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Larry Shea: The Tanster – the woman who paid for Ben Szemkus lie detector test – Revealed!

The Tanster is the woman who paid for Ben Szemkus’ lie detector test. Ben was called into question after he claimed he went to a NXIVM mixer/recruitment party in Feb. 2007 where he encountered Keith Raniere, Allison Mack, Nancy Salzman, Clare Bronfman, Sara Bronfman, Anthony Wiener, Huma Abedin, Stormy Daniels, her bodyguard, Eric Schniederman, James Alefantis and some 20 Yale college girls – all in a smallish apartment in Connecticut.

Now our correspondent Larry Shea introduces to our readers the woman known as the Tanster – who paid for ben Szemkus’ lie detector test – which we are told he passed.

By Larry Shea

I am pretty sure that readers, other than myself, are probably interested in what sort of person would reportedly have paid for Ben Szemkus’ lie detector test, or, for that matter, would have been so seemingly convinced by Ben’s obvious fan-fiction that she would put her money and her reputation on the line.

In 1999, The Easthampon Star published the following article: “Tana Lee Alves: A Napoleonic Approach.” The article is worth reading for some interesting background on this very talented, 45-years-old artist.

Tana Lee Alves’ self-portrait is also the logo that appears on her website, the Tanster. Although these days, she apparently feels that it is necessary to hide her real identity, the Tanster was born Tana Lee Alves. She evidently resides at 2 Farmstead Court Water Mill, New York, which is where the Tanster also works and lives. Google Maps shows a signature rainbow-painted vehicle parked in the driveway of this lovely well-maintained estate with an 0.48 acre of land. Trulia estimates the value of the home and property at 2 Farmstead Court at $1, 253,900.

In the article, “Napoleon Delusion,” which appears on, it is claimed that “Napoleonic Delusion, [is] a form of insanity far more common in fiction than reality, the delusion that one is a famous person, or at the very least the modern reincarnation of the same.” Over the past 200 years, it has been reported that thousands have suffered from “Napoleon Delusion.”  However, there is no way to substantiate such a claim. Although, Napoleonic Delusion is not a recognized psychological disorder in and of itself, the popular idea of the Napoleonic-Delusion trope persists in fiction, cartoons, and humor.

Nowadays, Tana Lee Alves appears to have convinced herself that she was Napoleon’s stepdaughter and lover in a past life. (Please listen to: “How I came to believe I was Hortense de Beauharnais”). On this podcast, Tana lee Alves explains how she came to believe that she was Hortense de Beauharnais, the only daughter of Napoleon’s wife, Empress Josephine. It appears that somewhere along the way Tana Lee graduated from an obsession with Empress Josephine’s love letters – that were written to Napoleon – to a full-blown belief that she was Josephine’s only daughter in a past life. You can learn all about Hortense de Beauharnais by reading her rather extensive Wikipedia biography.

Now I do not necessarily have a problem with believing in the concept of the reincarnation. Over the years I have read several books on reincarnation. I also own about a dozen books on the subject. Old Souls: The Scientific Evidence for Past Lives, by Tom Schroder is one of my favorite books on reincarnation. The journalist, Tom Schroder, takes the reader on 37-year journey of research into past lives that was conducted by Dr. Ian Stevenson. The stories about past lives are spontaneous; they are not the result of hypnosis. The stories in Schroder’s book are primarily about the past lives of children who demonstrate the ability to lead peoples back to the home in which they had lived during their most recent past life.

I am, however; not alone in having a problem with the claims of individuals who believe that they were a famous person who lived centuries ago: “With regard to the various categories of scientific evidence that support reincarnation, Stevenson attaches maximum credibility to spontaneous utterances made by young children about previous lives.” (Dr. James Paul Pandarakalam). Of course, for those individuals who claim to have been a famous person who lived a long time ago, it becomes far more problematic to give credibility to such claims. It is virtually impossible to prove such questionable claims due to the lack of any real evidence. Such unbelievable claims remain leaps of faith!

If you visit the Tanster’s (Tana Lee Alves’) website you will learn that she is obsessed with Napoleon Bonaparte and his stepdaughter, Hortense de Beauharnais, and not just a little obsessed. So, I am wondering, is this the type of person who would not only readily give credence to Ben Szemkus’ fan-fiction but also publicize Ben’s fan-fiction on her YouTube channel? Yes. Is this the type of person who would pay for Ben Szemkus’ lie detector test? Yes. I do not know what others may think of Tana Lee Alves, but I am beginning think that Tana Lee Alves may be somewhat gullible. I could be wrong.


Have you seen this?



Hi Frank,
One reader refereed to the New York Times reporter [Vanessa Grigoriadis] as a flying monkey so I photoshopped this up with clare as the wicked witch, and the reporter as the monkey, in case you would want to use it. I could put anyone you want in the crystal ball, so if you want it with someone else in it let me know.

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Why are you posting this woman’s home address on the internet? It seems over the line just because you don’t believe Ben’s story.

    • Good point. If she’s mentally ill and has no audience, why are you attacking her, Frank?

  • Isn’t the NXIVM court proceeding going on? What does this have to do with anything?

  • Sad news for conspiracy nuts and great news for the rest of us: Alex Jones and Infowars has been permanently banned from facebook and is has been kicked off of apple itunes and spotify.

    • Things are back to normal. No more major insults flying. No more complaints. No more mimicking. No more trying to appeal or appease. No more reason with. No more drama. Everyone had their own approach to deal with it. Now we can get back to learning from article and comments. Relief.

    • But now that Alex Jones is banned, we may never find out what evidence exists that supports Tansters Saturn Death Cult theory. Who is the leader of this Cult? An Earthling? An Alien? ???

  • Regarding her heroic efforts to get Ben’s story out there, Tanster wrote on June 10, 2018:

    “I am trying to do the right thing so when I find credible evidence that backs up the theory that this world is run by a Saturn Death Cult, I feel it should be shared. I contacted every “Truther” I could about Ben’s story and I figured they would be glad to finally have this sort of “evidence”. Instead I pretty much ended up with an “exclusive” to Ben’s story though that’s not what I really wanted.”

    Saturn Death Cult! Bless her heart.

    • Never believed Bens story. But it was Posted to be discussed and ultimately debunked specifically by Larry.

  • Frank, I made a longer post explaining why kids lie about reincarnation. 🙂

    Can you please approve or “un-spam” the post?

  • Great post, thank you.

    A practical detail worth mentioning, Tana lives in her mom’s house. Rent-free. A good life for someone in their mid-40s without genuine professional success or their own family. And severe mental issues.

    Also, she compared Ben Szemkus very favorably to Napoleon. She has got a cougar crush on him. It was apparent from several posts and tweets before that one, and then came the Napoleon/Ben post. Scotty has some stiffy competition.

  • Generally in reincarnation you don’t get to pick who you were in a past life because that’s who you desired to be. Genuine reincarnation is sometimes remembered by small children and as they age the memories fade, but many if their memories are found to be factual event they have no way of knowing. If you research these children and events it’s quite amazing and has made believers out of many sceptics.n

  • That’s the crazy lady crazy Tanster lady brought in to authenticate Szemkus. Mandy Bombard thinks school shootings aren’t real, have never been real, from Sandy Hook to Parkland, it’s all “crisis actors.” Nice company Tanster keeps.

    Tanster is also a vocal supporter of Sarah Ruth Ashcraft who imagines she was sold as a sex doll to Tom Hanks when she was 13 years old. Again, nice company Tanster keeps. And she’s working hard to make sure no more cerebrospinal fluid is extracted from any more elite children like Ashcraft. Three days ago Tanster wrote: “The mainstream media won’t report on elite child trafficking but they’ll brainwash you into accepting their dark occult transgender agenda.”

    “[D]ark occult transgender agenda!” Exciting times for unhinged people with no life off the interwebs.

    Tanster has no job but makes work that looks like preschool craft projects. She’s married to her rainbow symbol and thus must constantly explain to gay-haters that her rainbow is not the gay rainbow.

    Her mom, Angela Bernet, owner of the house where Tanster lives, married James Ortenzio in 1992 and they live happily together on Bank Street in NYC. He’s as ethical as Keith Raniere:

  • So we have here a delusional Boomer lady who believes she’s a reincarnated somebody. LOLZ! That’s all I needed to know. Thanks! (I agree about reincarnation btw, it’s a lot more believable coming from little kids’ claims, not weird women in need of attention)

  • The Tanster needs a theme song.
    And considerting her obsession with Napoleon here is the perfect theme song for her sung by Napoleon XIV
    ‘They’re Coming To Take Me Away Ha-Haaa!’ + ‘Edis B’ – NAPOLEON XIV – 45rpm 1966

  • Larry, the Tanster is not alone in her obsessional love for Napoleon Bonaparte, even if she is definitely out of time. My grandmother told me that in her mother’s day it wasn’t unusual for girls to be madly in love with the idea of ‘Bony’ and fashioned themselves on the tragic figure of Empress Marie-louisa, pining for the man who would never return… Reincarnation? for me that’s a case of, ‘whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent.’

    But, this old song, from a garland printed by W. Kelly in Waterdorf, c.1830, under the title ‘Maria Louisa’s Lamentation for the Loss of her Lover,’ also included in John Ross’s Catalogue of Slip Songs, Under the title ‘The Green Lennet’ published in 1849, is a charm, and makes me fall in love with Bony every time i hear it. Sung here by Dick Gaughan, the greatest balladeer of our times even if few will ever know, because as a member of the CPGB, he will never sign a recording deal. Still, he’s a musician’s musician, if you know, you know.


    • Dear OWA, that was a very lovely and soulful piece of lyrical song. Dick Gaughan is definitely a treasure and a Meistersinger. Have you ever listened to the songs and arias of the great Irish tenor John McCormack? His rendition of “Kathleen Mavourneen” is the standard for that lovely song. You can find his songs on YouTube. He is definitely worth a listen. John McCormack has been credited with bringing Belle Canto Opera back into fashion. The great tenor, Enrico Caruso, adored and respected John McCormack. John McCormack and Jussi Bjorling are two of my all-time favorite tenors.

  • Well, if her property is worth over a mil then her radio show probably has more viewers than I had previously believed before reading Larry’s post.

    I had previously assumed that her radio show probably had listeners numbering in the high teens, possibly up to a few dozen —— half of them probably family, friends or people given free coupons to tune in. But I was obviously wrong.

    Now I’m thinking that she may have up to a couple hundred people who tune in. 🙂

    I’m wondering what businesses or organizations advertise with her?

    Possibly the Napoleonic Historical Foundation, in Paris? Possibly the tin foil hat society, in Hicktown Texas? Maybe the Flat Earth society?

    Tell us more. For instance, does she speak fluent French? How can a person not speak the fluent native language of their reincarnated step father? Can she tell us any private info about Napoleon that only his family would know, such as what material his crapper was made of? What did her own bedroom look like?

    Reincarnation is a myth, Larry.

    If you read that stuff yourself then you’re as clueless as Tanster.

    If humans could be reincarnated, it would mean our spirits operated outside the laws of physics. Can animals be reincarnated too? If not, why not? We descended from animals.

    What about sea animals, like fish? Can they be reincarnated? Why not? Can Pelicans be reincarnated?

    If a doctor gets reincarnated, does that mean he won’t have to go through medical school again?

    Isn’t it interesting that all evidence of reincarnation points to people claiming faint memories of simple things, but there’s never any retention of any serious knowledge which would prove reincarnation beyond the shadow of a doubt. Just a coincidence?

    God doesn’t exist, Larry. Reincarnation doesn’t exist either. Once your brain activity shuts down, your personality and everything that was “you” is gone forever.

    That’s why people with severe brain damage lose touch with reality and cease to exist as their former selves. Your brain activity controls who you are, you imbecile.

    Stop reading those damn books. Burn those books, Larry.

    Otherwise, not a bad article you wrote. 🙂

    • To simplify it for you, sir, here’s a simpler question:

      If a “soul” was so powerful as to defy all known laws of the universe (surviving outside the human body, then getting redeposited into a new human) —– then that same “soul” would surely be powerful enough to maintain ‘detailed’ memories and ‘knowledge’ (like having a former doctor remember his medical training and not have to go through med school again).

      If not, then it’s just a farce since why would only faint memories remain intact — but not detailed knowledge?

      What’s the reason for that, other than it’s the only way to make this delusion seem real to some people?

      It’s no different than religion. It’s just a different kind of religion.

      • Again…how do you think you have more knowledge than the rest of the world? How do you KNOW what abilities a soul should have? Why should a soul have the ability to remember a past life in detail? Your argument that if a soul exists it therefore must have this particular ability is an illogical argument.

    • God doesn’t exist. LOL The order of creation is not real, it is just an illusion. That hefty fart you just cut after a heavy meal is just an illusion in your feeble mind. It was the result of a big bang similar to the one that came from your dupa.

    • – If humans could be reincarnated, it would mean our spirits operated outside the laws of physics.

      There is no ontological entity out there called “the laws of physics”. The laws of physics don’t *do* anything. The phrase only encapsulates the notion of the causal regularity that exists in Nature.

      Reincarnation presupposes that the immaterial self/consciousness of the the human being persists after death of the material body and that something outside of its control chooses to “put it into” the material form of another human being or other creature. It makes sense to say there is no evidence for it, or that it raises all sorts of questions that don’t have sufficient answers, but it doesn’t make sense to say that it operates “outside” the laws of physics.

      – God doesn’t exist, Larry. Reincarnation doesn’t exist either. Once your brain activity shuts down, your personality and everything that was “you” is gone forever.

      If Reality is *only* material, a philosophical position called materialism, then there could be no possibility of reincarnation or resurrection, the latter a special case of reincarnation, i.e., the self/consciousness within a form that is like its previous form and done only one time. However, the concept of materialism is often muddy and not clear as to what it entirely includes, and there are other metaphysics – the study of the absolute first principles of Being – that don’t limit being as such to solely the material.

      • Reminds me of those logical positivists who think the question “How many angels can stand on the head of a pin?” exemplifies a period of ‘obvious’ darkness and ignorance. Whereas, it is a very neat way of helping us to distinguish, in terms of existence, between that which has location and extension, and that which does not. there are immaterial things that have sufficient existence to become the subject or object of perfectly reasonable discussion.

        “Now I a fourfold vision see
        And a fourfold vision is given to me
        Tis fourfold in my supreme delight
        And three fold in soft Beulahs night
        And twofold Always. May God us keep
        From Single vision & Newtons sleep” Blake, letter to Butts, 1802.

      • Dear SOS, I do not quite understand what you are saying. You seem to be a bit confused, and I must confess that I am somewhat befuddled by what you are trying to say.

        However, I think that it might be in your best interest to acquire the most excellent book, “Consciousness Beyond Life; The Science of Near-Death Experience,” by Pim Van Lommel, M.D. Doctor, Pim Van Lommel is a world-renowned cardiologist. As a scientist and medical Ddctor, Pim Van Lommel did not come to his belief in consciousness after death without studying numerous cases. I highly recommend this book.

        • – Dear SOS, I do not quite understand what you are saying.

          I just went into a little bit of philosophy as it pertains to the idea of the reincarnation.

          – did not come to his belief in consciousness after death

          I believe that there is a part of the human soul – the soul according to Aristotle is the “form” of a living thing, which is one part of the four causes of his metaphysics that are necessary to explain the existence of a particular being, the other three being the material, efficient, and final causes – which is created but eternal, and this is the self/consciousness. Hence, I already believe it survives death.

    • Lol!!
      You have no idea if reincarnation is a myth or not. Do you presume yourself to be more knowledgeable than every other person in the entire world?…because you must be if you KNOW this. Your proclamation is just as arrogant as those of religious people who claim to KNOW that God exists or that Heaven or Hell are real. The fact is that ALL these concepts are ideas and are personal beliefs, not proveable facts . If people want to explore any of these concepts I think it shows they are open minded and have the ability to actually think….

      I’m always amused at atheists because they become so angry at people who question the existence of spirit. Is that because you’re actually scared it might be true, that you really do have a soul , and you may be accountable for your actions in an afterlife?

      I have no problem with people choosing whatever belief system resonates with them. But I do take issue with people using their beliefs to hurt others, as often happens with organized religion and also recently with these conspiracy theorists, such as Alex Jones. (Who is now suing parents of chdren killed at Sandy Hook)

      If Tanster believe in reincarnation or not is not the issue….the issue is she assumes that something is definitely real (without proof of any kind) and then uses that belief to spin a version of reality that may hurt other people or impact their lives. Not that I think this particular bit of nonsense spun by Szemkus has the ability to cause much impact , but it’s the intention behind it that bothers me.

    • Thanks, Burnsy, I shall be putting them in the fire pit this evening! It will definitely be a big surprise and a big hit for my friends and neighbors at the cookout later on this afternoon. Do you think that I should add “The Aeneid,” by Virgil to the fire? After all, there is that rather revealing exchange between Aeneas and the phantom of his father, Anchises, when Aeneas travels to the underworld in Book VI. In lines 703-751, the conversation turns to the transmigration of souls; ‘”Aeneas, moved by sudden sight, asked in his ignorance what it might mean, what was that river over there and all that crowd of people swarming along its banks. Then his father, Anchises, said – ‘They are souls who are destined for reincarnation; and now at Lethe’s streams they are drinking the waters that quench man’s trouble, the deep draft of oblivion..”‘

      Golly, what were the founders of our republic and the framers of our constitution thinking when they were reading such dangerous works as Virgil’s “Aeneid,” his “Georgics,” and his “Ecologues?” If they had not been reading such dangerous material, the American patriot, Charles Thomson, would not have adapted the motto that appears on the bottom of the pyramid of the Great Seal of the United States of America – “Novus “Ordo Seclorum,” the actual translation of which is: “A New Order of the Ages.” – from Virgil’s fourth :Ecologue.”:

      “Now at last the age by Cumae’s Sybil sung
      Has come and gone and the majestic roll
      Of circling centuries begin anew:”…

      “Come are those last days that Sybil sang
      The ages mighty march begins anew.”

      By the way, “Annuit Coeptus,” (“Providence Has Favored our Undertakings”) was adapted from Book One of the Virgil’s “Georgics.”

      Please, let me know ASAP, Burnsy, as the cookout will be starting in about four hours and the fire pit and book-burning in about six hours. Thank you so much for caring!

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