Why Did NXIVM Leader Lauren Get Probation?

MK10ART's portrait of Lauren Salzman

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?…

FRP response

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.

Judge Garaufis

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.

Lauren Salzman

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.

Lauren Salzman

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

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.

Lauren Salzman 

About the author

Frank Parlato


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  • As a woman I sympathise with Lauren and Nancy. These two women were mindfucked into oblivion. Lauren hopefully will have the chance to become a mother, something denied to her by the hirsute orc Raniere. She wasn’t a bad person. She clearly wasn’t a ‘person’ at all, just a creation of Raniere, incapable of independent personal thought. She was a captive. Just like Daniela. She is free now.

  • Bangkok-
    I’m glad your back and I hope you, one day, get to know Lauren’s hairless Chihuahua. I bet it likes balls.
    Happy New Year Bangkok!

  • She did come clean. I mean, yes, prison hung over her head, but whatever it takes. She still has a lot of healing left and no doubt she’s done more horrible shit we haven’t heard. Her mother’s involvement played a significant role.

  • And where did all this salary and money go? Cash hidden in other family houses and life insurance policies. Classic money laundering.

  • Lauren is a trained manipulator. She put on a show and cried her way out of prison. Classic female success story in all courts. Crying gets you sympathy which in turn gets you lighter sentence. In DV cases, even the most guilty woman who cries gets the male in jail.

  • I still can’t believe Lauren got no time. I don’t care about the crocodile tears she gave the judge, or the sappy letter that Sarah sent. The fact is Lauren was responsible (with KR) for holding a girl hostage for 2 years. I don’t understand how a judge can let that go? This is worse than anything her mother, Alison Mack, or the Brofman girls did. And I don’t think Lauren has remorse. She learned from all the actors in NXVIM. What a performance! Her get out of jail free show worked! The best crocodile tears ever. And a special thank you to Sarah E, the one Lauren manipulated, coerced, and lied too. Sarah was more than happy to send a judge a note asking for leniency for Lauren. Sarah has forgiven her and from what I hear wants to befriend Lauren again.

  • Lotsa dog associations there. Are you suggesting Lauren Salzman is a bitch?

    Dogs are angels? Noisy, filthy little bastards. Stupid as a bag of rocks, generally. Get your goddam cur outta my yard!

    Cats are gods.

  • “Keith Raniere never put his name on anything. He thought the lack of documentation would protect him.“

    According to the consent order, Raniere was “permanently enjoined from promoting, offering or granting participation in a chain distributor scheme in the State of New York”.

    Didn’t Raniere grant “participation in a chain distributor scheme in the State of New York” every time he approved the photos of naked “slaves”?

    Miriam Webster says a Vanguard is:
    1. the forefront of an action or movement
    2. the troops moving at the head of an army

    In Ancient Rome, a prefect was a military or civil official. Keith was the “Vanguard”. Nancy was the “Prefect”.

    Did the vanguard or the prefect grant participation to Lauren, Mark Vicente, Alex Betancourt, Sarah Edmondson, Emiliano Salinas, and Edgar Boone in NXIVM?

    Did “slave collateral” go to Nancy or Keith to grant participation in that operation?

    A wild theory, but it looks like those crazy “hidden hand” people set up Raniere in almost the same way Tom O’Neil described the set up of Charles Manson.

    Raniere did what L. Ron Hubbard did. Toni wrote about Raniere’s “dog-eared” copy of L. Ron Hubbard’s, “Dianetics”.

    Celebrities promoting international neurolinguistic programming, “EMs” and hypnotism sounds like Scientology.

    Exponential numbers of “slave” women READY! to do whatever Vanguard and Prefect ordered — around the world — could have created total chaos and Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis probably saved the world.

    In the video: “… the relationship between Scientology and NXIVM with ex-NXIVM member Kelly Thiel and Andrew Gold … the role celebrities like Tom Cruise and Allison Mack play in attracting new members …”

  • It’s great Raniere is in prison but there’s no need to torture him while there.

    Inhumane treatment brings down our whole culture. We need to be better than this.

    • What is this “we” crap?

      If you think you need to be better, then be better. You can start by not dropping your loyalty to Raniere & his cult.

        • Scott Johnson’s life is torture enough. Scott’s life is worse than Alonzo’s…..Anything!

          ….Ask him if he’s playing:
          World of Warcraft or FarmVille tomorrow.

          I’m a crank and Scott is a tool-bag.

          • Some guy was going around pretending to be a Texan who got cheated by Amway tool scams.

            People realized he was just too stupid to figure out how to use the tools. It was not that they were scams you just have to have an IQ over 80.

          • Scott Johnson honestly believes the Amway Tool Scam is more complicated than a game of monopoly which leads me to conclude Scott has an extra chromosome.

            Scott also believes the special symbols sewn into his underwear imbue him with super powers.

            Frank you should investigate whether or not Scott washes his underwear….

            Additionally you should investigate how old Scott’s wife was when they met. Was it 12 or 13?

  • Love the comparison to being a cat groomer. If cat groomer she’d be in jail! Priceless.

    What’s sad is it’s highly likely. The random, whimsical nature of sentencing is disturbing.

    • Lauren Salzman has kept a naked cat as a pet herself. And naked cats don’t need a groomer. The idea would never have occurred to Lauren, even if there was such a thing as a cat groomer.

  • Of the seven top earners listed in one of the paragraphs, only two were charged, with only one receiving prison time.

    With the way things are going, Lauren should jump in as a plaintiff in the civil suit and sue that chick who was in a room for two years, as well as her students and recruits who she made money from.

    • I’m not so sure. I have some sympathy for Lauren because in the end she did the right thing. Of course, like many others, she was brainwashed by the BS and infatuated by Raniere, but she had enough moral fibre to stand up in a court of law and testify under oath for 4 days. Her testimony was important in shining a light on what was the darkest period of Raniere’s torture and sexual exploitation of women.

      • She stood up only to get out of prison. She and her sister still believes in nxivm, cults, coaching, etc. They haven’t changed….they are actually empowered now to run nxivm 2.0.

  • Raniere’s ability to pick his victims and manipulate them is astounding. He is in jail and some victims are still defending him, along with sycophant’s that may have been hoping for his cast offs.

    Of all the convicts, Allison Mack is the most fortunate. She could have easily gotten 15ish years.

  • I concur with your cynical take on Garaufis’ meting out of “justice”. At least he got KAR’s sentence right. Lauren’s crocodile tears seemed to have done the trick for her. Nancy Salzman’s culpability, along with her complete lack of self-awareness as witnessed in The Vow’s 2nd season is just so damn frustrating still. But, the fact that we can wake up every day with the knowledge that Keith Raniere is locked up in the Arizona penitentiary for the rest if his life, is very satisfying. Thank you for doing your part in making that possible!

    • We don’t know where the Federal Bureau of Prisons will send him. He may not stay in Arizona.
      Can we guess where Raniere will end up?
      Colorado is also a beautiful place. A vacation there is also recommended.

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
Email: frankparlato@gmail.com