This is Part 17 of our Lauren Salzman series. We are examining her testimony in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere. Mainly to ascertain whether she was more victim or more perpetrator. Lauren pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy. She has yet to be sentenced and, as of today, no date has been set for her sentencing.
As part of her plea deal, Lauren agreed to be a witness for the prosecution in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere, her slave master.
In our last post, Lauren was being examined about the DOS handbook – wherein the philosophy of the master-slave relationship was explained as it pertained to DOS.
Assistant US Attorney Tanya Hajjar is examining Lauren and she has more questions about the DOS handbook and what Lauren thought it meant. She is reading some of it and she asks Lauren to read some of it.
But by and large, she is seeking for Lauren to explain what the words mean.
Here we are getting more into the actual relationship between the master and the slave. And what is expected of the slave.
More and more we are seeing how much Lauren firmly supported and believed to her core in the concept of her having a master and her being a slave and why it was so good for her.
Hajjar has the DOS handbook entered into evidence. She refers to it as she examines Lauren.
Q Chapter 6 is titled “Creation.” Can you read the text under “production potency and power?”
A “That your master has your time and labor allows for more production. That your master has your vote allows for more potency. By recruiting others within your power, you honor and increase your master’s power.”
Q Was the concept of time and labor associated with — as to the DOS slaves, an important component of DOS?
A Yeah, I mean the idea that’s being communicated through this is that if you’re putting in, let’s say, 70 percent of your effort towards moving something forward, in this case moving the master forward. And then you take 30 percent off to be lazy, you just undermined all your own efforts.
So it starts to talk about that it has to be full-time. It’s a full-time commitment to be always making your master more potent. And it ties directly to things — so that was supposed to be the general mindset. And then there’s specific time dedicated to furthering the master. And labor dedicated to furthering the master.
Q Under Lesson 2, “Labor and Production.”…. “If you’re serving the master at 49 percent of the time, you’re not serving the master. It needs to be a hundred percent. It certainly has to be over 51 percent otherwise you’re knocking yourself out, and the other half of the time, when you’re not severing the master, you’re serving other things. So the nature of this time is something you really have to value.” Is this a concept you conveyed to your slaves as well?
A Essentially. I don’t know if I laid it out exactly like that, but it’s just like it says here. If you’re undermining your own efforts, then you’re not moving forward. So, you should always move it forward.
Q …. The concept of productivity and that first stages of DOS was linked to slave productivity, was that something you conveyed to your DOS slaves?
Q Can you explain that?
A That ideally they should be seeking to provide the most value in the time and the labor that they’re providing. They should do the highest value of jobs, basically, and that that contributes the most.
Q Can you give an example of that with respect to your DOS slaves in terms of higher capacity worked?
A Sure. Like at one point I think I had a conversation with [Lauren’s slave] Audrey and she relayed she often would — would — she’d be grocery shopping so she would ask if I wanted anything or pick up some groceries, while she was out. Which I would pay her for the groceries but not the time she spent shopping.
And I conveyed to her that helping me — or she offered to do things similar to that, like personal assistant work. And I communicated to her “I have personal assistants, who do this low-level work, you should do the highest level of jobs.”
So providing things like executive-level assistance, you know doing — and then later some of my slaves helped with that. Like Audrey helped do administrative type — executive-level administrative type work for DOS, or Jimena was helping with the sales process for DOS. They’re doing higher-level, not just basic things my housekeeper can do.
Q In terms of labor you received in the context of DOS, was some of that labor qualified, like qualified in as specialized profession?
A Yeah. I mean we reviewed legal contracts and did legal research, so in that sense.
Q And was — was that work in the context of a requirement in DOS?
A Well, it was her “active care.” She did it as her active care. So, yes.
Q You said that your master has your vote and allows for more potency. The holy trinity of time, labor, and vote. What are each of these things, the time, labor, and the vote in the context of DOS?
A Well, your time, that you’re contributing your time towards moving your master forward, and your efforts, your labor, and services. The way that vote was used was actually self-referential that it was what you vote with or the way that you spent your time. So as we, you know, just reviewed that, if you’re spending, it has to be at least 51 percent of commitment or you’re undermining your own efforts. You have to be voting. Your vote has to be more than 50 percent for you to actually be voting for moving the master forward. That was how the vote was used.
But I think there are more reliant obligations of voting we talked about. We won’t have influence in the world, but there’s way more votes for in the world and that could be worthy of, you know, a shock to who you elected in office.
Q [Reading from the DOS handbook] “If your highest value is the master, by spending your moments doing things for the master, around the master, by the master, makes you purposeful, makes you annealed, makes your moments close to a hundred percent in a given direction highly effective, and it’s a gift to your master and a highly effective slave.” That is this concept of being highly effective, a good thing in DOS?
Q To your master?
Q Ms. Salzman, you testified that enrollment was a focus in DOS. This part of the book reads: “Every person who becomes a slave should make a whole list of names of all the people they know, mother included, and who should be enrolled.” Is that enrolled in DOS?
Q [Reading] “The moment you recruit someone, you take your master’s position into your own and you become one with the master because you are the master. So when you recruit someone, you give your master a gift.” Is this gift, in the context of that sentence, a reference to the DOS slave that you recruited?
A I didn’t see it — I hadn’t seen it that way. I thought it was the gift of becoming a master yourself. But, in essence, that slave is their slave, too. So, it is can be seen in that way.
Q So, you when recruit someone, you give your master a gift. How do you understand that sentence?
A I had understood it by becoming a master yourself. But, in essence, it’s a gift either way. Because it makes them more potent, especially if you look at they’re going to give an hour towards the — you know, if my master has an objective and my hundred percent is to serve that objective, any slave I have serving me is serving that objective.
So whether they’re serving my objective to serve that objective, or that objective directly, it’s a gift. It goes to them anyway.
Q Chapter 7 is “Connection.” Can you read what’s under “secrecy?”
A “Always make your master look good and be powerful and capable. Intelligently utilize the secrecy of your relationship with your master to be a confederate and to move your master forward.”
Q What does that mean?
A As it was explained to me, a confederate is somebody who is in on the secret but doesn’t appear to be in on the secret. So, if you have like a magician who’s performing an act and gets a volunteer from the audience, oftentimes that volunteer appears to be just like an audience member but actually, they’re part of the act and it’s been planned ahead of time.
So the idea of using that in this case is two people who seemingly seem unrelated but who actually have the secret relationship where one of them is actively trying to move the other forward, it can be used as a powerful tool because a seemingly innocuous person is advocating for somebody who seems unrelated to. And so sometimes that carries more worth or for credibility than somebody who publicly has an allegiance to that person.
Q Is this something that you experienced with the defendant?
Q Can you give some examples of that?
A So in — yes, in ESP, in intensives, for example, you might have somebody who is running a mentor group, which is a mentor group you would have like a specific person who is there to help you and process you through your issues to resolve whatever you bring to the group that you want to work through. But behind the scenes, that person could be given a whole bunch of information about you that you wouldn’t have known ahead of time.
So, sometimes I would be sent into mentor certain people and be given information about them that they didn’t know that I had. And in particular, before I knew about DOS, there was a DOS — someone I came to learn was a DOS slave, who I was asked to mentor in the intensive, who I was told was felt that breaking their commitment was freedom, and that it would be good if I could be their mentor, which is an unusual thing because I was a very-high level person in NXIVM. So I didn’t mentor very many people.
So, I was asked to go in and mentor this person and help them learn that through commitment is where you really experience freedom. So, in that case I became a confederate, and that’s something I wasn’t even privy to, I believed to help get them to stay in DOS, and they ended up leaving.
Q Did the defendant task with approaching this?
A Mentoring them through an issue about surrounded commitment.
Q And you later learned that at that time the person you were tasked to approach was, in fact, a DOS slave or had been?
A And was — and was deciding whether to leave DOS. And I was sent in to advocate for commitment is freedom not leaving the commitment is freedom.
Q So can you just explain how that relates to the concept of being a confederate?
A In a sense, I was advocating for their relationship with Keith and with DOS without even understanding it. Had I had known, I would have been a known confederate, but I was an unknown confederate in that case. But there — I mean during the time of DOS, we had other companies. You know, Keith started a number of different companies and he began very publicly advocating for Daniella Padilla very publicly.
And then later I came to learn — and it was questionable to me even at the time why is he advocating for her so publicly? And later I became to learn her DOS was going on during that time and at that time he was teaching her what confederacy was.
Q This concept of a confederate and confederates are very powerful strategically. Are these the same concepts you described and performed?
A Yes. Let’s say, for example, like somebody would – one of my slaves would say, why don’t you go talk to Lauren? She would be a really good person to talk to. If you could see Lauren as a client, like my slaves or their slaves’ slaves could even refer me business or something like that without even knowing that those people are doing that specifically to further my own career.
Q And that was part of —
A It could be seen that they thought, yeah, yes, it could just be seen as them being — having had a bit of experience with business. And so I’m a good person to go to for that business versus the secret relationship we had where they’re committed to actually moving my business forward.
Q So in this lesson through a connection there’s a paragraph: “People of The Vow are reliable to people in The Vow. If there’s a vow, and you’re connected to them in some sort of task, you know they will execute if collateralized. Their word is collateralized ultimately by whatever collateral. And do you know the collateral intent? How do you know? Because your collateral intent? So everyone of The Vow will act to a great degree reliable.” What does that mean?
A It means that you can count on the trust of the people not to violate the commitment to secrecy and to the group because their collateral is so intense and you know it’s so intense because your collateral is so intense, and you’re afraid of the consequences of breaking your vow so you understand what kind of confidence you can have in them because you can imagine what it must be like for them because it’s like that for you.
Q And the people here being DOS slaves?
A DOS slaves. You can look at any other DOS slave and know how much you can trust them to stay and keep your secret to do whatever because they would never leave because it’s so – it would be so horrendous if they did, and you know that because it would be so horrendous if you did.
Q Where the text reads: “You know you will execute.” What does that mean?
A You know they’ll come through no excuses because that what they’re commanded to do, that’s what their vow is about.
Q Chapter 8 under needs: “Always be attentive to your master and your master’s needs. Any hints to which you can attend, any need you can find should be met and satisfied without request or command. During everyday hour and moment, you must be actively moving your master forward personally and in the world.” Was that part of DOS as well?
A Yes, all of this was.
Q Under attentive, again, these lessons break down the concepts in the first — in the first part of the chapter; is that right?
Q And under attentive, the text reads: “So you focus your awareness on the master. Ever see a hungry dog? Someone walks in the room with food, that dog sees nothing else. That is how you should be a hungry dog for your master. Your master’s voice, when the master’s in the room. Your master’s object. Anything of the master that you perceive. Master leaves a crumb on table, it’s all about that.” What do you understand that to mean?
A That you should be always paying attention to what they are, and anything they do, you should be aware of it. And always looking to make it better, easier, more effective, more efficient, more productive, more influential, everything. They’re the highest priority. Everything.
In this excerpt, Lauren has, once again, revealed her utter infatuation with being a slave. She is certainly not displeased with any of it and she understood and followed [and taught] the concepts as they were explained in the DOS handbook.
In our 21st century life in America, here we have a grown, intelligent woman, discussing – from the witness stand – with perfect equanimity and as if it is the most natural thing in the world – her being a slave – using that term “a slave” and having a master.
And this is not some simply kinky BDSM group – this is not even remotely primarily sexual – not for Lauren. It was hardly sexual at all – if her testimony is to be believed. She is interested in obedience and servitude as a pathway to growth. Whatever growth means to her – which may be nothing more than growing to be a better slave.
She believes that being a slave is growth – – that kind of growth being a vague thing perhaps to readers – something indefinable – and without much value to most readers. But for Lauren – though I doubt she could define the advantage of being a slave – it is her primary goal, her reason for living – to be a slave.
She clearly could define what it was to be a good slave: It was to obey blindly. And I do believe that had Raniere ordered her to commit almost any crime – perhaps even murder, Lauren would have obeyed.
Read the above – the greatest gift she could give was to obey her master blindly, serve him, be his confederate, give him her time, her work, her wholehearted effort. This was her highest value in life.
To be his slave.
If he told her to confine a woman in a room for 700 days and then withhold her passport, she would do it.
And she might commit even murder and think it was right. She was his slave. Not the government’s – that makes and enforces man-made laws.
Her first duty was to him. He was higher than government; higher than morality. He was the ethicist for her. He made the laws which she would follow.
And the question is – should a “slave” be held responsible for her master’s orders – if they happen to be illegal?
Of course, there is no legal concept of slavery in the US anymore [except, of course, for prisoners]. This is not a true question of law, but rather one of fairness in sentencing.
Of course, Lauren had the right to leave at any time. But in her mind, she was his slave. She could not leave.
She did not have the freedom to leave. She had to obey. “Slavery is freedom, not leaving the master-slave relationship is freedom.”
Is it an excuse? Can she get off the hook because she was, in her mind, Keith Raniere’s slave and her intent was to aid him and that she believed he meant good for her and for all people? She had no intent to harm anyone.
She had only the intent to obey.
Can she be excused from punishment on the “slavery defense?” That is she is so mentally confused – insane even – that she thought she was, in reality, a slave and, therefore, could not distinguish between right and wrong?
It was not in her power to distinguish between right and wrong. That was up to her master.
It’s an insanity argument that might be pleaded before the judge prior to sentencing.
She thought she was a slave – really thought it and thought it was good to be a slave – and consequently, she was not in her right mind – or capable of making any critical decisions about her life.
She was, in fact, insane.
Substitute the word insane for the word slave and you might get the picture.
Other stories in our series.
posts in the Lauren Salzman series.