And Big League Politics – one of the leading political media sites in America – has brought Frank Report’s earlier stories on Kirsten Gillibrand’s ties to Nxivm to a national political audience.
Gillibrand, a Democrat US Senator from New York who has announced she is running for president, told the New York Post she never heard of Nxivm until the branding story came out in late 2017. Of course, this is hard to believe since:
- Nxivm is headquartered in her hometown and has been the subject of dozens of front-page stories in the Albany Times Union.
- Her father worked for Nxivm.
- Her stepmother was a member of Nxivm.
- Kirsten sat at a Hillary Clinton fundraiser with Nxivm president Nancy Salzman.
- Members of the Bronfman family – including Nxivm leader Clare Bronfman – are among Gillibrand’s biggest campaign contributors.
“Ex-cult employee Frank Parlato — who exposed the fact that Raniere was branding women — is working with Big League Politics to uncover the deep longstanding links between Gillibrand, the Clintons, and NXIVM,” Howley reports and adds, “Parlato is the NXIVM whistleblower who blew the lid off the case, including the revelation that NXIVM leader Keith Raniere’s cult was branding women with his initials.”
Another blogger, who did a lot to expose Nxivm, John Tighe, is also quoted in the Big League Politics story.
Tighe wrote in a statement shared with Big League Politics, “The very first time I ever met Gillibrand she was at an event for Hillary Clinton in the Hall of Springs in the State Park. This was in 2006…I was on the Democratic committee at the time…Gillibrand came up to me, introduced herself and said she was running against [US Rep.] John Sweeney…[W]hen… Clinton went to speak, Gillibrand sat [at] one of the …VIP tables …all brought by NXIVM and she was sitting with Nancy Salzman. You can quote me on that.”
O’Hara was living in Saratoga Springs when he was retained by Nxivm and met Nancy Salzman.
Here is Joe Ohara’s story, as told to Big League Politics.
“I was introduced to Nancy Salzman, the president of NXIVM, and she described to me the various problems they were having,” O’Hara said, referring to lawsuits, public relations issues, and governmental issues stemming from trying to get a building permit for a NXIVM center.
“I said give me a day or two,” O’Hara said. “After I thought about it, I wrote back to them and said I don’t think there’s anything I can do personally but I can play centerfielder and pull in people you need. I think you need a bigger law firm on this. Yes, I can get you a PR firm that can come in and help you. That’s what I proposed to them, that I would be a middle man.
“They hired me in October of 2003 and I worked for them for 15 months. At the end of 2004, a variety of issues had come up and I resigned.”
O’Hara said he “met primarily with Keith” Raniere who he thought was “a little strange…He was an odd fellow,” and with bookkeeper Kathy Russell.
O’Hara said of Raniere, “Before I met him, I had been told a lot about him,” such as that he was the world’s smartest man, was a judo champion, and had tied the state record for t100-yardard dash.
O’Hara explained how he planned to solve NXIVM’s outstanding issue with New York State and Consumers’ Buyline.
O’Hara said, “I had known Doug Rutnik for a number of years. He was one of the people I thought of immediately for a couple of the problems that he (Raniere) had…Keith never made the payments [on his fine for Consumers’ Buyline]. I think it was around 45 or 50 thousand dollars.
“I contacted Doug, and explained to him the situation. Doug could be the broker between Keith and the attorney general [then Eliot Spitzer.]
“Doug and I, Nancy and Keith had lunch at a little club. Keith came in and looked like a young middle-aged business exec. Doug said let’s check this out a little further.”
It checked out evidently. And Kristen Gillibrand’s father acted as the broker between NXIVM and attorney general Eliot Spitzer.
O’Hara said, “NXIVM sent Doug the check, and it was expressly to resolve the issue over Consumers Buyline. And then the issue went away.”
Gillibrand’s future stepmother Gwenn Bellcourt gave NXIVM her seal of approval
Another issue O’Hara helped Nxivm resolve was whether it needed a license to teach its courses.
Rutnik and O’Hara discussed having an attorney attend a Nxivm intensive to help make this determination.
Rutnik hired his second cousin, Gwenn Bellcourt.
O’Hara said, “Doug said, ‘I know somebody I could send in to take the course.’ It was his cousin, Gwenn Bellcourt…Gwenn and I met…Doug told me ‘this is my second cousin Gwenn.’ She was engaged to another man at the time.
“Gwenn was a lawyer, someone Doug trusted. Doug said, ‘Let’s have Gwenn go in and take a week-long Nxivm course.’ She went in and she wrote up a report that was extremely positive. No issues with the schooling. No issues with the curriculum. She came back with rave reviews.
“Things were happening, one right after the other. Gwenn comes in, she writes the report, and Doug is doing work for Nxivm.
“Meanwhile Gwenn starts taking more Nxivm classes on her own. We paid for the one class she took. But she kept taking more classes. I know that she was taking a lot of classes at NXIVM.
“At some point, Doug says, ‘This is getting a little weird with Gwenn.’ He said she broke off her engagement to the man she was engaged to because Nancy told her she needed to re-think her life. Nancy Salzman became Gwenn’s personal guru. She wanted to bring Gwenn in as full-time in-house counsel.”
Then the relationship with Nxivm soured with O’Hara.
O’Hara said, “NXIVM initiates a lawsuit against me and Doug, while Gwenn is still involved in NXIVM. Doug goes in like a rescue mission. He finally convinces her what’s going on there and she leaves NXIVM. The next thing I know, all of a sudden, he said, ‘Gwenn and I are dating now.’ Shortly after that, they’re engaged. For several years, I saw them after they were married.”
Before working for Nxivm, O’Hara said, “I had done work down in Arkansas, I had met Richard Mays down there. He had great connections with Governor Clinton. His lieutenant governor [Jim Guy] Tucker became governor. While working for Nxivm, I was trying to get in to make a presentation to the governor. Richard got me the meeting. He got me the meeting with Jim Guy Tucker.”
“One of the other problems Keith had, he had an unpaid bill in Arkansas and he wanted to get an exoneration in Arkansas so he brought Richard Mays in and he got involved. Richard Mays started taking classes and got his daughter taking classes [at NXIVM.]
“There were people who got hooked on it. Richard Mays was one. Gwenn Bellcourt was another,” O’Hara said.
O’Hara quit Nxivm after he uncovered Raniere was evading taxes and illegally obtaining private investigator information on enemies. After he quit, NXIVM went after him.
“They destroyed me,” O’Hara said. “I had created this monster. They didn’t know how to get political consultants. They didn’t know how to hire people like former Senator [Alphonse] D’Amato; they didn’t know how to hire Richard Mays out of Arkansas, best friends with the Clintons. They had all these people now in their arsenal and they destroyed me in short order.”
As part of the evidence to establish that Gillibrand’s father did indeed work for Nxivm, Frank Report provided Big League Politics with copies of the court documents in NXIM’s suit against Rutnik.
In a series of interviews, I told Big League Politics, among other things, that:
“I worked as the publicist. We ran into a major disagreement and we split. At the time I worked for them I thought they were a little peculiar but it wasn’t until the end that I realized they were a downright evil group.
“There are women on the record who are now adults who have accused Raniere of statutory rape and there are some very suspicious incidents where Mexican girls came under the perimeters of Raniere’s control and left under suspicious circumstances. They came from Chihuahua Mexico. I reported this to the authorities.
“Gillibrand’s father Doug Rutnik came to work as a consultant for NXIVM…He was fired. They sued him [claiming sexual harassment of Nancy Salzman], and he had to pay them $100,000.
“Gillibrand’s father’s wife, her stepmother, was also a member of NXIVM…Doug got her into the cult…Doug left the cult because he was sued. Clare Bronfman, after Gillibrand’s father was sued, donated money to Gillibrand and she accepted it.”
I think I would not have written much about Gillibrand and her ties to Nxivm, if she had admitted the truth – which is, of course, that she knew about Nxivm.
She could have said her father and stepmother were involved once and they got away from it.
She could have said, “I knew about Nxivm, had heard about them from my father, but had no idea they were as evil as they turned out to be. Thank goodness my father saw through them and got my stepmother out of that horrible group.”
She could have even said, “It worked out kind of well. My dad got my future stepmother out, and in the process, they wound up falling in love and getting married. A happy ending in one way. But, of course, there is an unhappy side too. Those poor women who suffered. But my father had no idea about that – the branding started much later. He was a consultant and he had no way of knowing just how wicked the group really was or rather turned out to be. We were all surprised when we learned about the branding of those poor women who were marked as slaves. It’s offensive, and I plan to hold hearings on this to make sure they are investigated and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
But no, instead, when she was asked [before Raniere was arrested] she took the coward’s way – the dishonest way – and said she never heard of them.
From what I see, Gillibrand lied. I suspect she lies often and without regard to anything other than to say what she thinks is going to be most helpful to her.
That’s a serious defect in a woman or a man or a cult.
In fact, a cult depends on lies. And, for my own part, I want to weed out potential candidates who do likewise.