But people who happen to see the video of all these women looking besotted with Keith and kissing him one after another and not knowing the full backstory want to know, if only out of idle, pandemic-induced curiosity, how he managed to do it.

          As a woman, just giving my honest first impressions here, after watching the Vow, I wondered, from a purely sociological standpoint, “what in the hell exactly how good in bed is he?” What I gather from the Frank Report testimonies is there are mixed reviews. Personally, I’ve since evolved beyond that curiosity. Mostly. 😉

          • NonCafinated-

            —men still want to know how the hell this short guy with glasses managed to do it.

            You are 100% in the sense I am shocked that many of the women bedded Raniere. He is like 5’5 square feet, lazy eyed and has bad breath.

            –I wondered, from a purely sociological standpoint, “what in the hell exactly how good in bed is he?”

            I wondered in a somewhat similar sense. So I asked women, including my wife, what she thought (my wife does not follow the Nxivm saga). She said, “He must be good in bed or why else do many of the women go back.”
            I think the same thing as my wife.

            Side note: The Fabled Blue Light
            It’s my personal belief that Raniere hypnotized the women into believing they would see a blue light. Raniere definitely hypnotized Toni Natalie to stop smoking, there is no doubt in my mind about that.

          • I’ve always thought someone should investigate the use of cunnilingus as a key initiation rite into cults.

            It works on so many levels but culminates in the shameful silence of finding it so difficult to tell what really gave you your blue light moment was successful stimulation of the clitoris. (perhaps for the first time someone used their tongue, oral sex is not always a given for even sexually active people) Manson gave his targets LSD before violating them in this way, ensuring they really saw the ‘light’.

            Particularly if one is a serious, modest, spiritual seeker after the truth, who is driven to give their loyalty to one who claims a sublime celibacy. (I’m thinking specifically about Clare B here)

            Particularly if your sexual awakening/assault is called by a transcendental term like, Nirvana – and that is considered its own reward; along with the robes [or sash] that imply your consent to continual exploitation, and the collateral that actually enforces your ‘consent’, of course.

          • @NiceGuy

            — It’s called “One Taste”. I wish I were kidding but I’m not.

            I’ve heard about this cult. Inspired by Frank Report taking down Nxivm, I decided to investigate this abomination. I am horrified by what I’ve uncovered so far, but I probably won’t have a full picture of exactly what is going on until I’ve attended about 10 more sessions. Give me about 3 days to gather all intel.

            Sorry, Couldn’t resist a joke. I seriously don’t know what to make of that group.

          • Oh Nice Guy! I remember when Frank covered the one taste movement thats not cunnilingus! that’s stroking the upper left hand quadrant of the clitoris in a room with loads of others – sex as some sort of Health & Efficiency – regulating thing, I cant remember, still, I dont think those people are covert about their practice. I’m talking about individuals subjected to a ritualistic rite involving cunnilingus, as a means of enforcing stockholm syndrome, like Manson? –

            Guys if One Taste WERE a cunnilingus cult… I mean its bad enough but…

    • —That would probably go over better if I wrote it in limerick form.


      I have become a caricature of myself. 😉

      • There once was a poster named Nice Guy;
        Who’s read all this cult crap and then sigh;
        He made up his mind
        To be gracious and kind
        Well letting his limericks fly!

        See, L, I have too much time on my hands too.

  • “I even tried psilocybin, .” Nicole Cannon

    What is this drug?

    Psilocybin mushroom

    Psilocybin mushrooms, commonly known as magic mushrooms or shrooms, are a polyphyletic, informal group of fungi that contain psilocybin and psilocin
    Timothy Leary traveled to Mexico to experience psilocybin mushrooms himself. When he returned to Harvard in 1960, he and Richard Alpert started the Harvard Psilocybin Project, promoting psychological and religious study of psilocybin and other psychedelic drugs. After Leary and Alpert were dismissed by Harvard in 1963, they turned their attention toward promoting the psychedelic experience to the nas

    The US Drug Enforcement Administration places psilocybin among Schedule I drugs in the Controlled Substances Act having a high potential for abuse, no approved medical uses, and having potential to cause severe side effects or poisoningcent hippie counterculture.

    Charles Manson Biography

    The Manson Family Cult
    “The Family” was a group of around 100 followers of Manson who shared his passion for an unconventional lifestyle and habitual use of hallucinogenic drugs, such as LSD and magic mushrooms. The Manson Family eventually moved from San Francisco to a deserted ranch in the San Fernando Valley.

    Perhaps Manson and NXIVM should have joined together and gotten high on Magic Mushrooms.
    I’m sure Nicki Clyne and Allison Mack would not have objected.

    • Magic mushroom microdosing is common and very effective in treating depression. The effects last for months and it’s not addicting.

          • Sorry if I wasn’t clear. I 100% agree with you. As does Tim Ferriss, and as has been backed up by 60 Minutes.

            And if Niceguy was fully disclosing, he musta been on something to make it through a Macy Gray concert. By BT, I think he’s referring to “drooling over a Salzman sis.”

        • ….Wait till you have a BT and are rolled up in the prenatal position and praying too it stops. LMAO

          LSD and mushroom people never talk about the BTs.

          Then again I know people who swear by the stuff.

          • I’ve never experienced a bad trip. I have always used low-moderate doses and it’s not frequent. I’ve never had a bad trip because I don’t treat it as a party drug, I won’t use them if I’m in the wrong frame of mind or it’s the wrong setting.

            I guess that would make me one of those people that swears by it.

          • Speaking of bad mushroom trips once we went foraging [solstice-all you can eat] in a field with Ha-Ha’s – we were giggling so hard at this word that I fell into a Ha-Ha twisting my ankle, no one could move for what felt like forever we were crying with laughter every time anyone said the word Ha-Ha, “help me out of this Ha-Ha”
            “hahahahaha” – in the end we had to solemly swear not to mention the word until I was helped out. Actual bad mushroom trip, One of the best I ever had.

    • Well, if anyone is uninitiated and decides to eat some sanitized cow patty psilocybin mushrooms, just to say wth and/or to rebel, do not eat many, not like some side of normal, hausfrau mushrooms. Tread lightly and don’t try to conquer the Alamo, okay!?

      Because. You could find yourself unexpectedly sitting immobilized in a neon red haze for fifteen hours or more, on some pile of wood near a rock wall, feeling completely unanalyzable and terribly primordial. Grrrrrrrrrr.

      Or you might work your way up into the very pinnacles of awareness and feel like a benign detached but pulsating bodhisattva. A torch of la la la la LIGHT. And sex could be the most obvious or maybe the only true summation, but that certainly hinges upon certain elements.

      Whaddaya like better? Nirvana? Nirvana or some ax murderer’s final nightmare? However, remember, all is fleeting; it is a temporary and artificially enhanced (potential) satori or a possibly combo trip to an intensely odd jungle. One does come down.

      And then. What was the fucking point, really? No one is left to recollect. There are cures for the 11-hour hangover, though. Drink a big orange juice with nutritional yeast flakes stirred into the glass, and your zing resurfaces right away. Promise. Same as this works for boozeheads or for acid kings or queens. Nada helps a coke fiend, though. They are in their own idiocracy.

      And then what? After the psychedelic wears off? Huh? It does not help at all to become a piggy. There’s nothing to recapture. There is only more change to observe, and nobody needs to get loaded for that. Artificial and temporary sounds like a rotten lover, right?

      Mushrooms can be used as a good, mild and natural medicine for anxiety or to lift depression, but the key is a dosage based upon your individual bodyweight and symptoms. The results can be very swift and reliably delivered over time, as you just keep a very small piece of mushroom tucked in your mouth like a little Ricola, and one can reap steady calming benefits by using psilocybin moderately. It can be an immense relief, if and when appropriate. Santa might bring some and put a packet of mushrooms in your stocking if you’ve been good. I have been awfully good.

      • In order of who on FR I want to conquer the Alamo with by partaking in psilocybin mushrooms:

        1. Shivani (obvious reasons)
        2. Frank (imagine the stories to come from this)
        3. Flowers (nothing like staring a BT in the face and rolling the dice anyways)
        4. Paul/Anonymaker (I could be dead wrong but I think it would be entertaining)
        5. Snorlax (laughing is good)
        6. Niceguy (his feelings would be hurt if I didn’t put him on the list)
        7. Natashka (sorry for 7 – you deserve better)
        8. Susan Dones (just kidding – that doesn’t sound fun and I don’t think she’d like my act)
        9. Mexican Lady (in case she’s still sad that Frank scolded her for being sarcastic, I want to cheer her up)
        10 Not making the list – Nomin (he’d spend the whole time gushing over Frank), Scott (I’d rather have an enema), Shadow (see Scott), Bangcock (don’t want it to turn violent and end up arrested), Heidi (still undecided on where to place her), Allison’s defender and Sultan (would be awful – but would gladly trade them for AM or KK)

        • Aw – I think you should include both Heidi and me on your list. If you find us dull, we can just go off for a chat on our own.

          • Lol, L. Godspeed. Here’s the list I put Nutjob on: hopelessly smitten with Nancy Salzman who may well have hypnotized and drugged him. I just don’t know when but it’s sure lasted.

          • Like you don’t, niceguy???

            Hottest things about Nancy:
            1. The orthopedic shoes
            2. The bony butt
            3. The Harry Caray spectacles
            4. The danger of knowing you might wake up and not remember anything
            5. Her designer business suit wardrobe
            6. She’ll help you get rid of your music stand
            7. The glowing smile
            8. She’s buying! (with cold hard cash)
            9. I love a lady with her very own front row parking spot!
            10. If I’m not up to the task, she’ll lie and say things like “That was Great!” or “I saw a blue light!”

        • Yet another round of Playground groupie nominations. Oh well, I’m off to poke at a drain with a stick.

          Is it common in the US to form innny and outy gangs – everywhere you meet? A bit culty, no?

          • Top playground nominations to respond to GD with:
            1. Watcha selling, GD? I’m always down for a new MLM or cult pitch.
            2. To go really American, you’re like Chandler not liking his azz slapped by his boss. Soon, will you be all giddy about being included?
            3. If everyone gets a trophy (like it seems you’re asking for) it would be a long and boring list.
            4. I do not think GD is Snorlax.
            5. What is a gang? Are gangs good? I’m gonna take a few minutes and write a new module.

          • Sorry – too busy to reply – madly piecing together a module to make all y’all wanna become Crips.

    • Shadow-

      (Not a typical flippant comment)

      Crazy True Factoid:

      Interestingly enough, the Nazis inspired the CIA and it all stemmed from the NAZIs brought over from operation “Paper Clip”.

      Taken from Business Insider:

      “From about 1948 to 1953, former Nazi scientists and CIA interrogators began to use LSD as an advanced interrogation technique, according to the new book “Operation Paperclip” by journalist Annie Jacobsen.

      The CIA saw LSD as a potential “truth serum,” according to FOIA documents obtained by Jacobsen, but it turned out to be an active metaphor for Cold War paranoia.”

      Here is the article link:

      The truth is definitely stranger than fiction when it comes to the 1950’s CIA and Nazis.

      “Operation paperclip” was disgusting. and a Black Eye on a American history.

  • Frank, I have to go against you on this one. I’ve been fascinated with this story since the NYT piece and eagerly have checked your site several times a day since that story broke.

    I’ve noticed I check every other day now and when I do check, there are not many pieces that compel me to read them. I’m mainly interested in how these people are doing, what they are really thinking, and when sentencing dates are coming for the rest.

    News cycles seem to come and go every day. The American public has a short attention span.

    I think Daniella is right. Once all the sentencing is completed, these people will fade away from the American consciousness.

    And Frank, please do not take this to mean your site isn’t good. I’ve loved it.

    • I will only address the question you raised about when the other four NXIVM defendants will be sentenced.

      Given that the Southern District of New York recently put all “in-person” court appearances on hold until at least mid-January, I think it’s safe to predict that the Eastern District of New York will soon do the same. And given the raging COVID-19 figures that are continuing to go up almost every day, we may not have any more “in person” court appearances in most federal courtrooms until sometime after March.

      Thus, unless the remaining NXIVM defendants agree to be sentenced via some sort of videoconference link, they may not learn their fate until sometime next Spring.

      • Claviger-

        Re Nancy Salzman Sentencing:

        Nancy is older and after beating cancer, Nancy’s health is tenuous at best…

        Considering the Covid world in which we currently live, I believe that in the interest of being humane, she should be put under house arrest for whatever time the judge sentences her to.

        Do you agree?

        • I feel the same way in regards to the remaining female defendants.

          Please Note: Clare is a special case because with her money and malice, she does pose a threat to people.

          • Awwww. Look at niceguy growing up and coming over to the good side!

            (But you’re on your own with the comment vitriol coming your way – hope Frank’s redacting fingers are ready to protect you)

          • I disagree, but I don’t find fault with those who feel mercy. I don’t have any animosity for those awaiting sentencing, though I think Allison needs intensive psychiatric treatment.

            If it were me, I’d ask for The Inquisition. I don’t mean the cake or death/comfy chair kind.

            Good on you for feeling generous.

        • I would agree with home confinement for Nancy except for two things: (1) she has never publicly renounced Raniere and NXIVM/ESP; and (2) I don’t believe she has come clean as to how much money she secreted away before the Feds showed up at her home with a search warrant.

          She had several days after Keith’s arrest to move money out of her home to a safer place (Maybe one of her sleazy Albany area attorneys agreed to hold onto it). She would have to have been really dumb not to do so.

          • Klaviger-

            I felt the same way about Roger Stone and other people of the same age.

            Whether someone believes Roger Stone is guilty or innocent is immaterial to placing an older like Roger in prison where there is a high probability he will catch the virus and a high probability he will die.

            His crimes if he did commit them do not warrant the death penalty. That is why I was OK when Trump commuted Roger Stone’s sentence.

          • —I don’t believe she has come clean as to how much money she secreted away before the Feds showed up at her home with a search warrant.

            Now that is an interesting tidbit.

            Thank you for responding to question about sentencing.

            I flip-flop daily on the house arrest vs prison sentence. It’s kind of a philosophical question. What is just.

          • Claviger-

            When it comes to philosophical questions it’s hard not to be a contrarian, on a daily basis, with yourself or others.

            After contemplating what you said about Nancy, she never did make a public apology or turn over the money I personally believe she has in her possession.

            Nancy has not shown any true act of moral contrition, except to plea a legal mea culpa for her plea deal.

            I wonder, what the theory you and Frank share as the reason the DOJ did not chase after the cash or make it part of any plea deal.

            It seems odd the DOJ let Nancy walk with the cash

    • Frank just released part one of a series, and is developing another. I’ve assumed he posts things like this while he’s working on more substantial stories, or having a life.

      It’s just not sustainable, especially after the Big Bad is behind bars for life. Nor should it be. It’s a different chapter.

    • I know the updates have been sparse given the Covid situation placing further sentencing on hold. And as of yet people from Keith’s past are not speaking up with new insights. I would like to offer an idea: maybe Frank or someone on his team can spend some time dredging up old posts from Saratogaindecline, John Tighe’s old site. I think it would be fascinating to be able to review those comments in the context of a historical timeline. Just a thought.

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


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