Clare Bronfman, the big money behind the cult.
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Is Bronfman too big to jail?; Will Seagram’s heiress’ millions protect her from role in sex-slaver cult?

With sex-slaver Keith Raniere and his number two, Allison Mack behind bars facing federal charges of sex-trafficking and forced labor conspiracy, the sex-cult that brands women and promises “executive success” at exorbitant fees is still active, and being led now by Clare Bronfman, one of the Seagram’s liquor heiresses.

Bronfman’s track record traditionally goes to show that if you have enough money, you can commit just about any crime and never have to concern yourself with the criminal code, aka the law of the commoners.

Money buys law enforcement turning the other cheek.

It’s worked at the state level, and with other federal districts for years, so why wouldn’t Bronfman feel confident she can buy her way out of her current situation? To be sure, Bronfman, the chief financial backer of the Raniere-led sex-cult, orchestrator of threatening victims and carrying out criminal complaints and lawsuits against them, might escape prosecution for her massive role in running and funding the sexcult due to her massive fortune and connections. Indeed, as has been reported upon, law enforcement has fielded complaints about Nxivm for years, .

More recently, following cult victim Sarah Edmondson’s complaint to NY State medical regulators regarding Dr. Roberts’ branding of Edmondson, the NY State Department of Health informed herthat they would not look into the matter, and suggested she forward the matter to law enforcement. It was only following the NY Times expose on October 17, 2017 that NY Governor Andrew Cuomo ordered a reviewof why regulators did not act after complaints were fielded. Albany’s mayor from 1993 until 2013, Gerald D. Jennings, along with Sir Richard Bransonendorsedat least one of Raniere’s events, a 2009 Dalai Lama event.

Bronfman’s massive fortune, and political ties run deep.

Edgar M. Bronfman, Clare Bronfman’s father, and George H.W. Bush
Edgar M. Bronfman, right, with President Clinton

Even though they would seem to keep the best company, the Bronfmans have a long and storied past of crime, beginning with bootlegging liquorduring prohibition. After prohibition, the Bronfmans switched to narcotics. In the following years, the Bronfmans engaged in a multi-decade scheme of money laundering their illegally obtained narcotics and bootlegging money into “legitimate” business proceeds.

Fraud and deception run deep in the Bronfman family tree as well; of note is Samuel Bronfman II’s possible kidnapping hoaxin the mid ’70s where the alleged kidnappers were acquitted of the kidnapping charges, and two jurors spoke immediately after trial to reporters on the record that they believed Samuel “engineered” his own kidnapping to extort $2.3 million from his father.

Clare Bronfman, center, next to her sister, Sara Bronfman, second from right. Dalai Lama is seated left at an event founded by Keith Raniere, and endorsed by Sir Richard Branson and the Albany, NY mayor, among others.

The Bronfman billions, obtained criminally and successfully laundered over decades, have allowed them to insinuate themselves into the highest confidences of American government and business. The cult ran by Clare Bonfman and Keith Raniere has obtained endorsements from billionaires, such as Sir Richard Branson, the former Albany mayor, and various celebrities. Now, the “guru” Vanguard has been arrested, along with Allison Mack, which has brought considerable press to the cult. Still, the group’s chief financial backer and operator, Clare Bronfman skates beneath the surface.

The EDNY is the only branch of law enforcement in all of New York to take the slave-cult seriously.

Given the massive influence, and attorney power behind it, the cult was able to quietly avoid detection through its use of heavy-handed litigation and all of the deterrence of scrutiny that billions can buy. It was not until the evidence of human branding came to the desks of prosecutors in the Eastern District of New York that criminal allegations against cult and its members were taken seriously. The Eastern District authorities wasted little time. But State authorities as well as Federal authorities in the Northern and Western Districts of New York have long turned a blind eye to Raniere, Bronfman, and Nxivm.

The question that terrified former Nxians are asking is: Will Clare Bronfman, the financier, enforcer, and chief litigation terrorist who kept slaves in servitude so long with threats of legal retribution ever see justice? 

Maybe. It’s up to the FBI. Were it in any other district, probably not.

Clare Bronfman, sexcult financier and acting slavemaster.

To try and maneuver out of legal jeopardy, the position most likely asserted or to be asserted by Bronfman is that she was absolutely clueless as to what Keith Raniere, Allison Mack, and others in DOS (the deep-cult sorority, where women were branded ) were doing.

But the FBI, through its search of email accounts, and raids upon Nancy Salzman’s home (president of ESP), may well be in receipt of inculpatory evidence sufficient to indict Bronfman on numerous tax and white collar crimes in addition to forced labor, and sex trafficking crimes.

The likelihood of her knowledge of DOS and its practices is supported by —

I. Widespread Abuse

Dr Brandon Porter, conducted brain experiments for Clare’s Ethical Science Foundation on victims
  • Bronfman founded the Ethical Science Foundation, and funded Dr. Porter, who conducted brain experiments on subjects, showing them disturbing film footage. Bronfman was in a position to take those experiments and their products into her other organization, Executive Success Programs, of which she is a board member, and NXIVM, which she has testified she operates and runs.
  • Ex-members have detailed the sleep and calorie deprivation they underwent, some as part of “readiness drills,” which required members to respond to their slave masters at any time, day or night.
  • Bronfman is said to be on the diet herself
Clare Bronfman, looking lean on the Raniere diet.
  • As federal authorities allege, Raniere physically assaulted female members “under the guise of mentorship” by encouraging one woman to run headfirst into a tree and to drink from a puddle. Raniere also required women to wear fake cow udders over their breasts while people called them insulting names; this was purportedly done to “eradicate” female weakness. Raniere also allegedly put one woman in a cage.

Bronfman’s Ethical Science Foundation conducted research on brain activities in connection with controversial, un-consented to experimentation. Federal authorities need only find some piece of evidence to directly link the experiments to NXIVM, ESP, and Raniere’s coercive and other abusive practices to link it all together and back to Bronfman. They likely will or already have discovered this evidence. Time will tell what they do with it.

II. Millions of dollars poured into Raniere and the cult, and Bronfman was a hands on manager

As federal authorities have alleged, Bronfman is NXIVM and Raniere’s financial backer, and she has “provided him with millions of dollars.” Bronfman has testified that she is more effectively than just a passive investor in NXIVM,  and that she actually “run[s] the operations.”

  • The fact that she runs the operations of NXIVM suggests she may have had knowledge of the coercive and other illegal activities going in the cult. She was not funding Raniere and NXIVM at a distance. She lived close by, she partook in the cult activities, and she has made her position and support of Raniere crystal clear, including recently on ESP’s website.

III. Bronfman threatened victims and sued critics to ensure silence and protect the cult.

Federal authorities allege Bronfman “has also paid numerous lawyers to bring suits against Nxivm critics.” They also allege that Bronfman orchestrated with Raniere sending threatening “cease and desist” letters to DOS victims, with Bronfman posing as a Mexican attorney.

  • Taking these two allegation together, the picture becomes clearer that Bronfman will not only sue cult critics and defectors, but send threatening letters to defectors, fraudulently posing as someone she is not.
    • With collateral held on the women who were both forced to have sex with Raniere and perform various tasks of labor, such as housekeeping and other various duties at Raniere’s commands, if Bronfman knew about it, when she used or threatened to use legal process as a form of coercion to keep members in the cult makes her a coconspirator.

If prosecutors find evidence showing Bronfman knew about the collateral, and nevertheless used her money to sue and initiate criminal complaints against defectors that were previously threatened with litigation while in the cult as a means to keep them there, there is a strong argument she is a co-conspirator to forced labor and sex trafficking violations, and an accessory after the fact.

Even if prosecutors cannot show she had direct, firsthand knowledge of the collateral and branding (which is doubtful), the treatment of debts to the cult and defection, often by lawsuits and criminal complaints, the intimidation by posing as a Mexican attorney sending threatening letters, and a laundry list of potential tax violations in lavishing millions on Raniere over the years is all prosecutorial fodder. Then there are the allegations of visa fraud and bulk cash smugglingfrom NXIVM Mexico to Albany.

Law enforcement has a treasure trove of federal violations in Bronfman. The question is, is Bronfman too big to jail?


About the author

Artvoice

Artvoice

News and art, national and local. Began as alternative weekly in 1990 in Buffalo, NY. Publishing content online since 1996.

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