Part 5: NXIVM Is Scientology Repackaged: EMs; E-Meters and Low or No Pay

By Jeffrey Jay, AKA Mockingbird

This is the fourth in a series that examines the similarities of NXIVM and Scientoloy. We are using the excellent book Scarred: The True Story Of How I Escaped The Cult That Bound My Life by Sarah Edmondson to illustrate our points.

I recommend reading these posts sequentially.

Part 1 NXIVM Is Scientology Repackaged;

Part 2: NXIVM Is Scientology Repackaged; 12 Point Mission Statement

Part 3: NXIVM is Scientology Repackaged – by Mockingbird 

PART 4: NXIVM is Scientology Repackaged: Truth Rundown & Ethical Breaches’ Collateral & Auditing

On page 19 of Scarred, Sarah Edmondson introduces her readers to the term “EM aka Exploration of Meaning”.

This is a technique I never saw in Scientology, at least not with that name.

Scientology uses a device called an e-meter to assist in their auditing.

In Scientology and Dianetics’ auditing, many techniques are similar enough to the EM used in NXIVM that it’s worth noting.

Both have methods that involve guiding questions and recalling past events to resolve underlying trauma, or at least CLAIM to do so.

In Scientology, these “answers” often include submission to Scientology procedures and the belief that the procedures are beneficial and that Scientology doctrine is correct.
I suspect that EMs also have this quality.

“Nancy’s own specialty was neurolinguistic programming (NLP), …” (Scarred page 21)

Sarah Edmondson

Sarah Edmondson describes some claims for NLP, and I won’t waste your time with them, because many examinations of NLP have found it a harmful fraud and a method that unscrupulous people use to try and control others.

NLP did not use scientific research to develop its practices. It doesn’t stand up to scientific examination.

I recommend you run, not walk, away from any person or group that uses NLP.

Nancy Salzman 

Nancy Salzman reportedly still believes in the methods used in NXIVM, and that’s unfortunate for anyone she spreads them to and possibly tragic for her mental well-being.

I suggest that NXIVM members or ex-members who still believe in the techniques look long and hard at the criticism of these techniques and actual scientific research on them and their effects.

I have a similar suggestion for Scientologists and ex-Scientologists regarding the methods used in Scientology.

The Stripe Path allowed NXIVM members to have ranks based on colored sashes and the number of stripes on each.

Clare Bronfman with her Nxivm orange sash.

Lauren Salzman with her green sash with white stripes.On page 22 of Scarred, Sarah Edmondson introduces the “stripe path” in NXIVM.

Many cults have a variation on a gradual hierarchy that usually elevates very few members to the top levels, and most people never make it past the lower levels.

In Scientology, the cult has numerous ways to be elite.

You have a training path for auditing and a path as a person who gets auditing, a path for administrative training, and a path for money donated to any one of several causes within the organization, including the International Association of Scientologists, the Super Power project and numerous other projects for which Scientology solicits donations.

Within the organization, staff members are in their hierarchy groups. Sea Org members often see themselves as above ALL other people.

In the Sea Org. various branches see themselves as higher or lower than other branches. I have known Sea Org members to feud over who is higher in the hierarchy or whose branch has more authority than the other.

In Scientology, many staff members see the public members as “namby-pamby,” “wishy-washy,” and “dilettantes.”

Likewise, many Sea Org members see the public AND staff as inferiors!

In fact, within Scientology, there’s a poster for the Sea Org with a statement I will paraphrase: “For every Sea Org member working to make things right on planet earth, there are a million people who don’t even know what right is!”

The idea is that a few thousand Sea Org members are trying to save Earth, while billions of people are so far beneath Sea Org members in knowledge and awareness that to Sea Org members, we are like mindless drones sleepwalking through our lives and utterly oblivious to reality!

A similar trait that Sarah Edmondson brought up was how she worked on the stripe path for years before making money for her labor and did thousands of tasks for which NXIVM did not compensate her. Additionally, Keith Raniere had many people do unpaid work for him and the organization in exchange for courses.
In Scientology, during my 25 years of experience, I met hundreds of staff members, a hundred or two Sea Org members, and met people from organizations worldwide. I spent most of my time at a small local organization, a few months at a large organization in Los Angeles, and a couple of months at a large organization in New York City.

Most Sceintologists are not glamorous stars.

Most people in Scientology are poor. Many staff members and Sea Org members go months or years without pay. That’s right. They go for months or years with zero pay!

Scientology seeks out and targets and exploits the rich and famous, but just as only one percent of people are wealthy, only a tiny fraction of Scientology cult members are wealthy!

Many people who are not wealthy join Scientology staff or the Sea Org, and devote their lives to the group.

They discover that the Sea Org often provides no pay or pennies per hour when and if it pays anything.

As a legally recognized “religion” in the United States, Scientology is exempt from minimum wage laws regarding “volunteers,” and all staff and Sea Org members are volunteers. (There are exceptions in rare cases where the law requires workers to be treated as regular workers. This is a tiny fraction of Scientology)

Sea Org members routinely work hundred-plus hour weeks. Although the Sea Org often provides cramped communal housing and barely sufficient food, it often provides no medical insurance, no retirement, pays nothing into social security, and doesn’t pay members enough for things like feminine hygiene products, birth control, soap, and laundry detergent.

The staff is always waiting for the promise of expansion to get to the point of consistent and decent pay.

Most Scientology staff made little to nothing most of the time. Over eighty percent of staff make nothing for years at a time. The other 20 percent make a few hundred dollars PER YEAR!

There have been rare exceptions of staff making several hundred dollars per week, but the odds of that consistently happening are extremely low.

Many Scientology staff survive by working a full-time job and working full-time for nothing in Scientology, and others have a spouse or family members that support them while they are on staff.

The fact that NXIVM and Scientology both provide a facade of extremely wealthy and successful people financially while relying on a hidden foundation of people who are either unpaid or paid well below minimum wage, is a trait found in many cults.

Cult expert Margaret Singer interviewed over 4000 ex-cult members in her decades of research.

She said a cult leader must have two traits: Willing to lie to and exploit people.

I believe these traits were present in NXIVM leader Keith Raniere, in the founder of Scientology, Ronald Hubbard, and his successor or supplanter, David Miscavige.
Stay tuned for part 6

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Which wealthiest movers and shakers promoted L. Ron Hubbard and “Scientology“?
Which wealthiest movers and shakers promoted L. Ron Hubbard and “Scientology“?
10 months ago

Mockingbird, does anyone know if L. Ron Hubbard was connected to the “Technocracy” movement?

World Economic Forum public-private partnerships used public and private funds to build the technocracy we are to see in the next few years. Public-private partnerships are fascism too, with “centralized autocracy, militarism and forcible suppression of opposition”. Most attendees of the World Economic Forum’s DAVOS meetings last week believe in “a natural social hierarchy, subordination of individual interests for the perceived good … and strong regimentation of society and the economy”.

Multinational corporate mainstream news outlets will soon tell us more and more about global “Central Bank Digital Currency” (CBDC) and global Digital Identification — both said to eventually be mandatory for our own good and for the planet, of course.

It looks like maybe Scientology and other social engineering programs started with the finding of someone with a certain personality to mold for politics. L. Ron Hubbard, Charles Manson and Keith Raniere all had the same kind of history and personality. All three started organizations linked to international networks and Hollywood and all three used some form of mind control. Is it possible Scientology and NXIVM were mini military/political experiments working toward the larger military/political control of mind-controlled populations?

Bertrand Russell wrote, “So in everything: power lies with those who control finance, not with those who know the matter upon which the money is to be spent. Thus, the holders of power are, in general, ignorant and malevolent, and the less they exercise their power the better.”

Families amassing great wealth by the late 1800s and early 1900s naturally gained political control. Descendants of the Rothschilds, Gates, Bezos, McCains, Bronfmans, Quandts, Schwabs … etc. retained and multiplied earlier wealth and political control — and now we see most political extremes mixing and merging — as the permanent DC “Uniparty“ does. What’s most in common among them isn’t their outward politics — it’s their wealth and political control.

Who were L. Ron Hubbard’s sponsors, handlers and/or political connections? At Los Alamos, British and American “intelligence”, occult practitioners and military contractors were there. Later, Hollywood promoted him. Did any larger foundations or endowments directly or indirectly support Scientology? Any wealthy philanthropists like a Cafritz, a Bronfman or a Rothschild involved?

“The fourth industrial revolution, however, is not only about smart and connected machines and systems. Its scope is much wider. Occurring simultaneously are waves of further breakthroughs in areas ranging from gene sequencing to nanotechnology, from renewables to quantum computing. It is the fusion of these technologies and their interaction across the physical, digital and biological domains that make the fourth industrial revolution fundamentally different from previous revolutions.”

― Klaus Schwab, The Fourth Industrial Revolution

10 months ago

Very interesting series and knowledge is power. Thank you.

10 months ago

Weird spelling on the pic.
You need a editor

Big Dick Rick
Big Dick Rick
10 months ago

[This comment was edited by Frank Report for clarity and brevity]
Howdy fellas!

I’ve decided to finally…hopefully come around and join… a walking testament… I love bragging and boasting …on comment boards!…

If anybody wants to worship me and tell how great I am … I am always here to accept these small gestures of praise…

10 months ago

Just putting this here for historical interest, also because Wiliiam Burroughs does make some attempt at understanding/explaining the scientology e-meter.

10 months ago
Reply to  NFW

What are the chances?

William Burroughs knew Allen Ginsberg, Julian Huxley and Alfred Kinsey and Hunter S. Thompson.

“Burroughs killed his second wife, Joan Vollmer, in 1951 in Mexico City. Burroughs initially claimed that he shot Vollmer while drunkenly attempting a “William Tell” stunt. He later told investigators that he had been showing his pistol to friends when it fell and hit the table, firing the bullet that killed Vollmer. After Burroughs returned to the United States, he was convicted of manslaughter in absentia and received a two-year suspended sentence …

It was during his childhood that Burroughs’ developed a lifelong interest in magic and the occult – topics which would find their way into his work repeatedly across the years.[a] Burroughs later described how he saw an apparition of a green reindeer in the woods as a child, which he identified as a totem animal,[b] as well as a vision of ghostly grey figures at play in his bedroom …

It was during his time in London that Burroughs began using his “playback” technique in an attempt to place curses on various people and places who had drawn his ire, including the Moka coffee bar and the London HQ of Scientology …

During 1982, Burroughs developed a painting technique whereby he created abstract compositions by placing spray paint cans in front of blank surfaces, and then shooting at the paint cans with a shotgun. These splattered and shot panels and canvasses were first exhibited in the Tony Shafrazi Gallery in New York City in 1987. By this time he had developed a comprehensive visual art practice, using ink, spray paint, collage and unusual things such as mushrooms and plungers to apply the paint …

He became a member of a chaos magic organization, the Illuminates of Thanateros, in 1993 …”

10 months ago


Big Dick Rick
Big Dick Rick
10 months ago

Howdy fellas!

I’ve decided to finally stop being just a mere observer and join the party!

I’m another fellow patriot that resides with The Great Patriot God in His colony! Many of us patriots just read Frank Report, but also will hopefully come around and join the comment sections as our Great Lord Patriot God has invited us to (or at the very least I am)!

My name is Rick Hamilton, but everybody in the IWB and TABW movements calls me “ [Censored because the of the First Amendment]

10 months ago
Reply to  Big Dick Rick

Hey Scott how are you?

I hear tell your marriage is a bedrock….

….of fossilized shit.

10 months ago
Reply to  Anonymous

Or coprolite.

very sophisticated breakups of businesses
very sophisticated breakups of businesses
10 months ago

Regarding the break up of Scientology, NXIVM, the cult of Frederick Lenz III and other political projects possibly pretending to be something else:

Rama a.k.a. Dr. Fredrick Lenz convinced his victims and followers: “In reality most people aren’t very happy. And the reason is really simple. They’re not in touch with their inner self.” He defined the problem. He offered the solution. Was the solution he offered to promote the greatest good for the most people or was his solution a tool of those who enabled him?

Spiritual power is political power. How many so-called spiritual and altruistic projects and programs are actually the projects and programs of those who control those projects and programs in order to control the planet? It’s probably not a coincidence that Frederick Lenz and his cult looked a lot like Keith Raniere and his cult.

From Outofthisworld1150: “William Arntz began his professional career as a research laser physicist, developing wave optics simulators for high-energy lasing systems. After a few years of traveling he landed in San Francisco and began studying with his first spiritual teacher, Rama (a.k.a. Dr. Fredrick Lenz). Eventually the students were given the task of writing a software product/company whereupon William wrote “AutoSys” – a distributed event processor. He sold the company 2 years later and retired.

Soon thereafter William began attending the Ramtha School of Enlightenment. While there he became interested in getting some of the principles gleaned from his decades of spiritual inquiry out to the general public. He realized he could satisfy a life long dream and use the software proceeds to make a movie. That movie started life as a small documentary about Spirit and Science, but grew in scope (and budget) and became What the BLEEP Do We Know!? Producing, scripting, and directing the film, What the BLEEP was completed in 2004 and went on to become a global phenomena, with well over 100 million viewers experiencing the BLEEP.”

William Arntz produced, directed, and wrote the film, “What the BLEEP Do We Know” “incorporating his scientific background, spiritual training, and a desire to make people laugh and think” with co-filmmakers Betsy Chasse and Mark Vicente.

Is it significant that “Norman Oberstein, Chairman of the Board of the Lenz Foundation, 1962 Phi Beta Kappa and Magna Cum Laude graduate of the University of Iowa and a 1965 Order of the Coif graduate of the Boalt Hall School of Law at the University of California (Berkeley), where he participated as a member of the Board of Editors for the California Law Review” and Dr. Brandon Porter both attended The University of Iowa?

In the Los Angeles Times article “Celebrity Divorces Create Frenzy at Court” published November 10, 2006, Jessica Garrison quoted a man named Norman Oberstein. That Norman Oberstein said, “Forget about the celebrity aspect. You take anyone that has a business that may be worth hundreds of millions of dollars … you’re talking about a very sophisticated breakup of a business.”

Is the “Norman Oberstein, who handled Johnny Carson’s divorce, among others” the same Norman Oberstein who graduated from The University of Iowa and is now the Chairman of the Board of the Lenz Foundation?

The circles of William Arntz, Norman Marcus and Norman Oberstein are sophisticated circles.

10 months ago

In the pic of Clare, you can see in her eyes that something is very wrong. She literally looks like Satan. I cannot describe it, something just really really dark and evil. I am fearful of what she will do you release. Also she is VERY stupid. Couldn’t even graduate from high school.

Does anyone know what Clare’s IQ score is?

Aristotle’s Sausage
Aristotle’s Sausage
10 months ago

“Sea Org” my left ass cheek!

L.Ron was much given to dressing up as a natty yachtsman. He fancied himself Admiral of the Ocean Sea. How anyone could become a follower of this ridiculous fool baffles me.

I like the promotional picture of the nerd with the hat, uniform and sword. Playing dress-up like some pathetic Trekkie. Imagine seeing that image and saying, Wow, I want to be just like that guy (or girl, it’s hard to tell).

Still, despite looking like a recruiting poster for a clown school, there’s something disturbingly fascistic about that image. Paramilitary and threatening.

L. Ron’s opera-buffa relation with the sea traces back to his spectacular failure as a junior naval officer. Repeatedly relieved of command for incompetence, he was bounced from assignment to assignment, every one of his superiors looking to fob him off somewhere else. As one example of his many failures, he once mis-navigated into Mexico’s territorial waters and exercised gunnery practice on an inhabited island. Oops, wrong island. Oops, wrong country!

Here’s one of L.Ron’s performance reviews:

“This officer is not satisfactory for independent duty assignment. He is garrulous and tries to give impressions of his importance. He also seems to think he has unusual ability in most lines. These characteristics indicate that he will require close supervision for satisfactory performance…”

Yeah, like Raniere he was garrulous and liked to “give impressions of his importance”. A legend in his own mind. Boastful liars.

Only a fool would listen to either one of them.

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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