New NXIVM Tapes Set Up Legal Scrum
Frank Report posted Tape of Sara Bronfman Phone Call to Steve Forbes on Saratoga News Flash Facebook Page; More Taped Phone Calls Promised.
The title above pretty much tells all – that a Facebook news page got ahold of some recordings of Sara Bronfman. They published one recorded call – of what is believed to be a conversation between Steve Forbes and Sara Bronfman.
As soon as they published the first of a promised series of calls – which Sara apparently secretly recorded her phone call with Forbes while extracting a promise from him that he was not recording the call – Sara’s lawyers apparently sent a cease-and-desist letter – possibly to the publisher of the site as well as Facebook and the tape went down.
Frank Report took the liberty of making a copy of the recording while it was available online.
Meantime, the publisher – who remains anonymous – has permitted us to publish the following:
Saratoga Springs, NY — Saratoga Flash News, an edgy Facebook page that normally engages in stirring the pot of local politics here in this toney Upstate resort town, is now stirring up a different type of concoction: a multi-front legal can of worms.
The issues here include phone-tapping, freedom of the press, confidential sources, individual privacy rights, and civil court evidence. Not to mention: it also involves the infamous NXIVM sex cult and a rabid devotee that happens to be a beyond-rich heiress now apparently riding things out in Europe while most of her old comrades are being sent off to prison.
On Tuesday, Saratoga Flash News posted that it was in possession of a “trove of phone calls and other audio and video recordings” related to the former Saratoga County-based NXIVM’s affairs. It further stated that they all feature Ms. Sara Bronfman as the central character heard and seen within them.
As proof of these claims, it published a phone conversation between Ms. Bronfman and media magnate Steve Forbes. Ms. Bronfman can be heard complaining about unfair coverage being consistently given to both herself and NXIVM. She also informs Mr. Forbes of her suspicion that her own lawyer leaked the key pieces of scandal to his magazine’s reporter.
Ms. Bronfman, whose cut of the Seagram family fortune has afforded her the privilege of living the life of the rich and almost famous, has long been a part of the NXIVM enterprise. She and her sister Clare became true believers of its “Only We Can Save the World” because “We’re Masters of the Universe” style of new age enlightenment and soon thereafter went all-in as part of the upper-most management team. Their vast financial resources are said to have unleashed a wide variety of initiatives, including international expansion, shady real estate deals, commodities-trading gone bad, and vicious Dirty Tricks campaigns against critics and turncoats.
Clare Bronfman and others at that top level are all now serving (or are about to start serving) lengthy terms of federal incarceration after high-profile trials and plea deals, all of which were accompanied by a press and media frenzy that included at least three documentary movies and several books.
Sara Bronfman has so far eluded that criminal round up, partly due to her avoiding US soil ever since the salacious “female branding” story broke, setting in motion the investigations that brought NXIVM down under a slew of charges, which include money laundering, sex trafficking, kidnapping, fraud and pyramid schemes. But she is now the Defendant in an upcoming civil trial, brought by dozens of parties claiming damages due to her active role in the group. She will likely deny such a level of involvement.
These tapes could weaken that defense.
But by early (last) Friday morning, the ‘Forbes’ post and its accompanying audio had both disappeared. On Friday, January 7, the page announced it was ceasing publication. The media frenzy is back in action, raising questions.
When tracked down on ski holiday in Vermont, Flash News publisher Jack Flash (an obvious pseudonym) confirmed that he had indeed received a Cease & Desist Order, demanding that he take down the clip. He complied. But he further denied that it was related to his decision to close down the page.
“That didn’t take long, did it? I’m not disclosing who it came from or what rationale and threat were used,” he told a reporter. “But these things are a dime a dozen. I myself have sent as many of them as I’ve been handed over the years. I’ll probably throw it in the trash. Then, I will likely just toss it back up, as a “final post” kind of thing for Flash News. But I just wanted to give my lawyer the courtesy, but he’s in Italy or Vail or somewhere and forgot to take me with him.”
When pressed on possible concerns related to sources, ownership and privacy, Flash related that “all those bases are covered. As far as the origin of these things: if someone thinks they need to find out where we got them from, they will need to knock down a Free Press wall to get there. Yes, I’d love to argue that SFN meets the definition of legitimate press in this day and age.”
“Even if I lose that argument, they still won’t get that name or names. I’ll refuse, and then just go share a cell with Keith Raniere and swap funny stories for a few months. Then, I’ll write a book about it!”
When pressed further on his exiting the local and NXIVM news reporting business, Flash repeated the rationale he has uploaded on Friday: “I’m just way too busy with my other pursuits. SFN News was starting to harm their performance because of the time commitment. It’s all about life and biz priorities. But NO: that decision has zero to do with NXIVM, Bronfman or any of this. It sure would be fun if it were, but I’d be creating drama that is not truthful is I so claimed.”
“Future uploads of these conversations? Sure, they could end up on any of a number of sites or pages. Who knows what could happen if I get bored,” Flash concluded
Attorney Warren Matz of the Washington firm Henry-Warren PLLC, when asked for general guidance on this matter, raises other concerns:
“Even after clearing those considerations, he will also need to justify some sort of compelling public interest to rationalize putting these tapes out there to the public. Otherwise, it will appear as an effort to simply embarrass or ridicule someone. That could be problematic.”
“I’m curious as to who fed him these audios,” said a longtime local NXIVM observer who asked not to be identified, based on past run-ins with the organization. “It had to be an insider. But how does that shake out, legally?”
After reading the transcript of this first audio sample (as seen on an unrelated online blog) and doing some background catch-up, Attorney Matz called back to add:
“This action (posting the audio recording) raises all sorts of legal questions. In addition, it could likely play a part in that civil action, given it highlights the Bronfman woman’s function and importance in support of that criminal operation. I predict this Cease & Desist is just the beginning. He’ll get hit from every direction and from all parties moving forward, all wanting to get at these things.”
Just when we thought the NXIVM story was fading to black … it’s back.
When last we heard, Sara Bronfman was living in a mansion in Portugal, having recently moved from a mansion in Provencal, France, a mansion in London, an exclusive luxury condominium in New York City, and a capacious country estate in Clifton Park.
Her sister, Clare, is in Philadelphia at the brutal Philadelphia Detention Center, serving an 81-month sentence.
Clare is appealing her sentence. We do not know when Sara will return. Both sisters are facing a civil lawsuit from some 70 plus plaintiffs connected to their roles in NXIVM.
We do not know when Sara will return to the USA again, if ever. She left shortly before Raniere’s arrest and did not appear at any of her sister’s hearings, not even to show her support at Clare’s sentencing.
They are her damn phone calls. Lay off asshole
So, she lied and said she was not recording the call and required the other person not to record it and now she is found to be a liar and is cross because the call recording has been published. In English law, you cannot profit from your own wrong and have to come to the court with clean hands. By lying about the recording of the call, perhaps she doesn’t come to the court with clean hands and any request to stop publication of the call might fail
Sara, Clare, Suneel, Nicki, Michelle, Danielle, Eduardo, Mark Elliot and the rest of the “criminal justice reform fighters” should put their considerable free time and the Bronfman fortune into Tighe’s case.
It would prove the cult dead-enders truly practice what they preach and “Make Justice Blind”.
Show that even their own “enemies” deserve fairness.
John’s case should have a sponsored contest hosted by them. The dead-enders should spend as much time and social media presence delving into prosecutorial and law enforcement misconduct in John’s arrest, conviction and sentence – as they have Keith Raniere.
The dead-enders could use their “computer experts”. Mark Elliot could make a movie!
If Allison, Lauren, Kathy, and Nancy pled guilty (though innocent) through pressure to make a plea deal – as the dead-enders allege – John may have, as well.
This is their perfect shot to do exactly as the cult dead-enders demand others do!
Investigate and suspend prejudice about their “most hated”. The dead-enders’ own past foe! It’s really the right move cult die-hards, to prove that it’s not just about Keith
Or Hell freezes over.
I agree with this idea – minus the sarcasm.
All the people you listed should earnestly do something about this. Giving a suspect a list of unidentifiable serial numbers to attest ownership of, with police knowing some of those serial numbers were not confiscated, and then placing child porn on one, is exactly what is believed to have been done to Raniere.
John Tigue deserves as much blind justice as Keith Raniere does, and as we all do.
I’m watching to see what they will do here. It would be hypocritical in the extreme if they did nothing.
“My favorite place is between
Chris O’Brian’s thighs”
Sara Bronfman files lawsuit, from Portugal, to inhibit free speech…..The lawsuit doesn’t have much merit because Bronfman is a public figure….
BUT that won’t stop Sara from filing a frivolous lawsuit to bankrupt someone.
Sara Bronfman illegally recorded Steve Forbes across state lines thus breaking the Federal Wire Tap law. Unfortunately the law is rarely enforced or the perpetrator receives a slap on the risk.
Remember the man that Clare fainted over in court? It seems that Michael Avenatti is suing the BOP for mistreatment.
And he cried like a baby when he was sentenced.
Only letting Aventi read, “Art of the Deal” is priceless.
Being in a cell day in and day out, Aventi likely read the book because of the incredible boredom… 😉
Forgive me if you’re more familiar with this 1950s Minneapolis cult than us in the UK, but this is the first time I’ve seen anything about “The Whipping Cult.”
Do you remember that female politician who turned out to be a member of was it Opus Dei? Did they not wear some sort of belt of thorns? This put me in mind of that, although obviously a pale reflection of these strange peoples’ shenanigans..”chunks of flesh the size of a man’s fist’? OMG,OMG
NFW – Ex Conservative poltician Ann Widdecombe is a member of Opus Dei.
The Whipping Cult is fascinating!
Great to see Sara is willing to defend herself against the tribal hatred even though her views are unpopular.
Great to see Alanzo(Ex) staying in character. The quintessential actor! He is the second coming of Sir Lawrence Olivia, or Ron Jeremy, Alanzo’s doppelgänger.
Oddly enough both men hate women and love RingDings®️
hey dumbass –
“Ex” is not me.
He is more and more obviously an attempt to make it look like me so you can say this right here.
You are either doing this yourself, or you are being duped again.
Either you are a useful idiot for these guys, or you are a very twisted asshole using sock puppets to manufacture a scam here.
Either way, you’re not looking too good again, Chris.
Are you so stupid that you thought you wouldn’t be caught? Or are you so stupid that they’re fooling you into believing that “Ex” is me?
Which is it?
Alanzo, you say you’re not Ex.
So why exactly is Sara NOT a victim of Big Fat Hairy Lesbian Blind Retarded Tribal Ninny Turds like me, or Tribel Ninny Turds more generally?
You seem to think every other sleazy bitch who sucked Raneire’s penis is a victim of our tribal hatred, so what makes Sara any different?
Ohhh my! You caught me. Your reward: have a RingDing or eat my donut hole 🍩
Click on my name above, and see the ultimate website!
My comment is directed to Alonzo!
Great to see that moment when Chris O’Brien crapped his pants onstage.
We spoke to the A&R guy who was there that night. He said, “Dude’s loopy. Plus he crapped his pants. We can’t sign anyone who craps his pants on stage.”
Another big loss in Chris O’Brien’s failed music career.
Great to see Vito Corleone willing to defend his family name against those who just hate them because they’re Italian. He’s a David versus Goliath. Oy!
Question for K.R. Claviger
Is it legal for a third party to release recordings of phone calls? I know laws vary by state. In the state that I live in, you can record any conversation you are participating in, which probably means that I could release any phone calls that I recorded, provided I was a participant in the conversation.
The act of releasing someone else’s calls seems like it is illegal. Facebook is probably not liable, but the news page would be.
Is this correct?
New York State is a one-party consent state – which means that it is a criminal offense to use any device to record, obtain, share or use any communication without the consent of at least one person taking part in the communication. As a result, a third party may not record – or share – conversations that they are not a part of without having obtained the consent of at least one party to the conversation.
New York State does make an exception in cases where the person or people communicating are doing so in an environment where they should understand that their conversation may be overheard and recorded (e.g., a crowded restaurant). However, if you are a third-party and require consent from the parties taking part in the conversation, the Federal Communications Commission states that you may gain such consent by:
– Getting verbal or written consent prior to the recording being made;
– Providing a verbal notification before the conversation begins (e.g., “This phone call is being recorded for training purposes…”); or
– Repeating an audible beep tone at regular intervals throughout the conversation.
Having said all that, I must also tell you that the situation regarding the alleged phone call between Sara Bronfman and Steve Forbes has some unusual nuances that make it impossible to say whether it was illegal for a third party to release it.
What kind of unusual nuanses?
Can’t get into details because I promised not to do so in order to find out the proverbial “story behind the story”. If Sara decides to do more than have her attorneys issue that cease-and-desist letter, the whole story will likely come out then.
If Sara Bronfman herself secretly recorded the phone calls with Steve Forbes, while at the same time insisting that Forbes not record the phone call(s), and the phone recordings were lost from her custody or copied, or she herself passed them on and for that reason they became public, then she herself participated in making them public when she provided or played the recordings to others with the intent to use them in a certain way in the future or to use them against Forbes personally if it had been in her interest to do so.
Maybe SoundCloud will host the phone call recordings?
that would be funny
maybe put them on a Russian site