As some readers know, Toni Natalie wrote letters to the Hon. Judge Richard J. Arcara, asking him to punish Frank Parlato harshly.
Before we examine Natalie’s veracity, both with the judge and in her book and other writings, and explore her possible motives for writing for and against Parlato, let us look at what she wrote about him in her 2019 book, “The Program: Inside the Mind of Keith Raniere and the Rise and Fall of NXIVM.”
Grand Central Publishing published Natalie’s book on September 24, 2109 – three months after a jury convicted Raniere of sex trafficking, racketeering, forced labor, and other charges that led to his 120-year sentence in October 2020.
Natalie wrote the book with Chet Hardin, who had written about NXIVM for the Albany weekly, Metroland.
Here is what we find on Parlato in Natalie’s book…
By Toni Natalie
Chapter 16, THE REVENGE PLAYBOOK
Frank Parlato Jr. was a real estate developer from Buffalo who also wrote for a number of upstate print publications. A good friend of the internationally notorious political operative Roger Stone and the locally notorious political operative Steve Pigeon—the former a Republican, the latter a Democrat—Parlato was active in local politics, where he had a reputation as a bulldog who was unafraid to roll up his sleeves and play rough. Like his friends, Parlato was a character: funny, charismatic, eccentric, volatile. It was through Stone and Pigeon, both of whom had done work for NXIVM, that Parlato made the acquaintance of Keith Raniere, who hired him in 2007. He was fifty-six years old—nine years older than his employer.
This was during Keith’s “celibate monk” phase, when he told everyone he was a renunciate. “He would walk into meetings barefoot, in jeans and a t-shirt,” Parlato recalled in an interview with Oxygen in 2018. “He would spout on the meaning of life, and the women would swoon.” The groovy hippie crowd was not Parlato’s scene, but Frank got on well with Keith. He knew “Vanguard” was more sizzle than steak—and ESP, BS—but that didn’t much bother him. If lost souls felt compelled to fork over their hard-earned money to bask in the NXIVM glow, what did he care? As he told Oxygen: “Everyone seemed chipper about their life.”…
Parlato had no ethical qualms about going after Keith’s detractors. Like his friends Stone and Pigeon, he was something of a dirty trickster. The reason he was paid a whopping seventy-five grand a month was to do what more squeamish people would rather not. Besides, if Keith insisted that Toni Natalie had done this, that, and the other, why should Frank Parlato believe otherwise?
NXIVM provided Parlato with an enemies list, as well as a price list of what they’d be willing to pay if certain benchmarks were achieved. For example, disbarment was awarded a $20,000 bonus. Keith was willing to pay Bronfman money to compel the indictments of his three greatest enemies: Rick Ross, Joseph O’Hara, and me. The bounty on my head was $1 million. When 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, Vanguard told him, according to Parlato, “Justice and ethics demand their indictments.”
Over the course of the next year, it slowly dawned on Parlato that Vanguard was a fraud. That far from being a renunciate, he spent most of his waking hours engaged in sexual activities with a veritable harem of women. That despite not owning anything or reporting any actual income, Keith almost certainly had millions squirreled away in various hiding places. That NXIVM was a house of cards propped up by the massive wealth of the Bronfman sisters, whom Keith seemed to manipulate as if they were marionettes.
In 2008, Parlato learned that Keith had spent nearly $100 million of the heiresses’ fortune—a staggering sum, even for Sara and Clare. The sisters had sunk $26 million into a Los Angeles development deal, Parlato said, and had nothing to show for it. They were millions of dollars over budget, so they enlisted him to track down their investments and bring the project under control. In return, Parlato would receive a third of the profits. He was advanced $1 million.
Parlato asked Clare Bronfman about the tens of millions lost in commodities trades. He asked if she’d seen receipts.
Clare told him that Keith had used advanced metrics to develop a foolproof algorithm to predict the commodities market. The trades had failed not because of a miscalculation on Keith’s part, but rather because her globalist father and his Illuminati cabalists had used their vast wealth to “thwart” Keith by artificially manipulating the commodities market, which caused his trades to fail. She said this with a straight face. The Jewish heiress bought into an anti-Semitic trope—because that’s what Vanguard had told her.
Soon after, Keith Raniere fired Frank Parlato. By then, he was more than happy to bid adieu to NXIVM. But there were a million reasons to not let him get away so easily. Although Parlato had recovered quite a bit of their missing fortune, the Bronfmans demanded a refund of his $1 million payment. Parlato refused. That put Frank Parlato squarely on the enemies list, with Rick Ross, Joseph O’Hara, and me. The Bronfmans sued him. And in 2015—seven years later—the $1 million in escrow was a key component in a nineteen-count indictment against Parlato, alleging fraud.
Reading the document, Parlato saw that Clare Bronfman had perjured herself— almost certainly at the behest of Vanguard.
“That’s when I had an awakening,” he recalled in a 2018 interview with Vice News. “I had no idea of the depths of their dishonesty… If they had done this to me, then all of these enemies that supposedly had cheated them were also probably similarly innocent.” In an instant, he said, he realized that “this is more than a kooky group; this is a crazy group, a criminally insane group. And it’s not just Raniere.”
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.
Chapter 17: TERMS OF ENGAGEMENT
All of his detractors were subjected to the same abuse: lawsuits, indictments, harassment, surveillance, sting operations.. .whatever demented shit he could dream up was imposed, not just on me, but on everyone: Rick Ross, Joe O’Hara, Ed Mitzen, and Frank Parlato;
Chapter 19: THE ERIN BROCKOVICH OF NXIVM
I spoke with any reporter or journalist or TV producer who called. One of these was Frank Parlato, NXIVM publicist turned mortal enemy, who reached out after he launched his blog in 2015. He became a powerful ally.
Chapter 20: THE HUMAN PINATA
On June 19, 2017, Frank Parlato, writing on the Frank Report blog, reported on the existence of a secret group within NXIVM: Dominus Obsequious Sororium, or DOS. This sorority, Parlato explained, was a select group of emaciated women who served as the slaves, sexual and otherwise, of Keith Raniere. As if that wasn’t lurid enough, there was an aspect of DOS that got everyone’s attention: “the hallmark of the plan,” Parlato wrote, “was branding women.”
Each of the slaves had Keith’s initials branded on her skin with a cautery pen.
I had to read it three times before it sunk in.
A charge like that, levied by a vocal enemy of Vanguard on his own subjective blog, was easy enough for NXIVM to refute. Who could believe such a thing?
When the New York Times subsequently confirmed the Frank Report’s report—on October 17, 2017, three years to the day of my mother’s passing—the truth became harder to deny….
Taken together, the remarkable level of detail in the Frank Report, the confirmation by the paper of record, and the oddly worded nondenial by NXIVM could only mean that the story was true. At long last, the world knew what I’d known for years: Keith Raniere was a monster.
Chapter 22: BRAND AWARENESS
On June 5, 2017, Frank Parlato revealed the existence of DOS on the Frank Report. The news sent shock waves through the NXIVM community. Keith hemmed and hawed, denying that he had knowledge of the society at all… It was far more likely that the whole sordid affair was his idea…
Vice News did a profile of Frank Parlato, where he appears in all his eccentric glory. The DOS genie was out of the bottle.
Chapter 23: THE FALL OF NXIVM
Without [Clare Bronfman’s] money, [NXIVM] would have collapsed years ago, and none of the lawsuits against me, against Rick Ross and Stephanie Franco, against Joe O’Hara and John Tighe and Frank Parlato, against Barbara Bouchey and Susan Dones, against MetroIand and James Odato, would have been filed. Clare deserves more than a slap on her emaciated wrist.
Some justice is better than none at all.
Toni has always said that there were three things that Keith Raniere never anticipated: the Internet, a mother’s love, and Frank Parlato. With his upstate media empire, 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.
So this is what Toni Natalie wrote about Parlato in her book in 2019. As we know, she had a change of heart. We will explore this in subsequent posts.