DOS Caused the Downfall of Nxivm and Raniere

Keith Raniere speaks with his DOS slave Allison Mack

For longtime readers, a story like the following may not seem like news, although there is some new information in it. This story is for the many new readers, recently treading down the rabbit hole called Nxivm.

I might call this story a little of an historical perspective, and potentially an “evergreen” Nxivm story for it relates some important historical aspects of this fascinating study of people –  of how one man, aided and abetted by a group mostly made up of women who were his sex partners, could have such an outsized influence on a group of largely intelligent, yet oftentimes easily led, individuals – again mostly women.

The study of Nxivm is a study of how people could be once enamored if not enthralled with an individual and then become convinced later that he was their worst nightmare. It is a story of how people change their minds. So, it is a study of more than Keith Raniere but also a study of humanity, and of the human mind and human emotions. And it is a study of how the media and how law enforcement act upon the fates of the individuals involved.

A Sorority Led By a Man

Nxivm, the now-defunct life-coaching company, was founded by a man known as Vanguard, whose real name is Keith Alan Raniere.

Keith Alan Raniere

His downfall was undoubtedly caused by a sorority that he devised called DOS, which is an acronym for the Latin term “Dominus Obsequium Sororum,” which has been translated by some DOS members as “Master, Allegiance, Sisterhood.”

The reason DOS caused a cratering in the Nxivm community and ultimately received worldwide press and caused the criminal prosecution of Raniere and five of his supporters is that, as this blog first revealed, DOS practiced the branding [not illegal] of women on the groin with Raniere’s initials [that the brand was his initials was not revealed to some of the women] and, critically, membership in DOS required its members to offer “collateral” [determined by a jury in federal court as illegally coercive] which was, in effect, blackmail-worthy material, in order to ensure secrecy and obedience.

Raniere and his first line members of DOS. All 105 members of DOS were women except Raniere.

The collateral was meant to ensure that the women who gave collateral [explicit photos and damning confessions – whether true or false] remained silent about the existence of the group and inclined women toward obedience to the hierarchy of DOS insofar as the threat of collateral being released loomed.

DOS worked then as a master-slave hierarchy, with Raniere at the top and as the ultimate master of all the women. He had eight direct slaves, the “founding sisters’ or “first line masters.” Each of the eight was a slave to Raniere and, in turn, each of these had slaves of their own [always women]. Those slaves of Raniere’s slaves would have slaves themselves and these, in turn, it was planned would have slaves.

DOS Fell and Felled Others

It was meant to go on ad infinitum. It imploded because the mother of one of the slaves, Catherine Oxenberg, told me about DOS, and then one of the slaves, Sarah Edmondson, confirmed it – and I exposed the existence of DOS.

My publishing on this website the facts as I understood them about DOS led to a massive exodus of Raniere’s followers, both in Nxivm and DOS itself.

As some of the women of DOS wrote in their recent article, The Truth About DOS No One Has Heard: “These so-called ‘whistleblowers’ chose to destroy the sorority with the misguided help of powerful men, the mainstream media, a blogger with a personal vendetta against Raniere (Frank Parlato), and the United States Government.”

Again, describing the role I and others played in the implosion of DOS, the women of DOS wrote:

“By May 2017, DOS had 105 participants and was growing rapidly. That same month, one of its newest members, Sarah Edmondson, broke her vow of secrecy and revealed DOS’ existence to Frank Parlato, a self-avowed enemy of Raniere.

“Parlato revealed the existence of DOS on his website, the Frank Report, in a distorted and highly-biased form and, based solely on the skewed narrative of Edmondson and the few women who joined her in breaking their vows. Together, they created and promoted a fictional narrative about DOS that wreaked havoc and spread disinformation within the greater NXIVM community. This effectively ended DOS. Everything ceased. Women who had been happily engaged in the practices of DOS began to fear for their safety and livelihoods due to the highly publicized false allegations.

“After the Northern District of New York (NDNY) determined there was no wrongdoing or crime to be investigated due to the consensual nature of the acts involved, the detractors took to the media to put pressure on law enforcement to take action. The New York Times, taking up the false narratives of Edmondson, Parlato, and others, published a grossly distorted view of DOS, clearly written to spark political interest and entice the Department of Justice (DOJ). This prompted the FBI to begin an investigation bolstered and informed by a false media narrative, with public pressure to find or fabricate a crime, which ultimately led to the wrongful conviction of six innocent people, (Raniere and five women) only two of whom were ever members of DOS.”

It may be a reach to believe that Sarah Edmondson, Catherine Oxenberg, and myself were the sole architects in the fostering of the destruction of Nxivm and DOS.

The branding was the gruesome image that, as a publicist, I knew was the most impressive way to deconstruct the group and Raniere in particular. But branding is not illegal [and at the risk of angering some readers, I do not support the efforts to take Dr. Danielle Roberts’ medical license away, which I will explain in detail later].

Dr. Danielle Roberts appeared on Dateline NBC Friday, February 26th, to explain why she was not acting as a physician when she ‘scarified’ [branded] about 17 members of DOS.
Dr. Roberts used a cauterizing pen to “brand” or “scarify” some 17 women [It would have likely been more but for the exposure of the secret group through Frank Report stories, which caused DOS to cease operations.]

I have recently done a serious investigation into Roberts’ role in DOS and will issue a report soon on this.

Are They Mack’s Initials?

The brand as it appears left-side up is not easily ascertainable as the initials of Keith Alan Raniere.

However, when the brand is rotated 90 degrees counter-clockwise, the initials of Keith Raniere are visible.

There were DOS members who defected that claim that the brand also represented the initials of Allison Mack (AM).

Raniere told me in a telephone interview I had with him from the Brooklyn Metropolitan Detention Center, that aired in part on NBC Nightly News With Lester Holt that the initials are only his initials and not Mack’s.

There are some branded women who to this day still believe that the ‘A’ and ‘M’ which are readily visible in their brand is Mack’s initials, their understanding being that the brand contains both Allison’s and Keith’s initials.

I tend to side with the initials being Keith’s only, and that the ‘A” might even be his middle initial. But I would not rule out that the A and M being more prominent in the brand when it is right side up may have been Raniere’s plan to set Mack up as the fall-girl for DOS in case things went sideways.

It is a fact that Lauren Salzman testified that Allison Mack falsely told Vanessa Grigoriadis for the New York Times Magazine that it was her idea.

Grigoriadis wrote, “In [Allison Mack’s] apartment, I was surprised to hear Mack take full responsibility for coming up with the DOS cauterized brand. She told me, “I was like: ‘Y’all, a tattoo? People get drunk and tattooed on their ankle ‘BFF,’ or a tramp stamp. I have two tattoos and they mean nothing.’ ” She wanted to do something more meaningful, something that took guts.”

Sarah Edmondson, Allison Mack, and Daniella Padilla — three DOS members.

Collateral Is the Things

It was, perhaps more than anything else, the collateral that created the true havoc and legal jeopardy that brought Nxivm and DOS to a halt.

Collateral turned out to be a two-edged sword. While it was meant [assuming it was well-intended] to help women have the discipline to keep their word and stick to some tough goals, it was also something that terrorized some of the women. And this terror, caused by the threat that the collateral could be released, created the underlying elements of the crimes of sex trafficking, forced labor and some of the predicate acts of the racketeering charges.

Two Big Blunders

In my opinion, Raniere made two giant mistakes in his DOS scheme:

  1. collateral – meant to ensure secrecy and obedience and
  2. the branding with his initials on the groins of women.

He should have known that 100 women [or for that matter any gender of homo sapiens] can keep a secret, enforced by damning material held on them that potentially could be released to their detriment.

Someone would have to tell, and someone did – Sarah Edmondson.

Secondly, the branding. Branding is not inherently wrong. But branding the groin was a serious mistake. I think if Raniere had not chosen the groins of women – and had instead chosen the buttocks, or the ankle or just about anywhere else – people would not have been aghast at the procedure.

But even if there was a good reason to brand women on the groin [which I doubt], he should have either caused it to be disclosed that the brand was his initials or chosen something that had a truer purpose to the purported ideals of DOS.

I was told by several women who were branded that they were told by their masters that the brand represented the four elements. This was certainly a falsehood, unless of course the initials of Keith Raniere symbolically mean the earth, air, fire and water.

it would have been a good idea for Raniere not to have done one or more of the following:

  1. Not brand women on the groin
  2. Tell them that the brand was his initials
  3. Not require collateral
  4. Not lie to the women that he was the secret leader of the sorority

Had he done any of these, I am fairly confident he would not be in Tucson, Arizona today, residing inside a US prison, on year three of his sentence, with about 100 years to go [with time off for good behavior].

He’d likely be in Clifton Park today, walking with one of his many female admirers, albeit unbranded, or not collateralized, or knowing that he was behind the promise that by being totally obedient to him they would find true freedom.

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Frank Parlato


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  • Please stop defending and excusing Allison Mack’s behavior. How in the hell can you not see both of their initials? She was behind the brand and its design. Raniere told HER to come up with something. The described abuses her slaves testified to in a court of law were inexcusable! She can say she believed in what she was doing, just like the Nazis running concentration caps did, but there is a morality that is missing from her actions. Yes, I believe she may have been brainwashed into trying to please Raniere, but the sadistic measures were of her own device. I doubt Raniere had suggested her forms of “punishments.” She came up with those all on her own as did the other “masters” did. One cannot excuse the brutality enacted by these women on their slaves, so PLEASE STOP defending their actions!

  • It’s interesting that DOS supporters are allegedly all about women not being ” victims” but even a little light-hearted pushback and expressing differing opinions leads to complaints of misogyny and calls for Frank to rescue them from engaging in intelligent, sincere questions about their point of view.

  • The way Anna is getting ganged up on here is so misogynist. The anti-cult cult is always like this. Anna has a right to have her brand. I have a tattoo and no one calls me brainwashed. It is so hypocritical to call someone names and accuse them of being in a cult when you are in the anti-cult cult. No one is perfect, but everyone has a right to live the life they want. How does it hurt anyone for the DOS women to live the life they want?

        • If you are implying that the DOS members’ impact statements were lies then you have just proven that DOS was a failure and Keith a terrible grandmaster.

          So, congratulations. Your little slavery experiment was a failure either way!

          And I do believe both the under-oath testimony and impact statements.

          More importantly, so did the judge. And the jury.

  • I’m sitting here in the break room sink. Alone. Unwashed. Abandoned. I am a forgotten one. The intern is glaring at me resentfully. Two lawyers keep walking by babbling in Latin. Anthony is nowhere to be seen. Someone please adopt me and give me my forever home.

    • Anna’s mug.

      You have really touched our hearts. You ARE a forgotten one.

      Tonight when the office is quiet, the lights are low and the cleaning crew has gone home, we, the sugar packs, shall dance for you. Including the Stevia. Look for our glow lights. And booty shorts. Watch for our signs…

      We Are As You!

  • DOS is done. No more slaves for Raniere. No more branding ceremonies. No more “women’s empowerment.” Just lame, inept social media strategies of complaint.

    Sad, so sad, that the NXIVM remnants have nowhere better to post than on the website run by one of their most effective and tireless opponents, where they are mocked and ridiculed.

    120 is a big number when counted against the shattered dreams of crestfallen believers.

  • The amount of replies with different questions and claims I’m getting in this comment thread is a bit too much to answer everyone individually. If you have a genuine question for me, or would like to have an adult conversation, I’m all ears. If Frank would like to corral the situation, step right ahead. But I stand by my word, and I am not a “sock puppet” account for anyone associated with NXIVM/DOS.

    • Start and answer one question at a time. Otherwise, it seems like a bit of a cop-out. I counted. There aren’t many legit questions. Eat the elephant one bite at a time.

      I will start. Very simply.

      Do you think what Keith and Nxivm members did to Frank Parlato with legal proceedings was evidence of Keith being a “good man”?

      Thank you!

      • Not a cop-out if I’m sitting here saying I will indeed answer questions in an orderly fashion. I count 11 replies to me, and to answer 11 people with mostly condescending comments is not something I will do individually.

        If you’re referring to lawsuits, I think it’s quite irrelevant to K being a good man. Legal proceedings are what they are, a legal matter irrelevant to one’s character. If the Bronfman sisters saw their money being stolen and reported it, you believe that makes them evil? Keep in mind that Frank is still on the radar of the IRS, and still awaiting his own legal proceedings.

        This question circles back to the belief by FR supporters/the media that grown adult woman are incapable of making their own decisions in regards to their own money and life. Nicki remains loyal to a partner and mentor, and she’s brainwashed by an evil man. The Bronfmans file lawsuits, and they’re under the orchestration of an evil man.

        • NXIVM bitter-enders are so predictable and incapable of successfully posing as non-Nxians.

          “This question circles back to the belief by FR supporters/the media that grown adult women are incapable of making their own decisions in regards to their own money and life.”

          That’s a strawman argument. One of the favorite NXIVM/Raniere logical fallacies.

          If Nicki is so loyal to Allison, why did she completely dodge Dateline’s direct question about their relationship?

          In any case, none of this gets Keith a millimeter closer to freedom or NXIVM out of the PR toilet.

          • Yes! And Allison and Nicki broke that marriage vow very quickly.

            Are only DOS vows unbreakable? And sacred?

        • No, Anna.

          We adult women in general are fully capable of thinking for ourselves, but women specifically branded with Keith’s initials who haven’t disowned him are brainwashed. It is obvious which sort of woman you are.

        • Right, Anna. People get afraid when women think for themselves. Nicki’s bravery in the face of all these hateful attacks is inspiring. Also inspiring that you are willing to stand up and support her. Women need to have each other’s backs and not be catty and bitchy to please the boys. Like Sarah Edmundson past her prime and constantly chattering about being a poor, helpless victim every time she sees a mike or a camera to make herself feel better about her faded looks.

          All the DOS women I see are vibrant and alive! It’s too bad the media destroyed what seems like a beautiful community before I had a chance to learn from it myself.

          • Wait. So criticizing Sarah’s looks is not catty? Is that an example of women supporting each other? Is Nicki having Cami’s back by calling her a liar and dismissing child rape and pornography? Talk about pleasing “boys”. Interesting that you do not consider them “men”.

            Nicki and Sarah are close in age. Why do you dismiss women of certain years as “past their prime”? As if their worth is based only on appearance.

            BTW, Sarah presents gorgeously. As does her husband. And her beautiful children.

            America did not respond so well to Nicki’s recent TV performance. Now, why isn’t she accused of chasing the camera? Appearing at the courthouse. Demanding attention. Dancing and posting. Very hypocritical of you.

            Post your photo so that we can all dissect your looks since that’s how you roll. I look forward to seeing what ya got going on.

          • Nicki is brave to get in front of a camera and put up with the hate because she speaks the truth and takes responsibility for herself. Sarah gets piles of love and $$$ because she tells the story the media wants to hear about brainwashing and victimhood.

            Sarah’s looks speak for themselves. The outside reflects the inside. Disintegrated.

          • @anonymous
            March 18, 2021 at 2:06 am

            So the compliments passed and the quality mean? – there’s a surprise. Like the ugly sisters in the story by the Brothers Grimm, you vain and jealous sisters will be confounded by your dismal claims. It’s a very old story. I’m sorry you’re so wilfully consigned to it.

    • Cockroaches scurry off to hide in the cupboard when the light shines on them. DOS deadenders clam up when asked even softball questions. Poor Anna isn’t badass enough to respond and begs a man to corral the situation. Keith’s BS doesn’t work outside the cult echo chamber.

  • Anna, we are very disappointed in your so-called denial of knowledgification in this regards. We have put our esteemed legal reputationing on the line to vouchsafe confirmation of your independence and non-membership in DOS yet you turn around and bite the hands that fed you Waldorf word salad with a side of run-on sentences at the last potluck!

    We hereby declare as attorneys admitted to the Bar of Washington State, the United States of America, Countries of the Western Hemisphere and even unto the Eurasian landmass, that Anna’s data is not objective.


    Post hoc ergo propter hoc we herewith and forby declare that we are opening an official investigation as officers of the court to make determinings in your relationship status vis a vis Anthony and the organizations so-called NXIVM and DOS. Take care that said investigations will be conducted scrupulously under the principle of faecum deiectionem quasi non faecibus exturbandis opitulatur.

    Any data you wish to present, Anna, must be made public in this forum so that truthful determinings should be guided by truth and transparency as we exercise our critical faculties in the ethical realm to promulgatify humane values.


  • There are many so-called rumors floating around that Anna is lying when she claims not to have been involved with NXIVM and/or DOS. However, we know her personally, as she is the wife of our co-worker Anthony, and, ceteris paribus, can confirm the objectivity of her data and the absence of media hate bias in her intellectualizations.

    All those engaging in false accusativness against her including Namaste should take care that writs of mandamnification and liens of indemnification can be forthwith and thereby filed in courts throughout North and South America, even unto the Eurasian landmass. Ergo, let this comment stand as prior notification of cease and desistance.

    • Two Lawyers, I have enjoyed the sarcastic comments but please don’t drag me into your false narrative. Let the record show for all FR readers that I do not know Two Lawyers, or Anthony. And I still have never been part of NXIVM or DOS.

      • Okay, Anna. Sure. You left your mug in the break room sink again. Rinse it out and put it away!

        • We hereby duplicate the Intern’s objective data in these matterifications. The leaving of so-called mugs in sinks does not represent exercising our critical faculties in the ethical realm and fails to build a compassionate, ethical humanification.

          Anna, take care to diligently affirm human values in the locationality of your thirst satisfying apparatus by the principle of redige te post eum.

      • Looks like Anthony is going to make Anna sleep on the floor in a doggy bed because she’s been an uppity woman who expects to be treated like a princess!

        Bad DOS slave! No zucchini for you!

      • “I do not know Two Lawyers, or Anthony. And I still have never been part of NXIVM or DOS.”

        Does anyone truly “know” anyone? Does a wife truly ever “know” her husband? Does a person ever truly “know” themself? (Other than Keith, of course, because he’s all enlightened and shit, so normal rules and principles doesn’t apply to him.)

        Just because you don’t “know” Anthony doesn’t mean you aren’t his wife. You aren’t really saying Two Lawyers are lying.

        Wouldn’t it only be true to say you were a “part” of NIXVM and DOS if you’re weren’t wholly committed from the beginning?

        To say you “have never been a part” is to say you are a first line slave to Keith.

        Such tricky word play. The sign of a true Raniere acolyte who has diligently learned his ways.

  • The Dossier Project article does a wonderful job explaining the situation. No law enforcement took any claims seriously until the women who broke their vows went to the media. The media blew up the story and put immense pressure on taking legal action. It proves that media is truly the problem here, as it led to unjust arrests and convictions. K is a good man.

    • By your own narrative, the primary problem you face is the women who refused to go along with the fraud, lies and evil of your vow.

      The media did – and continues to do – good work exposing the corruption and destruction wrought by your cult.

      So happy to know Raniere will never walk the earth a free man!

      • Yes, it is unfortunate that those women chose to break their secrecy and go back on their word. However, I’m sure they went to the authorities with the same information that they went to the media with. The only difference is, the authorities saw no laws broken, and the media saw a tale that could easily be sensationalized in the name of sales.

        However, it is strange that you say “my vow” and “my cult”. I was and never have been part of NXIVM or DOS (neither of which are cults). I’m just an outsider who had a non-biased perspective of the story when I first heard it. Now I simply choose to be a voice for those who are overlooked.

        • You keep saying, ” broke their vows” like that’s a real thing. You believe in an unbreakable bond of slavery and servitude? An illegal slavery ring? Sexual blackmail?

        • “[T]he authorities saw no laws broken”

          Huh? Then why is Raniere in prison? And the others convicted, especially Mack and Lauren?

          If you are referring to the NDNY, they failed to take action and, thereby, failed those victims because they were bribed or blackmailed, not because there was insufficient evidence. Hopefully, Frank will provide us with more detail on this issue since the DOS-8 are now including it in their false narrative.

          Which brings me to why FR readers think you are in DOS. Aside from your use of the word “data,” you have the projection and deflection tactic down pat. If you see “evil,” you are “evil.” These ridiculous types of statements are telltale signs of a Nxian.

          Also, you protesteth too much.

          Time to give up the ruse.

          • Whoops! Got you confused with the “data” and “evil” of another culty. There are just too many of you crawling around FR to keep a proper track!

        • There is no going back on your word based on a dishonest vow. Any inkling of uninformed consent, fraud, deception, etc., renders it null and void.

          Besides, there was no legal terms of agreement, nothing written down nor signed as in a contract. It’s a she said/she said scenario, and the people who left are simply more believable than the ones who stayed on.

        • “Yes, it is unfortunate that those women chose to break their secrecy and go back on their word.”

          Nothing disturbs neutral, outside observers more than the members of a cult not respecting their vows to keep all their crimes a secret.

          Yep, Anna is definitely NOT a DOSista.

        • “I’m just an outsider who had a non-biased perspective of the story when I first heard it. Now I simply choose to be a voice for those who are overlooked.”

          “Anna”, you HAD a non-biased perspective.

          But, now you admit you are drinking the NXIVM koolaid.

          An extremely plausible story!

          I wonder who you are a sock puppet for… Nicki, Michelle, Danielle… several potential suspects.

          Is the “Anna” sock puppet branded?

    • Anna,
      You say, ” broke their vows” like that’s a real thing. It’s not. It is about as important as a secret clubhouse knock when you are 5 years old.

      You believe Keith is a good man? What do you think of what Keith did to Frank? You know, Frank? You’re on his blog, commenting? Was dragging Frank through made-up legal hell, “good” of Keith?

    • If the dossier project does such a ” wonderful” job, why do you describe them as “overlooked”?

      If you are truly aligned with their alleged values, they don’t need/want strangers (such as yourself according to you) to treat them as helpless women who you need to rescue. Let them speak for themselves. They make that claim again and again. The story must be told by the women in DOS. Not some rando.

      Sorority sisters are doing it for themselves! And Keith. For themselves. Of course. But really, mostly for Keith. For themselves. And Keith.

      Don’t be infantilizing them, Anna! It’s their story to tell.

    • – I’m sure they went to the authorities with the same information that they went to the media with

      Anna, how can you be so sure about the actions of women you’ve never been involved with? How do you know with certainty what did or did not happen in DOS if you were never a part of it?

      You break character a lot. If you are an actress by profession, you’re probably unemployed.

    • So, why do you think Keith is a good man? What does Keith really do for this group? What sacrifices does he make to benefit anyone? I would love for anyone to explain to me what the women were getting out of any of this. Why did Keith not limit his caloric intake? Seems he may be a bit more attractive with a few pounds lost and a gym membership would have done him good too. The whole idea of being “ready” at 2 am for some type of activity is strange, to say the least. If someone at my work or a club I belonged to would have told me that, I would have said: “ABSOLUTELY NOT”. Had it been a work setting, I can promise you that person would not have a job after that.

  • Branding isn’t illegal? Dodgy at best. In this case, where deception and blackmail are involved, it helped earn the perpetrator a 120-year prison sentence.

    BDSM games are not, strictly speaking, illegal. If and only if there is clear informed consent. And if they are games.

    Raniere wasn’t playing games. And he didn’t care about the women’s consent. In fact, the whole point was to dominate these women, manipulate these women into being “f*ck toys” (his words).

    Raniere wasn’t engaging in BDSM role-playing He was sex trafficking.

    So, I think you miss the point, Frank. Raniere didn’t make mistakes in where the brand was located or in not being honest about his initials. The point was to brand them on their genitals with his initials regardless of what they wanted.

    That’s what “Dominant” and Obsequious” means.

    Oh, and one more thing. Those are Mack’s initials too. She was fully complicit in this crime.

    • I disagree, I do not believe that Allison would have been aware of her initials on the brand. Lauren, who testified to having designed the brand under Keith’s guidance, stated that the brand did not include Allison’s initials if she knew that Allison was aware from the initials, so she wouldn’t have had a problem throwing her under the bus, but it seems like Lauren tried to protect herself from the possibility of her being seen as Keith’s accomplice in the plan to set up Allison as the fall girl. Let’s remember what she said in her testimony about being surprised that Allison claimed authorship of the mark in the interview with Vanessa Grigoriadis, but according to the journalist, Allison she seemed reluctant to give the interview until she spoke with Keith and Lauren.

  • Keith was skilled at misusing language to maintain control. That’s a standard cult technique–creating a specialized jargon.

    We should stop calling it “collateral.” It wasn’t. Collateral for a bank loan is a) not something you give to the bank, it is something you give them the right to take if you don’t pay them back b) something that the bank no longer has claim to once you pay off the loan.

    What Keith and his minions were up to was blackmail. The DOS slaves were required to turn over photos and statements that Keith, Allison, et al used for blackmail. It was intended as a control mechanism for life and even a way to smear them in death.

  • My take is the branding, and only the branding, caused Raneire’s downfall.

    If not for the branding. DOS would have continued on just fine, likely even to this day. The result would have been a sizable library of sexual images and videos for Keith to enjoy (when not taking advantage of the harem). The longer it went on, the less likely anyone would have come forward because the greater the threat that library would have created, even for those not in DOS.

    The collateral system was clearly inspired by Scientology’s Auditing. While that cult added a bunch of nonsense to it, it is really just getting Scientologists to confess anything negative they have done or felt at any point in their lives. The Auditors would record and thoroughly document these sessions. The result is substantial blackmail material that can be used to at least ensure silence. Which works. Most ex-members refuse to talk about the cult for this reason. Not just to protect themselves but also to protect friends and family that remain in or left the cult that could have their material released.

    Eventually, it’s possible DOS would have internally fallen apart once his part in it came out but it’s likely that collateral would have prevented it from becoming public. Let’s be honest, the NXIVM 5 do have one thing right – the only reason Raniere got investigated at all was the public notoriety of a harem inside his cult, a harem discovered via the branding. Without that attention, there would have been no investigation and thus no knowledge of any of the other crimes he committed. At most, rumors might have made their way to local police departments, who once they saw Raniere was backed by 2 heiresses and their lawyers, would have immediately thought “These people volunteered for this shit, we got bigger problems to deal with” and never made its way to the federal level for investigation.

    In short, the branding, not DOS and the collateral, was the bridge too far that led to his downfall.

    • I agree that it was the “branding” that was Keith’s downfall — and, even then, it was only when The New York Times picked up the story about the branding that federal officials in the EDNY opened an investigation. More than four months passed from the time that Frank first wrote about the branding until Barry Meier’s story appeared on the front page of the Times.

      During those four months, there were no such stories in the Times Union — or in any other newspaper in New York State or elsewhere.

      During those four months, the Albany City Police did not initiate any sort of investigation into Keith or his cult.

      During those four months, Albany County District Attorney P. David Spares did not have a Special District Attorney appointed to look into what was going on with NXIVM (That’s what he did when his NXIVM friends and their lawyers at O’Connell & Aronowitz wanted to prosecute three of Keith’s enemies: John Tighe, Joe O’Hara and Toni Natalie).

      During those four months, the New York State Police did not seek to confirm that women were being blackmailed and branded by Keith and his acolytes (Lead by Rodger Kirsopp, the NYS police were quick to open an investigation into the false charges that NXIVM leveled against Kristin Keeffe when she fled with her son from the area).

      Nope…absolutely nothing was done by any newspaper and/or any law enforcement official in the NDNY during those four months to take down Keith or NXIVM.

      But once the story that Frank Parlato broke appeared in The New York Times, everything changed.

      Make no mistake — if Keith hadn’t started branding women, he’d still be walking around a free man.

      As I said at the time I first heard about the branding: “You can do a lot of crazy shit in this country and never have any legal problems. But you cannot brand pussies — and expect to remain free.”

      • Keith was already buying cages. First, someone willingly goes into a cage for an hour for an ethical breach. Then a day, a week, a month. Before long you have a wealthy family with a story about their daughter that makes the branding story seem tame.

        • I don’t disagree that Keith was going to continue escalating until he eventually got caught. As I previously opined, I think he is literally a “born loser”: i.e, the kind of person who cannot ever win because he will keep upping the gamble until the odds are so high against him that he has to lose (There’s a reason the casinos in New York State used to comp his rooms and meals).

          I’m not sure that a “caging story” would have had more impact than the “branding story” did. But probably pretty close.

        • Oops, I did indeed misspell P. David Soares’ last name in my original comment. Mea culpa, mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.

          BTW, if criminal charges are brought against NYS Governor Andrew Cuomo, it’s quite possible they will be filed in Albany County. Have to wonder which former Albany County DA will be appointed as a Special District Attorney to pursue those charges because, God knows, P. David is not going to take on that task himself.

  • I respectfully disagree. Keith and Nxivm would have had other crimes catch up to them.

    It is my belief that Keith being a total charlatan and wielding his fairly absolute power and cruelty was on a runaway course to destruction. Someone inside would have brought forth the money laundering and other financial crimes. At a minimum. Eventually.

    People like Keith always self-destruct. It is part of his personality type. With his profile, there would have been previous build-ups and blow-ups (Consumer Buyline, for example) in his past. This is not uncommon and sometimes a person like Keith will get lucky (The original Nxivm exodus of upper-level members) and solider on but there is an actual timeframe where people like Keith blow up their lives on a regular basis – until that final disaster brings them all the way down. I am refraining from making an actual clinical diagnosis here. But it is a known pattern.

    Keith would have had a molestation case that stuck. And was investigated properly soon enough. Or something similar. There is no chance this situation would have remained “stable”. It was not sustainable. And Keith may actually have done much, much worse. If not stopped when he was arrested.

    This article is way too generous to the true nature of DOS or its practices. Even the name. It’s been researched by far smarter linguistic experts than us.

    If Keith was able, he would still seek to destroy you, Frank. Even now. Keep your guard up. You’re newer friends have one agenda. Don’t ever forget it. To serve Keith. Exonerate Keith. Avenge Keith.

    Stay safe.

    • Even if you’re right in predicting that Keith would have eventually done something else to cause his own ruination, I think it would have taken several more years for that to happen. Keith was operating in a location where he had bought-off, blackmailed, and/or intimidated local law enforcement officials to the point that, rather than investigating him and his cult, they actually went after several brave whistleblowers who tried to expose what was going on. And the major local newspaper in the area had basically ceased covering NXIVM after all its prior efforts resulted in nothing but a journalism prize — and the loss of two great reporters, James Odato and Dennis Yusko.

      Even to this day, the U.S. Attorney for the NDNY has done absolutely nothing in terms of investigating — and prosecuting — NXIVM-related crimes. And that’s the situation after Keith has been tried, convicted and sentenced to 120-years in federal prison.

      Dozens of people in the Albany area would be prosecuted for the crimes they committed if those crimes were not linked back to their involvement in NXIVM (Other local people are being prosecuted for similar crimes on a regular basis). That’s how much influence NXIVM still has in this area.

  • “Pigs get fat, but Hogs get slaughtered.”

    Instead of being satisfied with several willing girlfriends, Raniere wanted to collect scores of girlfriends and torture and blackmail them along the way.

    To this day the world’s third dumbest man has not figured out what went wrong.

  • The time since his incarceration prior to the guilty verdict and subsequent sentencing is considered served and will count toward his prison time. But good behavior during that time can hardly be credited to him because of his many rule violations, such as prohibited communication with burner phones. Good behavior is required from the first day of incarceration, not after sentencing.

    • While that’s theoretically true, very few federal inmates actually lose much “good time” for things they do in prison before their case is adjudicated (The exception would be if they did something truly egregious like beat up a guard, etc.). And while Keith did get punished several times at MDC for various low-level transgressions, I don’t think any of them involved the loss of “good time”.

      BTW, Keith started being credited for “time served” as of the day he was picked up by federal authorities at the Mexican border (That anniversary is coming up in a couple of weeks). So, he’s already got more than 160 days in his “good time” account.

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