John Tighe
General News NXIVM

Is John Tighe Innocent? – Here’re a Few Facts to Consider

John Tighe currently resides in the Fort Devens Federal Medical Center, a United States federal prison in Massachusetts. Fort Devens is for male federal inmates requiring specialized or long-term medical care.

Prior to the raid on his house in October 2013, John had announced on his blog, Saratoga In Decline, that he had been diagnosed with small bowel cancer. Although he lost his insurance coverage for a period of time, he did get it back.

When his home was raided, on suspicion of trespassing into Nxivm’s website, the New York State Police – including one Senior Investigator who had worked closely with Clare Bronfman and her attorneys – seized all of John’s computers. From that point forward, all those computers were held by the NYS Police.

Then, a funny thing happened. After the New York State Police had held his computers for several months, they “found” child porn on one of them.

There were supposedly lots of child porn files – but all of them were apparently downloaded onto the one computer at the same time on the same day. Many of those files were never opened – and none of them were ever shared with anyone else.

The NYS Police and FBI did a thorough search of John’s Facebook and Twitter messages – and all of his email accounts – looking for other evidence of his involvement with child pornography. They found absolutely nothing.

None of this fit the profile of a child porn user. But no matter.

The Nxivm crowd had been accused in the past of planting key loggers and other malware on enemies’ computers. But no matter.

Nxivm had several members who were assigned to hack into the computers of people that had been designated as “enemies” — and John was definitely considered an “enemy” (Nxivm tried to have him arrested at several events – and once accused him of trying to poison the water at the Silver Bay resort that hosted Vanguard Week). But no matter.

John was charged with possessing child porn. He was arrested and faced 20 years in federal prison.

It’s a complicated story. There’s a lot John could say but he can’t say anything right now because he’s scheduled to get out soon – and doesn’t want to do anything to jeopardize or delay that.

But consider this: The computer where the child porn was “found” may not have been one of the computers seized from John’s house. And even if the computer in question did belong to John, the child porn could have been planted on it before or after it was seized by the NYS Police.

In the inventory of the items that were seized from John’s house, the NYS Police listed a Mac computer. But John never owned a Mac computer.

Unfortunately, a forensic investigation is now out of the question since, rather conveniently, all of the seized computers were apparently destroyed by the NYS Police. As a result, John lost every family photo and travel picture he ever had.

Charged with the most odious of crimes and facing 20 years in federal prison, John was offered a plea deal by the feds: plead guilty to one count and face a maximum of a 5-year sentence.

John didn’t have the $100,000 his attorney would require in order to go to trial – and his attorney told him he would likely get a sentence of one-year-and-a-day if he took the plea deal. So, he took the proffered deal on the condition that he be assigned to a prison with a medical center.

Just like all the people who pleaded guilty in the Nxivm trial, John had to wait several months until he was sentenced.

During that period, his attorney requested that he be placed on probation rather than receiving any prison sentence. The prosecution asked for a 5-year sentence.

The judge sentenced John to 5-years – which he is now serving at the Fort Devens Medical Center. Since arriving there, John has also developed liver cancer – and is currently being treated for that. He is also on the official list for a liver transplant but since prisoners routinely get passed over for such operations, that is not likely going to happen.

He’s lost over 50 pounds since he first arrived at Fort Devens. He was also badly injured in a scalding accident while working there.

None of this changes the fact that he may have been framed. Even the fact that being in a prison with a medical center that may have saved his life does not change the fact the John Tighe may be an innocent man.

Frank Report intends to try to find out the truth.

If John was framed, it may not have been Clare Bronfman and Keith Raniere alone who did it. They likely had help and if they did, that help likely involves some sort of public corruption.

This is something that the Department of Justice [in the Northern District at least] may be reluctant to touch because one or more of their own might have been involved. First and foremost, the DOJ has to protect its own reputation. A special prosecutor is probably needed to properly investigate this matter.

During the trial of Keith Raniere, we learned a lot about him and the lengths he was willing to go to silence his enemies. Is that only the tip of the iceberg?

With Bronfman wealth and a small town like Albany, which is known worldwide as the corrupt capital of the most corrupt state, it is not an impossible reach to think that John was framed.

Did John take a plea deal to save his life and avoid the risk of serving 20 years? I think he did.

But he can’t talk about things until he gets out of prison.

Now that the Bronfman-Raniere racketeering enterprise is finally toppling, it’s time to unearth whatever stones are necessary to discover the worms in hiding – even if those worms are public officials.

Frank Report is committed to this task.

About the author


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


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  • More time and effort should be spent on ensuring the Rainbow Cultural Garden schools are closed and any criminal activities associated with them are prosecuted. Reportedly, there are schools still open in Los Angeles, Albany, and Brooklyn. Does anyone know the address/phone numbers? I’ve reported the schools to both the CA and NY authorities, but unfortunately this information has been scrubbed from the internets and I couldn’t provide it.

  • That’s a steep hill to climb. The physical evidence has been destroyed, Tighe won’t say anything for about a year, it’s been several years since it happened, and corruption is rampant. The best chance of a breakthrough will be before sentencing of the NXIVM 6 (or other NXIVM crooks that have not been indicted), as they try to get less time behind bars, and several of them may not even be able to help because they weren’t involved.

  • Frank

    Congrats again on the victory over Rainiere and your tireless role in it.

    Regarding Tighe:

    How are you going to motivate DOJ to hire a special investigator? Is writing on this blog sufficient?

    What is your access within state government, DOJ and NYSP? Do you have deep contacts that can feed you hard information on this case or motivated to assist you to open up an investigation?

    How are you going to recover lost evidence that would overturn a conviction?

    How are you going to fight NYSP? They’re a para-military group with a tight military style command structure. Dissension is not tolerated.

    What are you personally and professionally prepared to do to make all this happen? I’d like to see you lay it all out.

    I hope Tighe gets out soon and a year goes by quick but I’m not sure how you will make an impact alone before John is released.

  • “I want you to know I am pleading guilty because I am, in fact, guilty,” she said in Brooklyn federal court, her voice breaking. “I accept that some of the things I did were not just wrong, but sometimes criminal.

    “I justified them by saying that what we were doing was for the greater good,” she told Judge Nicholas Garaufis. “I am deeply sorry for the trouble I caused my daughter, [and] the pain I caused my parents.

    “I still believe that some of what we did was good,” she added.

    Salzman, also known as “Prefect,” co-founded the self-proclaimed self help group with Keith Raniere in the 1990s.

    Her lawyer Robert Soloway told The Post Tuesday that his client would not be cooperating against her fellow Nxians.

    In her tearful statement, Salzman said she’d obtained passwords and user names to monitor suspected moles within the organization and see if they were revealing the group’s secrets.

    She also confessed to “having others destroy video tapes” memorializing Raniere’s teachings.

    The former psychiatric nurse lives in Albany, and has been battling undisclosed health problems. Neither her daughter nor the other co-defendants were in court.

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