The paintings in this post are the work of MK10ART. See more of her work
A commenter, Davey Boy, asked:
Why did the government let Lauren Salzman off with only probation? While we’re at 20/20 hindsight, why did Nancy get off off with such a light sentence?…
Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis decided both mother and daughter’s sentences. I believe Lauren got probation because she testified for the prosecution. The judge halted her cross-examination when she broke down and cried.
Afterward, he said about her stopped cross-examination that she was a broken person.
The judge sympathized with Lauren. He watched her for three or four days on the witness stand, and she told an astonishing story. With plenty of tears.
Judge Garuafis believed she was sincere. A person caught up in blind, life-wasting, hypnotic devotion to a rogue.
He believed her mother helped seduce Lauren into her two decades devotion to him.
Nancy Salzman with her daughter Lauren.
Raniere and Nancy Salzman
It was, perhaps, a one-sided portrait. Lauren was a head trainer. She charged $250 per hour for therapy, called EMs.
She made tens of thousands for a single intensive sometimes.
Her mother, Nancy, Mark Vicente, Alex Betancourt, Sarah Edmondson, Emiliano Salinas, and Edgar Boone, were the top earners. Lauren was a notch below them – making perhaps $250,000 per year.
She drove a BMW. She wore designer clothes. She had a classy upstate New York home and two condos. She hosted V-Week. She hobnobbed with celebrities, and the rich and famous.
She traveled round the world teaching and she had prestige in her community.
Lauren hosting V-Week
Her sentencing memorandum focused on being a broken person now dog grooming. The wheel of fortune had run over her.
From NXIVM star, she shifted to humbly grooming dogs.
This was, if studied, brilliant. Dogs are minor angels, and one who grooms them, who makes their wings sleek and pure, is lumped with the angels.
The judge cited dog grooming as evidence of her earnest effort to make a new life. People who care for dogs are compassionate.
Lauren chose to help animals and forgo higher income opportunities.
She was as humble as an angel or a dog.
This suggested to the judge that Lauren got into NXIVM not for money or power, which she got, but because of an earnest desire to help others.
In the absence of Raniere, she would have accomplished remarkable things in the world. She would have given herself to charitable enterprises, living with integrity, as good and unselfish and as loyal as a dog.
Consider how much less effective her memorandum would have been if she became a cat groomer. Cats are judgemental and independent, they resist commands, they do not obey, or come when we call, and do not show gratitude for our taking care of them.
If she had become a cat groomer, she would have gotten prison.
A cat will sneer at you. He will leave the room when you want him, but a dog will never sneer. Dogs do all the things people on probation are expected to do.
So probation was just and reasonable, the only fair thing to do.
A broken person needs to be fixed. Probation was the fix for Lauren Salzman.
As for her mother, Nancy had a lot of brown, malodorous matter thrown against her before, during, and after the trial. But she was the first to jettison Raniere out of the five defendants.
The original NXIVM defendants
One might look at that as disloyal or as self respect. Or just self-serving.
Judge Garaufis gave her some leniency, but not as much as Allison Mack or Kathy Russell. Considering her mid-sixties age, he crushed Nancy at 42 months. Allison’s charges were more severe, but she got 36 months.
Russell did not cooperate – but renounced Raniere in the end. She got probation.
Judge Garaufis seems to have concluded that Raniere was the scoundrel and Clare Bronfman his enabler.
Clare’s crimes of conviction were less than the Salzmans’ and Mack’s. He sentenced her to more time than both of them combined – 81 months.
I believe the judge concluded Raniere is the disease. The others contributed in spreading the disease in varying degrees.
To the extent they are cured, is how they fared at sentencing.
The chart shows comparative sentences: L-R Kathy, Lauren, Allison, Nancy, Clare, and Keith’s sentences.
Raniere = 120 years
Bronfman = 81 months [still has the disease]
Nancy S. = 42 months [big part of the spread of the disease, uncertain of cure]
Mack 36 months [semi-cured, but trying to get well]
Lauren S = 0 months [She made considerable efforts to cure herself of the Raniere disease, which she caught from her mother]
Kathy 0 months. [hapless, likely cured, not dangerous]
Everyone gets freedom but him
Keith Raniere never put his name on anything. He thought the lack of documentation would protect him.
Nancy’s name was on everything. Many people thought she deserved a sentence more proportionate to his.
Not having anything in his name did not do him a damn bit of good.
And Lauren got probation to live freely. To the extent she can live down her past, with dogs to help her.
There was a curious mingling of fortune one to another. The appearance of the bird was ill luck for the worm, but the worm was a stroke of good fortune for the hungry bird.
Raniere was deaf to success. Lauren helped to sink him.
Judge Garaufis told Lauren to go in peace. Go, love your dogs, grow. Be not deaf to success. Our most beautiful dreams are born from our nightmares. Heal yourself, then come out again unbroken.