Shivani: Raniere and Nancy Salzman Knew How to Keep Sara Bronfman Happy

Sara Bronfman, Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman

Susan Dones’s post, When I First Saw Sara Bronfman She Was Kissing and Hugging on Edgar Boone Right in the Training, gave readers a glimpse of a Seagram’s heiress Sara Bronfman, aged about 25, at an Executive Success Programs intensive in what may have been 2002.

Prior to coming to ESP, Sara had divorced her husband, Irish jockey Ronan Clarke. She had several romantic relationships with Nxivm associates, apparently beginning with Edgar Boone. She went on to Emiliano Salinas, then Keith Raniere. She also had a relationship with Lama Tenzin Dhonden who was the American emissary for the Dalai Lama. In 2012, she married Libyan ex-patriate Basit Igtet, who was living at the time in Paris. Today, they have two daughters.

Keith apparently approved of Sara Bronfman’s relationship with Lama Tenzin. Kristin Keeffe tells us that Raniere would refer to the monk, Tenzin, who had taken a lifetime vow of celibacy, as Sara’s husband. He lived with Sara for a time in Clifton Park.

Lama Tenzin was instrumental in securing the appearance of the Dalai Lama in Albany, with Sara and her sister, Clare, on stage with him, and Raniere in the audience, who after the lecture came on stage and received the gift of a white scarf or sash from the Dalai Lama.

The Dalai Lama gives Keith Raniere a white scarf symbolizing purity before an audience of around 2700 in Albany NY in May 2009. This photo is particularly interesting since we can see the audience and it appears that to the right is Nancy Salzman and Pam Cafritz who gave risen to their feet. To the many hundreds, of not more than a thousand Nxivm members in the audience, this must have been seen by them as an historic, spiritual occasion.

In this post, Shivani offers insights into Sara Bronfman and about how she was likely encouraged to stay with Nxivm and to make Raniere her mentor and to make this her life’s work, something she arguably did from 2002 until at least late 2017.

While the story of how Nancy Salzman immediately became a mentor and what some believe a mother figure for Sara, Shivani raises another point that might have also lured Sara into a sense of belonging to this community:  That Sara had an opportunity to meet  intelligent, good looking and a very different kind of man.

Although Sara has been silent on Nxivm and Raniere for the past three years, up until recently she was promoting a version of Raniere’s childhood experiment/school, Rainbow Cultural Garden in Provence France. An unfortunate scandal there caused the municipality to evict her from her government owned campus for the experimental school.

Her website bio states she is not associated with Nxivm, but does not explain why. She has not made any public comment about Raniere since 2017 when she gave an interview to the New York Times Magazine in his defense. This was prior to his arrest, though the article was not published until after his arrest.

Dalai Lama and Sara Bronfman Clare Bronfman on stage Nxivm
The Dalai Lama speaks in Albany on May 6, 2009  L-R Dalai Lama, Roman Catholic Bishop Howard Hubbard, Clare and Sara Bronfman and Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings.
Artist depiction of Shivani

By Shivani

To milk the Sara cow and to get as much as possible out of her, there had to be a different set of incentives (given to her) used to keep her around. She had no economic needs and probably never will. That is not her hook. Her hook is more superficial and is somewhat status-driven, but with a hunger to be seen by others as sexually hot, desirable and yes, sexier than ewe or ewe or ewe, and this is very easy to exploit. Ah, yes it is. Trying to be an It girl.

Sara with Keith Raniere

Sara’s success is not Susan Done’s “success.” That is obvious.

Clare and Sara Bronfman

One can see that the now more matronly Sara, unlike her sister, Clare Bronfman, was and probably still is, a sensualist, rather a sybarite. This is no judgment of her. We all have our ways and means, our strengths and our tender spots.

Unfortunately, Sara hooked up with harmers and exploiters, and she still might not have faced up to it. ‘Cause, gee, she does not want to appear to be a sucking suckee sucker. Who does?

Easy-to-come-by orgasms can be a very popular hook. Like not working and getting it ALL, just with a brief come-hither.

Cum to mama bear! Papa bear. Cousin bear, whatever cuddly-wuddly “awwww yeah” bear floats one’s orgasms.

Sara Bronfman Igtet’s game could have been ooh la la! – the unencumbered seductress, and these men or women cannot be successfully fenced in with the nonsensical sexual rules which kept the more desperate hens and half-assed roosters inside of the coop for years and years, futilely digging into their poop-grounds of superfluous and deceptive off-centeredness, pretending that was it was all soooo good for their “growth.”

Raniere-directed miseries. What fun, huh. The “growth” of what? Mold? Your 19th nervous breakdown?

Nxivm American Greed
From American Greed: Nightmare on NXIVM. Sara Bronfman and Clare Bronfman with Keith Raniere at Vanguard Week

The ringmaster, Raniere, and his head pimpstress, Nancy Salzman, knew how to keep Sara Bronfman happy and how to use her to get others involved … or seduced, when it was convenient to use her services in that manner. Sara could stay SPECIAL because she needed to be special, for crying out loud.

Sara Bronfman and her lover Lama Tenzin [2009].
She might have required more orgasms than most of these poor disciple turkeys who were easier to make into sexually disenfranchised targets. And Sara could always jet off. So it was wiser to allow her to keep on jacking off like a fairy godmother. Give her a few ego-fulfilling titles and let her helpfully fill her swamp!

Susan Dones Nxivm
Susan Dones, ex-member of NXIVM

Susan Dones is no sybarite, but she seems to have observed how Sara was treated liberally and indulgently, and Susan appears to have resented it. The Saras of this world are not paying much, if any attention, when the Susan Doneses arrive at the playground. The entire territory is dimensionally, implicitly different. Susan had nothing to offer to Susan, and vice versa.

These objections to “what is”, vs. what is being presented, are the alarm bells which some tend to overlook, discount or to simply ignore.

Susan Dones has mentioned discounting a LOT of her own, personal alarm bells about what she was witnessing, observing while she was in Nxivm. Had she not discounted herself, Susan could have suffered a lot less. Eventually Susan was done with them, the accumulation of those very conflicts, which she was seeing repeatedly in various forms, reached the saturation point.

[Ed. Note: Susan Dones left Nxivm in 2009, along with eight other women, who have been called the Nxivm 9.]

One of the major points here is to help others not to get trapped, to be able to think independently and to listen to your own mind and heart and its feelings and evaluations. There are some very good voices of experience here about the deceptiveness of what are often called cults.  Like Susan, who is seeing this experience through. And very probably, she has herself back. Much respect to her.

The very best wishes to her and to her partner, too. ❤️ A lot of pain is over now.


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  • It is a respectable decision of any human being, if she chose to be there and join a project it was her decision and I respect it, I do not assume the influence of others on her ability to choose

  • This is Susan’s information. It is simple to talk about a person when they are not present. It would be interesting to know if she can hold it in front of Sara.

    • It represents the opinion of a frequent commenter here. If you could offer a rebuttal to her post, it would be helpful, maybe persuasive.

    • There’s nothing slanderous, nor angry or bitter present. These are your words, and they give the
      unmagnetic impression of a wad of your very own used toilet paper. Good job keeping yourself so obvious, though.

      Really, this is merely your judgmentality showing itself. Nothing new is here. You have chosen weak, inappropriate adjectives to support your own, personal emotionality, with dramatic and “accusatory” terminology. You cannot stand the heat, so you attack like a chihuahua. If you disagree, that does not make you either right or wrong. Your mental and emotional entrapment is easy to see, whether Nxivm contributed to your immaturity and lack of coherent thinking or not.

      With what you’ve said so far, you could not even argue your way out of a paper bag and stay intact. You would like Frank to censor me. That is all.

      However, you are on the defensive and are using vague and generalized artillery and finger-pointing, namby-pamby WAH WAH WAHs as your only offense. IF only you could see how sad but also laughable your stance appears to be, you might stop and look within and perhaps cease embarrassing yourself.

      If you can learn to see this, you will realize, at the very least, that you need to switch weapons.

      I have earned my relentlessness and will not need to fold. I can bend and am stretchy but do not give up. Giving up has not been an option, as life has been adventurous and intense right from the get-go, and there has been and is so much to explore and to learn, to absorb and to interpret. Just like everyone else, essentially, I am present for the ride but am no one’s passenger. Instead I love to be my own pilot. This is how to take every risk, from out of my own identity, as both a participant and as the witness who observes, who pays attention, who decides or who does not decide.

      Probably you have no idea what I mean by this statement. Allow me to help you with a bit of vivid descriptiveness. Your critique is like watching an ant have a hissy fit. For once, it might be useful to elucidate this, rather than to simply ignore it. Perhaps I have maintained too much politesse. Maybe this will help not only you but also others, who resort to similar methodology, unawares. You might as well just sit down and wave a white flag.

      I would simply say “kiss my ass,” but OOH! I love my ass too much to allow any insecure or disorganized messes anywhere near to its splendors. It is possible for one to be strong and also opinionated about expressing one’s thoughts, experience, analysis.

      My opinion of my ass is exceedingly, marvelously high. This ass has been utterly charming for seventy years. In fact, my ass looks about fifteen. That’s right. So hoo-haaa! Read it and gnash your teeth. Thou canst not interrupt my fun, nor even interfere. You might as well not waste your breath. Try to dig it.

      I am very happy with my waistline, as well. Happy, happy happy, I am a high-flying little energetic batch of thrills. A bullet could interrupt me, but you can’t touch this. I don’t want or need any white flag nor any surrender. My interest is that you let yourself come to life.

    • Sara is a hollow husk of a human being that escaped justice. “Mean” is the closest that entitled cow patty will ever see to justice. Sara considered it an accomplishment to pay for dumb people to coddle and worship her. Sara is indeed the queen of transactional enlightenment. She buys spirituality and people to fuck. Did she pay for your friendship, like everyone else?

      Imagine, the things said about Sara Bronfman online are edited.


  • Susan, or most of us for the case, are not rich and have not the privileges rich people have.

    What about if Sara was important to Nxivm because of the power, connections, and intelligence she has. If you want to move an organization, you need power; this is common sense.

    Despite romantic stories what about if Sara earned her growth within the organization through humanity, committed work and following the rules? That is not what Susan wants to explore.

    Susan goes for the gossip and just wants to see a shallow part of Sara´s humanity.

    • It was my decision to publish this story. Susan told it to me because I asked her about when she first saw the Bronfman sisters. I liked the story because it is insightful and gives a glimpse of the early days of Nxivm. It was not Susan going for gossip, she did not seek its publication. It was me looking to show something. Susan’s story I believe is true and speaks volumes about the way Sara was lured into Nxivm. It is not an attack on kissing or romance but obviously the behavior is inappropriate in a classroom of adults, all of whom are paying good money to learn life skills and new techniques to improve their lives- and you have some young heiress smooching with her new boyfriend—

  • “Sara’s Sister.”

    (brought to you by Nxium)

    Interior. A women’s dormitory. Prison. It is as quiet as a prison ever gets. But not completely dark. As it never is. Suddenly a scream rips the fabric of restless sleep –

    Inmate #1
    ” ohhhh (struggling to sit) who the fuc-?

    Inmate # 2
    ( overlapping)
    “- who cares?” ( puts thin pillow over her head)

    Inmate #3
    (Very loud in direction of screaming)
    ” – yo! Shut the fuck up!”

    The scream turns into choked sobs

    Inmate #1
    ” I think it’s uh what’s her uh Clarice…uh

    Inmate #3
    ” the quiet rat face white girl?

    Bronfman Clare. Clare Bronfman.

    Inmate #1
    ” what that rich bitch got to be-”

    Inmate # 2
    ” shhhh listen -”

    The dorm guard’s voice becomes audible. A light is turned on. Inmates groan and yell over the din we hear a woman screaming

    ” I gave him all my money. He has my money he has my money he has my money he has my mone-”

    The voice continues as Clare is forcibly removed from the dorm by two guards. The voice gets quieter as doors close and Clare is dragged down the hall.

    A pause. The lights go back to dim. A tense pause.

    Inmate # 1
    ( loudly) damn Clare bear.

    The whole dormitory erupts in cat calls laughter and derisive sounds until over the loud speaker we hear

    ” ladies! That is lights out!”

    The inmates bring the volume down and settle back to sleep as we

    fade to black.

    • “The entire territory is dimensionally, implicitly different. Susan had nothing to offer to Susan, and vice versa.”

      Should one of those be Sara instead of Susan?

      • Yes, and it was corrected, but the correction didn’t make it into print. The two “Susans” does mess up the meaning and was an 3r4or.

  • Lol, Shivani, maybe you are a mind reader. Lol. I agee and just submitted a comment on the Sara thread, to the same effect not nearly as wittily writ.

    Sara’s need to be fairest, most desired of them all was her Pavlovian lever and, I’ll add, well used by NX to achieve some of Keith’s world takeover goals. I’ve known this long time and said it many and don’t get why the point appears moot amidst the clamoring of egos likewise entrapped in illusory glory, furiously pounding that “ID”
    lever…feed me, feed me! Fame is fleeting.

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.

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