Marc Elliot to Make Defiant NXIVM Speech Today — Says Moira Penza Threatened Him Not to Make or Risk Arrest

Today at noon in Chelsea, NYC, Marc Elliot made a presentation:  “Who’s Next — The Rise of Character Assassination and the Loss of Human Decency.”

Elliot writes, “This talk is not about Keith’s innocence or guilt or the legal case.” Instead, Elliot tells his story of “overcoming Tourettes’s with NXIVM.”

“I saw character assassination destroy something that could help millions,” he said. He refers to how character assassination manifested in “cancel culture and trial by media” and toppled Keith Raniere.

Marc says he wants to “inspire a message of kindness and civility, no matter how great our differences are.”

He originally planned to present Who’s Next in June 2019, right after a federal jury convicted his mentor, Raniere.

He said AUSA Moira Kim Penza, fresh off of putting Raniere behind bars, scared him off.


Marc’s Story

At the age of nine, Marc explains, he was diagnosed with Tourette’s Syndrome. He said, it “interfered with every aspect of my life. It was estimated I ticced around 25 million times, and every medical professional concluded my condition was uncontrollable and incurable.”

Then Marc was introduced to Executive Success Program (ESP).

“I found the courses profound, life-changing, and moved me in such a way to be a better person,” Marc said.

After two years of steady courses, Marc became a trainer in ESP. From 2009, he dedicated his life to being “the best version of myself.”

Keith Raniere and Marc Elliot being the best versions of themselves.

Starting in 2012, he worked with NXIVM to help himself and others with Tourette’s overcome their symptoms. In 2013, Marc claims he “completely overcame” Tourette’s.


“By drawing from innovations from courses in emotional intelligence taught by NXIVM, ” he said, “using only mind over body, and sheer will.”

The Day the FBI Came to Town

Fast forward five years.

Marc lived in Albany with HIS brothers, Justin and Brian. One day FBI agents came to their door. Something there is that doesn’t like an unannounced visit from the FBI. And the reason soon became plain.

The agents had news for the brothers. They had arrested Keith Raniere.

Marc was silent. He was in shock. If the FBI agents had the manners of the angels in heaven, they would have felt it enough.

All three brothers worked for NXIVM. All three thought they would benefit millions through Raniere’s teachings.

Had the FBI agents the patience of angels, they would have fluttered away on satiny feathers. And come back another day. But, no, the FBI agents didn’t give the brothers a moment to bear the grief.

With reptilian-like manners, the agents did not pause to think that three men’s lives changed that day. FBI agents rely on bone-like armor. Their weapons of transport are sinewy or made of metal.

They lacked the emotional intelligence taught by Raniere. The FBI handed the brothers some beautiful but deadly papers.

They were subpoenas for them to appear before a grand jury in Brooklyn.

Justin was there when the FBI told them of the sad bad news that they had arrested Vanguard.

When the intrusive agents left, the brothers retained a former Assistant US Attorney to represent them.

The attorney advised them and then told the lead prosecutor, AUSA Moira Kim Penza, that he would not let the Elliot brothers speak to the Grand Jury. Too much risk in that. They would all – all three of them – take the 5th.

Marc tells what happened next.

The attorney called and said, “Moira Penza was furious…  He said in the past, every time he told the government his clients would take the 5th, they excused his client’s appearance, since it was a waste of time and resources.”

“Instead, Ms. Penza insisted we appear,” Marc said, “knowing we would plead the fifth in response to every question.”

grand jury in session door

Grand Jury


Marc Elliot

Marc continues the story himself:

I printed out a piece of paper with the exact phrase I would say every time the prosecutor asked a question. Although I knew I hadn’t done anything wrong, I felt afraid.

At the grand jury, the situation felt intense. My brothers and I waited in a small room, while one of us would go in front of the grand jury.

As I sat on the stand, Mrs. Penza’s tone was tense. She asked me questions about my life and participation in NXIVM. She asked about my Tourette’s, my speaking career, and other things that seemed unrelated to any possible criminal activity.

Her line of questioning about my Tourette’s suggested she thought I might be making it up.

Towards the end of the day, Ms. Penza got noticeably upset with our attorney. He said he never saw anything like this in his career. She was upset that we invoked our Fifth Amendment rights and didn’t answer any questions.

Rather than leaving early, Ms. Penza prolonged the day and brought us in front of a judge, where she complained about us.

I left that day scared and confused by what had happened and Ms. Penza’s intemperance. It seemed aberrant, according to my attorney.

Speak Out

After the trial, Brian helped Marc plan a public speech.

On June 18, 2019, the day before the jury would begin its deliberations, Marc published a Facebook post promoting a speaking presentation. It was entitled, “Who’s Next? The Rise of Character Assassination and Loss of Human Decency.”

The subtitle read, “Inspired by Marc’s journey of beating Tourette’s syndrome with the help of NXIVM, a group misrepresented as a sex cult in the media.”

Marc was quick to blame the Frank Report.

He said, “I launched this presentation in response to hateful blog posts against me on the Frank Report…. I believed the character assassination of NXIVM… was a false media narrative. I thought the way to deal with this was through love. I intended to also talk about the teachings of non-violence notable figures, such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and other notable thinkers.”

Like the greatest thinker of them all.

On June 19, 2019, the jury rendered a guilty verdict for Raniere.

On June 24, 2019, the brothers’ attorney called.

Marc says Moira Threatened Him

Talk about pleading the 5th…

Marc explains:
The attorney said Ms. Penza called him to say she took my Facebook post about the presentation as ‘a personal attack on her integrity.’

She said she would have already arrested me if it were not for the First Amendment.

My attorney said if I proceeded with the presentation, Ms. Penza said there was a high likelihood I would be arrested. I was not told on what charge.

I asked my lawyer if she knew that my talk was about my story of beating Tourette’s. He said he mentioned that to her, and she responded, ‘Sounds like recruitment to me.’

Goodbye NYC, Hello Tucson

The threat terrified the brothers. They canceled the talk and moved out of New York City.

Brian severed ties with longtime friends involved with NXIVM. Justin moved down south. Marc worked as a soldier fighting for justice to be blind – for Raniere.

Three years passed. Now Marc is back in NYC to make the same speech he wanted to make before being threatened.

Then he goes to his new hometown – Tuscon.

The Sonoran Desert makes life pretty hot in Tucson in summer. Like 100 days of 100 degrees or better. Getting in the car is dangerous. Everything metal or plastic is burning hot. Wear gloves. Never thin clothes. You can burn the flesh right through your clothes on the car seats. Ass pads are advisable.

The concrete around a pool can be so hot it can burn the skin of your feet off. So, wear boots when you go swimming. A full hazmat suit is best. Wear a sombrero and sunglasses. Stay indoors as much as possible.

During July, Tucson enjoys daily short outbursts of rain and thunder. You will get drenched if it catches you unawares, and you’re more than a minute from shelter. Carry a change of clothes, including undergarments and shoes – in a plastic waterproof bag and a towel.

Yes, a poet said it well: Tucson in summer has all the disadvantages of hell, with none of the advantages. Most people leave during summer. Arizona U is a ghost town. All the snowbirds have vamoosed.  Restaurants and stores close.

But some cannot leave. Such as prisoners at USP Tucson. One of them is 57-005-177. Some know him as Grandmaster. Others as Vanguard. His friends call him Keith Alan Raniere.

Yes, as most are leaving, one man is stuck in the heat. He would go if he could. At the same time, the summer wind came blowing in and brought with it another man. He’s no fickle friend. Tucson has one new resident coming for summer.

Tuscon welcomes Marc Elliot. He has relocated to Tucson, AZ.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • The Rise of Character Assassination and Loss of Human Decency

    I think it’s a good title!

    Frankly, I’m glad to see Keith Raniere’s character assainated. People have held him up, calling him the world’s smartest man. Revering him. Kissing him on the lips. A human being so special he required his own title. Vanguard.

    But this golden guru and renunciate was not much of what he claimed to be. In fact, he was sex crazed and selfish. Didnt matter to him if the women were sisters or daughters or married. His “library” was full of thousands of cataloged crotch shots. Yet, these men of nxivm see nothing wrong. There has been far too much loss of human decency propagated by this guy.

  • frank
    Is Marc moving to Tucson to be closer to Keith?
    Will he be Keith’s new Suneel?
    What is happening in Keith’s civil case? You haven’t posted anything about that in a long time

    • I can’t say why Marc is moving to Tucson. It’s a great place to live except in the summer. I’ll look into the civil case. That’s moving slowly.

  • If the dead enders wanted to testified, why didn’t Raniere’s lawyer stop the prosecution from threatening them Frank

    • He certainly should have stopped the prosecution from threatening them. The difficulty here is the fact that this is hearsay. Actually double hearsay.

      The client said the lawyer said the prosecutor said. Double hearsay and time. These utterances were made allegedly in 2018 and 2019.

      • Your right on this Frank,

        If Raniere’s lawyer wanted any of his followers to testify and the prosecution was making threats against them, he would have gone the to state bar and filed misconduct allegations against them which would have led to a mistrial for Raniere.

        What they could have been afraid of at the time is cross-examination or the information that the prosecution had about their involvement in the RICO of the NXIVM crime organization

        They all had their own lawyers paid for by Clare Bronfman

        If the prosecution was making undue threats against them, their own lawyers could have also filed a complaint with the state bar association.

        Coming back at this late date when Raniere is desperate for some type of win for a get-out-of-jail card all saying the same thing is like “ya right”

        Your 3 plus years are too late guys and gals. You should have hit that nail on the head and attempted to get a mistrial when you had a better chance of your hired lawyer getting something done for you and it would have been more believable

  • NYTimes compares NXIVM to Trump Cult

    “There’s a saying among cult experts: Nobody ever joins a cult.

    Of course, people join what, to outsiders, certainly appear to be cults — the Branch Davidians, the Moonies, the Peoples Temple and so on. But these groups never describe themselves as cults, and they don’t necessarily understand themselves that way, either.

    Usually, they claim to be religious or spiritual movements, personal-development or leadership training organizations, and so on. Keith Raniere of NXIVM offered his members “executive success programs.” What the rest of the world eventually saw was a sex cult.

    Americans may someday come to understand Donald Trump as the most successful cult leader of our times.”


    FYI, Mark. Pretty sure this is what KAR had in mind when he created S.O.P. Stands for “Sons of Perdition.”

    I well recall how fascinated Keith was with this theme while “mentoring” my sister and meeting with the LDS missionaries.

    Enjoy Tuscon. Hear it’s hotter than Hades. Good place for a SOP to prep for his future of eternal hellfire and damnation at the seat of Satan. 😁

      • LOL, very well could be. That’s how KAR’s warped disc in his head worked. I know he at least once gave his young students a stunning sermon on the master/slave computer term as applied to human sexuality but don’t recall the deets. I was just the driver.

  • Correction:
    All three brothers worked for NXIVM. All three thought they would benefit millions through Raniere’s teachings.
    Should read:
    All three brothers worked for NXIVM. All three thought they would benefit millions of dollars through Raniere’s teachings.

  • I see, the previous article was an ad for this scam. The boys are simple returning to a tactic they are familiar with and a pool of victims they are confident they can trick. Nice synergy with whatever Keith thinks he is accomplishing with all these “sworn statements.”

  • Hmmm…

    All of the cult dead-enders were too afraid of Moira Penza to testify but not too intimidated to show up at her office with an affadavit and camera crew.

    None of the dead-end vanguard followers behaved as if scared or even slightly intimidated during Keith’s MDC housing. Or the trial. Never mentioned all of this alleged intimidation in their nationally televised interviews.

    It’s more bullshit

  • Quite curious how Marc relocated to Tucson to be near his Master.

    That said if the government used intimidation to silence Raniere’s defenders, the government is overplaying its hand.
    Real Americans instinctively shy away from intimidation designed to silence debate.

  • Marc Elliot is a chicken shit who is making bullshit claims 4 years later.

    That’s nice of you, Frank try to drum up some interest in his tired nxivm cured shtick. Lots of cult PR efforts in the past week or so.

    It takes a brave man like Marc to do absolutely nothing when his beloved cult leader is on trial but try to make a buck off his vanguard’s imprisonment.

    And it takes a total idiot to go listen to this pedophile supporter speak.

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