While many are calling for Scott Johnson to be banned, in the interest of fairness, I have chosen to publish his latest comment. It is only fair since the article he commented on, is in part about him.
Scott Johnson has done, actually, a line by line rebuttal of the post Joe O’Hara responds to carping critic Scott Johnson
The original story is in bold, Scott’s responses are in regular font.
By Scott Johnson
Scott Johnson recently criticized Joe O’Hara on this forum, following Joe’s posting of a story on Nancy Salzman.
Scott Johnson [SJ]: I didn’t criticize Joe, I asked him to come clean about his El Paso conviction. And now look at what we’ve learned, more potential prosecutor abuse. But others – females and beta males – would rather read about a private concert that Joe was late to, and Nancy being pissed she didn’t get the presents she thought she deserved. I’m not nearly as interested in that compared to prosecutorial misbehavior, but I guess that’s just me.
First Scott carped on Joe for his conviction on what I firmly believe were trumped up federal charges in Texas. [If asking for information is carping, so be it.] I am personally convinced Joe was the victim of both NXIVM – which had previously bankrupted him – and falsely indicted him – and the DOJ’s coercive plea bargaining tactics.
SJ: Then why stay silent about this abuse? It will only get worse for others by not saying anything, just like the dearth of criticism about MLM scams. Is THAT what you want? I don’t, but I guess that’s just me.
Scott wouldn’t likely know much about Joe’s challenge against a ruthless federal prosecutor, quite possibly NXIVM influenced, and a bias, if not corrupt judge set to hang Joe down El Paso way.
SJ: Not only that, I didn’t know. That’s why I ask questions, to find out additional information. I know, that’s a strange way to obtain information, by asking questions, but I guess that’s just me.
The whole charge against Joe was insane. It concerned a mere $5,000 political contribution – made in the open, fully reported, made by check [not cash].
SJ: How did Joe’s $5,000 political contribution get turned into a $2.89 MILLION restitution payment? Others may not care, but I guess that’s just me.
The official who accepted the money was quite possibly corrupt but Joe got no benefit from him.
SJ: A corrupt politician? Say it ain’t so, Joe. I think most politicians are corrupt, but that’s just me.
The sum was insignificant.
SJ: The sum looks like it was also just a small part of the story, but others may not share that view, I guess it’s just me.
It was a legal contribution.
SJ: Did the DOJ say it was an illegal contribution? Others may be mesmerized by the $5,000 shiny object, but I’m not. I guess that’s just me.
There was no quid pro quo.
SJ: A lot of people, besides Joe, pleaded guilty. If not quid pro quo, then what did they plead guilty to, receiving years of prison time and paying millions of dollars? Others may not see the lack of balance, I guess that’s just me.
But there was a vengeful DOJ.
SJ: Vengeful or bought off? I don’t see that Joe did anything against the DOJ for them to be vengeful for, but I guess that’s just me.
Joe was facing 20 years and a wrathful, biased, likely politically motivated judge.
SJ: See above comment regarding the DOJ. Ditto, but I guess that’s just me.
So he took a plea bargain.
SJ: And remained quiet publicly about it as far as I know, why is this? Why aren’t others asking this question, or is it just me?
A sure 2.5 years versus a risk of 20.
SJ: Joe could have spent 2.5 years putting together his story of NXIVM and DOJ corruption. Did others ask why he didn’t do this, or is that just me?
Innocent people in America do this every day with a DOJ run amok.
SJ: If they don’t speak up, it will only get worse. Do others not see this, or is that just me?
We have now achieved in America the exact opposite of Blackstone’s rule.
SJ: Thanks to not speaking up. I expect this to happen, is it just me?
Blackstone wrote that “it is better that 10 guilty men go free than one innocent suffer.”
SJ: I agree with this and am willing to speak up about it, but it appears it’s just me.
The Department of Justice in America has reversed that principle.
SJ: If people don’t speak up, what do you expect? It will only get worse if we don’t speak up, right? Does anybody agree, or is that just me?
In the interest of conviction statistics, in the interest of career, and the obloquy of admitting a mistake, the DOJ now practices in effect the reverse of Blackstone: It is better that 10 innocent persons are convicted [plea bargains] than one guilty one go free.
SJ: Let’s just stay quiet and maybe it will stop. Is that stupid thinking, or is it just me?
Now is not the time to discuss it, but I have evidence that NXIVM was working through lawyers to help insure Joe was indicted on these phony charges.
SJ: Why NOT? Now is past due the time to discuss it. Or is that just me?
It was Nxivm’s policy to incentive lawyers and consultants to get an indictment on one of their enemies.
SJ: I think NXIVM should have been turned in for that a long time ago. Or is that just me?
Joe was an enemy.
SJ: Joe should have been far more public about being NXIVM’s enemy, in my opinion. Does anybody agree, or is that just me?
My bet is that money changed hands when Joe was indicted.
SJ: If your thesis is correct, I can’t see why money didn’t change hands. Isn’t that obvious, or is that just me?
But, knowing nothing of the background, Scott Johnson wrote:
SJ: Why would I know about the background? Does anybody think I should have known, or is that just me?
“Joe, you left out the part about being sorry for ripping off the school system in El Paso, TX.”
SJ: This would have been the perfect place for Joe to answer the question as Frank did for him, throughout this story. Does anybody agree, or is that just me?
Joe O’Hara replied,
SJ: Except he replied in an unresponsive manner. Shame on you counselor, you should know better. Does anybody agree, or is that just me?
1) Have you ever considered the possibility of there being a link between El Paso and NXIVM?
SJ: My response: “Then spill the beans about the El Paso and NXIVM connection, I’m sure I would be more interested in that than some party where Nancy threw a hissy fit.” I learned that technique in Amway, answer a question with a question, it keeps you in control of the conversation, except in this case all it did was expose Joe as being evasive, does anybody agree with this assessment, or is that just me?
(2) Why do you think that I have to explain every aspect of my life to you just because I occasionally post a story about NXIVM? If you don’t like what I write, don’t read it.
SJ: My response: “I didn’t ask you to explain every aspect of your life, just the part where you were caught ripping off a school system, became a convicted felon, and spent a few years in prison. Go ahead and throw rocks, but don’t pretend that you’re a good guy. A little honest confession is good for the soul, as they say.” I like what anybody writes, it exposes them for what they are, right Joe? Or is that just me?
Scott further commented on the story.
SJ: Note that Frank hasn’t posted my response yet. I think he should, or is that just me?
He was referring to the part of Joe’s post where he observed Kathy Russell working as almost a slave in Nancy Salzman’s garden – deprived in the hot sun of something to drink.
SJ: Actually, I only referred to the gardening story in general, not the specific part about Nancy being a jerk by not offering Kathy something to drink, and there were several parts to the gardening story. Should others be concerned about being taken out of context, or is that just me?
Scott wrote, “If Joe had shared this story several years ago, it may have saved a lot of people from harm. [I believe that is a true statement, but perhaps it’s just me.] But like most people, he didn’t.”
SJ: Ditto the above comment.
Finally Joe replied at length to Scott.
SJ: And it’s about time. Or is that just me?
Before getting to Joe’s response I think it is important for me to note that Joe is certainly one of the handful of people that actually had a hand in taking down NXIVM.
SJ: Not very much publicly, at least that’s my view. Or is that just me?
He has been at it longer and harder and suffered more for it than anyone I can think of.
SJ: Then he should have the most to be rewarded for by publicly exposing NXIVM, right? Or is that just me?
Even Toni Natalie, who fought the longest, would probably have to acknowledge that Joe fought as hard or the hardest and suffered as much or more than even she did.
SJ: I’m sure Toni has lots of stories she hasn’t told as well, right Toni? Or is it just me?
And Toni did say that if she had to choose anyone to be in a foxhole with – it would be Joe O’Hara.
SJ: The idea of a foxhole isn’t to ONLY hide, it’s to shoot back as well. Or is that just me?
Joe never forgets what side he is on.
SJ: I doubt anybody in a foxhole would forget which side they’re on, or is that just me?
In any event, Scott knows nothing of this.
SJ: hat’s right, that’s why I ask questions. Isn’t that how to obtain information, or is that just me?
How could he?
SJ: Ditto the above comment.
He wasn’t there during the thick of the fight.
SJ: Nor did I claim to be, that’s why I ask questions. Don’t others ask questions to gain information, or is that just me?
When it was actually dangerous to be an enemy of NXIVM.
SJ: Joe should have been more public with his campaign, I think it would have exposed the corruption much better. But perhaps that’s just me.
Scott often condemns people for posting anonymous comments.
SJ: Factually wrong. I call people cowards for not using their real name or a consistent fake name. But that’s not just me, that’s the facts.
But if he faced the terrorism by litigation and by extra-legal means, narrowly focused on a few individuals, with the Bronfman money and Raniere’s hatred of people – Scott might better understand the reason for prudence.
SJ: If everybody spoke up, the Bronfman money and Raniere’s hatred couldn’t keep up with them. I faced the much wealthier Amway scam and demanded an extremely favorable (to me) settlement. I know what it’s like to stand up to a Goliath – and win. But perhaps that’s just me.
Why people even today are still frightened.
SJ: People today should be much less afraid, as Raniere has been rotting in jail for almost a year and the Bronfmans et al are being closely watched. Now is the time to come out in my opinion, or is that just me?
These Nxivm bastards could influence courts, prosecutors, State Troopers, even the Department of Justice – and who knows what they would do – if the courts and prosecutors failed them?
SJ: If it’s really that bad, then why not just close down this website and throw in the towel? Or is that just me?
Scott has made a lot of noise about Amway.
SJ: Not enough, or they wouldn’t be operating. If others helped, they could have been shut down by now in my opinion, or is that just me?
So have a lot of others.
SJ: Ditto the above answer, and let the record show I have reached out to many, with precious little results. Does that suck, or is that just me?
Amway is a much bigger operation than Nxivm and has not been known to do the illegal, unethical things Nxivm does to its enemies.
SJ: I’ve previously listed several examples of deaths caused by MLMs (not to mention numerous divorces, bankruptcies, debt, destroyed relationships, etc.) when accused that other MLMs aren’t as bad as NXIVM, and got no replies. Amway is smarter at hiding things than NXIVM, even though they don’t claim to have the smartest man in the world leading it. Besides, why do illegal, unethical things to just your enemies? Why not do them to anybody who does business with you? Do you know what I’m referring to? Or is that just me?
It’s safe to criticize Amway.
SJ: No, it isn’t safe, except for my lawyer’s checking account. I got sued for speaking, remember? Or is that just me?
For many years, until Joe and others made it different, it was very unsafe to criticize Nxivm.
SJ: How did Joe make it “different?” I don’t know how he did that, or is that just me?
In any event, Scott chides Joe for not telling a certain story earlier.
SJ: I also carped/chided/criticized (just asked a question) a couple of months ago, and got no answer. Do others think Joe should have responded to the earlier story, or is that just me?
This finally prompted Joe to write a longer reply to Scott – which deserves in my opinion – its own separate post:
SJ: I agree, and I think my response does as well, or is that just me?
SJ: Finally, right folks? Or is that just me?
“These are the kind of comments that confirm just how uninformed you are when it comes to the history of NXIVM.
SJ: I never claimed to be informed, that’s why I ask questions, to be better informed. Don’t others ask questions for the same reason, or is that just me?
“Beginning in early 2005, Toni Natalie and I started turning over every bit of information we had to a variety of governmental agencies and officials (This information was compiled into several 5″, 3-ring binders).
SJ: Where is the link to all of those several 5″, 3-ring binders? What’s the downside of providing more information. Joe has already served his time. All this does is cover up more apparent corruption, which is the exact opposite of what needs to happen. You should have put it online as well to get public support, as well as others who could agree with and add to your stories. Does anybody agree, or is that just me?
“This included federal agencies and officials, New York State agencies and officials, and agencies and officials in Albany County and Saratoga County.
SJ: And you’re claiming all of them are on the take? Does that sound outlandish to anybody else, or is that just me?
“In addition to turning over materials, we also participated in numerous meetings to explain everything we knew about what was going on – and to answer questions about NXIVM’s operations.
SJ: What specifically did you explain? Others probably would like to know, or is that just me?
Once again, this included federal officials, New York State officials, and officials from Albany County and Saratoga County.
SJ: Ditto the above two comments.
“Along the way, Toni and I identified a few people who were willing to put their careers – and, in some cases, their lives – at risk to take on NVIVM.
SJ: Good, we need more people like them, in my opinion. Or is that just me?
This included Dennis Yusko and Jim Odato from The Times Union, Chet Hardin from Metroland, and John Tighe from Saratoga In Decline.
SJ: Are all of those reporters/media types and not other NXIVM victims? I think there were numerous other victims you should have recruited, or is that just me?
Later, Frank Parlato also stepped up to the front-line of the battle.
SJ: Frank had good reasons to step up, he was scammed by NXIVM, sued by NXIVM, apparently got the government to sue him, and has access to media outlets. Where is everybody else? Hiding behind their random, fake names, accusing everybody else of using random, fake name. That’s my take, or is that just me?
“Those of us who have been engaged in this battle from the beginning are always pleased to see more people joining in to help take down Raniere’s criminal enterprise.
SJ: You’re welcome. You may not think I’m on the side of exposing NXIVM, but you would be wrong. Others may not see it that way, perhaps that’s just me.
“But we really don’t have time to respond to uninformed people who question our motives or our tactics — or who make baseless allegations about what we did or didn’t do in terms of a specific issue at a different point in time.
SJ: You just took the time and I’ve explained why you should do all of the above, and more. IF you want to win, in my opinion. Or is that just me?
“You claim to be an expert on Amway – and to have been involved in a long-term battle to take that operation down.
SJ: Yes, that’s not only a claim, it’s true. But perhaps that’s just me.
When it comes to Amway, I don’t question your history, your motivation, your strategy, or your tactics – and I certainly don’t make baseless allegations about what you did or didn’t do in your battle against Amway because I don’t know enough about that situation to raise any such questions.
SJ: Questions are how people get information, why wouldn’t you ask them? Probably because you don’t care. Does anybody think Joe cares about Amway and other MLM scams, or is that just me?
“Nor do I raise questions about any other aspect of your life that is unrelated to Amway because I don’t see why such questions would be relevant.
SJ: Have I asked you any questions about any other aspect of your life that is unrelated to NXIVM? I thought I did when I asked about your felony conviction, but it looks like I was wrong. So we really don’t know what is relevant or not, except in your legalistic manner of thinking, right Joe? Or is that just me?
“But that’s just me…”
SJ: Yes, it is just you.