Pavlik, Zhang, Lauren Salzman: Family Denunciations Are Abhorrent

The US Dept. of Justice for the Eastern District of New York saw fit to praise Lauren Salzman in their sentencing memorandum in the following language: 

As set forth above, Lauren Salzman provided extraordinary assistance to the government’s investigation and prosecution of this case. She met with the government on dozens of occasions, both in proffers and in preparation for trial testimony, and answered all the government’s questions, including questions about crimes she committed, as well as criminal activity engaged in by her close friends and family members, including her mother.

Here is Paul Serran’s take on this praise for Lauren.

By Paul Serran

It was widely expected that the prosecutors’ letter to Judge Garaufis regarding Lauren Salzman’s sentencing would call for the downward departure from the steep sentencing guidelines, and highlight Salzman’s most consequential collaboration with the investigation and prosecution of Keith Raniere and the other NXIVM co-defendants.

However, a detail that prosecutors chose to include in the letter is disturbing to the core, as they remind the court that Lauren gave the state evidence against her own mother, Nancy Salzman.

While this situation is far from unheard of, the DOJ’s tactic is reminiscent of totalitarian states, and deeply shocking in the sense that the “denunciation of family members has often earned special opprobrium”, as it implies “an unnatural repudiation of family loyalty”, in the words of Professor Sheila Fitzpatrick.

Pavlik became a Soviet icon for sending his own father to a labor camp and ultimate death.

The most famous case of family denunciation in history, that of young Pavlik Morozov, comes from the old Soviet Union – but even then, this case has sparked conflicting reactions.

Pavlik denounced his father, Trofim Morozov, for selling identity documents to kulak deportees who had been settled in his neighborhood. Trofim was sentenced to ten years in a labor camp, but his sentence was later changed to death. Pavlik ended up being murdered by members of his own family, the Morozov clan.

Author Maxim Gorky, for one, spoke of “the heroic deed of Pioneer Pavlik Morozov, the boy who understood that a person who is a relative by blood may well be an enemy of the spirit, and that such a person is not to be spared“. Gorky was a favorite of Stalin, but the chairman’s reaction was said to have been much different: “What a little swine, denouncing his own father,” is the remark attributed to the leader, who was himself responsible for millions of deaths.

Pavlik in his only known photograph.

Australian author Sheila Fitzpatrick, in her study called “A Little Swine“, examines this situation. “Denunciation”, she writes, is the “act by which one citizen tells the authorities about wrongdoing on the part of another citizen, implicitly or explicitly calling for his punishment.”

This practice has always been controversial. “The rhetoric of civic virtue with which governments […] surround denunciation coexists with a subaltern counter-discourse in which denunciation is an act of betrayal.”

“When we think of denunciation in a totalitarian context”, Fitzpatrick writes, “we think of secret police, of ideologies exalting loyalty to the state or party, of zero tolerance of dissent, and the possibility of appalling outcomes – death or concentration camp – for those denounced.”

Even behind the Iron Curtain, however, there was a clear preference for ‘private over national loyalty’. “In the real-life Soviet Union of the 1930s […], ‘family’ denunciations, though not unknown, seem to have been comparatively rare.”

There is a basic, unmistakable  difference between the likely consequences of denunciation in America and in the Soviet Union or Nazi Germany: “While someone in the United States can easily report a neighbor they do not like as a crack dealer or child molester, that neighbor still has protections under the American judicial system: the right to a lawyer, due process, the right to a trial.”

That is true, but the present state of affairs in the US judicial system, where there is a disproportionate number of plea deals forced by prosecutorial overcharging of individuals, puts a dent in this clear-cut distinction.

Zhang denounced his own mother for ‘political crimes’, and lived to bitterly regret it.

The Chinese ‘cultural revolution’ of the 1960’s produced many other examples of family denunciation, like the horrific tale of Zhang Hongbing’s family.

“They beat [Zhang’s mother], bound her and led her from home. She knelt before the crowds as they denounced her. Then they loaded her onto a truck, drove her to the outskirts of town, and shot her.”

“Fang Zhongmou’s execution for political crimes during the Cultural Revolution was commonplace in its brutality”, the Guardian article states, “but more shocking to outsiders in one regard: her accusers were her husband and their 16-year-old child.”

Zhang, in 2013, confronting his guilt over sending his own mother to death, “said he was a son ‘who could not even be compared to animals'”.

Fang Zhongmou’s ‘crime’ was calling for the return of purged leaders and attacking Mao Zedong for his personality cult. Her zealous son Zhang warned her: “‘If you go against our dear Chairman Mao I will smash your dog head'”.

“‘I felt this wasn’t my mother. This wasn’t a person. She suddenly became a monster… She had become a class enemy and opened her bloody mouth,'” says Zhang, who called her to be shot as a counter-revolutionary.

Lauren Salzman provided prosecutors with evidence of crimes committed by her mother Nancy.

“Lauren Salzman provided the government with detailed information regarding the criminal activities of her co-defendant Keith Raniere and his co-conspirators”, the prosecutors’ letter to Judge Nicholas Garaufis reads, adding that “[t]he extent and the significance of her cooperation were extraordinary.”

The prosecution requested that the Court depart downward from the applicable Guidelines range that would put her sentence between 87 to 108 months.

“She provided credible, detailed testimony at Raniere’s trial before this Court in May and June 2019,” says the letter. This included a very tough cross-examination by Marc Agnifilo. So hard was the cross that judge Garaufis felt compelled to stop it, in a move that is bound to be a feature of Keith Raniere’s appeal.

Lauren Salzman admitted her involvement in the crimes she was charged with, and “provided detailed information about crimes committed by Raniere and other members of the racketeering enterprise.”

Also to be taken into consideration, according to the letter, is the fact that “her public guilty plea was a factor in other defendants’ decisions to plead guilty.”

“She met with the government on dozens of occasions, both in proffers and in preparation for trial testimony, and answered all the government’s questions,” the prosecutors wrote, “including questions about crimes she committed, as well as criminal activity engaged in by her close friends and family members, including her mother.

+++

There is no doubt that collaboration with the prosecution is something to be rewarded come sentencing time – that is the whole reason why defendants collaborate.

However, this family denunciation is something that is abhorrent to common sense. We have seen how Judge Garaufis took it hard that Clare Bronfman hacked her father’s computer, and how he was pleased that Allison Mack had reconnected with her family. One is left wondering how the judicial stipulations can coexist with the more fundamental moral component of this familial ‘betrayal’.

There is no doubt in my mind that Nancy Salzman is guilty of the crimes she was charged with – and more. It is also quite possible that Lauren may have had her mother’s approval in her complete collaboration with the prosecution. However, it is disturbing to see the DOJ making recourse to tactics usually present in totalitarian regimes.

 


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Paul Serran

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  • Most abuse of children is by family.

    Sexual abuse. Physical harm. Severe emotional abuse.

    Every time one of these children dies at the hands of their abusers society reacts with grief and anger. Outrage.

    What could have been done to prevent such a tragedy?

    What if those children had not been afraid to speak up? To speak out against their parent? To turn their abuser into law enforcement?

    Blind loyalty to a criminal mother or father can literally be the death of a child.

  • Who Is Typically Required to Report Child Abuse?

    According to information provided to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), there are 48 states that have mandatory reporting laws requiring certain people to report child abuse and neglect. These individuals are usually people who have frequent contact with children because of their occupation. The following is a sampling of mandatory reporters according to state:

    California: teachers, teacher’s aides, employees of day camps and youth centers, social workers, physicians, and clergy members.
    New York: physicians, dentists, licensed therapists, school officials, peace officers, and district attorneys.
    Texas: any professionals who are licensed by the state or are employees of facilities licensed by the state and have direct contact with children, like teachers, nurses, doctors and juvenile probation officers.

    Many other states have institutional reporting laws. These laws refer to individuals who work or volunteer for mandated reporters and who during their time of employment, gain knowledge of anything that may lead him or her to suspect abuse. In these situations, some states require that the staff member alert the head of the institution when he or she believes that an appropriate agency should be notified. Similarly, many states do not differentiate between professionals or institutions and require that anyone who has a suspicion of child abuse or neglect must report it.

    https://www.findlaw.com/criminal/criminal-charges/mandatory-reporting-laws-child-abuse-and-neglect.html

  • Texas Penal Code – PENAL § 38.171. :

    Sec. 38.171. FAILURE TO REPORT FELONY. (a) A person commits an offense if the person:

    (1) observes the commission of a felony under circumstances in which a reasonable person would believe that an offense had been committed in which serious bodily injury or death may have resulted; and

    (2) fails to immediately report the commission of the offense to a peace officer or law enforcement agency under circumstances in which:

    (A) a reasonable person would believe that the commission of the offense had not been reported; and

    (B) the person could immediately report the commission of the offense without placing himself or herself in danger of suffering serious bodily injury or death.

    (b) An offense under this section is a Class A misdemeanor.

    Added by Acts 2003, 78th Leg., ch. 1009, Sec. 2, eff. Sept. 1, 2003.

  • The minds of two youngsters in totalitarian regimes are not to be compared to adults here where there are competing sources of information. Also, as someone else noted, Nancy doesn’t seem too upset.

  • Paul –

    I think the points you make in this article are important and, once again, I admire your courage in making them.

    Government power in the US is growing ever more abusive, as seen in these totalitarian tactics you’ve described.

    Keep up the great work.

    Alanzo

    • Alanzo-

      Here’s a little reminder to help you regarding your misinformed lay-person’s point of view regarding the law, in question, and the DOJ breaking such law:

      “Now, I’m going to let you in on a little trick that lawyers use to determine if a particular statute applies to the set of facts that they’re considering…they actually read the statute.”

      **************
      Alanzo, always remember you’re the smartest guy in the room, provided your alone.
      ***************

      Alanzo believes that when the government enforces the law, it’s government overreach.

      I guess we can conclude that Alanzo is an anarchist

  • Paul-

    Excellent article! And, for once, I agree with you. LOL! Sincerely I do.

    It’s kinda weird the DOJ mentioned the family in such a way as to cast a shadow on the family. Also, the DOJ basically let Lauren’s sister and brother-in-law know they had been ratted out.

    ***
    I had written a longer comment, but it must have not have uploaded. None-the-less I enjoyed the read!

  • Paul-

    I agree with you.

    There is an odd wrinkle that occurred to me immediately after finishing your piece.

    The DOJ, like a totalitarian state, by not publicly sharing the information gleaned from Lauren, cast a dark shadow over Lauren’s entire family and friends. They’ve essentially all been stigmatized.
    Who is innocent and who is guilty?

    Indeed, the DOJ has acted unscrupulously. People may roll their eyes as to our conversation, but make no mistake, what we’ve witnessed is inherently wrong in a free society.

    Thanks for sharing your observation!

    ***
    Shouldn’t the “criminal activity engaged in by her close friends and family members, including her mother” be public?

    …And if not, why mention it all?

  • No matter how much the media wants to make crime glamorous and glorify the mafia – there really is no honor among thieves.

    I am from an infamous, legendary crime family. Omerta is one thing. But make no mistake; criminals are not honorable people. They do not adhere to any principle but furthering their own interests. Period.

    Don’t buy into Hollywood’s narrative.

    Lauren’s own mother does not seem to begrudge Lauren coming clean to the feds. So it is ridiculous for a blog that has lambasted Nancy Salzman non-stop to suddenly defend her honor.

    I do agree that the prosecution should not have publicly labeled Lauren a snitch. That’s not cool. Some great reward for cooperating!

    Maybe they were actually sending a message to the criminal cult? None of you are safe. And one of your nearest and dearest spilled all and confirmed everything. And your dear prefect Nancy was a criminal too. So wake up, cult members! But Lauren is lucky she’s not going to lock-up with that damning information made public.

    Lauren’s mother got her into this mess. It is not as if Nancy was the ultimate mom and Lauren ratted her out for lying on a tax form. Someone was going down for that stashed cash and everything else. I think it is perfectly sane for each woman to be responsible for their own criminality.

    In order to take down Keith Raniere, many of his opponents were also willing to take down every other person standing near him. Hypocritical to now criticize others’ choices.

    And Mark Vicente informed on his own Mother too. Where is the outraged post about Mark?

  • Communists in the Biden Regime are trying to get school children to snitch on their parents and neighbors to snitch on each other.
    And many readers of the Frank Report voted for this society of snitches and spies.
    Fuck the Gangster Joe Biden

    Report: U.S. citizens encouraged to snitch on family and friends ‘perceived to be radicalizing’
    https://www.lawenforcementtoday.com/u-s-citizens-encouraged-to-snitch-on-those-perceived-to-be-radicalizing/

    • Many states have mandatory reporting laws requiring certain types of people to report crimes against children. These “mandatory reporters” generally include parents, teachers, school administrators, clergy, medical professionals, therapists, social workers, and others. In some states, however, anyone who believes child abuse is taking place must report it.

      Once a mandatory reporter witnesses an act of abuse or finds evidence of child abuse, he or she has a duty to report the incident to the appropriate authorities. That usually includes sharing important details about the incident, like the names of the victim and perpetrator. Failure to report an incidence of child abuse is a misdemeanor offense in most states.

  • What’s the point of this blog post? To try to persuade us that testifying about criminal family members is shameful? It sounds like the writer is saying we should agree with wise chairman Stalin that Pavlik was “a little swine.” As if Stalin was in a position to judge anyone’s morality.

  • Lots of bad things happen in totalitarian regimes. These two examples prove nothing. The only thing appalling here is the flawed logic.

    The Unibomber was stopped only because his brother turned him into the law. Was that unethical? Would it have been better to allow the random letter bombing campaign to continue?

    The idea that loyalty to family comes before all else is moral quicksand. Nobody believes in family loyalty more than the Mafia.

    Have a look at Ervil LeBaron and his family. They collaborated in a decades-long murder spree, punishing disloyalty “with extreme prejudice”. None of them would ever rat out family. So the murders continued.

    So much for family loyalty being an absolute moral good.

  • It should be pointed out that the bolded opening statement from the prosecution isn’t incorrect. It’s not even exaggerated. It’s a straightforward, succinct and factual summary of how she worked with the prosecution. Seems important to recognize that first before going further into Serran’s diatribe.

    The government, to get Salzman’s cooperation, made a promise to help her get a reduced sentence. Since only the judge can ultimately grant that wish and can completely ignore prosecutor recommendations, it means the prosecutors had to make a sound argument on why the judge should listen and follow their wishes on the subject.

    They are upholding their end of the agreement and, as you inadvertently pointed out, they did it with factual statements about her level of cooperation. You are basically demanding that a) the prosecution renege on their promises and b) if they do say something, lie, downplay and otherwise sabotage that effort. Both have serious consequences for getting anything done both for and against defendants. If they made a half-assed statement about defendants working with them, they would not have defendants working with them. It’s that simple.

    As for turning on family…once again the conservatives here show their definition of morality shifts with “whose side” does it. Proving, once again, they have no morality. Morality doesn’t have a “my side doing it makes it OK” exception.

    • Erasend, I am with you on this, I just don’t understand the last statement:

      “….once again the conservatives here show their definition of morality shifts with “whose side” does it. Proving, once again, they have no morality. Morality doesn’t have a “my side doing it makes it OK” exception.”

      Who are the “conservatives”? The person who wrote the article, Paul Serran? And who else? And what do you mean by “my side doing it, makes it ok?” Who and how is someone saying that it is ok to do it for these people but not others?

      I’m just asking because I thought I understood the article and I thought understood the beginning of your response 100 percent—and agree, but now I think I might have missed something somewhere…

      • Serran, Frank, Shivani, etc. Most of those are oddly focused on the whole mother aspect and seem to read too much into a conspiracy of a family member cooperating with the prosecution against another family member. Even Frank gave it away with his preamble:

        “It is a remarkable paragraph: The US Dept. of Justice for the Eastern District of New York saw fit to praise Lauren Salzman in their sentencing memorandum in the following language: ”

        Again read the bolded statement at the beginning of this and the other post. It’s actually very dry, straightforward, has no hyperbole, no misstatements or exaggerations of Salzman’s assistance. AKA a classic example of a good reporting paragraph summary of an event despite being in a legal brief. Most definitely nothing “remarkable” about it.

        It’s a “remarkable paragraph” and “praise Lauren Salzman” only because Frank and others have made it vehemently clear they disliked her cooperation and feel it was extorted by the government or part of some grand conspiracy. This is a normal, day-in-and-day-out description of how the justice system works. Witness cooperation, promises of reduced sentences, pointing out to judges when they do cooperate to help get that reduced sentence is no more extraordinary than the sun coming up. It’s like this at all levels of government from town on up to Fed, and it happens just as much in GOP-controlled areas as it does in Dem-controlled areas.

        You can only make this political if you force it to be and my statement is pointing out the very interesting pattern that the hard-line conservatives here are the ones most angered by it. I am happy to concede it was an unnecessary act but what can I say, I am tired of the “my team” exception that I see all the time.

  • It seems intrusive to peer into what the status quo is between Lauren and Nancy Salzman, about how either might feel or how they might or might not be interacting currently. It is so personal.

    However, as I have mentioned before at the Frank Report, to me it was unnecessary for Lauren’s cooperation to have been couched in the precise terms used at her sentencing, and especially by those who spoke with the intention of ameliorating her circumstances as a defendant, who pled guilty and who then decided to cooperate.

    Quite simply, Lauren talking about her mother at all could’ve been omitted from whatever was said on her “behalf” via the prosecution or what Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis either read into court records or said as his perspective and decisions.

    Including her mother, Nancy Salzman, vocally in any recommendation for leniency wasn’t needed public information, not when it could have been left aside, tacitly understood. Subtlety would have allowed this to pass much more unnoticed.

    Of course Lauren informed, once she decided to cooperate, and she testified in court for what? Four days, yes? That was enough for people to hear, Lauren’s specific testimony and what came out of her and her attorneys’ mouths publicly.

    Nancy Salzman could have been been left as an unmentioned nonfactor during Lauren’s sentencing. The results would’ve been the same and perhaps more humane.

    What has been said behind closed doors to prosecutors, etc. very often, remains behind those closed doors, and thus, can be as confidential as the prosecutors’ CHOICE of words used outside of that atmosphere.

    In particular, nobody here was a fly on the wall during any of Lauren Salzman’s disclosures to the prosecution team nor
    do we know how, or in what manner, any questions were asked to her or what decisions Lauren had to face then and there during many different meetings.

    Lauren might have felt her heart in her throat to have to make any mention of Nancy, her mother. We do not know what happened for her or to her, during Lauren’s prosecutorial sessions.

    What might have Lauren Salzman been confronted with or shown? There is no way that being questioned was a walk-in-the-park for Lauren. Her testimony showed graphically how emotional Lauren was, and she has been under plenty of stresses for a long time.

    Implicit in Lauren Salzman’s disclosures against Nxivm would be information to do with Nancy Salzman, one of the group’s core and major operators since 1998.

    However, talking about Lauren “betraying” her mother via any disclosure at all gets most people right into primal feelings and territory. For so many of us, family is everything, and to lose a family member is so very hard, and it can be unforgettably so. If there’s an internal familial conflict, that can be every bit as devastating as losing a loved one’s presence in your life who has died. Sometimes, it can feel worse than missing a loved one who has died, because of alienation or ongoing conflicts between family members.

    For me, whatever primal feelings are between Lauren Salzman and her mother are their affair and it is their privacy to keep. Respect every family even if you disagree or “hate ’em” altogether.

    This doesn’t end the multiple comeuppances awaiting Nancy Salzman, however. Not at all. This is merely about leaving their personal relationship together alone, where it needs to be, respectfully.

  • Kinda see your point here, Paul.

    Authoritarian state where people are “telling on others” = not good.

    I just don’t sense that’s what happened here for Lauren. I think she was well aware of the vast amount of cash money that was stored in her mother’s house.

    It’s different than Allison making false claims about her family that were required for collateral.

    Alison’s collateral did the bad form of this. She put forward lies.

    In a just and reasonable society that she believes in the truth, Lauren’s honesty should be honored and not condemned.

    If you read a little further, maybe it will soothe your fears? There is nothing wrong with telling the truth.

    The problem I think you’re speaking to is people falsifying, lying about others or otherwise maneuvering to save their own neck. Probably on account of some authoritarian regime.

    I see your point, Paul.

    But I strongly believe that truth and justice will always prevail and I hope it helps you to know this.

    I want a better world, too.

  • The use of government deprogrammers, as admitted to by the prosecutors and the judge in court so that the jury could “understand” witness testimony, and the use of tampered evidence, is also incredibly reminiscent of totalitarianism.

    It’s hilarious to me that all these anticultists decry coercive persuasion by mostly powerless minorities they disagree with, but don’t bat an eyelash when the feds send people to life in prison with no prior criminal record, or history of violence of any kind.

    It makes one wonder if the federal government is threatened by some “cults” and see them as political rivals, while also supporting some others, such as Scientology, by protecting them from criminal prosecution.

    Maybe the feds are just into raw, unthinking, and arbitrary power, and there is no thought of justice in them at all.

    Ya think?

    Alanzo

    • There was no “tampered” evidence. That is a loaded term that implies that the government maliciously falsified evidence to convict a defendant. This never happened. In fact, repetitively asserting this, while never evidencing or proving it, is malicious since it is spreading a lie. Buying off some person in India who can write a paper supposedly evidencing this well after the fact, while not calling him (or anyone else for that matter) into court to testify to the matter with ample time and opportunity, doesn’t count.

      And “deprogramming” is nothing more than the reverse-indoctrination that cults indoctrinate with. Both are possibly “coercive” environments, but so is any law that is instituted by a governmental judicial system that overrides the former. Cults can do whatever they want in a democratic society with the US as long as its individual members don’t break the law. Too bad NXIVM members couldn’t even do that.

        • Aren’t you the one who said “brainwashing” isn’t real? Then according to you, there can be no such thing as “deprogramming” since the latter presupposes that the first exists. Besides, I already implied what brainwashing and deprogramming actually means.

          That statement by Brain Booth suggests nothing of the sort with respect to evidence tampering. Just opening any file or reading a directory (which is just a file) on any computer file system changes timestamps. Big deal. That doesn’t mean the content of the files were changed, nor anything malicious was done. Why is this so difficult for you to understand? Oh yeah, you’re so gung-ho about your false mainstream anti-cult against all cults dichotomy that it blinds you to the obvious.

          • I can see that you’re confused, “Anonymous”.

            I said that the judge and the prosecutors in this case believe in “brainwashing” and that’s why they used “deprogrammers” to change the testimony of their witnesses – so the jury could ‘understand’ them.

            It’s a totalitarian tactic.

            Also, accessing FBI evidence without the approval or documentation of the FBI agents in charge of that evidence, as Inspector Booth testified to under oath in this trial, is a crime. And you have repeatedly said this violation of the chain of custody is an innocent act.

            I think it’s you who has a brain deficiency.

            Have you tried a supplement such as Prevagen® for that?

            https://www.cvs.com/shop/prevagen-extra-strength-chewables-mixed-berry-flavor-20mg-30ct-prodid-1070367

            Alanzo

          • Ah, Alanzo, exactly what “crime” do you think was committed when someone accessed some of the evidence in the Raniere case without noting what (s)he did – or if, as you claim, someone accessed some of that evidence without getting permission from the one who was in charge of the Evidence Room?

          • “Aren’t you the one who said brainwashing isn’t real?”

            Depends what day you ask…..

          • You’re still not getting it.

            “Brainwashing” and “deprogramming” are umbrella, metaphorical terms. Brains aren’t really washed, and humans are neither robots nor computers. But humans can be indoctrinated with or hold erroneous beliefs which can be difficult to change. A lot of psychotherapy, e.g., CBT, presupposes this state.

            And no, a loss of COC is not considered a “crime”. It is also not evidence of “evidence tampering”. It also may be innocent or not. It depends upon to what was the extent of the loss of the COC. You’re pretty bad at nuanced thinking.

          • Claviger asked:

            “Ah, Alanzo, exactly what “crime” do you think was committed when someone accessed some of the evidence in the Raniere case without noting what (s)he did – or if, as you claim, someone accessed some of that evidence without getting permission from the one who was in charge of the Evidence Room?”

            The court transcripts say that Brian Booth is the head of the FBI property and evidence room where this evidence was accessed and he says he does not know by whom, what they did, or why they accessed it. He testified that none of his juniors in the property and evidence room know, either.

            The chain of custody has been broken. We don’t know what happened.

            So since we don’t know, let’s say Keith Raniere paid someone to access that crucial evidence. Would that be a crime?

            You don’t know what happened here yet you are casting this as an innocent administrative glitch, and trying to get everyone else to think of it that way, too.

            Why?

            Alanzo

          • I love people like you, Alanzo, I really do.

            You start out by alleging that a crime was committed when someone accessed some of the FBI evidence that was gathered in preparation for Keith’s trial.

            Here are your exact words: “Also, accessing FBI evidence without the approval or documentation of the FBI agents in charge of that evidence, as Inspector Booth testified to under oath in this trial, is a crime.”

            Then, when I ask you to explain what “crime” it is that you think was committed via this accessing, you accuse me of “casting this as an innocent glitch”.

            I didn’t make any assertion — or cast anything as anything.

            I asked you a simple question: i.e., “What ‘crime’ do you think was committed when someone accessed some of the evidence in the Raniere case without noting what (s)he did – or if, as you claim, someone accessed some of that evidence without getting permission from the one who was in charge of the Evidence Room?”

            And because you can’t answer that simple question, you think that making allegations about me will somehow cover up the fact that you’re a blowhard who makes baseless allegations.

            I really should have paid more attention when my dad told me to never get into a battle of wits with an unarmed man because those battles never end well.

            Good night, Alanzo. I think it’s time for you to move on…

          • Claviger wrote:

            “And because you can’t answer that simple question, you think that making allegations about me will somehow cover up the fact that you’re a blowhard who makes baseless allegations.'”

            OK so now it’s even clearer what you’re trying to do. You’re an attorney, right? You know this is a crime. You knew it was a crime when you asked me your question.

            And when I didn’t give you the exact statute (one that might apply is 18 USC Section 1519) you’ve done your very best to make it look like I’m “a blowhard who makes baseless allegations.”

            And yet, as an attorney, you know it’s not a baseless accusation.

            So my question stands, Claviger:

            Why are you trying to make this break in the chain of custody on this crucial federal evidence look so innocent?

            Alanzo

          • Well, Alanzo, I’ll give you credit for at least including the words “might apply” with your reference to 18 U.S. Code § 1519.

            Now, I’m going to let you in on a little trick that lawyers use to determine if a particular statute applies to the set of facts that they’re considering…they actually read the statute.

            So, let’s take a look at what 18 U.S. Code § 1519 actually says – and see if it applies to the set of facts that you think constitutes a crime.

            Here’s the language in 18 U.S. Code § 1519:
            Whoever knowingly alters, destroys, mutilates, conceals, covers up, falsifies, or makes a false entry in any record, document, or tangible object with the intent to impede, obstruct, or influence the investigation or proper administration of any matter within the jurisdiction of any department or agency of the United States or any case filed under title 11, or in relation to or contemplation of any such matter or case, shall be fined under this title, imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.

            Now, please explain to me how an admission that there was a break in the chain-of-custody with regard to a particular piece of evidence falls under the acts prohibited by 18 U.S. Code § 1519.

            In order to do that, you’re first going to have to prove that the evidence in question was altered, destroyed, or mutilated – or that it was concealed, covered up, or falsified.

            And if you could do that – which, based on the available evidence, you certainly can’t do – you would still have to prove that the person(s) who did that did so “knowingly” as in intentionally.

            So, Alanzo, sorry to say, but you are, in fact, “a blowhard who makes baseless allegations” because you keep trying to conflate a simple fact – i.e., that there was a break in the chain-of-custody with regard to a particular piece of evidence – into a crime that requires proof of very specific elements.

            As I said Alanzo, I think it’s time for you to move on to some other blog that doesn’t require commenters to provide facts to back their allegations.

            And, believe it or not, I think I found the perfect place for you: https://alanzosblog.com/

          • “As I said Alanzo, I think it’s time for you to move on to some other blog that doesn’t require commenters to provide facts to back their allegations.”

            I didn’t realize that the commenters on the Frank Report operate under this requirement. Or is that requirement just for me? LOL.

            There’s also section 1512:

            “(c)Whoever corruptly— (1)alters, destroys, mutilates, or conceals a record, document, or other object, or attempts to do so, with the intent to impair the object’s integrity or availability for use in an official proceeding; or

            (2)otherwise obstructs, influences, or impedes any official proceeding, or attempts to do so,
            shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than 20 years, or both.”

            And yes, of course these would all have to proven with evidence in a court. It’s my understanding this will be a big part of the appeal.

            Hey maybe we can hold the appeal on the Frank Report, what with their strict rules of evidence and all.

            Alanzo

          • I can’t figure out if you’re one of those guys who just has to get the last word in, you’re just too egotistical to admit that you’re wrong, or you’re just too dumb to understand what you’ve been told. Actually, I’m beginning to think that all three options may be in play here.

            Did you even read the language you quoted from Section 1512? If so, did you not understand that the very same issues that I raised with respect to Section 1519 would apply with respect to that statute?

            Let me try to put it into words that any fourth-grader can comprehend: the fact that the chain-of-custody was broken with respect to a piece of evidence does not mean that a crime was committed – which was your original assertion. In order to prove that a crime was committed, you would need to prove that someone intentionally did the things that are prohibited by Section 1512, Section 1519, and almost every other section of the U.S. Code (Except for “general intent crimes” – most of which are classified as misdemeanors or violations – crimes require intent).

            The fact that you understand “…this will be a big part of the appeal” only underscores just how little you know about the appellate process. And “No”, I’m not going to take the time to explain that to you because you won’t understand it or you’ll raise some other asinine argument.

            You really do need to put the shovel down, Alanzo. The hole you’re digging is now to the point that it’s embarrassing to be communicating with you.

            Seriously, just go back to https://alanzosblog.com/ – where you’ll be the smartest commenter on the blog.

        • So… The government planted evidence.

          But then they told the truth and testified honestly about an unknown FBI personnel accessing that exact same file?

          That makes no f×cking sense

          It is illogical that the FBI planted child porn on a hard drive but then drew the line at lying on a witness stand.

          If the FBI set up Raniere, the FBI is going to follow thru with that deceit.

          Not f×ck it up by muddying the waters with testimony about an unknown agent accessing the file while in custody

          The FBI would just say, “It was agent Tom Carruthers. And he opened the file for the following reason…”

          By your reasoning, the FBI is willing and able to pull off this whole kiddie porn set-up but not tell the simplest lie in the world? A lie that carries virtually no risk.

          Use your Gdang brain.

          • Exactly.

            I basically said a similar thing with the exact implications as you clearly pointed out above in a comment here and directly to him like months ago.

            Yet, he’s here still repeating the same BS. He gives credence to the notion of brainwashed cult moron.

    • —The use of government deprogrammers, as admitted to by the prosecutors and the judge in court so that the jury could “understand” witness testimony, and the use of tampered evidence, is also incredibly reminiscent of totalitarianism.

      So what you are saying is that the government photoshopped Cami’s image and Cami is lying?

      Alonzo, you are an enigmatic contrarian.

      I guess you believe Raniere is innocent.

      • Anonymous at 6:02 pm

        I feel heartened that another soul sees the crazy. And the disordered thinking.

        Also… The Raniere die-hards do not believe ANY other sworn testimony from vanguard’s trial.

        But they cherry-pick this one fairly throw-away statement from testimony (about the accessing) as the be-all-and-end-all in truth-telling.

        So again. The FBI totally lied. Except for this one statement.

        Everyone else lied under oath. About EVERY thing. The whole trial.

        Except for this one remark. By a person they believe is a liar who is part of a lying conspiracy of liars.

        Except this one time – this one time they told the truth.

        • YES!

          Logical fallacies:

          — Cherry picking
          — Special pleading
          — Ad hominem

          Among others.

          And they confirm…their confirmation bias.

          They have crossed the line into well beyond hypocrisy territory.

          And their critical thinking sucks. It amounts to the following: repeat that I’m a critical thinker, have been taught critical thinking, and that everyone else can’t critically think except those who agree with me. It appears this is what they were taught in Vanguard University.

          It’s whatever will get my Vanguard off — double entendre of a sexual pun intended — is right. Everything else is a lie, corruption, conspiracy, hate, etc.

    • No. I don’t think so. I think you are ascribing way more power and influence to some select people than they actually deserve.

      • My2Cents –
        life
        So you don’t think that the social pressure of the mainstream, as well as the looming threat of decades in prison, along with the ‘helpful hand’ of a government therapist (deprogrammer), can get a witness to change their testimony to fit what the prosecutors need to provide the evidence for a violation of a criminal statute?

        I do.

        And I think that’s what happened in certain key areas for the guilty verdicts in this case.

        Not all convictions. I belief Raniere was guilty of some of these allegations.

        But nothing that would send a person with no criminal record, nor any evidence of violence, to life in prison.

        Alanzo

  • Nothing nefarious going on. In my experience after 35 years practicing criminal law, more often than not, co-defendants turn against each other. Many times the co-defendant family members will turn against each other before ever turning against non-family co-defendants in the same case. Also, in nearly every instance it is the defendant who offers to testify against co-defendants, and not the state asking for cooperation. There are as many different reasons for a defendant to turn as there are defendants, but usually it’s as simple as not wanting to do the time.

    In every case in which a co-defendant cooperates for leniency, first the prosecutor and defendant come to an agreement, then it is presented to the court to be finalized. Many different factors can influence whether the court ratifies it, conditionally accepts it or something else, but now the cooperation has become “official.”

    Where the sentencing memo states that Lauren gave information against her mother, I interpret it differently. Because close relatives often turn against each other, this is just letting the court know up front that leniency is on the table because it happened in this case, too. Since that information against Nancy wasn’t testified to by Lauren at trial, this is telling the judge that the substance of that information is contained in the report.

  • Thanks for maintaining an intelligent, independent, non-slanderous yet inquisitive stance on the Frank Report.

About Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato Investigates

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 featured prominently on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and acted as lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” 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 has 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, which was ironic since many credit Parlato as being one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

If the whole world stands against you sword in hand, would you still dare to do what you think is right?

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