Frank Report has published in three previous installments, the cross-examination of Lauren Salzman in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere.
Her cross-examination led her to break down and the judge ultimately stopping it.
Because it is likely to form a basis of an appeal [Raniere’s attorney Marc Agnifilo made a motion for a mistrial because of the suspended cross-examination], readers might be interested in reading the cross.
It reveals a lot about one of the key leaders of Nxivm and her slavish devotion to Keith Raniere.
In this part – which is Part 4 – a lot is revealed about DOS and the secret branding session.
Marc Agnifilo is doing the cross-examination. Lauren had testified for the prosecution prior to cross-examination.
Branding was Bonding Experience
Q Now, your own branding, who were you with?
A I was with everybody in my circle except Allison. So Rosa Laura [Junco], Monica [Duran], Loreta [Garza], Daniella [Padilla], Nicki [Clyne], and Cami [name withheld].
Q And you said in the past that it was a bonding experience that you had with these other women. Is that true?
A Based on what I was believing at the time, I did experience that, yes.
Q So I’m only asking you your belief at the time. I mean, as it was happening, you are being branded in the presence of these other women, you felt close to them?
A I felt close to them believing that they wanted to be with me and that they chose me and they had always wanted me to be with them, not that they’re in a vow of obedience, that when Keith told them — if Keith told them to enroll me, whether they wanted me there or not.
Q But you — at the time, when you were all together, you believed that it felt like a bonding experience to you?
Lauren’s Slaves Got Branded The Same Day
Q Now, in terms of your own slaves, everyone was … branded… on the same day; correct?
A The five who were branded were branded on the same day; correct.
Q The five were branded on the same day. And the order, it is Jimena [Garza] was first, Audrey [last name withheld] was second, Sara [Edmondson] was third, Carola [Garza] was fourth, and Amanda [last name presently withheld to determine if she is still in DOS] was last?
A …. Yes.
Q … Amanda … was screaming?
Q She’s being branded and she’s screaming; right?
A Yes, she was being branded and screaming.
Q All right. Before the branding, a stencil is put on the place where the brand is going to go?
Q For each of the women under you, that was in that hip area; correct?
Q So, at that point, everyone in that room knew they were going to be branded?
A They did know that they were going to be branded, yes.
Q … no one thought they were going to get a tattoo and all of a sudden they’re held down being branded?
A Correct. They all knew they were being branded.
Q Not only that, after watching Jimena, everyone would have known this is painful?
Q Because there was no doubt that Jimena was reacting to experiencing pain; right?
Q Okay. And everybody goes through with their brandings?
A They did, yes…. But … Jimena, in the middle, said ‘I don’t want to do this, I don’t want to do this, I want to stop,’ and I said ‘You can’t stop.’
Q She’s the first person to go?
A Uh-hum. Yes. So … I did tell them they can’t stop.
Q After the branding had started?
A After it had started.
Q Right. And during the branding, Carola… noticed that [the brand formed the initials] … K and R?
A She noticed it during the stenciling.
THE COURT: What did she notice?
THE WITNESS: She noticed, when we were laying out the stencils, that it was Keith’s initials, KR.
Sarah’s Branding Video Left in Mexico by Lauren
Q Now, you said … these brandings were videotaped?
Q And you believe some of the videotapes are somewhere in Mexico?
A … I don’t know if they were in Mexico or left here in New York. The people who had the videotape went to Mexico. Sara’s branding, I left on a hard drive in Mexico.
Q I was going to ask you about Sara’s branding.
Q And Sara’s branding was videotaped as well, correct?
Q And then there was some talk, you testified on direct, of possibly releasing Sara’s videotape to a reporter or to the media, correct?
A That’s correct.
Q And that’s because Sara was making public statements misrepresenting the branding; correct?
Q She was saying that she was held down against her will, right?
Q She was saying she didn’t know she was going to be branded, right?
ASSISTANT US ATTORNEY TANYA HAJJAR: Objection, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Sustained.
Q So, just in your own words, why were you going to release the video? I mean, because you said on direct examination you were going to release the videotape because of inconsistencies, and I’m asking you just to follow up on what you said on direct.
A To … show areas of positivity and consent and discredit Sara’s allegations.
Q Okay. And these were allegations made to, among other places, the New York Times?
A Yes. Correct.
Q There was a prominent New York Times article on this topic, correct?
Q And you believed that what Sara had told the New York Times was false?
A I believed aspects of what Sara told the New York Times were false.
Q And at the end of the day, you guys decided that you would not release the videotape of Sara’s branding to the media?
Q And none of the videotapes of the brandings, to your knowledge, have ever been released to anyone?
A Yes. And we didn’t release them because we didn’t want it to be seen as collateral and that it was the release of collateral. We didn’t want anybody to be able to say that we had released collateral. It’s on purpose that we didn’t release it.
Q Right. And so none of it has ever been released?
A Uh-hum. Correct.
[It was in fact released and was televised in Mexico.]
Padilla Into BSDM?
Agnifilo asks Lauren about the DOS sorority house Rosa Laura Junco bought on Milltowne Road in Clifton Park and about First Line Slave Dani Padilla’s purchase of sex toys for DOS.
Q Do you know if Dani Padilla was into that kind of stuff?
A I don’t know. We had never discussed it outside of the context of DOS.
Q Did she say in the context of DOS, that she was into that kind of stuff?
A We didn’t really discuss it like that… she was the one researching it, so I assumed she was into it.
Q You didn’t pay for any of it; right?
A No, and I never researched things like that either.
Q Do you know if Dani Padilla wanted these things for her own reasons?
THE COURT: Sustained.
Q Do you know why Dani Padilla researched these things and then paid for them and bought them to have under an invoice with her name?
A She told me that they were for the dungeon because when things went public, she said these things she ordered for the dungeon and thank God that they hadn’t arrived yet and she was going to cancel them because she didn’t want it to become public that we were making a dungeon.
Q Did you and — I’m sorry. Pardon me for asking a personal question. You and Keith never engaged in BDMS?
A Correct, we did not.
Q Did Keith ever tell you or ask you or suggest to you that you and he engage in BDMS activities?
A Not outside of DOS.
Q Now, how did paddling become a form of penance?
A I think they were doing it before I got there, so I was grandfathered into that as well.
The DOS Handbook and Agnifilo ‘s Word Salad
Agnifilo then asked about the DOS handbook and quoted from it.
Q And DOS … was a tough program; right?
Agnifilo quoted another passage from the book: “Your master is actually a very complex thing. Your master starts out as, like in yoga, your guru, your God, you’re whatever. It is as a person, the person through which you took the vow, but it becomes something much deeper. When you internalize that person, it is that person with you as you and you as that person.”
Q Does that mean anything to you in the context of the master/slave relationship?
A … my relationship with Keith was very much like that before the master/slave relationship.
Q Meaning that you felt sort of devoted to him, committed to him that way?
A …. I always had the filter of how is Keith gonna think about this? Is Keith gonna think this is good? Is Keith gonna think this is balanced? Is this gonna be a problem? Is this something that’s healing? Is this something that’s fixing? It was something that I carried around with me all the time.
Agnifilo asked Lauren is she let her slaves know that Keith had a role in creating the DOS handbook?
A … at the time I read them the book, I told them there was a supreme master and that if we met our enrollment requirements, we would qualify for additional education. So I alluded to it, I didn’t tell them that.
Q And the supreme master that you had in mind was Keith?
A Yes…. Keith was the supreme master.
Q Right. But you didn’t say the supreme master Keith — to your slaves?
A No, I didn’t.
Q But you were suggesting,… that Keith had a role in creating the DOS book?
Agnifilo went into more theories of the DOS master-slave relationship and in so doing, he nearly captures Raniere’s brand of “word salad.”
Q … The idea isn’t so much that you’re serving this master who is this other person, the idea is you’re incorporating the whole concept of this devotedness into kind of who you are, right? It’s really about you, it’s not about serving your master, it’s not about making your master’s life better?
A That’s what — yes, that’s what the theory is.
A That if you serve your master, eventually you learn how to serve something outside of your reactivity or body, like lower, what was viewed as lower values, to be able to overcome that, to uphold your higher values.
Q — Bhakti yoga which this is … yoga of worship, where someone can go and worship a guru that is a fool, a guru that is an asshole, a murderer, whatever it is and still reach enlightenment because you are reaching yourself through something in the outside world, but everything in the outside world is just a play of consciousness. We are tricking ourselves that something external is important to us. The thing, itself, isn’t important to us. It’s something on the inside that’s important to us, that we’re making the external thing be. Right, that’s that same concept, right, or is it not? I’m asking you.
A Is it the same concept as what we were just discussing?
A I mean I see it a little bit different.
Q Go ahead, tell me the way you see it.
A That — I mean that, ultimately, you could become unified in yourself separate from what’s going on in the outside. Right? And that the inside self is the most important thing than what’s going on in the outside, but that doesn’t make it good that you worship a guru that’s a murderer or something like that.
Q It might not be good as a thing in itself, but it could bring you — the point here is it could bring you enlightenment, you could worship a guru that’s a fool, but it is your devotedness, the state of your devotion that is the thing that’s causing you enlightenment or to improve or to become more joyous or whatever you want to say it is?
A I think that’s the theory of that.
Texts Between Lauren and Her Slave Audrey
Agnifilo reviews a number of chats between Lauren and her slave Audrey. [Government Exhibit, 432-R.]
Q [Audrey writes]: ‘Amanda [another of Lauren’s slaves] and I want to do our mega penance from our readiness failure while we’re in San Diego with you. Can you advise on what method instrument we should use?’ And you [Lauren] say: ‘Go to a sex store and get a paddle. They have leather ones. I sent Jimena a picture.’
Did you think of this on your own or did you get this idea [of paddles] from somewhere else?
A This is what we did in my circle. I came into the circle and they already had these paddles and that’s what we used.
Q And so you are suggesting to them they can do the same thing?
A Correct. They can do the same thing because they chose to do the same penance that I was doing for their failure.
Q And it was a readiness failure?
Q And … Audrey says: Spoke too soon. KF is having another freakout, asked me not to submit her collateral and to back out. I talked her down. She’s processing through her reactions faster.
… and you’re basically saying, remind her that she made a life commitment?
Q … you say: Be gentle, but speak to her about this, right?
Q And part of what you’re imparting here is you have to be tough because this person, you know, thinks the program is better for them, but is worried about the collateral; so you have to be tough, but you have to be gentle.
And those are the words that you’re saying to Audrey here?
A Yes; talk softly but carry a big stick.
Q ….And you write here: The idea of creating weight for yourself is so that you can stack the odds in your favor towards growth and your ideals. And weight is the collateral, correct?
A That’s correct, yes.
Keith and Burt Reynolds
Q You go on to say: We say “I want to grow to be my best self”; and then it quickly turns into “I want to grow to be my best self if it’s not uncomfortable or scary”; and then it turns into, “I didn’t really want that goal or ideal,” which turns into “My life is fine the way it is,” which is a lie… we lower the standard of our goals and dreams to match our low capacity for difficulty or discomfort, right?
A Yes, that came from Keith telling me about a Burt Reynolds movie where he swam out to the water and was gonna drown and then he started making all these promises with God that he was going to do a whole bunch of things; and as he gets closer to shore, he’s like, Nah, I really didn’t mean any of those things.
Q He says: God, if I get back to the shore, I’ll give you everything I own?
Q And when he gets halfway, he says: God, I’ll give you half of what I own?
A (No response.)
Q And then when he gets almost there: God, I’ll give you a fourth of what I own….
[More discussion on texts and the afternoon break.]
Stay tuned for Part 5 of Lauren’s Cross Examination.
Before we offer Part 5, Frank Report will leave its readers with a crude image, first published in June 2017, when Frank Report was the first and only publication reporting on DOS, its branding, its blackmail, its extortion, its sex trafficking and its bare bottom paddling.
Knowing that almost the entire Nxivm group was reading the Frank Report – despite Keith telling them not to read it – I thought this photoshopped image of Rosa Laura Junco paddling Keith’s bare ass would help shock Kool-Aid drinking members and give them a laugh at Vanguard’s expense.