By Someone Who Knows
Repentance and rehabilitation are two very different things.
Clearly, Lauren Salzman is sorry, but the lengths she’s gone to sanitize the conduct of her mother, Nancy Salzman, weighs against rehabilitation.
As does her unwillingness or inability to separate from Nancy in more meaningful ways.
I think Judge Nicholas Garaufis will weigh Lauren’s rehabilitation efforts very seriously and may see, as do I, that Lauren is still neck-deep in a toxic relationship with Nancy. Lauren might be better off spending a year or two in jail completely separate from Nancy’s influence in order for her healing to truly transpire.
Lauren’s personal statement has a lot of “We”.
Nancy was a sophisticated psychotherapist and a top corporate consultant in her mid-40s when she partnered with Keith Raniere. She was “The Prefect” after all and revered. That should not be considered lightly. Lauren was a 21-year-old English major who’d never had a job before.
It’s clear Nancy is continuing to gaslight Lauren and that will contribute greatly to Lauren’s state of mental duress.
A reread of Nancy’s letter on Lauren’s behalf speaks to a degree of infantilizing of Lauren that is disturbing. If I didn’t know of Lauren prior, I would think she was a young teenager.
Also discussed is Lauren’s caring for both her mother during her cancer illness and Nancy’s parents. Normally, I’d see this as commendable but knowing what I do about the Salzman family, their finances, and the present legal case I do not.
Nancy’s parents are considerably well off and her sister is very, very wealthy with several children. How is the parents’ care falling on Lauren’s shoulders? Similarly, Nancy’s other daughter, Michelle, and her husband, Ben, as well as Nancy’s considerable assets (cash and real estate), are more than enough to facilitate whatever support Nancy needs through her illness.
Leaning on Lauren to fill the role of caretaker, at this time in Lauren’s life seems deeply selfish and controlling.
Taking a step back and looking at the bigger picture of the Salzman family dynamic, I see a pattern. Nancy comes first, even if she has to sacrifice her daughter to get what she wants. Or worse, convince her daughter to sacrifice herself.
Lauren was a tent pole of the NXIVM operation for 20 years to Nancy’s great benefit. Lauren was the #2 head trainer after only Nancy and the training fees were the sole legitimate source of revenue for Nancy. This hearkens back to a point in my original post, Guest View: Not Contrite — Lauren Salzman Likely Facing Incarceration
The Salzmans’ desire for money and power was significant.
Nancy could have cooperated and testified. She could have provided extensive evidence to the prosecution about her and NXIVM’s financial crimes in exchange for a non-prosecution agreement for Lauren.
It’s impossible to know now whether the government would have accepted that or not but it seems likely. Nancy could have fallen on her sword to help her daughter and she chose not to. Instead, she convinced Lauren to do that. It’s obvious Lauren has no perspective on this whatsoever. If she can’t assess Nancy’s responsibility, and culpability, full rehabilitation will be difficult.
I think the Judge is sophisticated and will act compassionately toward Lauren.
A casual observer might not see jail time as compassionate, but Lauren is a unique defendant. It’s not every day you have a cult leader’s daughter before you and that daughter is still quite involved in her mother’s day-to-day, under her thumb, and being persuaded to rationalize everything her mother did.