Toni Natalie’s Shifting Allegiances: What She Wrote About Frank in the Program

As some readers know, Toni Natalie wrote letters to the Hon. Judge Richard J. Arcara, asking him to punish Frank Parlato harshly.

Before we examine Natalie’s veracity, both with the judge and in her book and other writings, and explore her possible motives for writing for and against Parlato, let us look at what she wrote about him in her 2019 book, “The Program: Inside the Mind of Keith Raniere and the Rise and Fall of NXIVM.”
Grand Central Publishing published Natalie’s book on September 24, 2109 – three months after a jury convicted Raniere of sex trafficking, racketeering, forced labor, and other charges that led to his 120-year sentence in October 2020.

Toni Natalie and Chet Hardin 

Natalie wrote the book with Chet Hardin, who had written about NXIVM for the Albany weekly, Metroland. 

Here is what we find on Parlato in Natalie’s book…

By Toni Natalie

Photo by Charlene Mann Photography


Frank Parlato Jr. was a real estate developer from Buffalo who also wrote for a number of upstate print publications. A good friend of the internationally notorious political operative Roger Stone and the locally notorious political operative Steve Pigeon—the former a Republican, the latter a Democrat—Parlato was active in local politics, where he had a reputation as a bulldog who was unafraid to roll up his sleeves and play rough. Like his friends, Parlato was a character: funny, charismatic, eccentric, volatile. It was through Stone and Pigeon, both of whom had done work for NXIVM, that Parlato made the acquaintance of Keith Raniere, who hired him in 2007. He was fifty-six years old—nine years older than his employer.

This was during Keith’s “celibate monk” phase, when he told everyone he was a renunciate. “He would walk into meetings barefoot, in jeans and a t-shirt,” Parlato recalled in an interview with Oxygen in 2018. “He would spout on the meaning of life, and the women would swoon.” The groovy hippie crowd was not Parlato’s scene, but Frank got on well with Keith. He knew “Vanguard” was more sizzle than steak—and ESP, BS—but that didn’t much bother him. If lost souls felt compelled to fork over their hard-earned money to bask in the NXIVM glow, what did he care? As he told Oxygen: “Everyone seemed chipper about their life.”…

Parlato had no ethical qualms about going after Keith’s detractors. Like his friends Stone and Pigeon, he was something of a dirty trickster. The reason he was paid a whopping seventy-five grand a month was to do what more squeamish people would rather not. Besides, if Keith insisted that Toni Natalie had done this, that, and the other, why should Frank Parlato believe otherwise?

Copy of original contract between Clare Bronfman and Frank Parlato (Keith Raniere’s changes in red)….

NXIVM provided Parlato with an enemies list, as well as a price list of what they’d be willing to pay if certain benchmarks were achieved. For example, disbarment was awarded a $20,000 bonus. Keith was willing to pay Bronfman money to compel the indictments of his three greatest enemies: Rick Ross, Joseph O’Hara, and me. The bounty on my head was $1 million. When Parlato refused to take the assignment, suggesting that Keith instead rehabilitate his name by generating positive news stories focusing on the core ESP business of human potential, Vanguard told him, according to Parlato, “Justice and ethics demand their indictments.”

Over the course of the next year, it slowly dawned on Parlato that Vanguard was a fraud. That far from being a renunciate, he spent most of his waking hours engaged in sexual activities with a veritable harem of women. That despite not owning anything or reporting any actual income, Keith almost certainly had millions squirreled away in various hiding places. That NXIVM was a house of cards propped up by the massive wealth of the Bronfman sisters, whom Keith seemed to manipulate as if they were marionettes.

In 2008, Parlato learned that Keith had spent nearly $100 million of the heiresses’ fortune—a staggering sum, even for Sara and Clare. The sisters had sunk $26 million into a Los Angeles development deal, Parlato said, and had nothing to show for it. They were millions of dollars over budget, so they enlisted him to track down their investments and bring the project under control. In return, Parlato would receive a third of the profits. He was advanced $1 million.

Parlato asked Clare Bronfman about the tens of millions lost in commodities trades. He asked if she’d seen receipts.

Clare told him that Keith had used advanced metrics to develop a foolproof algorithm to predict the commodities market. The trades had failed not because of a miscalculation on Keith’s part, but rather because her globalist father and his Illuminati cabalists had used their vast wealth to “thwart” Keith by artificially manipulating the commodities market, which caused his trades to fail. She said this with a straight face. The Jewish heiress bought into an anti-Semitic trope—because that’s what Vanguard had told her.

Soon after, Keith Raniere fired Frank Parlato. By then, he was more than happy to bid adieu to NXIVM. But there were a million reasons to not let him get away so easily. Although Parlato had recovered quite a bit of their missing fortune, the Bronfmans demanded a refund of his $1 million payment. Parlato refused. That put Frank Parlato squarely on the enemies list, with Rick Ross, Joseph O’Hara, and me. The Bronfmans sued him. And in 2015—seven years later—the $1 million in escrow was a key component in a nineteen-count indictment against Parlato, alleging fraud.

Reading the document, Parlato saw that Clare Bronfman had perjured herself— almost certainly at the behest of Vanguard.

“That’s when I had an awakening,” he recalled in a 2018 interview with Vice News. “I had no idea of the depths of their dishonesty… If they had done this to me, then all of these enemies that supposedly had cheated them were also probably similarly innocent.” In an instant, he said, he realized that “this is more than a kooky group; this is a crazy group, a criminally insane group. And it’s not just Raniere.”

Frank Parlato regarded the indictment as an act of war. He was at war with NXIVM. And he would use every means at his disposal—his two Buffalo-area weeklies, Artvoice and the Niagara Falls Reporter; a new blog called Frank Report; his connections and money; his indomitable will; and, most of all, the knowledge that he was in the right—to prevail.

There were three things Keith Raniere did not anticipate: the Internet, a mother’s love, and Frank Parlato. All three would contribute to his downfall.


All of his detractors were subjected to the same abuse: lawsuits, indictments, harassment, surveillance, sting operations.. .whatever demented shit he could dream up was imposed, not just on me, but on everyone: Rick Ross, Joe O’Hara, Ed Mitzen, and Frank Parlato;


I spoke with any reporter or journalist or TV producer who called. One of these was Frank Parlato, NXIVM publicist turned mortal enemy, who reached out after he launched his blog in 2015. He became a powerful ally.


On June 19, 2017, Frank Parlato, writing on the Frank Report blog, reported on the existence of a secret group within NXIVM: Dominus Obsequious Sororium, or DOS. This sorority, Parlato explained, was a select group of emaciated women who served as the slaves, sexual and otherwise, of Keith Raniere. As if that wasn’t lurid enough, there was an aspect of DOS that got everyone’s attention: “the hallmark of the plan,” Parlato wrote, “was branding women.”

Each of the slaves had Keith’s initials branded on her skin with a cautery pen.

I had to read it three times before it sunk in.

A charge like that, levied by a vocal enemy of Vanguard on his own subjective blog, was easy enough for NXIVM to refute. Who could believe such a thing?

When the New York Times subsequently confirmed the Frank Report’s report—on October 17, 2017, three years to the day of my mother’s passing—the truth became harder to deny….

Taken together, the remarkable level of detail in the Frank Report, the confirmation by the paper of record, and the oddly worded nondenial by NXIVM could only mean that the story was true. At long last, the world knew what I’d known for years: Keith Raniere was a monster.


On June 5, 2017, Frank Parlato revealed the existence of DOS on the Frank Report. The news sent shock waves through the NXIVM community. Keith hemmed and hawed, denying that he had knowledge of the society at all… It was far more likely that the whole sordid affair was his idea…

Vice News did a profile of Frank Parlato, where he appears in all his eccentric glory. The DOS genie was out of the bottle.

Frank Parlato with Elle Reeve on Vice News….


Without [Clare Bronfman’s] money, [NXIVM] would have collapsed years ago, and none of the lawsuits against me, against Rick Ross and Stephanie Franco, against Joe O’Hara and John Tighe and Frank Parlato, against Barbara Bouchey and Susan Dones, against MetroIand and James Odato, would have been filed. Clare deserves more than a slap on her emaciated wrist.

Some justice is better than none at all.


Toni has always said that there were three things that Keith Raniere never anticipated: the Internet, a mother’s love, and Frank Parlato. With his upstate media empire, Frank Parlato achieved more than any single outlet could have in the fight to bring Keith Raniere to justice. It is not hyperbole to say Keith wouldn’t have seen his day in court without the Frank Report.


So this is what Toni Natalie wrote about Parlato in her book in 2019. As we know, she had a change of heart. We will explore this in subsequent posts.


About the author

Janine Morrison


Click here to post a comment

  • I have yet to see either person write or support each other ever. You may want to do basic research before writing crap articles.

  • I think Frank is an excellent journalist that provides an outlet for the stories that don’t make headlines…until they do.

  • Toni became Keith.

    What a whacked out dynamic. I understand if she had a change of heart about Frank (not sure what the details are), thats her choice. But to show up at his trial which had nothing to do with her and try to get him locked up? Thats just evil.

    • The judge suggested that Toni’s letter was in sum and substance her upset that Parlato wrote stuff about her she didn’t like. Her response was to butt into his sentencing for a failure to file a form and compare him to Al Capone.

      She missed the mark. Parlato did not get jail time.

    • No. There were only three self-described “victims” of Parlato who submitted impact statements. One of these alleged victims recently testified that FBI agents Burns contacted him seeking a victim impact statement because no one had come forward. Clearly prosecutors had nothing on Parlato.

      Toni even appeared in court but the unconvincing alleged victims of Parlato had zero impact. Their disappointment if their own lives was not the fault of Parlato.

    • Toni Natalie like Nancy Salzman &
      Barbara Bouchey have attempted to make themselves the ultimate victims of Keith Raniere.

      It’s a competition like behavior filled with delusional made up BS of my fish was “this big, really” storyline that no one else seems to remember.

      Clawing their way way to Queen of the mountain of my victimization is worse than your seems a bit odd, doesn’t it.

      Writing a book about how bad you’re life with Raniere was as you followed him through three criminal organizations as one of his girlfriends, hiding his illegal assets than, turning around blaming him for his BS years later seems, well bullshit.

      Natalie got out of the frying pan but kept herself in the fire. She kept playing revenge games with Raniere that people don’t know about.

      Imagine two male deer (narcissist) locking horns over decades waiting to see which one will win in the end. This was Natalie and Raniere’s dance. Natalie being female easily gets to play the victim card.

      Natalie plays out the same pattern with Frank Parlato. Frank didn’t lock horns with her. He didn’t need to try to destroy her.

      As long as Frank was giving Natalie what she wants (exposure of Raniere’s actions that will lead to him going to prison). Natalie was happy.

      Same thing happened with Raniere. They were happy together in business and in a sexual relationship as long as they both got what they wanted.

      When Frank, as a reporter, exposes consumers factual lies (that he took the time to research)
      about her “Book” Toni stopped being happy with Frank.

      Raniere was already found guilty and now Frank was promoting her book. He was effecting sale in a negative direction.

      Natalie was now caught in her web of lies.

      Now all the sudden Frank became a criminal worthy of a prison sentence in Natalie opinion and she starts a campaign with the FBI & the Judge in Frank’s case.

      Natalie presents lies to the judge that has nothing to do with Frank’s case and shows up at Frank’s sentencing hoping to speak.

      Natalie said on her social media she couldn’t wait to post Frank’s prison number

      What kind of person does this to a the person who did so much to help take down NXIVM?

      Could it be an angry.scorned woman?

      All Frank has done is report the truth regarding the lies and misretpresentiins Toni did to embellish her book

      She has gotten caught, just line Raniere did.

      Now she seeks revenge, just like Raniere does. Looks like her Master taught her well.

  • Frank was pivotal in bringing down NXIVM.

    His website has been a very helpful resource for those battling with similar groups.

    Frank has engaged with the “behaviours” of similar groups, drawn comparisons, and shone a light on these similarities.

    If you’re in the fight against cults, cultic groups, and cultism, what is there to criticise?

      • Like an albatross you jump in an offer no context leaving it to me to unpack your comment-excrement. Jeesh. Are we saying that Frank was involved in the January 6 failed-coup?

        If this is to be discussed in an adult fashion, might we say that cults do not just attract the idealistic, but they also draw in highly narcissistic and psychopathic individuals. The psychopathic rarely stay long, but the covert and inverted narcissists may make a cult their home for decades.

        I am sure we can agree Stone is an unsavoury character and the person, or “character”, he was supporting in the video you supplied (without any context), has been described as a malignant narcissist and was also involved a pyramid-selling/MLM nonsense to abuse those their charism charmed and bedazzled.

        What of it? Guilt by association is only of interest to me if there are shared agendas and pathologies. I do not see this here. I am happy for you to enlighten me.

        Is your reality-testing problematic at this time? You can do something about that if this is the case.

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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