Frank Parlato and Suneel Chakravorty are the authors of this series. Parlato is a critic of Keith Raniere. Chakravorty is Raniere’s power of attorney. This series examines allegations that the FBI tampered with evidence. Raniere has not reviewed this series before publication. Neither has the FBI.
The series relates incidents drawn from many sources. Among the sources are media reports and trial testimony. This does not mean it is true. Instead, it is an assertion that a witness testified to it or the media reported it.
Chakravorty notes he became closer acquainted with Raniere after his conviction. Still, he enters this project convinced the FBI tampered with evidence. Chakravorty has experience in computer technology. He spent more than two years investigating the issue.
Parlato did not enter the project convinced or unconvinced. He observed in his own case how the FBI can be willfully blind to justice. That they ignore facts. That truth became secondary to an indictment. And justice was not the priority of the Department of Justice.
Their business is taking human freedom away, and the misnomer of ‘justice’ in their name supports their enterprise. People are their commodity. Justice is costly. It would shatter the bottom line if the Department of Justice were forced to adhere to justice over the need for convictions. It’s business. It’s nothing personal. Winning over truth. It is only personal to the one who is charged.
Parlato’s case began when Clare Bronfman filed a criminal complaint against him. Raniere was Clare’s mentor. Both are in prison. Many believe Parlato had a hand in that. If the tampering allegations are valid in Raniere’s case, others may go to prison.
Parlato states his commitment is to report the facts in an unbiased manner. He is an opponent of Raniere and believes Raniere and Bronfman used the FBI as a weapon against him.
He says he would not use the same methods he believes the FBI, the DOJ, and Raniere and Bronfman used against him. He wishes readers to decide if there is more to consider in the Raniere – FBI tampering matter.
He prefers readers not to know his opinion and let them decide for themselves. The authors believe their efforts may have value if they do their job well. They are on opposite sides, collaborating on an issue that transcends their dispute.
Their dispute is their opposite view of Raniere. Their common goal is to try to discover the truth. Both of us agree that it is wrong if the FBI tampered with evidence, even if that person is guilty of the crime.
The purpose is not to determine whether Raniere is a good man or a devil. The goal is not to reassess his guilt or innocence of the underlying charges. The purpose is to find out if the FBI tampered with evidence to convict him of specific charges. We must give even the devil his due process.
There may be many who presume regularity with the FBI and federal prosecutors. The authors do not give the FBI or the DOJ a presumption of regularity. Neither do we presume they have malintent.
The reader is welcome to participate. The comments section is accessible to everyone. Please keep your comments on point for this series. Our focus is narrow. It involves one crime of conviction — Racketeering. The analysis is about predicate acts of the racketeering charges. Those predicate acts are sexual exploitation of a minor and possession of child porn. Were these fueled by evidence tampering?
This series does not address the legal ramifications of what tampering might mean if it is true. Whether it would entitle Raniere to a new trial or a reduction in his sentence is irrelevant. Our goal is to put facts before the public in easy-to-comprehend language.
Now let us begin.
Raniere co-founded ESP in 1998. He co-founded NXIVM in 2003. The company headquarters was in Albany, New York.
NXIVM offered workshops based on the teachings of Raniere. The courses provided “educational tools, coaching, and trainings” on success.
In his own words, Raniere is an “ethicist” whose “ethical teachings… have focused on raising the level of humanity within each person.”
NXIVM was hierarchical. Participants who attended classes and recruited students could rise in rank. People who took courses were sometimes referred to as Nxians. During class, Nxians wore colored sashes with stripes to show their rank.
Raniere had relationships with multiple women. Most of them were students and employees of NXIVM. Some considered the date when they first had sex with Raniere as their anniversary.
FBI Special Agent Michael Lever wrote, “Raniere has maintained a rotating group of fifteen to twenty women…. These women are not permitted to have sexual relationships with anyone but Raniere or to discuss with others their relationships with Raniere.”
The Department of Justice alleged that the 25 people in the photo above were his inner circle. Raniere had intimate relationships with 19 of the 20 women.
From 1989 until around 2014, Raniere lived with several women in a modest townhouse at 3 Flintlock Lane in Clifton Park, NY.
Some of his students moved to the area to be near him.
According to sources, Raniere used 8 Hale for about 10 years, then around 2014, he used it less. After that, it became more of a storage area. Raniere moved into a much larger home at 21 Oregon Trail, a few blocks away in Clifton Park.
For this analysis, our period of concern with the townhouse is from November 2005 through February 2010.
The two screenshots above are from a video made in 2012.
The FBI alleged that the black hard drive with the blue light stored 22 naked photos of 15-year-old Camila. The FBI alleged Raniere took her pictures with the Canon camera they found under his desk.
They alleged they knew the dates he took the pictures because of the metadata they found on the digital files.
Camila did not testify.
The FBI pinpointed the precise dates he allegedly took the photos through the metadata. They said it was November 2 and November 24, 2005.
They based their allegations on metadata embedded in the image files. When the metadata contradicted itself – as it did – the FBI testified why some metadata was more reliable than other metadata.
The ones that contradicted these dates were less reliable.
Raniere had access to 8 Hale during 2005. 8 Hale was not used as storage then.
Raniere knew Camila in 2005. She lived nearby in Clifton Park.
Camila was born on March 1, 1990. She was 15 years, eight months, and a day on November 2, 2005, which was the Day of the Dead in Mexico.
But this was Clifton Park, New York, USA. And the federal law for photographing subjects for lascivious purposes is 18.
The FBI took the photos below of 8 Hale on March 27, 2018.
This would be 12 and a half years after the alleged crimes.
They raided the property in search of other crimes unrelated to Camila. The FBI search warrant limited their search for evidence of crimes committed on or after January 1, 2015.
That was nine years and three months after the alleged Camila-related crime.
In 2018, 8 Hale shows clear signs that Raniere had not used the property for some time.
But 8 Hale was in use in November 2005.
A spiral staircase led upstairs to an office.
The FBI observed that the whiteboard had the same notes when they raided the townhouse in 2018 as it did in 2012. The hard drive was in the same place – next to a silver docking station.
The FBI found the camera under the desk and the hard drive on a shelf.
The FBI found the black hard drive in the precise location in the 2012 video. Right next to a silver docking station – a device that computer users use with hard drives.
Upstairs, there was also a hot tub and sauna.
See Part #2
You can read Raniere’s Rule 33 Motion on FBI Tampering here.
You can read Dr. Kiper’s Expert Report here.