Clare’s Letters of Support Speak Volumes About Her – Maybe More Than She Intended

On April 19, 2019, Clare Bronfman pleaded guilty to two felonies: one count of harboring an illegal immigrant for financial gain – and one count of enabling credit card fraud.

In the ensuing 500 days, she was able to cajole, con, contract for, or otherwise convince a total of 66 people to send a letter-of-support on her behalf to U.S. Senior District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis, the judge who accepted her guilty plea – and, more importantly, the judge who will decide how long, if at all, she spends in federal prison.

Here’s an alphabetized list of those sixty-six people:

  • Antonio Aja: General Manager of Clare’s Wakaya Club & Spa
  • Deb Apthorp: Wife Of IT Consultant for One of Clare’s Companies
  • Justin Arthur Kreizel: Son of a “Close Friend” of the Late Edgar Bronfman, Sr.
  • Eduardo Asunolo: NXIVM Student & Member of the Forgotten Ones Dance Troupe
  • Amanda Auspelmyer: Clare’s Bookkeeper
  • Gabriela Baker: NXIVM/ESP Student
  • Karen Bardavid: Recipient of Bronfman Family Scholarship
  • Edgar Boone: Longtime NXIVM Leader in Mexico
  • Anna Boyce: Fellow Equestrian & NXIVM/ESP Student
  • Damon Brink: Member of NXIVM/ESP Since 2006
  • Eben Bronfman: Clare’s “Distant Cousin”
  • Sara Bronfman: Sister
  • Esther Carlson: NXIVM/ESP Coach & Domestic Partner of James Del Negro
  • Kyle Carlson: Long-term Friend
  • Suneel Chakravorty: NXIVM/ESP Student and Forgotten Ones Dancer
  • Linda Chung: NXIVM/ESP Student, V-Week Attendee and Forgotten Ones Dancer
  • & Mrs. D.J. Cleal: Parents of Fellow Equestrians
  • Brenda Clyne: Nicki Clyne’s Mother, NXIVM/ESP Student & V-Week Attendee
  • Nicole (Nicki) Clyne: NXIVM/ESP Student, Member of the Forgotten Ones Dance Troupe & Current DOS Slave Leader
  • Veronica Collignon: Mother of Clare’s Godchild
  • Kim Constable: NXIVM/ESP Coach
  • Ryan Constable: Husband of Kim Constable
  • Robert D. Crockett: One of Clare’s Attorneys
  • Stacey Cummings: Cousin
  • James Del Negro: NXIVM/ESP Coach
  • Brett Diamond: NXIVM/ESP Student
  • Maggie Dou: Exo/Eso Student
  • Justin Elliot: NXIVM/ESP Coach
  • Marc Elliott: NXIVM/ESP Coach & Former Tourette’s Syndrome Patient
  • John Farrand: Property Manager for Clare’s Fiji Properties
  • Giselle Fernandez: Co-Seller of Fiji House to Clare
  • Natalia Gaviria: NXIVM/ESP Coach
  • Barbara J. Gottlieb: Managing Consultant for Clare’s California Properties
  • Marielle Hajj: Worker at Wakaya Club & Spa
  • Georgiana Havers: Mother
  • [Redacted]
  • Basit Igtet: Brother-in-Law
  • Alejandro A. Imbach: NXIVM/ESP Coach
  • Dilip Jamnadas: One of Clare’s Attorneys
  • Jane Jeffries: NXIVM/ESP Coach
  • Paul Kempisty: Clare’s Acupuncturist
  • Paula Kent: Cousin
  • Warren A. Kent: Husband of Clare’s Cousin
  • Richard E. Leakey: “Father-Figure” & Well-known Anthropologist Whose Work Has Been Funded By Clare
  • Wayne N. LeBaron: NXIVM/ESP Student
  • Carolina López Patiño: Member of Exo/Eso and Nxivm
  • Serena Marama: Worker At Rai Ki Wai Estate, Wakaya Island
  • Mark S. Miness: Fellow Equestrian
  • Judith Moore: Clare’s Former Equestrian Trainer
  • Hilary Neeves: Clare’s Former Nanny in England
  • Niumaia Niumataiwalu: Resident Manager of Wakaya Club & Spa
  • Henk Nooren: Clare’s Former Equestrian Trainer
  • Christopher Pearson-Smith: NXIVM/ESP Coach
  • Denise Cristina Reis: Performer at Innovation Acapella Festival
  • Danielle Roberts: Director of Branding for DOS & Member of the Forgotten Ones Dance Troupe
  • Leigh Robertson: Long-term Friend & Fellow Equestrian
  • William F. Savino: One of Clare’s Attorneys
  • Seremaia Senilagakali: Project Manager, Wakaya Island
  • Baron Stewart: Retired Mathematics Teacher/Friend
  • Ronald P. Stewart: Headmaster at York Preparatory School (Clare Attended That School)
  • Sean M. Sweeney: NXIVM/ESP Student
  • Derek St. Thomas: One of Clare’s Doctors
  • Unknown
  • Unknown: Minor Child of Caretakers of Clare’s Rai Ki Wai Estate in Fiji
  • Emma Young: Sister of Clare’s Former Classmate
  • Gregory Zelenay: Clare’s Former CPA

In the coming days, we’ll be reviewing some of these letters in great detail – and evaluating how their contents may impact the sentence that Clare receives from Judge Garaufis.

MK10ART’s portrayal of Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis

We’ll also be listing some of the many people that didn’t step forward to write such a letter – and speculating why they didn’t do so.

For now, let’s just look at what might have motivated these sixty-six people to step forward on Clare’s behalf.


Blood Is Thicker Than Water

At least 7 of the 66 letter writers are Clare’s relatives – which would suggest that she comes from a very small family.

But as it turns out, Clare actually comes from a rather large family.

At the time of his death, her father, the late Edgar Bronfman, Sr., had 7 children, 24 grandchildren, and 2 great-grandchildren.

Edgar Bronfman Sr. He described NXIVM/ESP as a “cult” way back in 2003.

Apparently, none of her father’s 5 children from his first marriage – Edgar, Jr., Samuel, Matthew, Adam or Bhavani Nev (née Holly) – thought it would be a good idea to tell Judge Garaufis what a great half-sibling Clare is – and how proud they are of her decision to stand by her man and her cult no matter what the consequences may be.

And apparently, none of her 24 nieces and nephews felt compelled to take time out from their busy lives to write a letter on behalf of Auntie Clare (In fairness to Clare, it’s doubtful that she ever met most of them).


And Money is Thicker Than Blood

At least 23 of the 66 letter writers – a little more than one-third of the total – have (or had) some sort of financial relationship with Clare.

And surprise, surprise – in every one of those 23 instances, she (or her family) was the one writing the check.

While it’s understandable that Clare would have sought positive comments from just about anyone, it’s still sad that so many of her supporters were only a rung or two above a bunch of unknowns hired as gig writers off Craigslist.

And, seriously, having the minor child of a married couple that serves as the Caretakers of Clare’s Rai Ki Wai Estate in Fiji write a letter-of-support for her is nothing short of pathetic.

Clare Bronfman purchased about 80 percent of Wakaya Island in Fiji. It was supposed to be the perfect get-away retreat for Clare and her Vanguard — but then he was caught hanging around Mexico waiting for a group blowjob. 


And Cults Are Thicker Than Money

At least 27 of the 66 letter writers – a little over 40%  – have ties to the NXIVM/ESP cult – and while many of these people could probably have also been included in the group of people that are financially dependent on Clare and her family, we chose to list them separately.

That’s because Clare’s attorneys asserted in their most recent filing that the NXIVM/ESP cult was not financially dependent on Clare – and that it “…was profitable and able to sustain itself fully”.

Of course, these are the same attorneys who asserted that “NXIVM was not a sex cult” – and that “…it was not until during Mr. Raniere’s trial that Clare found out about many of the details relating to DOS” (I love the reference to “Mr.” Raniere).

What’s really interesting about the number of NXIVM/ESP-related letter-writers is not many there were – but how few.

Vanguard Week Celebrants

Seriously, more than 300 Coaches and more than 16,000 students – and all you can scrape up is 27 of them.

Hell, they had almost that many people on the payroll for The Knife of Aristotle.

Where are these people that benefited so much from the teachings of Keith Alan Raniere?

Where are all these formerly-blind people who can now see, all these formerly-lame people who can now walk, and all these formerly-deaf people who can now hear?

And, of course, where are all these people who have become SUCCESSFUL because of the insight and knowledge they gained by taking NXIVM/ESP courses?


The Elite Eight

So, let’s see who we have left out of that batch of 66 letters-writers…

  • Justin Arthur Kreizel: Son of a “Close Friend” of the Late Edgar Bronfman, Sr.
  • Kyle Carlson: Long-term Friend
  • Mr. & Mrs. D.J. Cleal: Parents of Fellow Equestrians
  • Veronica Collignon: Mother of Clare’s Godchild
  • Mark S. Miness: Fellow Equestrian
  • Leigh Robertson: Long-term Friend & Fellow Equestrian
  • Baron Stewart: Retired Mathematics Teacher/Friend
  • Emma Young: Sister of Clare’s Former Classmate
  • Unknown

All I can say is that it’s a good thing Clare liked to ride horses.

Because if we threw out the equestrian-related letter-writers, we’d be down to just 5 plus one “Unknown”.

And that would be really, really sad…

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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