As I Attempt to ‘Brainsoil’ Raniere Followers, I Listen to Arguments of Due Process Violations

Keith Raniere, government exhibit photo.

For shame, the lady says.

Girl Scout Cookies, a long time commenter, made this comment to me:

“Frank, perhaps when you are once again called upon by Keith for an interview, why not ask him about the strange circumstances involved in the deaths of Gina, Kristin, Pam and the others. Ask him.

“Since you chose to single out Heidi in this instance, as you have many times before, why waste your precious time on such irrelevant commentary and focus on the larger picture. The families and friends who lost loved ones need your help too. Do it for them. Yet, you want to devote your time investigating the severity of Keith’s sentence and other matters surrounding his trial. Shame on you.”


Very good. I know where I stand. Telling someone “Shame on you” suggests you know their motives, and their actions, and have judged them extremely unworthy. So much so that the recipient should have a painful feeling of humiliation or distress caused by the consciousness of wrong or foolish behavior.

Girl Scout Cookies suggests I should be hot with shame.

Now, let us examine the facts, and see whether Girl Scout has made her case for my shaming.

Singled Out Heidi?

In her comment, Girl Scout Cookies says I singled out Heidi Hutchinson. Perhaps Girl Scout Cookies is unaware that I was responding to a comment Heidi made where she makes assertions, without evidence, and it occasioned my rebuttal.

Responding to someone’s false statements is not singling them out, it is rebutting falsehood. Singling out suggest a special treatment of someone, in this case Heidi. But I try to treat all people who make false statements equally, by rebutting them.

Keith Raniere

Don’t Call Me, I’ll Call You

As for interviewing Keith Raniere, perhaps Girl Scout Cookies did not know she misstated who sought out the interview.

She said Keith called upon me. It’s just the opposite. I requested the interview. Keith agreed.

Unfortunately, I had very limited access to Keith by prison phone. He knows his calls are monitored. They are only 15-minutes long and then they cut off automatically.

Go Get a Perry Mason Moment With Keith on the Phone?

In the TV series Perry Mason, the clever lawyer was famous for getting murderers to confess on the witness stand within a few minutes of intense questioning. The scenes are laughably inaccurate depictions of courtroom cross-examinations.

Girl Scout Cookies recommends that I should ask Raniere about “the strange circumstances involved in the deaths of Gina, Kristin, Pam and the others.

Well, it is a nice suggestion. And if perhaps I could administer truth serum, it might be a good idea to ask Raniere, on a monitored phone, what amounts to, in effect, asking him if he is a murderer.

But, under the circumstances, I don’t see the value. He is not going to make any startling confession. Furthermore, challenging him hard might make him hang up or make subsequent interviews impossible. Any good interviewer knows you have to elicit answers slowly. Possibly over many interviews.

To date, I have been the only journalist to interview Keith Raniere since his arrest.

Four women connected to Nxivm died under suspicious circumstances.

I Have Been Helping

Girl Scout Cookies, as part of her admonishment of me, writes, “The families and friends who lost loved ones need your help too. Do it for them.”

To date, I have been the only journalist to seriously investigate the possibility of foul play related to the deaths of four women connected to Nxivm. My investigation is ongoing.

I have spent an inordinate amount of time on this and interviewed dozens of people, reviewed hundreds of documents, and logged maybe a thousand hours. I have flown to Alaska, Texas, Florida, California, South Carolina and New York to meet with people who had knowledge or might have knowledge.

I have spent so much time on this that in some cases, the families and friends hoped I would curtail my investigation and let the matter rest as their lost ones must do in their memories. Nothing I can do will bring them back.

Maybe they are right. To date, despite all my efforts, there is no hard evidence that Kristin Snyder, Gina Hutchinson, Pam Cafritz or Barbara Jeske was murdered. There are many suspicious circumstances. Some very odd coincidences. Most of this was revealed in a film I made for Investigation Discovery, The Lost Women of Nxivm.

Part of the problem is that Gina died and Kristin disappeared 18 years ago. We may never find the answers. Although I will continue to try, I cannot spend all my time on this investigation. As with all cold cases, one needs something new, a break.

Talking with Keith might represent a possible new avenue. But that will not come about in a moment or on a single phone call.

Due Process Rights Matter for Even the Most Deplorable

As for Raniere’s due process rights, I think it is important to review every allegation of a breach. I am going to listen to anyone who has facts in this case. I would be ashamed not to do that. It would not matter to me if not only Girl Scout Cookies but everyone thought it was wrong and shameful to investigate possible due process violations. I am going to follow up on this.

In so doing, I might be able to persuade his remaining followers to look at Raniere with a new perspective. For years, people have said Raniere brainwashed his followers. Maybe he did or maybe that’s nonsense. I want to investigate that also.

The Nxivm 5, who are alleging that there were multiple due process violations in the case of Keith Raniere

A Joint Investigation

Raniere’s followers have agreed to examine the evidence of the trial with me even if it leads to unpleasant discoveries concerning Keith. What other journalist has attempted this? To go in and work with his followers, to do a joint investigation of the facts. This may lead to something wonderful. Some new revelations. They have information that no outsider has about Keith. Combined with what I know and the trial record, we may jointly come upon some startling truths.

  1. We may jointly find that:
    a. Keith is 100 percent guilty as charged.
    b. The prosecution conducted a fair trial in every way.
    c. Keith is guilty of some, but not all, the charges.
    d. The prosecution at times did violate his due process rights.
    e. Keith is innocent of all charges.
    f. The prosecution knowingly convicted an innocent man and violated his due process rights every step of the way.
  2. We may also find that:
    a. Keith is a noble person.
    b. Keith is a mix of good and evil.
    c. Keith is mostly full of evil with the worst intentions.

The Quest to Brainsoil

Since I am doing this openly and publicly, I have told his followers that, if I find they are brainwashed, I plan to deprogram them, or as I say to them, to “brainsoil” them [brainsoil is, I suppose, the closest literal opposite of brainwash].

At the same time, I promised I will listen to their arguments about Keith’s legal rights being violated.

If my agenda is to brainsoil them, what better way to do it than to listen to them at length. How can I expect to brainsoil without a willingness to listen to the brainwashed about what is important to them? If they are brainwashed, do you think they will just submit to listening to me endlessly deprecate Keith?

That is as unrealistic as me asking Keith on a prison phone — Hey didn’t you murder those women?

No, his followers and I have to have common ground in order to begin a dialogue. And sustain one. They do not think they are brainwashed. I am not certain they are either.  You can be wrong about someone [Keith] and not be brainwashed.

They think Keith is a very good man, an extraordinary man. I do not see him as a good man. I have bluntly told them that.

But we do have one common ideal. I deplore violations of due process. By exploring the alleged violations of due process his followers make, we wind up together examining the facts of the case. We are together studying Raniere along with the case itself.

I am hopeful the truth will come out. It will if I do my job correctly. And frankly, I would be ashamed to not fully investigate due process violations of a man I helped to imprison. If it is true that Raniere, even though he be 100 percent guilty, experienced serious violations of his due process rights, then I would plan to report that and seek to remedy it.


And if we find none, that there is no merit to the allegations of due process violations, then we should be able to conclude Raniere was properly convicted.

Meantime, I am lying to no one. I am telling his supporters and his enemies/victims the truth at all times, and transparently telling readers the truth.

No, I am not ashamed. Actually, I think I am doing the work I set out to do.


About the author

Frank Parlato


Click here to post a comment

  • Thanks for sharing the perspective, Frank. From what I’ve read recently, I do believe that you’re representing a more fair perspective from both sides as best you can. I think it’s baseless for people to purely call you a NXIVM supporter at this point unless they really just want everyone silenced. And really…what fun would that be?

    The only piece I disagree with is calling all of their deaths suspicious without anything behind it. It would be good to state a reason for the suspicions, or list some hard evidence. Otherwise it’s similar to calling something “bizarre” or “diabolical” in order to taint someone’s view of an otherwise neutral statement or action.

  • Brainwashing does not exist and you should be ashamed of yourself for saying it does. Therefore, brainsoiling does not exist, either, so you should be doubly ashamed.

    • Because you permitted me to say something I wanted to say – and your comment allowed me to make that statement.

  • I have no problem with it as free speech should prevail and also there will come a point when there aren’t many topics to cover so might as well give oxygen to those still in the cult. I think it is one of the worst cases to pick about alleged problems with the legal case because KR has probably only been charged with about 1% of what he did wrong so should not be the poster boy for some invented miscarriage of justice.

    If the Nexivm 5 want this to be their cause maybe start with the I’m in Chinese camps or those held in North Korea or captured school children in Nigeria held by Boko h.

  • Muslim people used to be painted as terrorists, and Black people have also faced huge discrimination. Keith and the NXIVM community have been painted to be monsters.

    Trying to disprove any of these 3 examples of prejudice feels insurmountable. How do you prove you’re not something that the general public thinks you are? It’s as if the general public is drunk with bias, with impaired judgment. They can’t see clearly or think logically. If Muslim people, Black people, or Keith or anyone in the NXIVM community were to say “I promise I’m a good person” then the general public would say “of course you would try to say that to cover things up or deny it, that’s exactly what someone who is brainwashed would say.”

    Thankfully our society has started to recognize how unfair and terrible it is to have such extreme and unfounded bias against Muslim people and Black people. I look forward to the day when the general public sees that they have done this same injustice to Keith and to the NXIVM community.

    Thank you Frank for your foray into unbiased evaluation.

  • Frank, this is a good thing you are doing. The media has been one sided. I think that speaking with people that have different point of views will allow to make a more educated evaluation of Keith and NXIVM. I don’t buy the story that the media has been feeding.

  • Leave it to experienced lawyers to find procedural errors. Raniere has a top-notch legal team. Let them handle it. They get paid for it.

  • If they are not brainwashed, I can’t fathom how you could assign goodness to them. The Leftovers will hop to the plenitude of End Of Times cults, reaping all that joy they’re so entitled to.

    They “know”, there is no undoing it. Leave them in the corner to play with their little truths.

  • To investigate possible and conceivable homicides, you need a full investigative apparatus. Frank’s trying to do everything he can, but if he finds closed doors in front of him, it’s extremely difficult. I can imagine that the competent authorities still have people working in their best interests not to find out about the cases.In one of our biggest cases, the entire precinct of a district was allowed to run, no accountability was held. Finding out about the deaths 10 or 20 years ago is a very big job. There may have been evidence, witnesses may have died since then. Frank put superhuman time into the whole case, and besides him, no journalist or volunteer detective has moved a finger to investigate these deaths. The facts speak. I thank Frank for setting an example and not giving up. I feel sorry for the missing women, for their families even more. It could be an unspeakable loss for them. It must feel terrible. I hope the truth comes out in time.

      • Good idea . I think a book on brainwashing and reprogramming written by Parlato could be very fascinating to read. I do think there is value in checking existing literature to not reinvent the wheel. But I would 100% buy this book.

    • Quote from franks next article, “ “But by day two, Brink was sold. His “exploration of meaning” sessions helped him reconsider childhood experiences that had impaired his relationship with his father.”

      In hypnosis this is called regression, if one wants to understand the techniques used to mind fuck these people, study hypnosis and NLP from a top reputable teacher. Simply asking someone to remember something from the past in detail automatically bypasses critical thinking and you have instant access to the subconscious which is the key to the change process.

      Understand these techniques are generally used to help people, but become more powerful when used in a negative way. Study techniques such as fractionation, used to alter between “states” and keep a person in trance (which is nothing more then current state of mind) which creates hyper suggest ability. Once you understand these and many other forms of hypnosis you can instantly recognize how people were influenced and their believes (which weren’t theirs in the first place) were changed. Understanding your own believes are not yours and where they came from you can change them. When you can change your own believes it is easy to change others.

      • I’m sure I’ve said this many x’s but, again, Keith and his inner-circle were studying and using “regression” hypnotherapy and Neuro-Linguistic Programming (as a sales and induction/seduction tool) since I’ve known him, from 1984.

        Nancy Salzman is a professional hypnotist who had a long career in NLP prior to becoming President of ESP/NXIVM at age 40. When she first met Keith, she declared him to be “delusional,” which he most definitely is. Somehow, despite Nan’s own expertise in the field and ability to recognize a deluded, malignant narcissist on the spot, she changed her own and her family’s mind about Keith – supposedly.

        Kristin Snyder, for one, was subjected to NX’s regression therapy over real (and possibly imaginary) sexual abuse as was my sister. Both ‘suicided’ (IMO) themselves under the same ‘treatment’ within the same year that other victims attempted suicide and had psychotic episodes.

        I’m surprised this aspect of NXIVM was not explored at all in court and believe it is highly relevant to justice in this case.

        BTW, I saw Clare Bronfman getting NLP coached herself by Jim Del Negro at the Precision trial in LA in 2011 and reported that (through direct channels) to the Bronfman family consultants and the Albany TU.

        I’m concerned about Frank’s exposure to it.

        • Thanks for your comment, Heidi. Maybe Frank could expend some of his influence here and do a little more investigative digging into the folks who were closest to Keith during the time of these suspicious deaths. Unfortunately, I doubt this will happen because Frank tends to delve into the “here and now” phase of rehashing Keith’s trial until he is sure it was just.

        • Concerned about Frank’s exposure to it? Are you just trying to make people begin to doubt his ability to think for himself, or do you have some factual basis for this? Just because you don’t like everything he says, that doesn’t make him compromised, it just means he’s able to question things from a new angle without getting wrapped up in being right.

  • Hi, Frank. I find your reporting fascinating. I am 100% hooked on your news site. Thank you for this fantastic reporting. This has been a great holiday season.

  • “To date I have been the only journalist to interview Keith Raniere since his arrest.”

    Because no one else cares. When other journalists previously sought comments from Raniere a number of times before, there was radio silence after the standard “no comment” response. Why is it that he’s given you the ability to speak to him now? What’s in it for you?

    How many times did this guy lie that he had no knowledge of DOS, like the many other numerous things he lied about? Why are you giving a perpetual liar a platform to speak? Why would the prosecution need to violate the due process rights of an individual who they had so much evidence on and was so easy to convict?

    I’d like to see a list of these so-called due process violations.

    • I’ve noticed something fishy about this case from the start. I don’t really understand what the crimes were…certainly doesn’t seem like it was actually sex trafficking. I bet if these were women of color or men, none of this would have been even paid attention to.

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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