Nancy Salzman’s letter to Judge Garaufis – ‘I Am Responsible for My Daughter Being Before You’

Mother and daughter Nancy and Lauren Salzman -

Before we conclude on our pre-sentencing coverage of Lauren Salzman, we have two more submissions for our readers. The first of which is a letter submitted to the sentencing judge from Nancy Salzman on the sentencing of her daughter. I could write a lot about the content of this letter and what its impact might be, but I would rather leave readers to judge for themselves.

Here it is, Nancy Salzman’s letter to the judge – with a couple of redactions.

Re: The sentencing of Ms. Lauren Salzman

To the Honorable Judge Garaufis,

My name is Nancy Salzman. I am Lauren Salzman’s mother. I came to know Keith Raniere in November of 1997 when my ex-husband’s wife introduced me to him. At that point in my life, I was alone having separated from my husband of five years, and both my children having left home for college.

Keith, who now I see had great talent for taking advantage of people’s weaknesses, met me and seduced me both intellectually and physically. I introduced Lauren to him when she was a senior in college, only months after I met Keith, and for Lauren and for me, it was the beginning of a long and painful journey.

Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman when they first created Executive Success in 1998.

As Keith and I began working together, I was so impressed by him that I suggested that Lauren move back home and take the courses I was developing with Keith. She seemed lost at the time, and I thought that working with Keith and I might help her set goals for her life.

Of all the regrettable things I have done with Keith and Nxivm, this by far is the one which gives me the greatest personal sadness. I am responsible for Lauren being before you, having endured arrest, prosecution, and successful cooperation, and now facing her own judgment.

As time passed in her young life, Lauren became increasingly involved with Nxivm. She began an intimate relationship with Keith which she kept secret from me for nearly five years at his command.

When finally she told me about it, I felt ashamed that I too had been intimate with him, but I never spoke of it to anyone, and hoped she would never find out. It was part of Keith’s evil genius to figure out how to play one person off against another so that everyone would remain weak and insecure. I saw how committed to the relationship Lauren was and did not want to interfere with her choices, especially since my feelings of shame and confusion over what he had done.

I didn’t realize how he began to work his twisted magic on Lauren shortly after she returned from college. She was young and insecure. He used those characteristics to take advantage of her. At the time, I still saw Keith as eccentric but essentially well-intentioned, and I did not understand the depth of his derangement, and that he was damaging my daughter.

Nancy claims that Keith seduced her intellectually and physically — though she was seven years older than him.

Keith’s behavior ultimately was cruel and domineering and I (very belatedly) lost belief in his good faith I had harbored for so long.

When the Nxivm world was unraveling, it was easier for me than it was for Lauren to understand and internalize that Keith had lied and withheld information from people, including us, for his own demonic purposes. When we all began to read the discovery, I was able to fully realize, in ways I had not previously, that Keith was not the understated, laid-back genius he pretended to be, but was instead a sex-crazed power-hungry man taking advantage of damaged people to achieve his sick goals.

Nancy Salzman [l] smiles as Lauren stands next to Keith Raniere,  Karen U. the first of his many partners [r]
Lauren had a far more difficulty than me accepting that who Keith really was and all he had done. However, over time, at my urging, and with the aid of her attorneys she came to see that Keith was a sexual predator, a narcissist, and likely a psychopath.

When I made the decision to plead guilty and seek to cooperate, I suggested Lauren do the same. It was very difficult for Lauren because she had to come to terms with the fact that she had been manipulated and lied to for years. It seemed like it was pulling apart the foundation of her reality. Most of her adult life had been wrapped up in her relationship with Keith, and she was powerfully loyal to him. The evidence she read changed her whole belief system. She was shattered because so much of who she believed she was had been wrapped up in her devotion to Keith.

Among the DOS First-Line Slaves, Lauren was number eight, the last to join as a founding sister of DOS. She agreed by joining that she would vow to be his lifelong slave.

The idea of cooperating and testifying against Keith was difficult for Lauren to come to grips with at first. Ultimately, she fully realized it was the right thing to do, even if it meant she would be required to face the terror of opposing his will and interests in court by revealing the truth. I knew it was difficult for her, but we both agreed that she had the information needed to help the prosecutors establish what had happened, and that to assist them was the right thing to do. I greatly admire my daughter for pushing herself to do something that was so frightening for her, but that she knew was right. She is committed to being the best person she can be, which Keith was able to use and abuse in his relationship with her again and again. Lauren showed up as a cooperator able to work with the government, and she pushed through many fears. In the end, she did her best in pursuit of the truth.

After trial, Lauren has re-trained herself in a new career, which has not been easy. She had to begin again in her 40’s making minimum wage. She did this happily, relieved to be out from under Keith’s thumb and ready to begin anew. She sold her home and changed her life. I couldn’t be prouder of her for facing Keith in court. Now she is working to find her way again. It has not been easy, but she has faced every challenge with courage even though she hasn’t felt strong.

[There is a portion of Nancy’s letter that is redacted because it concerns Lauren’s efforts to care for family members who are ailing, including Lauren’s father, Nancy’s parents and Nancy herself, who suffered from breast cancer. The letter continues:]

She is a compassionate and caring daughter and granddaughter. Pain and sadness has strengthened the family relationships we have. I don’t think I could have gotten through my own situation without Lauren’s love and support.

In concluding, while I could go on far more, I ask you to please consider how young Lauren was when she met Keith and my personal failure as a mother to protect her and guide her. While we all have agency and are responsible, I know Lauren has been victimized like virtually everyone targeted by Keith’s awful manipulations.

Vanguard [Keith Raniere] and Prefect [Nancy Salzman],
He took advantage of her desire to be a good person and to do good works in her life, and she felt under his abusive authority and caused damage. She must live with that as must we all who acted similarly. That part of her life is past. With mercy from you and continued guidance from her friends and family, I hope and believe that Lauren will grow to fulfill the full promise of her life. Thank you very much for your consideration of my thoughts.

Sincerely yours,

Nancy Salzman




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2 years ago

Exactly! She was so involved with everyone from the start. She manipulated the situation right from the start.

2 years ago

Next to Keith, Nancy is the Nxivm big fish. She is accountable for Nx crimes and enabling Keith – and she does not deserve a “Get out jail free card”.

2 years ago

She’s her mother???? She tries to make herself look like a caring, loving mother while she yet again sells her kid off to look good.
Its sickening for so many reason – Nancy is a female, quieter ,and somewhat slyer version of Keith.

2 years ago

Yup, something about this letter doesn’t sit very well with me.

I think Nancy is not taking enough responsibility for her own behavior (although maybe there’s another time and place for that?) and too much credit for turning Lauren around.

I’m really put off by the “pushing through her fears” bit. I mean, dude, she was accosted by men with machine guns and being charged with serious crimes. Why is “pushing through her fears” any kind of relevant thing? That shit is gonna be scary no matter what. I don’t think “pushing through” really exists. I think its called being alive. Sheesh. So typical nxivm making ordinary things like being honest and facing reality into some kind of big achievement.

I’m also not sure Lauren needs any more “guidance” from her “friends” (I’m kind of assuming she doesn’t have many that weren’t in nxivm or if she does, they would be relatively new ones) or from her family who supported her in this folly for 20 years.

I think maybe just having some friends, plain and simple, and a good therapist is all she probably needs.

2 years ago
Reply to  my2cents

I don’t think the evasiveness on Nancy’s part is intentional. If anything, it’s at the direction of her own attorneys. Remember that Nancy still has to be sentenced and while her narrative between this letter and what will eventually be her own statement of apology should remain consistent, it’s going to be way more appropriate for Nancy to address her exact role in things in that letter. Here, she’s speaking of her daughter and in the specific ways that her daughter was impacted. Nancy will address Nancy in due time.

2 years ago

These words printed here out of Nancy Salzman, to me, are as adroitly dishonest as everything else appears to be about her. Hypocritically, she seeks to conceal not only her past behaviors but her present endeavors as well. Ah yes. What a dump truck. Such gas, too.

And what a cheap trick. Still lying to herself (?) and trying to keep on her phony, mercenary, pimp-ass MASK. Like a frigging dingbat Kardashian, only the very unattractive, east coast version, all bent out of shape, out of New Jersey as a make-believe “therapist” who thought fucking, pimping, dominating and boob grabbing were her special therapeutic domain. Hahaha.

What drivel. What coagulated spittle. How ’bout just stfu. It isn’t too late for that. However, it is too late for Nancy Salzman to rinse herself off. She cannot even find the showerhead, never mind locating the faucet. No conscience, no conscientiousness. Great work for a miscreant.

Covering your tracks, huh. The bloodstains are guaranteed to follow you, Nancy Salzman. Enough of the pretenses and of the misuse of prepositional phrases, cave bitch.

Nancy Saltydawg, also still prancing all over the NDNY, with a bad dye job splattered atop her rattlesnake tongue of a head. As she looked for more & more head, for Raniere and for herself. So now twat?

This Salzman and her criminality are not going to be forgotten. What a pissant and a debased, greedy, status-hungry and power-intoxicated horndog! Her linguistic skillz suck, too.

Psychobabbling her insane,see-through egotism, spewed as “help.” Back to school for this grotesque and clumsy oaf, this self-fabricated monstrosity. Keith Raniere’s gatekeeper supreme. Like greasy, rotten nachos.

Who wants a bite?

You can barely run, Nancy Salzman, and you surely cannot hide. Ri-DICK-ulous.

Okay. Got that off of my chest. Somewhat. Please excuse me a little bit for not being more expressive. It was rather a long and happy night, so the retired feminine warrior is slightly less inclined to roar much. Soon. This isn’t over, and none of the fat ladies have sung enough yet. Even we skinny ones aren’t done, by gum and by God. Chicklettes. Juicy Fruit. Ready to rumble. Sorry for Nancy’s dentists,too.

Tra la la la la. 🎵

Some mother, Nancy Salzman. Some kind of nightmarishly curdled mofo. It feels as though all that Nancy Salzman has left is a squirrelly, hairy tub of rancid butter. And some ca$h. So what. She can go right ahead and submerge her big fat mouth into her very own stench. Have fun teaching ethics, hagfish. Good old Uncle Nancy, spreadeagled atop a tower of puke and babble, babble, babble. Is this a cartoon?

Guess what, for this carcinogenic mother from some utter scrap pile of coldhearted bullshit, her latest acting job isn’t working. Nancy Salzman and her daughter, Lauren, need to take a couple of decades off, and for both, it would be smarter to shut the hell up about ever, ever “helping” others. Get real. Already both of their unhelpful track records are repugnantly toxic. Really. Get a clue and lay off behaving like imbeciles. Nobody needs your damned help. Help yourselves. Quietly. Just go away. Elsewhere. Far away.

As Gurdjieff put it, this is just food for the moon. The mouthless, inert moon. As seen on tv in ads for temporarily ending one’s diarrhea. Just stop, Uncle Nancy. Not my uncle. Nobody’s uncle. Carbuncle Nancy. Ugh. Boo. Quadruple ugh.

Nancy Salzman had the thickheaded nerve to claim that Raniere “took advantage of DAMAGED (my bold) people.”

Oh really, Nancy Salzman? Hold your rattlesnake venom glands closely. Keep it up, be as you are. What a clusterfuck.

Who are YOU to declare who’s “damaged,” you sickening, bossy cow, you fuck-a doodle-doo, you unladylike rooster-toad. Hoo haw.

Shirley feel a bit bettah now. Thanks!

2 years ago

Nancy’s letter makes my blood run cold. This is a woman who cannot feel real love and makes very little effort with the pretence of feeling love. She may as well not have bothered. Self-centred goblin! 🐄

2 years ago
Reply to  Pyriel

I somewhat agree and still feel sorry for Lauren. I don’t think she got much of a choice in this. Even her mother admits that.

Aristotle’s Sausage
Aristotle’s Sausage
2 years ago

What a pretty piece of bullshit.

It’s so easy to construct these tales of victimhood. I could do one for Raniere. Using much of the same stock material Nancy Salzman uses for her daughter’s sad, sad tale of victimhood.

After all, both of ‘em were “traumatized” by their parents’ divorce.

Both were “lost and adrift” when they graduated from college (as is practically everyone). Both were “young” (Lauren would’ve been what, 22 years old? Is that considered a child these days??)

Keep in mind that Nancy Salzman built Nxivm. She was the one with psychological training and experience. She was the promoter of the NLP pseudoscience. She was a manipulator and charlatan from way back. And yet she has the nerve to try to blame it all on Raniere!

Those two are cut from the same cloth. Charlatans who schemed together to perpetrate a fraud. A pyramid scheme. A criminal racket.

And daughter Lauren eagerly took part in it. She joined as a college-educated adult who had spent over four years immersed in her independent college life. An upper-middle-class woman with resources and all the world before her. Friends. Opportunity. Options.

And, yet, Lauren chose to take her mother’s and Raniere’s path. She remained with their criminal enterprise for two decades. Making a great deal of money from it, enjoying power and influence.

Lauren Salzman is a convicted racketeer who deserves prison time.

2 years ago

Everything in Nancy’s letter is true.

Not sure if it’s because you’re late to FR, or because giving credence to this messes up your narrative – but in all of your indistinguishable comments, you don’t seem to understand the legendary compartmentalization that Raniere mastered.

2 years ago

It’s a good letter for Lauren. But also for Nancy. I would have advised Nancy to save the “me” stuff for her own letter.

Ironically, the more Nancy would have focused on just Lauren, the more favorable that Nancy, herself, would have then come across.

But I guess Nancy just couldn’t help advocating for herself in Lauren’s letter.

Did Nicki Clyne write Lauren a leniency letter?

What about Michelle Hachette?

Did Dr. Danielle Roberts? Sahajo?

Leigh Mottishaw? Samantha Lebaron?

Linda Chung? The other one?

Or is criminal justice reform something they only care about for Keith? And men they’ve never met?

Not their “sorority sisters”?

carly b
carly b
2 years ago

Family guidance got Lauren into this mess. I think being separated from her family would be best for Lauren.

2 years ago

There has to be an order that the Salzmans can never do an MLM coaching or self-help group ever again or they will just do nxivm all over again w/o keith.

2 years ago


How a mother and daughter rose up in Nxivm, got indicted and eventually turned against Keith Raniere

By Sonia Moghe, CNN

Updated 2222 GMT (0622 HKT) July 27, 2021

[ … ]
[ … ]
[ … ]

‘A broken person’

Salzman said in her pre-sentencing letter to the court that, after sifting through documents related to the case, her perspective dramatically shifted. She began to realize the totality of what she had participated in, and she decided to plead guilty. She said it took time to piece together information, much of which Raniere had kept from others.

“The manipulation and years of abuse that I participated in and was complicit in became very clear,” she wrote. “This almost destroyed me, but it also gave me a clear path and direction.”

Salzman’s testimony had to be halted during cross-examination after she broke down, prompting the judge to call her a ” broken person” and say, “I am not going to have someone have a nervous breakdown on the witness stand.”

In the two years since her testimony, Salzman has become a business owner specializing in dog care. She wrote that she is grateful she has been able to be in home confinement, saying it kept her from “spiraling.”

“At 45 years old, I am finally in a stable and consistently positive and progressive situation,” she wrote. “I feel proud of my choices and relieved to finally have a life that is my own, an experience I never had prior to now.”

2 years ago

United States District Court
Eastern District of New York
Wednesday, July 28, 2021
Courtroom 4D S

11:30 AM
Criminal Cause for Sentencing
On Bond
In-person proceeding

2 years ago

Dang, mom came through with that letter. As I said before, I think the judge sees each woman as an additional victim of Keith and, on multiple times in her letter, she leaned into that. Also think he has four key criteria he is looking for from them when sentencing: a) an effort to change 2) an effort to recognize the error of their ways 3) an effort to distance themselves from Raneire and everything NXIVM 4) and an effort to create a post NXIVM life. As a contrast to that, see all the things Nicki Clyne is doing.

While I think Lauren’s efforts to meet those criteria are “meh” at best, her mom made every effort to hit them and glorify them. Also seems to do an excellent job of acting as a preamble for Nancy’s own later efforts to reduce her own sentence (I can’t remember if she was already sentenced or not). Staying so close to her mom though will be a ding against Lauren. So it will be interesting to see what the judge does with that.

I forget, when is Lauren Salzman getting sentenced? Has Nancy been sentenced?

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


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