In the United States v. Keith Raniere, Allison Mack, Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman and [the hapless] Kathy Russell, one of Bronfman’s attorney, Kathleen E. Cassidy wrote a missive to Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis about relaxing her bail conditions.
Frank Report gave an overview yesterday. Today, I will give a Readers Digest version with comments.
For those who want to enjoy every word of Clare’s motion- see the full PDF version on Frank Report — https://frankreport.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/09/2018-09-07-bronfman-no-126-modify-bail-to-contact-nxivm-members.pdf
Lawyers filings in bold.
Presently, Clare’s appearance in court is secured by a $100 million bond, signed by her mother and brother-in-law, but not her wealthy sister, Sara Bronfman-Igtet. Many speculate Sara did not sign Clare’s bond because she did not want to come into US jurisdiction. The real reason may be that Sara cannot pledge too much of her assets for Clare because she may need to post a similar $100 million bond for herself.
As of now, Clare is confined to her luxury Manhattan apartment – except when she goes on attorney visits and several 90-minute outings per week. She cannot “directly or indirectly associate or have contact with, except in the presence of her attorneys, any past or present NXIVM members” subject to exceptions agreed upon by the prosecution or the judge.
Clare wants the judge to rescind this provision. Her attorney clarifies this request by noting that “She has no interest in contacting any individual who expresses a desire not to be contacted by her.”
This has been her practice for years. If someone expressed a desire not to be contacted by her – or Raniere – [i.e., quit NXIVM], she would sue them. Then there was no contact outside the presence of attorneys.
According to her attorney, Bronfman “has been involved with NXIVM for 16 years, and many of her closest friends are on NXIVM’s ‘stripe path’ or were NXIVM employees or contractors.”
Employees, contractors [some paid under the table] and stripe path are synonymous. All three could be called “NXIVM members.”
Many of them worked at Clare’s direction. In describing NXIVM, I would say Keith is #1 and Clare is #2. Keith placed Clare above Nancy Salzman in 2009, after Barbara Bouchey and others left. Thereafter, Nancy had to brown-nose Clare who, as the financier of NXIVM, wasmuch more important than Salzman..
Of course, everyone was subject to #1 – Vanguard – at all times – even if it pissed them off. Keith was quiet – sometimes tinkling on his piano or pouring forth soft and gentle showers of words. But if he smelled something amiss, that soft man would go to #2 – to create a stink. The person would be expelled from NXIVM, as Clare would plop down a lawsuit or worse – backing it up with her enormous and terrifying wealth.
It’s funny, though Raniere rarely bathed, often smelling of fish about his mouth and tongue – though he claimed he was vegetarian, #2 often smelled worse. Clare was mean, stern, an unwashed pit bull for Raniere, exacting in demands, excellent in execution of orders to destroy members who did not want further contact with him.
Her sister, Sara, while equally wealthy and equally stupid, was not cast in the same mold. She had to work at the meanness required to destroy a life – over someone wanting to leave. Clare came to it naturally. Like Raniere, she was a born hater. She could turn on intimate friends – employees and contractors and those on the stripe path. She turned in an instant and hired lawyers and perjured herself to destroy those who were formerly intimate friends.
Her lawyer writes, “She should be allowed to contact [all NXIVM] individuals …. If the government has a compelling interest in restricting Ms. Bronfman’s contact … it should be required to identify those individuals.”
I think the government has a compelling interest. Some NXIVM members would be terrified if Clare called. Many hope she goes to prison because they know the only time they will ever be safe is when Clare is where she cannot use her wealth to sue, hire private investigators to watch, hack into computers to spy, threaten with phony letters from Mexico to scare, lie and get indictments, to steal freedom. file false criminal complaints to wreak havoc, and any other sinister deed she has done and will do for Raniere.
Her lawyer continues: “Ms. Bronfman is currently 39 years old; her association with NXIVM began when she was approximately 23…. the First Amendment right of association … encompasses … Ms. Bronfman’s right … to “enter into and maintain certain intimate human relationships [without] undue intrusion by the State…. Ms. Bronfman’s closest friends are affiliated with NXIVM. The no-contact provision effectively bars her from communicating with these individuals during the incredibly stressful and isolating experience of criminal prosecution.”
Clare ran NXIVM. It was her money that enabled Raniere to harm women and pummel dissenters. She supported the shunning of members – and legal and extra-legal attacks. Once she turned on employees – and all in NXIVM were, directly or indirectly, her employees [except for Raniere, her sister, Sara, and lovers, Emiliano Salinas and Alex Betancourt] for Clare funded the cult. Those she turned against were not allowed to have intimate associations in NXIVM.
How many times Raniere and Bronfman shunned women who had been in NXIVM for years. Clare shunned women whose entire circle of friends were NXIVM and insisted all members shun those same women – think of Barbara Bouchey, Ivy Nevares or scores of others. Think of the woman imprisoned for 18 months in Clare’s rental property. She did not want to be in Keith’s harem so she was shunned and had no contact with anyone – not even family – for they too were NXIVM.
Now Clare says all her friends are NXIVM-related and does not want to be kept from them. She wants to contact “intimate” friends. Many of these were dependent on her – many still are – for it was her money that fueled the nightmare. Now, Clare is finding out how stressful and isolating it is to be on the other side of the law. She isolated and persecuted people for years. She abused the US Court system that inherently, hugely favors wealth. She is tasting her medicine. A boomerang hit her. She is, in effect, being shunned.
But, of course, there is another reason — NXIVM members are leaving. She can only hope to hold them by offering money or threats. Clare has to hold them or they will turn on her and Raniere. Many know her crimes. She needs to contact them or they may slip away. She needs to make arrangements to pay them. She needs to call and command them. If there is any chance of holding NXIVM together, she must talk to the remaining members and keep them quiet.
She cannot talk to co-defendants – that is prohibited. She can only talk to Sara, who can talk to Michelle and Ben Meyers, who can talk to Nancy and Lauren Salzman – then get back to Sara – who tells Clare. It’s hard to hold a group together using intermediaries. It would be easier if Clare could just reach out and touch someone.
Sara is, of course, trying, but she is in France and cannot muster the same fear factor Clare can. Clare’s brittle personality and shrill tone can send shivers up the spines of members. Sara is too nice on the phone. Clare rules through intimidation.
Her lawyer writes, “The no-contact provision is unjustified … Ms. Bronfman is unable to associate with a large swath of individuals … with NXIVM…. and that has been a core component of Ms. Bronfman’s life for well over a decade …. The government claims [it] is necessary to prevent Ms. Bronfman from intimidating potential witnesses … but the government has presented no evidence….”
This lawyer doesn’t know how NXIVM operates. Clare was Keith’s enforcer. She funded everything and ruled everyone – giving orders as her master commanded or as she thought he would like. Many believe she would kill or die for him.
I believe many NXIVM members now seek to escape. [Consider none of Raniere’s intimate friends are willing to post bail for him if their names are not sealed.] Clare is a danger to everyone who wants out; many are pretending to be in – to avoid her wrath and abide the event of her hoped-for incarceration.
Clare’s attitude, like Raniere’s, is “she who is not with me, is against me.” People will feign being her friend, yet will be terrified if she calls.
Comparisons are odious, of course, but there is a scene in the Wizard of Oz eerily apropos of this – where Moira throws a bucket of water on Clare Bronfman and she melts. Moira thinks Clare’s intimate NXIVM members are angry, especially when the head proctor says, “She’s … she’s dead. You killed her.” Moira tries to explain she had a compelling governmental interest, but the head proctor [I think he had an orange sash] said, “Hail to Moira! That Witch is dead!” Then NXIVM members start joyfully singing acapella.
As in the movie, people will be glad Clare is imprisoned; glad she is sequestered. The only ones who want her out are those she pays. She’s been exceedingly nasty for years to all NXIVM members except her Master, her sister, and sometimes her mother. [She even hacked her father’s computer to spy on him for Raniere]. Clare has no intimate friends.
Her lawyer writes, “The government … points to Ms. Bronfman’s so-called ‘abusive litigation’ as proof of a risk of obstruction… Ms. Bronfman compiled information on NXIVM adversaries … pursued litigation against them. … took action against adverse parties through lawyers …. collecting information about witnesses … [but] Ms. Bronfman has no intention of suing any potential witness and… is willing to agree not to sue anyone in connection with NXIVM ….
“[A] letter submitted to the Court by attorney Neil Glazer … on behalf of … former NXIVM members who claim to have been ‘terrorized’ by litigation financed by Ms. Bronfman. …[is] devoid of evidence, and entitled to zero weight and … come from self-interested unidentified parties who may obtain a litigation-related advantage [over] Ms. Bronfman…. if these individuals do not want Ms. Bronfman to contact them, Ms. Bronfman will readily agree not to do so.”
Just let Clare know who you are and that you intend to sue her and she will not contact you outside the presence of her attorneys. Also, leave your address.
The lawyer for Clare adds, “The no-contact provision bars Ms. Bronfman from contacting a wide range of [NXIVM] individuals … The likely number of covered individuals ranges from several hundred to over a thousand. …. Only a miniscule fraction of these are potential witnesses. … [for] the vast majority of covered individuals, there is no government interest whatsoever in restricting contact…
“If the government wants to prevent Ms. Bronfman from contacting … witnesses, the government should provide a list of these witnesses…. It is no answer to say that Ms. Bronfman can request the government’s consent to contact specific individuals. This … shifts the burden to Ms. Bronfman … [This]… improperly requires Ms. Bronfman to identify her close friends to the government, which can then use that information in its investigation… Ms. Bronfman has serious concerns that identifying the individuals … will expose them to unwanted attention from the government and hostility from third parties. …. at least two individuals whose names have been raised in connection with bail conditions for the defendants in this case have been shortly thereafter approached by the FBI at their homes; other individuals whose names have surfaced (or could be determined even if not stated on the record) in bail proceedings have been publicly identified on anti-NXIVM websites or been investigated by their employers. Ms. Bronfman should not be required to expose her friends and acquaintances to this sort of scrutiny in order to communicate with them. … the government has identified Ms. Bronfman’s bookkeeper [Shelly Tarzia?] as a potential witness. Ms. Bronfman does not at this time challenge the restriction that she not have contact with this individual outside the presence of counsel.”
So Clare backed down on contacting Shelly. That is wise since she could fall into an obstruction trap.
Her lawyer continues. “It is also no answer to say that Ms. Bronfman is free to meet with these individuals in the presence of counsel. Unless the communications involve some matter relevant to her defense … there is nothing that would justify the presence of a lawyer.”
Except to prevent Clare from falling into an obstruction trap.
“Ms. Bronfman’s legal counsel cannot … supervise her daily life … Ms. Bronfman cannot … be expected to pay for such services. …. if the Court does not rescind the no-contact provision, it should require the government to identify by name the specific individuals it wants to shield from unsupervised contact with Ms. Bronfman.”
There could be a third way. Rather than the government listing witnesses, or giving Clare carte blanche to intimidate NXIVM members, how about a compromise: If there are any NXIVM members who want to speak with Clare, they could contact her attorney. The phone number is (2I2) 997-7400.
Let friends of Clare come forward – confidentially – and tell Kathleen Cassiday, “I want to be on Clare’s contact list. Keep it secret, but ask her to call me – I want to be one of her intimate friends.”
The sum total of friends who will volunteer will probably number less than three. No one wanted to be friends with her before. Her “friends” were held in place by wealth and fear, bribes and threats and sometimes a shared desire to follow a madman. Clare deluded herself into thinking NXIVM members, dependent on her, were friends. They might have loved Raniere, but they despised her.
There is no one clamoring for contact with her now. There is no one who misses her [unless she paid their bills] and while she, in her loneliness, is unable to buy friendships – no one has offered them for sale lately.
I believe there are people who would be terrified to tell her, however, that they want no contact. They are afraid to speak and afraid not to speak. They may number anywhere from several hundred to over a thousand who don’t want to speak to Clare. It is no answer to say they should tell the government, for they are afraid to call the government as well.
Protect NXIVM members. It’s easy to do. Require NXIVM members who want a call from Clare to voluntarily contact Clare’s attorney. In other words, Clare, don’t call us – we’ll call you.
Then we can know they are her intimate – and not intimidated – friends.