The NXIVM Extravaganza | Moira Kim Penza, Robert Gavin, and Vanessa Grigoriadis

The NXIVM Extravaganza | Moira Kim Penza, Robert Gavin, and Vanessa Grigoriadis

This epiosde is sponsored by Better Help.

Hey Listener, you asked for a greatest hits medley of all our NXIVM related guests in one or two meaty episodes.And hear ye, hear ye we have delivered. This is our second NXIVM extravaganza, and we hope you dig it. We’ll be back soon with all new episodes, and until then you can always hang out with us on Patreon at if you can’t get enough of our culty, culty content. But now…let’s dig into the main course shall we?

Keith Raniere’s trial was at the center of The Vow Season 2 – and this episode is taking you even further into the courtroom circus.


We’re featuring insights from three people who had as close a look as one could get.


First, you’ll hear from Moira Kim Penza – the prosecutor who brought Keith Raniere to justice. Her accomplishments are mighty: Like Keith’s conviction on all counts including racketeering and sex trafficking and a brisk 120 year sentence. Moira’s groundbreaking approach to the case has been credited with paving the way for other sex trafficking prosecutions against powerful individuals. In other words: She’s a total badass. In this episode, Moira sits down with Sarah and Nippy to talk about what it’s like to take on a world-class dirtbag (our wording, not hers) and what really chaps her ass about NXIVM’s Voldemort. More about today’s guest: Moira is now in private practice as a litigator, and a partner at Wilkinson Stekloff. Crain’s New York business named her in the 40 under 40 list, she’s been ranked as one of Bloomberg Law’s 40 under 40, and her legal analysis has been featured in The NY Times, CNN, ABC, NPR and Daily Beast. 


Next you’ll hear from Robert Gavin. Robert has been a news reporter for 28 years, having also worked for two years as an editor. Originally from Staten Island, Gavin began his career by covering the New York City police and fire departments, the NYS Capitol, State and Federal Courts, various murder trials, and cases involving terrorism, the mafia, street gangs, and political corruption. And eventually, Robert’s role in the NXIVM trials and their coverage would play a crucial part in bringing down Keith Raniere.


Finally, you’ll hear from Vanessa Grigoriadis, who is an award-winning longform journalist and podcaster, having published profiles on the likes of Karl Lagerfeld, Lady Gaga, and Arianna Huffington. So how did she get tied up in NXIVM’s bullshit while also reporting on the cult? Well, the short answer is: anyone and everyone is susceptible to coercive control and persuasion, even members of the press. The long answer? Well, you’ll just have to listen to find out. 


Without further adieu. Here’s our NXIVM medley part two. Also…

Let it be known far and wide, loud and clear that…

The views and opinions expressed on A Little Bit Culty do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the podcast. Any content provided by our guests, bloggers, sponsors or authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, group, club, organization, business individual, anyone or anything. Nobody’s mad at you, just don’t be a culty fuckwad.

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Executive Producers: Sarah Edmondson & Anthony Ames

Production Partner: Citizens of Sound

Producer: Will Retherford

Senior Producer: Jess Tardy

Writer: Holly Zadra

Theme Song: “Cultivated” by Jon Bryant co-written with Nygel Asselin