Despite Being Persecuted by Clare Bronfman, Barbara Bouchey Prayed for Her and Encouraged Her to Have Better Future at Sentencing

Barbara Bouchey
Barbara Bouchey has a forgiving nature.
There are probably not many women who were as mistreated as she was who would wish for the welfare of the woman who caused her such pain, as Barbara did for Clare Bronfman at her sentencing hearing.

I noted in a previous post that Barbara delivered a statement of more than 2,000 words in what was supposed to be a 10-minute time allotment. I assumed she spoke fast and perhaps she did a little. But it turns out she was the only victim to be allowed to go over the 10-minute time limit. Her statement apparently lasted 14 minutes.

Though four minutes may not seem like much, the judge was strict about time. He had a 10-minute timer and he apparently enforced it with the others.  Perhaps the judge was fascinated with what Barbara had to say, especially when she addressed Clare directly.

Barbara Bouchey leaving court after the sentencing of Clare Bronfman. Susan Dones is on the left.

Barbara began her statement by greeting her longtime persecutor, by saying, “Hi, Clare.”

At one point the judge asked her to “Slow down a little. I want to absorb your words.”

BOUCHEY: I’m just nervous.

THE COURT: Take a deep breath and slow down.

She talked about how she had “been smeared by Keith Raniere” and “then [he] guilted me and shamed me … then I had to suffer being trying to be arrested for extortion.” And that they “launched a thousand court filings…. [addressing Clare] You launched a year-long investigation by my financial planning board, accused me of twenty-nine salacious lies … I’ve been dragged into 14 lawsuits that lasted eight years, in front of eight judges, in four states. My legal fees have been $700,000…

“And I have been ridiculed and shunned… I lost two-thirds of my clients, millions in revenues, and my reputation was totally destroyed… And I was innocent. And I was the one that was being accused of having done wrongs to you and to Nxivm.

“And all I did was decide to break-up with Keith Raniere, get punished, then leave and try to tell people, and just tell the truth. And this is what I have endured…

“You had me arrested wrongfully. You had my passport removed for an entire year. I was handcuffed on Christmas Eve and arraigned…  And the Times Union ran a Sunday front-page news that I was a criminal…

“When your lawsuits against me that were $50,000 a month, I filed Chapter 11… that was Sunday front-page news, news… 11 years that you have funded lawsuits against me.”

Clare Bronfman arrives at the Brooklyn courthouse. Note her skinny neck, the result of years of semi-starvation diet. She went in but did not leave the courthouse with her attorneys. She was remanded to custody after the hearing.

Then she turned to Clare and said, referring to Keith Raniere “he used you; he conned you; he manipulated you; he made you feel special just like he did to me, just like he did to Kristin. It’s the same playbook he used, just words, just played on you.

“You just haven’t had that defining moment that I did yet. That’s all. But I know you’re a good person. As your financial advisor for a brief time, I saw the goodness in your heart.

“I know you wanted to be a humanitarian. I know, and I helped teach you how to spend your money and be responsible and how not to feel guilty and ashamed of it and to be proud that you had the opportunity to be a true humanitarian.  And I know that resides deep within you. And you could truly be that and go on to do more of that.”

The  judge finally told her her time was up. Bouchey added just one more sentence, which says more about her than it does about Clare.

She said  “Thank you” to the judge then turned to Clare and said, “So, I will be praying for you, Clare. I know, I know you can do this. You can.”

An interesting way to end – by telling your persecutor that you will be praying for them.

Barbara told Frank Report about her statement, “Yes, at times, I did speak quickly. I was a nervous wreck, fearful that I could not convey twenty years of pain, trauma and damage in a mere ten minutes, which was a daunting task. That is only 30 seconds per year, which is definitely not enough time.”
Judge Nicholas Garaufis seemed engaged by what she had to say  Perhaps it was the strange dichotomy – a woman who so adroitly explained the pain that Clare had caused her but who was yet willing to forgive her and to offer her hope and encouragement.
“I was grateful for this extra time,” Barbara said, “because towards the end there were things I felt critical for Clare to hear. Believe it or not, at the end, Clare nodded her head in agreement two times to me! She did not do this with anyone else. I hope that might mean I got a crack in her window, a clearing of the fog for a few moments, and maybe she will consider some things I told her. We can only hope that she does.
“If Clare comes to terms with the wolf of Keith behind the sheep’s clothing, takes responsibility for her role in enabling and empowering him, apologizes, makes amends, and goes on to be the true humanitarian she has always wanted to be – that could be very powerful and healing for everyone. Clare, of all people, has the wealth, and wherewithal to right the wrongs, and to compensate with her wealth the damages she caused to many victims. I pray that this day may come.”
Thank you, Barbara, for this generous statement. If only we could all try to be so forgiving and hopeful of our enemies, our persecutors, that they may someday realize what they had done to harm us and wish that they might grow from it.
In a word, “Congratulations,” Barbara Bouchey.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Yes, congratulations, Barbara, for listening to God’s heart. ❤️

    Former cult members might still have many wounds and triggers from having joined a high control group, yet eventually, all of them have been fooled by the wrong spirits. And that includes Keith Raniere who might have had good some intentions, too, though… long ago. 🙄

    Praying for KR will be hard for them. That demands a long period (decades…?) of healing, of letting out all anger, wrath, and the desire for revenge.

    Matthew 19:26 ESV: “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”🙏🏼

  • Yes, one of the best statements particularly as it gave faces, details of money and actions rather than I was hurt or upset. Judges like facts.

  • I only pray that we are well beyond any risk that any, um, ‘victim’ misstatements could be said to have wrongly influenced the Court.

  • Barbara knows it doesn’t serve her to hate or have toxic feelings. To wish Clare well, that is real healing there.

  • What human greatness it takes for Barbara Bouchey, despite all her pain and law-abating, to say forgiving words to the person to whom she “owes” the ruin of her own life. I think we can all learn from her. (Forgiveness is not a weakness.) I commend Barbara and wish her goodness to be compensated by the Creator.

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.

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