John Tighe Suspected He Was Poisoned by Raniere’s Minions at Clifton Park Cafe

John Tighe,

It could be a coincidence that Heidi Hutchinson claims that her sister, Gina, was systematically poisoned with a black moldy substance and at another time Heidi herself suspects she was poisoned by Nxivm minions at a bar where Nxivm minions were present.

And it could be a coincidence that the hair samples of Karen Unterreiner show she was likely poisoned for years.

Or that at Vanguard Week 2016, hundreds of Raniere acolytes got food poisoning or something.

Or that everyone who lived with or near Keith Raniere – Karen, Kristin Keeffe, Pam Cafrtiz, Barbara Jeske, Nancy Salzman – even four cats who lived with him – all got cancer.

Or that when Pam Cafritz was on the mend from renal cancer, Raniere prescribed for her a milky white beverage. Or again when Barbara Jeske was ill, Raniere prescribed for her something Barb called “Do Do balls” which her sister believes were actually excrement – but might have contained other poisons.

Barb and Pam trusted him so much that they would never think to doubt his desire to heal them.

And it might be a coincidence that Kristin Keeffe felt she was being poisoned for years.

Or that Keith himself said that Edgar Bronfman was poisoning the women into cancer – intending the poison for him.

He was obsessed with cancer and poison – and that too might be a coincidence.

And it might be coincidence that Keith had a degree in chemistry and knew a lot about poison, that he made it one of his hobbies. [He knew enough to not use arsenic because that is tested for in many autopsies.]

And it could be coincidence that Kristin Snyder, an otherwise bright and stable woman, would descend into madness after Raniere seduced her. Did she get a dose of something that would act upon her system over time? [Did the Alaskan co-conspirators continue administering the dose?]. It could be a coincidence that Kristin Snyder went from super stable to super unhinged just because Raniere seduced her – but on the other hand – if drugs were used, we will never know because her body was never found.

And, it could be a coincidence that John Tighe, one of Raniere’s most vocal critics, seems to have been seriously poisoned, at a near-fatal dose, possibly at a coffee house named, Uncommon Grounds, a Nxivm hangout, during the height of his criticism of Raniere in March 2011.

These could all be coincidences, but, as they say in law enforcement, “enough coincidences make up a fact.”

The question is, did Raniere and/or his minions ever stoop to putting foreign substances – such as poison –- into other people’s food or water?

Did Raniere enjoy this as a [mad] scientist examining effects? Was he doing what he loved to do –- destroying people who trusted him?

Diet Control. He controlled the diets of women scrupulously, insanely. He would oink at them when they went to the refrigerator.

That does not mean he put poison in their food in that same refrigerator he controlled. But he may have. He may have put low doses of poison to affect the person over time, not immediately. He half-starved them with or without poison – which compromised their immune systems and destroyed their health over time.

But recent evidence – which will be revealed in a documentary I appear in and co-produced – the Lost Women of Nxivm – clearly shows that poison was used. That documentary The Lost Women of Nxivm will air on Discovery ID on Sunday, Dec, 8, 9 PM ET and will explore the disappearance of Kristin Snyder and the deaths of Gina Hutchinson, Pam Cafritz and Barbara Jeske.

While not mentioned in the film, John Tighe wrote in 2011 that he suspected he was poisoned. He did not directly accuse Raniere, but the implication was there.  Maybe it was something else altogether. You be the judge.

This is from his Saratoga In Decline, a now-defunct website, which happily still has some ‘captures’ by Internet Archive, including John’s recounting of how he suffered tremendously after a visit to Uncommon Grounds Cafe, where a number of Nxivm minions had been present and his drink was unattended for a time.

Was Tighe Poisoned?

MONDAY, JUNE 6, 2011

How NEXIUM® saved me; A tale of the ironic

By John Tighe

I write this from room e 307 Albany Medical Center and I have been told I will be discharged today.

But now to where I have been and a lot of thank you’s and a warning. On Friday, May 27, I awoke feeling great with a very busy day planned. Among my activities, I carefully went and picked out the flowers for the family grave-site and proceeded to go and visit with my long-dead parents and grandparents. Carefully planting and weeding the site. I looked over to the two empty plots that will someday be the cradle of my soul and that of my wife.

This is irony number one.  Little did I know that within 24 hours I would be fighting to stay out of that peaceful place. But what truly struck me was the fact that I might have picked the flowers for my own grave.

Anyway, the day progressed with me buying a New York State Empire Pass at the park for our planned weekend at the beach and then I went to the very popular Uncommon Grounds on Broadway in Saratoga.

Uncommon Grounds.

I was there quite some time and at times my glass was left unattended and the place was full of NXIVM vermin but that is nothing unusual and I have become quite comfortable in their presence.

Later that night, I picked up a Pizza at Price Chopper and went home.

I shared the Pizza with my wife and packed my beach bag and went to bed feeling fine.

At 3 AM, I awoke to take a leak. Everything else is kind of blurry from this point. I found myself sometime later in the bathtub with a ripped off towel bar in my hand, wrapped in a shower curtain I had crashed through covered with vomit. How long I was out is unknown as my wife didn’t hear my fall.

WARNING; the following story gets messy and isn’t for the faint of heart.

I crawled back to bed believing I had had a low blood sugar attack {being a diabetic } chewing some candy. I awoke a few hours later with uncontrolled vomiting. Trying to stand I blacked out. Still convinced I could control the situation I crawled down my stairs and blacked out in the living room.

Now I agreed to go to the ER but still went by private car. Arriving, things went downhill fast.

The blood had now started flowing out of me as my condition went critical. Soon I was subjected to unspeakable indignities, bloody and painful procedures as my blood pressure dropped like a rock, even as my heart rate increased.

I became a ghastly gray and with the situation in doubt, a priest and an ambulance for a 3 AM ride to Albany Med was called in.

Given Christian last rites and with a nurse at my side, I was rushed to Albany Med by Empire Ambulance which got me Er to Er in 26 minutes. We sang Midnight Special to break the tension.

My first 48 hours in Albany Med are a blur as I was given a battery of tests to determine the site of my mysterious blood loss. It has never been found. 18 pints of A+ later, the bleeding stopped.

This is where irony #2 kicks in. Looking up, I spotted an IV bag with the words NEXIUM-TIGHE plugged into my arm. A smile came onto my grizzled face.

With the bleeding stopped, I was transferred to a normal floor as my doctors crossed their fingers and pondered their next move. I was given food and allowed to swallow water for the first time in 5 days. Life never tasted so good. I was getting better and today I’m going home. The source of the bleeding is to be determined and the doctors are still at a loss to explain it.

Now, to thank some people.

My wife, Joyce. I never said being married to me would be easy. I will promise you this. We will walk the streets of Le Marais again and roam the halls of Mairie d’Orsay and later eat crepes on the banks of the Seine.

My sisters, both highly trained nurses who stayed at my side and were forced to see their brother’s agonies. Your unwavering courage gave me strength and you shielded Joyce from witnessing the worst of my suffering. I will always be grateful and no one could have better sisters. You carry the Tighe gene of strength.

To the 18 strangers who took time out of their busy lives to donate blood in particular and to blood donors in general. You saved my life. Thank you.

Now on to staff.

The two nurses in Saratoga Hospital ICU who stayed with me and in particular to the one who rode to Albany Med with me Thank you.

To the priest who gave me last rites. You comforted me and reminded me I was never alone.

To the Filipino nurses who took care of me. You are the angels of the Pacific. I bet your families are so pound of all you have accomplished

Now to my two personal care assistants who cleaned up my blood, piss, shit and vomit.

You allowed me to maintain a level of dignity in a very difficult situation. I will address you both separately.

My young blond friend from Tuzia, Bosnia. Thank you. I wonder if people would ever guess that behind your blue eyes and blond hair was a young Moslem girl who suffered death and terror in her native land as a child. I guess all of those who rail against legal immigration and feel threatened by the vast Moslem horde, have never met you. Remember be proud of who you are and all you have done and take no shit from anyone.

You are free and an American now, no better or worse than me or anyone else. Be a proud Moslem, be saved by Jesus or renounce religion. You can do or be what you want, marry or love who you want or even follow a Guru like Keith if you want.

But something tells me you don’t need some dirty little messiah to build up your self-esteem. You have all the confidence you’ll ever need and work too hard at $10.50 an hour to piss it away like the Bronfman brats who have never had a Serb drag them out of their home or seen their neighbors massacred for their religion. Good luck to you and my offer always stands for computer help or to join me at the Victoria pool. Really I mean it.

To my young Iraqi friend. You fed me and nursed me back to health Assalamu alaikum.

I understand your frustration working for $10.50 an hour while you hold a bachelor’s degree from Iraq. Trust me it will get better and follow through with Empire State and like I said I will be happy to help. I can only imagine what it must have been like to be kidnapped and your family’s terror. I salute the State Dept and immigration for granting you refugee status, allowing you and your family to come here.

I understand the difficulties of your mother’s adjustment to our alien culture. And am amazed by your sister’s rapid cultural adjustment and her academic achievements in the tough Albany school district. So, by all means, come see me at the pool.

And to my favorite, the Vamp. Your nighttime every 2-hour blood drawing ordeals could have been a real nightmare, but with that Brooklyn sick sense of humor, you could make me laugh even as your needles tore my flesh. Come to the pool and I’ll buy you lunch. How about a nice rare piece of meat with some toothpicks stuck in?

To everyone who visited me Thank you.

And now to the other NXIVM.

Understand, I’m not accusing you of anything. Got that COFFEY? [Ed note: Steve Coffey was a Nxivm attorney at the time.]

BUT if your clients or their representatives or minions or brain dead followers EVER EVER go near any substance, liquid or solid that is meant for my consumption or my wife’s consumption or my pets consumption, I will consider that a direct threat to me or my family. That goes for you too Coffey and Pam. [Ed. note; Pam Nichols another Nxivm attorney.]

Don’t ever, ever offer me even so much as a glass of water or ever touch me.

To Keith, the crazy nurse [Nancy Salzman], the brats, [Bronfman sisters] and all the evil ones. You want to depose me? Bring it on motherfucker.

You want to subpoena me? Fine, have your henchman hand it to me. I never hide and I am easy to find. I wouldn’t recommend coming around my house at night. Bruno is a little edgy and I’m a little weak to hold him back

As for my immediate plans? Go home, hug my wife, pet my dog and brush my cat. Tonight I’ll sleep in my own bed with an AK at my side. Life is good.

I live, I love, I write and I’m content.

Tomorrow I have a need to see something beautiful, a mountain top, a lake, breathe the air, walk my beloved sidewalks of Saratoga and visit the gravesite and water the flowers that were almost mine.

I will have a new post in a few days.

John Tighe

A message to Coffey

Next in all honesty I want to address fellow Catholic Steve Coffey.
Steve having passed so close to death and after celebrating last rites with a kind and gentle priest I’ve had time to think. I don’t know how familiar you are with the ritual Steve but one of the most important aspects is to forgive your enemies and ask forgiveness.
So I did Steve. I asked forgiveness for many shameful and selfish acts but never did I feel the need to ask forgiveness for anything I’ve ever written about NXIVM.
See Steve, Death brings a level of clarity to one’s mind and everything takes on a new perspective.
NXIVM is evil, Steve. Somewhere in your soul you know that. Years ago we met Steve, back when you were just a man and not the “MAN”.

I thought you were a good, decent attorney and I was familiar with some of your good, honest work.

Tell me Steve, is it that important to have a Billionaire in your Blackberry?

I hope you remember Steve, none of us is immortal, there are no appeals, no stays and the reaper will have his day.

I only hope that on judgment day you will be as proud of your work for NXIVM as I am in my work to stop it.

You know Steve, I went five days with no food or water, sometimes chewing on a washcloth for moisture but two verses sustained me

“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”

I’m not even going to try to address Robert Crockett, [Ed. Note another Nxivm attorney] for I would guess he thinks of himself as god or something read here
And to my faithful readers forgive me my long rants. I’m just looking back at a few things and feeling philosophical

And on a lighter note

Saratoga In Decline is interviewing for a food tester. Ability to work as a moat digger between meals a +

Prefer single adult with no dependents. May be a short term position. No benefits.

Principals only. Recruiters, please don’t contact this job poster.

Please, no phone calls about this job!

Please do not contact job poster about other services, products or commercial interests.




About the author

Frank Parlato

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Clifton Parker
Clifton Parker
4 years ago

Mr. Parlato, your headline reads “…Poisoned…at Clifton Park Cafe” but within the post John Tighe’s archived blog states that it was the Uncommon Grounds in Saratoga. The Clifton Park location didn’t open until 2017. (Clifton Park certainly gets enough of its own bad press lately….)

4 years ago

This is very interesting! Nice story

4 years ago

Just a thought. Why would Nxivm go through so much trouble to poison John T.
I wonder if John knew too much and was a liability. Yes I understand he wrote his stories about Nxivm. But why was Toni hacking Nxivm computers? Her haking led police to his child porn. When I first read about the child porn it didn’t sit well. In all honesty I don’t think it was put there by anyone else but him.
Frank or Joe will you please tell us more about John?

4 years ago
Reply to  Peaches

A few things:

1. John Tighe had porn from one website from one download.

2. None of the porn was ever shared; As per the prosecution’s own admission.

3. Mysteriously the porn was not discovered by law enforcement until the computer hard drive had been in law enforcement custody for months.

4. Toni Natalie defies explanation or reason. Toni shared the passwords with a number of people and allegedly lied about having permission to use and share the password. Toni is partially responsible for one man losing his career and spending over 600 days of his life in federal prison. That man is not John Tighe. Toni Natalie is an alleged grifter.

Toni, in my own personal opinion, is a succubus. All of the men that enter her orbit seem to suffer.

Circumstantial evidence pointing to John Tighe’s innocence:

1. It is believed that John Tighe’s computer was tampered with or hacked.

2. When is the last time in a child porn criminal case you heard of the alleged pedophile having downloadable porn once from one website and never sharing it?
I have never heard of a case like this in my entire life involving child pornography.

3. The hard drive sat in the police evidence locker for months and allegedly was never examined. Why?

I hope this comment filled in some blanks for you, Peaches. I am fairly certain it’s all accurate.

4 years ago
Reply to  NiceGuy

Thank you. I seriously cannot stand Toni Natalie for what she’s done to people. I’m pretty sure I owe Claviger a case of beer.

They ate her brain with fava beans
They ate her brain with fava beans
4 years ago

OMG! I bet someone was snacking on Pam. And, yes, Flowers, I think they would eat her and drink her elite blood.

4 years ago

FYI, The Uncommon Grounds photo is not the Uncommon Grounds on Broadway in Saratoga.
Love your work!

Where's Pam's body?
Where's Pam's body?
4 years ago

Did Nxivm members eat Pam Cafritz?

Scooby Snacks
Scooby Snacks
4 years ago
Reply to  Frank Parlato

By the way, Frank what ever happend to the frozen dog? The one Toni preserved to teach her son a lesson.

4 years ago

Sorry to be morbid here, but if they had poisoned her, why would they eat her body? Doesn’t really make much sense….and I doubt if any of them practised cannibalism, despite how crazy they were.

4 years ago

This is a a great subject for Savani to wax poetically on.

4 years ago


If any of the deceased women close to Keith Raniere were not cremated their bones could still have traces of heavy metals or other chemical possible. You could ask the families if they would agree to have their loved ones exhumed. It would be extremely painful for the families, but at least they would know what the truth is regarding their family member’s death.!

You all ready know at least one possible poisoning from your Discovery ID investigation.

Mitch Garrity
Mitch Garrity
4 years ago
Reply to  NiceGuy

Yeah that’s a great way for an investigative journalist to earn the trust of the families. It’s one thing for LEO to make such a delicate suggestion. Frank would be viewed as a vulture, as someone like Natalie, hurting other people for his gain, for clicks on his website etc

And you try to ridicule Johnson about his questions or comments. It’s The Frank Report not Murder, She Wrote you Society of Protectors wannabe

4 years ago

Re John Tighe and alleged poisonings:

The Vanguard week food poisoning gives credence to the theory/belief John Tighe and many others may have been poisoned.
Clearly when Nxivm had their Dr. Mengele(Dr. Porter) running around observing extremely ill Nxivm followers and not reporting it to the local medical officials something was going on.

Raniere enjoyed the control and the suffering of others.

I am glad Frank is looking into the poisoning angle.

4 years ago

Perhaps Keith Raniere is the reincarnation of Lucrezia Borgia.

“It is rumored that Lucrezia was in possession of a hollow ring that she used frequently to poison drinks”

4 years ago


Lucrezia Borgia is rumored to the inspiration for the short story Rappaccini’s Daughter by Nathanael Hawthorne.

Shadow if you happen to like excellent fictional writing from the early American gothic scene with a provocative/puritan bent Rappaccini’s Daughter is for you.

Edgar Allen Poe gets most of the credit for the gothic era, but Hawthorne is right up there with Poe in my opinion.

I imagine a no nonsense 1950’s mindset type of guy from “Chicago”, like you has no interest in such fine classical literature. 😉

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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