Shivani: DOJ Did Not Need to Mention Lauren Betraying Mother – but We Should Draw Veil of Privacy O’er Their Relationship

nxivm hypnotism lauren and nancy salzman

It is a remarkable paragraph: The US Dept. of Justice for the Eastern District of New York saw fit to praise Lauren Salzman in their sentencing memorandum in the following language: 

As set forth above, Lauren Salzman provided extraordinary assistance to the government’s investigation and prosecution of this case. She met with the government on dozens of occasions, both in proffers and in preparation for trial testimony, and answered all the government’s questions, including questions about crimes she committed, as well as criminal activity engaged in by her close friends and family members, including her mother.

Artist representation of Shivani

By Shivani

It seems intrusive to peer into what the status quo is between Lauren and Nancy Salzman, about how either might feel or how they might or might not be interacting currently. It is so personal.

However, as I have mentioned before at the Frank Report, to me it was unnecessary for Lauren’s cooperation to have been couched in the precise terms used at her sentencing, and especially by those who spoke with the intention of ameliorating her circumstances as a defendant, who pled guilty and who then decided to cooperate.

Quite simply, Lauren talking about her mother at all could’ve been omitted from whatever was said on her “behalf” via the prosecution or what Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis either read into court records or said as his perspective and decisions.

Including her mother, Nancy Salzman, vocally in any recommendation for leniency wasn’t needed public information, not when it could have been left aside, tacitly understood. Subtlety would have allowed this to pass much more unnoticed.

Of course Lauren informed, once she decided to cooperate, and she testified in court for what? Four days, yes? That was enough for people to hear, Lauren’s specific testimony and what came out of her and her attorneys’ mouths publicly.

Nancy Salzman could have been been left as an unmentioned nonfactor during Lauren’s sentencing. The results would’ve been the same and perhaps more humane.

Lauren as the DOJ was quick to point out informed on her mother. There was one hearing shortly before Nancy decided to plead guilty [she was the first to plead guilty] that Lauren and her mother left the court separately without even speaking to each other.
What has been said behind closed doors to prosecutors, etc. very often, remains behind those closed doors, and thus, can be as confidential as the prosecutors’ CHOICE of words used outside of that atmosphere.

In particular, nobody here was a fly on the wall during any of Lauren Salzman’s disclosures to the prosecution team nor do we know how, or in what manner, any questions were asked to her or what decisions Lauren had to face then and there during many different meetings.

Lauren might have felt her heart in her throat to have to make any mention of Nancy, her mother. We do not know what happened for her or to her, during Lauren’s prosecutorial sessions.

AUSA Moira Kim Penza led the proffer sessions with Lauren Salzman.

What might have Lauren Salzman been confronted with or shown? There is no way that being questioned was a walk-in-the-park for Lauren. Her testimony showed graphically how emotional Lauren was, and she has been under plenty of stresses for a long time.

Implicit in Lauren Salzman’s disclosures against Nxivm would be information to do with Nancy Salzman, one of the group’s core and major operators since 1998.

However, talking about Lauren “betraying” her mother via any disclosure at all gets most people right into primal feelings and territory. For so many of us, family is everything, and to lose a family member is so very hard, and it can be unforgettably so. If there’s an internal familial conflict, that can be every bit as devastating as losing a loved one’s presence in your life who has died. Sometimes, it can feel worse than missing a loved one who has died, because of alienation or ongoing conflicts between family members.

No one is saying Lauren Salzman was akin to Sidney Harris Fox, who murdered his mother on the very day her life insurance policy was due to expire. After all, unlike Lauren, he had no choice.

For me, whatever primal feelings are between Lauren Salzman and her mother are their affair and it is their privacy to keep. Respect every family even if you disagree or “hate ’em” altogether.

This doesn’t end the multiple comeuppances awaiting Nancy Salzman, however. Not at all. This is merely about leaving their personal relationship together alone, where it needs to be, respectfully.

Marie White’s “Starbucks Sighting” of Nancy and Lauren Salzman. There are some who think that the Salzmans were in par with Keith Raniere in the operations of NXIVM – but were content to blame him for everything to get out of their jam.

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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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