A couple of readers asked me some interesting questions – about Clare Bronfman.
Here are the questions [or comments] with my answers.
Keith Raniere was engaged in some very unsavory practices and needed to be stopped. But many of the facts of this saga don’t make sense. So, I have to ask, ‘Did you try to cut another man’s grass?’ Or rather, ‘Did you get caught trying to cut another man’s grass?’
When witnessing Clare’s awkward uncertainty, and the ease at which the sisters had lost control of $90 million, did you not think, “This guy Raniere is a bit of a dweeb, I’m sure I can do better”, and set out to take his place?
Did you seek to mentor and influence the sisters to your own agenda, only to be sabotaged in the process by Raniere who was apparently keeping his paycheck – and his protection – on a short leash?
I never thought of stealing Clare or Sara away. I was part of the team, in fact, a leader of the team. I imagined I could work with Keith and help make money for Keith, Clare, Sara and myself. At the time, I thought they were good people but misunderstood.
I recovered $26.4 million in assets for them in Los Angeles. I was ready to develop the Los Angeles real estate project and make it highly profitable. I was content with the way things were.
I was in Los Angeles when I was fired. When I lived in Albany, I did mentor Clare for a time. Mainly, I tried to teach her business, how to write and act like an adult.
Unlike everyone, except Raniere, I did not curry favor with Clare even though she and her sister, Sara, were paying me $75,000 per month. I dictated terms to Clare. In my mind, she was a baby and babies must submit to being taught.
After you had recovered $26.4 million in assets, why did you decide to investigate the other lost $65 million [in commodities] of your own volition? You stated in a YouTube interview that Raniere had told Clare that her father had such a dislike for Mr. Raniere that he used the Illuminati to manipulate the markets against Mr. Raniere’s $60 million-dollar investments on their behalf. You implied that Clare believed the explanation. So, you decided to look into the lost money. Who asked you to do that?
No one asked me. I decided to do it myself. Here was my reason: The person who handled the Los Angeles real estate project, from whom I recovered $26.4 million, was the same person who handled the commodities trades. I thought he swindled the Bronfmans in the real estate deal and suspected he might have done the same in commodities. Since I recovered the real estate, I thought I might be able to recover some of the cash lost in the commodities, since he had substantial assets.
I asked Clare if she had any records of the commodities trades. She said she did not. That made me suspicious. I told her I planned to investigate. She said she had to consult Keith. Within days, I was fired. At the time, I did not suspect Raniere of stealing. I have since changed my opinion.
You said in an earlier response that by the time you became involved with Nxivm, Clare had been Raniere’s lover for approximately two years. Did it ever once occur to you that if you found untoward activity while investigating the lost $65 million, you would effectively be “outing” her lover Raniere – if he was indeed responsible for the losses as you have claimed.
If Mr. Raniere was responsible for the loss of $65 million of Bronfman money, by fraud, outright theft, or plain incompetence, did you expect Mr. Raniere to thank you for outing him?
And while the Bronfman sisters might have been intensely grateful for getting their money back, did you expect Clare to thank you for potentially ruining her relationship and destroying her vision of the man she revered, who had helped her establish her identity as a master competitive equestrian and upon whose training organization her self-image was built?
At the time, I did not know Keith was having sex with Clare. Everyone seemed to think she was gay. I saw Clare more like his child or disciple. She used to sit at his feet literally.
By the way, Keith had nothing to do with Clare being an equestrian. She was one before she came to Nxivm. By the time I was there, Keith had already persuaded her to quit riding horses and dedicate herself full time to his cause. He told her being an equestrian was cruel to horses.
As for embarrassing Keith by “outing” or showing him to be incompetent, it was not my intention and it certainly did not work that way.
When I uncovered the fraud in the real estate deal, the Bronfman sisters actually wept, not for themselves but for Keith. They were all so blue because poor Keith had been betrayed by one of his few friends, a man he had trusted. They did not care about the money. They assumed that Keith and I would handle making a profit. This did not make Keith look bad to the Bronfmans, it endeared him to them.
You knew that Nxivm was litigious; you stated that during your initial “honeymoon period” with the group, you were presented with a list of names and amounts of money Nxivm principals were prepared to pay in exchange for your assistance in “stitching people up”.
They were playing “hardball” and had the will and the money to do it almost indefinitely. So, if you knew all that beforehand, why did you decide to investigate where the other $65 million went?
None of what has transpired since needed to occur had you just taken your one-million-dollar fee, which they had already paid, ignored the lost $65 million and gone to make whoopee somewhere else. It doesn’t make sense. Except, if it was personal…
My focus was not on Raniere. I did not suspect him. To this day I don’t know if he swindled them out of their $65 million or he just incompetently lost the money.
I’m just a lowly working guy, but I occasionally see someone steal anther person’s client, and the consequences frequently fit the actions. And the consequences you’ve endured are all out of proportion with the actions as you’ve explained them. So, again, I have to ask: Were you trying to cut another man’s grass? Or was there another reason? I’m on your side, but the details are a bit lacking. Just asking.
It was not personal. I was sincerely looking to do what I had been hired to do for the Bronfmans and Raniere. I had no idea how corrupt Raniere was and, yes, the reaction was out of proportion. But that is Keith Raniere. He attacks and seeks to destroy all out of proportion.
As for Raniere and the Bronfmans, I served them briefly, loyally and in friendship. They turned again and tried to rend me. As I have said before, I am proud of what I did for Nxivm – when I worked for them and when I worked against them. I was straightforward and honest. When I was for them, I was 100 percent for them. And when I was against them, I was 100 percent against them.
Enquirer # 2 [clearly someone who does not like me.]
“Brave,” “hero” little Frankie only found the motivation to write about his sex-slaver pal Keith after he was indicted.
Until then, he was no better than all of the other cowards who slunk away. Apparently, only after finding out Clare committed perjury AGAINST HIM did Frank decide that Clare was a wretched, evil woman and what an evil criminal enterprise Keith was running.
Apparently, the Times Union series in 2012 exposing Keith’s rape and pedophilia didn’t convince Frank that Clare and Keith were evil and he should take pen to paper, nor was paying him $75,000 a month to publicly claim Rick Ross a “thug” and Joe O’Hara a “corrupt lawyer.”
Imagine if “heroic” Frank had found the courage to lend his voice to those of James Odato and John Tighe back in 2012 instead of waiting until 2015 when he was indicted.
Frank didn’t even have the decency to quit working for the sex cult a la Joe. No, Fraudster Frank had to be fired by the sex slaver! — Frank Roberts or maybe Phil Robertson.
It is true I became motivated to write about Keith after I was indicted. But for more than a year before that, while I was under investigation following Clare’s perjury, I tried to persuade the US Attorney for the Western District of NY to investigate Bronfman and Raniere to no avail.
I laid out the same list of crimes [except the blackmail and branding DOS scheme which had not occurred yet] that the EDNY later charged the Nxivm racketeers.
I did not slink away. I was fired by Keith in 2008.
For most of the time after I was fired, I had little contact with or thoughts about Nxivm. I had moved on with my life and frankly, I did not know how bad they were until I found out that Clare committed perjury against me.
As for the Times Union series in 2012, I spoke with Jim Odato dozens of times and provided information to him. I would speak to him sometimes for hours at a time. I am sure I spoke with him more than two dozen times, in support of exposing Bronfman-Raniere. And he had a bigger outlet than I did.
He did not quote me or put me on the record, but I gave him documents [my email records show how much I sent him] and other evidence of financial crimes.
I did not know about the pedophilia until he published the story. For that, we can all thank Heidi Hutchinson. She was the first who brought the underage sex story to Odato.
I also tried to help John Tighe with stories and I made several financial contributions to him in order for him to keep his website open.
I believe I have written before that, although I was being paid $75,000 a month and Raniere wanted me to “publicly claim Rick Ross a ‘thug’ and Joe O’Hara a ‘corrupt lawyer,'” I chose not to do so for I found no evidence of it.
As for Toni Natalie, the third person, unmentioned by you, that I was asked to expose, I was given evidence of her potential fraud, but I chose not to investigate it at the time. That’s because I thought Nxivm had far better things to do than pursue a woman who left years ago and who had possibly embezzled $300,000 from some banks via a restaurant equipment leasing fraud scheme.
As for not quitting the sex cult, I did not think of Nxivm then as a sex cult or even a cult.
The members I knew seemed intelligent and happy. No one seemed brainwashed or punished. No one was confined in a room when I was there. And even if there was someone who was not happy with what was going on, they would not have told me.
Keith was charming to me. We talked amiably and often. Nancy was usually very gracious. We would dine together.
The Bronfman sisters were kind and considerate. Clare was at my beck and call, with Keith’s obvious assent. Sara was well mannered and offered to do anything I asked, including anything personal. She was very accommodating.
Kristin Keeffe was hardworking and a very good friend. She seemed happy in her life. Barbara Bouchey, while sometimes complaining about Keith’s handling of money, never said he was an evil man. She seemed pretty smart and together at the time.
The others were all very nice: Ivy Nevares, Allison Mack, Lauren Salzman, Dawn Morrison, Kathy Russell, Michelle Salzman, Karen U. All of them seemed intelligent. All of them nice.
No one was complaining – at least not to me. I had no reason to quit them. I liked them all.
Finally, I never saw at the time any evidence of criminality. I was never asked to do one illegal thing. It was only later – after I found out about Clare’s perjury – that I turned my full attention to taking them down.
But thanks for your comments.