Lauren Salzman on Branding Slaves and Whether the Brand Contained Allison Mack’s Initials

The debate continues as to whether or not Allison Mack's initials were included in the brand. While most say it was not, including Keith Raniere, it has been speculated that her initials are included and that Raniere did so in order to put the blame on her if she was caught. While there is no hard evidence of the latter, it is interesting that the AM can be seen right side p but in order to see the K -R one needs to see the brand turned 90 degrees counter clockwise.

At the trial of Keith Alan Raniere, Lauren Salzman, who testified under a cooperation agreement, testified for three days.

During her testimony, Lauren spoke about the brand and its meaning.

And while her word is not definitely authoritative, she has an opinion about the brand that was scarred into DOS slaves by a white hot cauterizing pen that was wielded, in most cases, by a licensed physician, Danielle Roberts, D.O.

Here is some of Lauren’s testimony on the brand and how Keith came up with excuses following Frank Report breaking the news that Keith was branding women as slaves.

AUSA Tanya Hajjar examined Lauren Salzman.
This the photo the government used of Lauren Salzman in exhibits for the jury.

Assistant US Attorney Tanya Hajjar is examining her. Lauren testified about the brand:

Well, it was Keith’s initials and Keith knew it was his initials and I knew it was his initials and I knew he knew that it was his initials…. Keith [pretended he] didn’t know this…  [after the Frank Report came out with the branding stories] That was the party line on it [to the disturbed Nxivm members [that] Keith just learned this, you know…. that a bunch of women went around and did this?

Q   Were there subsequently meetings with the defendant and the first line of DOS?

A   Yes.

Q   And can you describe those meetings?

A   That we went to the DOS house and were trying to figure out how to deal with everything that was happening. And everybody’s questions and upsets surrounding it and basically, you know, Keith directed that we were not going to tell anybody about his involvement; it was going to be secret; that he didn’t know anything about it; that he wasn’t associated with it; that the brand was not his initials and he gave several options for how we could address the concerns that were being raised to make it look like they were all things that were not the truth. Which is that the brand instead of being his initials could be explained that it had seven lines so it was the seven chakras or it was the four elements or it was bar alpha mu.

…. It wasn’t Keith and Allison’s initials because there were assertions that it was Allison’s initials too, which it wasn’t but those were going around as well….

Q   … what did the defendant instruct you to say regarding the brand?

A   That it was the seven chakras and the four elements or it was bar alpha mu but that it was not… intended to be his initials but that when the design was being created somebody noticed that it looked like his initials and so it was refashioned to include – incorporate them as tribute.

Q   Now, these explanations of seven chakras, the four elements or bar alpha mu, had you ever heard of these things before to explain the brand or refer to the brand?

A   No.

Q   You testified earlier that the DOS meetings where the defendant attended were recorded?

A   Yes.

Q   After DOS was publicly disclosed were your meetings recorded?

A   No.

Q   How was bar alpha mu going to be an explanation of the brand? Can you explain that?

A   Yeah, because it looked like the brand, like if you look at the K facing downward, you know, with an A under it, it could have been a bar like a line with an alpha, you know, which is a Greek letter. And the R, the squiggle for the R actually did look like an M, which is why people thought it was Allison’s initials. So it was like making it like it was Greek letters, like the bar is a mathematical symbol but it was the bar and then an alpha Mu, so it was like logical that it could have been Greek letters because we were a sorority and all the sororities had Greek letters.

For a long time, it was widely believed that Allison Mack was also honored by the brand containing her initials. Lauren Salzman says it is not so.


Q   Were other first-line DOS masters interviewed by the same [New York Times Magazine] reporter [Vanessa Grigoriadia]?

A   Yes. At least Allison, and I think possibly Nicki [Clyne], too. But I’m not a hundred percent sure on that.

Q   Did you subsequently learn something about what Allison Mack had said to the reporter?

A   Yes, I did.

Q   What was that?

A   There were a few things that I learned. One, was that she had said in — she conveyed it as a moment of impulse.  She took credit for coming up with the idea of the brand and then was like, “I don’t know why I did that. You know, I just felt special in the moment and I was, you know, and I said it. But that was false.”

And that she also — her accounting of it was that she characterized it as this wonderful opportunity for women to explore their sexuality and sensuality as women, which I specifically disagreed with.

Q   Was Nicki Clyne interviewed by the reporter, to your knowledge?

A   Either she was or she believed she was going to be and we had discussions and made preparations for that.

Q   Did she ask you for anything before she met with the reporter?

A   She did. She … thought that it would be a good idea to have a visual representation of the brand and to show how each of the lines of the brand could legitimately represent the alternate story that we were laying out, which was the seven chakras, the four elements, Bar Alpha Mu, and there was another thing about triangles descending and ascending triangles and lines. And so I agreed to do draw this out and I…  drew it on the graph paper where I just reproduced the brand each time in its entirety but highlighting the element that I was referring to and how it was each of the things, … the seven chakras or the four elements or the Bar Alpha Mu. I highlighted how you could see; each of those could be interpreted from the brand.


{After Frank Report revealed that the DOS brand was Keith’s initials, Lauren was instructed by Keith to draw three sketches showing three different possible meanings for the brand – other than what it really was – Keith Alan Raniere’s initials. At the tria,l the jury was shown the drawings Lauren made. Unfortunatel,y these are not available to us.]

Q   Ms. Salzman, can you explain what you drew and why?

A   Yes. So in each of the [three] diagram,s you can see that I drew the brand as it exists. So it has the K-A-R. But I highlighted specific sections of it to misrepresent what it stood for. So at the top, I highlighted the line across which is the back of the K and showed how it was the bar. I showed the A in the subsequent one below and said that it was an alpha. And the R in the final one with the line at the A …. as an M for Mu.

Q   And this concept that the Bar Alpha Mu could be an explanation for the brand, who gave you that idea?

A   Keith.

Q   And was this after DOS was publicly exposed [by Frank Report]?

A   Yes.

Q  … .  Can you explain what [you drew] … Ms. Salzman?

A   Yes. [I represented] the brand [in the second version] as the four elements, so air, earth, water, and fire. And I drew the lines accordingly at the top. The back of the K was the horizon. The triangle in the A was the earth, the mountain. The R was the squiggly line representing the river or water element. And the brand itself because it was, you know, burned on, it was to represent fire.

Q   And was this supposed to be another explanation for the lines in the brand?

A   Yes, it was.

Q   Other than the defendant’s initials?

A   Yes.


[Lauren explained her third version.]

A   Yes. I’m showing how there are seven lines in the brand and that those seven lines could be interpreted to represent seven chakras. As well, below that the symbology of lines and triangles and that straight lines could be seen as representing an unwavering moral code, and triangles representing male and female principles, which were not actually part of the brand.

Q   And was this another false explanation for what the lines in the brand stood for?

A   Yes, all of them are.


[During Lauren’s testimony, a recording was played where Keith discusses the branding with his first line slaves.]

Q Ms. Salzman, do you know what’s being discussed in this section of the recording?

A   The brand.

Q   And when the defendant says, It’s actually K-A-R —

A   His initials are — the brand is his initials, K-A-R.


Q   Ms. Salzman,  you testified about the size of the brand. How large was your brand?

A   My brand is probably almost two and a half inches by three inches.

Q   And were you —

A   There was a mistake. I was told it was supposed to be an inch by an inch. There had been a mistake, so it ended up being not only larger, but skewed from the square to a rectangle.


[The brand came up again when Marc Agnifilo cross-examined Lauren. He showed her a photo of the brand]

Q  That’s the brand, right?

A …yes.

Q So, here it looks like a K.

Q Some people thought it was an A and M; is that right?

A Yes.

Q And it’s not, right?

A No.

Q You heard many people say Allison Mack’s initials are in the brand, right?

A Yes.

Q And that’s just not true.

A It’s not true. I mean, as Keith said, you can creatively see many letters in there.

Q But one of your slaves saw the K and the R.

A Yes, she saw the K and the R because the slave stencils were mirror image upside down — I mean the slaves’ brands were mirror image upside down, but the stencil was the right way.

Q So, when the stencil was laying on the table sideways, she saw KR, big K, little R.

A But it’s flipped on purpose so they wouldn’t see what it was.

Q I think you said on direct that it was sort of a mirror image. So, if you were looking in the mirror —

A You could see it.

Q You would see the K and the R in the mirror?

A Yes.

Q But you would be at a different angle where it’s harder to make that out if you were looking down at it.

A Yes.

Q And at least one of your slaves recognized the brand was Keith’s initials?

A That’s true, and had a number of problems with it because her father — well, her father was a rancher, and she said, “Basically, this is what we do to the cows, is we brand them with our initials and it shows that they are our property.” And it became — it was an issue for her.

Q And the brand itself had looked like a big K, didn’t it?….

A Yes, but it was flipped on its side upside down.



About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • Hate to say I told you so, but…

    Not “AM” for Allison Mack at all so let’s put on our thinking caps kiddies and who can tell us why we were initially deluged with media images that traced out a burning red-hot image of “Allison Mack’s” alleged initials?

    Set-up, you think or just general hyperbolic tabloid sensationalism 🤔

  • There are definitely two different versions of the brand, essentially flipped, one with the middle leg towards the left (or down), and the other with it towards the right (or up). One may look more like KR on first glance, and the other more like AM – and one or more of those branded also reporting initially seeing AM in it. I think the question is whether that difference is accidental – did the doctor in charge really do some of the brands backwards by accident – or is it intentional, and then does it have significance?

    We know that information was effectively compartmentalized within even NXIVM’s inner circle, so Salzman wouldn’t necessarily have known if, for instance, slaves in Mack’s pod were branded differently. It would have been in keeping with Mack’s special status, for slaves to be branded not only with Raniere’s initials but hers as well.

    P.S. Frank, I hope that you ‘re going to get around to the section of Salzman’s testimony where she refers to taking slaves to Mack’s home for branding.

    • I don’t know what other evidence you need, if Lauren’s testimony says it clearly, KAR realized that Frank was breaking the story about the brand and slavery in the secret group DOS , so he devised a plan to mislead the women who They would be interested in knowing the truth of this story and instructed Lauren to create variations of the logo so that they simulated having three different meanings according to the interpretation that the slave masters would give to their slaves, and Lauren herself drew the logo variations on a paper according to the instructions of KAR and these designs were those that were used with the other slaves from that moment, if the A and the M, are seen, it is only a coincidence since the image also lends itself to the interpretation of the mountains of the ones Lauren mentions, but it could also be a sample of the double game that KAR would play with Allison and if that is the case, then Lauren knew it and didn’t mention it at the trial.

      • Edmondson was branded early March 2017. They were mislead about the brand from the beginning. Frank didn’t have a clue about DOS until Oxenberg contacted him a couple months later.

  • If I were Keith, I would start preparing for winter now. If the inspectors didn’t find any problems after a long 8 months, he should stock up on commissary sweaters and lots of socks.

  • Knowing that the R is present and accepted as part of the brand and also knowing that the R is not really correct, it is done with straight lines, and not rounded…..because….I imagine that it is very difficult and possibly dangerous to make a rounded R with a cauterizing pen, (not that a cauterizing pen isn’t dangerous to begin with)
    So….knowing that other letters have rounds as well, I can now find, a C, D, J, O, P, S, and U, and possibly more,
    Using just straight lines I can find A, F, I, K, L, M, N, R, T, V, W, and Z,
    Granted the A and M are kind of obvious, but then so is the F and P,

    If all the lines are to be included, in the brand, than the initials are KAR,

    • How would it be dangerous to make a curved line? Would they squirm more while making a curved line? I think part of the idea is that the initials wouldn’t be obvious, otherwise they would have simply made a mark with separate K A R letters on them.

    • A google image search for “cauterized scarficiation” will show that it is quite possible to do curves, or rounds, with a cautery pen. I’ve actually used the devices in medical settings, and am personally familiar with them as well (though only for their originally intended purpose) and they’re called pens precisely because they handle much like a writing instrument.

      Perhaps you’ve just proven that there’s some intent in the straight lines of the “R” – such as to make it also read as an “M”.

      • Agree, there was intent to camouflage the KAR, to both trick the DOS girls as Sarah Edmondson says she was into going along with the branding and, IMO, create some plausible denial for Raniere who made scapegoats and sheep of all.

  • You cannot ‘creatively’ see any letter in the brand as kar apparently suggests that’s patently false. one can perceive precisely four letters in the brand – KR and AM, that leaves 22 letters not present by any stretch of the imagination.

  • Hmmm whose father is a rancher? Perhaps the daughter of the mormon tribe of the Lebaron’s in Mexico?

  • So essentially Keith is a pimp who has slaves and Allison, Lauren and the top line of this brothel are madams.

    And Allison and Lauren spent how many nights in jail?

    Lauren did overnight, I believe.

    Allison? Don’t recall her spending a single night in jail.

    Why aren’t they in prison? Why isn’t Nancy in prison? Clare?

    Is it the fact they are female?

    They knowingly aided and abetted, leading lambs to the slaughter.

    Lauren and Nancy imprisoned a woman for almost 2years.

    And they get ankle monitors?

    And Nancy wants to reintegrate into the community?

    Has society gone freaking mad?

    I say place them on a desert island and let them cannibalize each other.

    Next to this group, Weinstein doesn’t look so bad.

    • I would have locked them up after they plead guilty, too. But I guess the judge wants to ogle them again. Except for Clare, but since she financed everyone elses’ legal bills, she gets a pass.

    • There are so many things to deplore about these defendants.

      In my view, the most deplorable thing about them is their self-righteousness.

      They virtue signal about everything.

      Clare Bronfman wanted to help the world, even while she was exploiting illegal alien labor.

      Allison Mack wanted to empower women even while she was branding them like cattle and turn them into sex slaves.

      These NXIVM women have no sense of shame and lack all understanding of what hypocrisy is.

    • They’re not in prison because they are awaiting sentencing. They’re out on bail (well, “out” is a generous term, since they’re under house arrest)

      This is all quite normal.

      Raniere is in jail because he proved himself a flight risk. He was denied bail pre-trial as well. Again, all quite normal.

      Actually, the ones like Mack have it worse because, while Raniere’s time in jail accumulates toward time served, their time under house arrest does not.

      I feel bad for Mack’s parents. Imagine having that sad sack nut underfoot 24/7.

  • Oh dear.. Shadowstate really really isn’t going to be able to handle this article.. he’s probably burst a blood vessel by now.. muttering and shouting his mantra, she is evil.. she is evil, she is evil, She is EVIL…
    In his version of events the trial proved she was fully behind the branding, he can’t accept any Facts that state otherwise…
    He Knows how to use CAPITAL LETTERS and isn’t afraid to use them..

    • “In his version of events the trial proved she was fully behind the branding, he can’t accept any Facts that state otherwise…”
      Not only, in his version, Raniere is her victim , and the victim don’t exist…
      Oh and Branding is Sex trafficking in his version…but both is true in Anonymaker’s version too, let’s not forget about that!

      • To dearest Shadow – you forgot to call allison a poopyhead. and show some respect for truthseeker. she relives past trauma, and serious issues arise when commenters use capital letters.

        • Don’t call me “Dearest”.
          And I use Capitol Letters because those are serious words.
          If you go back to the various Federal Indictments in this case they use Capitol Letters for both the defendants’ names and for the Crimes they committed.
          All Caps.

    • It’s really too bad any of these Smallville actors got involved with this cult. Without them, I think the comments and articles on this site wouldn’t be nearly as insane or juvenile. It’s obvious that none of the other actors — Park, Clyne, Edmondson, Hildreth, Cheng, Paleta, O’Brien, Loken, Oxenberg, Evans, Van Dien etc. — have these sicko stalkers.

      Raniere probably would have gotten one of the other harem women to “come up” with the branding idea and Edmondson would have left eventually and the NYT would still have written the article, but the useless comments from these sickos wouldn’t be derailing and diluting the discussion. And without these no-nothing idiots flooding the comment section, maybe there would be more former members willing to participate here.

  • 97 days that’s 14 weekends left until Clare Bronfman is sentenced on January 8, 2020. I predict that she will not see a day behind bars. In todays justice system Lady justice bound with sword, blind folded holding the balance is supposed to be the allegorical personification of the moral force in the judicial system. Id like to understand more of what this means and if the Bronfmans inherent wealth will play a part in Judge Garafius given these girls a light sentence.

  • Very interesting that the prosecution questions never got into who designed the brand, whose idea it was. The line of questioning is clearly intended to fully implicate Raniere, and Raniere only; he was the sole defendant and the prosecutor would not want to muddy the waters implicating someone who had already pleaded guilty (Mack). It seems significant that the issue of who designed the brand was so carefully avoided. This leads me to suspect that it was not Raniere alone who designed the brand.

    The design is highly stylized. Probably a lot of work went into getting just the way he (or she, or they) wanted it. Something so important, and permanent, may well have been a joint effort. Rainier was head of the operation, Mack his trusted lieutenant. She was the one who ran DOS for him. It was her baby. Would have seemed a shame not to give her some credit in the design.

    Looking at the final picture in the above article, I see AM as clear as day.

    Held one way, the brand is clearly KR. Rotated, it’s clearly AM.

    The witness for the prosecution claimed under oath that this is not Allison Mack’s initials. Makes me wonder all the more why the subject of who designed this brand was so studiously avoided.

    • When you put it that way, it makes me wonder the same. It could have something to do with the fact that it’s not actually illegal to brand willing people.
      Who was the witness that said it wasn’t an AM?

    • “Probably a lot of work went into getting just the way he (or she, or they”
      No, it was his design, the record proves it…it was specifically talked about the design in another part (audio) and it’s just his work…doesn’t fit your stupid story but that is your problem.

      “Mack, his trusted lieutenant”
      What part of the transcripts don’t you understand? Are you able to read properly English?
      I know you are an idiot but a little effort, please!

      It is heavily debunked and a lieutenant Under coercion, starvation (to temper her mind), sleep deprivation (to temper even more), hypnosis and potentially drug (the powder found in his lair and that some DOS member were seen pouring in their water).

      You are an idiot; that is the only fact you demonstrated today.

      “Held one way, the brand is clearly KR. Rotated, it’s clearly AM.”
      Get help, the prosection, the judge and DOS member know better than an obsessed idiot who keeps going about the stupidest stories possible…And in ridiculous stories (varied as you Don’t just aim at Allison), you beat largely Shadow!
      You Don’t have another conspiracy theory to go for?

      Get help, you need it!

      See Frank, this is what happens when you give “credit” to people who know/understand Nothing!
      Even when the proof is rubbed in their face, they’ll ignore it!
      You created this situation!

      • But Mack wasn’t under the coercive environment of sleep and food deprivation, when she traveled away from Albany, including the several months she was in San Diego for a play, and then when she was in California just prior to Raniere’s arrest in Mexico. Those were the sorts of breaks that caused others to reflect, and leave – and which would, for instance, have given Mack the opportunity to consult with an attorney if she were concerned about the implications of the “collateral” held – while others with real convictions and strength of character found ways to resist and escape regardless, like Kristen Keefe and Dani. And yet Ally always went back to back to sex slaving and abusing others.

        That’s “proof” rubbed in your face that you keep ignoring. Like others stuck in culty mindsets, you continually accuse others of that which you yourself are doing.

        Even Patty Hearst wasn’t let off the hook for her crimes, and she was actually held hostage and claimed that they literally did have a gun to her head.

        • Exactly. Mack was a true believer, and I have little patience that she or any of Nxivm hierarchy were in any real sense compelled. They showed far too much initiative, indeed enthusiasm for the cause, for that to be true. Mack seems to have been loyal to the last.

          I think she believed wholeheartedly in Nxivm and Raniere. Appears to me she was actually in love with the creep– see that cringe Youtube video of her ‘interview’ of her lord & master.

          Rainiere persuaded her to the cause. That was the extent of her being manipulated. She swallowed the idiotic ideology hook, line, and sinker. Because she’s a dumbass.

    • In the end, all the co-defendants threw Raniere under the bus and they did so very quickly.

      Nancy, Lauren, Allison, Clare, and Kathy quickly cut their losses and abandoned their beloved Vanguard.

      Of course, every religious movement needs a martyr and Raniere is now their martyr.

      And the stage is now set for the Rebirth of NXIVM.

      The rich people, the Bronfmans and the Mexican elite will lie low for a while but the group will slowly reconstitute itself and avoid the overt craziness of Raniere.

      • Self-interest first. After all, that’s what the VanFake taught. He’d be the first to throw anyone else under the bus to save himself. These people were never really ethical. They just used the idea and only believed themselves to be. When life throws at you tests – both good and bad – and push comes to shove as it is said and a choice has to be made where you have to uphold the principles you claim to believe in, only then will you know yourself.

    • Agree, Acteon — critical questions as to WHO DESIGNED the brand and its origins were starkly excluded at trial.

      My guess is that person is someone who was not charged and is otherwise being protected. Someone with artistic, design talent such as MICHELLE SALZMAN whose father is, btw, a LASER specialist and owns a clinic comes to mind. IMHO.

  • Suppose the brand only represents the initials of Raniere, here is what happened.
    Dr. Danielle Roberts, acting under the command of Allison Mack, inflicted the hot brand on the “slave” women.
    And other women physically held down the initiates so they would not escape.
    All of these acts occurred on property either owned or rented by Allison Mack with Mack’s permission.
    And young women went around the neighborhood warning the neighbors that they would hear screaming from Mack’s house that was caused by intense Yoga exercises.

    Who is legally and criminally responsible for these crimes?

    Keith Raniere the mastermind.

    Allison Mack, who recruited the sex slaves, supervised the branding and owned the properties used.
    Moreover Allison Mack collected the blackmail information used to control the sex slaves.

    Dr. Danielle Roberts, who performed the branding.

    Lauren Salzman, who supervised the branding when Allison was out of town.

    The women who held down the slaves during branding.

    The women who warned the neighbors about the impending screaming.

    If Allison Mack bears no blame, then why did she surrender her 230,000 dollar townhouse at 7 Generals Way to the US government?
    Allison Mack is as guilty As Sin.

    Since Raniere and NXIVM were so inspired by Nazism let’s compare the criminals of Nazism and NXIVM.
    A major figure in the Holocaust was a Nazi named Adolf Eichmann.
    Eichmann escaped Europe after the war and fled to Argentina.
    The Israeli Mossad tracked Eichmann down and kidnapped him to Israel where he was tried and hanged.

    Did Eichmann directly murder any Jews?
    Not that we know of.
    What Eichmann did was organize the round up of Jews from the ghettos of Europe and their transportation to the Death Camps where they were murdered.
    For that Eichmann was hanged in 1962.

    “Otto Adolf Eichmann SS-Obersturmbannführer and one of the major organizers of the Holocaust,
    He was tasked by SS-Obergruppenführer Reinhard Heydrich with facilitating and managing the logistics involved in the mass deportation of Jews to ghettos and extermination camps in Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe during World War II.”
    He was executed by hanging in 1962.”

    Allison Mack’s torture and enslavement of women was nothing less than a Crime against Humanity similar to what the Nazis did during World War II.

    Allison Mack deserves as much opprobrium as Dr. Werner von Braun.

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.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

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 premieres on May 22, 2022.

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