Longtime Executive Success Programs [ESP] teacher, Lauren Salzman traveled from Albany to San Francisco this week to address concerns of students troubled by reports of women being blackmailed and branded in other cities where ESP courses are taught.
ESP is based on the teachings of Keith Raniere. Secrecy is mandated for all students who take the courses.
In early June, The FrankReport broke a story about how female students of ESP formed a new women’s group where they were required to give Mr. Raniere “collateral” which could be used against then if they revealed any practices of their new group – called DOS [Dominant Over Submissive].
One of the practices of DOS is branding women with a cauterizing iron the initials of Mr. Raniere. The new women’s group is headed by former TV actress Allison Mack, a disciple of Mr. Raniere.
Publication of the news of DOS cratered the Vancouver Center of ESP, as more than 60 students de-enrolled in classes. The Los Angeles center closed as dozens of people moved to distance themselves from an organization that might brand then blackmail their female students.
Students of the San Fransisco center – which had been recently started by Mr. Raniere’s disciples, Miss Salzman and brothers Mark and Brian Elliot, was shaken by the revelations and clamored for more information as rumors spread and disinformation mixed with half truths were told and retold. They sought assurances that the reports in this publication were false.
Initially, officials at ESP denied the existence of DOS, telling students that the reports in FrankReport were 100 percent fabrications.
However, since more than 50 women have been either branded or asked to be branded – and more than 100 gave collateral to Mr. Raniere or Miss Mack, or one of the other female slaves, it became impossible to continue to deny its existence.
This week, Miss Salzman admitted to students for the first time that DOS does exist but that it was used merely as a tool whose purpose is to help women learn to build character and discipline.
She told students that reports that women have been blackmailed are 100 percent false.
Miss Salzman did not, as far as is known, show any student her own branding – which reportedly was scarred by a cauterizing iron on her pubic region with the initials of both Mr. Raniere and Miss Mack.
Dr. Danielle Roberts D.O., a licensed physician in New York State, performed the branding on Miss Salzman and dozens of other women. Instead of anesthesia, four naked women hold the branded women down so that she will not injure herself while squirming from the pain. Mr. Raniere teaches that pain is valuable as it teaches women to love and to transcend the body.
Miss Salzman told students in San Francisco that the branding ‘is not a big deal. Everyone does this in fraternities.”
Critics of the branding – which include women who were branded – say the scars do not heal properly, that is was and continues to be extremely painful for months and that doctors have advised them that the branding could cause them future health problems including ovarian and skin cancer.
In addition to assuring the students in San Francisco, Miss Salzman began an outreach to students in Vancouver where most of Mr. Raniere’s paying students there left the organizations. She has made an effort to lure them back.
Many left because they were shocked not so much by the branding but by the requirement of women to give to DOS women nude pictures of themselves and/or audio recordings of confessions of crimes or betrayals that they have committed which would be held permanently. If the women were to reveal any of the secrets of DOS or fail to obey the master’s instructions in any substantive way, they would be released where they would do the most destruction to their life.
Mr. Raniere teaches that since women are not humiliated like men are in society, and not held accountable for keeping their word, this practice would train them to keep their word.
Women are required to give collateral prior to be being branded and some women felt they were coerced into being branded out of fear that Mr. Raniere would order the release of their collateral.
Miss Salzman explained to students in both Vancouver and San Francisco that the articles published in the FrankReport are misleading and false.
According to the hierarchy of DOS, Miss Salzman is a slave directly under Allison Mack and one of Miss Mack’s original ‘pod’ of six slaves.
While Miss Salzman made an impressive and seemingly persuasive pitch to students, it remains to be seen if the San Francisco center can hold together or if Vancouver will reopen.
As it stands, San Francisco hangs by a thread and is the last Raniere-based center on the West Coast of the Americas.
Prior to the revelations of DOS, teachers were having difficulty recruiting students for Mr. Raniere’s teachings. Now it seems almost impossible to recruit new students and the entire effort seems to be focused on keeping the old students enrolled in classes.
The Washington center closed a few years ago when revelations emerged that Mr. Raniere was having sexual relationships with most of the women on his executive board.
One branded woman disputed Miss Salzman’s narrative. She said, “Women who are in DOS are told they’re going to be part of a bad ass boot camp. They think they’re part of a cool secret society that’s gonna change the world. They don’t understand that Keith is looking at every single one of their nude photos”.