Tighe: Trump Son-in-Law Jared Kushner Helped Expose NXIVM

John Tighe

By John Tighe

This is not an endorsement of any politician. I don’t write on national politics. There are thousands of other sites for that. I’m simply relating events as best I can remember them.


Back in 2010, I was called by Maureen (“Moe”) Tkacik, a young writer for the New York Observer. She wanted my help in doing a story on NXIVM – and offered to come up to Saratoga Springs to meet with me.

I picked her up at the train station, gave her the nickel tour of all the NXIVM properties in Clifton Park and Colonie, and then brought her back to Saratoga where I lived.

Over the course of the next couple of days, I was her NXIVM guide. Throughout that time, she was constantly harassed on the street and in her motel by what we both believed were elements of NXIVM.

Moe wrote in her story Poor Little Rich Girls, the Ballad of Clare and Sara Bronfman,

“On the evening of my visit to Saratoga Springs, Mr. Tighe called to inform me that a NXIVM member with whom I had met a few hours earlier had been ‘spotted’ talking to me by a few apparent members of the cult. A few times walking along the town’s main drag, I distinctly heard voices call out ‘Moe’ or ‘Maureen,’ then disappear into the crowd.”

I also introduced Moe to some of NXIVM’s enemies. Unfortunately, several of them felt that Moe used what they intended to be “off the record” comments in her story – and they had a falling out with her.

Moe came to the Albany area to write a story about Nxivm that had been authorized by Jared Kushner.

Moe wrote:

The first occasion I spoke to anyone with direct involvement in NXIVM was a phone call from an anonymous Skype account. A female voice said that Mr. Tighe had disseminated my contact information among some of his sources. She had convened a conference call with a number of NXIVM dissidents willing to talk. They did not yet feel comfortable identifying themselves.

“But if none of you will tell me who you are,” I said. “How do I know you are actual NXIVM defectors and not actors?”

One instantly relented. “Very good point,” he said.

Didn’t Know There Was Competition for Story on Nxivm

I was unaware at the time that there was an intense rivalry between the owner and publisher of the New York Observer – Donald Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner – and Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter who had been working on a NXIVM story for months.

From the New York Observer’s story on Nxivm and Clare and Sara Bronfman. Jared Kushner pushed to have this story published and devoted the resources to it.

Ultimately, Moe got her story out first – an excellent story about the Bronfman sisters’ connection to NXIVM.  it was published on August 10, 2010.

Vanity Fair’s reporter Suzanna Andrews had been working on her Vanity Fair cover story for months. Her story was published two months later than the Observer – on October 13, 2010. It was also an excellent story entitled The Heiresses and the Cult. 

From the Vanity Fair story on the Bronfmans and Keith Raniere – back in 2010.

While the New York Observer has a smaller circulation than Vanity Fair – the Observer story hit them where it hurts. The Observer is big with its niche audience – a high-end demographic – the high stakes real estate crowd in New York City – the kind of people that Edgar Bronfman knew, did business with, and socialized with.

Clare [l] and Sara [r] Bronfman
I was told the Bronfman sisters – and other members of the Bronfman family – were devastated by the story. Moe also mentioned me in it – which gave Keith Raniere and members of NXIVM even more reasons for them to despise me

Didn’t Know of Rivalry Over Bronfman Story

After the Observer published its story, Jared Kushner emailed me, thanking me for my help, and told me it was one of their most read stories that year.

He then copied me on a bitter exchange between him and Vanity Fair editor Graydon, who had accused him of undercutting Vanity Fair (There was no love lost between the two).

I liked Jared and thanked him for giving me a glimpse into the high-stakes world of publishing.


Donald Trump also had his own run-in with the Bronfmans – or more specifically with Sara Bronfman, who owned an apartment in Trump Tower. It seems her remodeling of the unit caused a flood in the building that eventually resulted in a messy lawsuit between her and the Trump organization. She claimed shoddy construction and Trump claimed she’s an idiot. The story was reported by the New York Post.

So, based on what I know, I would say, there is no love lost between the two families.

Which may mean that Joe O’Hara’s proposal to have the U.S. Attorney General appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate NXIVM-related crimes in the Northern District of New York has a better chance of getting approved than would otherwise be the case.


I would like to thank Frank Parlato for giving me a forum to write (I miss it). And I’d like to thank all the Frank Report readers who have voiced your support for me in so many ways. You have no idea how much that means to me.

I miss Saratoga – and even Albany – terribly – and I can’t wait to get back home next year. In the meantime, I’ll keep writing.

John Tighe is the founder and former editor of the Saratoga In Decline blog. He is currently Federal Prisoner 21508-052

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  • […] Jared Kushner was partly behind the exposure of NXIVM. I like how Kushner never tries to steal anybody’s thunder, but seems to always be in the background playing the role of the quiet professional Trump can count on. […]

  • John, I hope you can read this and reply, but is there anything we can do to help you? Money in the commissary account, anything you’re allowed to have that could be sent in, books or clothing, etc.? Let us know if possible

  • Uh, huh. If true, this report also establishes that Jared knew of NXIVM’s antics back in 2010 YET did nothing to halt it’s degeneration and may have even only garnered some collateral on NX — maybe even on Kristin Gillibrand, whatever stock they had on Daddy Rutnik or just what IS in those library floors full of terabytes…

    And did you know down in San Bernardino there’s a “Brand” street — main drag in fact — crossing “Nobel” where it looks like apocalyptic preparations are taking place 🐰.


  • The Jared Kushner taking a no publicity/off the record trip to Mexico the week before Raniere gets arrested fits into all of this.

    • I thought I’d dive into this a bit, because it’s a good example of the sort of mistaken presumptions and assumptions, that can even lead to something like a baseless conspiracy theory.

      I thought I’d fact check, and apparently the trip came about after a planned visit by the Mexican President to Washington was derailed by intemperate remarks by the US President, and it had quite a full agenda of major issues and was well-covered at the time – including by a piece in Vanity Fair (see last).

      Here are a few of the news stories that turned up in a search:

      The Latest: Kushner to meet with Mexican president – AP News [March 6]

      Spring Break! Jared Kushner Plans Trip to Mexico – Breitbart
      https://www.breitbart.com › Politics › 2018

      Kushner heads to Mexico following Trump- Peña Nieto dispute

      Jared Kushner leads US delegation to Mexico for visit with president

      As Ties With Mexico Fray, Kushner Works Quietly to Mend Them

      Mexico president talks US investment with Trump son in law – AP News

      Mexican leaders call Jared Kushner “weak” amid diplomatic visit …

      A “Very Weakened” Kushner Goes It Alone in Mexico | Vanity Fair

      • Eh, not sure that it’s a conspiracy thing, just a fact. As you know, lots of agreements and requests are made quietly. I understand your intent here, but if you think Trump and, especially Kushner, who would have had an interest in the case, are not paying attention to what happens in the EDNY, you are mistaken.

        • It suffers from the same logical and evidentiary flaws as conspiracy theories in that it falsely claims as mysterious and otherwise inexplicable, something for which there is actually differing evidence a better supported rationale. It’s actually fact-free.

          Trump and Kushner may be keeping an eye on what goes on in EDNY relating to other things that concern them more directly, but I see no reason to assume that the NXIVM case is really even on their radar. Do you have any evidence for that?

          As one article about the visit made clear, and I’ve posted in another reply, Kushner had much more important and pressing reasons for making the visit to Mexico. It’s no mystery, and again there are no signs that NXIVM had anything to do with it.

      • AnpnyMaker–
        The quote from your source material, Vanity Fair:
        “As The New York Times reports, the trip was announced with only one day’s warning, and without any public disclosure about what would be discussed. One senior diplomat told Reuters that officials were “taken by surprise by the visit and frustrated they were not informed.”

        • yes because no one was able to report back to the clintoonfranchise whats what taken by surprise just what you got to do when you are surrounded by vicious vipers who do not serve the american people well {they serve themselves tho dont they}

          nys is a cess pool and its time the shit was removed {all of it both sides are one team}

        • The point is that it wasn’t really “a no publicity/off the record trip” – and such a trip by an advisor made sense in the context of the cancellation of the Mexican President’s plan to come to the US, and the need to try to repair relations and take up some of the many pressing issues between the two countries. The opening of the Vanity Fair article (at bottom) makes the general importance and timing of the visit quite clear.

          Plenty did come out about the sort of significant policy and international relations topics that could have been expected to be discussed, and there’s no basis for assuming the NXIVM case played any part in it – the timing of Raniere’s subsequent arrest was most likely just a coincidence.

          From Vanity Fair:

          ‘In his first major act as White House senior adviser, Jared Kushner set out to repair relations between Donald Trump and Mexico, which his father-in-law had spent the better part of two years assailing on the campaign trail as a seedbed of rapists, drug dealers, and other criminal types. Within the first days of the administration, Kushner had dedicated 24 hours to brokering peace between Trump and Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto, and had even considered flying to Mexico City to convince Peña Nieto to take a meeting in the White House. As my colleague Emily Jane Fox reported last year, the Mexican president ultimately agreed, giving Kushner his first diplomatic victory as a government official. Less than 12 hours later, however, Trump was exploding at Peña Nieto online, threatening to call off the meeting unless Mexico agreed to pay for his border wall. “Kushner was fucking furious,” a source familiar with the situation told Fox, after the negotiations collapsed. “I’d never once heard him say he was angry throughout the entire campaign. But he was furious.”’

  • John, I discovered your blog after you had been silenced. I was amazed at the amount of information you were able to report, and at the time that I read it, so much had already come true/been verified. You’re a good writer and a good reporter. Thanks for your work and thanks for sharing your words with the Frank Report. And as much as you miss the Capital District, you must know that we also miss and NEED you back here.

  • You lost me at “I liked Jared.”

    Not a fan of nepotism, no matter what the politics are. He doesn’t seem to have enough sense to know what he doesn’t know — just plenty of $$$ and the willingness to throw it around.

        • Some complaints:

          Not paying agent fees when due
          Evicting tenants illegally
          Shutting down heat in winter to get tenants to move to empty the building for condo conversion
          Conducting unnecessary repairs solely as a means to raise rents
          Ignoring rent restrictions
          Using shoddy materials in construction
          Paying off housing officials to green light projects
          Ignoring previous agreements with set asides for affordable housing
          Operating unsafe construction sites
          Using immigrant /non US citizen labor
          Demanding kickbacks from suppliers

      • i wonder why no one who pays rent in nyc has anything GOOD to say about REBNY <===bitch really runs this state

    • Lol, hitchhiker.
      Kushner is a shady character, and I have never heard anything positive about him.
      Also, does anyone else think he would be perfect to play the part of a serial killer? He has that look about him…

      • As in the Bronfman family, the younger ones seem to be making flashy but ultimately bad deals, and slowly eroding their inherited fortune – just as Jared’s father-in-law did.

        • Jared’s family got bailed out by the Chinese when Chinese investors took that shit building of Jared’s family.

          Of course it did not work out for the Chinese because Tump is sticking to them.

      • to me, Kushner looks like a tall awkward schlemiel at his Bar Mitzvah.

  • Joe O’Hara has never stopped being a bug up NXIVM’s ass. His efforts, along with many others who have proudly stood by his side in this battle, have put Keith Raniere right where he belongs… in the pookie, hopefully for the rest of his life.

    Joe’s proposal to have the U.S. Attorney General appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate NXIVM-related crimes in the Northern District of New York is brilliant. Time after time, they have proven they cannot be trusted to get the job done.

    There has been so much corruption and cover-up in NXIVM illegal activity in the NDNY. Even in the face of so much evidence turned over to the authorities in the NDNY and the NYAG office for over a decade, they have done nothing to end this criminal enterprise and stop Raniere’s torture.

    Had the justice system done their jobs when so many went to them, DOS would have never happened and NXIVM would have been shut down years ago on RICO charges other than DOS.

    Because the NDNY didn’t do their jobs in the past, countless women have been added to Raniere’s victim list. Added unnecessary with the formation of DOS.

    The question is, will NY State be added as defendants in a civil suit for not protecting victims when they could have stopped this criminal enterprise years ago?

    • It is extremely difficult to sue a state or county government for failure to enforce the law.
      Sometimes this is explained away as prosecutorial discretion.
      Prosecutors and other law enforcement personnel have absolute immunity for acts of prosecutorial discretion.

      • but i do think state officials have some responsibility

        sillybland cant get away with the rediculous retort of i have never heard of NXIVM <=== not too glib is she

        upchuck schumer cant say i allowed myself to get blackmailed <==he didnt report it its misprison

        cuomo lives in albany mccabe & hrc in headquartered compounds westchester

        to me taking the illegal monies to your advantage and looking the other way to your own advantage you know get paid not to play it works in reverse in nys tooo{pay2play state} kinda like acey duecy double dice backwards which was the ultimate in backgamen if only i could remember the rules of play

        • “but i do think state officials have some responsibility”

          They have lots of responsibility but they have broad discretion in what charges to bring and against whom an\d there is very little oversight.
          It is up to the voters of New York State to hold their officials accountable for their atrocious handling of the NXIVM case for the last twenty years.

          • well our officials like attorney general Schneiderman was too busy playing SLAVE MASTER himself ooo and making certain NO ONE went to jail for expunging 500,000 voters <===yeah that’s right way higher than the 250,000 they tote around in Brooklyn

            NYers do not get to vote we get to fill out strange sheets of paper that get instantly shredded in a shredder that’s what we get

            you think Cuomo really won {like ever he is such a boob waiting for pedo Joe Biden to pick him as VP they have a secret deal sealed with a kiss with Billy Joel on motorcycles}

            ah the EMPIRE STATE

      • I don’t know about NYS but other states/cities get sued and lose all the time for not doing their jobs to protect victims and the victims win.

        • “Prosecutorial immunity is the absolute immunity that prosecutors in the United States have in initiating a prosecution and presenting the state’s case. “Firming up what had long been held as common practice, the U.S. Supreme Court in 1976 ruled in Imbler v. Pachtman that prosecutors cannot face civil lawsuits for prosecutorial abuses, no matter how severe”

          If a prosecutor decides not to bring a case there is no civil remedy.

          • If the prosecutor is bribed or involved in another criminal act, I think they can be.

  • I won’t mention politics either.

    It seems that the truth has been out there for quite a long time.

    But the authorities looked the other way.

    Everybody knew, but nothing was done.

    I can hear the sound of money being slipped into pockets.

    It must be expensive to buy that much silence.

  • John always manufactured that there was Nxium people after him-lurking in the background.
    I really don’t think they gave 2 hoots about John, being a city sanitation worker who had no friends.
    not that Nexium people are anything good -but they really did not care about John.
    John just wanted somebody to notice him. He’s always been that way throughout his life.
    I remember him in middle school. He was always kind of weird.

    • Wrong. Several key NXIVM members have revealed that the Bronfman sisters worked for many years to get John indicted. And guess what? They succeeded.

      • John succeeded himself. He had child porn on his computer until proven otherwise. I’ve known John and his family my whole life and believe me, John is a nutcase. That’s known by pretty much everyone that know him. If you want to read a blog and think the guy is a hero–go right ahead. People who worked with him know him as a slob kind of guy that’s always looking to cause trouble. ( in the case against Nxivm, it was right) but he has made trouble for the people in the democratic party in the city of Saratoga and they allow him to act the way he does only because his father was a fireman.
        They all talk about him behind his back as anyone would about the one in the group that is always upsetting the status quo.
        This does not mean that several of those nxivm were following him and his journalist guest around. Johns just crazy. You readers on this blog are the only people that have any respect for this guy.
        John was a sanitation worker and his wife is a cleaner at the local college.
        John will be asked point blank if and when he shows up in Saratoga if he had child porn on his computer.
        If he says no, he will be asked to take a lie detector test. The results will be published to the New York Times and Albany Times Union. His photo will be taken and posters of him put up around town showing his face and describing the child porn he is guilty of.
        John is not welcome to come back to Saratoga Spring’s unless he actually admits he’s a child porn guy and publically describes what he has done to get help for his sickness and be genuine about it.

        Maybe he should move to Niagra Falls when he gets out. That’s probable more suited for him.

    • bs ‘Knife’ level trolling – I remember you in middle school, maery, you and your fat bunch of sour grapes.

    • Beg to differ. NXIVM was GREATLY bothered by Saratoga In Decline. John was subject to the same menacing techniques (throwing nails under his tires, vandalizing his property, etc.) that Toni Natalie and others were. The NXIVM goons got more and more sophisticated over time, to include sending Keith’s intimidation letters on a Mexican attorney’s letterhead…or attempting to get Rick Ross on a cruise ship where he could be tossed overboard and conveniently drowned.

    • Note to Maery: Do you think you can just put up some bullshit drivel about John – and it will go unnoticed and unchallenged? It doesn’t work that way here.

      First, John never worked as a “city sanitation worker” because Saratoga Springs does not have any such workers. It contracts out garbage pick up and related tasks to third party vendors.

      Second, John never went to “middle school”. He went to St. Peter’s for 12 straight years: i.e., 1-8 in its grade school and 9-12 in its high school.

      Looks to me like you’re the one trying to get noticed.

      Or are you just a hired NXIVM shill?

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


Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com