John Tighe: ‘The Rat’ Made More Than One Comment!

MK10ART's painting of 'The Rat."

[Editor’s Note: Anything John Tighe has to say about “The Rat” is important to our investigation into the Lost Women of Nxivm. It was on his blog, Saratoga in Decline, where The Rat made ‘its’ one and only published comment. Now we learn that The Rat wrote several comments which John did not publish, that The Rat was afraid for his or her life, and that John went to law enforcement for help – and chose to work with New York State Senior Investigator Rodger Kirsopp, a man deeply suspected of being in the pockets of Nxivm.


By John Tighe

It’s been a while since I’ve written – and I would like to start off by thanking Frank Parlato for all the work he’s done to keep the spotlight on NXIVM and all of its as-yet-uncharged criminal activities. He gives me hope that the truth may eventually prevail.

I vividly remember The Rat – and the original comment she/he posted on my blog, Saratoga In Decline. The Rat left even more information in the form of unpublished comments. Over the course of our communications, it became clear the Rat was afraid.

Frank has outlined what happened when I was contacted by The Rat. What people don’t know is what happened after.

I never considered myself to be a journalist or professional writer. I thought of myself as an accidental blogger who loved my hometown, Saratoga Springs, and who was pissed off by the corruption that was eating the heart out of the city.

Later, when I realized NXIVM had recruited local politicians – and gave them money – to help the cult gain a foothold in Saratoga, I began writing about them.

Saratoga Springs, NY

Two years later, I heard from The Rat. At that point, I didn’t know what to do. I called Jim Odato at the Times Union and shared The Rat’s comment “off the record” with him. Jim told me I should immediately go to the police. I followed his advice but the mistake I made is I went to Rodger Kirsopp at the Clifton Park office of the New York State Police. I trusted him back then.

I went in for a taped interview with Kirsopp to report The Rat’s comment – and I gave him The Rat’s IP address [I had IP tracking software on my computer]. The search that I had done indicated that The Rat was somewhere between Saratoga Lake and Halfmoon but that’s as close as I could narrow it down – and he/she could have been using a proxy.

I ALSO GAVE KIRSOPP THE PASSWORDS TO MY WEBSITE. I did that so he could follow The Rat’s comments and maybe track down some of the daily death threats I received. This was back in late October or early November 2010. You could send in a FOIL request to the New York State Police for a video copy of the interview.

Kirsopp assured me that he would do everything in his power to “get to the bottom of this” and find “who was threatening to kill (me)” [One comment said I would be skinned and my skin made into a wet suit]. But as we later found out, Kirsopp was working hand-in-glove with NXIVM.

I later learned that within minutes of my leaving, Kirsopp called Steve Coffey – NXIVM’s henchman attorney – and started off the conversation by saying “We have a problem”. Notice he said “We” not “You”.

John Tighe

I wish I could remember all the unpublished comments The Rat left for me, but at this point, after all that’s happened in the intervening years, I can’t be 100% certain. But, once I’m able to do so, I will try to see if I can find that information again.


Next, I would like to thank Frank for republishing my story on becoming so sick after going to the Uncommon Grounds coffee house in Saratoga Springs. As Frank reported, it was a scary experience. I would also like to update what happened after I was released from the Albany Medical Center.

John Tighe at Uncommon Grounds

Before I do that, I would be amiss if I didn’t thank my whole family – and especially Jim Odato of the TU and Joe O’Hara, both of whom visited me in Albany Med – who helped get me through that period. Joe also helped keep my blog going while I was hospitalized.

After I was released, I continued to be sick until I collapsed in September 2012. I had to have emergency surgery and a small bowel reduction to remove several feet of small intestine that was rotted. I was told it was a rare condition that none of the doctors had seen before. I have to thank Saratoga Hospital for saving my life. At the rate I was losing blood, I would have been dead without immediate surgery to cut out the bleeding tissue.

Flash forward to the time I arrived here in July 2015. Since being at the Federal Medical Center at Devens, I’ve had multiple foot ulcers, a very serious burn from a Christmas Eve 2015 “boiler malfunction” that left my right foot and leg with first, second and third degree burns – and scars I will bear for the rest of my life. [But let’s face it, my modeling career was already over]. I consider those scars my prison tattoo.

Fort Devens Medical Facility Prison

Since then, I’ve had thyroid cancer [thyroid removed] and multiple bouts of liver cancer that have left my abdomen looking like I’ve had an autopsy. But I survive.

I’ve gotten along fine here. The medical staff treats me with compassion and concern. But I am still a prisoner who goes to appointments at Beth Israeli Hospital in shackles and chains.

Such is life in federal prison.


For those who still wonder why I pled guilty.

Well, Roger Stone’s simple trial cost over 2 million dollars.

My own lawyer drained every dollar I had.

I was advised to keep quiet – and was told that if I did so, I’d get a year-and-a-day sentence.

Then, as a kicker, they threatened to charge my wife if I didn’t plead guilty.

I was not going to bankrupt her, a woman who worked hard her whole life while putting up with me. And the idea of dragging her into this was just too much to bear.

So, yes, like 97% of everybody else charged with a federal crime, l pled guilty. Do you really believe 97% of federal prisoners are guilty?

Besides being outrageously expensive, going to trial also means that if you are found guilty, you will likely get the harshest possible sentence as a warning to others “to play the plea bargain system game”. The deck is really stacked against you once the feds target you – and anyone who thinks the system is fair is naive at best or has their head in a hole.


Again, I’d like to thank Frank and Joe for all they’ve done – and wish everyone a Merry Christmas.

It will be my last one here.

The good news is I will be released next year sometime before – but no later than – July.


PS/ Anyone can write to me here. Just be aware that all letters are read by the BOP.

John Tighe
Federal Prisoner 21508052
FMC Devens
Federal Medical Center
Po Box 879
Ayer, MA 01232

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  • Good luck with the rest of your stay, John. I cannot imagine how it must feel knowing your release is relatively imminent. I look forward to that day and to the more fulsome contribution you’ll be able to make to the battle you began all that time ago.

    Until then, I guess, discretion is the better part of valour. Wishing you and your family a happy Christmas, may the road rise with you’s all and roll in July!!

  • John Tighe,

    My heart goes out to you and your wife! Initially, I was skeptical and now I am convinced you were railroaded. You are incredibly strong and you are a blessed man to have a wife that has stuck by your side through thick and thin. We are not all so lucky.

    I wish you the best!

  • About the Rat’s identity : there is no way that the Rat was Mexican. There was no mexican involved during the CBL era. The rat was from the inner circle formed around Raniere before or during CBL time.

  • “Over the course of our communications, it became clear the Rat was afraid.”
    Afraid of what afraid of being caught?

  • I’ve been in jail before. If you’re innocent for the love of God, get you 12 white men and take that s*** to trial!

  • I’ll go ahead and apologize now for all you bleeding hearts but this guy had child pornography found on his computer just like Keith. His long-winded ailments are reminiscent of Toni Natalie’s Munchausen syndrome. He says he wants to help Frank continue the spotlight on Nxivm but he’s not giving us anything and why not tell about the conversations he had with the infamous Rat a long time ago?

    • Are you seriously suggesting that John’s ongoing battle with cancer – and the third-degree burns that he suffered from an industrial accident – are akin to Toni’s claims of PTSD and fibromyalgia? And do you think that the Bureau of Prisons keeps inmates housed at the Fort Devens Medical Center if they don’t have real medical issues (That’s where John has been incarcerated throughout the time he’s been in prison)?

      • Yes I am kind sir. Whoever has committed these crimes is a very desperate person in my opinion. Desperate times calls for desperate measures.

      • Brace yourself, Claviger, I’m also suggesting that John Tighe is the rat. I’ve asked you guys to tell me more about John Tighe. So far, you guys have provided a couple of letters and a letter from the infamous rat both of which I’ve read over numerous times and a wiffle ball keeps coming into mind because there are so many holes. Look, if I’m wrong then the first case of beer is on me.

  • You have given so much of your life, really to truth and to justice. It is outrageous to learn how much you have paid, at the hands of so many who are still so invested in their own corruption. Mr. Tighe, here you are, not hesitant to keep giving of yourself. There’s such a vast difference in conduct, between those who want the truth to prevail, and those who do not, and perhaps cannot care.

    Those who have given into or are “owned” by heartlessness and/or greed for money and power, always have to make it appear that they’re right., that they are smarter than the rest of us. A seeker of truth has the humility to feel and to say, “maybe I’m mistaken. I don’t know, but I’ll keep on looking, inside and outside.” I trust and respect you. You’ll never give up, and I pray that your health and freedom are restored, to match the courage you have.

    You don’t even ask for or expect any rewards. I can’t help but want you to have every reward for being true to yourself and to who and what you love.

  • Excuse me, Peaches here again. Why the hell didn’t John Tighe have his blood tested for poisoning? Has he ever said what his final diagnosis was for being in the hospital?

    Isn’t John Tighe’s computer long gone?

    Why all of the sudden are there more communications from the infamous rat now? I thought from day one, it was just this one confession by the rat.

    • The additional communications from the Rat were back when John was publishing his blog in 2010. He went to the authorities instead of publishing the additional comments. That may have been a terrible mistake.

      • I don’t get it. Tighe has had nothing but time on his hands and this is all he gives us, this little short letter?
        “I later learned that within minutes of my leaving, Kirsopp called Steve Coffey – NXIVM’s henchman attorney – and started off the conversation by saying “We have a problem”. Notice he said “We” not “You”.”
        Who told him this? It seems made up. And also I find it interesting that kirsop taped Tighes interview about the rat. Frank are you going to get the interview with Tighe talking about the rat?

        • I do plan to FOIL this tomorrow. I don’t know how John knows what he says he knows. I will say this – everything he sends us is subject to monitoring.

        • Peaches,

          Re Pedophilia charges:

          Correct me if I am wrong, but you would have an easier time believing in John Tighe’s possible innocence if he had been convicted of murder instead of pedophilia. Correct?
          Pedophilia is a disgusting and horrid crime. They are the lowest of the lows. Pedophiles are pariahs within society.

          My wife’s friend is a criminal attorney and once he asked me the same question I have just asked you. He was explaining to me the Herculean task it is to defend someone of Pedophilia; it’s easier to defend a murder he said because murder is much less taboo and less disgusting than pedophilia.

          People believe in the innocence of murders all the time. When is the last time you heard of anyone believing in the innocence of a pedophilia? Besides of course the Frankreport.

          When I first heard the John Tighe story involving the child pornography I was extremely skeptical. I have since changed my perspective to an open mind.

          I just ask of you to simply keep an open mind.

          • Good question nice guy thank you for asking. Besides the pedophilia which I’m still skeptical about him being guilty of due to the abundance of hacking nxivm did, his letters leave me with questions so I asked them. So many times we see doctors and lawyers some of the nicest people guilty of heinous crimes so I don’t put it past anybody to do what they need to do to cover up murders.

    • Test his blood for poison? Dude had 18 pints of blood transfused. Or did he?

      Yup, GI bleeds are totally like PTSD and fibromyalgia. You don’t actually see the blood, oh. Wait.

      Per any diagnosis (or not), should you be jonesing for work as an internet investigator of gastroenterology fakes (you’re gonna be great!), occult and/or obscure and/or overt GI bleeding is a good place to start your googling.

      [Can’t wait for the satanic cult musings with regard to “occult!”]

  • Thanks to you, Mr. Tighe. I wish you only the best in the years to come and hope your health improves. It lightens my heart to know you’ve been treated with respect by those taking care of you medically.

    • Prior to his arrest, all of John’s computers were seized by the New York State Police in conjunction with the Rodger Kirsopp-led computer trespass investigation. That – along with John’s subsequent arrest and conviction – is what put his blog out of business.

      Even though all the computer trespass charges against us were ultimately dismissed, Kirsopp – along with the Albany County Special District Attorney who oversaw the prosecution, Holly Trexler – led the fight to prevent Toni Natalie and me from getting our computers back. When I raised questions about their status in the case, the Office of the NYS Police’s Counsel reached out to NXIVM’s attorneys (Steve Coffey and Paul DerOhannesian) to get them involved in trying to prevent us from getting our computers back. Although it’s unlikely that anyone will ever pursue the matter, I believe all the attorneys who were involved in that travesty should be prosecuted for their actions.

        • I will check with John to confirm but I’m 99% certain that his attorney also told him not to publish anything on his blog until the computer trespass charges were fully resolved. In this regard, I have often wondered if the primary purpose of the raids and seizures was to shut down John’s blog. Given how closely Kirsopp was working with Steve Coffey, Pam Nichols and Mike McDermott, that certainly seems quite possible.

          PS/Given that John had all of his computers seized, I’m not quite sure how he would have continued to publish his blog even if he wanted to do so. I guess he could have done so by going to the local library but it would have been inconvenient at best.

          • He could have bought another computer or do like me and work for my cell phone. You should see some of the strange places Frank writes his blog from.

          • John has said that he gave up the password to the blog so after he was charged with crimes he didn’t commit and it involved his computer he may have just decided to erase the entire blog. He would have been in a head space few of us could imagine during that time.

  • Great update. Thank you, John.

    In light of hearing about additional communication from The Rat, there is an obvious question I think we would all like to ask John. Do you think The Rat was 100% authentic, or do you think The Rat was masking her/his identity with the misspellings and specifics?

    • I think The Rat’s comment was typical of most of the commenters on this website, full of misspellings and specifics. It’s not only about masking her/his identity, it’s also about being poorly educated.

  • “I later learned that within minutes of my leaving, Kirsopp called Steve Coffey – NXIVM’s henchman attorney – and started off the conversation by saying “We have a problem”. Notice he said “We” not “You”. John Tighe

    Isn’t it now apparent that the New York State Political Establishment was and is an arm of the NXIVM criminal gang?
    New York State Police Investigator Kirsopp was working to protect Raniere and the whole NXIVM gang.

    I would like to thank John Tighe, Jim Odato, Joe O’Hara and Frank Parlato for their courage and diligence in helping bring down the NXIVM crime gang.
    But as long as the Bronfmans and the Salzmans and their Flying Monkeys are still loose, New York State is still vulnerable to NXIVM terrorism.
    As it stands now, many of these gangsters will only serve a few years in prison and once they are out of stir, they will be back to their old tricks.

    • How does Tighe know that phone call was made? Was it uncovered during the discovery process? It would be helpful to know the basis of this claim, or at least the claim of the basis, even better would be to see the actual phone call record.

      • I love how John writes such candid memories of his ailments but doesn’t remember one comment from the rat. If I could remember I would tell you and then once I get to my computer’s I’ll be sure to help you out. Well, the computers are gone. And in walks Tony Natalie, the pig who has possession over Claviger’s and others’ information. What is she hiding?

        • Tighe’s ailments are, by definition, rather personal, I recall mine as well. One would think he would at least remember the nature of some of the other comments, but it has been a while. Depending on the nature of his blog (free, paid), all of the content could still be available. If he didn’t publish the comments, deleted them, and didn’t save them somewhere else, they are gone forever.

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