Scott Johnson: Barbara Bouchey, Her Role in Nxivm & My Role as an Amway Whistleblower

By Scott Johnson

A commenter calling itself Truth Seeker[?] wrote:

The Barbara Bouchey situation is almost a mirror of the Scott Johnson situation.

1) Both up to their necks in nefarious activities for many years
2) Both recruited and exploited people
3) Only AFTER losing everything did they decide to turn whistleblower. (That’s the key: had they continued to benefit financially, both would still be involved)
4) Both now try and court the media (Scott runs a radio show)
5) Neither express ANY remorse towards their victims. The whistleblower act is really just to feed the ego)

Let’s deconstruct these specious arguments, point by point.

Bouchey Not a mirror of My Situation

It is not even close.

Barbara Bouchey [c] discusses her experiences in Nxivm at a forum sponsored by the Albany Times Union. Brendan Lyons, senior investigative editor for the Times Union [l] and Catherine Oxenberg [r].
Point 1  Both up to their necks in nefarious activities for many years

“TruthSeeker[?] You need to define the word “nefarious.”

We don’t know what Barbara Bouchey [BB] was involved in, or aware of, when it comes to NXIVM.

She left Nxivm before DOS, so you can throw out the cauterizing of Keith Raniere’s initials into pubic area flesh, as well as the associated master/slave relationships and collateral/blackmail.

Did she know about tax evasion? We don’t know. She claims she never got involved in NXIVM financials.

Did she hear the training on not paying taxes? We don’t know. If she did and didn’t leave immediately and report this to law enforcement, that’s an issue, especially given her career role as a certified financial advisor.

I told Bouchey, when we spoke about a year ago, that it was “weird” that Raniere had multiple sex partners. She pushed back, saying there are many places around the world where this is normal.

I thought her response was equally weird and felt that she lived in the United States, and that is not the usual, acceptable behavior. I asked her to come on my radio show to discuss it. She declined.

On the other hand, NXIVM is a relatively tiny organization compared to Amway and many other MLM scams. What I was involved in was relatively mainstream.

Image result for amway
The lack of retail sales in Amway versus the income they generate by members whose main work is to recruit others [whose main work is to recruit others] is the reason why it is a pyramid scheme, according to Scott Johnson.
At the time, I was involved in Amway, there was little or no information about the Amway’s lack of retail sales versus commissions made by recruiting outside customers or that it was “nefarious.”

I learned how critical it is later to have retail sales of a product comprise a major portion of the income of a company, and developed a theory to explain why retail sales are required to demonstrate an MLM is not an illegal pyramid.

This is something, I believe, nobody had done before in as thorough and bullet-proof manner.

When I spoke to the then FTC lead attorney in the lawsuit against Herbalife, her answer was “precedent.”

The explanation can be found in this link [look for the paragraph titled “Why Is Having All/Mostly Internal Sales An Illegal Pyramid?”]:

If the FTC regulated all MLMs using the same criteria as the recent Vemma and Herbalife cases, there would be virtually no MLMs around.

The RICO fraud tool scam is described on virtually all of my radio shows:

RICO is an even larger problem than lack of retail sales, in my opinion.

However, to date the FTC has ignored this issue.

2) Both recruited and exploited people

Recruiting is not illegal. The military does it. All kinds of companies, churches, and other organizations do it. I don’t know what BB’s intent was, whether she honestly thought she was helping people or exploiting them.

What I do know is I felt Amway was a legitimate business at the time I was participating in it.

There was no intent to exploit anyone. Unknown to me at the time, Amway and other MLMs are illegal pyramids and RICO frauds, [as described above.]

3) Only AFTER losing everything did they decide to turn whistleblower. (That’s the key: had they continue to benefit financially, both would still be involved)

I lost both time and money, but I didn’t lose everything. I found out about Amway’s tool scam and instantly stopped recruiting and started educating others. I am not interested in benefiting financially if it involves an illegal pyramid and/or RICO fraud. TruthSeeker[??] You are simply an anonymous [cowardly] liar who does not know me.

You are almost certainly too much of a coward to come on my radio show and debate these issues.

4) Both now try and court the media (Scott runs a radio show)

I do try to court the media, in order to get more attention focused on MLM scams to get them to make drastic changes [which would probably result in them collapsing.]

I also court the general public with my websites.

I also court executive and legislative branches of government, business organizations, etc.

I also look for others who are willing to help in that effort.

I was even willing to be sued by Amway and won a settlement agreement, which you can read on my website: and I continue to educate others.

Why do you consider all of that a problem? I am willing to help others with no financial benefit to myself.

5) Neither express ANY remorse towards their victims.. the whistleblower act is really just to feed the ego)

According to the dictionary “remorse” means “guilt, shameful, hurtful, or violent,” among other things.

I was unknowingly scammed, as were any person I recruited. As soon as I learned it was a scam I got out and began to inform others.

The productive thing to do is to educate others, not to cry about it, or claim that I am guilty when I’m not, fall on my “remorse sword,” etc.

How is helping others not get scammed by Amway and other MLM scams feeding my ego?

If you are trying to make me feel guilty, it simply won’t work.

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  • I have not been “here” long…but long enough to tire of your anti-Amway ramblings. I went to your website, read until I snored. I am sure it is interesting to someone, but why do you have to bring your luggage here? No one cares about Amway here…if they did, they would be at YOUR website commenting. Get it? This is how it usually happens.

    Please…enough about your anti-Amway self grandiose ramblings.

    Please…STOP THE TORTURE of Frank Report readers.

  • Recruiting isn’t illegal, but it is the problem with those schemes, more than who they sell to. But in the end, what they want is to recruit and sell, so you turn up with only internal sales by the force of things. An honest business, when they hire you, already have their customers, and they don’t expect you do be their customer if they hire you, nor do they tell you to sell their own product and that it is a business opportunity. If one sees those things, it is a scam, and you are the fish. Buy if you want, but don’t get recruited. Now, I am not saying it is illegal, some are legal, but they should not be.

    Other organizations recruit, yes, but people don’t get kick back for recruiting you, and they certainly don’t benefit from your work if they do. They also don’t ask their employees to recruit others. The military certainly does not. Churches do to some degree, but there is no kick back, and you don’t go up the food chain on the number of people you recruit, and usually it is in theory free, so there are no incentives. The real problem is in the recruiting, and the pitch sale. The product is just a pretext for recruiting, and the real money is supposed to come from the recruiting. Not only that, but then your whole life turns around recruiting people, so unlike a normal healthy job, you can’t have real friends, everybody is a customer and/or a potential recruit. Its quite toxic.

  • Taking glory and being happy about seeing someone go to jail, exploiting anyone with a different view then you Frank? At least Keith had passion and taught what he believed in. I don’t think it was only about sex he wouldn’t have created all the other curriculum. What, for sex? Keith is still brilliant. Sure he was sexually deviant and kept it separate. I don’t think they intended to ever actually use this collateral. Doesn’t make sense too. What, ESP uses collateral and then everyone knows about the secret group if they did. DOS reminds of a kinky Dead Poet Society gone wrong . Frank reminds me of a hateful, vengeful self-promoting miserable being. Who needs to get a life.

  • Amway is a 9 BILLION dollar a year corporation traded on the NASDAQ. Although there may be unscrupulous people in MLMs there are HUGE differences between Amway and this cult. Btw I am NOT affiliated with Amway….just sayin’

      • Scott,

        My apologies your name was being sullied. I should be more sensitive like you. 😉

        To everyone:

        Disclaimer….Personally I find Scott to be a repugnant person.

        Important information:

        Scott, flawed as he is, continues to discredit Amway and educate people to the evils of MLMS.

        Barbara Bouchey continues to promote NXIVM’s teachings based on pseudoscience.

        Scott Johnson is repentant to the extent he wishes to educate the general public regarding MLMs.

        Barbara Bouchey is peddling the good program borrowed from Scientology. I don’t believe a single NXIVM individual actually became successful. Heirs and Heiresses do not count.

        It’s actually not fair to Scott Johnson to compare him to Barbara Bouchey.

        Scott Johnson despite his faults is doing the right thing.

        • You should use your common sense more like me.

          I find someone who chickens out of coming on my radio show repugnant.

          I have nothing to be repentant about. I and millions of others were scammed, and I am merely doing the right thing by telling others so these MLM scams can be stopped.

          Feel free to compare me to BB, we’re about as opposite as two people can be.

          • Dearest Scott,

            Maybe you could show me some appreciation for defending your honor, by carving me a cherub out of the surplus Amway soap stored in your garage.

            I would greatly appreciate the gesture.

            Best regards,
            Nice guy

      • Hey SCOTT JOHNSON…Please READ the Deposition on FACEBOOK hosted page: BRE BE READY. Click on Deposition photo to open SAFE link, then hit BLOG to read. Investigative Journalist WHO CARES wanted…connect there with Email and/or other contact info. This is bigger than Watergate…thanks!

  • How big is Amway in the U.S.?
    I haven’t heard it mentioned around me in 30 years. Is it still a thing or are they targeting outside the U.S. to remain at the top.
    As I said when we spoke, Shaklee was huge among the Amish community and they relied on retail sales in their small groups as a side business. Mason shoes was another I remember in their community.
    My impression is it can be done but it’s a huge mountain to climb getting others to become ibo’s. Nearly impossible for the average person ( This is where encouragement is given to strive to work hard and be more than average and buy some “tools”)

    Why doesn’t Avon get a bad rap?
    Amway has been synonymous with scam for a long time. Not for products but for its “business opportunity “ pitch.

    Amway will probably make it to Mars eventually. I don’t see them going anywhere unlike NXIVM

    • Amway no longer reports individual country figures, unless the numbers go up, and then it’s often just the percentage increase, not an absolute number. When they used to report the numbers, the maximum was just over $1 billion in the U.S., and that number may have included Canada, as it was when Quixtar was around. However, Canada’s contribution was probably less than 10% of the total. I estimate the U.S. volume to be in the $6-700 million/year range.

      They go mainly after the younger crowd, so if it’s been 30 years since they approached you, you’re like me, an old fart.

      Most MLMs probably have small pockets of distributors doing retail sales, but it has to be the norm, not the exception, to prevent the MLM from being an illegal pyramid.

      As hard as it is to sponsor others, it’s even harder to sell to customers.

      Avon does get a bad rap, just not as bad as many other MLMs. However, Avon has done terriby since they started the MLM model, I believe in the mid-90s, and has been broken up and bought by other companies. Avon no longer exists as a company, only the name.

  • Lack of retail sales is what makes an MLM an illegal pyramid isn’t just according to me, it’s according the FTC and several lawsuits and settlements over the years, all of which are consistent with what the FTC states on their website:, “In multilevel or network marketing, individuals sell products to the public — often by word of mouth and direct sales. Typically, distributors earn commissions, not only for their own sales, but also for sales made by the people they recruit.

    Not all multilevel marketing plans are legitimate. If the money you make is based on your sales to the public, it may be a legitimate multilevel marketing plan. If the money you make is based on the number of people you recruit and your sales to them, it’s probably not. It could be a pyramid scheme. Pyramid schemes are illegal, and the vast majority of participants lose money.”

  • Scott
    Why not simply apologize to those you misled, make financial amends to them if they require it and be free of the scourge you are being charged with. Wouldn’t it be simpler to be honest and make others whole from any damage you might have caused.

    The same for you. Camelot was not Camelot, it was corrupt and you participated in the corruption. Be honest about it and move on.

    • Because I have nothing to apologize for. Why should I pay them when I wasn’t the one responsible for ripping them off? I lost more time and money than any of them. None of them are helping me educate others to not get scammed like all of us were. There is no “scourge” I’m “being charged with,” it’s all fake news. I’m am doing nothing dishonest. It’s not my place to make them whole, I was not the one reaping the benefits of them being ripped off. You are welcome to come on my radio show to debate these issues, as long as you’re not Heidi.

  • Geez. I get that Amway is a shite company that rips people off but it sounds like maybe you need to see a therapist about your experience as you can’t go one article without mentioning it. Almost as bad as Sultan and his rants about KK.

      • Wow. That’s your takeaway from my comment? Maybe focus more on the fact you are still butthurt about it and sound like either an old fogey or a mental case. Either way you seem to have a deep psychological issue that should be addressed by a qualified therapist.

  • And I wondered wondered why the connection last night when people were making it a point to express Trump at the Amway Center as a funny thing… Now I know. Thank you, and timing is everything! Keep up the great work.

  • “saying there are many places around the world where this (polygamy) is normal.” Barb Bouchey

    The places around the world where multiple wives are common, the Islamic world for instance, are places where sane people do not want to live.
    Places that are intolerant of other religions.
    Violent Places.
    Places where the people wallow in ignorance.
    Places without Free Speech.
    Places without Free Press.
    Places without Freedom of Belief or Disbelief.

    If the women of NXIVM enjoy polygamy, they should seriously consider moving to the Middle East instead of befouling Albany, New York with their madness.
    After all, Lindsay Lohan converted to Islam until she discovered that Islam bans alcohol.

    ‘Lohan’ Behold: Has Lindsay Lohan Converted To Islam?
    by TOM CHAPMAN 2 years ago in CELEBRITIES
    Hollywood actress Lindsay Lohan may have converted to Islam following a bold statement on her Instagram.

    • wasnt linsey lohMAN caught trying to wrestle some children away from their mommie? nxivm is only just the surface of what is gonna bubble up

      • Yes there is a weird video of Lindsey Lohan trying to grab the children of a Syrian refugee woman.
        Whether Lindsey Lohan is drunk or insane is a debatable issue.
        Woman strikes Lindsay Lohan live on Instagram during ‘attempted kidnapping’

    • You missed the point. Having multiple sex partners is not illegal in the U.S., unless you’re in the military and already married, then you are governed by the UCMJ (Uniform Code of Military Justice). For non-military U.S. citizens, having multiple sex partners is not illegal, being married to more than one person (polygamy) is illegal. NXIVM didn’t practice polygamy, they practiced multiple sex partners, at least Raniere did. But Raniere never married anyone, which is why he wasn’t charged with polygamy. That’s how the Mormons get away with multiple wives, they formally marry one of them and the rest are just another sex partner.

      I couldn’t care less about Lohan, I tend to ignore what the idiot celebrities are doing.

      • Had Raniere been smart enough to avoid the branding and the blackmail and the children he could have continued to fly under the radar for years to come.
        And Raniere’s week-long birthday parties combined with orgies also attracted too much attention.
        Professional gangsters strive to live low key lives.

        As for celebrities like Lindsey Lohan, I find their personal antics more entertaining than their movies, TV shows and music.

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

IMDb — Frank Parlato,_Jr.

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083