Why Did Nancy Salzman Flip Flop From Hating to Loving Raniere After They First Met?

Vanguard [Keith Raniere] and Prefect [Nancy Salzman] during a happier time, when the two were working in tandem to teach the world a new visionary method of critical thinking they called Rational Inquiry. But for the irrational pecker of the founder, and a cauterizing pen, they might be still doing so today,

Nutjob, one of our most dignified commenters, met the principles of the early cast of Nxivm. He recently wrote an intriguing comment about the days when Nancy Salzman first met Keith Alan Raniere.  I decided to make it into a post: Witness Gives Glimpse of When Nancy Salzman First Met Raniere and Thought He Was a Psychopath.

The gist of the story is that Nancy seemed to know at first that Raniere was a psychopath, and seemed to want to run from him when they first met in 1998. She went through a period of doubt, followed by certainty. Within a month, somehow she changed her view and found him to be the best and greatest man she ever met.

Nutjob, who knew them both back then, has some further thinking on the subject of Nancy’s sudden change, with some new never before published details. For those who study the cult of Nxivm, I think this is well worth reading. Even for those who study cults in general this is an important post, for it speaks to the very genesis of a dangerous cult,-the merging of two forces, Raniere, the founder and leader, the thinker and his prey, Nancy Salzman, the eager executor of his nefarious plot.

By Nutjob

Why did Nancy Salzman flip-flop?

Most of my answer is spitballing, but it’s a question I’ve thought a lot about.

The easy answer would be that Keith started sleeping with her. But, I don’t think that’s correct. Nancy was dating an exec from Con Ed in the fall of 1998 – Mark, maybe was his name? (I’ve wished for a long time that Mark would give Frank a call because he could fill in a lot of blanks).

I don’t think Keith would have allowed Nancy to have a boyfriend if Keith was already sleeping with Nancy.

Mark was really cool and was great for Nancy. They seemed to have a real connection. Then, one day out of the blue, Nancy dumped him and Mark was gone forever. She said it was because Mark was a leveler, or a parasite, or a shifter or something – one of Keith’s words that he used to cut people off at the knee.

It was obvious to me that Keith had told Nancy to dump him.

In 1998, Keith Raniere, Nancy Salzman, and Toni Natalie worked together to start Executive Success Programs which later was called Nxivm.

The other thing we know about Keith is that he played the long game with his women. I think part of the flip flop had to do with Nancy starting to like/have a crush on Keith. His long game was starting to work. I think Nancy dumped Mark because she thought it would help her get Keith.

I’d guess that Nancy started sleeping with Keith at the time she dumped Mark. I’m telling you, this guy Mark was a keeper for Nancy. There must have been something starting up with Keith in order for her to so flippantly move on from Mark. My point from all this babble – Keith’s long-game kicked in, and Nancy started to have romantic feelings for Keith during the time she flip-flopped. This played a part in her decision to start “the business”.

People assume that Nancy started the business with Keith because of money. Who doesn’t want to be at the top of a pyramid scheme?

But, I think money was a reason she almost didn’t start up ESP. Nancy was killing it as a consultant and had her own private counseling practice. Her starting Executive Success Programs [ESP] was a risky financial decision because she was already hooked up with great income/jobs. ESP would take her away from this certainty and this thriving part of her life.

I think the biggest reason for the flip flop is the obvious answer. Keith sold Nancy on the idea.

Keith had his women all sell Nancy on the idea.

In the early days, Toni Natalie and Nancy Salzman were friends. Keith Raniere used his cadre of women to persuade Nancy that he was tops.


Keith Raniere and the late Pam Cafritz, Pam was always willing to share Keith with other women and would lie for him in any fashion he desired.

Pam Cafritz, Kristin Keeffe, Barbara Jeske, Toni Natalie, Karen, Gina (?) were all entering Nancy’s life and becoming quick friends with her.

I think everyone ganged up on Nancy and sold her on the idea. Starting with his past-life crap that he knew Nancy would believe.

The early days when Nancy Salzman taught the philosophies of Keith Raniere.

Keith probably used every trick in his book. Hypnosis, NLP, sales tricks, seduction, peer pressure, etc.

One last thing about this. Prior to the flip flop, Nancy was talking about Keith a heck of a lot.

In retrospect, it was obvious that she hadn’t made up her mind, and she was looking for people to tell her that she was making the correct decision. Why keep meeting with him and keep talking about him if she had 100% made up her mind?




About the author



Click here to post a comment

Please leave a comment: Your opinion is important to us! (Email & username are optional. To leave a name, click on the email icon)

  • Ok so now, you are clearly just censoring…i still have a copy of the message i posted and nothing is agressive nor insulting.

    You post on first page bangkok which is nothing but insults but fair answer, nope.

    You genuinely are a child…you can’t argue, you can’t defend a faulty position so you censor.
    People expect this from a 12 years old…not an adult.

    Jeesh, i know that you , atleast read it. And i know you know my 2 answers that YOU choosed to not post were not breaching YOUR rules.
    Your problem is that you targeted me, who is not rude to everyone but those who deserve it…
    But you can’t take responsability for being wrong.

    Grow up.

    The worst in this is that Nutjob asked me a question and you blocked my answer…

  • Kim Snyder
    Sad that Nancy and Keith aren’t side by side in jail- for murdering my OWN sister. They both had a hand in murder- but it may never get solved.
    Nancy and Keith both had a hand in stealing money from people- and using it for themselves, that is robbery!!!!!!
    Nancy and Keith both deserve life sentences- they are both killer’s.
    Nancy and Keith need to be exposed for who they are

  • “People assume that Nancy started the business with Keith because of money. Who doesn’t want to be at the top of a pyramid scheme?”
    That is a faulty assumption to think that everyone would aim to this… I, for example, wouldn’t want that at all…
    Many victims had money (before the cult took it from them) and obviously didn’t aimed at this either.

    But the Salzmans definitely had a lot of interest in money…

    “Nancy was killing it as a consultant and had her own private counseling practice”
    Except it wasn’t successful…so the risks were minimal…plus in 98, Raniere probably didn’t talk about the downsides of his business…just the upsides (and since the authorities didn’t punish him at the time, no one could know unless they were involved).
    So the speech from a “successful businessman(-ish)” is enough to convince that there is no risk…

    “Keith probably used every trick in his book. Hypnosis, NLP, sales tricks, seduction, peer pressure, etc.”
    Except he isn’t the expert in those domains…at least for some.
    Hypnosis and NLP are a concept the Salzmans exercised, the sales tricks were from his other associate (like Toni), seduction…let’s not go there but the last one could fit…
    It’s typical Raniere.

    “Why keep meeting with him and keep talking about him if she had 100% made up her mind?”
    Partially true but likely she was close to making her mind up…It didn’t take much (especially since back then, there was nothing to support the idea)
    It’s not like there was an existing structure. He came from a business scam, not a cult…
    And sorry to say, but Nancy has a lot of responsibility in the creation of nxivm/esp.
    The therapeutic side of the cult is out of Raniere’s domain of competence (which isn’t much in anything).

    • It appeared and was presented as if Nancy had a successful consulting business. Can you please share how you know this is false? Or are you referring to the counseling practice not being successful?

      HH has talked about Keith using hypnosis pre-Nancy.
      Keith taught sales workshops pre-Nancy.
      I’d be shocked if Keith didn’t study NLP pre-Nancy – we know for a fact he knew of NLP pre-Nancy.
      Seduction? – dude is a gnome and somehow built a harem of women. I’ll role the dice and say he knew what he was doing in this area.

      Of course Nancy has a lot of responsibility in the creation of ESP/NVIVM. I’m not saying otherwise.

      Just curious – does it annoy you when people CAPITALIZE words in order to show emphasis?

  • What makes you think Nutjob is a dude? LOL

    I think the other women had a MUCH larger influence in changing Salzman’s mind than Raniere did. LOL

  • Thanks, Nutjob. I’ve only met Nancy in passing but did chat with her online rather extensively in the spring of 1998 and, as I mentioned, I heard an earful about her from Gina who seemed to mostly admire her in the same way Allison Mack is said to have spoken highly of Barbara Bouchey’s exemplary “executive success.”

    I referred to Nancy then, rather insultingly perhaps, as “Dr. Schleppenger” — after a call-in radio talk show hostess, Laura Schlessinger. I was a bit peeved that Gina had apparently and either with the best intentions on her part or inadvertently due to the key logger on our home computers invited Keith & Co. into our personal life and it wasn’t pretty. Especially not when I kept accepting Steve Ose’s private chat invites and declining Keith’s just to teach him a lesson on cyber snooping.

    It got much more complicated when my ex-husband, using the same computer I did in his office, inadvertently began interacting with these ESP entrepreneurs online and Keith offered to send him over 300 pages of chat material on me and, vice-versa, offered me a videotape of my ex on a website called “Private Eyes” — but that’s another story for another day I do hope I live to tell.
    I’m not exaggerating.

    I agree with your impression that Keith sold Nancy on “the business” but I can’t shake the feeling I’ve always had that there was something else going on with Nancy, possibly related to both she and her daughters’ father — and definitely with Nancy’s NLP, hypnotherapy training.

    While online with Nancy and/or Kristin Keeffe, who was certainly part of the Dr. Schleppenger team — most recently confirmed to me by Bangkok’s comments — Nancy employed her impressive hypnotherapy skills and seemed quite pleased with herself in doing so. Sometimes, I would merely play along, other times IDK maybe there was some hocus pocus going on.

    In any case, I wish you could elaborate on that side of Nancy that I experienced as one of her unwitting subjects. Maybe that was what ESP and Keith offered to her that her run-of-the-mill business consultant role did not — the opportunity to use her hypnotic manipulation arts on people in positions of power or perceived power.

    For Gina, too, there was this sense that she was on a secret mission she believed was for more than Keith and his sad dick.

    Again, DOS, TEN-C, the secret book Lauren testified about, collateral collecting (such as Barbara Bouchey’s pre-2009 vagina shot found among 42 library floors of spy data), missions among Monks that Allison, too, took to Mongolia and Sara Bronfman took to her hot tub, Clare’s infiltration of the WJC computers, all the “secret” societies — in short, the romantic trappings of a young girl’s heart — existed within the NXIVM inner-circle long before “DOS” came to light.

    Were you privy to any of that nonsense in your relationship with Nancy, Nutjob?

  • In summary, women are morons. They have a good man right in front of them and they screw it up with a psycho loser, or something else.

  • Very interesting, Nutjob. You filled in some blanks, here and raised some equally interesting questions. Some have compared Raniere to Manson, but that doesn’t work for me. Manson was small but tough.

    I think he’s more comparable to Gregory Rasputin, who also had a weird charismatic ability to influence women. They were both able to influence women into influencing women.

    I do agree with most of what you say, but I think that Nancy considerably enhanced any NLP type of mind control and covert hypnosis skills Raniere already had. He just wasn’t intelligent or disciplined enough to pick all that up via self-study. He was too lazy.

    These are my speculations, only.

    Do you think that Nancy might have replaced money as the goal when the hope of real romance with Raniere faded?

    • I do. But by that time, her other income was gone and she was kinda stuck. Plus ESP was exploding and it looked like she made the right financial decision.

      Nancy had a bad business partner. Problem was, the bad business partner WAS the business.

      Nancy’s real shot at ejecting happened when Toni left in early 1999 and Keith crazily tried to get her back. Nancy should have been able to see that Keith was not normal. But, she kept buying into his insanity and even repeated insane Keith rantings. She’d tell people that Toni needed to come back to Keith so Toni could have Keith’s avatar baby that would save the world. Even if Nancy didn’t believe this, she acted like she did. IMO, that was Nancy’s best opportunity to see the writing on the wall and get away from the lunatic. Soon, Lauren was fully ensnared, and it was way more difficult for Nancy to eject. For the next 20 yrs, when she wasn’t burying her head in the sand, Nancy was covering/making excuses for Vanguard.

      • I feel like you try desperately to find a means to defend Nancy’s behavior.
        As such, it’s not bad but you seem to ignore many points…
        First, she is the one who drove her daughter into Raniere’s arms so it was never a question for Nancy to leave.
        Second, the avatar concept is something that Nancy never seems to be connected with…her daughter was but he didn’t promise this to everyone…and it seems it wasn’t as old as 20 years…
        Third, she was way more implicated than a simple victim under pressure.
        Nancy never got the pressure (and wasn’t under coercion)…she made her bed and slept happily in it for 20 years.

        One could argue (understandably) that it’s a cult and it tends to mess with people’s minds but that is working for the victims…
        Nancy was the co founder…she had the therapeutic, NLP, hypnosis card.
        Nancy was (partly) the cult.

        I don’t know, while you might have more insider knowledge than us, I feel like you are trying to find excuses for Nancy…
        and I don’t know if it’s possible to excuse someone who is behind most of the modules…She wasn’t brought into ESP, she built it…

        • I know it sounds like excuses. To me, I’m just relaying what I saw, and trying to make some sense of the psychology around the ESP startup.

          I don’t believe the FR myth that Nancy drove her daughter into Raniere’s arms. Of all things to lie about under oath, this seems like an odd one for Lauren to pick.

          There was value in a lot of the modules. ESP wouldn’t have worked if there wasn’t. This value in many of the modules worked as a cover for Keith to lay the groundwork for his insane ideas.

      • Nutjob, where have you been with all this Golden info? Speak up, man. (Sorry, btw, once mistook you for a woman we both know.)

        …You do know Toni has always been and always will be irreversibly infertile and both Keith and Nancy know that. Directly from Toni’s infertility Drs. She had to adopt her son.

        I mean, how much more insane does it get that Keith and Nancy should both insist she bear the blasted Avatar baby?

        I recall vividly Gina exclaiming how insane Keith was over Toni, after he was supposedly a renunciate all those years, but didn’t know Nancy was having sex with Keith while helping with the effort to get her back and I’m talking kidnap schemes, spy missions, Barb Jeske caught red-handed stealing her mail…Nancy knew of and must have directed all of that.

        Nancy is no simpering flower, the way you’re describing her. When Nancy sets out to manipulate — and when isn’t she NLP
        voo-doo level manipulating everyone ? — she gets her way, she humiliates, she taunts, she screeches, she demands, she has no shame, she sent girls to f*ck — not massage — political allies, she pulls out all the stops.

        You seem to have some special fondness for her but I’m sorry to say I believe and Frank knows what she did to Kris Snyder’s family, to my sister and my family and what she and Lauren both did to the entire Fernandez family whether they’re still in denial over it or not. And the same goes, frankly, for the Bronfmans, many, many others she entrapped and sucked the life from — the woman’s a succubus who sucked and sued, blackmailed Doug Rutnik (former Presidential candidate Kirstin Gillibrand’s Dad) for starters. Look at what she did to Joe O’Hara! She treated Kathy Russell like dirt, groomed that poor lady into a granny ballerina sex doll after luring her from her family, commandeered the Bronfman jet and bank accounts, had Mark Vicente altering evidence for her — Can we only know about that because Rick Ross and Peter Skolnik spent decades and millions to expose that little criminal act…Nancy’s (Along with redacted) the connect to most of the political corruption that went on, the subtle bribery, campaign donation bundling all the way up to the DNC. And she ratcheted a lot of those connections out of Joe O’Hara, using the Bronfman bucks to leverage Joe’s own clout against him to get him thrown in jail. And don’t think for a second she’s not still at it.

        I don’t know how I ever mistook you for a woman, Nutjob. This is not meant as an insult. However, you seem to have that male mentality that holds a woman harmless for any activity that involves having a brain. Keith may have masterminded most things but Nancy is no blushing flower when it comes to doing some masterminding of her own.

        She “had a bad partner” — bahaha. Well, yeah, when you partner with Lucifer and sacrifice your daughters to him — figuratively speaking. What could go wrong?

      • The author said most of the thoughts on the reasons for the flip flop was speculation. Without hearing from Nancy, speculation is all we have.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” Parlato was also credited in the Starz docuseries "Seduced" for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Additionally, Parlato’s coverage of the group OneTaste, starting in 2018, helped spark an FBI investigation, which led to indictments of two of its leaders in 2023.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premiered on May 22, 2022. Most recently, he consulted and appeared on Tubi's "Branded and Brainwashed: Inside NXIVM," which aired January, 2023.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com