I was a developer and journalist before Clare Bronfman filed a criminal complaint against me with the FBI in 2011.
During the FBI’s four-year investigation, I could not work as a developer because I knew the Department of Justice (DOJ) might indict me at any time, and most development projects take years to complete.
So, during that period, I worked mostly as a journalist, along with other short-term stints.
The Office of the US Attorney for the Western District of New York filed an indictment against me on November 20, 2015.
At my arraignment, Assistant US Anthony M. Bruce asked Magistrate Judge Jeremiah McCarthy to issue a gag order.
The Buffalo News reported in 2015: “Frank Parlato Jr.’s unusual role as a newspaper owner writing about his own criminal case prompted the prosecution to ask for a gag order Monday.”
US Magistrate McCarthy denied the request.
“I do not see a basis to do that,” Judge McCarthy said. “We do have a First Amendment.”
After my arraignment, I began the Frank Report.
My viability as a journalist – to earn a living – depends solely on my credibility.
Last November, Toni Natalie wrote a letter to my sentencing judge, the Hon. Richard Arcara, saying I am a lousy journalist and a worse human being.
As a good journalist, I should present Natalie’s letter to my readers and respond – in my publication and in my own name – since my livelihood depends on the words I publish and people’s trust in them.
The following are the relevant accusations of Natalie’s letter in bold and my remarks in regular typeface.
[In 2017] Mr. Parlato’s blog, Frank Report, was one of the few- if not the only [sic] place – at the time, willing to expose this organization’s horrendous activities. I and many others should have realized that there was no altruistic reason for his blog; Mr. Parlato claimed the only reason he faced any charges was because of NXIVM – something I and others had personally experienced.
The FBI’s investigation of me began with Clare Bronfman. In January 2012, FBI Special Agent Thomas Provost told me Clare Bronfman filed a criminal complaint against me. Based on the FBI’s statement, Bronfman appears to be how the FBI got involved in my affairs.
Mr. Parlato was doing PR work for the NXIVM organization, being paid 75K per month, claiming to have a lot of knowledge about the organization, and how to stop it, so his spin fit. Mr. Parlato also told me that he, along with Rodger [sic] Stone and Steve Pigeon we’re [sic] offered $1 million if they could get me indicted.
Toni might have mentioned I declined the offer.
However, she wrote about it in her book, “The Program: Inside the Mind of Keith Raniere and the Rise and Fall of NXIVM,” which Grand Central Publishing released in September 2019.
In that book, she wrote: “The bounty on my head was $1 million…. Parlato refused to take the assignment, suggesting that Keith instead rehabilitate his name by generating positive news stories focusing on the core ESP business of human potential….”
I now believe the only reason Mr. Parlato started his blog to expose NXIVM was to gain sympathy for his case. By pointing the finger at NXIVM, the government, and your honor, would see him as someone good, comparing himself to the victims of NXIVM.
Natalie felt differently when her book was published in 2019.
“Frank Parlato regarded the indictment as an act of war. He was at war with NXIVM. And he would use every means at his disposal—his two Buffalo-area weeklies, Artvoice and the Niagara Falls Reporter; a new blog called Frank Report; his connections and money; his indomitable will; and, most of all, the knowledge that he was in the right—to prevail.
“There were three things Keith Raniere did not anticipate: the Internet, a mother’s love, and Frank Parlato. All three would contribute to his downfall.”
Many of us were grateful for his blog at the time. Not realizing much of the information, [sic] he was receiving was coercively obtained. As the story grew worldwide attention, so did the Frank Report and his need for more information, and the clock was running on his own case.
To date, no one I know of has claimed they were coerced into giving me information. My investigative stories on NXIVM got worldwide attention in the fall of 2017 – almost six years ago.
His blog became increasingly salacious, desperately trying to keep himself relevant, including naming victims of sexual trafficking and assault, using first and last names, photos, addresses, personal information, and locations. Some of these are the same victims Mr. Parlato claimed at one time to be protecting.
Since the NXIVM prosecution in 2018, I have followed the direction of Judge Nicholas Garaufis in US v Raniere regarding the naming of first or last names of NXIVM/DOS members.
Before there was a prosecution – i.e., 2017 – and it was unknown if there would ever be one, I named many NXIVM/DOS members.
I had a good reason for doing so. I believed NXIVM/DOS was dangerous and its members should be exposed. When someone left, I took their name down.
Even before the story became well known, my stories ended DOS.
The Dossier Project wrote:
“By May 2017, DOS had 105 participants and was growing rapidly…
“Parlato revealed the existence of DOS on his website, the Frank Report… This effectively ended DOS. Everything ceased…”
Natalie’s facts are completely wrong. She alleges I named members after the stories I broke became international news. But to reiterate, I named DOS members in 2017 before the New York Times wrote about DOS – crediting me with breaking the story – which led to the FBI investigating Keith Raniere and his financier, Clare Bronfman – whose criminal complaint had caused my original indictment.
Mr. Parlato stated on his blog that if victims of DOS contacted him and proved they were no longer involved in DOS (the slave group developed by Keith Raniere), he would remove their names.
The catch, they would have to give him the name of someone else, something else for his blog – to have their names removed.
I sought to stop DOS and prevent the ongoing branding and coerced collateral payments. I had to balance the need to protect the individual DOS members with the need to protect others in the group and the public.
I would remove her name from the website if a DOS member left the group and was not recruiting new members. What Natalie claims is bad behavior protected many women – including women who would have otherwise been recruited.
To these girls, this was yet another form of coercion, coercive control, a quid pro quo – a name of someone still in DOS to have their name removed. Some of these girls contacted me, not knowing what to do to stop their names from becoming clickbait for the sex cult on the world wide web—Mr. Parlato’s form of what he calls journalism, and the public’s right to know.
I spoke to Mr. Parlato on multiple occasions, asking him to please remove the names and photos of these young girls, explaining that when we made mistakes when we were younger, our parents addressed the issues, not the Internet, to be seen forever.
‘Girls,’ Natalie writes, and ‘young girls?’
To the best of my knowledge, the youngest woman of the 105 women in DOS, in 2017 – when I wrote about this – was India Oxenberg. She was 27 years old.
Speaking of India, I am pretty sure if I had not named her, she might have remained and would have been indicted.
She said in her docuseries, Seduced, episode #4:
“Even within NXIVM, no members outside of DOS were supposed to know that it existed. As soon as the [Frank Report] posts started coming up, there was a ton of questions, and a lot of chatter. My slaves left immediately after that. And none of them had to complete the seduction assignment or be branded. That was a huge relief.”
The naming of DOS members occurred before the FBI began investigating. Under the influence and control of Keith Raniere, I believed DOS was an active, dangerous organization.
Many women were unaware of the danger and recruited other women into the master/slave sorority. It stopped only when I exposed this in 2017.
Sarah Edmondson wrote in her book Scarred:
“Catherine [Oxenberg] begged me to tell my story to a reporter named Frank Parlato, who’d been in a long legal fight with the Bronfman sisters. He had once been hired by the Bronfmans to do some PR, but the Bronfmans ended up suing him. Since then, he’d made it his life’s work to uncover information about the workings of NXIVM and blog about it. Under the condition that he would not disclose my name, I told Frank about my branding experience, so that he could expose DOS in time to stop the next session. From my hotel room in Toronto, I told Frank everything. Releasing that secret was the biggest relief so far.”
“We were successful. The word about Frank’s blog spread in the community, and because of this heat the next branding ceremony was called off. “
Mr. Parlato was unaware I was in contact with any of the DOS girls as they feared retaliation if they spoke out, and many of them still do.
Natalie is not being honest. In her letter to the judge, she objects to my naming DOS members – which I did in 2017.
Yet, in 2019, two years after I named DOS members, her book praised my conduct.
She wrote: “Frank Parlato achieved more than any single outlet could have in the fight to bring Keith Raniere to justice. It is not hyperbole to say Keith wouldn’t have seen his day in court without the Frank Report.”
I declined when Mr. Parlato pressured me for contacts to work with him on his upcoming documentaries—offering to pay me and add me to his team. It was 7/4/2019, I was on a call with Mr. Parlato. He said that if I helped him and share my contacts, he might be able to control what is said about me on his blog. I asked him if he was threatening me. As he stated multiple times, the pen is mightier than the sword.
I certainly did not need her contacts. I’m not sure she has any contacts. On July 4, 2019, I suggested she and I work together on a documentary. She declined. I made the film without her.
Hundreds of negative stories about me began, with his monikers, many being Frank himself fanning the flames with comments to keep the clicks coming.
It is important to get one’s facts straight in court and in journalism.
There weren’t hundreds of negative stories. There were about 50 stories that were negative but truthful. I also wrote over 50 positive stories about her.
The reason for the first negative story was that, as part of the publicity for her upcoming book, her publishers claimed Natalie raised her son as a single mother.
This was untrue. Natalie gave up her son so she could stay with Keith Raniere. The father raised him.
After my story appeared in Frank Report, her publishers changed the “single mother” part of the publicity campaign for her book.
He used photos of my son, claiming I had him on a DOS diet.
Natalie is not being honest here either. She provided that photo of her son, with Keith Raniere and herself, to support her false claim that she raised her son as a single mother.
I merely reprinted the 25-plus-year-old photo she had provided to the media.
After Natalie’s book was published, the father contacted me. He did NOT complain that I published a picture of his now-adult son. Instead, he told me how Natalie and Raniere abused the child before she abandoned him.
I quoted him in the story:
By the way, the “boy,” is now an adult man – over 30 years old. Natalie and Raniere’s alleged abuse of her son occurred more than 25 years ago.
I also questioned her conflicting stories about why she left Raniere.
[Parlato published] Pictures of my deceased brother and his obituary with the claim I lied about his death in my book… his autopsy states suicide.
A big part of Natalie’s story is the dramatic claim that Raniere caused her brother’s suicide. Raniere did many reprehensible things, but it is unlikely he caused John Natalie’s death.
John’s longtime girlfriend, Lisa LoPresti, who was with John the day he died, told me John did not commit suicide. He died of a heart condition. Lisa also informed me that Natalie had not seen her brother for two years before he died.
I reported this: Toni Natalie Lies About Her Own Brother’s Death!
He delved into every facet of my life, taking small amounts of truth, and putting his Frank Report spin on it.
One of his targets was a family who lost their daughter Kristin Snyder in 2003. Because her body was never found he made this a focus for his upcoming true crime show.
When Mr. Parlato contacted the family and brought the producers in to film, they were unaware that Kristin’s sister Kim, who Mr. Parlato wanted to film, was a mentally challenged woman. Something he was aware of. Seeing the effect this was having on her and her family the producers never used any of the footage showing the family.
I wonder how Natalie “knows” I contacted the Snyder family or the producer’s intentions? Kim Snyder recalls she initially contacted me, not the reverse.
The producers and I filmed the Snyder family in Dillon, South Carolina, in 2019, through an arrangement with Kim and her mother, Jonnie Snyder – the missing and presumably deceased Kristin Snyder’s sister and mother.
The producers – of which I was one – collectively decided not to use the footage for The Lost Women of NXIVM documentary – but to save it for an anticipated sequel – which is planned to show the results of our further investigations into the deaths of the five ‘lost’ women [now six] and the impact of time and Raniere’s incarceration. This decision had nothing to do with Kim Snyder’s mental abilities or condition.
Natalie’s words were hurtful to Kim Snyder. As far as it is known, Natalie is not a mental health professional. Yet, she declares in a public letter that Kim Snyder is “mentally challenged.”
Kim never liked being diagnosed by Natalie, and this is not the first time Natalie has done so.
Kim Snyder told her side of the story more than four years ago to combat what she calls Natalie’s abuse of her and her family:
But Mr. Parlato still uses her today as click bate [sic], along with many other NXIVM victims.
Actually, Natalie has made statements about the Snyder family for years, often signing off on social media postings with #justiceforKristinSnyder.
The Snyder family told me they were troubled by how Natalie portrayed them in her book.
He has now moved on as a hired PR gun, on other topics, such as, if you have lost custody of your children, he will expose the court and CPS wrongdoings on his blog – along with photos of the children in question.
Natalie states this without evidence. I write many stories, including a few custody cases, not as a PR agent but as a journalist.
Mr. Parlato’s claim to be an “investigative journalist” who uses his blog and media contacts to retraumatize and torment victims, a weapon to silence people….
I strongly suspect Ms. Natalie wrote the letter to my sentencing judge not because of any bad behavior on my part but because I exposed evidence of falsehood she told in her widely publicized book.
Among the stories I published were:
Mr. Parlato boldly boasting on his blog that he is only being sentenced for not filing a single paper with the IRS.
The way I look at it is Al Capone was convicted of tax evasion, but we all know there was so much more.
After a four-year FBI investigation and seven years under the cloud of an indictment, alleging millions in fraud and concealment, the DOJ offered a plea deal of a single count of failure to file IRS Form 8300 for $19,970 – of which I paid taxes on the income.
That’s no boast. It is what I pled guilty to as a matter of fact and law.
The article she references is:
Frank Parlato thinks people respect him. They don’t respect him; they fear him. I’m not afraid of Frank Parlato, just like I am not afraid of Keith Raniere – at some point; you must face the devil and know that justice will prevail.
The world is dangerous, not because of those who do evil but because of those who look on and do nothing.
Perhaps Natalie thinks she can discredit my stories if I go to prison. Then she can claim she beat the ‘devil’ and told the judge about Frank ‘Capone,’ and the judge can ‘respectively’ put me away.
However, if Natalie believes I wrote falsely about her, she has a remedy in law – to sue me for libel. But she would not dare for the truth would be my defense of such an action. Instead, she seeks to influence my sentencing – which has nothing to do with her whatsoever – by telling lies to the judge. She is an interesting animal, and in so many ways well suited for the man who gave her fame – Keith Raniere.
To close with one word of praise for Natalie, I will say this. She was the first of Raniere’s many girlfriends to speak publicly against him. For that, she deserves credit. While many things she said about Raniere were not true, some of them were true. Even in her exaggerations, she helped expose his monstrous criminality – before others spoke out or had the temerity to do so.
In that respect, she helped me and others end the career of terror of an inordinately wicked individual. Her habitual lying often hindered rather than helped others who fought Raniere armed with his Bronfman millions in stopping the brutal and vicious NXIVM leader.
Natalie has many of his savage traits and was in so many ways Raniere’s perfect companion. She is a curious mixture of malice, pettiness, and deceit, much like Clare Bronfman, who maliciously interposed herself in my life almost 12 years ago.