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Times Union piece on Nancy Salzman’s fall from Nxivm ‘Prefect’ to guilty plea is devastating

[Keith Raniere and Nancy Salzman in happier times]

The Albany Times Union really uncorked a beauty today. Written by Brendan J. Lyons, it does a great job tracing Nancy Salzman’s involvement with Keith Raniere and Nxivm now that she’s pled guilty, the first of the Nxivm defendants to do so.

A few excerpts from the piece…

— For Salzman, a self-declared “psychotherapist,” Wednesday’s plea marked the first break in her more than 20 years of allegiance to NXIVM’s spiritual leader, Keith Raniere, who remains a top target of the Justice Department’s continuing prosecution.

— By the mid-1990s, Salzman was running a Capital Region business called the International Center for Change, where she promoted teaching “strategies for success.” After being introduced to Raniere, and meeting several women who were part of his inner circle at a 1997 Christmas party, she quickly bought into his theories of what he called “rational inquiry.” Together, they formed Executive Success Programs, which would become the foundation of NXIVM. Raniere set about developing self-help training modules that were patented as “intellectual properties,” Salzman said, and drew clients that included high-level officials in New York government agencies.

— Salzman’s devotion to Raniere’s teachings, including a relationship the government said at one time included intimacy, resulted in her unwavering commitment to the man who called himself “Vanguard,” even as published reports and court filings began detailing the organization’s relentless attacks on its enemies and Raniere’s alleged penchant for manipulating women, including minors, for sex. In one instance, Salzman is alleged to have participated in Raniere’s decision to keep a young Mexican girl — whose family members were NXIVM devotees — locked in the upstairs bedroom of a Halfmoon townhouse, in a neighborhood where Raniere and many of his followers have lived for more than 20 years. Federal prosecutors say the young woman was held there against her will for 23 months. The young woman’s “breach” that led to her punishment was that she had shown affection for someone other than Raniere. Her crush, according to court records and federal prosecutors, was Benjamin T. Myers, 41, who oversees NXIVM’s computers and is in a relationship with Salzman’s younger daughter, Michelle, 39, also a NXIVM devotee. According to a new indictment unsealed last week, Salzman in 2005 allegedly helped facilitate Raniere’s sexual relationship with the young Mexican woman’s sister, who was at the time 15 years old.


Oh, there’s so much more. Read the entire article and let us know which parts you found most interesting.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 18, 2019 at 17:00

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Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He’s written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology’s harassment of Paulette Cooper titled ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely,’ and more recently a compilation of his stories, ‘Battlefield Scientology.’ He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world, as well as other subjects at The Underground Bunker. You can reach him by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT (Drop him a line if you’d like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.)


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