TU Story: Raniere Arrested 3 Years Ago, Offers Insights and Chance for FR to Consider Nancy and Lauren Salzman Today

MK10ART's painting of mother Nancy Salzman with her daughter Lauren Salzman.

Yesterday, another interesting story was published by the Albany Times Union entitled 3 Years After Raniere’s arrest, NXIVM divides into victims, loyalists, guilty

It was written by Rob Gavin who has been covering NXIVM for several years and attended the entire trial of Keith Alan Raniere.

I am going to publish some select portions of the story and add a few comments (The comments will be bolded).

The TU writes: On the glass window of a nondescript office plaza on New Karner Road, the words “Executive Success Programs” are cracking and falling away. From the Capital Region to Mexico and living rooms across the world, the shuttered office is now notorious as the former headquarters of NXIVM, the cult-like organization run by Keith Raniere.

The parking lot at the 455 New Karner Road facility.

Frank Report comments: The TU is referring to the former headquarters of Nxivm, at 455 New Karner Rd. in Colonie, NY, a suburb of Albany. The building is vacant.

It was vacant when I went there last summer to film with the TV show, American Greed: Nightmare at Nxivm.

In 2019, I was invited to tour the vacant NXIVM headquarters by a member of the Nxivm executive board. Everything was lying there just as it had been when NXIVM was operational as if the people had vanished on a given day but the inanimate objects remained.

There were files and photographs. Pictures collecting dust on the walls. All the furniture was just as it was on the last day anybody used it, probably within a few weeks of Raniere’s arrest on March 26, 2018.

 

The giant sketch of Vanguard, known as Sir Keith, sketched by Michelle Salzman hanging for years at Nxivm headquarters has been removed, presumably by the artist.

In one room, there were bright colored sashes. The executive board member who invited me to visit presented me with one sash of every color, and, thus, I rose on the stripe path in 15 minutes what it took others years to accomplish. I went from white, yellow, orange, green, blue, purple to gold sash – the same rank as Nancy Salzman, the president of the company.

Then, with Raniere in custody, I assumed the rank of Vanguard – taking the white sash, the sash that was the same color that he wore.  Those who wish to address me in the future may call me “Vanguard The Second,” or just V-2, for convenience, if they choose.

What I found most interesting was that there were many photographs in albums and countless files that someone should go in and preserve or at least assess before the government sells the property, and somebody buys it and throws it all away.  The government seized the real estate as part of their prosecution of Raniere and his codefendants.

The building was purchased years ago by the Bronfman sisters, and the deal made with Sara Bronfman is that she gets some of the proceeds from the sale of this and two other buildings on the same street – up to $200,000.

The rest goes to us, the people of the United States – and will be handled by the federal government, well known for taking good care and frugal care of our money.

The “Corporate Books” for dozens of NXIVM-related corporations were on shelves, with quite a few of them stored upside down.

Along the way, someone sent me this sign which once adorned the parking lot in front of the building. It was definitely not taken recently for it is the old sign that was used for Nancy’s parking space. Another one has replaced it.

I was also gifted with a wonderful sketch of the executive board of Nxivm that was the personal possession of one of the people pictured on it.

Now back to the Times Union story:

Three years ago this week, the man known to his followers as “Vanguard” was arrested by police in the Mexican fishing village of Chacala. Raniere, 60, is serving a 120-year sentence in an Arizona prison for sex trafficking, forced labor conspiracy and racketeering.

Many of his closest followers in the once tight-knit NXIVM community have publicly denounced him as a narcissistic predator and described Executive Success Programs (ESP) as little more than a corporate front for his systems of control. Some testified against him during his 2019 trial in Brooklyn, or cooperated with the government in less public ways. Several have shared their stories in books and documentaries that have anatomized NXIVM’s collapse.

Some former members of Raniere’s inner circle have remained scrupulously quiet — especially the four women who pleaded guilty in the months before his trial and nearly two years later are still awaiting sentencing…. Clare Bronfman… remains loyal to Raniere.

It is about time I get around to demarcating who is in and who is out, for I think I pretty much know the players on both sides. I will try to do that in a future post.

There are, by the way, a cadre of Nxians who are not sure what to think about Keith Raniere.

As for the four awaiting sentencing, my take on their support of, or hostility toward Raniere is as follows:

Nancy Salzman, AKA the Prefect.

Nancy Salzman, 66: She is now against Raniere, according to people who have spoken to her. I have not spoken to her directly. According to Raniere, he has not spoken to her either [which he could do in tandem with his or her attorneys]. He may have spoken to her briefly at their last court appearance together, which was probably sometime in late 2018 or early 2019.

I cannot help but think that Nancy’s disdain for Raniere is centered primarily on her hope of not being sentenced to a lengthy prison sentence. Had she not been charged and convicted of racketeering conspiracy, [she was the first to take a plea deal], I suspect she would still be telling others that Raniere is the greatest man she ever knew and ever lived.

I do not think Nancy learned anything new about Raniere from the revelations at the trial or during the pretrial filings.

She knew he was with dozens of women, and probably knew about the underage females. She had certainly known about the allegations. She engaged in years of hiding his true nature from the people she taught and who looked up to her as a leader.

When they did not trust him, they trusted her when she told them to trust him.

She promoted a man who she knew all about and who she now says is a bad man. Maybe she had an epiphany and suddenly learned he was evil or perhaps she knew it all the time and now this new position – “I finally realized Keith deceived me” is just a self-serving position.

After all, she helped deceive women for years about Keith at his behest and now she is just learning Keith is deceptive.

This is all based on her desire to avoid spending years in prison and maybe that is understandable given her poor health.

Back to the Times Union:

Her daughter, 44-year-old Lauren Salzman, once a high-ranking NXIVM member, delivered damning testimony for prosecutors that exposed Raniere’s history of cruelty, including emotional and at times physical abuse of women and his unquestionable role atop Dominus Obsequious Sororium (DOS), in which female “slaves” pledged lifetime vows of obedience to “masters.” Lauren Salzman, a “first line” master in DOS who answered directly to Raniere, pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy; due to her testimony, she could receive leniency at sentencing.

Lauren provided, as Gavin wrote, damning testimony in the Raniere trial. I believe she has seen another side of Raniere – other than the view of him being the most ethical man in the world, and the man she hoped to marry and have a child with.

The problem with much of her testimony is that she was in a sense “singing for her sentence” so just as she in the past sang for her Vanguard, that is to promote him blindly, willfully choosing to hide certain things about him that would have made those listening run for the hills had she told the truth about him, she testified against him with a biased, well-rehearsed script I would say, that painted and characterized him as worse than he was, while at the same time abdicating for herself any [or little] responsibility for the role she played in her relationship with Raniere and her leadership role in Nxivm.

It is to be expected that cooperating witnesses will slant things to help the prosecution and it is the job of the defense to cross-examine such witnesses, grilling them hard since they are playing not only with their own freedom, but the freedom of the defendant. That did not happen in the Raniere case.

The judge halted her cross-examination – at its most critical time – because Lauren started crying. This is no joke. She started crying, acting as if she would become hysterical. It may have been true that she was out of control with tears, but the stakes were more than her feelings, A man was on trial for his life.

I will get into in a future post the point of the cross-examination when it was halted; what the defense was seeking to extract from her – that cut at the core of intent and could have invalidated her plea deal – in search of the truth – which the defense has an absolute right to do.

To have halted the testimony at this critical juncture raises serious due process issues. It does not matter what I think of Raniere. She should have been cross-examined fully, even if that cross had to be postponed to the following day to allow her to compose herself.

I cannot solely fault the judge. Raniere’s attorney made a motion for a mistrial the following morning which was promptly denied. The attorney might have then asked to bring Lauren back on the stand to continue her cross-examination after the mistrial was denied – but he did not do that.

But who knows, maybe his strategy is better. It may get Raniere a new trial on appeal.

The case may have turned on the halted cross-examination.  This excusing of a witness because she cried, and the admonishing the judge gave to Raniere’s attorney, some of it in front of the jury [and much of it not] must have had a severely chilling effect on the nature of Marc Agnifilo’s cross-examination of other witnesses going forward.

Not that I am challenging these witnesses’ testimony, but it is a fundamental due process right to confront witnesses against the defendant and I think this was denied Raniere.

It is now going to be an issue on appeal.

It probably did not need to be an issue, since had robust a cross-examination been permitted of Lauren and then of the others, the result I believe would have been the same: Raniere would have been convicted.

By the way, Lauren Salzman has sold her home at 21 Lape Rd. in Half Moon, New York, reportedly for $375,000.

Lauren Salzman’s home in the suburban Albany area of Waterford NY.

The home with four bedrooms and 1.5 baths, nestled on almost four acres, was the home Lauren bought from the proceeds of her work in Nxivm. She had planned to raise her babies sired by Raniere in this house.

I assume she sold this property because she believes she is likely to spend time in prison. Though she put this property up as part of her bail package, the court permitted her to sell it and utilize the proceeds for living expenses.

Chances are she will realize very little net from the sale since she has likely had many expenses associated with her prosecution and it is likely she has not had much income during the last two years and eight months since she has been subject to home confinement. Her legal fees were paid at first by Clare Bronfman in a trust find, but that fund was exhausted long ago.

She is likely broke. Perhaps the judge will show leniency to her in a manner perhaps similar to what he showed when he stopped her cross-examination.

There may be a case for leniency. Her life has been shattered.

How real is her disdain for Raniere? Like her mother, I suspect that she would still be with Raniere today if he had not been arrested in her presence in Mexico, while she tried to shield him. She would be still hoping to have his baby as she neared her mid-40s and drifted on towards 50.

When she makes her statement before the judge prior to sentencing I would expect her to add a little to what she already said about him, and address further realizations she might have had since the time she testified in May 2019- almost two years ago.

Keith Raniere gives his trademark kiss on the lips to Lauren Salzman.

 

Lauren Salzman and Keith Raniere on the volleyball court.

Her mother spent from age 43 to 63 being a rabid supporter of Raniere and getting plenty of reward for it as a teacher of his lessons. She has spent the last three years fighting criminal charges and doing damage control for the sake of her freedom.

Nancy Salzman, [redacted] Lauren Salzman, Keith Raniere, Karen Unterreiner
Lauren spent from around age 21 to age 41 being a follower, a member of his harem, and a teacher of his lessons and the last three years doing the same damage control her mother did. During the 20 years she was with Raniere, she was also rewarded and those rewards, as it was for the mother, were not only financial. There was payment in adulation, in respect, in honor and obedience from the community that engulfed their lives.

Their world was Nxivm, Raniere and the community that he and Nancy built. Nancy was second in veneration and respect only to Raniere and Lauren was probably third. The Bronfman sisters had perhaps more power because of the money, but they were not greatly respected or admired.

In the Nxivm community, the moral authority went from Keith, then Nancy then Lauren. These three led the community, while Clare and Sara funded it.

It is hard to say what is fair or not in Lauren’s case. If we believe in vengeance, in punishment, she deserves a stiff sentence. If we look for redemption and leniency – and we believe in mercy – she should not go to prison.

I would expect Lauren to argue she has been redeemed at her sentencing, and I vote for probation or home arrest, not that my vote matters. Still, Lauren has lost everything already: she lost respect, honor, no one looks up to her for her wise counsel as they once did and she is likely alone now with few or no friends, since all her Nxivm friends of 20 years are forbidden to have contact with her as part of her bail package and it is hard to make friends when one is on home confinement.

Maybe she has suffered enough.

As for her mother, it is hard to say. She brought her own daughter into it, and while she might have believed that Raniere was a most excellent man, she lied for him and kept things hidden, while living a life that most would say is, if not lavish, and extravagant, at least luxurious and comfortable.  She now says Raniere deceived her. I do not think that is quite honest. She and Raniere deceived others and if there was deception, it was that he deceived her when he said he and she would never get caught.

Keith Raniere has owned Nancy Salzman for years. But that ownership may now be rescinded.

I do not think Nancy was deceived in any serious particulars or even overall. She saw his vengeful nature, she saw his sex addiction, she saw his propensity to lie – and she went along with all of it.

Yet she is 66, and has suffered from cancer and, according to at least one source, she is not fully recovered. What true need is there for her to be imprisoned?  She will likely get some time in prison, maybe a lot of time – it might even be a life sentence since prison life may wear hard on this woman. And maybe it is justified, but, provided she is banned from counseling, hypnotizing, using NLP professionally, doing any kind of multi-level marketing or setting herself up as a therapist, I see little good in putting her in a prison, where because of her medical condition she might die.

In the next post on this series, I will continue to analyze the Times Union story and look at the other two women who have yet to be sentenced, Allison Mack and Kathy Russell – and where they stand with Keith Raniere.

Then we will consider a post on who is in and who is out and what they are doing now.


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Frank Parlato

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  • Here is something to entertain and laugh at. Really funny.

    2021 Canadian Screen Awards nominations: List of major TV, movies nominees

    Television
    Best Drama Series
    Burden of Truth — CBC (CBC)
    [ … ]
    [ … ]
    [ … ]
    [ … ]

    Best Lead Actor, Drama Series
    Peter Mooney, Burden of Truth — CBC (CBC)
    [ … ]
    [ … ]
    [ … ]
    [ … ]

    Best Lead Actress, Drama Series
    Kristen Kreuk, Burden of Truth — CBC (CBC)
    [ … ]
    [ … ]
    [ … ]
    [ … ]

      • “…a fleeting romance in Smallville’s Season 4 between Lana and villain Jason Teague, who came in the guise of Clark’s high school football coach. The character of Teague was played by Jensen Ackles, renown for his work on Supernatural.

        In real life, as was the case with their respective characters on screen, Kreuk and Ackles were said to be romantically involved for a short period of time. While details of their relationship remain sketchy at best, the two talented actors definitely stopped seeing each other after 2006. [when Kreuk joined NXIVM?]

        Ackles’ Audition For Clark Kent
        There is nothing to suggest that the length of their involvement was in any way influenced by their portrayal of the two characters on the show. However, things might have had a completely different outlook had Ackles been successful in his quest to be cast as Clark at the beginning of the series.

        The now 43-year old actor tried for the main role in his original Smallville audition in 2001. According to KryptonSite, the final decision eventually came down to Jensen and the eventual winner, Tom. Ackles was later cast as Teague due to his impressive chemistry with Kreuk in the audition.

        Somewhat bizarrely, however, their real-life relationship was also shoehorned between Kreuk’s two spells of involvement with her long-term boyfriend Mark Hildreth. Kreuk first started seeing Hildreth – most famous as a voice actor – in 2004. This first period together is said to have only lasted a few months before they broke up and she got entangled with Ackles.

        Caught Up In NXIVM Controversy
        Kristin and Mark would eventually reconnect and remain together for a much longer duration of time, reportedly even buying a home together in 2011. Unfortunately, their time together would eventually be marked by a much darker chapter.

        For nearly a decade, both Mark and Kristin were members of the ignominious sex trafficking cult NXIVM which had been masquerading as a multi-level marketing company. In a 2018 statement to ELLE, Kreuk claimed that she had no knowledge of the more nefarious activities of the organization and that she had ceased being a member in 2013.

        Among those indicted on charges of sex trafficking and racketeering as authorities cracked down on NXIVM was founder Keith Raniere. Perhaps more poignantly, Kristin and Jensen’s co-star on Smallville, Allison Mack was also brought up on charges and in 2019 pled guilty to sex trafficking.

        https://www.thethings.com/what-happened-between-kristin-kreuk-and-jensen-ackles/

  • Henceforth, the Frank Report shall be known as the Nicki Report.
    No matter what crimes a NXIVM member has committed, all one has to do is intone the three magic words, “I Was Brainwashed.”
    If one is a female, it helps to bat one’s eyes.
    Those magic words will cleanse one of all sins and crimes.

    I remember stories about Nancy falsely accusing men of sexual harassment.
    Men like Doug Rutnik.
    I remember Joe O’Hara telling how Nancy tried to seduce him even while knowing that he already had a girlfriend.
    Nancy Salzman even hired singer Joan Osborne to sing at her birthday party for a cost of 250,000 dollars.

    “What if God was one of us,
    Just a slob like one of us,
    Just a stranger on the bus,
    Trying to make His way home,
    Like a Holy Rolling Stone.”

    I remember that Nancy Salzman supposedly helped hack into people’s computers and altering videotape evidence.

    “Salzman admitted to conspiring to commit two criminal acts: hacking into email accounts of the group’s enemies — who were not named in court — and altering a videotape of NXIVM instructional sessions during a federal civil lawsuit that pitted the group against the Ross Institute, which is operated by cult tracker Rick Ross, who works to alert the public to the dangers of cults.”
    https://www.timesunion.com/news/article/NXIVM-President-Nancy-Salzman-pleads-guilty-in-13685799.php

    But in this new world of forgiveness for perpetrators, all Nasty Nancy has to do is claim brainwashing and all is forgiven.
    Don’t forget to bat your eyes, Nancy.

    Nicki Clyne must be writing the script for this show.

    Time to break out the cauterizing pens — it’s time to celebrate by branding some new sex slaves.
    Joan Osborne – One Of Us (Official Music Video)

    • Shadow says “Henceforth, the Frank Report shall be known as the Nicki Report.”….so why is every other comment by Shadow?

  • Mercy must be balanced with justice. These people who advocated for Raniere for two decades, who knew his true nature and yet advanced his criminal enterprise, profiting from it every day, should face stiff prison terms. It’s not “nice”, but it is necessary.

    Fortunately, Judge Garaufis is not one to be fooled. He’s heard all the excuses many times from those who repent because they’ve been caught. Repentance is easily feigned.

    These women ran a criminal enterprise. For years. There’s no escaping that fact, and they should not escape justice.

  • While we are crying for the gangsters of NXIVM let us also cry for Ghislaine Maxwell who was just hit with a new six count indictment.

    Count One Conspiracy to entice minors in interstate travel to engage in illegal sex acts

    Count Two Enticement of a minor to travel to engage in an illegal sex act.

    Count Three Conspiracy to Transport minors with intent to engage in illegal sex acts

    Count Four Transportation of a minor to engage in criminal sexual activity

    Count Five Perjury

    Count Six Perjury

    https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdny/press-release/file/1291491/download

    Why isn’t Frank Parlato crying over this “well intentioned” woman Ghislaine Maxwell?
    Ghislaine Maxwell could very well die in prison!

    Why aren’t Nicki Clyne and the remnants of NXIVM dancing for the “saintly” Ghilaine Maxwell outside the Brooklyn MDC?

    Maxwell Hit with New Indictment Adding Two Sex Trafficking Charges

  • “Had she (Nancy Salzman) not been charged and convicted of racketeering conspiracy I suspect she would still be telling others that Raniere is the greatest man she ever knew and ever lived.” Frank Parlato

    Let’s be blunt.
    Had Nancy Salzman not been convicted, she would now be outside the Brooklyn MDC cheering the “We Are As You” dancers.
    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    “I see little good in putting her in a prison, where because of her condition she might die.”Frank Parlato

    Spoken like a true Liberal.
    Catch the Crooks and then release them.
    America is infected with Liberals.
    Criminals run amok while law-abiding folk are sheltering in place hiding from a virus.
    The worst virus in America is Liberal Stupidity.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    “If we look for redemption, and leniency, in mercy, she (Lauren Salzman) should not go to prison.” Frank Parlato

    Really?
    If Frank Parlato feels that way, then he should have never published the branding story in the first place.

    Let’s be blunt again.
    Lauren Salzman branded Sarah Edmondson with a fiercely hot cauterizing pen, at least 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, without using pain killers for around 20 minutes.
    One commits such an act with a depraved heart.

    _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Once again, Frank Parlato speaks from the heart and not from the brain.
    If these gangsters had not been caught, they would still be torturing and terrorizing people.

    Frank, publish my truthful comment and don’t pull the trick of putting it in “moderation” forever and a day.
    As it stands right now, the Frank Report has turned into the “Nicki Report”.

    You remind me of the Russian Tsar, Ivan the Terrible.
    Ivan would slaughter people and then rush off to church to pray for their souls.
    NXIVM and its leadership had to be brutally destroyed.

    • Ooooooh. Soooooo hard-hitting, Shadow! Brand new takes from shadow!!!! (Although calling Frank a liberal may be a first). What’s next from your hot take wallet – Allison is also a gangster and your walls are only splattered with her posters to remind you of what a naughty girl she’s been?

  • Perhaps FMC Carswell is the right place for Nancy Salzman to receive the treatment she needs, should her health require it. In any event, I believe it is imperative that she receive a prison sentence commensurate with her crimes, without any special consideration of her age or current state of health.

  • “Their may be a case for leniency.”

    FFS! Unforgivable if you see yourself as a respected journalist.

  • “she testified against him with a bias, well rehearsed I would say, that painted and characterized him as worse than he was.”

    Worse in what ways?

    • I was going to post the exact same question. Frank yada yadad the best part. I haven’t looked at the testimony in a long time, but I specifically remember thinking that it seemed like Lauren was trying her best to tell it exactly as she remembered.

About Frank Parlato

Frank Parlato Investigates

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

Parlato has 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, which was ironic since many credit Parlato as being one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

IMDb — Frank Parlato

If the whole world stands against you sword in hand, would you still dare to do what you think is right?

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