Richard Mays Was Conduit Between Nxivm and Clintons

Richard Mays, Sr.

Editor’s Note: “The Lost Women of Nxivm” premiered on Investigation Discovery on Sunday, December 8.  For a limited time – I was told about a week – anyone can watch it free on Investigation Discovery’s website.

Viewers will have to endure commercials – as did TV viewers.


Editor’s Note #2: Investigative reporter Patrick Howley has written about Nxivm a number of times for Big League Politics and elsewhere. Not long ago he interviewed Joe O’Hara for a story. Below are some of Joe’s remarks to Howley, which were first published on Howley’s National File

Howley has previously reported for Breitbart, The Daily Caller, and was Editor-in-Chief for Big League Politics. In addition to National File, Patrick writes for The Epoch Times. Follow Howley on Twitter:


By Joe O’Hara

I was hired as a consultant by NXIVM in October of 2003 and worked for them for 15 months. I quit in early January 2005, right after the first of the year. My basic role was to find people to help them address various problems they had not been able to resolve on their own.

That included lobbyists like Doug Rutnik, the father of US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. I identified Doug as a potential hire for them and they eventually hired him to help them resolve an outstanding problem involving Keith Raniere’s prior business, Consumer’s Buyline, Inc.

Raniere had entered into a Consent Decree with the New York State Attorney General that required him to pay $40,000 as part of the shutdown of that company.

Like everything Raniere did, he signed the agreement and never made the payments.

I knew Doug had very good contacts with the NY State Attorney General and I identified him as somebody who could facilitate the payment of the delinquent $40,000. I had been friends with Doug for years – and I knew his professional pedigree and his resume. I knew him as someone who had good Democratic contacts in New York State.

I reached out to Doug. He was hired by NXIVM, and I know that Raniere delivered a check for the amount that he owed and, from what I know, the matter was settled.

As usual, I acted as a facilitator.


Typically, Raniere or Nancy Salzman would identify a problem, I would identify someone who might be able to resolve the matter, and they would interview that person and decide whether to hire them.

For example, when they said they had a PR problem in terms of how NXIVM was being publicly perceived, I suggested they hired Ann Richards’ firm (She was the former Governor of Texas). They interviewed several people from the firm and decided not to hire them.


Before Doug would agree to be hired, we had lunch at the Fort Orange Club – Doug, myself, Raniere and Nancy Salzman. I think it was in the fall of 2003.

Raniere wore a sport coat and tie. He was engaging. Doug had a lot of questions. Raniere seemed to be fairly forthcoming but nothing was resolved at the lunch.

Raniere and Salzman had talked about offering Nxivm classes – which caused Doug and me to be concerned whether they were operating an unlicensed educational facility.

We were concerned about whether or not they needed to be licensed so we hired an attorney to take one of their 5-day classes. We got a report back from him that was, unfortunately, inconclusive.

Doug then suggested we hire his second cousin, Gwenn Belcourt, [Gwenn is now Gillibrand’s stepmother] – who is also an attorney – to also take a 5-day course. That was the way in which Gwenn got involved.

The first attorney was very clear that he didn’t want any further involvement with NXIVM: “I don’t want to ever see these people again, they’re weird.”

Gwenn, however, was very enthusiastic about the 5-day training she had gone through – and started taking more classes on her own. I don’t know if she got a colored scarf but she definitely became much more involved.

Nancy also befriended her and became close with her socially.

Not too long after she became involved with NXIVM, Gwenn broke off her engagement with her fiance.


During one of the meetings I had with Keith and Nancy, which was held at Nancy’s house, a young woman came in (I later found out it was Loretta Garza). I didn’t know who she was or where she was from. She was bringing back some dry cleaning for Nancy. I later found out she was one of the people who was having immigration problems.

They had another student who had some sort of immigration problem, and I identified a local law firm in Albany that dealt with immigration issues – and arranged for them to meet with a senior partner at the firm, to work on the various immigration issues that their staff were having. Once again, my role was to facilitate a meeting between NXIVM and another professional contact that I had.

They ended up hiring this firm to work on immigration problems – the Whiteman, Osterman, and Hanna law firm.

They had applied for some sort of visa for one staff member and it had been denied. So, they were going through an appeals process. This was another person from Mexico.


[Howley noted that Joe eventually resigned from the organization after some illegally-obtained garbage from one of the cult’s enemies was inadvertently sent to his office, making him aware of the extent to which Raniere and Bronfman were collecting dirt on their adversaries.]


I introduced Keith Raniere to one of Bill Clinton’s fixers, Richard Mays.

Raniere had been charged by the Attorney’s General office in Arkansas back in the Consumer’s Buyline days of running a pyramid operation.

He wanted to have his name cleared in Arkansas. When they identified this problem in Arkansas, I told them I thought  Richard Mays could help resolve the matter. They met Richard and they hired him.

Mays became their conduit between them and the Clintons.

[Mays, a Little Rock attorney, who served on the Arkansas Supreme Court, has been a friend of the Clintons for decades, as evidenced by a 1997 New York Times article exposing how Mays set up a White House meeting for one of his clients, a convicted felon named Eric Wynn.]


When I resigned, they tried to hire me back. When I told them I wasn’t coming back, they used Mays to threaten me. He told me “If you don’t come back, if you insist on leaving, here’s what’s going to happen to you”.

Mays became more of a threat and an enemy even though I was the guy who brought him in.

He told me they were going to sue me – and they did. He told me they were going to bankrupt me – and they did. He told me they were going to get criminal charges brought against me – and they did. Basically, everything Mays threatened they were going to do me, they did.

Once they got control of the Bronfman sisters and their money, they became very powerful. One of the ironies is, before I became involved with them, they had no political contacts.

They had no clue how politics worked – and they had no contacts. They didn’t know any politicians – and had no idea how to do so. I helped to create for them the machine that they eventually used to destroy me.

Keith Raniere with Richard Mays 

 Raniere and Mays 


About the author

J.J. O'Hara


Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional)

  • Re Joe O’Hara’s articles:

    I am always amazed when Joe O’Hara’s and KRClaviger’s insightful articles written at the same level of professional journalism found in the New York Times, the New Yorker, and the Atlantic Monthly; fail to garner more comments than they do.

  • Great as usual, Joe.

    It must be satisfying to see that Raniere is facing his karma now for his evil plots against you and so many others.

    Hard to believe he still has protection in the NDNY.

    You’d think those that protected him for so long would want him and his goonies gone for good.

    Just like so many others have seemed to have met their makers in an odd sort of way, isn’t having baggage laying around playing the danger game? Maybe that is just on TV?

  • Nancy Salzman told me she flew to Arkansas and went to a luncheon with Richard Mays where Bill Clinton was present. Nancy did it as a part of NXIVM’s “greasing the pigs”.

    Salzman also shared with me that she would have sex with Clinton any day if given the chance.

    When I responded with “Really”?

    Salzmans comeback was “There’s just something about a man with that much power”.

    Guess that’s why she justified the entire Salzman clan sleeping with Raniere. It’s a wonder she didn’t have her mother in bed with the Vanturd.

    • I’m also pretty sure that Nancy Salzman (and maybe one of the Bronfman sisters) became a member of one of the Clinton’s major “initiatives” – and attended annual meetings with Bill and Hillary. I’ll ask Frank to dig up his notes on that topic.

  • My prediction for 2020.

    If the Democrats win the White House next year the NXIVM case ends with the conviction of Raniere in Brooklyn.
    Too many powerful people don’t want to be publicly tied to NXIVM.

    • P. David Soares is still around – and, given the state of politics in Albany County, he will likely be there for the foreseeable future. The last I knew, his former stripper girlfriend, whom he hired as a secretary despite her lack of typing skills, had been transferred to the office of Soares’ political buddy Dan McCoy, the County Executive for Albany County. Such is life in Albany County.

      In my opinion, there is zero chance that any New York State law enforcement agency will ever investigate Soares. And unless the new U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of New York comes from some outside location, I doubt the Feds will ever do anything either.

      • Joe,
        Do you find the amount of discretion State and Federal AGs offices have in prosecutoring people discomforting?

        There have been a torrent of large financial crimes since 2007 and no prosecutions. However the number of political prosecutions seems to
        have gone up.

        What some Frank Report readers do not understand is that many AG offices would not have prosecuted Roger Stone or yourself. It’s wrong how much “political” discretion AGs offices have on who they give a pass and who they target.

        At another point in time or other location you would not have been prosecuted. I sincerely mean it. I looked at your case.

  • Joe:
    This story is a home run!
    Every time I mention that NXIVM is allied to the New York State Democratic party, all of the NXIVM trolls pop up out of the wood work
    screaming :”What about Trump?” or “What about Roger Stone?”

    And when I declare that the Clintons are the bosses of the New York Democratic party, the NXIVM trolls scoff.
    And the Bronfmans and the Mexican elite intend to this day to use NXIVM to interfere in US politics by funneling money to the Democratic party and taking over New York State.
    And to top it off NXIVM will be a vehicle to flood America with even more illegal aliens.

    Here are the key points:

    “Mexico was their cash cow. They made more money in Mexico than in the U.S. and Canada combined. There were more students in Mexico and Central America than there were in the United States and Canada and they charged more in Mexico to take a curriculum than anywhere else.”

    • I try not to respond to your repeated naivete, as a courtesy to NiceGuy. And yes, thankfully, it seems as if your sordid obsession/infatuation with a certain B minus actress and her dimwitted “spouse” is not as much a part of the dialogue here on the Frank as it once was.

      Let me ask you politely if you REALLY believe that “the Bronfmans and the Mexican elite intend to this day to use NXIVM to interfere in US politics by funneling money to the Democratic Party and taking over New York State?” Can we have some evidence please? I will remind you once again that I have close friends (“Google” it) in Clifton Park who were never aware of NXIVM. I have spent considerable time over the last 40 years in Albany and Saratoga Springs and, if I had not stumbled across John Tighe’s name while researching another matter, I probably would have only heard of NXIVM after The New York Post’s infamous faux Superman cover (“He’s a Perv, She’s a Slave, Its a Sex Cult”) headline.

      (There is an entry in my notes which says: “Tighe? Saratoga in Decline; Keith Raniere; Coaches List; Frank Parlato/Frank Report; Story of the Century so far: Madoff/Manson combined, Bronfman girls/VF article, Dali Lama”).

      So I am here because of John Tighe. You are here because of Chloe.

      Saratoga County and the City of Saratoga Springs have experienced enormous growth over the last 30 years, maybe at the expense of some of their bucolic charm. I can assure you that this growth has very little to do with a wave of NXIANS descending on the area, and a lot to do with the quality of life and the fact that lax enforcement of the speed limit on the New York State Thruway means it is now possible to go from Manhattan to Saratoga Springs in less than 3 hours. And as you mention, Yaddo, the artists’ retreat located between Saratoga Race Course and the interchange with I-87, is a beautiful spot worth visiting, especially if you can find a docent old enough to remember Truman Capote’s wild tenure there.

      Hillary and Chelsea Clinton will never hold elected office in New York State. Mom has more baggage than the Greyhound station. Chelsea is far from the brightest bulb in the chandelier, and if you read the article about her I linked here a while back she does not seem to aspire to anything other than living in the $10 million apartment mommy and daddy bought for her and her husband.

      So as far as I can tell, NXIVM’s only foothold in New York is the vegan cafe in Brooklyn which employs Nikki Clyne. I am thinking this establishment has been bought by Clare Bronfman, because I can not imagine management otherwise retaining Nikki in light of the rather childish harassment campaign I have undertaken. Each time I see a pay phone (there aren’t many left in NYC) I will call Izzy Rose and ask innocent questions such as “Do you cater to cults?” or “Do you have meals suitable for folks on 900 calorie per day diets?”.

      Bottom line: New York City and New York State have no shortage of corruption, criminals organized and random, and pay for play politicians.
      New York City is close to surviving eight years of the most inept leadership in its history. A cult might be able to gain a small foothold in NYC or New York State by “paying to play”, but any (unlikely) spread of NXIVM’s influence will have nothing to do with criminal masterminds, because my contention is that NXIVM was lead by relatively ignorant people, who were rather lucky to have surrounded themselves with gullible folks possessed of even greater ignorance.

      Last, Shadow, remember that while law enforcement in these parts is, to a degree, arguably corrupt, they are not asleep at the wheel. (Rather large pun intended).

      • Witch,

        “I am thinking this establishment has been bought by Clare Bronfman because I can not imagine management otherwise retaining Nikki”.

        I agree with you or Clare Bronfman has a small stake.

        There is an iPhone app to find payphones, I believe.

        Shadowstate grew up on conspiracies and Lee Harvey Oswald…
        …Witch, you would have an easier time parting the sea.

        If Shadow believes in conspiracies, how is that any different than some else’s belief in God?

        I do not believe in Shadowstate’s conspiracies or many other of his beliefs.
        However, Shadowstate is free to believe what he wants. He is not a child and we are not the thought police.

        When it comes to Alison Mack, I am more worried about Shadow’s overly intense moral outrage and Shadowstate himself than I am worried about Allison Mack. I don’t believe Allison Mack should do more or less than 3-5 years.

        • I have no problem with conspiracy theories, and about 25 or 30 years ago, read almost anything I could find on the assassination of JFK. I have formed some fairly strong OPINIONS about said event, which are not important here. When discussing said event I always made certain that folks knew I was expressing an opinion, and if pressed, had facts available to support said opinion.

          (While many have seen Oliver Stone’s “JFK”, I found the 1973 film “Executive Action”, which stars Burt Lancaster, Robert Ryan and Will Geer, and was written in part by Dalton Trumbo, to be a much more fascinating treatment of the topic.)

          My problem with some of Shadow’s opinions is that they seem to be based on a “Frank Report” eye view of the World. It gets worse for me when Shadow’s opinions, sadly stated as fact, involve places (Clifton Park, Saratoga Springs) where I have spent some time and where I have friends. So when Shadow paints a picture of Saratoga County that leads one to believe that residents are off the streets at sundown out of fear of NXIVM, I feel compelled to balance said “opinion stated as fact” with my own observations.

        • Witches,

          Don’t forget at the end of the day Shadowstate never coercived anyone or committed other crimes!!!!

          …..Or at least…..I like to hope he never coerced anyone or committed any crimes. 😉

  • Joe, you certainly have one of the more fascinating stories in this whole, sorry saga. What a terrible twist of irony that they used your contacts, your skills, your resources to destroy you when you wouldn’t consent to be used by them any longer. It’s exactly how they destroyed or “suicided” everyone. Turning their attributes into sometimes fatal flaws.

    • Heidi: It is ironic – but I don’t lose any sleep over it. I made the decision to go to work for NXIVM – and I’ve paid the price for that decision. Life isn’t always fair – and fretting about things that you can’t change is just a waste of time.

      I have enjoyed seeing the NXIVM empire crumble – but very disappointed that all of NXIVM’s enablers will likely get off free and clear. I continue to be outraged that law enforcement officials in the NDNY never did anything to slow down the rise of NXIVM – and that none of them will ever be punished for their unwillingness to do their job. Had they done so, Raniere would have been stopped a lot sooner.

    • Mays was involved in funneling illegal campaign contributions from the Bronfmans and NXIVM to Hillary Clinton (NXIVM members who “donated” to her campaign were paid back in cash by the Bronfmans). Had Hillary become President, Raniere and company would never have been prosecuted by any U.S. Attorney.

      • Joe O’Hara writes, “Had Hillary become President, Raniere and company would never have been prosecuted by any U.S. Attorney.”

        Nor would Jeffrey Epstein have been arrested, IMO.

        • The illegal campaign contributions scam happened long after I had stopped working for NXIVM (My recollection is that John Tighe was the one who originally reported on how members of the cult were being paid back in cash for their “contributions”). And I did report this matter to law enforcement agencies in the NDNY. They just didn’t do anything about it.

        • Flowers:
          If you must know Joe O’Hara did report some financial shenanigans at NXIVM in his 2012 lawsuit against Raniere.
          Joe reported that NXIVM was engaged in massive money laundering and named around 70 people suspected of money laundering at NXIVM including Kristin Kreuk and Allison Mack.
          Nothing came of that lawsuit.
          Full text of “O’Hara v. Raniere”

        • “The alleged illegal funneling of campaign funds, why didn’t you report it”…….

          That kind of crime happens all the time with the Democrats as well as the Republicans and had been going on forever…..

          I know it and Joe knows it; and it’s an open secret. It happens at many law firms.

          If you want legal work from the city or state or federal government, and you happen to be a law firm or construction company, you better be funneling in rhe campaign contributions to the politicians.

          Joe that kind of illegal donation scheme is an every day occurrence.

          Joe, honestly, is there one large successful law firm in the United States that does not funnel donations through employees to politicians or via quasi-arbitrage.

          Please let me know. My grandfather’s firm used to donate to both parties to cover their bases and ensure the politicians played ball.

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