Clare Bronfman’s 2008 Defense of Keith Raniere

NIXVM member Clare Bronfman

Frank Report recently posted an article by Leo Helmar, entitled How A Capella Efforts of Nxivm – With Mack, Bronfman, Salzman and Raniere – Broke Into Controversy with A Cappella Leader Deke Sharon.

Helmar reported on a 2008 forum thread [available on Internet Archive] about an a capella event funded by Clare Bronfman that some said was meant ti serve as a recruitment tool for Nxivm.

Several people, including the leader of the a capella world, Deke Sharon, called the event into question because of its Nxivm connection.

This inspired a forum thread of 204 comments, debating the matter. Of particular interest are those comments of Keith Raniere and supporters.

During the heat of criticism on the forum, Clare Webb Bronfman, now a convicted felon serving an 81-month sentence for her role in Nxivm, came online to make some points.

Though Bronfman funded the a capella event, she is not known to sing. And unlike Lauren Salzman, whose comments on the forum we posted recently, [Lauren Salzman’s Sterling Defense of Keith Raniere and Nxivm in 2008 – a Lot Has Changed Since Then]  Clare never did sing against Raniere.

She refused to disavow him – which, along with other factors, resulted in her getting a sentence three times the federal sentencing guidelines.

At the time she wrote her comment on the a capella forum, 2008, the enemies of Raniere were mainly four: Toni Natalie, Joe O’Hara, Edgar Bronfman, and Rick Alan Ross.

Rick Alan Ross

Ross is a famous cult-deprogrammer and cult expert.  He had taken some material from a former Nxivm student – and used it to publish critiques of Nxivm by two experts. It sparked a lawsuit that Raniere waged against Ross for over 15 years.

As of today, Clare has been in prison for two and one-half months; it is not known if she still feels loyal to Raniere.

As far as possible, I am going to skip her references to the a capella event – and focus, instead, on what she wrote about Nxivm and her mentor, Keith Raniere, and Ross [My comments in brackets and bold].

By Clare Bronfman

Wed Apr 09, 2008 12:38 pm

I am deeply offended by the conduct of certain individuals in this [a capella forum] community.

Please forgive my writing as I explain my experiences. I am the organizer of A Cappella Innovations AND Keith Raniere is a dear friend of mine AND I am deeply committed to NXIVM.

First, I know the people who back Rick Ross to fabricate the cult controversy through a carefully funded, politically orchestrated campaign of media and law.

[This is Clare-speak, devoid of specifics: “A carefully funded, politically orchestrated campaign of media and law.”  What the hell does “carefully funded” mean? Who are the politicians orchestrating this campaign of media and law? It is a fact that the opposite is true: Raniere started the lawsuit with Ross. Bronfman carefully funded it. As for the media, they only got involved in reporting because Raniere started the lawsuit and made it public. He was suing to get Ross to take down information that criticized Nxivm. Next, Clare goes into attacking Ross so that a capella enthusiasts will disregard Ross’ criticism of Nxivm.]

Here are some references relating to Rick Ross:

Here is what Rick Ross believes is acceptable conduct:
Here is the judge’s opinion of Rick Ross in that case:
Here is an excerpt of a psychiatrist’s opinion of Rick Ross:
[This article in, a website likely created by Nxivm, features purported medical reports on Ross from 1967 and 1975 – which reveal that Ross had once been prescribed “Deaner” and “Librium” as a child and that he had some juvenile psychiatric challenges.]
Here is an article in a reputable news source about Rick Ross:
These references are difficult, but not impossible, to find on the internet because of political protection.
[This is nonsense. No one was in control of the internet to protect Rick Ross.]
Keith tends not to talk about his achievements and has always kept very quiet about the people he knows. Is he money-driven?
Although his past businesses have put him in a profit position of over $1 million dollars a month, he did not take this money and lives in the same house he has for the last 20 years: an $80k (purchase price) condominium in a small suburban neighborhood.
[Clare is, I presume, talking about Raniere’s tales of Consumers’ Buyline. Regardless, it is true that he lived at 3 Flintlock for years.]
He lives a very simple, modest life where he teaches voice, piano and invents—he also coaches some to the top people in the world.
[Who are these top people?]

Is he power-hungry? I have worked with him on the AI  festivals and my sister [Sara Bronfman] is on the executive board of Nxivm. Keith is respected but often can be convinced to change his mind and is at times outvoted. He is both rational and compromising. Having watched Keith’s life for the past 5 years (and I know others who have known him for as long as 30 years—Karen Unterreiner, one of the facilitators at the festival), he is neither money-driven nor power-driven and always strives to do the right thing.

Here are some facts about Keith Raniere:

This is the preface to Keith Raniere’s book from a prominent academic. Keith’s articles have been featured in each edition of Luis Todd’s journal for the past several years and there was a complete edition devoted to Keith. Here is the foreword to Keith’s book:

Here is more information on Keith:

He is noted as one of the 3 top problem solvers in the world and was in the Guinness book under highest IQ, 1989.

Because of Keith Raniere and his creations:

Nancy Salzman, my sister and I had a personal meeting last month with the Dalai Lama on Keith’s ethics program and children’s school.

We will have a second meeting with the Dalai Lama this week.

Nancy Salzman served in Keith’s stead to head the international conference on bioethics for Mexico. (Remember, Nancy is Allegedly the “cult” head right under Keith.)

Some people who have taken Nxivm programs:

Do you think a recommendation from Keith Raniere could help A cappella? How do you think we “pull in” the funding and experts? Do you really think such business people and royalty would be involved if Nxivm was a cult?

Do you think Keith needs to recruit college students?

Now, it is everyone’s choice who to believe Ross (see above) or Raniere (see above.) In the case of people who have attended AI and met me, Siobahn, Keith, Nancy, Lauren, Mark, Karen, etc., they have additional data.

By continuing to spread the Ross propaganda, you support Ross, a criminal. I think most people would not want to do that. I guess we will see if people continue to further his position.

In case some of you did not know, I was ranked 12th in the US and 80th in the world for equestrian show jumping. I came to Keith for help in riding. Keith does not ride, nor does he know anything about riding proper. His method of analysis rapidly uncovered things that the best riding coaches of the world could not see. My results were unprecedented.

[The results were that Clare quit horse jumping and took to jogging.]

Keith has done similar things for world-class soccer players, [who?] musicians [who?], business people [who?], actors [who?], dancers [who?], scientists [who?, weight-lifters[who?],  and singers [who?]. Just because he is approachable and non-assuming, do not assume he is not extraordinary.

Is NXIVM a cult? Is Keith a “cult” leader? I think not. Of course, some people who have already “dug-in” their heals [sic] will not want to really consider this information.

Nxivm is an ethics and critical thinking education program of international distinction and repute. It is not a “cult” by any definition. The prominent people of the world know this. If one believed individuals such as Rick Ross, they would think Oprah, the Pentecostal Churches, Mormon Churches, Amway, Waldorf Schools, etc., etc., etc. are all “cults.” Just remember, media likes a controversy and no media had called Nxivm a “cult” until Rick Ross created the controversy.

One last note: If you believe the Kristin Snyder suicide story, you should probably examine it more closely!

Ancient Chinese proverb – If you believe everything you read, better not read.

– Clare Bronfman

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Frank Parlato


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  • Oh Clare. She may have been misguided, but bless her for staying true to her beliefs regardless. Her smooth brow is a sign of a clear conscience. She doesn’t look like the type to go in for Botox.

    Register Number: 91010-053
    Age: 41
    Race: White
    Sex: Female
    Located at: Brooklyn MDC
    Release Date: 06/29/2026

    • Somewhere out there, Frank’s unofficial nephew, Bangkok is counting down the days until Lauren Salzman has a similar address. Dreams can come true.

  • “Keith tends not to talk about his achievements” – yep , he’s just a judo champion, really high IQ, could talk in full sentences when he was one, learned ALL of math when he was just a pup, can set off radar detectors with the power of his mind, modest man.

    Heh – an “achievement’ I fail to see in his list is how he was accepted into Juilliard for piano performance but chose to go to RPI instead. Except, of course, when I inquired what it was like auditioning for Juilliard, he had no idea what I was talking about. Psychos need to remember which lies they tell to whom – probably why he stopped using that one. Psychos also don’t like being caught in their lies without any believable semantic shimmy shimmy shake to extricate themselves. Danger, danger, run away and lock yourself in the bathroom or drop into a dead faint because (back of hand to forehead)… the STRESS!

    Maybe I’ll send him a set of paste clutching pearls for Christmas.

    • L, you just solved several of my Christmas gift problems, about to type ‘paste clutching pearls’ into the amazon bar.

    • Lol, L. You jarred my memory on the Julliard audition. Gina accidentally caught him once on that one, too. Our neighbor in Malibu, who Gina knew, DID get into Julliard for piano and Gina compared notes with him on Keith’s alleged audition. (They were sour ones.). When did that lie go bye-bye?

  • “I am deeply offended by the conduct of certain individuals in this community.”

    What conduct? Challenging / criticizing / questioning the pure and almighty NX? The air of superiority is astounding. These people had their heads far, far up their collective asses.

    If a normal organization is unjustly attacked by a critic, the normal response is to counter the wrongful statements with facts. Not sue the shit out of the critic for 14 years, which smacks of bullying, intimidation and desperation.

    Funny how Rick Ross turned out to be right… It explains why they protesteth too much at the time.

  • I didn’t think Richard Branson had done a course. I thought they just hired out his island, Necker, which anyone can who has the money for the hire fees.

    The way she talks about her riding sums up the whole con – you go to KR and he tells you your world-class riding or in Alison Mack’s case, your acting maybe isn’t what you should concentrate on, that you are defective and bad, and if you want joy give up your income sources, do things you aren’t good at and follow KR. Then later you find out all that it did was screw you up.

    • You’re so right. Such cynically pre-meditated behaviour – to put effort into completely derailing someone’s life. Some things, though not murder, are absolutely murderous by inches. The more I consider Judge Garaufis’ decision, the more just it seems to me.

  • I find I squirm every time I hear someone use the line “He is noted as one of the 3 top problem solvers in the world”. It’s highly embarrassing. It’s one of those situations where I am embarrassed for the person who uses it. Cringiness overload…

    • —”It’s one of those situations where I am embarrassed for the person who uses it.”

      OMG, ME TOO. So cringey! I nearly got a cramp from cringing so hard.

    • You shouldn’t be embarrassed or cringe about that designation. It is legit in my opinion with regards to one of the other three top problem solvers, Marilyn vos Savant.

      In that Mega Society test, what they did was take the top three scorers and give them special designation. Keith’s and Marilyn’s scores were in those top three. Now how the hell Keith actually got the scores for it is another matter.

      But what does give the whole test and the “top problem solvers” in the world designation some credibility, is Marilyn Vos Savant. She is legitimately recognized as the world’s highest IQ and has been solving the world’s toughest logic problems her entire life. She’s kind of famous for it (she was super hot when she was young too). You can youtube a clip of her on Letterman.

      It could be credibly said that Marilyn vos Savant is the top problem solver in the world.

      I’ve always hoped Frank would reach out to Marilyn and ask her how she thinks Keith did it. We need to know just how he did it.

      • I was a loyal devotee of Vos Savant’s syndicated newspaper column.

        If Keith wrote a book called “How I Did It”, it would fly off the shelves, far outselling OJ’s “If I Did It” but of course a big chunk of the book should focus on mistakes made and lessons learned and give space for the women of Nxivm to tell their stories. No profits to Keith, of course. They should prob all go to the Dalai Lama Foundation, a nonprofit established tomorrow in Lackawanna County, Pa.

        • Vos Savant, in her own column, claimed to posses a 315 IQ. I read her column in Parade Sunday newspaper.

          315 puts her above Einstein and Dr. Jonas Salk.

      • We do know exactly how Keith did it. He conned it. And it doesn’t take a genius but it might help to hear the FACTS from some less deluded people who were there.

        Btw, our Mom religiously read Marilyn’s column in Parade every Sunday, too. Aloud. That’s why I went to church, instead. (JK.)

  • Summary of one exchange between Keith Raniere and Deke Sharon:

    Q: You guys are just trying to recruit and make money.

    A: No, we don’t make any money. Yes, we take in $3-4 million a year but that all goes to legal fees.

    Q: You spend $3-4 million a year on legal fees? What is going on there?

    A: We can’t tell you unless you sign a non-disclosure agreement.

    Q: I don’t think I want to sign a legal contract with a company that spends $3-4 million a year on legal fees.

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.” He also appeared in "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM, and was 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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

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Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083