Magazine Calls Edmondson-Ames ‘Formerly Brainwashed’ – But Is Brainwashing Factual?


The Risks of Brainwashing Others: You Might Not Be as Good at It as You Think

In the picture above, Keith Raniere has possession of the brains of three of his followers. He removes their brains from their control.

An artist depicts how Raniere dries their brains after brainwashing.  Next he returns them to their skulls.

In her New Yorker review, Rachel Symes writes about Edmondson-Ames’ podcast. She says it is “about publicly processing life after brainwashing.” This suggests she believes Keith Raniere brainwashed Edmondson and Ames. 

It is now a settled fact in mainstream media that one person can brainwash another. So there is no sense in arguing. Yet the occasional heretic questions it. They ask if brainwashing is a scientific fact?  

It is not the same as demonic possession. With the latter, a non-human takes control of the brain. The demon makes the victim do abominable or self-destructive things.  With brainwashing, a human takes control of someone’s brain. He then makes them do abominable or self-destructive things.


In brainwashing, the human brainwasher washes the victim’s brain of independence.But brainwashing is like demonic possession. Both relieve individuals of responsibility for their actions. Because the brainwashed’s brains are weaker than the brainwasher, they are his victims. Any crime committed by the brainwashed is not to be punished the same as if the person had control of their own brain.

The brainwashed would not have committed the crime but for the brainwasher. For instance, Judge Garaufis understood Raniere brainwashed Lauren Salzman.

Salzman is not a real criminal. Instead, she is a victim. She received probation.

An individual must admit it. Clare Bronfman refused to accept Raniere brainwashed her. Though her crimes of conviction were less than Salzman’s, or Allison Mack’s, Bronfman got sentenced to more time.

MK10ART painting of brainwashed Allison Mack.
MK10Art’s painting of a brainwashed Clare Bronfman.

One has to know when someone brainwashes them. But then again, this defeats the whole purpose of brainwashing. If you brainwash someone, do not let them find out. This is what happened to Keith Raniere.

Brainwashing others comes with inherent risk. They can love you when you brainwash them, if they don’t know it. But the moment they find out, you’re in trouble.

Don’t brainwash others unless you can wash their brains so well they will never find out. It will also help if you don’t brand women with your initials on their groin. Also, consider not having them pose naked for pictures you call collateral and threaten them with their release if they do not do what you say.

Even if they are your own slaves, grand slaves, fuck toys, or even virgin successors, it is best not to do it.

Viva Executive Success!

And she who has the most brainwashed joy wins.

According to many, brainwashing is real and dangerous. This image shows what happens scientifically when someone is brainwashed. Please avoid being brainwashed at all costs.


About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Who cares?

    Raniere and his henchwomen weren’t charged with brainwashing.

    Viva Executive Success®!!!!!

  • Re Brainwashing vs Indoctrination:
    Overnight “Brainwashing” isn’t real, however, indoctrination over a period of time is very real. Some people are more susceptible than others.

    Don’t believe me? Talk to a dozen ex-Marines, after a decade and I guarantee at least 3 of them will identify themselves as marines for life and talk about the corps the same way a other men talk about their kids.

    AND the same 3 while they’re in the Corps will be fanatical. I guarantee it.

    Rangers don’t get that nuts — too much smarts.

  • Well, “brainwashing” excuses the victim, so it’s not really a pejorative per se. It’s when the alleged victim of “brainwashing” abnegates the label, then they relinquish that “out” so to speak.

    So, people who call Nicki Clyne and others “brainwashed” are actually being less critical of them. Since Nicki accepts responsibility, then she’s fair game for all the negative appellations: statutory rapist supporter, cult deceiver, blackmailer, liar, etc., that the evidence supports. So, her only recourse is to try to flip the narrative on its head and call her lover’s enemies liars, in it for the money, not accepting responsibility, etc. And she can’t win because she knows the truth about her polyamorous pedo lover, and she doesn’t care because she’s blinded by attraction and he’s her highest standard.

    In her entire crusade, she hypocritically and implicitly presumes victimhood for herself and her lover boy (and she knows she can’t say the word because of the NXIVM philosophy of no ultimate victims and people always being “at cause” for what happens to them) in an alleged false narrative by others, and of judicial and law enforcement corruption. The ironic thing is, in her doubling down, she actually seems to reinforce the notion that “brainwashing” does exist.

    Because what is left to say about someone that continues to engage in irrational behavior (which everyone has the will to do) despite the evidence presented which they would deny for whatever rationalization, except that their mind is warped/washed?

    • What about when the “Cult Brainwashing” excuses not a victim, but a perp?

      I’m waiting for the podcast by Mike Rinder and Leah Remini when they have David Miscavige on, telling the harrowing tale of his escape from Scientology’s Int Base on the back of a potato truck.

      All three are crying: “You were a 2nd Generation Scientologist, Dave! You never had a chance!”

      He’ll talk about his mean, abusive Scientology mother in law, Flo Barnett, and how she disconnected from him.

      I’m telling ya. It’s coming.

      Brainwashing is an endlessly useful excuse. It will excuse anything and anyone – as long as they denounce their former cult, and pledge total fealty to the mainstream.

      Just ask Moira and Judgey G.


      • Your child rapist buddy Keith ain’t ever getting out of jail, Alanzo.

        Maybe if you suck your thumb as you cry yourself to sleep tonight it’ll be soothing.

        Just ask Moira and the judge.

  • Are Sarah and Nippy married in the traditional sense of the word? They both use different last names, just curious.

    • When you join the union for acting, most keep the name they are registered under. They can change their name later but usually people keep the name that they they’ve worked under.

      • Yes, they are legally married.

        Not every woman needs to change her name to her husband’s.

        Unlike Nicki Clyne who fake married Allison Mack to stay in America to be with her Master Keith Raniere.

        Many still wonder how she didn’t get deported when everything blew up with NXIVM.

        Maybe she cut a deal with the Feds under the table in trade for staying in the US.

        Crazier things have happened

    • I don’t know if they’re married — but they do share the same strain of HPV in common with Vanguard.

  • Frank’s argument about brainwashing is dumb.

    So is the argument made by Aristotle’s Sausage and Alanzo.

    These clowns are attempting to argue that brainwashing isn’t real and is just an ‘excuse’ given by people to explain poor decision making after-the-fact.


    The problem with their argument (suggesting that brainwashing isn’t real) is that they attempt to win this argument via ‘straw man’ logic.

    Firstly, they attempt to define the term ‘brainwashing’ as literally one person taking over the thought processes of another, rendering them helpless and under the ‘spell’ of the brainwasher, LOL.

    After that, they refute the argument quite easily, making it look silly.

    Problem is, it’s just a ‘straw man’.

    Brainwashing is real but it’s not nearly as ‘magical’ or ‘all-consuming’ as they attempt to define it.

    It’s just extreme mental conditioning. Period. Mental conditioning is real.

    Our brains have a left side and a right side.

    One side is where we make logical decisions from. The other side is where we make emotional decisions from.

    Some people are more prone to using the ’emotional’ side of their brain to make pseudo-logical decisions, especially in our personal lives and personal relationships.

    The more prone you are to allowing your decisions to be made with ’emotions’, the more susceptible you are to being “mentally conditioned” (i.e. conditioned to deny ‘facts’ which contradict what your emotions are telling you to believe).

    Brainwashing is just a type of emotional ‘loyalty’ developed towards a person, a group, a lifestyle or even a general ideology.

    There’s a reason why nearly the entire German population truly worshipped Hitler and his ideals with their heart and soul for over a decade — literally feeling ‘euphoric’ when hearing him speak at mass rallies (they were very EMOTIONAL in their praise of Hitler’s policies, even in their daily lives when they weren’t attending rallies).

    There’s a reason why people born in North Korea truly believe, with their entire heart and soul, that their leader is a super-human and virtuous man (they are very EMOTIONAL about defending their leader, almost to the point of absurdity).

    There’s a reason why most Amish people believe that ‘Englishers’ are inherently ungodly and will not go to heaven like they will.

    There’s a reason why Frank truly believes, with his heart & soul, that the FBI tampered with photo evidence (he’s very EMOTIONAL in his FBI beliefs).

    In Frank’s case, it’s because a few FBI agents have done him wrong in his WDNY case. Thus, he’s now become mentally conditioned to believe that every FBI agent must be part of a government conspiracy to frame people, if accused of such nefarious deeds by virtually anybody. LOL.

    Brainwashing is just emotional conditioning.

    It can happen thru direct or indirect methods (it doesn’t require another person actively trying to condition us).

    Those ‘red flags’ which tell us that a person or organization is acting nefariously (acting like a cult) can be ‘blocked’ by the emotional part of the brain.

    To explain this for idiots like Alanzo… This means that their brain can indeed see the red flags, but it quickly dismisses them as ‘untrue’ and won’t allow the person to evaluate those red flags with logic.

    That’s why most people tend to stand by family members accused of murder, often ignoring even overwhelming circumstantial evidence, because their brains won’t allow them to process the evidence logically.

    Our emotions allow us to deny facts which contradict what our mental conditioning has allowed us to believe.

    That’s why cult members remain in cults, despite the obvious red flags to outsiders.

    Brainwashing isn’t always absolute. It can happen in ‘degrees’ or shades of grey.

    Being highly educated doesn’t prevent your emotions from overtaking the logical parts of your brain, especially when it comes to personal issues or personal relationships with people.

    There have been Ivy League grads who were part of cults. Douglas Wayne Martin graduated from Harvard Law School and was the 3rd highest ranked cult leader in David Koresh’s cult.

    Humans are emotional beings. They do things which aren’t logical.

    If Frank was born to Amish parents, he’d right now be wearing their stupid costumes and working on a farm in Pennsylvania. Guaranteed.

    If Frank was born in North Korea, he’d be worshipping their leader right now.

    If Frank was born in Nazi Germany, he’d be doing a ‘Heil Hitler’ with everybody else at those rallies, and he’d be feeling euphoric about it.

    Thankfully, people more prone to using the logical side of their brain (like me) aren’t as susceptible to being tricked and conned into spending their lives in a cult, or even 16 years of their life in a cult. LOL.

    I am one of the few people who can’t really be brainwashed. 🙂

    • PS — Before Alanzo argues that it was his own ‘moral’ decision that allowed him to finally leave the cult…

      I would argue that Alanzo had already been demoted (i.e. he already had his career prospects halted) at the time he finally left COS.

      To be fair, I can’t remember if Alanzo was officially demoted or not (I’m too lazy to read those older articles about him). But I seem to remember that he was either demoted or he at least was told that his career would not rise any higher within COS.

      Which means he was already a ‘disgruntled’ person when he made the decision to leave COS, lol, which is not the same thing as making a ‘moral’ decision to leave.

      Thus, it would seem to me that Alanzo had little left to lose by leaving COS — career-wise anyway — which makes his decision to leave seem like that of a disgruntled person.

      If Alanzo truly had ‘moral’ objections to COS (and that’s why he left) then he’d have probably left LONG BEFORE he was demoted and/or had his career prospects halted within COS.

      In other words, why is it that ‘moral’ objectors always seem to find their ‘morality’ AFTER their COS careers get shit-canned and they lose all hope of rising any further? LOL.

      What do others think about this?

      • Magoo-

        Both your comments are on-point with a mixture of sapient insights and cutting humor. You’ve usurped master Parlato.

        And you’ve left me in the dirt. Congrats!

  • Each and every human is born brainwashed and they continue staying brainwashed until they die. Formerly brainwashed is a myth spread by those who think their brainwashing is a of a superior quality than others, but ultimately they too are still brainwashed regardless of what they say.

    • Gastone-

      I feel your pain. I’m being brainwashed, by Kim into being fruity.

      I’ll explain:
      She has the face of beautiful woman and owns a uterus BUT has the musculature *ass of a man. I’m so conflicted. Is it fruity to want to bang Kim?

      *The last time I saw an ass like that it belonged to a horse.

    • Buy an electric car, put some solarpanels on your roof, as I have done, and you’ll drive for free. Never again will I buy a car with a combustion engine. And I’m a car guy!

  • There is no such thing as formerly brainwashed. Everyone is brainwashed and there is no getting out of it. The whole world is brainwashed. People need to deal with it.

  • This woman is more Patriotic than Joe Biden or Anthony Fauci

    Lily4Congress – I Fear The Country I Love Is Becoming Like The Country I Left

  • Brainwashing is factual.

    Anyone who still supports Joe Biden after the Delaware Dunce started starving American babies by deliberately hoarding Bay Formula is Brainwashed.

    Biden did not predict food shortages because he was creating them.

    Tucker: They are hoarding baby formula

  • Apparently Sarah Edmondson is moving to “Atlanta” based on what she said in her podcast.

    Does anybody know if that means “Atlanta” Canada or “Atlanta” Georgia?………

  • The hyper focus on this term is simply a distraction from the actual abuses of power and criminal activity that many cult leaders rain over their followers and Society. Sometimes language lags. For reference look at all of the ongoing debate about terminology we live with on a daily basis.

    The truth is people understand what is meant by brainwashing. People are gaining a greater understanding of coercive control blackmail insular societies isolation trauma bonding and that very popular term gaslighting. People just haven’t really come up with a more widely used short hand to explain it all but they will. In the meantime having vitriolic debates about whether anyone can be brainwashed is sort of like fighting about if zombies could be real in the future. Maybe a little entertaining for some people but not truly productive.

  • Idk. Perhaps the term brainwashing needs to die. But I believe there is still a real phenomenon where people can be convinced (usually bullied) to act against their own best interests by an individual who is skilled at manipulation and is fully aware of what they are doing. Especially when that individual recruits others to participate in the bullying. And the problem isn’t cults, it’s cults that harm and abuse members and take away their sense of free will.

    I think it’s easiest to conceptualize if you boil it down to the relationship model.

    let’s say a woman has a husband who is very persuasive and enthusiastic and he manages to convince her to eat healthy and exercise for her own good.

    But if he puts punishments in place if she eats a piece of chocolate it starts to get abusive. She should still be allowed to say well you know what I agree I’m gonna eat more vegetables but I also choose to eat this piece of chocolate and that should be fine.

    Also, she should be allowed to say “I choose not to do that exercise but to walk and eat foods other than what you recommend” and that should also be cool. if he doesn’t like it he can divorce her and let her get on with her life.

    When it gets overly controlling and the wife cant even question the husband or else face punishment or threat of being kicked out of the relationship/home, it’s emotionally abusive.

    So I think cult can be a neutral word —it’s abusive cults that are the problem.

  • While brainwashing can be a real thing, it does require active participation from the victim.

    Based on the documentaries, comments from ex-NXIVM people, and more, by all indications most of the “brainwashing” was self inflicted. In many cases Keith barely interacted with the victim and yet they decided he hung the moon and was worth dedicating their like to the cult.

    Sacrifices made less because of real concrete experiences and simple because of repetition of information drilled into their heads.

    This same form of repetition of information is how propaganda works. Its also how a cult of personality is formed.

    The right wingers here will be up in arms but Trump is a good example. If you look at what he actually says, its pretty simple, very repetitive and no different than how he sold anything in the last 40 years. His “sales” style has not changed one iota (find any 80s era video of him to see). His actions are even less. He gets on stage and talks a lot, usually in a random but enthusiastic way and that is about it.

    But despite the complete lack of effort on his part to be treated like a demi-god, he was elevated to that status by most of his followers. Smartly, he leaned into it to the family making $3 billion and counting. Many believe he is a flawless human being who deservers to be compared to Jesus, something Trump has never encouraged or suggested, people just fill in the gaps themselves to justify their worshipping of him.

    Believe a Commandment about that. The self brainwashing has resulted in many of his followers willingly going to jail for him. Repeatedly, from multiple wealth classes. Trump is a perfect example of how people brainwash themselves. The recipient doesn’t necessary have to put in any effort to do it.

    By all accounts (but again my knowledge here is limited), Keith didn’t put in that much effort himself. He just got to enjoy the fruits of everyone else doing the heavy lifting for him. This proved to be especially helpful in his real goal – sexual conquest and control of women.

    • The best concepts to use to understand what you are describing come from Freudian psychoanalysis and were the reasons Freud abandoned hypnosis in his therapy.

      Transference and Counter-Transference

      The need to look at the “cult” phenomena with new concepts becomes glaringly obvious when you deeply examine the ideas, such as “brainwashing”, popularized and promoted by the anticult movement.

      Few ordinary civilians have the time and interest to make the effort. They see someone believing differently than they do, feel disrespectful and disgusted by them for doing so, and “brainwashed” explains it for them just fine. No more need to think it through. The concept makes the infidels less than human, someone more like a robot than themselves, so it sticks.

      It’s perfect.

      But it’s false. And the toll this takes on your fellow human beings is incalculable. It is the genesis of genocide, which we human beings conduct all over the world – in all times and places – at the rate of about 10 per century.

      And no one cares.

      There are literally Ph.Ds, Physicians, Harvard fucking math graduates here who believe differently about Keith Raniere and NXIVM than you do. But to most of the lazy and disgusted people looking on, these people are sub-human, and treated as such.

      I’m worn out by this.

      Frank has seen this with his own two eyes now, and bless his heart, he is trying to do something about it.

      But he’s going to get smashed flat, like I have been. The social dynamics here are inexorable.

      Here’s the wikipedia article on Transference – it explains what “cult” members do with “cult” leaders. And, as you mentioned, Donald Trump.

      Follow the links to Counter-Transference from there. That explains the moral arc of the “Cult Leader”.

      Or don’t. I can’t care.


        • “Ordinary civilians” as opposed to what? Extrodinary civilians? As you see yourself?

          You insufferable shut in.

      • —Transference and Counter-Transference.

        That’s exactly what Alonzo suffers from when he goes to a psychiatrist for longer than a year.

        The last time, Alonzo, came to believe his psychiatrist was the 2nd biggest loser in North America, right after Scott Johnson.

      • “Or don’t. I can’t care.”- Alonzo

        Why say anything at all — if you don’t care?

        How the F’ you believe you’re some student of philosophy, boggles my mind.
        Crack whores are wiser than you!

    • Okay, Scott brainwashing isn’t real — however, indoctrination is real.

      Hey, you should buddy up with Alonzo. He’s a cult expert and you’re a Ponzi Scheme expert. Think of the possibilities.

      Sorry about the wife divorcing you. So sad.

      • Here’s a question for the Frank Report’s Number 1 Brainiac, and Cruel Piece of Shit, Nice Guy.

        What’s the difference between “INDOCTRINATION” and “LEARNING”?

        You will not be able to write a complete sentence in answer to this without your wife finishing it for you.

        By the way, how are you and Peggy doing? Is she pegging you enough?


        • I would at the difference between the two is when someone is indoctrinated they think they are right. They are not aware of relevant areas that they do not understand or are missing information about. They think what they know is whole and complete.

          If someone is a good learner, they they would ideally have recognition of what they don’t know, while also recognizing how what they know is very little. I have heard PhD’s tend to be humble for this very reason. They tend to have expertise in certain areas, yet they generally also know better than others the weak spots in those areas… they have strong opinions, but those opinions are well informed and not rigid.

        • Jablozer-

          FYI: I love getting pegged by my wife after I drink a quart of prune juice.

          Do you still runaround at the local gay bar wearing your lobster bib and knee pads?

          I hear your nickname is: Mr. Neal and Bob Blumpkin?

        • —Cruel Piece of Shit

          Only to assholes like you……

          Ask “any woman” on the Frank Report if I’ve ever been disrespectful or cruel to them.

          Ask any man who’s not an asshole, if I’ve been “cruel” to them.

          Alonzo even if you weren’t mentally ill, you’d still be an arrogant, moronic buffoon.

          There’re plenty of good people that happen to mentally ill. You’re clearly not one of them.

        • —Here’s a question for the Frank Report’s Number 1 Brainiac.

          Hey f*ckwad, I’ll answer your questions when you answer one of mine. Go suck on a tail pipe in the mean time.

        • Again with bringing up someone’s wife. In your misogynistic mind how is that okay to attack a woman who has done or said or written nothing to you or about you and probably doesn’t even know you exist in order to get back on another person who’s commenting on a Blog?

    • To Everyone & 🛵,

      Holy all mighty Mackerel! Scott has returned. He was kicked off of another blog.
      Scott’s Natural Habitat:
      Scott’s ostentatious home is the last one on right.
      Kudos to Scott, his show has the highest ratings on the Building Fortunes Network. Five listeners in 2 years is incredible!

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