TV Special on NXIVM Cult to Feature Parlato

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Owner and Publisher of the Niagara Reporter Frank Parlato


By: Tony Farina


Perhaps Rolling Stone best captured the essence of Frank Parlato’s dogged pursuit of sex cult master Keith Raniere in a story published in May, just before the start of Raniere’s sensational six-week trial that ended last month with his conviction on racketeering and sex trafficking charges by a federal court jury in Brooklyn.

Parlato, the publisher of the Niagara Falls Reporter who also owns Artvoice, was named in the Rolling Stone story as a former NXIVM publicist turned whistleblower “whose independent reporting is widely credited with helping spur the FBI investigation” into the self-help group led by Raniere.  Many other newspapers and blog sites have also credited Parlato’s work with putting an end to the NXIVM’s sex-slave ring of terror.

Parlato says he blew the whistle on Raniere’s crimes to the FBI in 2015 and he followed that up with countless stories about the ritual sex abuse and branding activities in blog accounts and in newspaper reports which finally succeeded in attracting the attention of federal investigators.  “It was the branding [of the women] that finally got the government’s attention,” said Parlato.  

Parlato’s relentless public pursuit of Raniere and his wicked sex cult activities finally resulted in the indictment of the “genius” NXIVM master and guilty pleas from several of his associates, including the rich and famous, leading to the trial that ended with Raniere’s conviction.

During that trial, several women testified they were branded with Raniere’s initials as part of their involvement in what prosecutors called a secrety society of “sex slaves” within the NXIVM commununity near Albany.  It took less than five hours to convict Raniere who faces up to life in prison when he’s sentenced Sept. 25.  Raniere is expected to appeal, possibly with fianancial help from Clare Bronfman, one of the Seagram’s heiresses who bankrolled Raniere’s cult and is now on probation.


The mark that Raniere branded on more than 50 women.


But there is still much more to report on the NXIVM story and Investigation Discovery will produce a two-hour special on members of the NXIVM cult who have either died or disappeared in a December special called “The Lost Women of NXIVM,” featuring the work of Frank Parlato, that will be aired in 150 countries.

“They (Investigative Discovery) have been in Niagara Falls working on the special and I have spent days with them,” said Parlato.  “They have done a great deal of preliminary work and I will be traveling to various locations, including Alaska, Seattle, Los Angeles, Austin, and Albany – former headquarters of Nxivm, with them to try and capture the extent and yes, the still unknown pieces, of this horrible tale of the brutal cult led by Raniere.”

The Discovery-owned true-crime and mystery network Investigation Discovery selected Apple Entertainment to produce the special with the goal of taking viewers inside the active investigation to explore what really happened to Kristin Snyder, Gina Hutchinson, and other women of the cult by tracking down past members, informants and eyewitnesses.  Frank Parlato will be featured for his experience with NXIVM as a former publicist and for his tireless and extensive work in revealing the full extent of the atrocities under Raniere’s reign.


Frank Parlato was relentless in his coverage of the NXIVM sex cult that branded and extorted women. He did everything that he could to expose the group for what it was, including non-stop calls for the FBI to investigate the allegations (as seen here). Fortuantely, the FBI did listen and Keith Raniere, along with other top lieutenants, including famed Smallville actress Allison Mack, were arrested in March of 2018. In fact, Huffpost reported that his arrest took place moments before he was to have group sex with six such slaves that he branded.


It was Parlato’s work several years ago as an investigative reporter that ended the monopoly of the Maid of the Mist’s owner Jimmy Glynn had on the iconic boat rides, resulting in a windfall for the Canadian government and a bigger return for New York State government.

Robin Milbrand has known Frank Parlato for more than 40 years, and he credits Parlato’s success as a reporter to his ability to keep going no matter the odds.

“No one can outthink him or outwork him,” said Milbrand, “it’s that simple.  He won’t ever quit.”


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