My view on Joe O’Hara and the importance of his work in taking Nxivm down

By Frank Parlato

My publishing of Scott Johnson’s rebuttal in response to Joe O’Hara’s post should NOT be interpreted as a slight to what Joe O’Hara has done to unhinge Nxivm over the long years.

He was behind many news stories in the early days and I have seen scores of emails and hundreds of documents he sent to authorities trying to get them interested in investigation Nxivm.

Joe was the one who first exposed Rainbow Cultural Garden and brought attention to the mystery child being taught by Raniere. He was also the one who later exposed that that child was the son of Raniere.

He worked with John Tighe to expose Raniere. He was virtually the sole ally of Toni Natalie for years, helping her to fight back from the jealous monster.

He provided counsel and advice to Toni and Susan Dones and Kim Woolhouse and Barbara Bouchey – all of whom fought the monster.

Joe was the one who provided Rick Ross with critical information about Nxivm illegally spying on him.

He provided reporter Chet Hardin with important information for stories and was a named source on numerous stories in the Albany Times Union.

All the fighters – silent or vocal – of Nxivm knew Joe was in there fighting – using his tactical brilliance to fight the monsters.

That gave everyone confidence.

Scott Johnson likes to talk of women and beta males. But for years Joe was the only man helping the women fight Nxivm.

He provided strength and courage. And it took guts, real guts to put your name on things; to openly be named in stories when you knew Raniere would use Bronfman money to get you.

Still everyone relied on Joe’s strength and brilliance when the war with Nxivm had only a few fighters.

And in 2012 – you talk about making it all public – Joe O’Hara laid the complete or near-complete blueprint of 15 years of Nxivm crimes – in exquisite detail in his lawsuit.

if only the authorities had listened then – how many people’s lives would not have been ruined.

Is that Joe’s fault?

Could he have done it any better?

The amount of work that went into that lawsuit is stupendous to think about. He did it pro se too.

The lawsuit is as long as a novella and dives into excruciating detail. He lists hundreds of crimes and hundreds of possible defendants.

He lists all the abusive attorneys. He names all the shell companies Raniere created.

How can anyone say Joe O’Hara did not speak up?

How much more speaking up can anyone do?

I could list hundreds of other actions Joe took. Not all of them were published.

Remember – prior to Frank Report [Dec. 2015] and after Tighe’s home was raided and he shut down Saratoga in Decline [October 2013] and Jim Odato resigned from the Albany Times Union – there was a long, silent gap of media coverage on Nxivm.

No wonder Raniere thought he could get away with branding.

He had Joe in prison. He had Toni indicted. He had me indicted. He had the media silenced. He had state troopers seemingly in his pocket. He had prosecutors doing his bidding and indicting his enemies.

He had judges in Mexico waiting to imprison any one of his enemies he could lure there.

He had bankrupted and indicted Barbara Bouchey. He had bankrupted Susan Dones. He had all his enemies vanquished by 2015. The same year he started branding women.

He had Joe in prison.

No wonder he felt he could start blackmailing and branding women.

Joe O’Hara has fought Nxivm for 13 years. And except for the time he was unfairly and wrongfully imprisoned, he was fighting them constantly.

Other than Toni Natalie, no one can say they fought for so long.

Joe O’Hara deserves accolades and great honor for his work.

He went to work for Nxivm as a consultant – in Octgober 2003. Saw crimes. Tried to persuade his clients to desist from committing crimes. They refused.

He quit. They went after him, spending millions on him literally to destroy him. They almost succeeded.

By a singular quirk of fate – Joe was incarcerated for 2.5 years at the same prison Keith Raniere is now being held.

Keith has been at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn for about 9 months – about a third of the time Joe spent there.

It will be likely another 10 months before Keith goes to trial – so he will likely be there for a year and a half – before trial.

On the day Joe got out of prison, he again took up the fight against Raniere.

He helped land him in jail. And unlike O’Hara, I doubt Raniere will ever be getting out.

Thanks, Joe.

About the author

Frank Parlato

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[…] In reply to Scott Johnson (@ScottTexJohnson). […]

Leon Festinger
Leon Festinger
4 years ago

Thank you for this editorial. It serves to highlight the courage and dedication it took to keep shining a light on NXIVM and all the bad actors gathered within its upper echelon. People throwing out thoughtless comments show their ignorance. Everyone who never gave up needs to be commended.

4 years ago

Poetic Justice.

Hot Sauce and Pizza, Pussy sans Garlic
Hot Sauce and Pizza, Pussy sans Garlic
4 years ago

I agree that Scott’s relentless attacks on Joe O’Hara are unwarranted and seem driven by a personal hatred of Joe for whatever reason.

Whenever Joe shows up to write a good article to give us insight into something about NXIVM, Scott unloads both barrels into Joe’s chest and then quickly reloads to empty a second barrage into him as well.

Scott kinda reminds me of Lyle Menendez, metaphorically speaking… After shooting his mom & dad and leaving them dying on the floor, he ‘reloaded’ his shotgun and emptied another barrage into his mom just for good measure.

Except with Scott, the battle isn’t over after that. lol.

Even if Joe takes the high road and doesn’t return fire, Scott then lobs a hand grenade towards Joe just for good measure, with another grenade being lobbed at anybody defending Joe.

If anybody is left standing or supporting Joe still, Scott’s depleted ammunition won’t stop him from charging with a bayonet to finish the job.

Scott is akin to an Auschwitz guard holding an attack dog on a leash, while taking delight in menacing innocent families as he walks by them while his dog snipes.

Scott’s so desperate to pounce on somebody that he’ll set his dogs loose (metaphorically) to tear apart an 8 year old kid trying to run away from the gas chambers, all the while claiming that his behavior is driven by a desire to attain truth.

I don’t know exactly what happened with Joe’s indictment but frankly I don’t really care since I don’t see how it impacts NXIVM’s current situation. What difference does it make if Joe did something bad in El Paso years ago? How does that impact Keith or NXIVM today?

Joe has never claimed to be Mother Teresa so I don’t think it’s fair to keep pouncing on him just for the sake of winning a ‘pissing contest’.

You made your point, Scott. Joe did something years ago that he had to serve a bit of federal time for. Okay. We got it. But he’s now on the side of the good guys.

Scott Johnson (@ScottTexJohnson)

Perhaps Lyle’s mom was still wheezing a bit, and he didn’t want her to survive and tattle on him.

4 years ago

Great article! Joe and the others in the forefront (yourself included) really were up against a vicious monster. Clearly it didn’t come without a cost and there was battle damage for sure, but isn’t it good to know you have finally brought the beast to its knees? Well done!

Mitch Garrity
Mitch Garrity
4 years ago

So when Scott Johnson appears to suggest that Joe O’Hara didn’t speak out or take action, he’s just plain wrong.

Joe’s conviction is irrelevant to the good he’s done exposing Raniere. I see no reason why Scott comments about it every time Joe contributes to the Frank Report.

Other than the mlm connection, Amway and NXIVM are not comparable. Cults do far more damage to people than Amway or Herbalife or other such operations.

It’s a shame that Scott loss so much with his involvement with Amway. As far as people being scammed or beings “victims” of Amway, I think that is debatable. The majority get involved, try it out, quickly realize they’re not going to be one of the chosen few and quit. Or they realize they’re becoming an annoyance to their friends and family with their recruitment efforts.

Amway is well known for what they promise and what the reality actually is. It was known long before the internet and if anyone asked about it, started a pitch about it, they were quickly given an explanation of what they were/are involved with. Amway is not a major threat to millions of people.

I’d wager friends or family tried to dissuade Scott when he first started out with Amway and I can imagine his response was much like his persona here in the comment section

Scott is a nice and personable guy. Talking to him and many of his insights here, he is an intelligent guy. He got involved with Amway and stayed the course a very long time. Much like following a cult leader. I know I said the similarities end with mlm. And I do believe that. Staying with Amway that long and losing that much money, I believe to be an exception. I think Scott’s personality is a major factor as well and why he is still involved with Amway but from a different direction now. So in this one rare instance Scott/Amway, is the same as a cult victim. But comparing Amway to NXIVM, One Taste, Scientology etc. Not imo

Unlike former cult members, he hasn’t “gotten out” and has set himself up to never will. Amway continues on, and over the years has become more legitimate in a certain sense, so he can chase that whale indefinitely. To get out, he would need to stop and he shows no sign of doing so. His mission goes on yet the only action on his part is forums like this one.

Big J
Big J
4 years ago
Reply to  Mitch Garrity

You know, I had never really thought about it in that way, but you are right, most people know it’s a scam, and don’t mess with it. I grew up knowing Amway was a scam. Some people are just susceptible to nonsense. I have one cousin who falls for MLM scam after MLM scam. Each one is “the one that’s gonna make me rich”. We all tell him he’s wasting his time, he never gets it. He needs to “be important” and be connected to a “big business that’s gonna make him rich”. So, he tries them all, never succeeds, never listens.There really is not much point to Scott’s big crusade, because the majority of us know it’s balderdash. It’s obvious to me that Scott just needs something to keep him occupied, and he needs attention. Sad, really.

Scott Johnson (@ScottTexJohnson)

I don’t like to talk about women (in the context of acting like little girls/snowflakes, not as strong women) and beta males (in the context of little boys/snowflakes), I’m just identifying there are far too many of them.

People should have joined Joe, not put him out front as a single, “point man” target. See women/beta males comment above. Same with Frank.

Lawsuits are not nearly as easy to read, nor are they nearly as public, as a website. How was Joe’s lawsuit publicly available prior to the FrankReport? I found it on, which is public, but you have to know what you’re looking for to find it. Why didn’t Joe know he wasn’t allowed to file the lawsuit in the first place? After all, he’s a lawyer should have at least asked for some input from one of his lawyer buddies. Even Joe’s bankruptcy estate said the lawsuit had no merit, and it was dismissed with prejudice. Joe could have saved a lot of time and money, and have had a much larger impact, by putting all of the information, plus the content of all of those 5″ 3-ring binders, online. Why didn’t he do that in late 2012, or even when he filed the lawsuit in early 2012? Or feed information to somebody while he was at MDC?

Authorities listen when people get loud, just like the New York Times got the FBI involved a year or so ago. Everybody reading this website who lives in New York state should be writing, emailing, and calling their US Senator and Representative, as well as every media outlet, and demanding action be taken against the questionable actions taken (or not taken) by the various authorities involved in this mess. If you don’t, you will get exactly more of the same, and you deserve it.

I can say Joe didn’t do enough because he could have started a website and become the FrankReport years before it existed. It’s up to others to follow, but he has to lead.

4 years ago

There was a website, Scott. A blog, in fact, that covered corrupt NY politics and NX down to publishing pics of NX insiders and celebs deal-making and partying with the likes of Sir Richard Branson at Necker Island.

The blog was called “Saratoga In Decline” and run by a gentleman named John Tighe (While John ran the blog, it was Joe O’Hara who worked behind the scenes to translate legal documents and feed information to John). John Tighe is now serving time in prison after pleading guilty to possession of a single piece of alleged pornography “found” on his computer by a cop working closely with NX attorneys, imposter computer “consultants” and the aforementioned corrupt politicians to bring bogus computer trespassing charges against NX enemies including 2 major news reporters, one of whom broke the 2012 story exposing Keith Raniere as a pedophile.

Another publisher and blogger in Niagra Falls, NY, who also criticized both corrupt NY politics and NX is now also under indictment. His name is Frank Parlato. He could be going to prison if he doesn’t admit guilt for a crime he did not commit. He could be going to prison even longer if convicted by a jury. As some sadistic person named “Reality” recently mentioned on here, there’s only a 3% chance the Feds will lose if Mr. Parlato refuses to admit wrongdoing and goes to trial.

Joe O’Hara, who served out his prison term, supported both these excellent bloggers including assisting them and many others with his legal expertise. Joe served 2 years in prison on trumped-up charges after being falsely indicted by NX twice on charges that were dropped. Frank’s false indictment on charges brought by NX was dropped but, now, superseding charges have been brought.

If whichever of your abuse induced, dissociative multiple-personalities reads this could please inform all your other split personalities here on FR of this previously published information, I think that will help clear up some of these misunderstandings about Joe and what he and Frank and so many others so miserably failed to do to deserve your relentless punishment in their humble pursuit of freeing themselves and other victims.

To this day, Joe is helping Frank, all of us, when a lesser man would have done his time, learned not to fuck with Psycho scheisters backed by corrupt NY politicians scrambling after campaign donations, kickbacks and other favors from the wealthiest, most influential families run amok on the Continent — the Bronfmans and Salinas’ — but not St. Joseph O’hara. He’s still here to help his friend, Frank, beat the odds and win and avoid the same unjust fate that befell him. It’s a fate that awaits anyone in Mexico who oppose anyone wealthier than themselves. — a fact well-known and widely reported in most parts of the world besides Mexico.

If any one of your personalities has any interest in fighting corruption of the Justice system in this Country please ask that personality to tell the others to STFU. In the interests of Justice and being such a good friend of Frank’s, Thank you!

Mitch Garrity
Mitch Garrity
4 years ago

A website? If he started a website you’d find merit in his action? How has your website faired in its mission relating to Amway? You’re here because this site gives you a voice. Your site is crickets.

Much respect to Frank but Frank Report grew in popularity after the story was aired on television. And I think all involved will admit events, people a whole host of things aligned bringing Raniere to justice.

As Frank has said people get outraged at a dog being beaten. They get outraged at stories of injustice they see on social media. The stories are all over the internet but until they affect someone personally or there is some salaciousness they click on the next story. I’ve read three such stories this week.

I’m one man. How do I combat all the injustice? Do I pick the ones closest to home? The ones closest to my heart? The ones with the most urgency? And do I sacrifice my time, my life to fighting other people’s injustice while neglecting my own family? For you, it’s Amway. For others it’s NXIVM. For another, it’s a police officer convicted of rapes that the evidence shows he didn’t commit.

Unfortunately, websites and letters and petitions are not enough. Neither is public awareness. People know. People write and call and Elizabeth Vargas does segments on their stories. I don’t know how many years you have been online calling people out as cowards and for doing nothing. That doesn’t work either.

Especially when you make enemies of those that could join with you, events and a host of other things could come together and a difference could be made.

Joe, Frank, Catherine, Toni, Sarah, Susan, Heidi and more that I haven’t named have been doing much more than websites, and commenting on forums. They know to fight together and not to make enemies of each other. To listen to one another and develop unified strategies. It’s not about being the leader and “My way or the highway” burning bridges.

Man. I hope you all get justice. I hope the guilty are punished and the innocent go free. I hope we all get what we deserve.

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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