Part 5: Lauren Salzman: Cross-Examination Stopped by Judge: ‘I felt I needed Keith 100 Percent’

This the photo the government is using of Lauren Salzman in exhibits for the jury.

Despite the fact that the trial of Keith Alan Raniere is over and that the convict is now on suicide watch – as he awaits his sentencing – a likely life sentence – in September – he still has hope for an appeal.

And a large part of that hope for a successful appeal lies in the fact that Judge Nicholas Garaufis halted the cross-examination of one of Raniere’s coconspirators – Lauren Salzman – when she broke down into uncontrollable tears. The judge later said he feared she would have a breakdown in his courtroom.

Prior to Raniere’s conviction, we published a large portion of her cross-examination which was conducted by Raniere’s lead attorney, Marc Agnifilo.  Readers have requested that we complete our report on her cross-examination. Since it will figure in Raniere’s appeal, I think it is worth concluding.

Here is Part 5.

Part 1: Lauren Salzman: Cross Examination Stopped by Judge: Women of Raniere and Lauren’s Acceptance of Them

Part 2: Lauren Salzman Cross  Examination Stopped by Judge: Lauren Asked If She Was an Adult 

Part 3: Lauren Salzman Cross Examination Stopped by Judge: Lauren’s Pain Over Not Having Child  

Part 4: Lauren Salzman: Cross Examination Stopped by Judge: Branding Was Supposed to Be a Sisterly Bonding Experience


Agnifilo is questioning Lauren Salzman. It is in the afternoon. He had been examining her for several hours already.

Q Ms. Salzman, at some point in the spring of 2017, Mark Vicente decided to leave NXIVM, is that correct?

A Yes, that’s correct.


Text Between DOS Slave Audrey and Lauren About Leaving DOS

Agnifilo now presents a series of text messages between Lauren and one of her DOS slaves, Audrey, who was thinking about leaving DOS around June 2017. The texts were previously introduced as evidence by the prosecution and Lauren was questioned about these in direct examination by the prosecution. 

Q … you write here [to Audrey]: ‘Mark V did very little in comparison to what the women of the board do…. ‘Or he wouldn’t have just left because his wife is playing the victim.’ …. what are you talking about here?

A Audrey was saying … her confidence in the entire [Nxivm] organization … [was] shaken when Mark Vicente left. … I was telling her that that was not the right way to be thinking about it.


Agnifilo reads several of Audrey’s texts to Lauren and Lauren’s responses. These texts were written when  Vicente and Sarah Edmondson left Nxivm and Frank Report was writing stories about DOS. These three circumstances caused a lot of people to question Lauren about DOS.

Q … here you write to [Audrey]: “I’m losing some of the best friends I thought I had in my life and going in to clean up all their mess and the shitstorm of damage they are creating while pretending to be helping me transition to taking over their center. It’s seriously a nightmare.”…  What are you talking about when you say your best friends, who do you mean?

A …. Sarah and Nippy [Sarah Edmondson managed the Vancouver Nxivm center. Her husband Anthony Ames is known by many as “Nippy”].


Q And at this point in time Sarah is leaving [Nxivm]?

A Yes.

Q ….  Audrey writes to you: “I love you. I don’t mistrust yours or anyone’s intent. Trust is so important with DOS and where I feel shaky is not in intent, but in judgment from whoever is making all these decisions.”  Do you remember having this back and forth [in texts] with Audrey around this time period?

A Yes, I do…

Q … Why were you concerned that she was mistrusting your intent?

A Because she felt that I was lying to her, and I was [lying].

Q Lying to her about Keith’s role in DOS?

A Yes, and … [that] the branding was [not] his initials and that there was [not] seduction assignments [to seduce Keith], and …. that he was [not] having sexual relationships with some of the slaves.

Q  Now, at this point… in the spring of 2017, everything is unraveling, correct?

A Yes.

Q And you guys are kind of panicking?

A Yes.

Q And you’re just trying to keep things afloat, fair to say?

A Yes.

Q Because people are leaving, right?

A Yes.


Q So Mark Vicente leaves, right?

A Yes.

Q Sarah leaves, right?

A Yes.

Q Your computers start getting accessed from … people in the Vancouver center…. led by Sarah, right?

A Yes.

Q And at this point you’re trying to just kind of keep things afloat, correct?

A Correct.

Q And you are telling people things that aren’t true.

A Yes.

Q And Keith is encouraging you to tell things that aren’t entirely true.

A Keith is directing us to completely misrepresent his whole relationship with DOS….

Q And the fear here is that this ship is sinking, correct?

A Yes, correct.

Q And the only chance you have of keeping this afloat is to try to distance Keith from DOS, correct?

A It wasn’t discussed with me why.

Q   … did you see … you had a better chance of keeping the rest of the [Nxivm] business going if Keith was not associated with DOS?

A …. I didn’t really understand the logic [of saying Keith was not associated with DOS}…  I just took direction from him …. there were a lot of discussions … in the [DOS first line slave] group, trying to figure out what was going on and was he [Keith] doing this [making them lie about him not being the leader of DOS] just to try to make us stronger? Did he do this on purpose? …. We really didn’t understand the logic behind it and he didn’t discuss it with us.

Q One of the things that everybody was concerned with was that somehow their names would be out there in connection with DOS…  that DOS would no longer be secret?

A Yes, that was a concern at the time….

Aginfilo reads more texts between Lauren and Audrey about how Audrey decided to leave DOS.


Q [Audrey] said: “Leaning towards [leaving DOS] …. but have wanted to wait to talk to you further.” So, at this point, it’s apparent to you that Audrey is having very, very serious thoughts about leaving DOS.

A That’s correct.

Q You were asking her if she wants to leave DOS.

A Yes.

Q And she’s saying: “I’m leaning towards wanting to leave.”

A Yes.

Keith Considers Releasing Collateral

Q You don’t threaten [to release] her collateral, correct?

A No, but behind the scenes… Keith said that we were still deciding about what was going to happen with collateral and whether ultimately it would be released. And he was coming up with distinctions under which it would be released; people who left and broke their nondisclosure agreement, people who left and were outing other members and attacking the group… different things and different conditions under which to release it.

… it still wasn’t …defined if we were going to release it. I was just saying that she could leave. But I knew we were discussing [releasing collateral behind the scenes].

Q …. Did you ever tell Audrey you were going to release her collateral?

A No, I never told her that.

Q  That was my question. You then go on to say [in a text to Audrey]: “We can talk, but you can leave. If you think it was naive and you don’t like it, then you can do that. I don’t feel that way about it. But in either case, I think that the fear is poison. It’s used as a weapon and it empowers destructive people to destroy more. Abuse of power exists because of people who are controllable through fear.”

Here, you’re talking about …  a group of people, Vicente, Sarah, and others, who were saying things about DOS that was causing people to become afraid, correct?

A Yes, correct.


Q Around the same time [Audrey] asks: “If my name comes out, what do I say to people? Do I deny it? Do I admit it?” …

A Yes.


Audrey Asks If Brand Has Keith and Allison’s Initials

Q Here, she writes to you: “Is the thing about Allison’s initials true?”… One of the rumors out there was [that the brand] was [also] Allison Mack’s initials, which was false.

A Correct.

Q Then you say: “Nothing about it [the brand] being Keith or Allison’s … is true whatsoever at all.” Your answer is true as to Allison Mack, correct?

A Yeah. ….

Q But here…  you are not telling anybody, because you’re told not to, that Keith was the person who created the founding principals of DOS, correct?

A Correct.

Audrey Wants to Leave DOS

Q ….  [Audrey] says: “Private thought. With all these conversations I’m having with people in Vancouver who feel they can’t trust anyone in ESP, I’m starting to feel the same way. I’m ashamed to admit, but I still feel I can’t trust you. But I recognize my own projection in that because I’m not trustworthy.”… then she says, “Goodnight, Master.”

A Correct.

Q … she’s saying that she doesn’t know that she can trust you, correct?

A Correct. And rightly so, because I was lying to her.

Q  June 12, a few days later, she says: “Good morning. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about it, and I don’t want to be in DOS anymore. I’m happy to talk about it more with you. I can meet any time before you leave for San Francisco. I will wait to tell Kristin or any of my sisters until we speak. I love you and feel tremendously lucky to have had this opportunity to grow with you. Also, I talked to Ian Zimmerman after sexy this morning. He told me Sarah …  from Vancouver messaged him with links to the article [in Frank Report]. Do you have any idea who was the source of info to the press and if they would know the names in our circle?”

She’s telling you,” I made up my mind. I spent a lot of time thinking about it. I don’t want to be in DOS anymore.” That’s what she says, right, on June 12?


A …  yes….

Q Two days later, she says: “Thinking of you and sending you love.” You say: “I’m sorry I haven’t responded to you. I haven’t known what to say. This is one of the hardest weeks of my life and this was the moment you chose to not stay and stick up for me. I’m sorry if you feel I’m not a good leader because of this. It’s a sad moment for me. I hope you can understand this. I’m trying to salvage my business and uphold what I believe we stand for. I understand if you don’t want to be on my team anymore. I am saddened by that and will miss you” …. She responds: “My decision on leaving DOS was not meant to be a decision to not support you. I’m sorry you took it that way. I see the good in DOS and I see things I disagree with.” Correct?

A Yes. …  she was concerned …  that there were no ethical checks on Keith.

Q ….  she says to you: “I love you and I’m sorry this is where we’re at. I realize my choice to leave DOS changes the nature of our relationship and your desire to communicate with me. I’m sad about this, but I also understand and see how I participated. I plan to leave Albany soon and find a quiet place to regroup. I won’t take part in the ugliness going on. I will always feel love and gratitude for you and will think and speak of you fondly. I will miss you so much.”

That’s what she writes, right?

A Yes.

Q Now, the “ugliness going on,” what do you understand she’s telling you there? What’s the “ugliness”?

A That people who are raising allegations about DOS were doing things that were ugly… mean or disparaging. They …  brought allegations … that were valid, but …  they would say things in anger or …  make hateful comments …  it was viewed ….  as a hate campaign.

Q …  Did you feel that they …  were … playing to people’s fears?

A I think some people played to people’s fears, but I think they were also raising valid concerns….

Frank Report and Mark Vicente

Q There were a lot of articles by someone named Frank Parlato, correct?

A Correct.

Q Do you know if Mark Vicente was feeding information to Frank Parlato?

A I don’t know specifically. I had assumed so….

Q Do you know what Frank Parlato’s connection is or was to Kristin Keeffe?

A I believe that …  she had hired him through her legal capacity at one point in time as part of NXIVM. I’m not sure exactly what happened. I think there was a parting on not good terms and he’s not been favorable to us since. I don’t really know the details of it.

Q In the last of these chats [with Audrey, you write] to Audrey: “I do understand and honor your choice to leave and I do still love you. I am sad that you chose to not stay and fight with me and for me, but Brian [Elliot] and I are still open to work with you and have you as part of our [San Francisco] center, if you want to be. You do always have a place with us. I love you and will miss you. Please stay in touch.”


A Yes.

Q And that’s how it ends. Audrey leaves… DOS? That’s how she left DOS, what we just reviewed, correct?

A Yes….

No Ethical Check on Keith

Q There was a …. Collateralized lifetime commitment, right?

A Yes.

Q And that’s how it ends, with you telling her you love her, her telling you she loves you, nothing else, right?

A Well, with her raising very valid ethical concerns. Me completely dismissing them and thinking that she was leaving based on just wanting to choose comfort and not because there was a valid thing that she was raising that I totally missed…. she was saying, “My concerns are that there are no ethical checks on Keith.” And …  that she couldn’t trust me. And I was saying: …  “if I made you the head of ethics of DOS … and you could put in your protocols, would that address your concerns?” And she said, “No.”

And, so, then I was like, “well, then it’s not about if there are ethics or abuses of power.” …. I didn’t see the thing about that there were no ethical checks on Keith….  I said to her, ‘I’m open for a full ethical review of all of my conduct.” And I meant that. And she said, … “I can’t take advantage of that because it’s all within the same framework. So, I don’t trust that it’s actually an ethical review.”

And I think that’s a very valid concern to have had because it was all within the same framework [with Keith in charge of everything] and there were no objective outside parties looking at it. And when we brought outside parties in, we lied to them all so there was no capacity to have an outside ethical perspective.

So, we’re saying “I love you,” but while I’m saying “I love you,” what I’m thinking [is] “you just want to get off the hook and you are choosing comfort … I made all these concessions and was willing to do everything ethical and you’re the one who really doesn’t want to uphold your word.”

But that’s not really what happened. She was raising concerns that I completely dismissed and missed.

No Collateral Was Released

Q You didn’t release anybody’s collateral….

A That’s true, I did not release anybody’s collateral.

Q Dozens and dozens and dozens of people left DOS. You didn’t release any aspect of anyone’s collateral, right?

A And if we had, it certainly would have legitimized all of the things that we are here discussing.

Q Let me ask you —

A Yes, I did not release anyone’s collateral.

Q That was the question

Community Meeting With Lauren and Allison

Q On January 9, 2018, you spoke at a community meeting; do you remember that?

A Yes.

Q It was you and Allison Mack in front of a whole roomful of people, correct?

A Yes.

Q And it’s a videotaped event, correct?

A Yes.

Q And you did most of the speaking?

A Yes, I did.

Q And you told the audience that huge injustices were happening; do you remember saying that?

A Yes.

Q What were the “huge injustices”?

A That they [Sarah and others in Vancouver] broke into our computer system….

[The prosecution objected. At a sidebar, Agnifilo claimed he had forensic proof that Sarah’s access ID was used to gain access to NXIVM’s computers between June 5 and June 7, 2017 and she and others deleted a number of Nxivm orders. After the sidebar Agnifilo continued.]


Q … when you said “huge injustices” were happening, you’re saying [ it was the computer hacking by Sarah]?

A There were other things ….. people who had left were using …  the NXIVM client list to call … members and unenroll them from NXIVM by sharing the allegations against us with them and their fears and concerns about them. And I thought that that was a huge injustice at the time.

#Me Too, No Good

Q …. [at the meeting] you talk about the Me Too movement and you say, “This isn’t a good time to go against the public victim.”

A Yes.

Q Why did you say that?

A That was something that Keith and I had spoken about. … I wrote the position statement that he tasked us all to write for DOS and taking the position that he had no affiliation with [DOS] …  he actually edited my position statement to talk about [Me Too] … that it’s unpopular to go against a public victim…   Sarah was publicly victimizing herself. So, if I took a position against her or anything that she said at the time, I would be seen as being abusive to a victim.

Q You say at one point [in the community meeting] that…  Mark Vicente, Sarah left… The Vancouver center was dismantled… And that only one person came to you to discuss what was going on.

A Yes.

Q Was that true?

A Yes, Audrey… was the only one of those people who had come to me. …  Mark [Vicente also] had come to me with concerns … earlier, but I think he had decided to leave ESP before he actually did  leave. …  he did ask me about DOS …  he called it the “other stray path,” and he told me he thought Allison — he was calling her “Madam,” that he thought she was recruiting young girls to have sex with Keith….


Agnifilo asked Lauren about what she told the community about the branding, and how they joked about it.

A ….  you’re there with your friends and you’re naked and you’re holding each other down branding each other, so it’s awkward and uncomfortable. And there was a tremendous amount of fear and reservation, especially after watching Jimena’s branding ceremony, so I think sometimes that does inspire joking as well.

Q Okay. You said [at the meeting], “We made life commitments with our best friends.” Right, talking about the branding ceremony and DOS?

A Yes.

Q You also said —

A And I made life commitments with them under false pretenses.

Q I’m just asking about what you said. Did you say that in the video? When you were talking — tell the jury, this community meeting, how many people were there?

A There were … around 60 or 70 people from the Albany community….

Q And you didn’t say to them you made life commitments-… under false pretenses…. at the community meeting, right?

A Correct, I didn’t say that. I’m saying that now.

Q At the time, [at the meeting] in January of 2018 … you [said] you were making life commitments with your best friends and that it was a rewarding experience, correct?

A Yes, I was saying that.

Q You also said you were in a sorority in college and a lot of frat guys got branded.

A That’s true….. a number of frat guys that I knew had gotten branded when I was in college.

Q And of the [DOS] brand, you said, “It’s a way of sealing my promise forever, to see that it’s forever, to stand for something for my whole life. My body is a tool for that.” Right, you said that?

A Yes, I did.

Branding Not Required?

Q And you also said “If you didn’t want to get branded, you didn’t have to,” right?

A At the time that my girls were branded,…. I thought everybody had to [be branded]. But I did say that.

Q And you said that because not everybody in DOS is branded.

A Yes, correct.

Q People can join DOS and not get the brand, correct?

A I didn’t know that at the time that they were branded, but, yes, it is true that girls were in DOS and didn’t get branded and stayed part of DOS.

Q And you said that at the community meeting….[if a DOS member] …. didn’t want to get a brand, you didn’t have to.

A Yes.

Q You said, “I’ve never felt more connected to people than overcoming pain for a principle.” Do you remember saying that?

A It looks different now, but I remember saying it.

Q And when you said it, did you mean it?

A Yes, when I said that I meant that….

Q You compared it to men in the military and being in boot camp. Do you remember making that comparison?

A Yes. I don’t know what it’s like to be in the military and in boot camp. I was making the comparison because that’s how Keith talked about it.

Interview With New York Times

Q Now …. the day after the community meeting, …. you said …. you gave an interview to Vanessa Grigoriadis?

A Yes.

Q Who was Vanessa Grigoriadis?

A She is a reporter and she wrote an article about us that was published in the New York Times.

Q Fair to say you wanted an outlet? You wanted to tell the story…?

A Keith thought it was important that we get media out there and that us having media out there would influence what happened legally….  and pushed for us to do the media. I … had a lot of reservations about doing any media….

[The story was published more than two months later – after Keith was already arrested. The timing was bad for Keith if it was supposed to help him legally.]


Q Did you think the New York Times would just write a puff piece for you?

A My understanding was that, choosing Vanessa as a journalist, we would get at least a more neutral-type of a piece, but we lied to Vanessa.

Q …  I’m going to ask you questions and if you want to go off and answer something else, I can’t stop you.


THE COURT [JUDGE NICHOLAS GARAUFIS]: [to Agnifilo] If you want something struck, ask it to be struck, I will consider it. Don’t give instructions to the witness.

AGNIFILO: Very good, Judge.

THE COURT: Just direct your questions to me.

AGNIFILO: Will do.

THE COURT: Ask for a sidebar, if you need.

AGNIFILO: Yes, Judge.

THE COURT: Go ahead.

Q You were looking for a neutral investigative journalist to write about the situation; right?

A That’s my understanding that that’s what was looked for; it wasn’t me looking for it, and I was pushed to participate in it, but that’s what was looked for.

Q And Vanessa interviewed a lot of people, right?

A I don’t know how many people Vanessa interviewed.

Q And Vanessa wrote a very long article in the New York Times magazine; right?

A That’s true.

Q And was it the idea that there were different blog sites [Frank Report & Artvoice] that were publishing very biased, one-sided views and you wanted a more responsible investigative piece?

A I don’t know that. I wasn’t involved in the decision making, but I do know and we did discuss that if we had the hope of having any leverage legally, or politically, it would be through the media.

Frustrated With Keith?

Q Okay. You said …. that, since the criminal case started, your perspective has changed on whether Keith and the NXIVM teachings and DOS were good or bad; right?

A Yes.

Q And at the time that you were in DOS, you thought that DOS was good; right?

A…. as I was in DOS longer and longer….  I had issues with [a number of things] … I raised [these issues] with Keith and his answers concerned me more. And I overrode all of that and went full force ahead to convince myself that Keith was everything that he said he was; that DOS was everything the theory that I had made it into would be, and that my life still was going to work out in some happy way close to what I wanted it to be and what he was telling me it could be. I overrode my better judgment again and again and again.

Q Fair to say you have been frustrated with Keith over the years?

A I have.

Q You have known him for about 20 years or so?

A Yes. Yes.

Q And you and he talked about having children, but you never had children?

A Correct.

Q He continuously started relationships with other women?

A Yes.

Q You told him a few times you wanted to end your relationship with him?

A Yes, that’s true.

Q And he reacted strongly when you said these things to him; correct, ending the relationship?

A Well, he made a certain series of promises and threats at that time, so, you know, if you consider that strongly, then, yes.

Q And the threat was that he was going to leave the community?

A That he was considering resigning as Vanguard.

Q So he said to you “if you leave me I am going to resign?”


A … it was under the discussion of my having kissed another person and he said he was considering whether resigning as Vanguard would be a good idea.

Q And you didn’t want him to resign as Vanguard?

A Correct. I did not.

Q You wanted him to stay the head of the community?

A Yes.

Better off With Vanguard

Q And you wanted him to stay because you truly believed in the work that you were all doing together?

A Yes, I did. At that time, I did.

Q And you wanted him to stay because you truly believed that you would be better off with him, imperfect as he was?

A That’s just a funny way of saying it, but I wanted to believe that what he was telling me would be, would be and that he was who I thought he was.

Q You had family in the community; correct?

A Yes.

Q You had friends?

A Yes. Yes.

Q You had support; right?

A Yes.

Q You had ways of making money?

A Yes.

Q You didn’t need Keith, did you?

A Yes, I did. I felt I did. I absolutely felt I needed Keith. 100 percent, I felt I needed Keith. I did not feel that I would be okay in the community and could exist in the life that I was living if I left Keith.

Q So you wanted Keith to stay as the Vanguard?

A I wanted Keith to stay as the Vanguard and I felt completely dependent on him and our relationship for things to be good in my life.

Q And part of it is you believed that you had a mission, right? That even pre-DOS, NXIVM, that what you guys were doing was like a mission; is that a fair way to put it?

A I did. And at some point he came to me and said, I thought we had really failed in NXIVM to be able to uphold the mission and that he thought the real way we were going to accomplish things in the world were through these secret organizations.

The Mission

Q And the mission is something that you guys would talk about, you would call it “a mission”?

A Yes.

Q You guys watched the movie The Mission; right?

A Yes, that’s true.


Q … There was a module called The Mission?

A Yes.

Q What was the mission?

A To raise the ethics of the world and ultimately that’s why I’m sitting here, because I believed that in order to decide what’s ethical and what’s not, the truth has to come out, and lying and covering up everything we did is not ethical and it is not the mission that I was enrolled in, and that is not the person that I wanted to be with or who was the leader I thought.

Q But for a while you thought you guys were actually going to be doing something real and important and critical for the world?

A Which is why I did it.

Q Right. And now that mission is over?

A It’s over in that form. I mean, everybody can have their own mission in themselves to make the world a better place and to make it more ethical, and we all do that in our own way. …. part of my doing that is telling the truth about what happened.

Q Now, your perspective has changed. As you sit here today, many of the things you thought were positive and good for the world, you no longer view them that way; correct? You view them as negative?


A I still hold the same principles that I held before and I’ve had enough time away by myself, after I was indicted, to think about my own experiences and to be able to process them without other people talking me out of them or reframing them or leveraging my own fears or attachments, and … I decided to go forward the way I’ve always gone forward to uphold what I think is right and good and in the best way that I can.


Stay tuned for Part 6

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Scott Johnson
4 years ago

It sounds to me that Salzman has woken up, and that is why the judge had some pity on her.

4 years ago
Reply to  Scott Johnson


4 years ago

There’s another interesting example here of Mack’s significant role:

“Q On January 9, 2018, you spoke at a community meeting; do you remember that?
A Yes.
Q It was you and Allison Mack in front of a whole roomful of people, correct?
A Yes.
Q And it’s a videotaped event, correct?
A Yes.”

In a way it’s too bad that Mack didn’t take the stand, so that we could have had a better understanding of to what extent she was a victim, and also a perpetrator, and whether Raniere used her as his henchwoman just because she was very malleable or because she also shared some of his dark side. Perhaps some of the documentaries and books that are coming out will illuminate that with further information and interviews, though I’m not holding my breath about them really being that thorough.

Also, given how information was compartmentalized even within Raniere’s inner circle, and the women were played off against one another, I don’t think Lauren Salzman would necessarily have known if the brand was intended to have Mack’s initials in it as well – is there any other conclusive evidence on that point?

And it’s interesting that since Raniere’s conviction, we haven’t seen Anonyme/Frenchie around trying to defend Allison as just the sort of innocent she played on Smallville – though we are seeing some NXIVM apologists besides Barbara trying to talk about the supposed “good” and rationalize away the horrors of Raniere and his inner circle.

4 years ago
Reply to  AnonyMaker

“And it’s interesting that since Raniere’s conviction, we haven’t seen Anonyme/Frenchie around trying to defend Allison as just the sort of innocent she played on Smallville – though we are seeing some NXIVM apologists besides Barbara trying to talk about the supposed “good” and rationalize away the horrors of Raniere and his inner circle.”

I advise you to get checked for your obsession over me (as well as Allison)

I did post a couple of time but contrary to you…I have a life!

And I still defended (and still do) Allison. It is just a choice to avoid your full of BS comment…I don’t see the point of arguing with someone who gets its “proof” from bogus sources and still tries to tie Allison to high crime while everything shows the opposite.

Also, i post when there is something interesting to say and that I can back up with fact, unlike you!

Battleship Sank with or without Lauren Salzman testimony
Battleship Sank with or without Lauren Salzman testimony
4 years ago

For those of us not at the trial and/or have no access to the transcripts, it’s hard to form an opinion on what Judge Garaufis was thinking when he shut down Agnifilo’s questioning.

Rumors from those in the courtroom is Raniere was writing questions on post-it-notes at the time. These questions were brought up to Agnifilo by co-counsel Teny Geragos. (I hope she used plenty of good hand sanitizers).

Lauren Salzman, Judge Garaufis, the Prosecution, Agnifilo, the jury and everyone in the courtroom had to seen this going on.

The questions were the same in nature. Agnifilo had been asked to move on by the Judge after several objections from the prosecution.

Agnifilo (and Raniere) had their opportunity to ask more/different questions but Raniere need to torture Salzman the witness stand was more important to him and Agnifilo had to do what his client wanted knowing Raniere would file suit against him for improper legal representation, (which Raniere will most likely do anyway).

Any remaining questions Lauren Salzman would of answered would not have changed the outcome of the verdict. Salzmam testimony was adding to Raniere’s “Battleship” being sank. Salzman was not helping him get an “out of jail free” card.

What is really crazy is the morning the Jury was to start their deliberation, Agnifilo (via Raniere most likely) motioned the court for one more torture session with Lauren Salzman. This is after closing arguments and jury instructions had been completed. Agnifilo had asked to put Salzman back on the witness stand to finish his line of questioning.

After weeks after Lauren Salzman testimony was ended, Agnifilo in the final hours of the trial asked to bring Salzman back after the final show down. Why not motion to do that before? Why not call her as a witness during the defenses part of the trial (a hostile witness) but his final questioning could of been asked?

4 years ago

I support Lauren. She is definitely a bigtime victim of that conman. This testimony was spot on in painting a picture of how NXIVM operated.

A few off the top of my head reasons why I’m cutting Lauren slack:
– Keith seperated her from her Mom and tricked Lauren into thinking she couldn’t confide in Nancy.
– Lauren tried to leave the liar several times and he went to his usual bag of tricks/threats to make her stay.
– Everyone loved Lauren because she was authentic. She is clearly happy to admit/apologize about when SHE lied.
– Lauren was not a decision maker. She was a sheep who did what she was told.
– She kissed somebody else and it probably made our jailbird cry. (is there ANYONE who DIDN’T cheat on Limpdick?)

Here’s where Lauren messed up. She should have ejected WAY EARLIER. Her approach of HOPING the liar wasn’t a liar, did her in. Her and her mom should have left as the Toni Natalie debacle transpired. That was the beginning of Keith’s lunacy. Lauren and Nancy had a front row/3D view of what occurred with Toni. To stay TWENTY YEARS LONGER??? Sorry Lauren, but you will need to own that regret.

4 years ago

Is Lauren Salzman a villain or a victim or both?

I think she has is both and I feel she should be given some prison time.

The Canadian podcast documentary Escaping NXIVM explorers Sarah Edmonson’s story. Sarah Edmonson was the head recruiter of Nxivm Vancouver. Sarah is the actress that came forward to to the New York Times with the help of Frank Parlato.

I think in many ways Lauren’s story mirrors Sarah’s story with one glaring exception, Sarah Edmonson left NXIVM and Lauren Salzman stayed.

Sarah’s husband was there to support her emotionally. Lauren did not have such support. I am not defending Lauren or suggesting Lauren would have left had she had emotional support. I am just playing devil’s advocate. How evil or bad is Lauren Salzman? Can she redeem herself or rehabilitate?

If anyone has not listen to the Canadian podcast documentary “Escaping Nxivm” the link is below. It’s one of the best documentary podcasts I have listened to.

4 years ago
Reply to  niceguy

What also strikes me, is that Lauren Salzman was manipulating people into joining DOS and being branded, lying to them about the nature of the group and the type of mark – Edmondson’s account is correct as reported, she was falsely told it would be just a small tattoo. Salzman was part of the cynical heart of the enterprise, with nearly full knowledge of what was really going on, which is why she was indicted.

4 years ago
Reply to  AnonyMaker

I take issue with “nearly full knowledge of what was really going on”. Nobody other than Keith had anywhere close to this knowledge. They were all on a need-to-know basis and he was purposeful in keeping everyone sheltered to most stuff.
Lauren knew what Keith told her and nothing else.

4 years ago
Reply to  Nutjob

Fair point.

Could we say that she knew as much about the high-level misdeeds as just about anyone other than Raniere?

4 years ago
Reply to  AnonyMaker

Lauren was in this crap for two decades. She’s a major enabler of Raniere and knew what she was doing to Dani. She was in Mexico in the same high end resort room as him when he was arrested. She shouldn’t get any praise for finally doing the right thing because she had jail time for racketeering charges hanging over her head. She barely payed back some of her debt and has a lot of making up to do.

4 years ago
Reply to  niceguy

“How evil or bad is Lauren Salzman? Can she redeem herself or rehabilitate?”

I think she can.

I would say she’s been very bad, but isn’t evil.

Criminals like Raniere do their best to corrupt their victims, as another way to control them.

“Don’t criticise me. I know what YOU did”

If she avoids all contact – direct or indirect, with Raniere, and anyone who still believes in him, she can eventually be rehabilitated.

Others might not agree.

4 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Thank you, Paul. I agree. I think most who have read these 5 parts of her testimony will also agree.

4 years ago
Reply to  Paul

Paul&Nut Job,

I am basically on the same page as you both.

I do not believe Lauren is evil incarnate.

She done some very bad things. I think she deserves jail and I hope afterwards her life gets back on track.

Thanks you both for responding.

I was wondering what people believed after reading the trial transcripts.

4 years ago
Reply to  niceguy

Lauren is a victim and a hero.

She is a patriot.

She’s also quite hot and if she ever gets her huge nose fixed, she’ll find a suitable husband and live happily ever after (well, after a few years in prison).

As for Frank’s repeated attempts to demonize Lauren and make a big deal about the halted cross examination, that’s just a result of his own inability to see righteousness.

The judge made a righteous decision that can’t possibly reverse a full conviction for Raniere, since his own attorneys failed to make a motion to continue cross examination the next day.

That’s a future issue for ‘ineffective counsel’ — but that issue can’t be addressed during a first round appeal.

Ineffective counsel is an issue reserved for post-conviction appeals, which can’t be made until the defendant exhausts all of his direct appeals first. That’s years away and he likely won’t win cuz Agnifilo did an overall great job. The law doesn’t promise a perfect counsel, just an adequate one. Agnifilo was that and more.

Frank is an asshole for trashing the judge repeatedly.

Why not trash Kristin Keeffe? She deserves it more.

Frank can’t see the obvious truth here (that the cross examination issue is a red herring) cuz he’s a lowlife Italian whose family probably hails from Sicily, and his ancestors were probably street merchants who made a living selling snow cones to peasants while shining the boots of mafia members.

4 years ago

I have mixed feelings about Lauren, but none of those feelings pertain to her being an innocent victim.

She’s been through hell, but she dragged a lot of people along with her.

As regards probably the first of a number of appeals, this one won’t float.

Lauren answered each and every question that was put to her, truthfully or untruthfully.

There’s no more juice to squeeze out of that lemon.

And its upon that, that the success or failure of an appeal will rest.

4 years ago

Unfettered repetitive questioning is not protected under 6th Amend. right to X-exam. Judge G. made a dumb mistake, but he is noted for being short-tempered. He should have ordered a recess. Not doing so was stupid, but not fatal. Appeal will fail on this one.

4 years ago

Q: “What was the mission?”

Lauren: ” To raise the ethics of the world”

To raise the ethics of the world by branding women like cattle and turning them into sex slaves.
Lauren: ” I still hold the same principles that I held before

Expect Lauren Salzman to try to join the new NXIVM or some other bogus cult and torment the world with more of her bogus ethics.
After all Lauren Salzman needs to live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood and tool around in a new BMW.

Better off With Vanguard

Q You had ways of making money?

Lauren Yes.

Q You didn’t need Keith, did you?

Lauren Yes, I did. I felt I did. I absolutely felt I needed Keith. 100 percent, I felt I needed Keith. I did not feel that I would be okay in the community and could exist in the life that I was living if I left Keith.

Q So you wanted Keith to stay as the Vanguard?

Lauren I wanted Keith to stay as the Vanguard and I felt completely dependent on him and our relationship for things to be good in my life.

Yes, NXIVM has plenty of ways of making money!
Selling over-priced self-help programs.
Money laundering for foreign businessmen and politicians
Immigration Fraud
Blackmail and Extortion
Tax Evasion
Going the OSHO cult route and using the women of DOS to raise money in the sex business.

“many female followers in OSHO also worked part-time as prostitutes”
“to raise money to pay their keep at the ashram. Some female disciples later worked as prostitutes and striptease artists in various cities in Europe and in San Francisco to earn their living and raise money to contribute to the new commune in Oregon. And, in addition to Gordon, the half dozen or so Rajneesh followers arrested and tried in Europe and Canada on drug smuggling charges in the 1979–80 period were all apparently females. ”

NXIVM does not need Keith at all.
Keith needs Viagra to even get it up.
And today’s empowered women can use sex trafficking and drug smuggling to live the “Sex in the City” lifestyle.
That he was considering resigning his Vanguard.

So he said to you “if you leave me I am going to resign?”

So Lauren, I guess your Vanguard has effectively resigned.
Time for you NXIVM women to rebuild you cult (scam) and go back to fleecing the gullible.

4 years ago

A few thoughts for Shadow, because he’s annoying:

– How do you manage to always be the first to comment? I keep thinking one of these days, you’ll be in a meeting with some Hollywood bigwigs and someone will beat you to the post…

– While I’m sure many appreciate you copying and pasting what we just read in the above article, it makes others not read your blather. I made an exception this time because I was willing to sift through the rubble to find your B.S. mysogynistic “hot takes”.

– So you still think Lauren lived a nice life as she bopped around Albany in her BMW? Short list of issues I have with this: She has no kids (and that was the one thing she wanted above all else). She was part of a fraud and kept lying to herself about it. She had a boyfriend who cheated on her and had a disease ridden, floppy pee-pee. (tee-hee) She wasn’t allowed to talk to her father.

– What makes you, Shadow, the expert on Lauren. Why do you think you know Lauren so well that you can continually type these exact same, unoriginal, words – “Lauren Salzman needs to live in a nice house in a nice neighborhood and tool around in a new BMW”? I’m not saying you’re wrong. I’m saying I wouldn’t pretend to be an expert on something like that without knowing what I’m talking about. How do you know?

Cue up me being ignored or a bizarre stating of non-sequitur facts that shifts the narrative…

4 years ago
Reply to  Nutjob


You reserve much sympathy for the evil leaders of NXIVM that you have none left over for the real victims.

I can see you at Nuremberg in 1946.

“Say what you will about Herman Goering he was a jolly man who knew how to wear a uniform.”

“Joseph Goebbels was an industrious man who accomplished much even though he was hobbled by a club foot.”

“Heinrich Himmler is a misunderstood man who cared about the environment.”

Today you have new songs to sing:

“Lauren Salzman is a beautiful woman who brought joy to the world with her lectures about Executive Success.”

“Allison Mack is a great actress who devoted her skills to promoting female empowerment.”

“Clare Bronfman is a philanthropist who devoted her great wealth to making the world a better place to live.”

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083


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