This is Part #5 of our series on the testimony of Mark Vicente, the second witness in the trial of Keith Alan Raniere.
He is examined by AUSA Mark Lesko and in this relatively short post, Vicente talks about Lauren Salzman. It is of particular interest for it gives us a glimpse of the strange and depressing relationship Lauren had with her Vanguard, Keith Alan Raniere.
Q You previously discussed Lauren Salzman. If you could remind us, who was Lauren Salzman within NXIVM?
A So Lauren Salzman was the daughter of Nancy Salzman, who was the CEO of the company. Lauren Salzman was on the executive board. And she was the head of education and the stripe path, the sashes. She was also my coach, and she was, in essence, the leader of the greens, the senior proctors.
Q So how did you interact with Lauren Salzman as your coach?
A We were supposed to meet at least once a week. We tended not to. Perhaps it was once a month. So we had a coaching relationship, and then we also had a friendship. We worked on a number of projects together throughout the year, and of course, on the [Nxivm] executive board.
Q Did she ever work with you regarding your lack of tribute to the defendant [Raniere]?
A She did. We worked on that a great deal…. There were many, many discussions about it. You know, for instance, [she’d say] “tribute’s the problem,” and then I would recut the movie [he was making in Mexico], put more of [Raniere] in. And then people didn’t respond well to it, and I say, “I think it’s too much honestly.” And she’d say “Well, actually — you’re now overcompensating. In other words, you still have this tribute problem, but now it’s the other way around, you’re overcompensating, something that’s still a problem.” Just went in circles.
Q Did you discuss concerns about your pride with Lauren Salzman?
A Yes. They were in the nature of disagreement, but she would often point out that my need to protect my image is a problem, you know, and that pride is a huge problem. There was a lot of discussion in the organization about pride being one of those terrible things.
Raniere would talk about pride as this thing that would just really get you…. It’s almost — and he didn’t say it that way, but it’s almost like Satan. You know. Satan’s hiding in all kinds of corners. Pride is hiding in all kinds of corners. You know, when you least expect it, it will get you. That’s why you have to be vigilant with, you know, true humility and busting your pride. And Lauren Salzman would have a lot of those discussions with me as well.
Q Do you recall having a discussion with Lauren Salzman about her having a baby?
A I do. It was … at Apropos, during, I think, one of the coach summits when I said to her, “Why don’t you just go and have what you want in your life? Why don’t you just go and have a baby? Because I know you want one.” She said, “I do, but I’m not ready”. I said, “What do you mean you’re not ready?”
“Well, Keith says I’m not ready,” and I was confused. I couldn’t understand how Keith was advising her on whether or not she was ready to have a baby. That was confusing to me.
Q Did you have a conversation with Lauren Salzman involving the defendant asking if she loved him?
A Yes. … That was actually also at Apropos [in] the Proctor room. She was struggling with something that he had asked her to do, and she was feeling unwilling to do it. She didn’t tell me what it was. And then she said to me, “It kills me because then he says to me, ‘Don’t you love me?’ And I [Lauren] go, ‘of course, I love [you]’. So of course [I have to do what he wants].”
And I couldn’t understand how a friend and somebody, you know, who runs a division was having those kinds of discussions with Raniere. It didn’t make sense to me.
To me, the last two answers are the key to Raniere’s relationship with Lauren Salzman. Let us review them a little.
Mark knew Lauren wanted a baby and she was not getting any younger. This conversation probably occurred when she was in her late 30s.
He says to his coach, Lauren, “Why don’t you just go and have what you want in your life? Why don’t you just go and have a baby? Because I know you want one.”
Lauren: I do [want a baby], but I’m not ready.
Mark: What do you mean you’re not ready?
Lauren: Well, Keith says I’m not ready.
Mark said he was confused as to why Keith was advising her on whether or not she was ready to have a baby. Most likely Mark did not understand that Keith was to be the father. Lauren, full of secrets, would not have told Mark this important detail.
Lauren did not keep it a secret that she wanted a child. And here, astonishingly, you have a woman almost 40 telling Mark she is not ready to have a baby.
A woman nearing age 40 who is not ready to have a baby is not likely to ever be ready to have a baby. Anyone would know that, except Lauren. And as we know, Lauren never did have a baby. At age 42, and facing possible years of incarceration, she is not likely to ever have a baby.
Yet, that was the one accomplishment of life that she wanted – to be a mother. The beast stole that from her, leading her on for 15 years or more.
This militates towards leniency for Lauren, in my mind.
Next, we get to Raniere’s classic mind-bending. Again, Mark and Lauren talked at Apropos, in the Proctor room.
Lauren did not want to do something, probably something she knew in her soul was cruel and evil. Though she would do just about anything to please Keith and by doing so perhaps get him to feel she was ready to have a baby, this particular something that he asked her to do was something she was struggling with. In short, she knew it was wrong.
It is typical of the Nxivm way, that she did not tell Mark what it was that he asked her to do, but only that she was vastly uncomfortable about it and that she told Raniere that she did not want to do it [whatever it was].
Lauren confides to Mark, “It kills me because then he says to me, ‘Don’t you love me?’ And I go, ‘of course, I love [you]’. So of course [I have to do what he wants].”
Raniere put her obedience to his whims, prideful demands, and downright evil orders that she knew in her heart was wrong, on a “Don’t you love me?” basis.
This is how a cult leader operates. “Don’t you love me?” If you do, then you will do anything I ask. And poor pathetic, stupid, selfish Lauren – who wanted above all to have a baby with Raniere – always went along. If she had to oversee a young woman being confined in her room for two years, or get young women who trusted her into a blackmailing and branding sorority, without telling them that Raniere was the secret leader, she would do it – because if she did not, it would show she did not love Raniere [and then he might not let her have a baby].
Implicit in all this, and herein lies the danger, and is our lesson for all cults, – was that he always knew best. That he should not be questioned. That he was the smartest man and anything that pricks your conscience and stabs at your heart is your own fault and misunderstanding and it is all to be reduced at all times of doubt to “Don’t you love me?”
Vicente couldn’t understand how his friend, his coach and a long time, and advanced member of this supposedly fantastic, self-help, human empowerment group, the woman who actually ran the education division of the entire organization, was having these rather infantile and idiotic discussions with Raniere – about being ready to have a baby at age 40, or willing to do some unpleasant deed because she could not be permitted to think for herself since that would show she did not love the leader of the group.
This is classic cult behavior, but when you’re in it, in the midst of it, you are caught up in the potential of its goodness for you and others.
Lauren felt that by deferring, for decades – losing the best child-bearing years of her life waiting to be ready – that ultimately she would one day be blessed with the baby and then have priority over all the other women he was having relationships with. She would not only be the leader of education, but she would have the ocular proof of her ascendancy over the other women – she would have his baby.
Of course, it never happened. He had a baby with another woman, a woman who barely attended classes but lived with Keith and was his servant, Mariana Fernandez.
The cruel laugh was on Lauren, for she served him so long and was anything and everything he wanted her to be, using her intelligence and energy to work like a dog for him, always expecting the reward of a child and in the end, he chose one of the laziest and least ambitious of the women in his circle to have a child with.
Of course, this was his technique – dangling motherhood – which he did with numerous women – and always making it elusive, with one more mountain to climb, one more task to prove that you are worthy, but you are never worthy and you will always feel it is your fault.
Mark Vicente sensed something was wrong. Some great contradiction. He could not put his finger on it at first for he too trusted Raniere.
He trusted Lauren too. Nxivm operated by the concept that all these intelligent people believed in Raniere and the dirty secret was that Raniere used all of them to gaslight each other.
Lauren would gaslight Vicente that he did not pay enough tribute and, when Lauren was depressed, her mother or Pam Cafritz or some other woman would gaslight Lauren and keep her in goose step with the goals of Raniere.
The secret of this cult and many others is that the members gaslighted each other.
Part 1 Inside the Cult – Mark Vicente Explains the Various Nxivm Groups and Subgroups
Part 2 Vicente Gives Striking Details of Nxivm Intensive – Including ‘The Fall’
Part #3 Vicente Explains More of Nxivm – From Ethical Breaches, Pride, Humiliation, Feedback, Penances, Lack of Tribute to Raniere and Shunning – and He Names Names
Part # 4 Vicente Explains Society of Protectors, ‘It Was Meant to Demean Women’
Good article, thanks!
“A woman nearing age 40 who is not ready to have a baby is not likely to ever be ready to have a baby. Anyone would know that, except Lauren.”
Once again, get of your cave, caveman…nowaday, with proper supervision, a 40+ lady can have a baby.
Many methods exist for this.
“This militates towards leniency for Lauren, in my mind.”
Yeah, let’s ignore 20 years of violence, of mind bending the others and potential complicity in suicides as she was an executive and inner circle for ages.
All the while, let’s not be lenient toward Allison who was abused by lauren, nancy and (especially by) raniere…
Let us punish a victim who only was connected to crime after she was forced and only to one crime proven.
And of course, let us have leniency to a lady who took advantage of weakness of people (including Allison, remember who brought Allison the first time to raniere?)
who took their life, who coerced them (an contrary to other victim, she used blackmail and for her own interest!!).
Someone who jumped in raniere’s boat for many years without being starved, drugged or sleep deprivate. without the coercion.
Someone who accepted to emprison a young girl because she didn’t want to have an exclusive relation with the ugly one
Someone who lied about the amount of time she was member of Nxivm and Dos until she was at trial
Someone who choosed to apply violence for those who wouldn’t obey in her group…(paddling, it was said in court that while fr pretended it was Allison’s idea and that she applied it, it wasn’t…the idea is from raniere and dani, and it was applied by lauren…Allison used the cold shower and as far as known, never applied it)
And why should be lenient to her? because she wanted a baby? Allison wanted one too when she wasn’t in Nxivm and they stole every dream she had from her!
Worst, now that she is out , she is still a frequent target and this despites the proof of her being a victim who was extremely abused (and on the edge of life) because of the cult that your lovely lauren proudly defended and supported (while knowing the real purpose of everything) for 20 f*ing years!!!!
“when Lauren was depressed”
Except it never happened as many agree that she took pride in destroying people’s life!
20 YEARS, KNOWING THE TRUTH and she did what? she continued to go with it!
How many life did she destroyed during this time? out of the 16000 members?
Vast majority i can tell you as the EM and other module were conceived by her mother, herself and raniere and were applied on people who didn’t understood what they were about to do by trusting those backstabbing snakes.
Don’t defend a person who was in for so long…
I can (partially) understand defending sarah edmondson as she might not have know everything (but still knew enough about the crime so to consider, if she was an half decent person, to leave the cult) but lauren embrassed this cult, she is one of the root!
If we have to blame more than just raniere, the salzman’s definately are guilty as heck.
The DOJ didn’t have to prove Mack committed crimes, she plead guilty to two of them. So much for only a “single crime proven,” and Mack never went to trial. LOL
I wonder if Mack would like to come on my show. LOL
Can you imagine having Nancy Salzman as a grandmother !!!
Thankfully Lauren never did have a baby ! Neither her or Keith Raniere would be good parsnts. Parents put their children first, I don’t think this pair would be capable of doing so. Keith already has two children, I feel so sorry for them. Someday they will be old enough to know what kind of man their father is !!
And the moral of the story is never follow any kind of Leader.
That is not the moral of the story. The moral of the story is to keep thinking while you follow a Leader.
Here’s a question. Did Lauren really want to be a mother or did she just want to have a baby with Keith, because of what that would represent in her mind?
That is a good question and it change the sense even further…
Here’s an answer. Salzman didn’t really know what she wanted or she so mixed up and confused that your question has no relevance.
What if those with the Chinese Virus were branded sex slaves? It’s clearly not hard to use social media to draw attention to something.
Why don’t you show just a little bravery and post your criticisms on this person’s IG instead of hiding on here where only you and Hammad / Sultan give two shits.
Poor Frank, if only Oxenberg, Vicente, Piesse, Ames, and Edmondson had used their social media accounts to draw attention to the branded sex slaves from May – October 2017 instead of hiding on Frank’s blog, just as you are doing now, Frank wouldn’t have been the only one writing and exposing DOS as he often laments.
Why don’t you piss off and stick your head in the ground for following the group of such an obvious fraud for so many years.
Can you smell curry? Your comment smells like curry. Is it you? Why do you think someone criticising Kristin Rice Bowl Kreuk is from NXIVM? Kristin Straw Hat Kreuk is criticised for being deep in NXIVM and her cowardly hypocritical behaviour once the branding story broke. Still stroking it in isolation? No different then usual for you, Chinese Virus isolation or not. When have you not been a bishop flogger and all alone?
Awwwww….. did someone’s insides get a little ouchy? Be honest, are you Spanky or a superfan of Kristin Gook? A lesbian for Gook? Or perhaps someone connected to the Chinese Virus? Your emotional outbursts about this one NXIVM member alone suggests autism. It’s as if you believe this one NXIVM member does not fart. That is sad.
Your obsessive commenting about Sultan also suggests autism
Are you the autistic spanker or a Kristin Kreuk groupie? You get so triggered lol 😆
Sultan likes women and so do I. LOL
The ludicrousness of the racist sociopath calling out others for emotional outbursts, repeatedly “diagnosing” one with a biological disorder it has shown it clearly knows nothing about, while ironically beseeching them to “be honest”, would only be laughable to people who live in the world of sanity if it wasn’t so utterly pathetic. It’s as if it still really believes people who live outside its narcissistic confines would slowly come to see the light of its straw-man delusions as if they are something other than the fantasies of its rage-induced lunacy if only it repeatedly keeps shouting them down and demeaning them! Can you smell the trolling incelness through the computer? It reeks. That is sad.
LOL, you are SO Spanky! It is definitely you. The robotic autistic ramblings. Has Kristin Gook still not put on a wedding niqab for you? 🤭
I just read much of an article on the incel community here: https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/2019/4/16/18287446/incel-definition-reddit. Did you know that the incel community was initially started with good intentions in the 1990s by a woman who considered herself socially inept (especially as it came to romantic affairs) in order to help her and people like her? It was usurped over the years and slowly devolved into the misogynistic, primarily male, alt-right nuthouse that produced killers like Elliot Rodgers and Alek Minnasian, young men imbued with rage who seem to share your misogyny and/or racism. Many incels say they have forms of autism and were bullied. Isn’t it ironic that this is the type of online behavior that you either display or project onto others?
Sultan, stop responding and you won’t be targeted. It’s your response he craves. LOL
Being an incel describes Raniere perfectly, including running to the bathroom when scared: https://www.newyorker.com/culture/cultural-comment/the-rage-of-the-incels He just figured out a way around it. LOL
In her pretend-land, she is extremely brave. However, she’s not exactly a major star and therefore doesn’t draw much attention. LOL
Didn’t Raniere have two sons, one from Keeffe as well? I consider it a blessing for Salzman not to have Raniere’s son. Now she doesn’t have to explain who his daddy was to him, and he doesn’t have to grow up with an insanely dysfunctional mother, aunt, and grandmother. I say son because I believe his aborted any woman who became pregnant with a girl, as he obviously hates females.
This whole story militates the strongest possible sentence for Salzman, for at least three reasons – protect society from her, teach her a hard lesson, and serve as a warning to others considering doing something similar to her and the rest of these creeps.
These people are so gullible and manipulative, obviously some more than others. Anyone who abuses love to manipulate someone is a little shit, the operative term being little, with Raniere being the oxymoronically the biggest little shit of them all. Love is the motivating factor that should drive the intellect to see the right way. But only a correctly functioning moral conscience knows love motivates to sincerely elevate the other with what is best in an act of giving. Manipulation (which is one of the few things Raniere was good at) is mutually exclusive with sincerity and actual giving, as there is nothing sincere about it, and even if it gives, that act of giving is merely a setup to ultimately take.
Well stated, if I say so myself, because myself said it. LOL
Raniere was also good at eating pizza with hot sauce on it, something else he will probably never do again for the remainder of his life. LOL
One can have whole pizzas in jail. He will be fine
More Raniere in the movie = more cowbell: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cVsQLlk-T0s LOL