John Tighe
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John Tighe on Keith Raniere: Revenge or Justice – or Both?

By John Tighe

Now that Keith Raniere has been caged – probably for the rest of his life – it’s time for us to ponder the future.

Do we seek revenge or justice – or a little of both?

Right Up There Where He Belongs. MK10ART’s beautiful painting of Keith Alan Raniere.


Dig Two Graves

I try not to be a vengeful person. Confucius said it: “Before you embark on a journey of revenge, dig two graves.” One for your enemy and one for yourself.

And as much as I try to heed those words I’m not really sure what I want. Most of all, I want the truth to be made public on all sorts of things.


Governmental Corruption Is Our Common Enemy

I believe the greatest threat to our country and our democracy is corruption. Unfortunately, it permeates all levels of government regardless of what party is in control.

I have fought this corruption on all levels of government since I started my blog and I have paid a heavy price.

People, all of us, and by extension all organizations made up of people, have two faces. Who we are – and who we want others to think we are. Those can be two very separate things.

The illusion that law enforcement officials and politicians want to portray is that they are self-sacrificing patriots.

The unbalanced scales of our criminal justice system

For law enforcement officials, that image is reinforced every day by television and newspapers.

Look at the TV shows such Law & Order, NCIS, and FBI.

Police and prosecutors are all portrayed as heroes.

In truth, many are – but many are not.

We certainly know that because of some of the things that happened – and some of the things that didn’t happen – with respect to NXIVM.


We Must Overcome Mistrust

In prison, where I am now, writing this, I learned why people won’t snitch in the ghetto after a shooting, even if an innocent is killed.  The answer is sometimes fear, but mainly mistrust

As one inmate told me: “When the cops start ratting out one of their own when they kill some kid, then we’ll do the same when one of ours kills some kid.”

The level of mistrust is finding its way into all levels of society across broad socio-economic groups. I believe it threatens to tear our society apart with its relentless cynicism.


We Need a Special Counsel

NXIVM didn’t happen in some vacuum.

They were – and apparently continue to be – a criminal enterprise.  They operated with impunity for almost twenty years. They used local law enforcement as a personal security force.

They broke laws – and continue to break laws – on a daily basis while authorities continue to look the other way and hope all this hub-bub dies down.

Rainbow Cultural Garden continues to operate its illegal children’s experimental clinics.

Rainbow Cultural Gardens – a dangerous experiment?

Tell me how long do you think some poor single mother operating an illegal daycare center in a trailer park would last?

I think Joe O’Hara has the right idea. We need the US Attorney General to appoint a Special Counsel to investigate what happened with NXIVM in Upstate New York.

When the government breaks the law, there is no law.

The belief the public has in American exceptionalism is being replaced by naked cynicism.

Then the government attempts to distract the public and scapegoat groups and individuals. Don’t fall for this. There should be one set of justice for all.

I know that’s hard to achieve but that’s the ideal we should strive for. Without it, our country could become a shadow of itself.

I sincerely hope the conviction of Raniere with all its salacious sexual storylines isn’t the end, but only the beginning.


John Tighe; Federal Prisoner 21508-052
Cellblock JB
Fort Devens Federal Prison

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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  • “our country could become a shadow of itself.” Not sure if you are joking here… but in case you are not, what shadow of itself are you talking about? The one that massacred the american buffalo in order to starve the natives and take the land? The wealthy plantation slave owners? The political lying to enter foreign invasions? The one where pedophiles like Jeffrey Epstein went free and some poor indigent has life in prison in texas for marijuana or planted evidence? We could become a shadow of that illustrious past? Actually that despicable past looks pretty healthy by today’s standards so on second thought I guess you are right.

    • Let me just blah blah blah spout a bunch of blah blah blah cliche things to hate America for blah blah blah…Native Americans got the shaft… blah blah… don’t forget slavery… we suck as a nation…all other countries must be better than this one.. there’s no corruption anywhere else…and this country has never done anything good.. blah… blah blah.. because it makes me feel good to hate America and everywhere else is better.

      • Yes, I know, you live in the greatest country in the history of the world. /s

        • Now back to the topic… hmnh, I just can’t imagine how anyone could fall for nxivm’s lies.

        • “Yes, I know, you live in the greatest country in the history of the world.”

          Here’s another old chestnut!
          Keep those cliches coming, Steve! You’re so clever!!

  • Justice is just the socially acceptable version of revenge.

    John Tighe has a wife that he loves and loves him.

    John has something to live for…..his wife.

    So revenge is off the table for John Tighe.

    John Tighe will seek justice.

    If you have someone you love you cannot seek revenge. It’s not an option.

  • Revenge would be pointless, John. As your forearm says, Sic erat in fatis – So it was fated.

  • Frank said, in his original article, that John Tighe only pleaded guilty cuz he didn’t have the necessary $50,000 retainer for a defense attorney.

    I think we need to explore this statement further.

    This is something that defenders of guilty people often say as an excuse — to explain why they’d swear under oath that they were guilty.

    Firstly, Federal public defenders are often GREAT attorneys.

    They are not the idiotic slouches portrayed by Frank and Claviger. They are well schooled and probably have more experience than Claviger will ever have.

    Federal public defenders are no less skilled than Federal prosecutors. They often go on to become top level, private practice defense attorneys.

    If I had my choice between a Federal public defender or Claviger, I’ll take the public defender any day cuz most of Claviger’s clients currently reside in the slammer.

    Heidi knows nothing about these attorneys either, so don’t listen to her shit.

    Heidi’s entire world revolves around making delusional statements about things she’s got no experience with. Her previous attendance at a few court trials (while taking notes like a fangirl) doesn’t qualify her to give an opinion on JACK SHIT. I wouldn’t trust Heidi to bake a cake without burning it.

    IMO John Tighe could have went to trial if he had a real case. He didn’t need $50k as Frank has previously told us.

    He may be innocent, but I’m just not convinced of that yet.

    • you could explain since you have so much legal experience, because a single photograph of child pornography, which was found on a computer that had several months in the hands of the police, was enough for the prosecution, to get everything ready to kill John Tighe

    • It could be Tighe wasn’t broke enough to get a public defender and couldn’t also afford the surgery he needed if he spent the money on a lawyer, so he saw a plea deal as the best way to go. I don’t have a clue whether Tighe is guilty or not, but I do know there’s got to be a lot more evidence for me to change his guilty plea to not guilty in my mind.

    • Bangkok&Everyone,

      A $50,000 dollar retainer gets you a run of the mill criminal defense attorney not the kind of defense attorney John Tighe needed.

      John Tighe made the right call.

      Just because you are innocent does not mean you will be found innocent in a court of law.

      Real life is not like a fucking John Grisham novel you morons……

      When your plea bargain is less than a 1/4 of the sentence you will face if you go to trial you take the plea.

      • To me, the fact that he was told to expect a 1yr and 1 day sentence (during which he could get medical treatment) helps make the most sense of the guilty plea. Most would have done the same vs. risking life in KRison.

  • Yes. Yes to what you’ve written. The biblical “vengeance is Mine” mirrors your quote. It is only different in its cultural origin and in its use of language. Action and reaction is happening within our awareness, constantly and instantaneously. Sometimes almost too fast to notice, but the more intently that you determine to watch, the simpler it can be to keep seeing. I agree. When you see a desire for revenge sprouting, be strong and cut the root from your heart and mind. Maintain your own inner garden and then you have something to give, as my dad used to tell me.

    What we wish to do and how our actions are made manifest affects the self just as much, and in much the same way as it was intended to affect another. We can and will watch corruption meet corruption here with the Nxixm exposé. And we know that it is nothing new, watching what can happen when one form of corruption screws up and another form of intermingling corruption tries to hide its own screw-ups and vested interests. I watch alongside you and am glad to get the chance to watch with you.

  • I say justice, not revenge. If KAR is sentenced to life, given everything he’s done – both known and not yet revealed, he will deserve every miserable moment of it.

    He was escalating on multiple fronts. IMO had he not been arrested, charged, and convicted, he would have gone on to commit more and more monstrosities – possibly even murder if it suited him.

  • Excellent perspective, John. I for one hope you will be exonerated. Love a free life. HT the medical attention that you need. And continue the fight against corruption. You’re a good guy, keep your head up and keep up the great work.

  • The NXIVM case will not be over until government agencies come clean on their relationships with the cult and its top leaders.

    Only a rare set of circumstances such as crimes occurring in the EDNY and the determination of people like Catherine Oxenberg and Sara Edmondson helped bring down this criminal gang.

    Even the noble work of whistleblowers like John Tighe, Joe O’Hara, Susan Dones, Rick Ross, and Frank Parlato was not enough to bring down this criminal gang.

    Even as we speak, NXIVM’s elite is plotting to rebuild the criminal gang.

    Yes, both the US DOJ and the New York State Attorney General need to appoint Special Prosecutors and Task Forces to ROOT OUT NXIVM ONCE AND FOR ALL.

    • Haha! Almost sounds serious!

      Just who are these Nex bandits that still want to rebuild the organization? A bunch of imaginary figures in your brain? A bunch of multi-lingual baby sitters?

      Calm down and go find another conspiracy to get worked up about.

      • LOL. So true. But to defend Shadow, he thinks the Salinas clan is planning to take over NXIVM, because they want to continue being associated with this PR gem.

    • I think the biggest problem mow is the people that want to rebuild NXIUM. This is very sick. I want to know these peoples names
      So we can stay clear of them.

      • Relax, Alex. It’ll be over when Vanguard gets his life sentence. Just because friends that were involved in the fraud remain friends, doesn’t mean anything problematic is being plotted. Remember, most people joined NXIVM because they wanted to positively change the world and obtain personal growth. KR was the one who used this against them and tried to push bad was good. Without KR, the evilness that was leading the way if gone.

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