Eduardo Asunsolo is one of a group called the Nxivm-5. They are the most vocal of the remaining supporters of Keith Alan Raniere.
I estimate that there are perhaps 100 Raniere supporters still left in North America and a few in Europe. But these five, of the Nxivm-5, Eduardo, Nicki Clyne, Suneel Chakravorty, Michele Hatchette and Marc Elliot, are openly, notoriously, supporting Raniere.
Most people who are still loyal are keeping a low profile and of those who left Nxivm and were too slow to quit and denounce Raniere, they are finding themselves losing their jobs, unable to rent apartments and in some cases, such as in Mexico, not being permitted to enroll their children in some schools.
It is in some respects a witch hunt for certainly not every person in Nxivm was a scoundrel. But the mere tinge of Nxivm and prior membership is enough to cause fear and loathing.
In the last week or so, rightly or wrongly, Damon Brink’s contract with a not-for-profit was canceled in Vermont, and Javier Jileta resigned from his high-ranking position in the Mexican Ministry of Foreign Relations because of association with Nxivm.
This is but a tip of the iceberg. I can name two dozen former Nxians who lost jobs or could not rent an apartment – even after telling their employers or potential landlords that they have left Nxivm and have denounced Raniere. I can well understand how witnesses like Nicole and Daniela sought to keep their identities private for this is an enormous badge of dishonor to be known to have once associated with Raniere.
Indeed, the ones who escape this fate are of three kinds.
One: Those who hide below the radar and keep their role in Nxivm hidden – which means in large part – to keep it offline.
I have removed the names of quite a few former members from the Frank Report to help them move on with their lives.
Second: The next group are those who come out as victims and tell their tale.
Third: Finally there are those who leave very publicly and not only proclaim they were victims but who joined the fight in taking on and bringing Raniere down.
Among these is Mark VIcente. He was in a group called Ramtha before he joined Raniere. His devotion to Raniere [and probably Ramtha] was real, while it lasted. At some point he turned against him.
He began a fight and while I used the Frank Report to write about Raniere, he used a camera. This dude filmed everything he did. Maybe he filmed 1000 hours or more for every hour aired. The whole battle he had with Raniere, with his fellow fighters, Catherine Oxenberg, Sarah Edmondson, Anthony Ames, Bonnie Piesse, and others, notably Kristin Keeffe and myself, was filmed. All the while planning to use it in a documentary.
And he did. It is HBO’s The Vow.
So on the one end, we have the most vocal anti-Ranierians, Vicente, and, on the other, we have Eduardo Asunsolo of the Nxivm-5.
Now the curious thing is that at one time, Vicente and indeed most of the people who were in Nxivm and later left, were friends with most of the Nxivm-5. It was known as the Nxivm community.
Eduardo Asunsolo and Mark Vicente were friends. Vicente was older and higher in the ranking system of Nxivm, and Asunsolo said he looked up to Vicente as a great man.
When Vicente left and, then rustled up many others to leave, then provided evidence to the prosecution and, especially, after he testified against Raniere at his trial – the ever-dwindling remaining followers of the Vanguard considered Vicente the most dishonorable.
The last time Asunsolo saw Vicente was at the trial of Raniere. There is a lot of poetry in this scene.
Vicente, the former mentor, a former leader of Nxivm, testified for days. He approached Asunsolo, who attended the trial and heard every word Vicente said. Once they were dedicated players on the same team – team Raniere and now a disillusioned Vicente was the architect of Raniere being where he is – prison.
So there is a moment when in the courthouse the two men ran into each other. It was awkward perhaps. They saw each other and neither could pretend not to see the other.
Vicente spoke. He tried to tell Asunsolo that he was there for him, willing to help, inform him, give him the assurance that everything that was being said about Keith was true, and that he, Vicente had been in his shoes before.
Asunsolo, who once so admired Vicente, greets him with stony silence. He did not dispute. He was gravely silent.
Vicente looked at him, realizing that Asunsolo by his silence was making his statement. He stood behind Keith.
A few weeks later, on June 19, 2019, Raniere was convicted. As he waited in prison for more than a year, his followers danced in front of the prison. They created an affidavit, asking the prosecution to swear under oath they did not lie or cheat. They published reports on how the prosecution railroaded an innocent Raniere – from altering devices seized at his home to claiming witnesses were lying – including Vicente.
Keith alone was telling the truth.
On October 27, Raniere was sentenced to 120 years, and is soon is to be transferred to another prison — and the Nxivm-5, who live in Brooklyn, may soon be deprived of seeing him. He is reportedly headed for Tucson sometime this year.
Raniere is planning an appeal and his supporters are helping him, Asunsolo perhaps chief among them.
Asunsolo said that he tried to reach Vicente privately but was unable to make contact. Vicente’s whereabouts are presently unknown and it is believed he may be living outside the USA.
An Open Letter to Mark Vicente
By Eduardo Asunsolo
January 1, 2021.
The last time we saw each other was at Keith’s trial and you said you still cared about my welfare. I’m sorry I didn’t respond.
Today I’m not so sure that the silence I used against you that day did much for the people I love.
Please don’t misunderstand me, I still stand where I stood then, but I wanted to say that, at least for me, this difference of opinion between us is no longer a barrier to our being in contact.
So since I offered silence to you the last time, I am reaching out now to try to reestablish communication.
One day, perhaps in the near or distant future, you might be open to something I would be amenable to – an effort to return of our former friendship, and, for anything we may have done wrong – forgiveness.
This is interesting. That two opposing individuals, on opposite sides of the Keith Raniere case – each believing they are walking in the light, formerly friends, now not speaking because of Raniere. The two men had their whole lives enveloped in the world of Raniere and one of them destroyed that world and the other is one of the few remaining beings still dwelling in the ruins of Nxivm.
And he reaches out to Vicente, to communicate again.
One must consider that Vicente likely considers Asunsolo brainwashed or gullible or misled; blind to the truth that Vicente only lately discovered about the man he almost worshipped, Keith Raniere.
And Asunsolo likely thinks that Vicente did not tell the real truth of Keith, and let the great man be pilloried and destroyed and for what? For the sake of a documentary? Did he ever understand Raniere?
Regardless of who is right, it does make an interesting New Year’s concept — that two people diametrically opposed might actually do what most would not consider – break the silence and communicate, civilly.
Something might yet come out of that dialogue.