This is Part 22 of the Lauren Salzman series. We are studying one of the top leaders of Nxivm, a woman who claims she is a victim and seeks leniency from the court regarding sentencing.
Her sentencing guidelines reportedly suggest a prison sentence of 3-5 years. But, as we learned from Clare Bronfman, plea deals are meant to be broken – and sentencing guidelines mean nothing in the federal system.
Lauren might get a suspended sentence or be sentenced for 20 years. It’s up to the judge and he’s not bound to anything.
Lauren has one thing going for her. She was the only one of the Nxivm defendants to testify in court at the trial of Keith Alan Raniere. She did a pretty good job of sinking Raniere. But I doubt she was doing it to help victims or anyone other than herself.
In this post, Lauren is testifying about how she lied about the brand – to take responsibility for the insane idea – because Keith told her to lie to cover up his role in DOS.
This occurred in the immediate aftermath of Frank Report stories, beginning in June 2017, about DOS.
Keith – the dumb rascal – was trying to get Nxivm members to believe he had nothing to do with DOS – indeed he knew nothing about branding or anything.
I was reporting the opposite on Frank Report: That Keith, Lauren and Allison were the prime movers of DOS – and they were.
Lauren lied to everyone, even to her own mother.
AUSA Tanya Hajjar is examining Lauren.
AUSA Hajjar is asking Lauren about the various lying excuses Keith had devised for Lauren to explain the brand.
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?
Q You testified earlier that the DOS meetings where the defendant attended were recorded?
Q After DOS was publicly disclosed [by Frank Report] were your meetings recorded?
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.
Q And who came up with this idea of bar alpha mu?
Q Were there other steps that you were to take with respect to bar alpha mu to make it seem as though that’s what DOS had been?
A Yes. Keith wanted us to make a website and so we did and that the formal name of the sorority was going to be Bar Alpha Mu, we decided that, after, like in the fall .
Q And some point after that did you communicate with Monica Duran?
A I did.
Q What did you say?
A She had gone back to Mexico. Her mother was ill and she was caring for her and so she wasn’t present and so I was texting her saying, you know, “I miss you and FYI the new name of the sorority is Bar Alpha Mu” and she said “since when?” And I said “since always.”
Q What did you mean — what did you mean by that?
A That the party line, the story on it was this was always the name.
Q And do you understand that Monica got that?
A Yeah. She said “okay, got it.” Yeah, yeah, she understood what I was saying which is that it was always Bar Alpha Mu. It was never Keith’s initials.
Q Did you follow the defendant’s instructions about what to tell people about DOS?
Q And did you deny the defendant’s involvement in DOS?
Q Did you lie to your mother about the defendant’s involvement in DOS?
A I did. I lied to everybody about it.
Q How did your mother react?
A Horribly. My mother — well, I mean, this going public and all of the allegations and everything that we’ve been talking about, inspired a massive like de-enrollment from NXIVM. People were scared, people were leaving and my mom felt — and the only people whose names had been public [Through Frank Report – this was months before the NY Times wrote their story] were mine and Allison’s [slaves]. So my mom felt that basically a group of women impulsively didn’t think things through and decided somehow that it was a good idea to go give tribute to Keith by branding his initials next to their vaginas and giving seduction assignments.
And she was like “how could you do this? How could you be so impulsive and not think and put our whole company, everything that we’ve worked for, for 20 years in jeopardy? Like I just don’t even understand how you could do this”. She was like so upset, so upset, and she blamed me and my friends, I mean, Allison she knew of, there were others she suspected but basically she blamed us for destroying her company.
Q Was it difficult for you not to tell your mom the truth about the defendant’s role as your master?
A Yes, it was so hard. And she said, “I went to Keith and he told me he knew nothing of this.” And so I was like, [to her mother] “yes, it was me.”
Q Who else did you lie to?
A I lied to everybody. I lied to the entire community about it. I lied to the media about it, I lied to everybody about it.
Q Did you address the community publicly?
A I did.
Q Did you lie about the defendant’s involvement then?
Q Did your DOS slaves learn more information about DOS during and after this period of time when DOS went public?
Q What happened?
A Well, Sarah left the initial weekend and then Audrey started to learn more and she started bringing concerns to me and she had a discussion with Danielle [Roberts] who knew that Keith was involved and Danielle told her that Keith was involved and so Audrey came back to me and said, ‘I’m very troubled to learn that Keith’s involved,’ you know, and basically ‘you lied to me,’ you know, and that’s troubling and as well like I just really think that there’s a big ethical issue and an incredible — like a situation where abuse –like she was very concerned about abuse of power and she was like this is an incredible abuse of power and I think that there’s no ethical checks on Keith and this is very concerning to me.
Q [showing Lauren some copies of texts] Are these messages with Audrey in the immediate wake of public disclosure of DOS?
A Yes, they are, yes.
Q And where you write, “Do you understand that I didn’t know any of the stuff I shared with you the other night and also that Keith didn’t know any of this, he just found this out when we did.” Was that truthful?
Q What were you telling her there?
A I was telling her that everything we were learning about Keith’s initials and seduction assignments was something that I just found out and that Keith also didn’t know.
Q At around this time, and subsequently, did you receive requests for return of collateral?
Q Who asked for their collateral back?
A Audrey and Kristin did but many other people did, too. People who I didn’t enroll and other people below me in line and in my lineage.
Q Did you personally receive requests for collateral back?
A I did, yes.
Q And what did you when you received those requests?
A I forwarded them to Clare.
A Because Clare was heading up our legal initiatives.
Q Do you recall when Audrey requested her collateral back from you?
A Not the specific date, but I recall that she did. I remember that she did.
Hajjar showed Lauren a copy of an email
A She [Audrey] sent me this on July 7th and then requested it to the executive board on July 10th. The executive board of NXIVM.
Q What was the content of the request for collateral back? What did she want?
A She wanted to know that her collateral basically would be destroyed. She wanted the collateral — all the collateral back and she listed it and she said that if I didn’t respond to it she was going forward the request to the executive board.
Q Did she list out the collateral she had –
Q — she had given you?
A Yes, specifically she listed it.
Q What was the list that she requested the return of?
A It was the naked pictures she had given me, the videos that we had made together disparaging people in her life, the letter accusing her boyfriend of domestic violence, two videos or a paddling video and some pictures that she had taken with — naked pictures that she had taken with her circle. I recall — I mean her bank accounts were part of the collateral but I don’t recall specifically what was to be done with that.
Q Did she say anything about the circumstances under which the collateral had been taken?
A Yes, that she believed that it was under false pretenses, that we had lied about Keith’s involvement and gained it based on misrepresentations.
Q You testified that Audrey sent this request for collateral to you on July 7th?
Q Was it then forwarded onward?
A Why did I forward it or why did Audrey?
Q Had Audrey said that she would forward it if you didn’t respond?
A She did, she said if I didn’t respond she was going to forward it to the executive board —
Q And did she?
A — of NXIVM. Yes, she did.
Q Who did she send it to?
A … Initially she sent it to me and then she forwarded it to myself, Keith, Allison and cc-d Nancy [Salzman] , Karen, Omar [Boone], Alex [Betancourt], Emiliano [Salinas], and Clare [Bronfman].
Q What was the date on which the email was forwarded?
A It on July 10th, 2017.
Q Did Audrey get her collateral back?
A No, nobody their collateral back.
Q Did Kristin make a similar request for the return of her collateral?
A She did, yes.
Q When was that?
A Around the same time, a little bit later than Audrey.
Q Did she send it to you — what form did that request take?
A It was an email as well.
Q Around when was this email sent to you?
A The end of September in 2017.
Q And who else was it sent to?
A It was sent to the entire executive board.
Q To include?
A It was sent to Alex, Emiliano, Clare, Karen, Omar, and myself.
Q And in the email what did Kristin request the return of?
A She requested the return of a video about her business and religion, a letter to her sister, a false journal entry about her parents and a photo of a letter denouncing her religion.
Q And were these all items of collateral that had been committed?
A Yes, they were.
Q Did Kristin express anything about the circumstances under which this collateral — she had given the collateral?
A That she felt that they were false pretenses and that she was lied to on multiple occasions in the enrollment process about the brand and specifically the obtaining of collateral.
Q Why wasn’t their collateral returned to them or destroyed?
A I mean in the end because Keith said not to but, you know, the theory behind it was that it had been given to hold a promise and that promise was still valid even if they broke their promise, it was given for something in exchange for something, there was an agreement and so that agreement still existed at least in theory.
It is very telling that Lauren had no compunction about lying to her mother for the sake of Keith. She put Keith ahead of her mother, ahead of everyone and ahead of the truth.
How she could say she was doing this for higher principles, I cannot see. She was perhaps in love with Keith and in her devious, reckless, self-destructive and selfish love, she was prepared to hurt anyone, lie to anyone.
She was hoping Keith would make her number one.
It was selfish. She knew Keith had more authority than her mother in Nxivm. It was Keith that authorized her $200,000 per year salary, that paid for her two cars, her two homes, her trips to Mexico and elsewhere as one of the leaders of Nxivm. He could take it away in one second.
She knew where her bread was buttered. With Keith, not mama. So she lied to her mother as Keith instructed. She miscalculated though. She did not realize that the branding was the end of Nxivm and Keith and her.
She was through. Her days of making $200,000 were over the minute the first post about branding came out in the Frank Report.
Keith was finished too.
This would have been the moment for Lauren to have told the truth. She would not be facing prison now. And it was the time she should have supported the return of collateral to the women who wanted it returned – based entirely on how it was gotten – through false pretenses.
Lauren Salzman is a liar. Like Keith, she has no excuse for her lies. And if you, as I do, judge a person by how honest they are, then Lauren is bad. There is nothing noble about her. Nothing great or good.
We see her now in her sickening role as a mock victim – an abused little girl who could not help but lie for him. She wants to be excused for her crimes. But when she was a leader in Nxivm, she was arrogant, a woman who wanted others to believe she was a most noble, ethical, spiritual, and wise woman.
Instead of admitting she was a born liar and that lying came easy to her and that in her life she never learned that ethics is based on telling the truth and nothing else, she lied about DOS and lied when she testified she was a victim.
During her testimony, her words betray her.
In refusing to give back collateral to DOS slaves who had requested its return, this female monster supported the preposterous notion that “the theory behind the collateral was that it had been given to hold a promise and that promise was still valid even if they broke their promise, it was given for something in exchange for something, there was an agreement and so that agreement still existed at least in theory.”
When you extract a promise by lying, it is never valid.
Lauren lied about Keith’s involvement – and that made the entire promise of the women and their collateral pledge invalid.
Yes, I understand she helped the prosecution – and may even be continuing in her role as an informant and potential future witness in an ongoing investigation and possible future trial.
But let’s face it, were Keith and her not to have been caught, she would be lying to women this very day.
I suspect that much of what she told the prosecution was lies. Not so much in what she said, but in the way she said it – with her cast in the role of victim – which was a lie.
And what about all the other crimes that she wasn’t asked about? Did she tell the prosecutors about them?