Guest View: Not Buying Hildreth’s Spin on NXIVM

Mark HIldreth

Former NXIVM member Mark Hildreth recently made a statement about NXIVM – which is believed to be his first since leaving the group in 2017. His statement is reproduced below:

“A brief comment on nxivm. Over several years, I participated in what I understood to be personal and professional development seminars offered under the umbrella of the nxivm organization. I met a number of people who seemed dedicated to personal growth and improving mental health. Following legal proceedings that commenced subsequent to my time there, I learned of coercive and inhumane behaviors that had evidently been occurring in secret.  I am deeply disturbed by what came to light and embarrassed by my former association with this organization. I hope that all of the survivors are able to heal and move forward from what was a horrendous betrayal of trust.”

Guest View

Below is a guest view from an erudite commenter who writes with the nom de plume, Aristotle’s Sausage.

By Aristotle’s Sausage

Well I’m not buying Hildreth’s bullshit.

His “brief comments” (why brief?) are deceptive. He gives the impression that he was a lowly follower, that the evil was kept secret, and he had no way of knowing, and he was long gone before shenanigans came to light.

That’s all crap, as Frank’s commentary proves. Hildreth was a higher-up in Nxivm;, its shenanigans had been publicly exposed and Hildreth knew that they had been exposed. He strove actively to conceal them.

For years the Albany Times Union reported online and on the front page of their newspaper investigative articles about Keith Raniere. This is one of their illustrations for the shocking, “In Ranieres’s Shadows,” published in Feb. 2012. It featured stories from women who claimed they were victims of statutory rape by Raniere. One of the women said she was 12 years old.

How come Hildreth never uses the word “cult” in his few brief comments? It sums the organization up perfectly. In one nice, short word. I guess he’s not really interested in brevity. More interested I think in keeping it brief to avoid incriminating himself.

He believed Nxivm was doing good? So what?

Does he think being wrong, being either stupid or blind is a virtue? He was actively promoting a cult, recruiting for it, and profiting thereby. Let’s not forget that this was a pyramid scheme. People upstream in the ‘stripe path’ were getting $$$. And promised more with each step up the ladder.

Mark Hildreth with former girlfriend Kristin Kreuk.
Mark Hildreth had his former girlfriend Kristin Kreuk in his downline.
Allison Mack was in Hildreth’s downline, since she was recruited by his recruit, Kristin Kreuk.

I’m not buying this argument that everyone but Raniere in this organization (this criminal enterprise, this cult, this pyramid scheme, this money-making scam) was somehow a victim and not to be blamed.

Keith Raniere – was he the only criminal in NXIVM?

I, for one, despise two-faced people like Hildreth. Look at him on stage with the Nxivm Glee Club as they deliver groveling, teary-eyed tribute to Dear Vanguard. And then he has the gall to claim he didn’t know it was a cult. Does he think we’re idiots?

Allison Mack and Mark Hildreth [with mike] with the a capella group Simply Human perform for Keith Raniere on his birthday,.
I find Hildreth’s running for cover cowardly and dishonest and his spin statement is vile.

Reminds me of Alec Baldwin’s “the gun just went off” “I never touched the trigger” bullshit. Both of these “men” are hiding behind excuses, flimsy excuses, and both are posing as innocent victims.

In an interview, Alex Baldwin tearfully claimed that he didn’t pull the trigger and that the gun just ‘went off’ while in his hands on the set of a movie in New Mexico on October 21, killing Halyna Hutchins and injuring Joel Souza. However, as firearms experts maintain, he had to pull the trigger in order for the gun to fire.

It makes me want to puke.

Bill Busbice apologized for illegally shooting an elk, saying, “I am deeply sorry for what I did and I am aware that I breached the trust of my fellow hunters in the process. I have accepted the consequences of my mistake and hope everyone will forgive my lapse in judgement.”

Bill Busbice’s is a worthy apology. So unlike the “I take full responsibility but should face no blame” BS we’ve become accustomed to. Or the watery statements and spin from the likes of Mark Hildreth.

Busbice may not have intended to shoot the cow elk but shoot it he did. He fired at a bull elk when the two were close together making it entirely his fault. He takes responsibility even though it cost him. A lot.

And that my friends is what a proper apology looks like.

Like It or Not Hildreth Fell for a Conman; Here’s Why

Conmen depend on two things: people’s greed and their confirmation bias.

People are eager to believe. Especially eager to believe in something that will bring them good fortune and/or piles of money.

This is why so many people fall for get-rich-quick scams. All critical reasoning flies out the window and confirmation bias takes over when presented with that “golden opportunity”.

J, David Williams got millions from investors offering them big money to be part of star-studded films.

That’s how Dave Williams worked his scam. Exploiting his marks’ greed and ego. Chance to make a lot of money! Big Hollywood movie! Stars like Nick Cage! Chance to get in on the ground floor! Opportunities like this don’t happen every day!

Keith Raniere’s scam worked the same way. Executive Success was mostly about making money. How to Succeed In Business. His marks (“students”) believed Raniere had a sure-fire way to success ($$$) via his patented “tech”. They WANTED to believe.

So they ignored all the red flags. (It’s amazing how many of them reacted to their first intensive by thinking “this is kind of culty”, yet stuck with it). They did so because of confirmation bias.

Mark Hildreth [l] appeared in a video with Keith Raniere [r] as part of the latter’s ‘Conversations” series.
People tend to ignore evidence that challenges their beliefs. And will believe the shakiest evidence that confirms them.

The way to fight confirmation bias is through critical thinking. And critical thinking involves CONSTANTLY CHALLENGING YOUR OWN BELIEFS.

It doesn’t mean challenging the other guy’s beliefs. We already do that. That’s how Raniere taught critical thinking. And it’s completely wrong. That’s just feeding your own confirmation bias.



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  • Mark Hildreth finally comes out now that it is popular to have left NXIVM!!!
    Bull shit
    He did nothing to take them down when it was burning to the ground
    He didn’t stick his neck out and say, Hey there is something really wrong here
    He didn’t try and help out any of his is pals who were dealing with the FEDs to end this
    No, he put his tail between his legs and ran for the hills to save himself
    Now he comes out after all the hard work had been done and wants a slap on the back, a pat on the head and a oh what a good boy you are
    Fake as ever Mark Hildreth, Fake as ever
    It’s why you could never get your acting off the ground because you smell of chesses 100 miles away
    Grow up and take responsibility for your action
    Than maybe someday you will get somewhere

  • They all knew but were too stupid to leave. Brainwashing is real. The news brainwashes people everyday. You “know” something is wrong or insane, but let it warp your view of reality just the same. Most people believe the feds can be trusted and 81 million people voted for Biden.

    • Brainwashing is not real. It’s fictional.

      The concept of “Brainwashing” was invented by journalist Edward Hunter in 1950. It blossomed during the Cold War as a convenient way to explain why those pesky Commies seemed to be gaining so many converts. J. Edgar Hoover was a big believer in “brainwashing”.

      There’s an old adage, “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and you can fool some of the people all of the time.” That’s as far as “brainwashing” goes.

      (That second group, the ones that you can fool all of the time? Those are the people who join cults. They’re not brainwashed, they’re fools).

    • The actual brainwashing is the pretty consistently presenting of two terrible presidential candidates and getting people to believe they must choose one or another.

      It’s like voting to be made sick by lead poisoning or tetanus.

      And brainwashing voters into believing there is a “party” that you must choose, pledge fealty to and join. And that it matters. It really doesn’t. It’s all designed to divide the populace and misdirect them.

      Americans are certainly not the entire world nor are they the only puppets in political games.

      But giving 2 sucky options and telling people to pick one is only the illusion of freedom. But not true freedom. And pitting the citizens against each other is as old as time.

      But people are willing to let themselves get distracted into “Us vs. Them” battles and ultimately lose the actual bigger war they should be fighting together.

    • So how many people actually voted for Biden? What are the real numbers that you have? Is it comforting for you to know that the election numbers are bogus and 74,224,319 million people weren’t really stupid, racist, or greedy enough to actually vote for Trump? — EVAD

  • I liked the pic of Allison Mack and Mark Hildreth [with mike] with the a capella group Simply Human performing for Keith Raniere on his birthday. Maybe they can pick up a little cash by performing at Kristin Kreuk’s birthday party on Thursday.

    Mack and Hildreth were longtime friends of Kreuk who wrote that she had gotten out of a “toxic relationship.” I assume she means Vanguard, but she could also mean Hildreth or even Mack. With friends like these, who needs enemies?

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