Catherine Oxenberg Wrote About Frank Parlato Eating Snakes and Battling Venomous Raniere

A clever anonymous commenter with the clever moniker, “Prana combining” made this clever comment.

In Catherine Oxenberg’s book she said Frank was giving her massages and telling her that they would have a better chance of saving her daughter if they “mixed their prana together” or some such. So…*shrugs*

Here’s what Catherine actually wrote in her book Captive, starting on page 246.

THE CLOCK WAS ticking. I now had forty-eight hours until my meeting with Antoine, and I still needed to get my hands on some hard evidence. I’d been making frantic calls, but people were afraid. Everyone was always afraid.

I boarded a flight to Buffalo. Only one man now could help me, and he wasn’t afraid.

Frank Parlato had aggregated piles of evidence over the years after countless victims had reached out to him. But would he give it to me? I wasn’t sure. He was like a fire-breathing dragon sitting on his mountain of loot. But I was also a fierce mother lioness, and I intended to go into that meeting with enough ammo to take down Keith, and I intended on making Frank my secret weapon. Frank had needed my help before, and now I needed his. I was both excited and apprehensive about our first meeting. He’s the kind of man who could elicit both those feelings from you simultaneously.

We’d already had some drama in the days leading up to our meeting. First, Frank had been sparring with one of my new lawyers. Second, I was bringing Karim and the crew with me, and Frank made it very clear that he didn’t want to be on camera. Then he can­celed our meeting twice.

The latest word was that the meeting was on, but I wasn’t sure about anything else.


From HBO’s The Vow: Catherine Oxenberg speaks on the phone with her mother Prncess Elizabeth about Frank Parlato, while driving to his house. 

When we arrived at his home in the afternoon of November 4, there was no sign of Frank. We were greeted by Chitra and Debbie, two friends of his who had offered to help us with the paperwork ahead, they said, which was a good sign.

HBO’s The Vow: Frank Parlato’s Addams Family-esque headquarters

Twenty minutes later, Frank arrived, flanked by a Felliniesque posse. On his right stood a giant biker wearing ginger chops, Hells Angels gear, and a belly like a battering ram. He was also sporting a huge hunting knife, very visibly. To Frank’s left was a very elderly gentleman sporting a chic beret and mumbling through his thick white mustache. He took copious notes on a giant legal pad the en­tire time he was there and then left with them.

Frank himself looked like a cross between Sherlock Holmes and a crime reporter plucked out of a 1970s newsroom. He was in his sixties, of medium height and build, wore a tweed jacket, and slicked his hair to the side. He delivered hilarious zingers, but his face re­mained deadpan—was he smiling or sneering? You never knew.

Frank Parlato with Catherine Oxenberg from a still from HBO’s The Vow.

Frank circled us, eyeing the camera suspiciously.

“No cameras. I told you I want to focus on the work,” he said. “We have to get this done, and I don’t want any interruptions. Everyone has to be in the same headspace, or it will interfere with my concentration.”

I tried to convince him, but one look at Karim’s talent release form, and Frank announced there was no way he could agree to the terms. He wanted 100 percent control of his likeness. Then Karim put down his foot: no way could he allow that, as it would prevent him from selling the project.

I suggested we just start working with no filming, and once we got into a rhythm, we could reassess. Putting together the evidence packet was number one on the agenda. But that didn’t work, either.

“Karim’s moping about,” said Frank. “I can feel it.”

Now I put down my foot. The sun was going down, and we hadn’t gotten any work done yet. Frank was also frustrated. He suggested the camera crew go check into their hotel, and then he banished his two assistants.

Now the house was empty—it was just Frank and me—and I had a blinding headache. Was he going to help me, or was I stuck with this uncompromising man in his Addams Family house with his colorful cast of characters, never to be heard from again?

Frank suggested we move from the dining room into the living room, farther from the hope of work, where he offered to work on my back and neck to get rid of my building migraine. He started digging his thumbs into the pressure points in my neck.

“Have you ever had your palms read?” he asked. He transitioned instantly from shiatsu practitioner to palm reader, grabbing one of my hands and inspecting my palm.

“You have a very well developed Mount of Venus. Did you know that?”

Where was he going with this?

He took my hands into his and started pressing into my Mounts of Venus, the fleshy areas at the base of the thumbs.

“You are a very evolved person,” he said, looking at the lines in mv hand. “And you are strong energetically… Your health is good.” Good health, that was nice to hear. Because I felt like I was falling apart. Then Frank started to wax lyrically about how he could help me with India on an energetic level by “mixing prana”—Sanskrit for “life force. He moved his hands together as if they were blending. Apparently Frank was a Renaissance man who wore many hats.

Before I had a chance to ask what “prana mixing” entailed, Frank jumped up and announced it was time for the crew to return so we could all go sightseeing.

Frank Parlato and Catherine Oxenberg in Niagara Falls discussing snakes

To Niagara Falls. At ten o’clock on a cold, drizzling night. The crew returned, and we all climbed into Frank’s silver Lexus to trudge to the Falls. It was only a thirty-minute drive, and as we got closer, we could hear the water’s roar. We parked and got out to walk a short distance to the Falls-just as the drizzle turned into a monsoon. By the time we got to the lookout point, we were drenched. Sensing that a moment was to come, Karim turned on his camera.

“You know, I used to catch rattlesnakes when I was a kid,” Frank yelled over the rumbling water. “At first, the bite was excruciating. But eventually I got used to it.”

Karim and the others looked both stunned and enthralled.

“Urn, Frank!” I shouted. “How many times did you have to get bitten before you developed a tolerance for it?”

He shrugged. “A lot.”

And standing there by the thundering waterfalls, soaking wet, I started to laugh.

Was it any wonder why Frank wasn’t afraid of Keith and his min­ions? He had inoculated himself against rattlesnake venom; he was like a snake medicine man! He’d harnessed nature’s poison, and it had given him a superpower to fight the Beast! Right there in that moment, I decided I liked Frank—very much. A snake master like him was exactly what I needed to help me fight this unusual battle between good and evil.

“Hey, Frank!” I yelled again. “Why were you catching the snakes in the first place, especially after they kept biting you? What kid in his right mind would do such a thing?”

Frank looked at me as if what he’d done was the most normal thing in the world for a kid to do.

“Why, to eat them, of course.”

Yes, sir. Frank was the man for this job.

Nxivm The Vow Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato with Debbie from HBO’s The Vow

THE NEXT DAY, Frank’s living room turned into a war room like mine back home.

Whatever had happened to Frank in Niagara Falls the night before—some sort of alchemic baptizing from the water from the sky mixed with the water from the Falls—had turned him into a powerhouse.

From HBO’s The Vow, Frank Parlato worked all night to prepare the memorandum for law enforcement that catalogued Keith Raniere’s crimes. 

I stayed in his guest room that night, and when I walked into the war room the next morning, he was working at his computer—right where we’d left him the night before, in his damp, dark, rumpled clothes—typing up the comprehensive memo that was to go with the evidence packet. It would outline and explain every possible state or federal crime committed and law broken by Raniere and his group, and would include instructions on navigating the packet section by section, complete with ID codes and numbers.

Like magic, all sorts of other evidence began pouring in that morning from the people I’d reached out to the week before, and from Frank, who’d opened his coffers.

I was printing, Frank was printing, Chitra and Debbie were print­ing. The whirring of the printers and crunching of the hole punchers and staplers were nonstop.

Chitra and Debbie stacked hundreds of pages of evidence and sorted them into five giant folders lined up on a long table like an assembly line….

In the afternoon, Toni Natalie, Keith’s former girlfriend, arrived from Rochester to meet me. She was a beautiful, elegant woman, and even though she’d been through hell at the hands of this madman and suffered debilitating PTSD, she looked radiant and was warm and loving.

“The last thing, Keith ever said to me.” Toni told me, “was: ‘I’ll see you dead or in jail.'”

She was the first one brave enough to come out against Keith publicly, and he used her as an example to keep others from doing the same.

“But Keith underestimated three things,” she said: “the internet, the FrankReport, and the power of a mother’s love.

“Catherine,” she said to me, “all this time I was waiting for a Prince Charming to rescue me from this nightmare. And it turned out to be you, a princess, who would do it.”

I did want to rescue Toni, and all of them, along with my daugh­ter. Toni helped with the last of the paperwork, and by the time we finished, it was ten thirty at night. Each evidence packet was more than three hundred pages thick.

Before we left Frank’s, he gave me a final coaching session in the kitchen, the same way that a trainer preps a boxer before he heads toward the ring.

“When you get in the meeting room, place the evidence packet right in the middle of the table,” he instructed. “Watch if they lean in and pull it toward them. If they do, that’s a good sign. Sit like this and put your hands like this,” he said, placing his fingers together like a steeple. “It looks authoritative. And drink some pineapple juice before you go.”

With that, he handed me a bottle of juice, I hugged Chops, and Toni gave me a tight hug.

“We are bookends, you and I,” she said. “I started this. Now you go and finish it.”

WE DROVE AT breakneck speed through the inky blackness and arrived in Albany at three in the morning. While still at Frank’s, I’d texted India again, asking if we could meet up. I also told her I’d like to get together with Keith, with Nancy, with all of them. I didn’t hear back.

In Albany, I was back in enemy territory, but this time I was there to declare war, and I had my comrades with me.

Frank was still furiously working on the memo when I went to sleep and I prayed he’d email it to me in the morning and that I’d be of sane mind—compos mentis—for the meeting a few hours later.

After four hours of fitful sleep, I got up to meditate, pray, fling my­self in the shower, and obediently drink my mandated pineapple juice.

When I met Art in the hotel lobby, I was still texting Frank: “Where’s the memo?! We’re leaving!”

Minutes before our departure, Frank’s email finally arrived. The front desk hurriedly printed all twenty-six pages before I dashed into the car with them…..

This is the end of the excerpt from Oxenberg’s book. From here on are Frank Parlato’s comments.

Catherine Oxenberg bringing the memorandum I wrote with her to law enforcement.

The DOJ took our evidence package and used it as they saw fit.  They produced it in discovery in the case against Keith Raniere.

I will publish the memorandum one of these days, and you can judge how helpful it was to law enforcement.

Marc Agnifilo wrote in a court filing:

On December 7, 2018, the EDNY turned over a memorandum written by blogger Frank Parlato and actress Catherine Oxenberg that is titled “Criminal Activity involving KR 11-12.” (Ex. 7: Parlato and Oxenberg Memorandum.)
“According to Catherine Oxenberg’s recent book titled Captive, she states that she gave this memorandum to authorities in November of 2017.”

It only remains to say, apropos of the commenter above, that Catherine’s headache disappeared after I applied my nerve-adjusting pranic headache cure.

By touching certain nerve endings and creating a counter balance to the direction of the flow of pain, most headaches can be cured in minutes.

As for the term “pranic mixing,” Catherine wrote the book about a year after the incident she described.  I do not recall using the term. What I said is that the will can direct energy or the will behind energy – in Sanskrit “prana” – to concentrate on the one thing Catherine desired above all else. — getting India to leave NXIVM.

Such was my theory. I have said it another way, quoting something attributed to Dr. Johnson.

“There is no problem the mind of man can set that the mind of man cannot solve.” 

Or in this case, the mind of woman. Catherine got it done, India left, was not charged, and I think I helped a little.





About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • “But Keith underestimated three things,” she said: “the internet, the FrankReport, and the power of a mother’s love.”

    It’s nice too see Catherine credit Frank. She’s a class act.

    Edmondson and Vicente just gloss over it with their own self-serving narratives.

    • Oxenberg is referring to her conversation with Toni Natalie. It was Toni Natalie who said that about Frank, not Catharine Oxenberg!
      So Toni Natalie is giving the credits to Frank.

  • “He started digging his thumbs into my….

    ….”Have you ever had your palms read?” he asked. He transitioned instantly from shiatsu practitioner to palm reader, grabbing one of my hands

    “You have a very well developed Mound of Venus. Did you know that?”

    Where was he going with this?”

    To the bedroom…

    Where was Frank going, mmmh.
    Frank must have been quite the “coxman” back in the day, a regular Joe Namath.

    • I looked at Catherine like a younger sister, suffering intensely from the dangers her daughter faced.

      Though she had a courageous spirit and kept a sense of humor, she was in pain.

      I believed I could help her rescue India. I was determined to do so. She spent the night in my house alone in a bedroom upstairs. I spent the entire night writing a memorandum of alleged crimes. I never thought once of leaving my keyboard. As I said to Nice Guy on more than one occasion, “get your mind out of the gutter and look up at the stars.”

  • Glad Catherine Oxenberg gave credit to Frank where it was due. Countless hours devoted to freeing these women and helping families.

    Seems like people like mark vicente swooped in to take credit. Sad.

  • How long did it take for the government to take action once Catherine provided them with your documents and charges?

    • From the time I wrote it to an arrest warrant – two months. From the time of his being snatched in Mexico, five months.

  • Catherine Oxenberg states you had needed her help and now she needs yours.

    What help did you need from her? Was it nxivm related?

  • Unreal how the government and law enforcement would not listen. Even when you have someone as high profile as Catherine Oxenberg.

    It seems the Bronfman name, money and power far exceeded anything else.

  • How much of what you wrote was adopted by the DOJ? Can you compare what you prepared with the actual charges against Raniere? How do they match up?

        • As I tried to tell another reader, a fresh rattlesnake needs not to be beaten to be tenderized.

          I do not eat anything that is not fresh-killed. Now alligator is another matter. I beat the tail to tenderize it hard. But that is the art of eating alligators to make it the best-tasting meat of all.

  • This is one of my favorite stories. Catherine describes you so eloquently.

    My favorite Toni Natalie quote is, “But Keith underestimated three things,” she said: “the internet, the FrankReport, and the power of a mother’s love.” I remember when Frank asked me if I thought I could infiltrate into NXIVM and try to go in befriend and save India. Love is a powerful energy, and Catherine and Frank are a perfect example of this.

      • Frank,

        Your suggestions are a lot like Attorney Richard Ducote’s advice offered to mothers in family court cases. He’s told mothers he represents and mothers at “protective mother conferences” he often notices that family court lawyers, guardians ad litem, judges and evaluators in the most corrupt courts look like Nazi soldiers. Well-dressed, nice shoes, rested, relaxed, confident and fully ready to assert their will.

        Meanwhile, most mothers trying to protect abused children in hostile family courts look like victims of the Nazis: tired, abused, gaslit, thin from stress/poverty, sometimes with PTSD, depression, anxiety etc.

        Ducote tells protective mothers in family courts to “dress and act like a soccer mom”. Such kind and helpful suggestions help so many.

    • It depends on how you prepare it. The best way to eat rattlesnakes is without any seasoning. The meat is very sweet.

      But one provision – the neck close to the head – has a far sweeter taste. The middle section is more astringent and closest to chicken. Depends on the size of the snake. Freshly killed rattlesnake does NOT need tenderizing!

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


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