This could be entitled “How Keith Raniere stole motherhood from Lauren Salzman.”
For yes he robbed her of that golden dream. She is now 42 and probably headed off to prison soon. Needless to say she never had a child with Keith and won’t be having a child with him – unless the feds change the rules and allow conjugal visits and they get married.
At 42, what are her chances, after getting out of prison, two or five years from now, of finding another man and getting pregnant?
It is also interesting to see how, as we shall see below, after some 12 years of Keith promising her a child, he finally told her in 2015 that he was thinking of having a child with Mariana Fernandez.
Lauren freaked out. He got Rosa Laura Junco [who had five children with two different men] to talk her into staying.
Then after Raniere got Mariana pregnant, he did not tell Lauren. He got Rosa Laura to enroll her into DOS and got her branded first. [With an extra large brand – 3 inches by 3 inches – which I now suspect may not been a mistake but deliberately made large.]
Then only after she was branded and gave collateral and made a lifetime vow to stay as Raniere’s slave for life, did Raniere dare tell her that he got Mariana pregnant.
While Lauren was insane to have stayed with Raniere [and with her mother, Nancy] – and while Lauren may have done many foul deeds in his name – I think she deserves some leniency. If I were the sentencing judge, I might consider a suspended sentence. And add what she would have gotten to Raniere’s sentence.
You be the judge.
This is Part 12 of our series on Lauren Salzman
Assistant Us Attorney Tanya Hajjar is examining the witness Lauren Salzman in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere.
Q Did you ever discuss having children with the defendant?
Q Did you want a child with the defendant?
Q Can you explain those discussions? What discussions you had with him?
A Well, we started — I mean, I think I started talking about having children … within the first five years of our relationship. I had expressed that I wanted to have children.
And when I starting getting closer to 30, I started pushing that I thought I wanted to do it sooner. And he had always said that we would do that, that that could be something that we could do.
And then I told you about what happened in 2011 [she jumped on another man at volleyball], so it was put off. [Keith was outraged and told her he planned to suspend having children with her] And then I wanted to leave in 2013, and he said we would do it if I stayed, and then I stayed, and we weren’t doing it. And it was just this never-ending thing that got put off and put off and put off.
Q Did there come a time where the defendant told you he was considering having a child with someone else?
A Yes. In 2015 he told me he was considering having a child with Marianna. And asked me if I would … commit to staying with him, even with no relationship and no children.
Q Did he say anything else in that conversation?
A Yeah. Well, yes. He … shared with me that …. Marianna had had abortions.
Q Miss Salzman, when the defendant said that he was considering having a child with Marianna, how did you react?
A I was very upset. It felt very hurtful and confusing to me.
Q What did you do?
A I had a complete meltdown … but then my emotional reaction became the — you know, the reason that I am making things harder and creating more problems, and why there are so many difficulties with Marianna is a direct result of the fact that I behaved this way, and so then ultimately I went and apologized for my immaturity and bad behavior.
Q To who?
A To Keith.
Q Did you —
A And committed to stay with nothing. No relationship and no children.
Q Did you — were you permitted to speak to anyone else about this?
A Yes. But he asked me to please not to speak to my mother about it. And I asked who I can speak to about it, and he wanted — he suggested Dani Padilla, and I didn’t want to. And I asked if I could have permission to speak to Rosa Laura and he said, Yes. And so I spoke to Rosa Laura
Q What’s Rosa Laura’s last name?
Fast forward a little bit to 2014. 2013 I wanted to leave the relationship [with Keith]. We weren’t having a relationship any more in that way [sexual]. But I was told I might be able to have it. He asked me if I would stay. He said he would invest in our relationship if I did stay and we would have children within five years.
2014 he started Ultima, which was a new company, and that new company had a series of companies within it. And he took the ethics curriculum. And I was the head of the ethics board in NXIVM and one of only two people who taught that curriculum as it had existed prior. He took it and put it in the new company, Ultima. And he made …. Daniella Padilla, the head of this new ethics curriculum.
So he took the ethics curriculum out of ESP, out of where I taught, and put it in the new thing and now Daniella was the head of it.
So by the time — Pam got sick in 2015, and around this time, you know, we took two trips to Fiji [Wakaya Island] and –because Pam wanted to see Fiji before she died and those trips were very Marianna centric. It was whatever Marianna wanted. The trip centered around Marianna.
And he told me on the trip that he was … thinking of having a child with Marianna to balance things out.
And to me this was like completely crazy because so much was centering around Marianna and I didn’t understand how giving Marianna more was going to balance everything out.
And in those two years that Pam was sick, I found myself very much on the outside. And when he told me …. he [was] thinking of having a child with Marianna, on that same trip he asked me to agree to stay with no child and no relationship.
So I have now been 12 years waiting for a relationship and a child …. that never came. I had been cut out of several leadership roles in the organization. And in the two years Pam was sick, all of a sudden Keith was surrounded by a new group of people and had this new inner circle.
And in January, at New Years … we did this New Year’s process where we would get together and share all of our goals… like what were the highs and lows of the last year. And I was in a group with Monica, Daniella Padilla and Loreta Garza and I shared that [about Keith and her and her demotion]. At some point — and I don’t know when it happened, all of a sudden I found myself on the outside of my group of friends. …. everything changed and now I wasn’t part of the inner group anymore.
And there had also been this vacation… in December, so I’m going back — I’m sort of jumping around a little, just a lot of things happened to inform why I think it’s significant.
Keith and Marianna rented a house in Woodstock at Christmastime and they invited a bunch of us to go. And it was the most bizarre trip to me. It was like the coming out in a public forum of Keith and Marianna’s relationships.
So it was like Keith and Marianna sharing a bedroom. Her dad was there. Her brother and his wife were there. And a bunch of my girlfriends, me and my mom, and Jim [Del Negro] and Esther [Chiappone Carlson]. It was such a weird group of people. But the whole thing was like Keith and Marianna as a couple, and everybody else there happy about it. But I didn’t feel happy about it. And it was confusing to me. And it was upsetting to me, and I didn’t understand it.
And then later — so then he tells me all of a sudden, after 12 years, all of sudden, [Keith says] I want to bring our relationship closer, [then] gets me in a collateralized vow for like committed to growth.
I’m the head of the growth program of ESP, now I’m in a collateralized life vow backing my word for growth, and ten days later he tells me Marianna’s pregnant, which he had known for three months.
And so I was — I was like this — oh, my God, like there’s no way — like he got me to stay because he thought I would leave if Marianna was pregnant. And he stole from me and himself the ability to know if I would have stayed no matter what without being a hundred percent collateralized vow.
Q How did he get you to stay?
A By getting me to promise that through a collateralized vow [DOS] — my entire life was collateralized in this. And also I was — I’m the head of the growth program of ESP. I said I would do anything for growth. I’m a hundred percent committed to growth. I collateralized my entire life and now all of a sudden I’m saying I don’t want to do this with you because Marianna’s pregnant?
My life couldn’t have existed intact anymore. It couldn’t — it couldn’t have. I couldn’t have maintained the integrity of my whole life if I all sudden gone I don’t want to do this. And I hundred percent think that the timing on it [getting her branded etc.] is because of that [Mariana being pregnant. Keep in mind that Lauren was the last first line DOS slave master, coming in about a year after the others].
Q Any significance to the fact that Rosa Laura Junco was the one that approached you [to join DOS]?
A Hundred percent significance. Because when he told me when we were in Fiji a year prior, and he told me … that he was thinking of having a baby with Marianna and I was incredibly upset and distressed over it … he told me he didn’t want me to speak to my mom about it. And I didn’t know who to talk to about it. And he said how about Daniella Padilla? And I did not want to talk Daniella Padilla about it. And he said who do you want to talk? And I said Rosa Laura.
And Rosa Laura was the person who a year earlier reenrolled me in staying in a relationship with him when he was choosing to have a baby with a Marianna and telling me I was going to stay with nothing.
So she had already been the one I wanted to go to, and the one I trusted and the one who had successfully reconvinced me that this was the best path for me because of my growth, because of the opportunity to be able to gain things through having her as my mentor and my teacher, staying in this relationship with him. That I would never be able to have him the whole rest of my life ever if I left.
And so she was hundred percent, I think related to — a hundred percent related to why she was chosen to be to the one to ask me [to join DOS], and at the time when Marianna actually was pregnant.
Q At the time you learned of Marianna’s pregnancy, did you question the defendant’s motives in enrolling you into DOS?
A Yes. And that I couldn’t handle it. I was like there’s no way he could have done that. And I stuffed it, I compartmentalized it, and hundred percent went full force forward with my conviction that DOS was not bad, that it was a growth program, that it was amazing, that this was for women, and for me to get through my issues, and I just did that.
Q You did tie your continued employment, your work with ESP, to staying committed to the defendant?
A I did, yes.
Q Can you explain that?
A Because I gave my word, which is a huge thing in our company [but not to Raniere], that I would be a hundred percent committed to my growth, and my growth was this collateralized vow of obedience.
So I left it [alone], I would be breaking my word to commit to growth. How could I stay in the position I was in as the head of the growth program that taught the concept of collateral — of discipline, of word, of all these things if I was the person who didn’t do it?
Q Looking back now, do you see significance about when DOS was created as to — as related to Pam Cafritz, the woman you were describing earlier?
A Yeah, I do.
Q Can you explain that?
A Because I think Pam facilitated all Keith’s objectives. Whatever Keith wanted in many of his personal relationships, and especially my relationship with Keith was facilitated by Pam…. She reenrolled me in my relationship with Keith time and time again throughout the duration of my relationship with Keith. And at the time she died, I think she left, from her illness and her subsequent death, left a big hole of people who were that and would do that for him and DOS was doing that.
As I wrote in the past, DOS was the replacement for Pam Cafritz. Raniere could do by force, extortion and blackmail what Pam did for him with the help of Nancy Salzman, Barbara Jeske, Kristin Keeffe. Keeffe left and Cafritz died and DOS was created.
You have read Lauren’s testimony about the deception Raniere used to ultimately deprive her of a child. He was helped by senior women like Rosa Laura Junco and Pam Cafrtiz. Maybe it was best that Lauren in her mental condition did not have children.
But it would have been far better if Raniere’s mother had followed the same course.