This is Part 1 of my report on the sentencing memorandum of Lauren Salzman who is scheduled to be sentenced Wednesday, July 28.
The sentencing memorandum is in from Lauren Salzman’s defense attorney and filed with the court. I’d like to publish it but I only have the unredacted version.
It is a powerful document. But then again, I got the benefit of reading the unredacted memorandum which is so much more powerful than the redacted version.
By the way, I did not ask for the unredacted version, but got it, nonetheless. If Lauren Salzman’s lawyers wish to contact me about how I came to get the unredacted memorandum, I will tell them. It may be helpful to them. My phone number is 305-783-7083.
By the way, in explaining to them, should they ask, how I got the unredacted version, I will not, of course, reveal my sources. I can never reveal my sources or I won’t have any more sources.
In any event, there was so much redacted from the public version that I was momentarily in a bit of a quandary about what to reveal, if anything, that was redacted. I decided to reveal only that which might help Lauren Salzman.
For when you read the whole memorandum, it is much more compelling. It shows a side of her that must not be missed for one to truly appreciate what happened to her from her perspective and especially what happened to her since she left Keith Raniere.
I am going to reveal some of the redacted material – and it will be published below and in subsequent posts in RED but I think I will spare anything that might embarrass others or her – and reveal only that which completes the story of Lauren – and perhaps might bring to others who read about her a little more sympathy.
I agree with those who say Lauren does not need to go to prison. Probation is sufficient, in my opinion, for truly she has paid a price, maybe more than the fair price for her crimes – and indeed, there may be some grey areas where they might be barely crimes – since she lacked the requisite intent to harm others.
Of course, it is not my decision to make but that of Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis.
“To go to the judge is to go to justice,” said Aristotle. “The judge restores equality. It is as though there was a line divided into unequal parts and he took away that by which the greater segment exceeds the half and added to it the smaller segment. Therefore, the just consists in having equal amounts before and after the transaction.”
In this transaction, Lauren Salzman needs some life restored to her, not more taken away.
Here is the memorandum, Part 1, written by her Phoenix Arizona attorneys, Hector J. Diaz and Andrea S. Tazioli. In subsequent posts, I will provide more of the memorandum.
I have skipped some parts of it, as irrelevant and have provided the reader with the standard ellipses to show that; I have also eliminated some citations and other incidental information and did not even bother to provide ellipses, for my convenience. My notes will be in [brackets, bold and in italics.]
The memorandum begins with:
Lauren Salzman is a 45 year old single female with a history of emotional/psychological abuse, as both a participant and victim in Keith Raniere’s criminal schemes…. Shortly after graduating from college, she joined an organization [Executive Success Programs later NXIVM] she believed, through her efforts and those of others, would change the world.
… she believed that ESP/NXIVM was her future. Her dedication and commitment to achieving the highest human potential also served, in some respects, as her downfall. A downfall that resulted from a complex and systematic indoctrination that justified her criminal conduct under the misguided perception that she was helping others.
[This is a key to her entire case – she really did believe that what she was doing was good. Her lawyers call it indoctrination – others might argue that she was compelled to take a plea bargain and admit she intended to harm others when that was not at all the case.]
As a twenty-year member of ESP/NXIVM, a first-line master in DOS, a former romantic partner of Raniere’s, and co-defendant in this case, Lauren provided the government with material and invaluable information regarding Raniere and all co-defendants in this matter.
Lauren’s four-day testimony at Raniere’s trial was incredibly compelling. On the stand, Lauren was honest and sincere, and she took full responsibility for the crimes that she committed in this case. Lauren’s trial testimony, coupled with her full and complete cooperation with the government, significantly contributed to Raniere’s conviction on all counts.
Lauren’s testimony was just one small portion of her cooperation with the government. In fact, Lauren spent countless hours meeting with the government and preparing for trial. It was during these lengthy meetings that Lauren demonstrated her commitment to ensuring that the government had a complete comprehension of Raniere’s criminal conduct and DOS.
It was clear from these sessions that Lauren had a complete shift in her perceptions—denouncing Raniere and the corrupt NXIVM and DOS practices and exhibiting a full appreciation of the wrongfulness of her conduct. It has been over two years since Lauren took the stand at Raniere’s trial.
Since, Lauren has spent these last 26 months painstakingly reviewing and reflecting upon the last 20 years of her life as a member of ESP/NVIVM and a devout follower of Raniere. She has been working diligently to overcome and unwind her indoctrination into the program and Raniere’s teachings.
[This next part is redacted. I am going to publish it because it shows that Lauren says she is suffering from the same problems that many of the women of DOS claimed they have suffered from. This tends to support that she is a victim too. If she is a perpetrator and a victim – the line between the two is the most fascinating aspect of it all.]
Specifically, Lauren has engaged in meaningful psychotherapy, and she is working conscientiously with her mental health provider to overcome the traumatic stress, depression, anxiety, and dissociative moments that have plagued her life over the years.
[A footnote refers to a letter from her therapist, whose name I will redact, which is included in the unredacted memorandum as one of some 20 letters of support Lauren provided to the judge in this package.]
In addition to working on her mental health, Lauren has also immersed herself into a new field of work and career path which has been extremely restorative for her as she enters a new chapter in her new life, free from ESP/NXIVM and Raniere.
[That new career path, surprisingly – and we shall learn more about it later – is the field of dog grooming.]
Importantly, Lauren has also spent a great deal of time healing her relationships with family members and close friends. Specifically, Lauren [redacted –] has served as a caretaker for both her parents who are battling their own respective serious health issues, as well her elderly and ailing grandparents.
[The reference is to the letters that her mother, Nancy Salzman, and her father, Michael Salzman, wrote to the judge. The mention of these in the memo was redacted but it is fair to mention them since the letters themselves were not redacted. It is of significance since Raniere wanted Lauren to shun her father because he refused to fire a woman, Nina, one of the so-called NXIVM 9 and because, out of honor, he would not be so dictated to by Raniere. Lauren did indeed shun her father for several years and now, oppositely of the world she lived in with Raniere, she is again reunited with her father and has offered him caretaking. There should be nothing secret about that.]
To be clear, not a day goes by that Lauren is not remorseful for her conduct. She wholeheartedly regrets her involvement in NXIVM and DOS and further regrets that through her actions, she knowingly propagated Raniere’s lies and deceit, and caused harm to so many individuals. Through her rehabilitative conduct and actions over the last two and a half years, Lauren has not only denounced Raniere and his teachings, but she has taken deliberate measures to regain her life back and ensure that she never succumbs to this type of manipulation and psychological abuse ever again.