By George Frobisher
This is Part 13 of Frank Report’s series on Lauren Salzman. She is to be sentenced soon – although a date has not been set. Our readers are divided on how severe her sentence should be.
Some think she should get leniency because she had been so coopted by Keith Raniere that she was nothing more than a human-robot – while others feel she was a critical enabler of Keith Raniere. According to numerous readers, Lauren – next to Keith, her mother, Nancy, Clare Bronfman, Pam Cafritz and possibly Kristin Keeffe – did the most harm to the most individuals.
Like Keeffe, who escaped in 2014, Lauren Salzman did try to help the feds and gave evidence against Keith Raniere. Lauren was a star witness for the prosecution at Raniere’s trial earlier this year.
In this post, Lauren names the people that made up the core group of mostly women enablers of the monster Raniere. It seems she helped create the list of inner circle members for the feds.
Here are our other stories on Lauren in this series:
Lauren is on the witness stand in the trial against Keith Alan Raniere. The date is May 17, 2019. Lauren is being examined by Assistant US Attorney Tanya Hajjar.
Q. Ms. Salzman, based on your own firsthand observations over the 20 years you’ve known the defendant [Keith Raniere], did the defendant have a special relationship of trust with certain individuals?
Q Did the defendant rely on those individuals to run organizations he created, like NXIVM or DOS?
Q Were you a member of this group?
Q Was this an informal group?
A Yes, informal.
Q And at times was this group referred to as the “inner circle”?
Q Who were some of the individuals in the defendant’s inner circle?
A Pam Cafritz.
Q Who else?
Lauren named off the following:
“My mother, Nancy Salzman”
Jim Del Negro.
Rosa Laura Junco.
[Editor’s note: I think it is amazing that people like Jack Levy are named as part of Raniere sinner circle but not Sara Bronfman]
Q Miss Salzman, what distinguishes the members of this group from others in the NXIVM community?
A I think their relationship with Keith, their belief in him, and their commitment to him and to helping him and his objectives.
Q How did the defendant gauge that?
A I think by, in some ways, what the people were willing to do. In some cases, by what they were willing to give up. I think there’s different ways of gauging their commitment and their shared values.
Q How did he gauge your loyalty, your commitment?
A I think there are different ways, but I mean, there were times where he would come to me and ask like “If I ever came to you and asked you to do something and I … couldn’t tell you why, would you do it?”
And he asked me that on several different occasions. Like “Would you be willing to just do what I ask you and no questions?” And I would say, ‘Yes’.
Q Was that true?
A Yes. It was true.
Q Now, did the members of this group change over time?
Q Is there some significance to the order of individuals
A Yeah. General time frame.
Q What do you mean “general time frame”?
A Like as you — as you — if you start at top with Pam, as you go clockwise, those were the people who were Keith’s friends and, I guess, people who were loyal to him and committed to him when I first met him. And then, in time, there are people who — and it’s not necessarily exact, but became closer, became more trusted then over time.
Q So the individuals that are listed in the top left corner of Government Exhibit 362, those were latecomers to this group?
Q Relatively speaking.
Q Did some of the individuals in this group have sexual relationships with the defendant?
A Yes. Most of them.
Q Can you identify the rank in the context of ESP, of the individuals depicted in Government Exhibit 362?
A Sure. So the rank in ESP, Keith is the high — was the highest rank, and then my mom was second. So, that’s my mom, and Keith were the two honorary ranks. They fell outside the ranking system because they created the ranking system.
Then the next highest rank, and they wore purple sashes. They were the senior counselors. That was Pamela Cafritz and Barbara Jeske.
And then the next wore the greens. They were senior proctors. That was Dawn. Myself. Barbara Bouchey. Loreta. Emiliano. Mark and Alex.
And then were the proctors. Karen, at one point Kristin, Kathy, Monica, Ivy, Clare, Jim, Nicki, Rosa Laura, Daniella, Allison, And Jack.
And then Marianna was a coach. I think at one time Dani was a coach. And then Cami was a student.
Q Now, Pamela Cafritz. What was her background?
A Pam came from a well-to-do family from DC. Her dad, I think, was a builder. And I think they were socialites.
Q And Clare Bronfman, what was her background?
A Clare’s family is independently wealthy. Her — her family is the Seagram’s — Seagram’s family. So also independent, you know, well-to-do.
Q And based on your observations, what role did Clare Bronfman play in the defendant’s life?
A I think that Clare is — was a supporter of Keith, and I think she felt responsible for some of the bad media surrounding our organization and …felt that part of rectifying that was to try to make that right; financially, legally.
Q What does that mean, try to make that right financially?
A I think she felt responsible, like she caused the bad effects and like she could fix it somehow by pursuing different legal initiatives and covered some of the costs that were incurred from that negative press or publicity.
Q Did she cover some of the costs?
A I believe so.
Q And when you say “legal initiatives,” do you mean on behalf of NXIVM or the defendant?
Q Now, Daniella and Marianna and Camila, the individuals on the lower right corner of Government Exhibit 362, were these individuals related?
A Yes, they’re sisters.
Q Where are they from?
A From Mexico.
Q Can you tell the jury generally when they joined the NXIVM community?
A They didn’t all join at the same time, but generally probably between 2001 and 2002 or ‘3.
Q Did the defendant have nicknames for any members of this group that you’re aware of?
Q Can you give the jury some examples?
A Like Marianna was Monkey, or Dani was Bobo.
Q When you say “Dani,” do you mean Daniella, or do you mean Daniella Padilla Bergeron?
A Daniella. Kathy, we called Miss Kathy.
Q And these nicknames you just mentioned, were they used not only by the defendant but by the community?
Q Were there other private nicknames the defendant had for members in this group?
Q Did you have one?
Q What was it?
A Lorn. Forlorn.
Q Can you spell that?
Q And Lorn?
A Lorn, L-O-R-N.
Q As a pun on your name?
Q Why did the defendant call you Forlorn?
A Because I was sad and suffering.
Q Does suffering have a specific meaning in the NXIVM ESP community?
Q A different meaning than how you would usually use the word?
A Well, yes, to some degree. Like that suffering is like a pity party, or like it’s when you’re generating an upset over something, it was seen as — suffering was seen as being indulging in sadness to make yourself feel better about something that shouldn’t feel good, or to get attention or something, or to get off the hook for something.
Q Suffering was something indulgent.
Q Did there come a time when members of this group were excluded or pushed out of the inner circle?
Q Can you give some examples of that?
A Well, Keith stopped speaking to Daniella and to Ivy.
Q When was that, approximately?
A Somewhere between 2008 and 2010. I’m not exactly sure when. I think similar timing on both, but I can’t be sure.
Q Did anyone else in this group voluntarily leave the group?
A A number of people did, yes.
Q Like who?
A Kristin left.
Q Kristin Keeffe?
Q When was that, approximately?
A Somewhere near 2014, I think. And then Barbara Bouchey left, I think, close to 2011 [actually 2009]; somewhere in there, 2010, 2011, I think. And Mark Vicente left in 2017.
Q Now, over the period of time that you were a member of this group, what were some of the ways in which you communicated?
A We communicated [by] phone. Email. In-person. You know, in the early days there weren’t texts or anything, so, you know, we spent more time together in person. And then over the later years, through phone apps, group chats, that type of thing.
We will have more on this subject in our next post. Stay tuned…