YouTube Video: ‘Nxivm What the Media Won’t Report’ Achieves 1.4 Millions Views

By Paul Serran

For the last few years, NXIVM has become a household name in America.

Articles, books, documentaries, podcasts, videos – a multitude of stories were told (and are being told) about Keith Raniere and his followers.

Most of these stories were told by insiders from the cult, while others carry an outside view, by people who have a different – maybe less informed, and less saturated, take on the Vanguard and his undoing.

There is an interesting video on YouTube about NXIVM, made by a filmmaker named Blair, AKA the ‘iiluminaughtii’. She has 883,000 followers, and this video has had over 1.4 million views – which is more than many TV shows achieve on cable TV.

Blair covers multi-level marketing organizations and criminal activities, but she realizes that this is a much deeper and darker side of NXIVM:

“NXIVM may not be one of the more well-known MLMs I’ve covered, but they’re definitely vastly more disturbing, and the most cult-like organization I think I’ve come across aside from actual cults.”

iiluminaughtii is interested in the crimes of Multi-Level Marketing organizations

Before getting into the NXIVM story, she says that Keith Raniere “has a dark and very alarming past.” She states he committed his first crime in 1984, when he was 24 years old, sleeping with 15-year-old Gina Hutchinson.

[This to date is only an allegation since Gina has passed away, dying by a gunshot wound in 2002, when she was in her 30s. Her death has been ruled a suicide. The allegations of his underage sex come from Gina’s sister and a friend of hers, who also alleges she was underage when Raniere had sex with her.]

Blair talks briefly about the Raniere’s appearance in the Guinness Book of Records.

Having an interest in MLM schemes, she talks about Consumers’ Byline: “Keith apparently founded this on the principle that a more ethical world would consist of people that understood and pursued their goals in aggressive and ruthless ways, which is just rich, coming from a guy who slept with a minor.”

Consumers’ Byline was alleged to be an illegal pyramid scheme by various governmental authorities, leading her to comment: “To be clear, a guy with an IQ of 240 supposedly, couldn’t figure out how to run an MLM without being shut down for pyramid scheme allegations.”

The presence of Allison Mack in the alleged cult is of interest to the videomaker

The video is centered around the venture that Keith started with Nancy Salzmann – a ‘psychiatric nurse’, at the time: “The third MLM was called Executive Success Programs, later rebranded as what we will be focusing on today, NXIVM.”

NXIVM members had a 12-step mission statement that included that “they would pledge to ‘ethically control as much of the money wealth and resources of the world as possible’ – yeah, that’s real.”

Blair recounts how Raniere was referred to as Vanguard, and how he enrolled actress Allison Mack in his organization.

“Keith lured her into the group and Mack, in return, targeted sororities with young women and that would trust her, look up to her and join.”

The Youtuber shows an excerpt of the video Keith and Mack made, where we watch him say: “True self inauthenticity is blindness, it’s an incompletion.”

“[This] sounds so deep and so thoughtful on the surface – he comes across like a wise intelligent man when, in reality, that phrase holds almost no weight. You can’t be honest if you lie to yourself. If I say that in plain wording, without his tone – yeah, it’s pretty obvious,” Blair says.

“Keith’s manipulations are top-notch”, she observes. “I’m not sure if he actually believes what he’s saying, or he’s just using it as a tactic, but without his language and tone, I doubt he would have gotten this far.”

She notes that people paid US $7,500 for intensives to learn “NXIVM’s patented Executive Success Program technology – a patchwork of various self-help programs, religious ideologies, and hypnosis techniques.”

But, she adds, “plain and simple, this really looks like brainwashing.”

The focus revolves around branding women.

“Women were hoping for a giant makeover and inspiration, [but] those that joined were told to diet and eat 800 calories a day instead of the 2,000 recommended. […] But I’m sure followers found a way to justify that he was only helping them change their lives right.”

In discussing DOS, Blair advises the content will be graphic, and asks that sensitive people skip the video at that point.

The reason is she will start discussing branding.

She quotes Sarah Edmonson saying that the pain from the scarification is “worse than childbirth”.

She also quotes Toni Natalie saying that “Keith was able to […] immediately ascertain your weak points and insecurities, and then [take] those insecurities and [convince] you he’s helping you with them – but it’s just things he uses to hold you hostage.”

When talking about DOS, she says that “These women didn’t feel that they had a choice – they’d been brainwashed, they were starving, they were branded – and higher-ups in NXIVM had nude photos of them to blackmail them.”

In Blair’s opinion, the situation is clear: “They were slaves and they were tortured.”

As it often happens when someone discusses NXIVM with any degree of nuance, she talks about the consequential work of Frank Parlato.

“It wasn’t until 2017 that the full extent of what NXIVM really was came to light – thanks to Frank Parlato, a former NXIVM publicist.”

“Frank faces charges for his actions against the IRS and wire fraud, but he is no longer believed to have stolen a million dollars from heirs of the Seagram liquor fortune. Frank says that, in fact, it was Keith Raniere and Clare Bronfman that set him up.”

The YouTuber reminds us that Clare’s father, Edgar Bronfman, was quoted in Forbes magazine stating his opinion that NXIVM is (was) a cult.

Frank Parlato is featured prominently in the video

Blair recounts how Parlato recovered assets for Clare, but she went after him anyway.

The video author has an interesting take on the event: “As messed up as this sounds – accusing someone of a crime they didn’t commit – I’m grateful it happened, if not Frank may never have made the in-depth report on NXIVM in 2017.”

“[Parlato] spoke in depth about the branding process and wrote an article citing why Dr. Danielle Roberts, a medical professional that actually carried out this branding, should have her license revoked. […] Whether or not Frank did this as some sort of revenge – or he was horrified all along – I can’t speak to his intentions, but thanks in part to Frank getting the ball rolling, the New York Times picked up the story.”

She quotes Parlato: “Shortly after I broke the branding story in June 2017, on the Frank Report, […] the New York Times was putting together, or trying to put together, a story. Barry Meier, the New York Times writer, that most thorough and spectacular wordsmith, a man who can – in a thousand words – destroy a cult, was seeking to find people to go on the record. Naturally, I was willing. But who was I? Just an indicted guy – indicted by Bronfman’s lies –  who wrote a salacious blog, condemning back at them – maybe with lies. What proof was there that this insane story was true? Maier needed other people on the record to write a story about the secretive group that branded women.”

Parlato continues: “Now, you all know the wealthy Bronfman’s propensity to litigate. You must realize that the New York Times has to survive on its credibility, and if you put these two facts together, you will realize how hard it was for The Times to actually publish the story, and the only way it was ever going to be published is with ample sources on the record, and complete vetting. So, who was going to be on the record?. Almost no one. The only woman who was branded – and this was bravery if there ever was – who was willing to go on record [and actually show the world the branding] was Sara Edmondson, but I doubt she would have done that if Mark [Vicente] had not been there first, willing to go on the record, putting himself on the line. […] Again, let me remind you: there was no investigation by law enforcement – he was far more likely to be investigated himself by law enforcement in the Northern District of New York. Keith and the witch-like Clare Bronfman were almost sure to go and file some false criminal complaint against him.”

After Raniere’s arrest in late March 2018, his followers and defense team tried to justify his behavior, but, Blair recalls, charges started pilling on until they were “almost too long to list”.

Blair says “MLM [Multi-Level Marketing] is the least of his crimes”.

“Raniere’s statement, which was read at trial,” she adds, “accused the media of shaming the women for engaging in consensual activities and spearheading a campaign against the rights of women and alternative lifestyles.”

This prompts her question: “How can you defend something you have no knowledge about?”

Blair shines the light on Raniere’s sexual relationship with 12-year old Rhiannon

The YouTuber is offended by Raniere’s relationship with Rhiannon, who was 12 years old. He took her virginity, she points out, “before Rhiannon was even in middle school.” That was not all, she says, “Raniere was accused of raping at least four other children between the ages of 12 to 15 in that timeframe.”

“I’m not going to sit here and explain why that’s fucked up – if you need to debate that point, you really need to take a look at yourself in the mirror.”

One aspect that Blair finds distressing is the continuing nature of Raniere’s crimes. “Often, when I hear about shady businesses, their worst acts have been decades ago. I’m not saying that excuses anything, but, at least, it feels like there’s progress being made. […] But [NXIVM] wasn’t shut down until two and a half years ago, and what the complaint alleges is nothing short of utterly terrifying.”

The video also touches upon other terrible aspects of the cult, such as the ‘human fright experiments’ by Dr, Brandon Porter, the captivity of Daniela for being in love with another man, among other crimes.

In terms of aesthetic considerations, Blair’s video is much like a podcast, with a loop of drawn cartoons that are funny and screengrabs of news pieces as visual aids. There are also excerpts of videos to create variety.

It seems to be working, since she has a viewership that is huge.

As time passes on, the real-life saga of NXIVM still keeps audiences intrigued.

You can see the iiluminaughtii video here:

About the author

Paul Serran


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  • Robert Gavin
    30. June
    Jessica Joan said Mack was a “demon of a woman” who told her that her assignment to sexually seduce Raniere would help her.

    “She can blame Keith all she wants but she is a monster cut from the same cloth.”

  • Robert Gavin
    1. Juli
    “You used your leverage, your power over these women, to recruit and groom them as sexual partners for Mr. Raniere … when it comes to DOS and the monstrous crimes he committed in connection with that organization, you were an essential accomplice.”

  • Robert Gavin
    1. Juli
    Former #NXIVM coach Tabby Chapman, another victim of Mack, said she was elated when Mack reached out to her in 2007. She worked for Mack in Vancouver and ultimately the Capital Region.

    “Once I was in Albany, I was subjected to cruelty beyond my imagination,” Chapman said.

  • Biological men identified as women can be held in female prisons, the UK Supreme Court said. The government’s policy of housing transgender women, including those convicted of violent or sexual crimes, in women’s prisons is legal, the London High Court ruled on Friday. Women’s prisons can house inmates who are born as biological men but identify as women, regardless of whether they have undergone any physical transformation.

    • Jesica Jones doesn’t really seem to care for Allison Mack.

      One of the other victims of Mack feels the same way as Jones.

      Something to think about:

      Allison Mack and India get sympathy while poor Clare Bronfman gets hate. Clare who did not blackmail anyone into having sex with Raniere.

      Vanessa Grigoriadis the New York Times reporter took note:
      “Fascinating sentence today for Allison Mack in the Nxivm case. Three years for Mack, directly involved in the branding/slave pyramid; six years and nine months for Clare Bronfman, who (we think) did not know about it.“

      it’s amazing to me that Allison admitted guilt and wrote a few letters, at the last minute, and received a reduced prison sentence.

      A 3-year prison I believe is fair, but, then again, I was not blackmailed into having sex with Keith Raniere.

      • Grigoriadis is something else…’Clare (we think) did not know about it [the branding etc.]’ She certainly funded the criminal operation for which these ‘unknowns’ were used as collateral damage as well as the vindictive and vexatious practice of using the law as her private security force/personal rottweiller. Surprised that Grigoridias is a respected [mainstream] journalist? Not really. She has the requisite brains of a rocking horse and the worldly understanding of an anchorite.

        • Grigoridias is an opportunist. She jumped on the NXIVM story and wrote, as many saw as, a positive article about NXIVM at the height of the Branding Sex Cult Story.

          At the same time, Grigoridias paints women as victims of the male patriarchy.

          In the NXIVM story, Grigoridias failed to mention, a man, Raniere was the mastermind…That’s signature Grigoridias.

          • Forgot to mention that Grigoridias, when writing about NXIVM, decided the NXIVM story was about women expressing their FREE agency.

            Not a story of women being manipulated by a man for his own sadistic pleasure.

            That’s Grigoridias! She is a neoliberal opportunist like AOC.

  • The Illuminaughti focuses on MLM schemes without being obnoxious about it like one of the FR’s Texas contributors.

    The Illuminaughti has a follow up video on NXIIVM that is 7 months old.
    What Happened to NXIVM?

  • Both were scams that defrauded hard-working people of money.

    Other connections? Don’t see that Donald Trump would work under someone like Raniere or vice-versa.

  • This piece is not objective journalism; it’s a hit piece on Raniere.

    There is a lot to dislike about Raniere but piling on someone who already “down for the count” is not necessary at this point. Maybe, the “journalist” should write about what will help people who’ve been a victim or the process of recovery. victims face.

  • Really hitting my limit for being censored on Frank Report. There’s never any valid reason.

    It’s only to silence any opinion that disagrees with this blog’s manufactured narrative about folks like Nicki “Squeaky” Clyne.

    The choice to protect die-hard cult member Clyne by curating the comments to fit a more favorable narrative of her seems particularly ridiculous when Clyne herself demands that women not be treated as children. Nicki insists that women should not ever be coddled, protected or rescued by men.

    So whoever is eliminating comments on Nicki’s behalf is not fairly serving Nicki, the Frank Report commenters, or readers.

    Naively, Frank’s claims of being a free speech, truth-seeking, open to all views, etc. Blog were at one time, believed.

    That illusion is shattered. The Mack family’s home address makes it past censorship. Filthy comments. Random racist, sexist, anti-Semitic and other bigoted or disgusting garbage is posted.

    But civil opinions that do not enthusiastically support a criminal like Nicki Clyne’s innocence are sidelined.

  • Very cool! Also interesting to think how revenge helped to unmask and kill an evil cult. Revenge can sometimes be positive. Inspiring to read this. Kudos, Frank Report team!

  • Any report detailing Raniere’s coercive, criminal and damaging control must include a thorough examination of the rampant immigration fraud in Nxivm.

    And paramount to that discussion is the deceitful marriage of Nicki Clyne and Allison Mack. It has always been obvious to anyone paying attention that their union was a lie.

    This criminal act was concealed from family, friends and their “close community”. Unlike a true marriage which includes those in your orbit and is a cause for celebrating.

    That Raniere was able to convince two women who had sworn a vow of total devotion to him to falsely and criminally take a legal step and make an intentionally pernicious sworn vow to each other at his urging crystalizes the depth of both their allegiance to the cult leader and the hypocrisy of the cult.

    These immigration crimes were also used to manipulate, implicate in criminality, normalize lawbreaking, and alienate other cult members.

    To dirty people up and shut down options for their escape. To further embed or indebt them into never leaving Raniere’s world.

  • No offense to you “Paul Serran” but where is Frank? If Frank is still trying to finish his letter of support for Allison, someone might want to let him know that the deadline for submitting it has passed.

    Not sure how many are actually going to bother to read what you’ve written but you might want to fix your typos here: “Blair shines the light on Raniere’s sexual relationship with 12-ywar old Rhiannon

    The YouTuber is offended by Raniere’s relationship with Rhiannon, who was 2 years old.”

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