Irish Woman who rescued daughter from NXIVM – talks about cults

By A Mother In Ireland

Catherine Oxenberg’s book Captive arrived a couple of days ago. I’m about half way through.   Part of me can see how they got caught in this NXIVM deceit.

I was almost caught in a mess myself several times when I was in my 20s and 30s.  The first was a neighbour who tried to recruit my husband and I into Amway. They wined and dined us in 1981.

I smelt it at 50 yards and that was the end of the matter – but not for him and his wife. A few years later they were bankrupt, divorced and homeless. They gave up everything for Amway.

The next lot I had to tackle were professional opera singers. I had trained for 12 years when I was young and I was encouraged to attend this husband and wife team who had performed all over the world from Glyndebourne to La Scala.

I knew as soon as I met them there was something edgy. They had three children – ages 9, 11 and 13. They roped me into to minding their children for 17 days. It turned into something from a Stephen King horror movie. I found out they were involved in a rebirthing cult. I confronted them when they came home and I hoofed it.

Two years later, Paul ,the husband turned up at our door full of remorse. He spilled out a horror story. They ended up divorced. She went to Australia. They lost their house, lost their kids and he was dead at age 59. Very sad.

The third was in 1988.  I was standing at the school gate waiting for our first daughter and was pregnant at the time. Several mothers became very friendly and invited me for coffee at one of the homes.
All was nice and innocent until the conversation turned to religion. They belonged to a cult/sect called the Community of the King and like the others before, they were incredibly keen to rope in my husband and I.
I played it cool went and did some research – which in those days was not the internet but more like gumshoe behaviour. In a week I had it well figured out. It was a hodgepodge of religious control freakery, money making and multilevel marketing.
It was rather like a miniature version of ESP with a dollop of religion.   I politely declined to join. They did not give up easily Then I had to play hardball and off they went. Still I had to meet these people for years at the school gate.
The head honcho of this lot was Philip Crossey, a well-known solicitor. It ended horrifically after about 20 years. Families were rent apart. Philip went on the run and bust his solicitors practice, changed his name, married a foreign national doctor, blew the money, ended up in prison, ignored his diabetes, had both feet amputated and died 18 months ago at age 60. He left his wife and four children almost destitute.
So now you can see how I smelt toast burning coming out of NXIVM and the women who were so eager to “help” my daughter and so – with my own research and the help of the Frank Report to back me – I was able to rescue my daughter from the cult – in the nick of time.

I had several things going in my favour. The first was an inquiring mind. The second, a wonderful, honest, normal, well- rounded, intelligent, clued in, deeply loving parents who were in business. I did manage to listen to them and learn from them. Without a doubt that helped saved our bacon many times.

The older I get, the more I appreciate my parents and I was not an easy child, but the advice must have penetrated eventually.
But it did not protect us from our own children getting hooked into things, including my youngest daughter coming – I don’t know how close – to being branded – but believe me they were well advised and warned.
I was in my 20s and 30s when these cults were trying to hook us in. Yes I had the wisdom to resist but perhaps if I had the lifestyle of some of the people being targeted by the ESP bunch, perhaps I too could have fallen for it.  Who am I to judge? Their powers of persuasion can be mighty.
And of course I have a  “slice of Frank Report ” every day to keep me posted.

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Frank Parlato

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