NXIVM: The Moira Penza Interview Part 2: Why Didn’t Law Enforcement Act Sooner – Answer Bronfmans

Clare and Sara Bronfman supported Keith Raniere and helped him continue his NXIVM enterprise. In fact, they became the enterprise.

See Part #1 for introduction: NXIVM: The Moira Penza Interview Part 1: Reading NY Times Story, Reaching Out to Edmondson and Collateral.

Hear the interview on the podcast A Little Bit Culty.

Moira Kim Penza:

{After reading the New York Times article in October 2017] There was part of me that immediately thought there could be a sexual component to this. And that was corroborated, that gut feeling, very quickly… I met with people who had been assaulted by Keith Raniere and as part of DOS. I think that was something that happened really quickly. And… I do give enormous credit to the Albany Times Union and what they had been able to uncover… back in 2012. [The Secrets of NXIVM series, a four-part series published in Feb. 2012, where many details of NXIVM and Keith Raniere were revealed for the first time, including the allegations that Raniere had numerous underage female victims.]

A lot of the predicate [racketeering] acts…  of this criminal organization that I charged…  had been identified before.  It was…  very troubling…  that it hadn’t been stopped earlier, but then there was more uncovered and I really do think it was a matter of really building trust with people and really understanding where people were coming from…  I always come back to the [FBI] agents, but I think their rapport… the fact that we all came to this with a healthy skepticism. But immediately we were confronted with real facts that showed that there were crimes here that needed to be prosecuted.

Anthony Ames

…. I was there in 2009 when a lot of these women complained [The NXIVM 9, led by Barbara Bouchey and Susan Dones, were nine women who left NXIVM complaining that Raniere was sleeping with many of his students]  and I went in and asked everyone ‘What’s going on here?’ because I was thinking of getting out [of NXIVM]  or just leaving…  and I got lied to …To see that the Times Union was actually on the scent and wasn’t able to get the proper investigation or Keith arrested. I felt like, if these things [in the Times Union] were true, then, there was a criminal justice system in place that would hold [NXIVM/Raniere] accountable either locally, or wherever.

Sarah Edmondson

That’s actually what Lauren [Salzman] said [at the time, 2012]. She said, ‘if these things were true [in the Times Union], we’d be in prison. I was like ‘Oh, okay.’


Obviously, that’s the question, and, subsequently, since we started our podcasts, we’ve asked a lot of these people why they think these abuses of power go on…  And protection from certain government agencies, through loopholes. I’m just wondering, what you think happened there [with NXIVM], Why was [Raniere] able to exist and “get away with it?” What do you think went on?

Are you allowed to answer that?

Frankly, I can’t fully comprehend why law enforcement didn’t act earlier. Of course, this is a very complex case. And I came at it in a world in which I had a very dedicated team. I was at the Eastern District of New York, which has a lot of resources, which has a historical practice of prosecuting these really big racketeering cases. So I had all of that on my side. But I do think it’s a real question that still remains out there as to why nothing was done earlier [by law enforcement in the Albany area: i.e., Albany DA, State Police or the feds in the Northern District of NY]. And Judge [Nicholas] Garaufis raised that [point] during Lauren’s sentencing and I think that was just a powerful moment because I think all of us, as proud as we are of the resolution that we got in this case and the fact that Keith Raniere is unable to hurt anyone else, there’s still a real sadness and it really is a tragedy [that it hadn’t been prosecuted earlier.]

That so many people, including Sarah, including the other women in DOS, they [would] never [have] had to go through that had this been stopped earlier. And so I think that’s really one of the things that I think remains a mystery.

Seagram’s heiresses Sarah and Clare Bronfman helped fund NXIVM

However, if I were to hypothesize, I think a big factor was the amount of funding and financing that was behind [NXIVM — i.e. Bronfmans]. And so when you look at the campaign that was initiated, just against you, after the DOS story was broken inside the organization, where you had someone [Clare Bronfman] who’s actually able to get on a plane and try and get authorities to act against you, Sarah, and where that has happened in the past successfully, where they have been able to go after critics, where other people have been able to, you know, have essentially prosecutions handed to them in a box, I think that that is something that that is very powerful. [Clare Bronfman went to Vancouver to file a criminal complaint against Edmondson]…

There was just a ton of fear in terms of the people who were victimized, right, understandably so. I think, once DOS happened, and once that really blew up and once there were people speaking out, that enabled other people to be part of a group. And there was still an enormous amount of fear, right? Every single witness interview I did, I was, you know, talking people down, explaining the fact that they were protected now, that it was very unlikely that there was going to be any physical violence, that it would be very hard [for Raniere/Bronfman] to retaliate at this point in time, but I think, until then, people would have been outliers.

And, first of all, it’s hard to build a case if you don’t have cooperative witnesses, right? That’s pretty fundamental. And then, on top of that, you know, people didn’t want to say these things happened to me because they didn’t believe anyone was going to support them and they thought their own lives would be ruined instead. And that’s the pattern they have seen already.

We also had a theory that maybe there had been some bribery…  this is totally unsubstantiated, just our own theory, that maybe Clare Bronfman had paid off certain [government] officials to kind of leave them alone.

And, just as an example of if…  I think we’d already gone to the New York Times but the article wasn’t out yet. And there was months went by… waiting for that article five months…  and we knew that there was a coach summit at Apropos at that dingy little clubhouse that used to be an Italian restaurant, and we knew that they were over capacity, because they were always over capacity…

And they weren’t supposed to be cooking food there.


[While waiting for the Times story to come out] We were just trying to distract as much as we could. And I called the local authorities just to say I want you to know that there’s an event happening and they’ll double capacity in a fire hazard and I really think that you should go knock on the door and let them know and they [local zoning enforcement officials] wouldn’t do it unless I was willing to give my name. And I was like “What crazy law was that based on? Like, you can’t just go knock on their door and see that they’re over capacity without me, like, I’m not willing to give my name. These people are crazy. They’re gonna come after me.”

Of course later, [I was] much more willing to give my name about these things, but, at the time, we didn’t know that the New York Times was going to come out, the impact it would have, or whatever, but our theory was that Clare has just paid off people and just to sort of give them some space to do whatever they want it essentially.

[The only publication during those long months from June to October 2017 that wrote about NXIVM was the Frank Report. I wrote about Bronfman filing a criminal complaint against Edmondson and about Apropos. Most of the NXIVM and DOS members learned about DOS from the Frank Report, as the New York Times indicated in their story.] 

…. Certainly at trial. I think there were some pretty shocking allegations and things that we proved at trial, about attempts by Clare Bronfman at various points in time to curry favor with certain politicians. We had evidence of the fact that there were illegal campaign payments [to Hillary Clinton] at certain points in time with essentially Clare Bronfman financing other people’s payments over campaign contribution limits. So now I believe more things are possible than I did before. But I don’t have any way of knowing that…

I also have the gut sense without this being substantiated, but just that there was a view [by law enforcement in the Albany area] that “Okay, this is a weird group over here. I’m just gonna let them kind of do their thing and not really get involved.” That’s really the sense that I have. And it’s so disheartening to me, looking back at all the atrocities that were taking place… but I really think that is what a lot of people thought was, you know, “These are just a bunch of weirdos and just let them do their thing.”

That’s part of the con.


… Sarah and I had multiple people who were on the fence asking questions, and they were coming back to us with what they [NXIVM leaders] were saying about Sarah and I, and one person who left said flat out Clare Bronfman went on a walk with him and said, “What dirt do you have on them?”

That doesn’t surprise me…  you know better than anyone,

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  • Damn straight, M. Novak: Penza and Garaufis are like totally guilty of the worst legal crimes imaginable and I’m gonna make sure they never see the light of day.

    Straight to the SuperMax for the both of them!

    I’m signing the order right now!

    Your’s in Christ,

    The Right, Honorable Chief Justice SCOTUS Jon Robertz

  • I can’t sing Ms. Penza and her colleagues’ praises highly enough. I can say with absolute certainty that without their dedication and forbearance against some very steep opposition to prosecute this case, NXIVM would still be in business as usual in league with some of the most corrupt figures and entities on Earth. Not to mention Satan himself. (JK…kinda.)

    While it is a bitter disappointment that the full extent of NX’s crimes – along with some of those perpetrators – remain unprosecuted, allegedly due to the NDNY DOJ’s failure to undertake the charges referred to that district for prosecution, the way things were going before Keith’s arrest (part of the ‘fear factor’ Ms. Penza mentions in her interview), I can also say with certainty that the already astonishingly high fatalities surrounding NXIVM would probably now be on par with the Jonestown massacre. Seriously. …How many 2017 Vanguard Week attendees got deathly sick upon consuming the light Vegan fare Clare served up at that event but, along with Keith and his harem favs, did not themselves partake in?

    What Ms. Penza has not delved into in this interview and, I feel, she IS somewhat sugarcoating is the fact that following the Albany TU’s 2012 Expose’ revealing Keith’s pedophile crimes, the NDNY and local Albany authorities not only (apparently) ignored the NXIVM cult BUT helped NXIVM retaliate against the victims who came forward at that time. As Ms. Penza does acknowledge, NXIVM (mostly through Clare Bronfman) was able to use police and DA’s (on up) in not only Albany but other districts, even in Canada, to accuse and attempt to frame (discredit or silence) its detractors or “enemies.” And, again, the cover-up effort didn’t stop short of attempted murder, from where I sit.

    I don’t know where special prosecutor Kevin Trowel’s investigation into public corruption possibly involving NDNY officials is at, if it’s on-going or not, but I remain hopeful that someday those turds will be flushed out of the Upstate, NY swamp they spawn in.

    Thank you, Moira Penza!

  • I did not listen to the actual podcast but based upon this transcript, one has to wonder if Penza has possibly set herself up for attorney misconduct proceedings.

    The ABA’s Model Rules of Professional Conduct require attorneys to report suspected violations of ethical guidelines by other attorneys. If Penza honestly believed that the Albany County DA or attorneys in the Northern District of NY had looked the other way based upon available information, she had a duty – and STILL has a duty – to report said suspected transgressions to the appropriate state and/or federal bar authority. The same goes for Judge Garaufis, who, as noted here, went on public record in Lauren Salzman’s sentencing proceeding to note that something seemed amiss. Prosecutorial discretion has only so much latitude. Every admitted attorney and appointed judge is an officer of the court, and that privilege comes with certain responsibilities and obligations. “I thought that someone else would’ve already reported this misconduct” is generally not a legitimate affirmative defense in disciplinary proceedings.

    • I’m sure she researched it. The trial is a done deal, everything is a public record. Stating you read an article, your strategy, and assigning an agent is certainly not an ethical violation.

      Deciding not to prosecute? Better go after all the scum being let off Scott free right now in NY.

    • Novak, you’re reading too much into Penza’s comments. She clearly says, “…that’s really one of the things that I think remains a mystery.” Then she goes on to, and to use her words, “hypothesize.” There is nothing in her comments that rises above suspicion based on gut feelings. I don’t see any governing body, state bar or otherwise, reading any more into those comments than what they are.

      • Thank you very much for your thoughtful comment, Retired Appellate Attorney. Do you see the same philosophy applying to Judge Garaufis’s comments? He seemed to clearly imply that someone was asleep at the wheel in this matter…not necessarily attorney misconduct perhaps, but possibly a dereliction of duty.

  • “Penza
    Frankly, I can’t fully comprehend why law enforcement didn’t act earlier. ”

    Doesn’t Moira Penza know that America has the best justice system money can buy?
    Just ask O. J. Simpson who is still looking for the real killer.

    What kind of prosecutor does not understand that justice is for sale in America?

    And while we are on the subject of rich people buying Justice there is this inspirational story from India.

    Report: World’s First Vaccine Murder Case Against Bill Gates Filed In India’s High Court
    Bill Gates and Serum Institute CEO Adar Poonawalla accused in legal filing of being conspirators who knowingly pushed the unsafe COVID shot on the Indian population.

    Murder charges have been filed against Bill Gates and the founder of the Serum Institute in a high court in India for their role in promoting the COVID vaccine, after a 23-year-old man died soon after taking the injection, according to reports.

    From the Indian Bar Association

    Petitioner has sought prosecution of AstraZeneca’s (Covishield) manufacturer Bill Gates, his partner Adar Poonawalla and other Government officials and leaders involved in the murder of a 23 year old man, who lost his life because of vaccination. The deceased took the Covishield vaccine by believing in the false narrative that the vaccine is completely safe and also owing to the compliance requirement set by the Railways that only double vaccinated people would be allowed to travel.

    The Government of India’s AEFI (Adverse Event Following Immunisation) Committee has recently admitted that the death of Dr.SnehalLunawat,was due to side effects of the Covishield vaccine. The said report has exposed the falsity of the claim made by vaccine syndicatethat vaccines are totally safe.

    Petitioner has claimed Rs. 1000 crores ($ 134 million USD) compensation and has asked for interim compensation of Rs. 100 crores ($ 13.4 million USD).

    Petitioner has also sought Lie Detector, Narco Analysis Test of accused Bill Gates and others.

    The Serum Institute of India (SII) received funding last year from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation through the GAVI Alliance to conduct phase 2 and 3 testing of the Covishield vaccine in India, granted by the Drugs Controller General of India (DCGI).

    “I would like to thank @BillGates, @gatesfoundation, @GaviSeth for this key partnership of risk sharing and manufacturing of a 100 million doses, which will also ensure equitable access at an affordable price to many countries around the world,” tweeted SII CEO Adar Poonawalla in August 2020.

    Notably, India’s National Adverse Event Following Immunisation (AEFI) admitted in October that the death of 33- year-old doctor Dr. Snehal Lunawat was due to a blood clot from the Covishield vaccine.

    Hopefully, this is the first of many legal cases investigating the dangers of the experimental mRNA COVID shot and holding those who pushed it as “safe and effective” accountable.


    In India they hang murderers. Shadow State

    All You Need To Know About Death Penalty In India

  • At the time I post this there are 5 comments on this entry, 4 of them by one person who would much rather talk about something else.

    To stay on the topic: NXIVM crimes.

    My questions for Nutjob, if he dares to answer them:

    – Have you told the feds everything you know?

    – Are there any crimes that haven’t been prosecuted you could shed some light on?

    – How did you get sucked in?

    – How did you pull yourself out?

    – Why are Nutjob and his troll frenemy acting like people with something to hide?

    – Is the heat of federal prosecutor scrutiny about Suneel and others’ illegal possession of child pornography and blackmail material getting too close for comfort?

  • Ames: “And they weren’t supposed to be cooking food there.”

    What a joke! So much drama over people serving food for a workshop.

    Hummus and carrots are now the equivalent of heroin and cocaine, apparently.

    Pure anti-cult tribal crisis acting.

  • RE:
    Sarah Edmondson

    That’s actually what Lauren [Salzman] said [at the time, 2012]. She said, ‘If these things were true [in the Times Union], we’d be in prison. I was like ‘Oh, okay.’

    That is a telling statement and an involuntary admission by Lauren Salzman that she herself and the criminal organization behind her are so involved in crime that they all belong in prison.

    This leads to the question: Why didn’t this Judge Garaufis send Lauren to prison as well, where she says she belongs?

    Lauren Salzman had greater insight into her criminal actions but presented herself more as a victim in court.

  • Penza
    Frankly, I can’t fully comprehend why law enforcement didn’t act earlier. Of course, this is a very complex case. And I came at it in a world in which I had a very dedicated team. I was at the Eastern District of New York, which has a lot of resources, which has a historical practice of prosecuting these really big racketeering cases. So I had all of that on my side. But I do think it’s a real question that still remains out there as to why nothing was done earlier [by law enforcement in Albany area, i.e. Albany DA, State Police or the feds in the Northern District of NY].

    Nor why Scientology hasn’t been indicted since 1978, when L Ron Hubbard’s wife and 10 top officials of the Church of Scientology were indicted and convicted and sent to federal prison. That’s when Hubbard took off on the lam from the law.

    Within a few years, Hubbard was no longer on the run, and he was building a new ranch for himself in Creston, California.

    He died in 1986, and within 7 years of his death, his Church of Scientology received full tax exempt status from the same federal government that had sent his wife to prison.

    What happened in those intervening years?

    Tony Ortega, Mike Rinder and others say the feds have done nothing about Scientology’s murders made to look like suicides because the federal government is afraid of Scientology.

    Rinder repeatedly says it’s because “Scientology is a religion” so the government can’t act because of the First Amendment.

    But let’s just keep thinking through this manufactured fog, and keep asking questions, shall we?

    Warren Jeffs, Sun Myung Moon, and dozens of Catholic priests have all been successfully tried and convicted by state and federal prosecutors – despite the 1st amendment.

    I asked Moira Penza on Twitter what she had to say about the death of Kyle Brennan.

    I presented her with the evidence of murder at the crime scene:

    – Kyle was found dead of a downward trajectory gunshot wound to the top left side of his head in the home of his Scientologist father. Kyle was right-handed.

    – 14 pieces of crime scene evidence were wiped clean of fingerprints.

    – The gun that killed Kyle Brennan had no blood or fingerprints on it.

    – No gunshot residue was found on Kyle Brennan’s hands.

    – Kyle’s father called Scientologists Denise Miscavige Gentile and Gerry Gentile to the scene before he called 911

    – The bullet that killed Kyle was never found.

    – Clearwater police investigators lied repeatedly to members of Kyle’s family.

    – Witnesses who were there that night, including David Miscavige’s twin sister Denise Miscavige Gentile, and her husband Gerald Gentile, changed their stories repeatedly in the weeks and months after the incident.

    – Kyle Brennan’s computer was wiped clean of all files and was completely empty when it was returned to his family.

    Like all federal agents and prosecutors – Moira Penza was completely silent on the murders made to look like suicides by the Church of Scientology. I guess the New York Times hasn’t presented her with the evidence she, or any other prosecutor, needed to build a case.

    Here’s the Critical Thinking Question Nippy Alludes to in his Interview above:

    Why did NXIVM get completely obliterated by the feds while Scientology remains unindicted since 1978?


    • — Why did NXIVM get completely obliterated by the feds while Scientology remains unindicted since 1978?

      Pretty obvious, Alonzo.

      The latter is much bigger, is more powerful, has more money, and has far more legal capabilities than a smaller time cult that came decades after and attempted to rip off its tactics for its own use but failed because Keith was sloppy, too concerned with wanting to bed women and be lazy like a frat boy instead of actually creating something similar.

    • Alanzo,

      You got me intrigued this time and I am not being sarcastic. The only conclusion I can draw at this moment is that our world is more disgusting than I thought.

    • And guess who is back to, once again, try to distract everyone onto the irrelevant topic of Scientology.

      And also talking to himself.

    • —Like all federal agents and prosecutors – Moira Penza was completely silent on the murders made to look like suicides by the Church of Scientology.

      I can’t fathom why Moira Penza didn’t reply to Alanzo…..

      “There shall come a day of reckoning and atonement.”-Alanzo

      • Maybe because she is no longer a prosecutor and does not read FR. which I am sure Alanzo knew in his veiled attempt to appear as an ex-Scientologist.

        I think Alanzo should tell us about the ex-Scientologists that Miscavige had him spy on.

      • I can’t imagine why Alanzo recently deleted his Tweet…..

        …….”There shall come a day of reckoning and atonement.“….

        Yeah, he said it…….

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.” Parlato was also 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 premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com