A feature story in BoredPanda, entitled “30 People Reveal The Most Surprising Transformations They’ve Seen From Former Classmates At High School Reunions,” includes an account from someone who knew Lauren Salzman, from the 3rd grade through high school.
The daughter of NXIVM’s president Nancy Salzman, Lauren was the director of education and a First Line slave of Keith Raniere in DOS,.
The classmate was shocked to discover, upon reconnecting at the 2o-year high school reunion, that Lauren was deeply involved in the notorious NXIVM cult.
Her schoolmate wrote of her:
I went to my twentieth [high school reunion] about five years ago. The woman [Lauren] organizing the event was in my class since 3rd grade, and was always bright, intelligent, charming and pretty.
She was very active in high school and by all counts had a very bright future.
Speaking to her at the reunion, it seemed that had happened for her. We talked about her self help/life coaching company and how they are growing and doing great. I asked her to send me more information when I got home (which is on the other side of the country).
I got an email from her introducing me to her west coast partner who’s email was from the url ESPLosAngeles.com which I thought sounded very contrary to what I was expecting.
A quick look at their web site had me immediately worried and a short google later I saw that they are an offshoot of the NXIVM cult that has been all over the news.
The woman I was talking to, that I knew since age 8, was Lauren Salzman, who just this week pleaded guilty to holding two sex slaves locked in a room for two years.
She was trying to recruit me and basically everyone at the reunion into NXIVM! I ‘noped’ right out of that email conversation and have been watching everything unfold for the last five years. They are all looking at some serious jail time now.
Lauren pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges in April 2019. She cooperated with the government’s investigation and was the sole cooperating witness for the prosecution.
Lauren testified for four days at Raniere’s 2019 trial. Her emotional account detailing years of abuse was instrumental in securing Raniere’s conviction on multiple counts, including sex trafficking and racketeering.
The judge stopped her cross-examination, fearing she might have a breakdown, when Ranier’s attorney asked her if she meant to harm others. This led to Raniere’s appeal based on the due process issue of the right to confrontation of witnesses and the prejudicial effect it might have had on the jury.
Judge Nichalos G. Garaufis sentenced Raniere to 120 years.
Before her sentencing, where she faced more than a decade in prison, Salzman wrote to the judge, “I do not have enough tears for how deeply sad, ashamed and regretful I feel.”
Prosecutors requested a reduced prison sentence for Salzman because of her “credible, detailed testimony”, noting that she even provided evidence against her friends, family and mother.
At her sentencing, her defense team cited her ongoing efforts to turn her life around, including undergoing therapy and her new-found work as a dog groomer.
Lauren Salzman in a recent photo….
Judge Garaufis citing Salzman’s “central” role in the prosecution of Raniere and her long victimization by him, sentenced her to five years probation and 300 hours of community service.