First I got a call from a reliable source who told me that, because of my work exposing NXIVM, a certain individual says he/she plans to kill me. I cannot name this person – for under the terms of the agreement I made in exchange for the information – I promised I would not reveal the party who wants me dead. Whether that individual actually meant what he/she said or was just talking through his/her angry ass – is hard for me to know. I wrote it off as bluff.
I live near Niagara Falls part of the year and if anyone was going to send murderers to find me – it is not a bad place to start. But keep in mind this was an anonymous post. If the Feds actually have this info – as the commentor suggests – I would think they might get around to informing me. I forgot about this comment the same day it appeared.
On a recent trip to Los Angeles to meet with sources, a friend I was visiting started receiving threatening text messages in Spanish and phone calls on the day I arrived at her house – demanding, among other things, that I be “stopped”.
The perpetrator elevated my estimation of his potential seriousness when he threatened that if I were not stopped, my friend’s family members from Clifton Park, NY — near the main NXIVM former headquarters in Half Moon — would be harmed.
The messages was sent from the 518 prefix phone number [Albany]. However it is possible the calls and texts were remotely rerouted using computer programs.
The perpetrator lowered his potential seriousness when he claimed in Spanish that he was a Captain of Police – and that he wanted a payment of $400 or else. I laughed at the request for $400 – thinking he should have asked for at least $1000.
I called the number from where the texts were sent. A man answered and spoke only in Spanish, which I do not understand. I told him in English to stop sending texts. I don’t think he understood for he kept talking in an increasingly animated voice in Spanish.
The text messages continued for a few days to both my friend and myself threatening us. I texted the man and told him “Fuck you Puto. [Puto is a derogatory Mexican slang word for a male prostitute.] He sent a few more texts – to which we did not bother to respond – then they stopped. I wrote this off as a petty extortionist who may or may not be aware of my role in NXIVM.
Today, I received an email sent on Proton Secure Mail. It came from email@example.com
The subject line was:
Top Secret, for Frank Parlato
The email began:
I guess it’s safe to contact you directly and am not going to over emphasize this. There is an active eliminate order against you and the Russian mob have been tasked with its execution re: NXIVM. THIS INFO SHARED WITH YOU ON CONDITION THAT I ENGAGE WITH ONLY YOU AND NOT ANY OTHER OR LEGAL REPS.
Proof by way of audio and video, tell me where by way of reply, to send, by courier. Digital links also contained therein. Send 1 bitcoin (btc) to: 18EskmunK4qu2w3p8bAh1dopgSvRiFxFzS. Looking forward to your response. Will arrange meeting later, not before, when you need to. If I do not hear from you by Thursday afternoon, count me out and that this email never arrived.
My immediate impression is this is a fake – an attempt at extortion. I sent it to several people aware of the investigation into NXIVM for their opinion.
One source said, “Very suspect – I’m worried it’s a trap.”
Another said: “I would turn it over to the Feds right away. It could be a trap just to get money from you or it could be true. When I first joined NXIVM and was spending a lot of time with Nancy, they were meeting with a group of Russians. They also found Rubles at Nancy’s house…. Well they have to find you and come across the border.”
Another source said:
It’s not very plausible to me, but there is no way to tell if it’s nonsense. I don’t know why Russians, they aren’t really known for murder for hire, though I suppose it’s possible. He’s not offering to stop it, just to give you some kind of information about it. He doesn’t tell you anything about the nature or quality of this “proof.” (Like, does it identify who the primary actors are? Who put out the contract, and who has contracted to do the hit? When this is supposed to happen? By what means?). If he does not control them, how does he know there are two days, plus whatever additional time it takes for him to deliver the goods “by courier” and you to get something done about it? He also doesn’t direct you to keep this secret, nor does he instruct you not to involve law enforcement; he only says he doesn’t want to “engage” with others. Typically, an extortionist will offer something more concrete about the value of what he or she is offering. Bitcoin is not cheap. There is nothing in this demand indicating that the extortionist won’t engage in double-dipping (taking the bitcoin and then demanding more now that he knows you will pay). So it doesn’t make sense to me.
But, he is indirectly threatening your life (or, threatening to withhold something that could save your life), so in an abundance of caution you might want to report it to FBI in your district. I know you don’t love them, but they have to take this seriously. Proton mail is not impenetrable; Swiss privacy laws don’t protect extortionists or people conveying death threats. But, I don’t know how quickly the process works. Bitcoin accounts are difficult to trace, but not always impossible. Again, I don’t know how long the process would take.”
Another source wrote: The request for $7,000+ up-front makes it sound a little fishy. I think you should write back – and ask for some tangible proof before you send the money – and see what kind of response you get. If you can get her/him to send you something by courier, that will make it a whole lot easier to track down who’s behind this.
PS/I also think you should send this over to the Feds so that they can track down the source.
For my own part, it seems amateurish – worthy of a Clare Bronfman type of intimidation.
In some circles you can get a hit done for less than 1 Bitcoin – which has a present value of $7,741.08. I would be taking this a lot more seriously if this person agreed to save my life for a much more reasonable sum – say $100.