News NXIVM To export

Pre-Raniere arrest: The journalists who took on NXIVM and their top stories

By Frank Parlato

The list of journalists who wrote about NXIVM – before the criminal charges came – were really only a handful.

Here is my list of NXIVM’ Greatest Hits – in the press – up to the New York Times story of Oct 17, 2017.

Back in 2003, Dennis Yusco got the ball rolling in the Albany Times Union – or rather Keith Raniere got the ball rolling – by suing Rick Ross.  He didn’t want Ross to call NXIVM a cult  and ultimately Raniere got the whole world to call NXIVM a cult.

World’s smartest man.

Group sues its critics over claims it is a cult

Albany Times Union

By Dennis Yusko

August 8, 2003



Keith Raniere’s effort to get good press by cooperating with the press – resulted in a story 100 percent opposite of what he expected. He liked to blame Edgar Bronfman Sr. — but he really should have blamed himself. His lawsuit against Toni Natalie – led to public records which led Michael Freedman to contact her – and did she ever hijack the story.

He is the world’s smartest man, true, but he did not see this one coming.

Cult of Personality

Michael Feedman


Dennis Yusco sent chills throughout NXIVM – and a lot of readers – when he reported on Kristin Snyder’s disappearance.

An Espian’s brief life

Once a dynamic overachiever, a woman’s world deteriorated after she took classes offered by a Halfmoon-based group.

Times Union/February 1, 2004
By Dennis Yusko



Yusco was the original beat reporter on NXIVM  and when the world smartest man sued Joe O’Hara and O’Hara fought back, Yusco wrote about it.

Ex-aide calls Nxivm ‘extremely dangerous’

Company attorney denies allegations; neighbors concerned about home

Albany Times-Union/November 3, 2005
By Dennis Yusko


Fear and tears after NXIVM class

Woman claims stressful, probing conditions used at leadership seminar in Colonie

Albany Times-Union/August 6, 2006

By Dennis Yusko


A serious change in atmospherics occurred when Chet Hardin from the weekly Albany Metroland joined Yusco in writing aboutb NXIVM. Hardin wrote one of the most famously damning stories. It was so sound and potent and so often quoted that it became [along with the Forbes story] the most seminal and pivotal story ever written about NXIVM. It caused great stress in NXIVM too. Chet – like Dennis – was to write many more stories about NXIVM. And the field for recruitment in hometown Albany became  almost nil.

Stress in the Family

To some, it is a useful training program; to others, a cult. Either way, NXIVM and founder Keith Raniere remain embroiled in controversy

Metroland, New York/August 10, 2006
By Chet Hardin


Next to join the small group of reporters was Jeane Macintosh of the New York Post – her short, pithy and snarky projectile missiles gave greater awareness to NXIVM beyond the Albany area – and in her intimitable style provoked a degree of both ridicule and caution concerning the cult of the world’s smartest fellow..


NXIVM’s vexing effect on believers

New York Post/October 1, 2007

Hillary’s $30,000 fans are her ‘cult’ following

New York Post/October 1, 2007



The world’s smartest man decided that bringing the Dalai Lama in to endorse him might undo the bad press he was getting. It backfired.

Dalai Lama cancels his visit to Albany

Albany Times-Union/April 6, 2009



Another seminal story was Chet Hardin’s expose that revealed how NXIVM and Raniere loved to sue.

Sue Happy

Metroland, New York/December 18, 2009



Jeane Macintosh reported on the vast amount of money blown by Clare and Sara Bronfman. How did she find out – because the world’s smartest man sued Barbara Bouchey.

Seagram ‘cult’ sisters’ trust fund on the rocks

The New York Post/March 26, 2010



Enter James Odato – and his chilling report on a child at NXIVM — who was he? The world’s smartest and most ethical man was claiming he was an orphan whose mother died giving him birth and his father was unknown. In reality Raniere was the father and the mother was one of his harem members.

Secret mission: A child

Albany Times-Union/July 25, 2010


NXIVM critic’s plea over child gets little action

Albany Times-Union/August 3, 2010



A rare mainstream magazine story – at the time – The New York Observer wrote a satirical and damning piece about two fools.

Poor Little Rich Girls: The Ballad of Sara and Clare Bronfman

The New York Observer/August 10, 2010


John Tighe — an innocent man ? A life destroyed by NXIVM? –

At this juncture I think it is important to mention another man who contributed mightily to the written word that helped take down NXIVM. Joh Tighe started a blog back in 2010 and he continued it until he was arrested by NXIVM. His story is reserved for another day. He is presently in federal prison – Raniere put him there. Whether the charges against him are true or not I cannot say but I rather suspect that Raniere may well have planted the criminal evidence on Tighe’s computer.


While Odato continued to pound away – virtually taking over where Yusco left off – the local daily covering the curious doings of their hometown sicko group.

Ex-NXIVM student: ‘I think it’s a cult’

The Albany Times-Union/September 7, 2010



Macleans of Canada found the Bronfman fools worthy of a feature story. Again they found out about the loss of money from the lawsuits Raniere initiated.

How to lose $100 million

A bizarre guru, menacing detectives, a mess of lawsuits: a tale of two heiresses of the legendary Bronfman dynasty

Macleans Magazine, Canada/September 9, 2010



Then in one of the most explosive pieces ever – Macintosh revealed the Susan Dones taped interview with Barbara Bouchey and the world’s smartest monster – wherein he claims he had people killed,

Cult’ leader Keith Raniere makes killer claim on newly

released video

The New York Post/October 22, 2010



The comes one of the most fiery and best read pieces on those two gullible stooges Clare and Sara. Suzanna Andrews story was a terrible blow to NXIVM – and they responded by suing – which is another story for another day.  But that backfired too.

The Heiresses and the Cult

To family friends, Seagram heiresses Sara and Clare Bronfman are victims of a frightening, secretive “cult” called nxivm, which has swallowed as much as $150 million of their fortune. But the organization’s leader, Keith Raniere, seems also to have tapped into a complex emotional rift between the sisters and their father, billionaire philanthropist Edgar Bronfman Sr. The author investigates the accusations that are now flying-blackmail, perjury, forgery-in a many-sided legal war.

Vanity Fair/November 2010



Meantime Odato continued to draw from the well of lawsuits. The world’s smartest man kept suing and the media kept reporting on the amazing things that were revealed in those lawsuits.


Ex-NXIVM trainer: Students are prey

The Albany Times-Union/November 22, 2010



Macintosh did the same – drwaing from the well of lawsuits – particularly the suits against Bouchey. Though they even clearly pointed out evidence of illegal activities, somehow in the Northern District nothing happened.


Guru: Blow off taxes

The New York Post/January 31, 2011



Odato again – with a gripping story about Barbara Bouchey… and the abuse she took at the hands of – you guessed it- the World’s Smartest.

Nine years with NXIVM

Buried under deluge of lawsuits, woman begins to reveal her life inside secretive group

The Albany Times-Union/July 29, 2011



Then in what could be described as the most amazing, revealing and shocking series ever written about NXIVM, Odato came out with his award winning Secrets of NXIVM series. Everyone thought this would kill NXIVM. It didn’t..

Secrets of NXIVM

Some experts say Keith Raniere, the guru behind an unusual training business, is really a cult leader

Albany Times-Union/February 12, 2012


NXIVM leader urges going ‘off the grid’

Raniere disciples have history of tax liens

Albany Times-Union/February 17, 2012

‘Ample evidence’ to justify investigation

Experts say Keith Raniere’s business model warrants an inquiry by authorities

Albany Times-Union/February 17, 2012


Of all the shocking stories in the series, “In Raniere’s Shadows was the most astounding. Here his pedophilia was revealed for the first time in the press. But people like Kristin Kreuk, Allison Mack, Clare Bronfman, Sara Bronfman, Emiliano Salinas and other big hitters stayed on assuring the people they lured in that everything was fine – it was all lies in the media.

In Raniere’s shadows

Women recall manipulation, underage encounters

Albany Times-Union/February 19, 2012


Odato again went to the lawsuits to warn the public about how Raniere would sue the daylights out of you – with Bronfman money.

NXIVM is a litigation machine’

Criticize Keith Raniere or tell the public NXIVM’s secrets and you’ll be sued, several subjects say

Albany Times-Union/Updated March 13, 2012


Then another seminal event happened. Kristin Keeffe left Raniere and took his child with her. She was talking too and she knew plenty. Enough to sink Raniere is law enforcement was interested. They weren’t.

A split from NXIVM

Emails purportedly sent by former legal liaison contain allegations of criminal acts by leader

The Albany Times-Union/May 10, 2014

By James M. Odato



Instead, law enforcement was interested in going after whistle blowers. With Bronfman money and top attorneys – the criminals succeeded in getting the whistle blowers indicted. Brendan Lyons took over where Odato – who was fired from the Times Union -left off. Odato was fired because NXIVM went after him hard an d furiously.

NXIVM attorneys pressed criminal case

Details of inquiry into computer hacking case revealed through records filed in court recently

Albany Times-Union/October 10, 2015

By Brendan J. Lyons



Even open and notorious crimes were not investigated if Raniere.Bronfman did them. Instead local law enforcement went after whistleblowers for minor alleged transgressions. Here Lyons reports on allegations of a serious crime by Bronfman. Nothing happened of course. The irony is stunning: Bouchey is charged criminally for a single entry on the social media section – having been given the password of a member – on NXIVM’s computer – but Bronfmans are spying on federal judges and nothing is done about it.

Legal papers: NXIVM officials probed finances of 6 federal

judges, Senator Schumer, others

Ex-confidant of founder says group scanned fiscal records of six federal judges, Schumer and others

The Albany Times-Union/September 20, 2015

By Brendan J. Lyons



This was a crime that the Northern District ignored – but happily was a crime charged against Clare in the Eastern District – which proves that not all DOJ offices are created equal.

Records: NXIVM hacked billionaire’s emails with Hillary

Clinton, world leaders

Former member alleges computer spying, plot to imprison foes

The Albany Times-Union/October 19, 2015

By Brendan J. Lyons



After the world’s smartest man told the world’s dumbest heiress to go to the grand jury and perjure herself to get me indicted, The Niagara Falls Reporter – owned by me – started publishing a series on the various crimes of Bronfman-Raniere.

Later the EDNY charged Bronfman-Raniere with some [not all] of those crimes. My stories were blueprints of what the RICO case is now all about. But in my hometown, instead of the Western District going after Bronfman-Raniere – they went after me – and I was indicted.

The Bronfman-Raniere Cult Demands Investigation.

By Frank Parlato.


I also started a series in my other publication Artvoice. I was indicted the following day.



by Frank Parlato Nov. 19 2015



I then started the Frank Report and wrote some 1800 stories and became a resource for NXIVM defectors to tell their stories.


Brock Wilbur had what one might call a hit – with this story exposing a branch of the cult. Well written and widely read.

The Knife of Aristotle Isn’t Just a Fake “Fake News” Site—It’s

a Cult

Paste/May 30, 2017

By Brock Wilbur



In late May – I got the break I needed when Catherine Oxenberg called to tall me her daughter had been branded. I confirmed the story with other members and published the most shocking story to NXIVM members ever – causing a hundred or more members to quit on the spot.

Part 1: Branded Slaves and Master Raniere; Sources … –

Frank Report

Jun 5, 2017 – This is the first story to appear on the blackmail and branding scheme known as DOS 

I followed up with

Part 2:Branded slaves and Master Raniere; More … – Frank


Jun 8, 2017 – A necklace, belly chain or ankle bracelet is worn by DOS members as a symbolic but secret display of being under the collar of their masters, …
 Branding is slipped on like a noose and by surprise.
June 9, 2017. By Frank Parlato. 

Pt. 11: Branded Slaves and Master Raniere: Practice … –

Frank Report

Practice makes perfect DOS …

Jun 14, 2017 – By Frank Parlato

Within 13 days, I wrote 12 stories in the series – and we were off to the races. I wrote more than 1800 stories altogether pounding away daily and helping those who came to me escape.

The cult was cratering and by V-Week [late August 2017] more than 300 people had defected.


By the end of June, Barry Meier of the New York Times contacted me – and by October his world famous story appeared in the Times – and the rest is history…. The Eastern District became interested and arrests followed.

Inside a Secretive Group Where Women Are Branded

The New York Times/October 17, 2017

By Barry Meier



So it took years of reporting and follow up to get this done. It was a case of the power of the pen being mightier the world’s smartest moron.

But consider – if the earlier stories did not prompt action – and it took the NY Times story to wake up law enforcement – how many lives were saved by the press over the years? How many people might have joined this cult of horrors – but used Google and got an eye opener?

I know this is true, for literally hundreds called me – prospective NXIVM members – to verify what I had written was true – and I told them – and these people ran away from NXIVM – as fast as they could.

Yeah, I interfered with his business – of ruining people’s lives.

But then again that’s what he planned for me – to ruin my life – and he almost succeeded.

He just wasn’t smart enough.




About the author

Frank Parlato

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