Editor’s Note: This is the second letter to Judge Garufis about Nancy Salzman’s upcoming sentencing that Frank Report has been able to obtain (We previously published the one from Joe O’Hara). Anyone else who has sent such a letter is encouraged to send a copy to Frank Parlato at email@example.com so that it can be published here.
We have heard from several sources that Nancy has been organizing a letter-writing campaign among those who are still loyal to her – asking Judge Garaufis to sentence her to probation as he did for her daughter, Lauren. If any of those supporters want to have their letters published here, they should also send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
August 19, 2021
The Hon, Nicholas G Garaufis
U.S. District Court Judge
United State Courthouse
225 Cadman Plaza East Brooklyn, NY 11201
RE: Nancy Salzman
Dear Judge Garaufis:
I am writing to express some of my thoughts regarding the upcoming sentencing of Nancy Salzman, the co-founder, co-owner, and President of ESP/NXIVM and the criminal enterprise that was so well hidden behind what appeared as a self-improvement program. Ms. Salzman was the public figure behind this and many of its numerous business entities.
I’m sorry this is a bit long. I don’t know how much information you have regarding Nancy Salzman, but she is nothing that she has told the court from what I have heard and read.
I will also appear at Ms. Salzman’s sentencing. The applicable time limit for in-person statements is not enough for me to share all the information regarding the damage Ms. Salzman has done to me or the community at large. That is why I am sending this letter now.
I joined Executive Success Programs (ESP) in December of 2000. That was long before there was any hint of it being a cult – and even before one could use Google to do any extensive research on them.
Keith Raniere was kept hidden from the “community” for the most part and I lived across the country near Seattle, WA so I didn’t spend much time with him.
At the time, ESP was looking to open centers away from the Albany area and there was a group of us that came to an intensive in December 2000 looking at their business model to open training centers. It was their second 16-day intensive. Everything seemed above-board but they did have some questionable things that with “group think” we all were able to overlook.
I was taken under Nancy Salzman’s wing as I was motivated to open a center in the Pacific Northwest. I had the skillset to enroll – and was able to travel back and forth to the Albany training center and the trainings held in other locations. I was promoted quickly in the organization but not without red flags coming my way.
Red Flags and Bad Behavior
1. Psychiatric Nurse
Nancy Salzman told people she was a psychiatric nurse. When I asked her where she got her training, Ms. Salzman attempted to tell me that her training in NLP qualified her to be a psychiatric nurse. This was a LIE she told all the time. There is required training and certification to hold the title of psychiatric nurse.
2. Private Practice
Nancy Salzman tells people she had been in private practice before she started ESP and she was making good money billing insurance companies. I knew she didn’t have the licenses to do that. When I asked her about how she did that, Ms. Salzman told me she had a person in her office who was an LMSW who billed all Ms. Salzman’s insurance clients and would take a cut back from them.
This is insurance fraud and when the bills went into the mail, it is also mail fraud. She was breaking the law before meeting Raniere, so it wasn’t a stretch to break it with him.
3. Tax Evasion
Shortly after meeting Ms. Salzman, she along with some other members of the inner leadership approached me and others about no longer paying taxes. They teach that. The reason was always taxes are unethical. My response was that I believe taxes do good things and I’m not going to risk going to jail or dealing with the IRS over their beliefs.
I was under constant pressure from Ms. Salzman’s threatened punishments because I would not mind bend into her way of thinking.
One day I got a call from Ms. Salzman asking if I had paid my State Business and Occupation taxes? My answer was yes and why was she asking. She explained ESP was having issues with the State of WA regarding B&O taxes and before they moved forward they wanted to make sure they didn’t get me in trouble.
After I left ESP/NXIVM, I looked into this matter. I found Ms. Salzman had her team lie to the WA State Department of Revenue. They told them I licensed their programs and paid a fee to ESP/NXIVM but collected all the money for training in WA myself. This was a LIE. They did this so they could avoid paying B&O taxes to the State of WA.
I obtained the letter they sent to the State of WA from Joe O’Hara who had previously worked for them at the time as a consultant. I used it when NXlVM/Nancy Salzman was torturing me in a lawsuit after I left NXIVM to try to silence me. I showed the Judge in my case so he’d know the kind of company he was dealing with.
When I called the WA State Department of Revenue, the woman I talked to about the situation remembered NXIVM from years earlier. What got them in trouble was that in their suit against me, they told the court the truth, that I was an independent contractor. The enrollment contract shows where to send the payment, not to me, but to 455 New Karner Road in Albany NY. I turned them into the WA Department of Revenue for lying to them about Tax Fraud.
4. Sexual Harassment
A short time after I joined ESP, I was in Nancy Salzman’s car going to Starbuck for coffee and she was going to do an EM to help me through “my issues”. She was a flirty woman, and I didn’t give it much thought because I saw her do it with many people.
This time was different: she reached over and put her hand on the inside of my thigh closer to her. She started to rub my thigh and she said, “You know, Susan when we start to sleep together you cannot tell anyone about it because I’m the Prefect”.
I was in a state of shock and froze. I never in my life had anyone do this to me. This was my mentor, my boss, the woman who was bringing me up in the company. I just froze and didn’t know what to say. She knew I was in a committed long-term relationship. Was she just joking, she had to be joking, right? It didn’t end there; this kind of behavior went on for years but I was scared to say anything. Who is going to believe me?
Towards the end of my time in NXIVM, Nancy demanded I write her a letter about my “love for her”. I was so sick of this. It took me weeks to do this assignment because it wasn’t true. I knew if I didn’t do it, there would be more abuse and more punishment coming my way. It’s funny that this letter showed up first in my wife’s deposition in NXlVM’s lawsuit against us. They thought it would make her mad at me.
Too late, she knew everything that was going on with Nancy the entire time it was going on.
It also showed up when I was on the stand at my trial with NXIVM, their head attorney attempting to make me look as if I was a jilted lover of Nancy Salzman. The lengths this organization will go to destroy people’s lives is evident if one just goes into PACER and look at NXIVM vs ???
The letter wasn’t an assignment at all, it was some kind of insurance for them. They knew I was getting upset by not only my treatment but the treatment of others. I asked too many questions about Keith Raniere’s behavior and why they were in so many legal battles. I was becoming a danger to them.
Questions About Keith Raniere’s or Nancy’s Behavior
Several times, I questioned Nancy Salzman about Keith Raniere’s behavior.
- Sleeping With Students
I started to ask Nancy if Keith was sleeping with certain women. I asked her this several times about different women.
Her response we always the same. “We don’t talk about such things”. I would come back with he should keep his personal life — personal. If I’m picking up on it, how many other people are picking up on it? This is a program of ethics and it’s unprofessional of the leader to be sleeping with students — period.
This would always end me up in some kind of trouble – and I would lose a stream of income I had earned. I would be called a suppressive towards Raniere by the leadership and rumors about me would get spread throughout the organization. All because I believed his sexual life was not healthy. I wasn’t even around Raniere that often, but when I was, it wasn’t hard to pick out who he was doing.
- Gambling the Bronfmans’ Millions Away
I was summoned to appear at Nancy’s house while I was in Albany, and she was a mess. I finally got her to open up about what was upsetting her. She disclosed that Raniere had lost 68 million dollars of the Bronfman sisters’ money in the commodity market.
Being shocked at the $68 million figure, I asked some questions. Nancy knew all along and supported the Bronfman sisters in helping Raniere try his math formula out and it got out of hand.
The lie is this wasn’t the first time Raniere had pulled this scam within NXIVM. Salzman and Raniere had done the same thing with Barbara Bouchey and some other members in the past. Nancy had full knowledge that Keith Raniere did not know how to WIN money in stocks or commodities, and she let the Bronfmans open their checkbooks to a man who doesn’t care about losing other people’s money.
Once again, I stuck my foot in my mouth and told Nancy Salzman that Raniere had no business using student’s money, He should only be risking his own money. It is always unethical to borrow or take money from your students. What were they thinking and how could they ever repay the Bronfman sister?
- California Real Estate Deal
Another time I was summoned to go to Nancy’s house she was in another foul mood. I either got her to settle down or it was going to end in me getting abused. I was able to get her settled down and she confessed to me that Raniere was in a failed deal with a Real Estate project in CA, again with the Bronfman sisters’ money. This time to the tune of 24 Million dollars.
Once more I could not believe what I was hearing. The fleecing of money from rich students was sickening to me. Of course, I told her how unethical their behavior was. Not that night, but later that interaction came back to bite me. I got more emotional abuse and punishment.
With both of these situations, after I left I went to California to visit the person who Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman were involved in both the Real Estate and commodity market situations. I wanted to hear his side of the story as I didn’t trust I was being told the truth by Nancy Salzman about either case.
I heard a very different story from the commodity trader/Real Estate developer about what did happen. Since he has never been arrested, for criminal behavior, I lean toward believing that Keith Raniere was out of control and needing things “his way” in both situations.
- My Sexual Orientation
I never made it a secret upon entering ESP/NXIVM that I was a lesbian. I have been since I was very young. It’s also well known that Keith Raniere doesn’t like people of either sex being gay. I was in NXIVM for about nine months and was one of the fastest-promoted students with ESP. I was growing my area fast and was about to open a center.
It was the week before the very first V-weekend and I had gone to Albany a week early at Nancy’s invitation. She had even invited me to stay at her house saying I had “earned it” which was somewhat of a worry for me due to the sexual harassment happening.
Two major events that happened during my time in Albany that point to how abusive and manipulating Nancy was towards me and upholding Raniere to get what he wanted.
In the first situation, we disagreed with a promotion within my group. She pulled me into a little office screaming at me for questioning her authority. She didn’t stop there. While screaming at me, she started to poke me in my chest with her finger berating me with the foulest of words I had heard out of her mouth up to this point. When she was through with me, she looked at me and said, “Now are you coming to class”?
I said no, I’m going to leave and think about if I’m going to ever come back. There was a higher-ranked person in the office that tried to make it my issue and I just walked out and went to catch my breath and get some distance.
I had about 20 people coming in from the west coast in the next couple of days and I didn’t know what to do. I was staying at her house, and she had just gutted me. She sent someone to come look for me or someone did. We talked and they said don’t you think Nancy has a right to have her issues? Blah Blah Blah.
I ended up going back and she did some lame apology from the front of the room that had nothing to do with me. I wanted one from her personally. She refused and so I didn’t talk to her and somehow I ended up being the problem. So, the goon squad came after me. This was the beginning of the abuse from the leadership for me. I had defied the Prefect.
That same weekend, Raniere and Salzman took all the ranks for Proctor and above (at his birthday weekend) into a big room and worked with us. I found it boring as I always found time with Raniere boring.
Raniere thought it would be a good idea before we all went our different ways to give us all a personal EM by him in front of everyone. Mine was the very last. He decided he should explore why I was a lesbian in a roundabout way. For me it wasn’t a problem, it was for him.
Because I wasn’t going to “go there” – that it was a lie for me to be gay – he kept at it for a long time trying different angles of my childhood as if something bad had happened like sexual abuse, etc. When it was clear that I was never going to give in to him and I had a strong will to hold my ground and that he could not mind-bend me, he ended the session.
The problem with this was that from that point on the leadership behind my back, labeled me a liar and announced that I had a breach with Raniere. It was the only way they could save face with Raniere being unsuccessful with me in an EM
This got passed down to the people who were in the room behind my back and to others who came into ESP/NXIVM.
My promotions stopped there until years later I got my only and only “pity” 4th stipe. Every time Nancy needed me to do another stream of income, she would give it back to me and then take it away at a whim of punishment saying I haven’t healed my breach with Keith. Not saying I haven’t healed being “gay” for him.
- Free Labor for Nancy Salzman
One license I have is I’m a licensed massage therapist. When Nancy found this out, she asked me if I would come to her house and give her a massage while I was in Albany doing my second 16-day training. I agreed to do that, and she said she would compensate me for doing so. This turned into a regular request, but the compensation never happened.
When I asked about it, she told me she was going to have it taken off my tuition for Level 2 trainings.
This also never happened.
There was a “Power Over” due to the emotional abuse and the taking away of things that when you asked to do things and told you’re going to get paid and don’t, you feel you have to keep doing them or more trouble will come your way.
It got to the point where I was “on hold” for her whenever I went to Albany for her to get her free massages. If I didn’t answer her text or call, there was all hell to pay by her or one of her people the next day. No one didn’t respond to Nancy Salzman.
At that time and up until I left, my personal experience is Nancy Salzman stood behind Keith Raniere and supported him regardless of how bad his behavior was.
- Take Another Course
Nancy Salzman pushed one course after another on not only me but on everyone she could. It was a high-pressure situation. The first Level 2 training was Level 2A. The second time it happened, I was pressured to come along with my partner. It was $10,000 for both of us. While we were there, Nancy and Keith decided to release Level 2-B right after. We were pressured to stay. Another $10,000. While we were there, Keith and Nancy released, Level 2-C, right after that, again were pressured to stay for that, another $10,000. A total of $3,000 for Level 2s.
We also had to pay for a place to stay and the price for changing our airfares. We were not the only ones in this situation. Most everyone there did the same thing. It was like shark-infested waters with the inner circle chumming the waters feeding on people to stay.
This happened so often that we quickly went into debt. Opening a NXIVM Center was another part of Keith’s and Nancy’s Ponzi schemes. It looked really good on paper but when you got into it, there was no way a Center made any money. NXIVM was the one who made the money off of its Centers.
- License Lost
I have a Master’s degree in Psychology. Upon entering ESP/NXIVM, I was a registered counselor and had a licensed massage therapist.
While living there, the state of Washington passed a law if you had been a registered counselor for five years you could become a Licensed Therapist by applying and being “grandfathered in”.
I had plenty of experience as I worked in the US Navy, I went to school and got certified as an Alcohol Rehabilitation Specialist. I worked in an outpatient program for 3 years and inpatient for 3 years. I had all my internships throughout my Master’s program and was in private practice as a therapist and massage therapist until I went into ESP/NXIVM.
When the opportunity came up for me to get my license, Nancy had a fit. She said we cannot have any therapists in NXIVM. For me to get this license now, I have to go back and do supervised work for three years.
At the time, I thought I was happy and thought I would do it for the rest of my life. Little did I know I was being controlled by Mommy Dearest and behind the veil of a training center was all this evil happing.
- Bankruptcy and NXIVM Lawsuit
By the time I finally woke up, had enough, and left, I was so far in debt, the only choice I had was to file for bankruptcy.
I was told by others who left before me that this was Keith and Nancy’s favorite venue to come after people who left and spoke out against them.
I couldn’t afford an attorney, nor could I find a Pro Bono attorney to support me in an advisory case with So, I had to go pro se.
To do this, I had to get myself together emotionally. I was a wreck when I left due to the abuse from mainly Nancy Salzman. If not her, it was her goons she sent after me for non-compliance to her rules.
I talked to a bankruptcy attorney and held off filing my bankruptcy as long as possible, so I could get some therapy.
I also had to study the law enough to represent myself in a legal battle against NXIVM. I took an online course and asked a couple of people who had battled with them for help.
I built a support team around me both emotionally and legally to help me when Keith and Nancy filed against me.
I knew I couldn’t work as this would be a full-time job.
From the time I left NXIVM until this was fully over, my only job was to get myself together to fight them in court. I was, once again, a prisoner to them because they still had power over me.
Once we filed, NXIVM waited until one hour before my bankruptcy would have been cleared from the court before coming in and filed their advisory case against me and my partner.
NXIVM has seven attorneys on the case against me who acted as the pro se defendant and my partner who worked to support us.
The lawsuit started July 9th‘ 2010 and finished September 8th, 2011. There were 337 filings total in this case. The clerks at the courthouse said they had never seen so many filings in a bankruptcy case. The Judge in my case would make us go last when we appeared before him. I couldn’t figure why we always had to go last until I sat through other cases a few times and heard other advisory cases. They were normal and not the circus that the NXIVM attorney put on before him. I figured he did not want to poison his courtroom which was such a dog and pony show.
It wasn’t over until they could no longer appeal the Judge’s decision. Once that time passed is when I could look for a career to start to rebuild my life.
- Cash from Mexico and Tax Evasion
Another time I went to Nancy’s house, she was upset again. We went through the same game of “What is the matter” Finally she spilled the beans that most of the Mexicans paid for their courses in cash. At the time, Mexico was NXlVM’s “cash cow”. By far, Mexico was the most successful area for NXlVM.
Nancy told me that they brought the cash across the border into the US. I found this puzzling and I asked her why Edgar Boone didn’t put it into his account and wire the funds into NXlVM’s account.
Nancy said they were not going to pay taxes on the money. Once again, I was taken back by Nancy l s answer. This was millions of dollars I am thinking to myself as many Level 2 trainings were being held there along with three Centers.
I started to get nervous, but I knew I had to remain calm. Nancy had just told me about the criminal activity she and Keith were committing.
“This is a lot of cash Nancy”, I said. Her response was they “legally brought it across in $10,000 amounts when trainers and coaches would go to Mexico or students from Mexico would come to Albany”.
My thought was how legal is it to bring money across the border if it is intended to be used in a later crime? I didn’t say that to her because I didn’t want to let on that I was upset that they were committing crimes now.
I did ask her, “How are you to get rid of all that cash, that is a lot of money to try to just spend”?
Nancy l s answer to me was “they were keeping in the safe in her basement until they figure all that out”.
Nancy finally realized what she had done. She had told one of the people in NXIVM who was not bendable when it came to stepping over the line to doing such behavior and she looked at me with a very stern face, a red face, and asked me, “What are you going to do with this information, Susan”?
At this time is when I became very afraid, I knew she had spilled some information that she could get into some trouble with Raniere over that would not be good for her, nor me for that matter. This was some serious information she laid on me. My mind was going a hundred miles an hour.
I took a deep breath and as calmly as I could tell her that there was nothing I could do with the information she had told me. I said I have no proof of anything Nancy, do l? That seemed to calm her down from the panic rage that seemed to be coming up.
I stood up and told her I had an early morning flight home and needed to go pack. I was afraid I might not make that flight. I was unsure what might happen to me having had that information. It’s not every day the leaders of an organization let you in on a part of their criminal enterprise.
I knew one thing, I had to make plans to leave NXIVM at that point there were too many things about it that were wrong, and I could not support know that were doing money laundry. That was my final straw.
As her normal pattern has been, Nancy does not take personal responsibility for her actions, Nor does she work to make changes in her life. I never witnessed that in my 9 years in NXIVM. I’ve asked people who stayed until the end if she made any changes, they said no. From what I’ve heard, she is still doing the same thing. Doing EM’s. Which means she is working with NXIVM members. How can that be’?
She has finally denounced Keith Raniere. Well, she didn’t when she stood by his side all those years when he was doing all those bad things. She supported it all. Called him a God. Said I didn’t know who he was. I was bad for not being able to see his goodness. For a long time, I thought she might be right. How bad is that to do to someone?
She needs to pay for her actions. She broke Clare Bronfman, she broke her daughter, and she broke Allison Mack. I witnessed all of that. None of them would have been Keith Raniere’s bed partner and none of them would have been in his criminal enterprise without the help of Nancy Salzman. She played whack-a-mole with all of them until they couldn’t think straight.
Thank you for allowing me to give you some background information on Nancy Salzman.
These are just some of the bigger things she has done to me personally. I have witnessed some horrible things she has done to others but that is their story to bring forwards.