Behind the Scenes in Nxivm: Anthony ‘Nippy’ Ames’s Fateful Warning to Nancy Salzman When She Still Could Have Avoided Criminal Charges

Anthony "Nippy" Ames

On Sept. 22, 2017, some three months after I first published news of DOS in my Frank Report story Branded Slaves and Master Raniere, Anthony “Nippy” Ames, husband of Sarah Edmondson, made what I believe was an effort to save Nancy Salzman from destruction.

During the summer of 2017, a group of Nxivm defectors – Ames, Mark Vicente, Sarah Edmondson and Bonnie Piesse – worked with Catherine Oxenberg [who was on a quest to rescue her daughter from DOS] to find a way to stop Keith Raniere from destroying them. Their story is documented in HBO’s The Vow.

They chose to join forces with me. I was on my own quest to destroy Keith Raniere, largely because he had been attempting to do the very same thing to me. It was nothing personal on my part.

While I did not have much contact with Nippy, he did share with me important information during the summer of 2017, when Frank Report was the only place online that was writing about Nxivm and DOS.

Nippy, who had had a strong role in the Nxivm men’s group, the Society of Protectors, was flabbergasted to learn that there was a secret women’s group, and that his wife, Sarah, had joined it and had been branded on her groin with Raniere’s initials [and as he and many thought at the time, Allison Mack’s initials.].

Nancy Salzman

I suppose Nippy had some fondness for Nancy and, therefore, he sent her the following letter. The timing was crucial. Nxivm was in disarray at the time. The stories on the Frank Report [I had written hundreds] had essentially helped to crater the cult, as hundreds fled and distanced themselves after revelations of secretly branding women and taking collateral [which many saw as blackmail] came out on this website.

Catherine, Mark and I were working to get law enforcement interest. Kristin Keeffe helped with this, as did others, including Joe O’Hara.

On Sept. 22, when Nippy sent the email to Nancy, the New York Times had not published their story [Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded was published Oct. 17, 2017] that would spark federal law enforcement to take a serious interest in the possibility of prosecuting Raniere and others. Much of their case mirrored the dossier I wrote with information that was provided by Vicente, Keeffe, Catherine Oxenberg, Kristin Keeffe, Sally Brink, Sarah Edmondson, and others.

Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman worked together for years, with Raniere in absolute charge.

Nancy Salzman now faces years in prison. Had she heeded Ames’ warning, there is an excellent chance she could have cooperated with law enforcement and been spared being charged. Instead, she ignored his suggestions, got indicted, and ending up pleading guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy which carries a prison sentence of up to 20 years.

So, in a sense, this is a fateful letter, one that was a harbinger, which Nancy failed to heed.

By the way, Anthony, wisely or not, sent the email not only to Nancy [] but copied Keith Raniere, [] and sent a blind copy to me.

The photos in this article were not included in the email. I selected them and wrote the captions to help illustrate and explain some of the concepts Ames was telling Nancy, which she would know from their history together. When clarification was helpful, I added a word or two in [brackets and in bold]. Parenthetical observations () are those written by Ames and were included in the email.

The subject line of the email reads “Letter for Nancy”

Anthony Ames’ Sept. 22, 2017 Email to Nancy Salzman [Keith Raniere copied]

Dear Nancy,

When I took my first intensive I was reading a book by William Bennett called The Death of Outrage. In essence, the book asks important questions concerning the lack of public outrage in the face of evidence of glaring corruption within the Clinton administration-specifically the Lewinsky scandal.  At 26 years old, I was outraged! I remember thinking, “How could the generation that experienced JFK, MLK, and Vietnam be satisfied with this gigolo as their best representative?”

The Death of Outrage was originally published in 1998, while Clinton was president. The book examines the Monica Lewinsky scandal, from Clinton’s denials that he had had sex with a young White House intern, to his testimony before the grand jury, to the events leading to the decision not to remove Clinton from office.

Thanks to my dad, I was completely aware of how idealistic and naïve I was.  Also, thanks to my dad, I understand right and wrong.  And, after my 5 day [Nxivm intensive], when I heard the principles ESP was claiming to embody, I decided to ignore my naivety and jump in for the last 11 [days].  Wow!  I was thinking and feeling things in a totally different way.  I was seeing options, and asking questions.  Do I think struggling in auditions is something I want to do?  I strongly considered Harvard Law School and pursuing Law.  But, after my 16 day [intensive] it was clear that law doesn’t uphold justice (a belief that has been enforced by the recent abuses of power by Clare [Bronfman] and her billions, and Alex’s trumped up charge against Toni Zarantini).

When longtime Nxivm member Toni Zarattini learned about DOS and its branding and collateral, he warned Nxivm women in Monterrey. Alex Betancourt took legal action against Toni trying to get criminal charges of extortion lodged against him in Mexico.

Nancy.  I will spare you all the peculiar behaviors of the ensuing 15+ years, and jump to the end with a metaphor.  I am sure you are familiar with the Jim Jones massacre where 900+ people drank cyanide laced Kool-Aid killing all 900+.  This became known as the “Jonestown Massacre” and bequeathed to the world the term “drinking the Kool-Aid.”  I am quite certain Jim Jones did not start his pitch with selling you on the possibility and merits of drinking cyanide laced Kool-Aid.  If he had, I don’t think his little start up would have fared so well.  Similarly-now follow me here Nancy- if you had gone to most of the women who have Keith Raniere and Allison Mack’s initials branded in their pubic region, and asked them, “Hey!  We are starting this new women’s group.  You may end up having Keith and Allison’s initials branded near your vagina.  You in?”  I know for sure Sarah would have said no.  What’s more, if you had asked me at 26 if I would stand by and be complicit to such behavior, my answer would have been a resounding, “no!”

My questions to you are as follows:

What has to happen next?

When does the line bending get too much for you?

Does another girl have to go into pre menopause at age 27 (India Oxenberg)?

Do more people have to die?

How many women does Keith need to abuse for you to say something?

What is the vision here; Millions of women with Keith Raniere and Allison Mack’s initials on their crotches?

Is there a limit to what a man accountable to no one would ask of a gaggle of young, impressionable, and vulnerable girls?

Who is going to be outraged?

I was and still am! I still know right from wrong! What are you going to do when one of these girls dies?

There are those who believed [and some still do] that the brand contained the initials of both Keith Raniere and Allison Mack. Raniere told me himself that the brand contains only his initials and not Allison’s.
Which brings us back to Kool-Aid.  If you think ALL of the recent departures (and previous) from NXIVM companies are Keith being misunderstood, then you may want to evaluate how the “smartest man in the world” is failing to communicate his message.  If you believe the narrative that Keith knew nothing about a secret women’s group, that women he is mentoring started, then you need to evaluate his mentorship skills.  Or, you may want to consider that you are drunk on the Kool-Aid.

I find it hard to believe you have not seen what I have seen.  Aside from women being branded, I have seen emails and texts between Keith and what I perceive as little awestruck girls.  All of whom he is sleeping with, slept with, or in process. I have seen nasty texts your daughter [Lauren Salzman, who also was charged and convicted] has written on private threads about people.  I sat and listened to a phone call describing how Lauren was coaching a Proctor to lie to you about DOS.

I have seen nude pictures and texts that are blackmail.  I have seen women looking anorexic and sick.  And, I don’t even know what Allison Mack is supposed to be.  It is amazing to me how you can have the body of work on Keith’s behavior that you have, dismiss decades of sexual scandal and not make allowance for their validity.  Look at the chaos that is always around you! The recent events have not altered my thought object of Keith.  They have confirmed it.  None of the people leaving have anything to gain by lying about what we have witnessed.  You and everyone defending Keith do.  Simple as that.  That is a VERY important thing to consider.  Both Sarah and I had a lot to lose.

Sarah Edmondson with Anthony ‘Nippy’ Ames

We are both suffering financially.  We suffer socially and professionally because we will forever be associated with these behaviors.  . To do the right thing in this instance is character.  Yet, you sit by while Keith uses Bronfman millions and are brainwashed into believing you are protecting a principle. To accuse my wife of theft, fraud and mischief is an act of violence masquerading as principled. Keith sleeping with all of these girls is an abuse of his position and a conflict of interest.  Stop justifying it!

You are missing an opportunity to stand up for what is right!  Any way this situation plays out, you will be the one that sat by and defended, fortified, and even inspired ugly behaviors. All the while you assume a moral superiority in the process.  History has a lonely place for these actions.  As compelling as the argument, “What if you’re wrong?” might be in NXVM community, it is a flaccid approach in the real world.  Nevertheless, I suggest turning that question on yourself, and really consider you might be wrong.  Regardless, it has to be obvious to you by now that you are on a sinking ship NOT by the hands of defectors, but by your compliance.

Even if Keith has the billions to abuse in his defense, the branding of women’s vaginas and Allison Mack spewing Gandhi quotes is a hard thing to overcome in the eyes of the public.  The public is and will continue to be outraged.

Allison Mack offered many inspirational quotes for her followers.

Outrage is a good thing.  It is the very thing throughout history that incited change.  In spite of Keith’s attempts to squelch the NXVIM community by crying “trial by media,” and multiple screenings of the film The Crucible, he is transparent to people outside his bubble.  This is a perspective you have not had since 1997- collateral damage to drinking so much Kool-Aid.


Keith Raniere liked to have his students watch the movie, The Crucible, a 1996 film about a Salem resident who attempts to frame her ex-lover’s wife for being a witch in the middle of the 1692 witchcraft trials.

Furthermore, if there is not a place in our society; if we have yet to earn a process where a woman can go who has been through these abuses (yourself included), people’s outrage will inspire one be formed. With the same alacrity I pursued justice through SoP [Society of Protectors], I will pursue it outside SoP.  Only this time I won’t have the shackles of Keith’s vision.


Anthony Ames’s statement about a movement being born to assist abused women seems prophetic. About a month after he wrote this letter, the #metoo movement was born.

I believe at some point you indeed wanted to do good in the world. I believe Keith picked you because he knows you lack what it takes to stand up to him.  You have been the perfect foil.  When I told my dad about what is going on he asked me, “What about that Nancy woman? She wasn’t so bad.  She’s not stepping up?”  I told him the Albany narrative how people were asking, “What’s actual the bad thing?” His response:  “Get away from those people, this never ends well.”  I hope this letter isn’t too late.

AA {Anthony Ames]

“Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are.”
Benjamin Franklin

Editor’s Note: This letter surely is part of Nxivm history. It was prophetic, it was well written; it was a clear warning and it all occurred before the worldwide publicity had commenced. Nancy had time to reach out to Sarah and Nippy, to either extricate herself from the impossible scenario of staying on with Raniere with defectors fleeing and blaming it on him or she could have tried to diffuse the situation, to get Clare Bronfman and Keith to call off the dogs [they were trying to get Sarah arrested by filing a criminal complaint against her with the Vancouver police]- to stop trying to get the defectors in trouble. To discuss rationally how people could leave each other, leave Keith, or Nxivm, without a terrible fight.

Nancy chose to do nothing.  And the results are that Keith is in prison, Clare is in prison. Nancy, and her daughter, Lauren are likely headed to prison. And the Nxivm community is shattered with only a fraction of its followers remaining.

There is, I suppose, a moment of destiny in everyone’s life when there is a crossroad where the path one takes will dictate the whole future of that person. For Nancy, it is not known by this writer when that moment occurred. Maybe it was back in 1998 when she first met Keith Raniere, which set in play an irrevocable destiny of success and ultimate failure and destruction.

One of the first-ever Nxivm classes [then called Executive Success Programs] From l-r Kristin Keeffe, unknown, Keith Raniere, Nancy Salzman, Toni Natalie.
And it could have been at the moment when she received Anthony Ames’ email, when she received what might have been her last warning. She chose to ignore it and perhaps even more grotesquely, her daughter’s future was tied into this as well. Now, mother and daughter must pay the consequences for a mother leading her daughter down a dim path.

There was a moment for Anthony Ames as well. He spent 15 years in Nxivm, making it the biggest part of his life. He one day found out his wife was branded and he reacted with fury. [He stormed into a Nxivm group and challenged his wife’s “master”, Lauren Salzman, and recorded the meeting]. When the fury died down and the fight had been going on for months, with Raniere and Clare Bronfman set to destroy his wife, he took the time to write a letter to Nancy Salzman, Keith’s longtime second in command.

And she chose to ignore it. I understand she never replied.

When people speak of Anthony Ames and his role in Nxivm for good or bad, let it be remembered that, before it was too late, he gave Nancy a chance to escape, to reach out and try to avoid what was to happen next.

Raniere, who will be famous for miscalculating the effects of the actions he put into play, went down in flames. He was arrested some six months later in Mexico.

Here is a previously unpublished photo on Frank Report of his arrest:

Keith Raniere in handcuffs being led to a police car in Mexico. Raniere’s followers believe it was not a legal arrest, but a kidnapping and that the men who took Raniere by force had no legal authority to do so,

Perhaps Nancy was certain that, with Clare’s money and Keith’s genius, that they would prevail. But it did not work out for Clare, Keith or Nancy.  If Ames happened to enrich himself by the fallout, by the arrests and his role in it, if he became famous or rich as one of the slayers of Raniere and Nxivm, this is as it almost always is: that the spoils go to the victors.




About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Nippy’s email is very well written. Even though I cannot express a hard opinion on Nippy’s motives, I believe that If he really had wanted to help Nancy, it was a mistake to copy Keith. To some degree, we are all Kool-aid drinkers. Realizing it while calorie and sleep deprived is very difficult if not impossible. As with most criminals, the wrongdoing does not normally start big, it is a process in which little by little the morality and limits are push and justified. I believed this was the case with Nancy. She seems to crave money and recognition. We must not forget that she was a hard seller on the relative morality regarding the age of sexual consent that enabled Keith abuses. She is a smart person that lost her soul to the Exploration of Meaning, removing from her being the moral compass.

  • Why am I not surprised someone who goes by the name “Nippy” gets hoodwinked by a smelly Hobbit cult leader who seduces, bangs and brands his wife?

    Same thing L Ron Hubbard did to Jack Parsons (though the Nippster wasn’t nearly as talented as Jack).

    Do Nippy and Sarah have anything to offer the world other than repeating repeatedly how stupid it is to get taken in by smelly Hobbit cult leaders?

    NXIVM was a collection of dumb, talent-less rich children and 4th rate actors.

    Scientology at least had Chick Corea (R.I.P.)

  • It’s absolute BS that Nippy cared for Nancy. His wife and himself sent the FBI to her. Sarah sang “It’s a beautiful day in the neighborhood” when Nancy’s house was searched by the FBI… You could hear him cheer in the background…

    • Anonymous just earned a stripe. Well done!

      Anyone critical of NXIVM is driven by hate, misogyny and racism.

    • Anonymous,
      It doesn’t matter if he “cared for Nancy” or not. He did a respectable thing and threw out a warning. It didn’t read to me like he was trying to appear as if he cared for her….. More that he was calling her out on her bull crap. And urging her to wake up.
      Care Schmare….

    • Anonymous-

      You got that right!

      Plus, Sarah French Kissed Lauren Salzman during Sarah’s branding…They even giggled.

      During the branding, how much pain was Sarah in again?

      …..Not that much that she could make-out and giggle.

      😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂 😂

      Sarah didn’t have sex with Keith, yeah right. Nippy is a gullible tyke.

        • There is a video of the ceremony which was shown on Mexican television.

          So, no I wasn’t there, but I did watch it. It’s totally disturbing. First time I ever watched a bunch of naked women and was totally nauseated.

          • Thank you for your reply! And for validating again, that Sarah had her “collateral” released. Something the cult always lies about. Hopefully, that comes up in the civil case.

            I had to read your comment twice! The 1st time I thought you were saying that it was your very 1st seeing a group of naked women and it disgusted you.

            Now I get it! It is the 1st time it disgusted you – to see a group of naked women. Ha ha ha.

            I think this means that you are a healthy person. Isn’t it crazy that it was “sexy” to a certain Vanguard who set it all up? Imagine what else he found hot. No. Don’t. Blech.

            I read a journalist who saw Sarah’s branding tape. He said it changed everything for him. Especially knowing it was all for Keith’s pleasure and enjoyment.

  • First, Sarah is one lucky lady to have such a loyal, sturdy, honest and aware partner at her side through this. KAR’s brand and, failing that, Clare’s criminal charge frame-ups, etc. didn’t turn or chase off Anthony as was most likely intended in especially Sarah’s case.

    When I first heard Anthony and Sarah speak out publicly about NXIVM, I sighed with relief when Anthony remarked that he’d seen Sarah reiterating Keith’s misogynistic beliefs about women being mindless. Sarah had caught herself yelling at a “clueless female” jaywalker or something and Anthony concurred NXIVM was about the opposite of female empowerment, enslavement, and that its trainings were misogynistic.

    Apparently, Anthony was not so deeply SOP conditioned as to fall for Keith’s attempts to blame the victims, including his own wife, which has always been part of Keith’s wife-nabbing, family destroying MO.

    But Anthony, if you’re reading this, your Dad is right about your naïveté. Nancy is as conscienceless, if not more so, than Keith and always has been IMHO. Sweet attempt to tap it, though.

  • Frank, it was great to publish this letter from Nippy, but I’d also like you to re-publish the letter from The Rat. You have a lot of new readers now that don’t know about it. So I hope you publish it, write about it, and comment on it with the benefit of hindsight and facts.

    That letter was perhaps the most interesting letter ever published on FR, do you agree with that? I really hope The Rat realizes it’s safe to come out now and they know they will be received as highly consequential.

  • Vanguard used William Bennett’s 1998 book “The Death of Outrage” to instruct his students about ethics. Ironically, Bennett was almost as much a fake and con-artist as Vanguard.

    Bennett’s 1993 best-seller was “A Book of Virtues” – which made him the moral arbiter of Conservative politics. However, ten years after writing “Virtues,” it was revealed that he actually was more of an expert on Vice.

    “In 2003, it became publicly known that Bennett – who had spent years preaching about family values and personal responsibility – was a high-stakes gambler who lost millions of dollars in Las Vegas. Criticism increased in the wake of Bennett’s publication, “The Book of Virtues”, a compilation of moral stories about courage, responsibility, friendship and other examples of virtue.

    In 2005, on Bennett’s Morning in America radio show, Bennett said regarding aborting all African-American babies: “If you wanted to reduce crime, you could—if that were the sole purpose—you could abort every black baby in this country and the crime rate would go down. That would be an impossible, ridiculous, and morally reprehensible thing to do, but your crime rate would go down.”

    Doesn’t that sound like the kind of “intellectual speculation” Vanguard would say?

    • Anthony Ames is an idiot. He found the people that branded and enslaved his wife. And he did NOTHING to them. Just an impotent email ROFLAMO

      • Actually he did a little more. He confronted Lauren Salzman and others and worked to actively tell others about it.

        • Frank, be honest. If a man finds out his wife and mother of his children was branded above her vagina with the initials of another man in a “master-slave” dynamic… and does NOTHING to those responsible, do you not think he is weak and should be ashamed of himself?

          Telling others about it, sending an email and talking to the feds is one thing. Kicking ass is something else.

          What would you do? Would you not kick their asses?

          By the way, Sarah Edmondson chose to go along with it and even held down other women and filmed it.

          They are all shit people.

      • He was wise. If you go round and hit someone you damage your wife, family and potentially go to prison. Emails are legal. Other, more direct action is not. I think he did fine. Although how these people who thought they knew so much more than the rest of us about how men are and how women are could get something like this so wrong is very strange. Any husband or partner was, of course, going to see the brand and see it looked like KR’s initials, etc., so it was obvious it was going to cause a huge amount of trouble.

  • I’m actually relieved she chose to ignore this letter. I believe she’s just as wicked as Keith and deserves life in prison.

  • Just another thought, If the NXIVM apologists and Kool-Aid drinkers still around can’t see the light after that letter, there is no cure.

  • The women of NXIVM drank the Kool-Aid because they wanted to drink it.
    They did not care if the Kool-Aid had cyanide or arsenic in it.
    They did not care whether the Kool-Aid was grape or cherry flavored.
    The devil wanted them to drink it so “Bottoms Up!”

    The minute these women learned that Raniere has a prediction for underage girls they knew they were in a criminal gang.
    And these women did not give a damn.
    From that point anything goes.
    Nothing is too outrageous.

    The funny thing about the death of outrage is that once you kill off outrage all kinds of evil is possible.
    Bill Clinton’s shenanigans of a quarter century ago has led to a country where 330 million are locked down for a virus.
    The Death of Outrage leads to the Death of Civil Liberties.

    How interesting that Raniere liked “The Crucible” a movie based on Arthur Miller’s play.
    The Crucible is about a make believe Coven of Witches.
    The problem is that NXIVM’s Coven of Witches was and is all too real and they were and are all too willing to dance with the devil.

    • “The funny thing about the death of outrage is that once you kill off outrage all kinds of evil is possible.”

      Shadow set up a perfect analysis of the last four years…but he blew it because he’s still drinking his own Kool-aid. Sad

    • Interesting…I don’t think outrage is dead at all– or even on its way to being so. It’s a political weapon and the mode du jour. The sad thing is, the only dead outrage of today is of the people who have the sincere right to be.

      • Shadow only believes outrage exists when it aligns with his beliefs. Otherwise, it is just the bleats of ignorant sheep.

  • For those interested:

    Case 2:20-cv-03619-PSG-E Document 38 Filed 10/19/20 Page 1 of 9 Page ID #:879

    Case No. CV 20-3619 PSG (Ex) Date October 19, 2020

    Title Travelers Casualty Insurance Company of America v. Geragos and Geragos


  • This was a great read — thank you for sharing the letter!

    I suppose that with KR cc’d (I am a little shocked that Nippy did that), I am guessing that he tried to put out the fire with Nancy and either 1) downplayed all that Nippy was warning; or 2) convince Nancy that they will stop Nippy and Sarah with litigation as they had done with many others. And weren’t all these cult-ers shocked when a mere 6 months later KR was arrested.

    As a side note, knowing what a *big* fan Shivani is of Nancy Salzman….I can’t wait for their comments on this one!

  • “If you think ALL of the recent departures (and previous) from NXIVM companies”.

    Other than Dones, Keefe and Bouchey, who were the previous departures before the banding and why?

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.

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