Here is our next in the Lauren Salzman series. And if you thought you had heard it all with group blow jobs, or Keith hiding like a coward in a closet while Lauren had machines guns pointed at her heard, think again.
This is not over yet.
Lauren is being examined by AUSA Tanya Hajjar in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere. The date is May 21, 2019.
In this exquisite little excerpt from her testimony, we get a little more info on Raniere’s quest for a virgin successor and her champion enabler, Lauren Salzman.
He told the DOS First Line women that he wanted a successor – and that she must be a virgin. They believed this – that he needed this on some mystical level; that on some supernatural level that the virgin could live for Raniere channeling his spirit after he died.
And that may have been the case, maybe that is just what he was looking for – although I rather strongly suspect that he was not looking for a virgin successor; he just wanted a virgin. To deflower.
Q Ms. Salzman, you testified that at some point while you were at DOS, you had been told a story about how DOS began.
Q What did that involve?
A That I had understood that DOS began surrounding Cami’s suicide attempt and that as part of ensuring that she would never do that again, she was asked to collateralize her life and that that was especially effective, and what I had understood was that Daniella, who was helping her, made the decision to do that as well and then they invited friends.
Q Daniella Padilla?
A Yeah, that’s what I had thought.
Q As you understood it, was Camila the first DOS slave?
Q You testified, Ms. Salzman, that Camilia was the youngest sister of Daniela and Mariana, right?
A Correct, yes.
Q You testified that you were upset to hear of Mariana’s pregnancy. Do you know what Camila’s reaction to the pregnancy was?
A It was very — it was especially upsetting and devastating to Cami. She told me that — that she had shared with — that she told Keith —
Keith Raniere’s attorney Marc Agnifilo: I will object to this, Your Honor.
THE COURT: Sustained.
BY MS. HAJJAR:
Q Did you have a conversation with the defendant [Raniere] about his relationship with Camila?
A I had a discussion with Keith about Cami’s reaction to Mariana’s pregnancy.
Q And what did the defendant say about Camila’s reaction to Mariana’s pregnancy?
A That she always knew this was an option. When she made the Vow, he had told her this was always a possibility.
Q That what was always a possibility?
A That Mariana might have a baby — that he might have a baby with Mariana.
Q And before she made the vow, what did you understand him to be referring to?
A To DOS. Like, when she agreed to be his slave and be fully collateralized in this Vow, she had known ahead of time that there was a possibility that he might have a child with Mariana and that she said she wanted to do this anyway.
Q Did Camila become aware of the pregnancy after you did?
A Yes, after.
Q Did you continue to see Camila at meetings of the first line DOS masters after this announcement?
A To me or to her?
Q Did you continue to see her at meetings?
A After — after when?
Q Well, why don’t you describe your observations of her at meetings as time progressed in DOS.
A I think in the early days when I — when I — my early days of my enrollment in DOS — and I had heard that Cami was kind of new to being a part of that group, but I found her much more engaged and enthusiastic, she was more connective with me and happier; and then after she found out about Mariana, it was very hard and she was not the same and she started talking about wanting to go back to Mexico and wasn’t sure she wanted to stay.
Q Did she, in fact, at some point, go to Mexico?
A She did, yes.
Q At some point after January 2017, did you have a conversation with the defendant about a successor?
A I did, yes.
Q What did he tell you?
A He told me that as long as he had been alive he had always had something called a successor and a witness, and this was the first time in his life that he didn’t have people in those roles because Pam had died and, for some reason, Cami wasn’t the successor. My understanding — I thought it was because of the suicide attempt, and he didn’t know if he was going to be living, like, that he — he didn’t know if he had a purpose anymore, like, he might — his life purpose might have ended without this.
Q When the defendant said he had two roles, the witness and the successor —
Q — what did you understand that — him to be referring to?
A I didn’t know what they meant and I didn’t really ask any questions about them. I just thought that it was some kind of, you know, mystical or energy thing that I didn’t understand, and even for me it seemed very out there, but I didn’t have any way to prove that it wasn’t true, and if that was something that he believed in, I wanted to respect that he believed that this was a valid thing.
Q You mentioned two —
A It was weird for me. I didn’t understand it, but…
Q You mentioned Pamela Cafritz and Camila. What roles did those two individuals occupy in this concept as it was explained to you?
A That Pam had been the witness and Cami had been the successor.
Q Do you have any understanding as to what that meant?
A I really don’t know what the witness was. I mean, it was never explained to me, but later my first-line DOS masters communicated that the successor was somebody who — had to be somebody who was a virgin and that they were looking to find a replacement for Cami, and then Nicki [Clyne] later shared that Cami had had another relationship and that was why she wasn’t the successor anymore.
Q What was the purpose of the virgin successor?
A Honestly, I don’t really understand. Rosa Laura [Junco] tried to explain something to me once that I didn’t understand.
THE COURT: Yes, the jury will disregard the answer.
BY MS. HAJJAR:
Q Did you speak to the first line DOS masters about efforts to find a successor for the defendant?
A Yes. They told me that there had been efforts to find a successor.
Q Who told you that there had been efforts to find a successor?
A I believe Daniella and Loreta [Garza] and Rosa Laura.
Q That was Daniella Padilla and Loreta Garza?
Q From the other first-line DOS masters, did you learn more about what those efforts entailed?
A That Daniella and — or Loreta were exploring possibly bringing or trying to get, like, sisters or cousins or people they knew in Mexico to come to Albany.
Q To do what?
A To possibly fill that role.
Q To fill what role?
A The successor role.
Q Did you learn from them what the requirements to fill the successor role were?
A Nothing beyond that they were a virgin.
Q Did Rosa Laura Junco explain what the point of a successor was to you — the purpose?
AGNIFILO: I’m going to object, Your Honor.
THE COURT: You may answer that.
A That she thought somehow it was, like, a person that would be so close to Keith that he would be able to, like, experience things through them, and I didn’t know if she meant — I couldn’t conceptualize what she was talking about, whether she meant experience things through them currently or experience things through them, like, if he were to die, he would be able to still experience things through them while they were still here, and I couldn’t make sense of what she was saying.
Q Did Rosa Laura express concern to you at any point about these efforts to find a successor?
Q Can you explain what her concerns were?
A She was concerned that — she ran a girls’ program for teenage girls, an educational program, and she was concerned that communications she had with Keith about the successor may somehow link the girls’ program to that.
Q Can you explain what you knew about the girls’ program?
A That it was a school for girls that — I think it started for Rosa Laura’s daughter and then other girls from Mexico were brought, mostly from the LeBaron community, to participate in an educational program that Rosa Laura was running.
Q Brought where?
A To Albany where they came, you know, they were enrolled.
Q What were they supposed to do here? What were they supposed —
A Study. Study. It was school. It was — it was a girls’ school.
Q Affiliated with NXIVM?
Ah, Keith, his stories are wonderful: DOS was started to help Cami, to make sure she did not commit suicide, not to enslave women into a sex cult to serve him. Beautiful, tender. He cared so much about Cami.
And Lauren believed it.
Noble Keith, always a man of his word, always expecting everyone to keep their ethical word. He had fairly told Cami that he might deny her the baby he had promised her for years because she had an affair with Robbie, [Esther Chiappone Carlson’s son]. And he had punished her for years over it.
She had considered suicide, but noble Vanguard saved her by creating DOS, but when he did, and he required her to make a life Vow to be his slave, he also told her, he said, that he might have a baby with Mariana, her sister. Nice touch.
And Lauren believed him.
And Lauren found no incongruity in her own life – that he had promised her the same thing – a baby – and had canceled it for years once just because she had engaged in some horseplay with a man at a volleyball game.
But Lauren did not question her Vanguard.
And when Rosa Laura – who was ultimately to offer her own virgin daughter to Keith for his successor – explained to Lauren that the successor must be “a person that would be so close to Keith that he would be able to experience things through [both of] them.”
Stupid Lauren said, “I didn’t know if she meant – I couldn’t conceptualize what she was talking about, whether she meant experience things through them currently or experience things through them, if he were to die.”
She couldn’t understand and evidently did not ask if he would be able to experience things while he was still alive or after death.
[I will take a moment to answer the question of whether Keith planned on experiencing things with a virgin while she was still alive – the answer is he was planning to give her an experience alright the first moment he got her alone.]
“I couldn’t make sense of what she was saying,” said Lauren.
Really, in order to say this, she must have been willfully blind or lying on the witness stand.
I think this is revealing. For Lauren understood much of what she wanted to understand and only some of what she did not want to understand. She knew it was possible that Keith might have meant to have something beyond the grave with his virgin successor, but she also knew that he wanted something from his virgin right now.
Notably absent – although Rosa Laura suggests it with her concern about her school for the little LeBaron girls – is any discussion about the virgin successor being under the legal age of consent.
There is a good reason. By deductive reasoning, it is clear that all of them, Loreta, Cami, Rosa Laura, Nicki, Allison, Lauren – all of them knew that the virgin was going to be under the age of consent.
I submit Lauren had no problem with this. I submit Lauren knew that he had sex with underage girls before. I believe they all knew and had no problem finding him another virgin to rape.
This time, they would call her his “successor.”
The only question I have is, did Lauren really think that a virgin successor was to be just one girl? that Keith was really just looking for one virgin?
Or were they all, wittingly or unwittingly, on the hunt for as many virgins as they could find – the younger the better? Did Lauren know that? Is that why she did not really question Rosa Laura to find out more of what she really meant?
Lauren clearly had no problem with Keith seeking a virgin. And let’s be blunt. Where was he going to find any virgin who was not underage? Did Lauren really expect that the search would be limited to virgin girls over the age of 17?
No, it was understood that the virgin was going to be under the age of consent. Nobody had a problem with that including Lauren. By this time, they had been well indoctrinated into the teachings that society made children the victims of sex with adults, not the adults who had sex with children.
Lauren accepted it.
Perhaps Tanya Hajjar should have probed Lauren – Did you know the virgin successor might be underage?
But that might have made Lauren unsympathetic to the jury and the role for Lauren was to make Raniere look bad, not herself, for her devious support of him.
I love Lauren’s stupidly confusing answer about what she understood about the virgin successor and whether it had some deeper mystical purpose than her tiny brain could understand and so no, it was not, not to her, just Keith wanting to fuck children.
She said “I didn’t really ask any questions about them. I just thought that it was some kind of, you know, mystical or energy thing that I didn’t understand, and even for me it seemed very out there, but I didn’t have any way to prove that it wasn’t true, and if that was something that he believed in, I wanted to respect that he believed that this was a valid thing.”
Yeah, a very valid thing, mystical and energetic – a 57-year-old man who wanted a 13 or 15-year-old virgin girl and for Lauren: “I didn’t have any way to prove that it wasn’t true, and if that was something that he believed in, I wanted to respect that he believed that this was a valid thing.”
Yeah, Lauren, you had no way to prove it wasn’t true?
How hard did you try?