The sentencing memorandum for Nancy Salzman was filed under seal on August 30th by her attorneys, David Stern and Robert Soloway. It was authored by Stern.
The judge required the Prefect, as she is known to her followers, to publicly file the memorandum. The lawyers did as instructed on September 7th, one day before sentencing, but curiously they kept 39 letters of support under seal until after sentencing, which occurred on September 8th.
Salzman, who was sentenced to 42 months for racketeering conspiracy, admitted to two racketeering acts:
- conspiring to commit identity theft
- conspiring to alter court records in a federal civil proceeding.
Before we look at some of the 39 letters, let us look at the memorandum. Stern points out that the racketeering acts for which she was convicted of occurred over a decade ago when she was under the thrall of Keith Raniere, a sadist, cruel, vicious to the core, humiliating, punishing, depraved sex fiend whom Nancy thought was the most ethical, noble and intelligent man in the world.
“She wrongly believed that whatever she did on his behalf was for the greater good,” Stern wrote.
The arguments in the memorandum, written to persuade the judge to give her a lenient sentence, preferably home arrest or probation, are simple:
- Raniere made her do it.
- She bravely pleaded guilty once she realized Raniere was bad.
- She was first among the six NXIVM defendants to do so, leading the way for the government to get others to plead guilty.
- She persuaded her daughter, Lauren, to do likewise.
- She takes care of her elderly mother.
- She took care of her father until the day he died.
- Every bone, down to the marrow, in Nancy’s body is made of unalloyed pure gold [bless her heart].
Her lawyer gave the judge a little history of the grand lady of NXIVM.
- Nancy graduated from New Jersey’s Muhlenberg Hospital School of Nursing in 1975.
- She “accepted a nursing position” at St. Mary’s Hospital in Waterbury, Connecticut.
- She gave birth to her daughter, Lauren, one year later.
- She developed an interest in bio- feedback and neuro-linguistic programming.
- In 1991, she separated from her first husband, Michael, a physician. Her daughters were 14 and 11.
- In 1992, she married Edward Pike.
- Throughout the 1990s, she owned a private center that treated people suffering from chronic pain.
- She got offers to train staff from Children’s Hospital at Albany Medical Center, the New York State Department of Criminal Justice, American Express, Saint Cabrini Nursing Home, and the New York State Department of Health.
- She separated from Pike in 1997 and was later divorced.
- In 1997, Salzman received a contract to provide staff training to Consolidated Edison.
This wonderful woman was on the verge of huge career success, but, yet, after two divorces, “her self-esteem was at one of the lowest ebbs of her life.”
Then she met Raniere.
In the sentencing memorandum, Stern writes that Raniere, “offered to help her find solutions to some of the problems which she had been hired to solve, including some questions that confronted her in her Con Edison project” and that randy, young devil, “almost immediately…began an intimate physical relationship” with Nancy, which, as her lawyer was quick to point out, was “initiated by him.”
It was almost as if she had no choice, or shall we call it “agency,” in the matter despite being six years older than him.
Why did she do it? “Because she felt desperate for love and respect, [so] she went along,” her lawyers wrote.
Raniere Made Her Do It
As the memorandum narrates, “Nancy Salzman is a 66 year old woman who for most of the past twenty years has been fooled, controlled, humiliated, and ultimately led to engage in criminal conduct by an egotistical, self-important, sex fiend who told all who would listen about his (fake) solution for mankind’s problems.”
“Raniere exploited her,” Stern wrote, ” … pretending to be someone he never was - namely, a seeker for universal good, gifting the world his ‘new ethical understanding’ that would allow ‘humanity to rise to its noble possibility…The only goal Raniere ever really pursued was what was best for him.”
“Raniere’s undeniable powers of control over the human will of certain people and uncanny ability to neutralize the judgment of these individuals, took Ms. Salzman on a terrible decades-long journey,” Stern continued.
It was pure hell for Salzman.
Everywhere she went, she was hailed as the Prefect. She had a clothing budget of some $40,000 per year. She made a neat six-figure salary, traveled around the world teaching, was accorded the highest respect by her high net worth students, and regarded by adoring students as a person of wisdom and inner power. At every class of NXIVM around the world, her photograph was on display, right next to the Vanguard. All gave her tribute. Students would vie to run her errands and clean her house. She always had gophers and assistants and her word was considered sacrosanct, next only to Raniere in its inestimable value.
It was a rough life.
The Bronfman sisters paid her thousands per hour for sessions and bought her millions of dollars in real estate titled in her name, She kept hundreds of thousands, if not millions, in cash at her home.
She suffered for decades.
As for Raniere, he was so mean to Nancy that when she failed to act as he commanded, “correction… took the form of gratuitous abuse and public humiliation.”
He “enlisted the whole community in his punishments” even pitting her own daughter against her.
“Lauren… would often be tasked [by Raniere] with confronting her mother about her breaches, and to encourage her to acknowledge Raniere’s near infallibility.”
Then there was the endless dieting.
Nancy was put on a low calorie diet yet “no matter how thin she became, she was never thin enough.”
Raniere cut her off from his magical sex energies too.
“After meeting all of Raniere’s demands, she was told without explanation that he would not continue a physical relationship with her. Although he refused her a physical relationship, he did not want her to have intimate relationships with others, claiming that doing so ‘was not in her best interest.’”
Still, she stayed.
“Nancy’s devotion to Raniere was such that she accepted his orders and has had no romantic relationship for the past twenty years.”
Another slide from V-Week.
Stay tuned for Part 2 of Nancy, the Victim, Salzman.