Guest View: In Defense of Joe O’Hara

[The following is an informed submission from a reader]

By Raniere-watcher

Joe O’Hara was hired by Raniere-world for business and PR advice in the early 2000s.  Although NXIVM claimed that they hired him as an attorney, his contractual agreement specifically excluded the provision of any “legal services.”.

Raniere-world’s big problem at the time was bad press due to the Sutton family hiring Rick Ross to convince a son to leave Raniere-world, which resulted in some of their lesson material getting to Ross. Ross commissioned some psychologists to analyze it and published their analysis (still easily found online).

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Joseph O’Hara was acquitted of computer trespassing.

Raniere-world both sued (and lost all the way up to the Supreme Court) and hired shady detectives to dig up dirt on Ross.

O’Hara did facilitate the lawsuits, but not the detective work, some of which was clearly illegal.

When O’Hara found what NXIVM’s private investigators were doing, he reported to Keith Raniere that his minions were breaking the law, that they needed to stop, and that O’Hara would not participate. He didn’t actually go to the authorities, but he became a threat. So, Mr. Raniere turned his lawyers loose on Mr. O’Hara, with multiple civil lawsuits, criminal charges, etc.

The legal bills essentially bankrupted Mr. O’Hara, and Mr. Raniere’s lawyers then interfered with the bankruptcy case (another Raniere tactic used against many of his “enemies”).

The civil and criminal cases against O’Hara directly involving Raniere-world were all dropped or decided in O’Hara’s favor.

But he did plead guilty in a plea-bargain deal in a completely unrelated case. Multiple people in the El Paso, Texas school district were convicted of taking bribes to grant contracts, and one of Mr. O’Hara’s companies had made one $5,000 contribution to the re-election campaign of one of the bribe takers. The recipient (probably in a plea bargain to reduce his sentence on other, bigger bribes) said it was a bribe from Mr. O’Hara’s local rep. The local rep (probably in a plea bargain) said it was a bribe and that his boss,  Mr. O’Hara, was responsible.

Mr. O’Hara has always maintained that the $5,000 was a campaign donation from a Political Action Committee (PAC) his company had in Texas (it had similar PACs in many states). Facing a maximum term of 20 years (a life sentence at his age), and nearly bankrupted by Mr. Raniere, Mr. O’Hara later pled guilty and received a three year sentence.


About the author

Frank Parlato

1 Comment

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  • This is so blatantly false. Who is sourcing this information? A three second google search produces the final decision and order against Joseph O’Hara where he is ordered by a Federal District Court Judge to pay the Bronfman’s $3.2 million for the money he stole from them. Read the decision,
    all his bullshit stories are decided as baseless by the Federal District Court Judge.

    So I guess the statement in this post above “The civil and criminal cases directly involving Raniere-world were all dropped or decided in O’Hara’s favor.” is a total fabrication.

    Joe, why don’t you pay the money back? You got it from the Bronfmans. Where did it go?

    Maybe it went to pay your legal bills in the MASSIVE RICO LAWSUIT filed against you and your companies by Mecca Tech Inc.? Where a $10 Million default judgement was being entered into so you and your companies were forced to file for bankruptcy? A week later?
    Please, you had massive problems with other companies and the Feds before, during, and after NXIVM. Your continued mingling of your affairs to paint your problems as all because of Keith Raniere has been the biggest destructive negative force against the truth about real NXIVM victims ever coming out.

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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