This is part 4 on the role Lauren Salzman had in the vicious work of DOS. She is soon to be sentenced so this is fair game.
Readers seem to be split into two camps. One that Lauren is mostly a victim, a slave to a master criminal with excusable culpability – who own mother -another master criminal – led her to the monster.
The other camp seems more hard line believing that Lauren was an adult woman, who knowingly got into things, knowing they were wrong, but the rewards silenced her conscience.
In this post we learn that Lauren Salzman was the leader of the first line masters in recruiting slaves, obviously using her high rank position [she was then highest ranked in Nxivm of the first line] to recruit more than any other.
She is being examined by Assistant US Attorney Tanya Hajjar in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere. Her testimony is considered by some as the most important in the case.
Q How many slaves do you have at that time?
A I had five. Oh, wait, I had six.
Q And what about the total number under you?
A Six plus nine, 15 at that time.
Q How many does Cami have in contrast?
A Cami had herself and one. I had 21 plus myself.
Q So, although you were the last to join the first line… you had the most slaves under you…?
Q Can you explain why that was?
A I think some of it was the way that I was enrolled in such a quick amount of time… that was my understanding of how the process worked and how easy the process could be. I had the least experience and the least objections at the time so I was the most enthusiastic when — at that time when Keith started pushing readiness and I think I have good capacity to enroll other people in my ideas. So, all of that kind of worked in my favor to be able to get a lot of people quickly.
Q What about in contrast, Camila or Nicki, can you describe their enrollment efforts?
A I think they’re different for each person. Cami was not very public in the community … and didn’t have a lot of relationships. So when you’re talking about going out and enrolling people that you’re close with, she didn’t have that many people that she was close with. Also, she wasn’t in a leadership role or a coaching role or any of those things … and she was younger. I don’t know that a lot of people would have looked to her for somebody who they felt could help them the most with their growth for their life.
And I’m not sure if that’s the same exactly for Nicki but Nicki wasn’t as high in the organization — in ESP as me but generally my enrollment skills were better and I was more enthusiastic about bringing more people.
Q When you say growth in this context, do you include as part of advancing within ESP?
A Well, your — enrollment in your growth and your capacity to enroll others in your ideas usually was reflective in how far you were in ESP. So, there’s growth. There’s your growth and how that relates to your promotions in ESP but particularly with the Vow [DOS]. It was a lifetime commitment of a vow of obedience for the purpose of growth.
So, if Cami was going to enroll somebody and say “I’d like to be your master and help you with your growth,” I don’t know that people would have seen her as being the person who would be in that role or that they would look to and respect to help them with that because she hadn’t demonstrated that she had that capacity.
Q At some point did you have your DOS slaves branded?
A Yes, the five of them.
Q And can you describe their branding ceremony?
A Yes. They had not known about each other. They knew there were other slaves but they didn’t know who the other slaves were so I wanted to do an initiation ceremony for them where they met each other and learned who their sisters were in their circle.
So, I did that first. I invited them to my home … Rosa Laura told me when I joined the sorority that there would be nudity as part of the sorority and I knew that in advance and I had told them that as well.
So, they came to my house. I asked them to come in staggered times so they wouldn’t know who each other were and I put them in different rooms of my house and I asked them to remove their clothes and blindfold themselves and then I led them downstairs to my living room where they sat in a circle and then they were able to take off the blindfold and see each other, who each other were, and I did a candle lighting ceremony with them, you know, to initiate them into their circle.
Then they got dressed. We all had dinner and we went over to Allison’s house to do the branding. They took about an hour putting on their stencils, figuring out where they wanted the brands, etc., and then we went from there and their branding ceremony was similar to what I described in mine except they were fully naked all of them except me and Danielle.
Q What did you tell them about the brand?
A I told them it was a symbol, an abstract symbol.
Q What about the size?
A I had told them originally my understanding was the brand was supposed to be one inch by one inch and that’s what I believed it would be. When I was branded there had been an error that was made somewhere and my brand is much larger than that. It’s probably like two and a half inches by three inches and it was supposed to have been corrected by the time my girls were to be branded but it wasn’t and so their brand is larger than that as well. I’m not sure exactly the measurements but it is bigger than an inch by an inch, but I told them it was going to be an inch by an inch believing that’s what it was, that’s the size that all the sisters in my circle, the first line DOS masters all have an inch by an inch and myself and only a few have a much bigger one.
Q Who was the first to be branded?
Q And was the branding filmed?
A Yes, they all were filmed.
Q Who filmed Jimena’s branding?
A I don’t recall specifically who filmed Jimena but I think it was Sarah because Keith texted me in the middle of it and she saw the text so after that they weren’t filmed on my phone anymore or soon after that they weren’t filmed on my phone anymore.
Q And the text you received, what was that regarding?
A It was regarding a meeting of the first line DOS masters that Keith held in the middle of the branding ceremony, so I had to stop the branding ceremony to go to that meeting and then come back.
Q How did Jimena react?
A Jimena, it was really very overtly emotionally expressive, like she responded very expressively to the pain.
Q What does that mean?
A Like she was squealing and screaming and it looked horrendous. It was. She demonstrated what she felt and her reaction was particularly intense.
Q At some point did she ask for some kind of cloth?
A Yeah, she asked for or somebody offered her something to bite down on.
Q Did it look scary?
A It looked really scary. What Jimena was demonstrating looked very scary. It was frightening to see, it scared the other girls.
Q You said that ceremony was interrupted at some point; what happened?
A I had to leave to go to the first line meeting so, and Carola wanted to leave to go feed her daughter, her baby, and so Carola and I left. I … dropped her off to feed her daughter and then I went to the first line DOS meeting and then like an hour later we went back.
Q Who was next to be branded after Jimena?
A Audrey went second.
Q And after that?
Q Your DOS slaves, were each of their branding ceremonies filmed?
Q What was Sarah’s branding like, can you describe that?
A … Sarah did and told the other girls as well to use like yoga breathing to help through the process so she was much quieter. She did her yoga breathing. She handled it … comparatively much better than the other girls did and I was very proud of her at the time. In all of the branding ceremonies there was, you know, some degree of laughing and joking and different things to try to make it seem a little less awkward… I coached them all through the process. So, there was that in the branding ceremony, me encouraging her, touching her, helping her through the process.
Q Who did the branding?
Q How do you feel about participating in the branding ceremony now?
A I mean I feel like it was the start of the end of all of my relationships with these people… I don’t feel good that I was dishonest about Keith’s involvement or the initials… I don’t think it was right to brand his initials on people without them knowing that that’s what it … was and at the time. I didn’t view it as – that they were doing it only because I told them to do it or that they felt that they had to do it, but ultimately they were my slaves and they were under a collateralized vow of obedience to me and if they didn’t obey, their collateral was subject to be released -that was the agreement – and so had they decided they didn’t want to do it, or there was something about it that wasn’t for them anymore – the notion that they really could have chosen out of it I think is really one that I hadn’t considered at the time. Like at the time I thought it was consensual and they wanted to do it but even if they didn’t, I was their master and I told them to and you don’t get to say if you tell them they have to have sex with somebody or have somebody else’s child they have to do it, but somehow they don’t have to get branded if they decide they don’t want to.
Q At the time that the defendant told you that about Sarah, about having sex with someone or having someone else’s child, had she provided collateral?
Q Was she recruited into DOS at that point?
Q What happened after the branding ceremony?
A We went back to my house and I took a group picture and then they went home.
Q Were photographs taken of the group?
A Yes, I took a group photograph — I took a group picture of them that night immediately following their branding and then later that week they met a few times and I asked them to take naked pictures of themselves and send them to me similar to what we did in my circle at every one of our meetings.
Q Did you give them any instructions about the photographs they were to take after the branding?
A Yes, … my group was meeting three times a week and we were taking these pictures and … when we got feedback about changing it, we incorporated that feedback and sometimes we had left the meeting and had to rearrange our schedules to make it possible to get back together again and retake the picture and the girls that I had enrolled all lived in separate areas so specifically I wanted them to have that experience so I told them, I mean initially, that they were to be fully frontally nude, the brand should show, you know, and they should appear happy in the pictures, or I may not have told them happy initially but I corrected them and they had to get together later and rearrange their schedules to retake the picture and look happy.
Q When you say you thought it was important for them to have that experience, do you mean to replicate that, retaking the photograph if you didn’t look happy?
A To incorporate feedback that your master gave you and that was the feedback that I gave them, specifically to look happier.
Q Can you explain what incorporating feedback means, what that phrase means?
A It means you’re told something that you didn’t perceive or you would have already done it, that’s important, and so you fix it. Incorporate it – is you make that change.
Q So, what was the change you requested for this photograph?
A I requested them to look happy.
Q And did they retake the photograph looking happy?
Q Did you require them to rearrange their schedules for this?
Q Can you explain that?
A Well, we had done that several times in my first line group based on feedback and requests that Keith had made or instructions we had been given and so my group had done that a number of times and I thought that he must have been doing it for a reason, that it was somehow important to prioritize this over other things as we had done and because they lived in the other, outlying areas they wouldn’t have that opportunity to do that, to make that choice, or to have that experience again for another three or four months, so I wanted them to have that experience at least once so I required them to do that.
Q Again, when you say, “have that experience,” what are you referring to?
A Of prioritizing my request over everything else they were doing.
Q To make them rearrange their schedule in order to do it?
Q After your DOS slaves were branded did you ask them to continue taking photographs of the brand?
A Yes, the instruction was that they would take photographs every day and send them to me and I sent those photographs to Danielle who was in charge of keeping all of the brand photographs.
Q You gave them instructions to send you the photographs every day?
A I did every day and then after six weeks I told them they could do it once a week and eventually they stopped sending them. I think when things became public we stopped doing that, possibly earlier.
So here is another great revelation about Lauren’s role. By the way, it also came out during Lauren’s testimony that though she lied to her slaves about the meaning of the brand, during the branding ceremony, Carola saw the stencil and realized it was “KR” – Keith’s initials. She told Lauren who asked her to please not share that with other people.
Lambs to the slaughter.
By the way, when Lauren says “when things became public” later testimony reveals she is referring to The Frank Report. I made the branding public on June 5, 2017. That stopped future branding and sending of photos and lying to people about who was in charge of DOS and what the brand symbolized. Many left DOS consequently.
I look forward to hearing from readers on both sides of the debate about Lauren Salzman.