A letter filed with the court on Friday, September 14, 2018, seems to make clear where criminal defendant Kathy Russell stands. She stands by her Vanguard.
She also wants to see her friends in NXIVM – and maybe work for some of them.
Her attorney, Justine Harris, filed a letter with the Hon. Nicholas G. Garaufis, United States District Judge, Eastern District of New York, making the request.
Harris also mentions me – Frank Parlato – as a troublesome individual, who continuing exposure of all things NXIVM will require the Court to let Kathy keep her NXIVM friends secret.
Here is a truncated version.
Dear Judge Garaufis:
We write on behalf of Kathy Russell to respectfully request that the Court rescind or modify the no-contact provision of her bond….
The no-contact provision provides that Ms. Russell “must avoid all contact” with “any current or former employees or independent contractors of or for NXIVM (including any and all affiliated entities) or with any individual who is currently or was formerly on the stripe path, subject to reasonable exceptions agreed upon by the parties.”…
It is estimated that the number of individuals that fall within this category ranges from several hundred to over a thousand. While the government has repeatedly asserted that no-contact provisions are routine in a RICO prosecution, here the scope of the no-contact provision bears no relation to the charged enterprise – the alleged “inner circle” of trusted advisors to Keith Raniere…. NXIVM is not itself charged as a criminal enterprise…. Yet the current no-contact provision prevents Ms. Russell from having contact with anyone who ever associated with the organization, including hundreds of people who have nothing to do with the allegations in the Indictment and whose only contact with the organization may have been enrollment in a series of courses.
While the government has consented to Ms. Russell communicating with the two sureties who signed a bond and posted cash security on her behalf … the broad and unlimited no-contact provision has effectively deprived Ms. Russell of her ability to see or talk to her close personal friends.
In 2002, Ms. Russell moved to Albany from Alaska to work for NXIVM. She has lived in Clifton Park ever since, and nearly all the relationships she has formed over the past 16 years have been with individuals affiliated with NXIVM. She is divorced, and her adult son lives out of state. In fact, she is in regular contact with only one family member – a sister who also does not live in New York. Thus, because Ms. Russell communicates only with two friends and one of her sisters, the no-contact provision has dramatically isolated her.
Simply put, during the most stressful and trying period of her life, Ms. Russell is alone most days and nights.
The no-contact provision has also effectively deprived Ms. Russell of her ability to work and earn a living. Ms. Russell has few economic resources. Prior to losing her job as a result of the bond conditions in this case, she was making $27 per hour. She is barred from working at NXIVM, even though the company has asked that she consult with outside counsel and accountants to assist them in closing the books on several non-active entities and in complying with its tax obligations. She also cannot continue her freelance bookkeeping work, as almost all of her individual clients were at one time associated with NXIVM. Thus, if the current bond conditions remain in place, not only will Ms. Russell endure the trauma of this prosecution alone, she will go broke.
While Ms. Russell initially consented to the no-contact provision …. such consent was given with the expectation that she could subsequently request and obtain the government’s consent to have contact with close friends, despite their connection to NXIVM. However, after it became clear that the individuals who had come forward for Ms. Russell were subjected to unwanted media attention and heightened scrutiny from their employers and perhaps law enforcement, Ms. Russell now objects to any condition of release that requires her to identify the individuals with whom she wishes to have contact. Plainly, doing so will simply put those individuals on the FBI’s interview list, and earn them an entry on Frank Parlato’s blogs, Artvoice, andFrank Report.
… [I]t is unfair to place the burden on Ms. Russell to identify the individuals with whom she seeks to have contact, as well as to justify her need to associate with them…
In light of the draconian impact of the no-contact provision and corresponding de-facto employment bar on Ms. Russell, and the fact that these conditions are unnecessary either to ensure her appearance in court or to protect the public, no particularized showing can be made to justify the broad restrictions currently in place. Ms. Russell has no ability or desire to control or manipulate potential witnesses, and there are no allegations that she directed or controlled any litigation on behalf of the company.
Indeed, the charges against Ms. Russell are extraordinarily limited: committing identity theft by providing a false identification document to an alien crossing the Canadian-US border in 2004 and conspiring to unlawfully access the email of an unidentified individual (“John Doe 1”) between 2006 and 2008. Given the discrete nature of the specific charges against Ms. Russell, as well as the fact that they allegedly took place more than ten years ago, there is no legal or factual basis to require Ms. Russell to justify her need to associate with a given individual when the government has failed to establish any legitimate interest in preventing such contact in the first place.
In short, as to Ms. Russell, the no-contact provision is punishing in its effect, both emotionally and economically. We therefore respectfully request that the Court either rescind the no-contact provision or require the government to identify the specific individuals with whom Ms. Russell should not have contact and proffer particularized evidence justifying the need for such restriction.
Editor’s notes: Karen Abney and Eric Mumford are the two co-guarantors for Kathy Russell. It is not known if they used their own or Bronfman money as collateral.
The letter says Kathy Russell makes $27 per hour. That seems high for her and for NXIVM – even though NXIVM would get most of it back in courses Kathy would be forced to take.
I wonder if she recently got a raise, just prior to her arrest? I love the fact that her attorney says she has been with NXIVM – and taking Executive Success Courses for 16 years and yet she is an hourly worker making but $27 per hour and “Ms. Russell has few economic resources.” In short, she is broke like everyone who took too many Executive Success Programs courses. It was designed that way by Keith Raniere.
The letter also says NXIVM wants her to help in closing the books on “several non-active entities.” Is “non-active entities” a NXIVM euphemism for ‘shell companies”?
Kathy well knows there was money collected for numerous shell companies at more than a dozen post office boxes, so she would be helpful in “closing out” these once very active “non-active” entities. She could also be helpful to the prosecution in identifying these companies and how the money was laundered.
As for the little swipe at me, I think this has the scent of a red herring. I suspect I am being used to try to broaden the scope of her contacts to everyone ever in NXIVM that the government does not specifically exclude.
Kathy’s lawyers argue the need because they fear I will publish the names of everyone she requests to have contact with – if those names are made public. Kathy wants to be free to contact everyone who ever was in NXIVM unless the government excludes them – or, otherwise, she will be all alone.
That last part is likely true. She cut off her loving and distressed family long ago and she cut out everyone else who wasn’t in NXIVM – to be in this destructive and exclusive cult.
She gave her life to NXIVM – at $27 per hour.
She is today – as it was always planned for her – a hapless fall girl – an aging, [and from the low-calorie diet] emaciated, balding, and a former harem member. She is now 60 and that too is scary, for women do not live long in NXIVM. Once they hit their 60s – they run into health trouble in NXIVM. Think Barb Jeske, Pam Carfritz, and Nancy Salzman.
Finally, by special request – a mention of Kathy’s ballet.
It’s true that Kathy has special reason to stand by her Vanguard. He has promised that she would become a top prima donna ballerina if she stuck with the Executive Success Programs long enough. She is now 60.
For years, she has been practicing in class and doing recitals with the Saratoga Ballet Company – a group of amateur ballet students from age 5 – to 16 years old. It was lovely to see Kathy appearing in recitals alongside a charming group of 12-year-old girls – where parents – most of them younger than Kathy – would come to watch their little girls.
Kathy would leap in the air and do pirouettes and one could see that with just a few more years of practice – certainly not more than a decade – she would fulfill her ageless dream.
She was thoroughly enchanting in Sleeping Beauty. And there was not a dry eye in the hall when a 57-year-old Kathy, paying the forlorn princess who, on the day of her sixteenth year, pricks her finger on a spindle and seems to die.
A graceful fairy, who has not had a chance to bestow her gift, alters the evil fairies’ curse reducing it to a century old sleep. There were tears of joy in the eyes of every parent in the audience when Kathy, appearing as Sleeping Beauty, has her long-long sleep broken by the kiss of a handsome prince played by a 14-year-old boy.
Too bad someone could not kiss her in real life and wake her up from the sleepy stupor of the Vanguard.