Celebrities, Cults, public figures, True Crime

#NXIVM and NYC Actors: “The Source”

The NXIVM cult is all over the news now, but it didn’t start out the way it has all ended…Or rather than “ended”, I should phrase it this way: When it all began, it wasn’t the group you now know about. I’m not sure what – if anything – is left of the disgraced group at present. There are a few known faithful adherents who possess varying takeaways regarding the main messages. However, they are staying very very quiet and out of the public eye.

Remember: NXIVM didn’t start out with a sexual slavery division called DOS! It began as a multilevel marketing company. Keith Raniere (the group’s now-imprisoned, manipulative hypnotist of a leader, worshipfully referred to by members as “The Vanguard”) had learned his tips and tricks about MLMs from being in Amway. Yes, it’s true. Scott Johnson is one of the people to enlighten me to that fact. Before I go any further, I should say that my own dad was in Amway for a blip in time and left when he realized it wasn’t ultimately profitable – certainly not for the immense dedication and time required. He and my mom did meet their very best friends through the group though. So “cults” can have benefits and are not always all bad (if you want to think of Amway as being one).

Johnson maintains informative websites about Amway’s scam-way tactics. He frequently writes about the parallels between NXIVM’s methods (the NXIVM that dealt with business and offered courses under its Executive Success Program, rather than the NXIVM you know of as a “sex trafficking cult.” Again, that whole sex thing came to light later…) and Amway’s.

NXIVM has had many evolutions since it began as Consumers Buyline, as well as many offshoots. The most notorious of the offshoots is DOS because of the attention that sex trafficking garners.

Another more benign-seeming offshoot of NXIVM was “The Source”. If you are an actor based in NYC or Brooklyn, you may have attended a meeting for this group. The idea was to get through to actors about opening themselves up more, kineticising that potential energy (AKA “self actualization”) and identifying the tools and tricks to be one’s best. All the lingo that they used was perfectly designed to appeal to a struggling actor.

One Canadian television personality had been so captivated by “The Source” (which was also big in Vancouver at one point) that she was swept up into the group which ended up feeding her to NXIVM. Like Jonah in the belly of the whale, the insides were dark and deep until she was finally able to pry the mouth open, expelling herself from the mammal. But she did so only after being inducted into DOS and having her pubic region painfully branded with the initials of Keith Raniere and actor-turned-NXIVM slave recruiter Allison Mack.

In NYC just a few short years ago, Allison Mack was out with another actor named Mark Hildreth, scouting for new recruits to “The Source”.

The hope was that the recruits would see the beauty in Keith Raniere’s teachings. Upon attending a meeting with other actors in Brooklyn, the actors would hear about getting the tools to thoroughly introspect, identify what they were doing wrong and figure out how to do it all effectively.

What would sound like a bunch of hocus pocus, BS mumbo jumbo to some were words that would bring a young and impressionable actor like Mack to tears. One young woman met the duo and found Hildreth to be both attractive and captivating, but also thought to herself: This is creepy AF, weird and culty.

Hildreth would never hear back from this young actor who he saw as a potential new recruit. However, there are accounts of other NYC-based actors approached about “The Source” who met Hildreth and Mack at meetings and had different takeaways.

Had the young woman (referenced above) connected well with Mack, she may have ended up depleting her savings on courses and even possibly moving to Rochester to become a DOS sex slave devoted to Keith Raniere. She may also have ultimately followed him to Mexico as Mack did, being under his potent hypnotic spell and believing in the greatness of The Vanguard.

But this young woman – despite finding Hildreth to be somewhat cute, dynamic and intoxicating (Hildreth had reportedly learned his skills from the very best of the best, The Vanguard himself) – realized she was being fed a bunch of gobbledygook.

She went back to her acting and trying to make it in NYC the ole fashioned way, shying away from all sketchy Brooklyn-based meetings.

So where is Mark Hildreth today and what does he have to say about all of this?

Understandably, it seems he is ashamed, and perhaps any brainwashing he himself had been subjected to, has worn off. He’s doing his acting thing and his social media reflects a devotion to those projects.

From all of the reports I’ve combed through, it seems that Hildreth had little to no knowledge of DOS and looked at “The Source” as a way for people to actualize potential and grow professionally. The only “crime” Hildreth should probably be ashamed of having a more direct connection to? Encouraging people to become part of a group that charged ridiculously overpriced fees for self-improvement courses (Richard Branson took some NXIVM courses. However, I wouldn’t worry about his wallet having taken a hit).

Hildreth allegedly split from the whole NXIVM/”The Source” crew in 2016 after discovering that Raniere was hitting on his girlfriend. I don’t get what the allure was of this hairy, overgrown Harry Potter lookalike, but Raniere was known to have quite the harem to satiate his polyamorous desires.

It seems that now, Hildreth wants all of this to be behind him. He wishes the public would stop associating him with NXIVM. I cannot blame the guy for these desires, but I do have a lot of questions:

What exactly did Mark Hildreth know about NXIVM as a group when he severed ties to Raniere?

Did he keep in touch with Allison Mack?

How many DOS slaves were originally recruits of “The Source”?

And here are some questions for you, the readers:

Did you know of anyone who was approached by Mark Hildreth and Allison Mack about “The Source”?

Did you ever attend one of those Brooklyn-based meetings yourself?

Feel free to respond in the comments section, or email me directly by going to the “contact” portion of this website.

There are indeed so many unanswered questions about NXIVM. Fortunately for Mark Hildreth, it appears he got out just in time.

(Pictured: actor Mark Hildreth)

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Cults, Psychology, public figures, True Crime, Uncategorized

#NXIVM: Catherine Oxenberg Says Daughter “Will Be Fine…More Than Fine”

Catherine Oxenberg is many things. She’s enviably beautiful. She’s intelligent and she’s kind. She’s also “royal” – her mother is Princess Elizabeth of Yugoslavia – in addition to having played royalty on televisions as an actress.

But these days Catherine Oxenberg is known for more than her television roles, most notably for starring on Dynasty, and her lineage. These days she’s known as a fierce crusader and a fighter, one who took on a cult and didn’t back down until she knew her daughter was safe. It is a group that has threatened its detractors, terrorized them via bogus litigation, and maligned former members. Yes, it is the cult that is the subject of many conversations and is currently all over the media. The one that fronted as a mainly innocuous, but money-sucking, professional empowerment/self-help group and has changed names many times, but is now known by one represented by Roman numerals. The cult that – it was subsequently discovered – had a unique division devoted to the sexual slavery of women. That division, called DOS, called for fierce loyalty pledges from members, requiring the handing over of “collateral” (incriminating information/pictures that would mortify the individual should they defect from the sorority) and branding in the pubic region.

As Catherine details in her new book Captive: A Mother’s Crusade To Save Her Daughter From a Terrifying Cult, she and her daughter India went to a meeting for what appeared to be a self help group back in 2011. Catherine’s then-husband made a somewhat offhanded and jokey remark, following some creepy observations about the group’s leader Keith Raniere. He suspected aloud to her that Keith was involved sexually with the group’s women. Catherine remembers the comment (which would prove to be a confirmed truth) in hindsight, but it was stated in such an off-the-cuff manner that she didn’t focus deeply on it. She had also only briefly met the cult leader.

Following that fateful meeting, Catherine took some NXIVM courses that promised success in business and taught about the tools and skills to excel. She reflects now: “A lot of what you hear Keith say about NXIVM’s philosophy sounds like gobbledygook when you listen to him on YouTube and see how captivated (former Smallville actress) Allison Mack is by his words. He has this ability to break you down and then reel you in.”

Catherine said that she gets annoyed by how people undermine those who are susceptible to brainwashing: “Anyone is susceptible because the person doing it is clever and has a strategy. It’s about appealing to an individual’s interests and goals. India is a confident and self-assured woman. There were prominent, highly intelligent people who took NXIVM courses. It’s very insulting when people criticize and judge how one can be taken in by this group. Aside from offering community, NXIVM offers the promise of doing something and being a part of something special that will make a difference in the world.”

When they were first introduced to the group, India was committed to improving her own business skills following a failed food-related venture. Catherine describes India as someone who sees the kindness in people and who is committing to bettering humanity.

“That is something that this group looks for in individuals,” says Catherine, explaining that India was a prime recruit for the group because of her uniquely innate desire to help people and contribute to society. “They slowly convince people – there are brilliant people who have become involved! – that they are part of something that is going to make a huge difference.”

Catherine took some overly pricey NXIVM courses and despite initial interest, became more skeptical and more disenchanted over a three year period. She gave up on NXIVM, but India only became more committed. Then she moved to Albany to be with the group and surrounded by its members.

In Catherine’s book, and on a recent episode of Dateline (in which Megyn Kelly is the interviewer), Catherine speaks about the former NXIVM member who reached out furtively and fearfully to alert her that her daughter was in danger. Catherine was then provided with evidence and became invested in amassing more evidence – which she eventually turned over to the New York State General Attorney’s office.

Although the authorities had been repeatedly pointed to the unethical practices of the group (including shady financial transactions and Keith Raniere’s sexual relationships with women under the age of consent), it was Catherine’s diligently collected mountain of evidence that helped spur law enforcement to serious action.

I ask her if she thinks her status as an actress and coming from royalty helped with her being taken seriously. She laughs: “I think they were tired of being hounded by me and knew I was this mother who wasn’t going to give up!”

While all of this was happening, India had essentially estranged herself from a mother pleading for her return. Mother could not get in touch with daughter or be sure of her whereabouts for a lengthy period of time, and while India was now an adult, Catherine knew the dangers of NXIVM and saw no choice other than to speak out publicly.

This was a move that would have repercussions for Catherine, with India further evading her and ensuring more secrecy regarding her whereabouts.

Going to the media was something that pained Catherine to do, but it was a last resort and a desperate measure called for by a desperate time. Having been in the limelight many years before as an actress and as the daughter of a princess, she would much rather have avoided the media than begged them to shine a spotlight on something.

But in this case, there was a singular goal in mind: getting her daughter out of harm’s way as quickly as possible and to safety.

You will have to read Catherine’s book to see how complicated this journey was. Her daughter India has asked for privacy during this time. We do not know if and how she was culpable in NXIVM’s illicit activities, but few question that she was a victim of Raniere’s intense mind control.

I ask Catherine if India now knows she was “brainwashed.”

“She does not like that word, Catherine states adamantly, “That’s definitely not a word that gets a good reaction so I stopped bringing it up. India feels for the ordeal that I’ve been through. She feels for the ordeals of others.”

By “others”, I privately hope that in time, the empathic India Oxenberg will have little to no sympathy for Keith Raniere.

For now, mums the word, but India has told her mom that she’ll tell her story her way and specifically, in her own time.

To hear India’s carefully crafted statement to the media, you’ll have to check out the Dateline episode. Catherine was able to share with me (and with Megyn Kelly) that she recently reconnected with her daughter and India is safe. The media has reported that she’s away from NXIVM (or what’s left of it currently) now.

When questioned by Megyn Kelly about India’s future (with the allusion of possible lingering effects of NXIVM), Catherine smiled at the interviewer. It was an authentic and heartfelt smile that she hadn’t exhibited publicly in a long, long time. “She will be fine,” she replied, then paused as her smile widened a bit: “…more than fine.”

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Cults, True Crime

#NXIVM: Arrest of 4 Women, Including 1 “Broke” Girl?!

Four women who had miraculously avoided arrest until yesterday, were finally handcuffed, and the gravity of their crimes were officially cemented in the headlines following widespread talk and speculation.

The Frank Report and major news outlets reported that Seagram’s liquor heiress Clare Bronfman, 39, the daughter of late billionaire philanthropist Edgar Bronfman, was arrested, along with NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman, 64, her daughter, Lauren Salzman, 42, and the group’s 60-year-old bookkeeper, Kathy Russell. This occurred yesterday on Tuesday, July 24th.

BBC.com reports:

Court documents allege Ms Bronfman, a member of Nxivm’s executive board, was involved in the identity theft of at least two women – including a deceased sexual partner of Mr Raniere. She is also accused of encouraging and assisting in an alleged Nxivm victim’s illegal entry into the US.In a note published on her website last December, Ms Bronfman said she still supported Nxivm after seeing “so much good come from both our programmes and from Keith himself”. Her lawyer Susan Necheles said in a statement that Nxivm was “not a criminal enterprise” but “an organization that helped thousands of people,” according to US media. “The charges against Clare are the result of government overreaching and charging an individual with crimes just because the government disagrees with some beliefs taught by Nxivm and held by Clare,” Ms Necheles said.

As for the other 3 women who were arrested? They, along with Keith Raniere and Allison Mack

are accused of racketeering conspiracy, or attempting to illegally obtain or extort money, and could face up to 20 years in jail, plus an additional maximum 15 years for identity theft conspiracy. The US Department of Justice says the group committed “an array of crimes, including identity theft, extortion, forced labor, sex trafficking, money laundering, wire fraud and obstruction of justice”. FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge William Sweeney said on Tuesday that “the details of these alleged crimes become more and more grim as we continue to dig deeper into the conduct of this organization and its intended mission”.

If you examine pictures of Clare Bronfman from yesterday, you’ll notice that she looks even thinner (note the arms) than she had a couple of years ago. This emaciation is less than modelesque-chic and appears to age her beyond her 39 years. This is not only due to stress, no doubt, but mainly attributable to the starvation diet notoriously associated with NXIVM – and in particular, in keeping with the rules of its DOS (sexual slavery) division.

Clare is also reportedly “broke” for a billionaire heiress after pouring her funds into NXIVM. She was also allegedly assisting with NXIVM founder/”Vanguard” Keith Raniere’s legal defense team. She has a sister, Sara Bronfman, 42, who was in NXIVM and who she may be seriously counting on for financial help (according to Frank Parlato of The Frank Report).

I am wondering if the sister is at risk of being arrested as well. From my understanding, her involvement in the cult had minimized over the years as compared to her more active sibling who took the reigns from Raniere following his arrest. Clare was also extremely active in the terrorism by litigation of NXIVM defectors, former members who had seen the light about the group and its founder and were subjected to endless bogus lawsuits.

This story is still developing….

(Pictured: Clare Bronfman, BBC.com)

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#politics, Cults, Psychology, public figures

#NXIVM: A #Trump Supporting Conspiracy Theorist’s Wet Dream

Frank Parlato, the man who is responsible for bringing NXIVM to your attention through his tenacious and brave blogging – the “whistleblower” who alerted The New York Times to the cult- is generous enough to share others’ wild stories on his blog. He’s also clever and cautious, prefacing those accounts with the disclaimer that they are alleged, rather than confirmed as absolute facts.

Months ago, Stormy Daniels denied, through her rep, that she had ever had anything to do with NXIVM and it’s sexual slavery sorority DOS. Nevertheless, one young man brought forth a rambling tale that sounds like a conspiracy theorist Trump supporter’s wet dream…or a hallucinogen-induced, mania-fueled rant.

Per Parlato’s The Frank Report, FrankReport.com:

The story claims that Anthony Weiner, Huma Abedin, James Alefantis, Eric Schneiderman, and Stormy Daniels joined sex slaver and pedophile Keith Raniere, Allison Mack and the Bronfman heiresses, Clare and Sara, at a NXIVM party to recruit young women to be nannies for children.

Big League Politics’ Patrick Howley writes:

“Ben Szemkus details an experience he had at a 2007 NXIVM party in Hamden, Connecticut. Szemkus, an independent citizen, testifies that he saw porn star Stormy Daniels, and Clinton adviser Huma Abedin and Anthony Weiner.

“NXIVM is a Satanist sex cult that sees its leaders Keith Raniere and Allison Mack standing trial for human trafficking and child sex trafficking.

“’I attended a NXIVM Recruitment Party/Mixer in February 2007 in Hamden, Connecticut in which I met Stormy Daniels as Well as some High Powered Political Figures and NXIVM Founders, Major Supporters and Members. Here is a written statement detailing My experience that night,” writes Ben Szemkus, detailing that Yale University female students were in attendance at this party.’

“Transcripts from Szemkus’ account are presented below. He describes the party as being “The Belly of the Beast.”

You can read more here: https://bigleaguepolitics.com/sex-cult-party-guest-stormy-daniels-schneiderman-huma-and-weiner-were-all-there/.

If it sounds too insane to be true, it probably isn’t…But, sadly, I do know people who will eat this story up voraciously without hesitation.

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Cults, Psychology

#NXIVM: A Focus (Again!) on the Children Who are Victims

In a prior post I wrote about NXIVM’s Rainbow Cultural Garden, a chain of nursery schools for kids of the cult members. I spoke about how the children are immersed in 7 different languages simultaneously which results in confusion, utter babble and delayed speech, as well as attachment issues (because children are separated from parents for lengthy periods.) NXIVM has shut down its professional development centers (where expensive classes are held), but the nursery centers are allegedly still operating.

Here is what one concerned citizen wrote to NXIVM whistleblower Frank Parlato of The Frank Report:

Ferdinand Rinder: A few points on Raniere

by Reporter

By Ferdinand Rinder 

Hi Frank;

First: I wanna thank you for your awesome hard work done so far. I like most your statement in the video interview with Vice News.

“He (Keith) went to win, I (Frank) went to win. He (kR) lost!”

Applause.

Good job well done. Including a big thanks to DOJ.

Second: The Rainbow Cultural Garden operations are mistreating innocent children and as far as we know still up and running –  around the world – with illegal nannies training kids with unproven and unlicensed teachings of KR.

These need to be shut down ASAP and hold the teachers accountable.

Third: The bookkeepers and funding sources of NXIVM, conducting tax fraud by instructing through KR, need to be locked up as well. There is/was a big cash flow by membership fees and there should be taxable income – which I am sure was not reported.

Fourth: The cauterizing doctor and the brain expert doctor – are they still practicing? When do their licenses get revoked? They are a risk to the public.

Now some observations;

Frank, with all due respect to your hard work – much of what you write is below your level – unless you need the clicks – by stressing over and over a sex story.   The judge has proven he is smart and looked through the bail game.

His statements, reported in all media, including your own clear summary, are loud and clear: We keep you [KR] here and roast you slowly. You can waste Clare’s money as long you like but you ain’t going nowhere.

Let it go for now:  You made a cool statement in your video interview which I liked most: “He went to win, I went to win, he lost.”

This statement was presented very cool and convincing and came across very strong.

I’d focus on new subjects with priority to rescue those kids in Rainbow and deprogramming Nxians who wanna leave. If you push them, they may support the gov. with a plea to speed up trial and make sure nothing will be missed.

KR and Allison Mack have sufficient charges in the pipeline, with smaller ones likely to be dropped in favor of bigger ones. It doesn’t matter if he gets three life sentences, he will be locked up for the rest of his life.  This was clear after the last hearing.

Let’s focus on tax fraud. This will be the rope hanging Nancy and the Bronfmans. Be patient, reverse bookkeeping and restatement of their tax returns for 90 companies, will take any accountant weeks or months but I suspect the gov., is working on it.

Finally, does the MDC, where Raniere is being held do STD testing at welcome inspection?  There is no way a person can live for decades in the style Raniere lived without getting something contagious and giving it too.

The parasite.

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Cults, Psychology

#NXIVM: No Bail for Raniere, Operations Shut Down

Keith Raniere was not only denied bail, but Clare Bronfman was brought up in yesterday’s court hearing for the cult leader and co-conspirator Allison Mack.

The Frank Report says Bronfman may have fled to Fiji by way of France, so we can only hope she’s not beyond extradition and will be sitting in a courtroom sometime soon herself.

I had planned to attend yesterday’s hearing and meet up with Toni Natalie (Keith’s ex girlfriend whose life he made a living hell for many years). Unfortunately, family business and a series of necessary appointments got in the way.

Regardless, I think the coup of the day (at least in the eyes of NXIVM’s defectors and the victims of the ridiculously overly litigious Raniere and Bronfman) was that Bronfman’s name was finally brought up and it’s now clear that Clare is in the hot seat – well, not physically yet if she’s in Fiji, but it’s official: There’ zero doubt she’s on the radar screen of federal agents.

Despite Raniere’s lawyers’ pleas for his release on bail, the judge presiding over the case is no pushover. The defendant’s motion included a promise of having security watch him 24/7 to guarantee he’s no flight risk, but the gravity of his crimes certainly don’t warrant special allowances. For now (and hopefully for a VERY long time) he’s restricted to prison life, still able to consume more calories and be far better nourished than the women he allegedly forced to starve for sexual slavery.

The other news out of NXIVM is that all its operations have closed down. It’s actually quite astonishing that it took this long. The following report is from News10.com:

ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) – NXIVM announced it is suspending all operations until further notice.

The Capital Region cult says it will be in touch with more information for anyone currently enrolled in upcoming events and programs.

“While we are disappointed by the interruption of our operations, we believe it is warranted by the extraordinary circumstances facing the company at this time.  We continue to believe in the value and importance of our work and look forward to resuming our efforts when these allegations are resolved.”

Actress Allison Mack, 35, of Brooklyn, N.Y., is facing trafficking charges for her involvement in NXIVM.

Keith Raniere, 57, of Waterford, N.Y., is the leader of the cult that masquerades as a self-group, was arraigned on similar charges.

According to NXIVM, the company’s mission is to “raise human awareness, foster an ethical humanitarian civilization, and celebrate what it means to be human.”

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