Kirsten Gillibrand’s announcement that she is running for president generated an immediate reaction from former anti-NXIVM blogger John Tighe, who is currently a federal prisoner.
He claims Gillibrand is lying if she claims she never heard of the sex-slaver cult until news broke that they branded women in 2017.
As most readers know, Tighe operated Saratoga In Decline, a blog dedicated to exposing the secrets of NXIVM, until it was shuttered via a raid by New York State Police, headed up by Rodger Kirsopp.
State Police seized his computers and eventually arrested Tighe.
From prison, Tighe said that Gillibrand’s claim to the New York Post in late 2017, that she never heard of NXIVM is untrue. Back then, a spokesman for the senator told Richard Johnson of Page Six, “Sen. Gillibrand had never heard of this group until she recently read about them in the newspaper.”
Tighe noted that when Clinton arrived to speak, Gillibrand seated herself at one of the front three tables – all of which had been purchased by NXIVM and were full of NXIVM members. Gillibrand actually sat next to Nancy Salzman throughout the event.
“Yeah, the three front VIP tables were all brought by NXIVM and she was sitting with Nancy Salzman. You can quote me on that,” Tighe told Frank Report.
Even prior to this revelation by Tighe, Frank Report had doubts that Gillibrand was telling the truth about not having heard about NXIVM until 2017 when they made national news for branding women.
NXIVM is located in Albany – Gillibrand’s hometown – and the cult was featured in dozens of front page stories in the Albany Times Union since 2003. Did Gillibrand miss 15 years of Times Union stories about the cult – or perhaps never paid enough attention to them to remember them?
NXIVM’s biggest financial supporter, Clare Bronfman, who was arrested in July 2018 for her role in the cult’s criminal activities, contributed $2,400 to Gillibrand’s 2010 special-election Senate campaign.
Her father was sued by Nxivm and several of its members, including Nancy Salzman, allegedly for sexually harassing Salzman. Rutnik settled with NXIVM by paying them $100,000 in June 2006.
Gillibrand’s cousin, Gwenn Bellcourt, married Rutnik and became Gillibrand’s stepmother because of NXIVM.
It’s a somewhat romantic story which I have told before. In short, Gillibrand’s father was consulting for NXIVM when he introduced his younger, second cousin, Gwenn Bellcourt, an attorney, to the cult.
Rutnik initially asked Gwenn to take a 5-day intensive to determine if NXIVM needed a license as an educational institution. Gwenn was immediately targeted by NXIVM leaders, Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman, for inclusion in the high rank of the cult.
After the first course, Gwenn became enamored. She took another 5-day course, then another. Salzman, a master hypnotist, also spent an enormous amount of time in one-on-one sessions with Gwenn. Raniere let it be known that he wanted her to become NXIVM’s inside attorney.
At the time, Gwenn was engaged to another man. But Salzman and Raniere persuaded her to break off the engagement to devote more time to NXIVM because she had, they told her, a higher purpose to fulfill with the mission.
What Tighe adds to the story about Gillibrand is that she was seen publicly with Salzman, the accuser of her father, after or around the time her father settled with NXIVM. This was at a time when Raniere was trying to buy influence in politics, in large part to get his enemies, Toni Natalie, Rick Ross, and Joe O’Hara indicted.
Clinton was one of their main hopes to help with these indictments and they gave substantially to her.
The New York Post reported in 2007, “Executives and top associates of the Albany-based NXIVM group – along with their family members – donated $29,900 to Clinton’s presidential campaign, according to federal records…more than a dozen contributions poured into Clinton’s coffers from NXIVM…Most were from first-time political donors, each giving the $2,300 maximum.”
All told, more than $60,000 was donated to Clinton. Frank Report later revealed that the Bronfmans paid numerous NXIVM members $2,300 in cash — and then had them make out checks to Clinton for the same amount. This type of activity is a federal crime.
Tighe said when he first met Gillibrand, he was unimpressed with “her baby voice and demeanor” – and did not think she had much of a chance to beat Sweeney. But she won that race when just a few days before the election, a New York State Police report involving an alleged “domestic violence” incident at Sweeney’s home was leaked to the press – a leak that has been attributed by several sources to Gillibrand’s father, Doug Rutnik.
It was ironically the same New York State Police who had a hand in Tighe’s imprisonment.
Because of his relentless work to bring NXIVM’s illegal operations to the attention of local law enforcement officials, Tighe was targeted by Raniere, Bronfman, and other high-ranking members of the cult.
On October 23, 2013, Tighe’s blog came to an abrupt end when his computer was seized by New York State Police on suspected computer trespassing charges.
He was charged with criminal computer trespass along with Natalie and O’Hara -and, in a November 2013 plea bargain, Tighe admitted he intentionally accessed the computer network of NXIVM, downloading the list of NXIVM participants and clients, including contact information.
In February 2014, about four months after his computer was seized, Tighe was arrested by the New York State Police who allegedly “found” pornographic pictures and videos of children on one of what was alleged to be one of his computers, which was in their possession for four months prior to his arrest.
Tighe was facing 20-years in prison on child porn charges. He had diabetes, peripheral neuropathy and intestinal cancer. He also had no health insurance. His plea deal was tied to the fact that he didn’t have any more money for legal fees and needed some very expensive – and some very immediate – medical care. And he very likely didn’t like the prospect of doing 20-years in federal prison – which is what his sentence would probably have been had he gone to trial on the child porn charge and lost.
The only evidence they found on Tighe’s alleged computer was one file that contained the alleged child porn. No file sharing with anyone else. And no other files with child porn on them. There are those who believe that Raniere, with the aid of others, had child porn planted on a computer that was alleged to have been owned by Tighe (Tighe claims that one of the computers that was supposedly seized from his home – and that is described in New York State Police records as a MAC computer – did not belong to him because he hated MAC computers and would never own one).
Making matters worse, Tighe had also become a target of the O’Connell & Aronowitz law firm – which was NXIVM’s primary legal representative at the time and reputed to have a lot of “juice” in the Capital District. That was especially true in terms of Steve Coffey, Mike McDermott, and Pam Nichols, three of the top attorneys there, who he often called out by name and who had an extraordinary role in working with State Trooper Kirsopp in the investigation and prosecution of Tighe and others in the computer trespassing case.
In his plea agreement, Tighe admitted that, in June 2013, he used Western Digital TV to access websites and file-sharing networks to download child pornography. He admitted to storing 400 videos and 40,000 images depicting minors engaged in sexually explicit poses or conduct. As part of the plea, prosecutors acknowledged Mr. Tighe did not distribute any of the files.
In June 2015, Judge Thomas McAvoy sentenced Tighe to five years and 10 months in federal prison – and recommended he be placed in a federal facility that could accommodate his complex medical needs. After his release, Tighe must register as a sex offender.
What makes the whole matter suspicious is that in various court documents, Raniere is alleged to have employed people to hack computers. In the criminal charges she now faces, Clare Bronfman was alleged to have planted a bug on her father’s computer to monitor emails. Raniere is also alleged to have imprisoned an illegal Mexican woman for 18 months whose job it was to hack computers and monitor them.
More ominously, two longtime NXIVM members, Benjamin X. Myers and Steve Ose, participated in the computer trespass case against Tighe, O’Hara, and Natalie when they were trotted out as purported independent computer experts before the prosecutor in a clear attempt to mislead her. Myers and Ose were actually employed as computer hackers for Raniere and Bronfman. The computer trespassing charges were dropped against O’Hara and Natalie when it was discovered that Bronfman lied about the location of the NXIVM server that hosted its website and had employed Ose to secretly move the server to Albany County [from Saratoga County] to gain jurisdiction.
While Tighe is currently “on the sidelines” serving out his sentence for allegedly having child porn on one of his alleged computers, he is still monitoring what’s going on with the NXIVM cult – and reading every post on Frank Report (He has them emailed into him every day).
And so, when Tighe read the recent post about Gillibrand running for president, he was quick to advise us about his knowledge of Gillibrand’s own ties with NXIVM.
Were it not for the fact that federal officials from the Eastern District of New York are in the process of taking the NXIVM cult down, it’s quite possible that Tighe would be charged with harassing and stalking Kirsten Gillibrand because of what he reveals in this post.
It’s just not like “the good old days” for NXIVM and its allies.
Among the baseless accusations that NXIVMasserted against Tighe in the past are the following (All of these charges are set forth in Rodger Kirsopp’s “Incident Report”):
– Harassing a NXIVM member and her son, by posting information about them on his blog;
– Harassing and stalking Esther Chiappone by showing up at Vanguard Week in 2010 and 2011 – and at a NXIVM Holiday Party at Apropos;
– Harassing and stalking Siobahn Hotaling by posting information about her sexual orientation on his blog – and by making an unauthorized parody of one of the many non-famous songs that she wrote and sang;
– Harassing and stalking Ivy Nevares by showing up near her birthday party at Apropos and at NXIVM’s 2011 Winterfest party at the same location – and by taking an unauthorized photograph of her while she attended a birthday party for Nancy Salzman;
– Harassing and stalking Nancy Salzman by showing up near her birthday party at Apropos and at Vanguard Week in 2010 and 2011 – and by coming to her home and ringing her doorbell allegedly for ten minutes;
– Harassing and stalking Clare Bronfman by showing up at Vanguard Week in 2010 and 2011;
– Harassing and stalking Pam Cafritz by showing up at Vanguard Week in 2010 and 2011, by posting pictures of her car and her townhouse on his blog, and by driving his car towards her and Keith Raniere while they were walking through Know Woods on December 23, 2011; and
– Harassing and stalking Keith Raniere by following him, by posting threats against Raniere on his blog, and by driving his car towards Raniere and Pam Cafritz while they were walking through Knox Woods on December 23, 2011.
None of these allegations ever resulted in any charges being brought against Tighe because none of the alleged actions constituted a crime – or, in the case of the alleged attempted rundown of Cafritz and Raniere, the event never happened.
But the real crime was that Tighe was exposing NXIVM to a growing audience. They may have found a way to stop him.
Tighe named several well known people that were at the 2006 event where he claimed Gillibrand sat with Salzman at the NXIVM table to listen to Clinton’s speech.
His account can likely be easily verified by others who saw what he saw.
Meantime, Gillibrand joins some 460 other announced candidates for president. She was re-elected as US Senator for New York in 2018. In her only debate with her senate opponent, Gillibrand was asked if she was going to run for president and she replied “I will serve my six-year term.”
While it is true that she will likely serve her six year term because it is extremely unlikley that she will be nominated for, let alone elected, President, there are those that found it an impressive lie that she claimed she would not run for President in late October – in order to ensure her reelection to the US Senate – and then within days of starting her second term, she announced she is running for President.
That’s the kind of dishonest behavior we suspect of Gillibrand in her denial of even having heard about NXIVM. This gal will say and do anything – if she thinks it will help her. Just like Keith Raniere and his minions…