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NXIVM: Lauren Salzman testifies about keeping a sex slave captive in a room for 2 years

[Lauren Salzman]

Lauren Salzman’s testimony continues in the Nxivm trial, and our correspondent Dianne Lipson is out at the lunch break to give us an update.

But first, her notes on yesterday’s afternoon session…

Lauren’s direct testimony continued into the rest of the day. Most of the time when I glanced at Keith, he was looking at Lauren. Only a few times he was taking notes.

It was explained what ‘fully collateralized’ means. It means the slave has given the second collateral. The first collateral was given for the purpose of the potential DOS member finding out about the ‘women’s empowerment group.’ So the second collateral made her fully collateralized.

Lauren recruited a slave named Audrey, who provided as her second collateral, a letter accusing her partner of domestic violence. Release of this letter would have gotten her partner fired from his job. When Lauren enrolled Audrey, Lauren withheld from her Keith’s role on DOS.


There was sort of contract drawn up between Lauren and Audrey, with a non-disclosure agreement which if Audrey broke, she owed Lauren one million dollars. It also stated that Lauren had the right to release Audrey’s collateral. This agreement, dated Feb 10, 2017, also listed Audrey’s assets in collateral, including her car, bank accounts, IRA, and personal home furnishings.

Lauren subsequently enrolled two more slaves, one of whom was an attorney in California named Amanda. Amanda’s collateral included an account of alleged abuse in her family, explicit photos, and a letter accusing her partner of abuse. Once again, Lauren concealed Keith’s role in DOS. The collateral was eventually transferred to Rosa Laura in both electronic and hard copies. The hard copies were kept in a safe in Rosa Laura’s home.

A spreadsheet was shown in court, a list of all who were enrolled in DOS, 102 members, some not fully collateralized. Camilla was member #1, and Lauren was member #8. Lauren was an enthusiastic and skilled recruiter, with 22 names under her. Camilla, being young and not having so many contacts, only had one slave under her.

Now we come to the branding ceremony for the slaves Lauren recruited. The women did not know each other, they were from different places. Lauren had them come to her house at staggered times. She put each of them in different rooms, had them take all their clothes off, and blindfolded them. Then they all met and the blindfolds came off. They went to Allison’s house to do the branding. Lauren thought their brands would be 1 inch by 1 inch, but the brands ended up being bigger than that. One slave screamed horrendously at the pain, and she finally asked for something to bite down on. Sarah was urging the women to do Yogic breathing. Using this technique herself, Sarah handled the branding better than the others. Lauren was proud of her, at the time. Danielle did the branding.

Lauren now feels like the branding was the beginning of the end of her relationships with all those people. She feels bad about Keith’s involvement, that it was Keith’s initials, and about the collateral.

Lauren testified readily. Her demeanor was that of a woman who was anxious to tell her story.

After the branding, a group photo was taken. Slaves were required to send Lauren subsequent photos, in which they were required to look happy, or the photo would have to be re-taken.

Photos were taken of the women’s brands at various stages of healing. Photos were shown in court of Audrey’s brand. Lauren traced out the K, the A, and the R. Keith Alan Raniere.

DOS, like SOP, had readiness drills. When Lauren told her slaves that she would be taking a paddling for her their failures in the readiness drills, her slaves said that they wanted to take the paddling, too.

Telegram chats were shown in court. In one exchange, Lauren sent Audrey a picture of a paddle that Audrey was to buy. This was for their failure in the readiness drills.

Lauren received a feedback from Allison, that Lauren was allowing her slaves to do things that Allison would not allow her (Allison’s) slaves to do, that Lauren was not doing a good job as a master.

One text exchanged was about a slave who wavered back and forth about being in DOS, and wanted her collateral back. Lauren expressed that getting scared and wanting to quit was exactly the reason for the collateral. There was a philosophy that women looked for a ‘back door,’ to get out of things. For instance, this could involve throwing a tantrum to get off the hook. Collateral was to make sure there was no ‘back door’ option anymore. Lauren expressed that this woman wanted to grow, but growth may not be comfortable. Collateral was to push through and stay consistent. In dealing with this woman and talking her into things, Lauren now says she failed to take into account all the collateral they had on her.

In another text exchange Audrey said: Master, I feel really hungry around my period. Can I increase my calories at that time? Lauren refused permission, saying that at 1500 calories a day, her calories were already high. (In communications, Master was capital M. If the slave referred to the master as ‘You’ the Y was capitalized. Nouns and pronouns referring to Masters always started with a capital letter. )

In a subsequent text exchanged, Lauren passed on Keith’s instructions about how to make the paddling really hurt.

Prior to joining DOS, Lauren had been aware of sexual relations between Keith and some first-line DOS slaves. But she had not been aware of the sexual nature of DOS, for example the naked pictures, the paddling, the dungeon.

Allison mentioned to Lauren something called The Assignment. Lauren wanted to know what this was, and Allison explained that The Assignment was instructions to a slave to seduce Keith. When Lauren asked Keith about this, Keith denied having sex with Allison’s slaves who were given The Assignment. He said the purpose of The Assignment was to give a woman the experience with a man where the man could have used power over the woman, but didn’t. Lauren still felt this was an abuse of power, but she compartmentalized this feeling.

Lauren was told, I think by Allison, that Keith did have sex with Allison’s slaves Nicole and Susie, but that they were still working on India and J.

Keith later explained this away by saying that he hadn’t corrected Allison on this info.

At first Lauren thought it was only Allison’s slaves who were given The Assignment, but she later found out there were others as well.

Lauren testified that DOS was publicly exposed by a blogger. DOS began to be discussed in the NXIVM community. Subsequently, Sarah’s husband, nicknamed Nippy, angrily confronted Lauren and Jim Del Negro about his wife’s brand of Keith’s initials. When Keith was told about this he feigned surprise. Keith: I didn’t know it was my initials! How do you think I feel about this?

Keith went to the DOS house and told them they were not to tell anybody about his involvement, and they were not to say that the brand was his initials. DOS members subsequently told people that the brand was Greek letters, or an esoteric symbol. After DOS was exposed, Keith wanted DOS members to make a website with a new name for the sorority, and to say that this new name had been the name all along. Lauren followed Keith’s instructions regarding what to say about DOS. There was massive de-enrollment in NXIVM.

When Nancy found out about DOS, she was very upset. Lauren lied to Nancy about Keith’s involvement. So Nancy thought that a group of women who didn’t think things through, had jeopardized everything Nancy had worked for, everything she had built for twenty years? Nancy asked, How could you do this? She blamed DOS for destroying her company.

Audrey and others demanded their collateral back. Lauren forwarded their requests to Clare, who was in charge of legal issues. If Lauren didn’t respond, Audrey said she would email the Executive Board, which she subsequently did. Audrey said the collateral was taken under false pretenses, hiding Keith’s involvement.

Lauren testified that no one got their collateral back. There was no more discussion of anyone’s collateral being released, as Keith felt that this would validate the allegations against him, and also the purpose of the collateral would be broken.

Testimonials were given that DOS was a positive experience. And Lauren had many photos where the DOS slaves looked happy, because she had instructed them to look happy.

Keith addressed the NXIVM leadership, and wrote a statement on the website, that he was not affiliated with DOS, But Keith said that some things in DOS could be seen as ‘alternative.’ Lauren testified that this was not true, Keith created DOS. And what happened in DOS was far more than just ‘alternative.”

Keith said that his adversaries were using the media, which was not honorable or ethical to do. But NXIVM was going to oppose them in an honorable way by using the vaunted US legal system. Lauren feels that Keith was trying to re-frame their perspective of how to view the situation.

Tuesday Morning

Lauren’s testimony continued. After DOS was publicly exposed, there was discussion of releasing video of a branding ceremony to show reporters, with the audio left out. But one piece of dialogue would be left in: someone saying, “Master, please brand me, it’s an honor I want to wear the rest of my life.” But there were concerns about doing this.

Keith made a position statement regarding DOS that he sent to first-line DOS masters. It was a few days after the NY Times article. The shaming of these women is misogynistic, Keith wrote. This is a campaign against alternative lifestyles and against women. Women should have the freedom to express themselves. DOS has nothing to do with Nxivm, but Nxivm supports their right to do alternative activities without shame.

Lauren now feels that this statement was a misdirection. She now realizes the NY Times story was about coercion, not alternative lifestyles.

The vow of obedience was taken not knowing what they were going to have to obey. Now she knows it was not consensual.

Lauren herself was telling reporters that Keith wasn’t involved in DOS. She learned that AM told a reporter that she took credit for the brand, and it was an opportunity for women to express their freedom.

The brand was supposed to represent mountains and rivers and the seven chakras, not Keith’s initials.

When Lauren communicated with Keith in Mexico, burner phones were used. He said they were being investigated in three countries. But Keith said we will win because the truth is on our side.

Lauren felt that the creation of the Society of Protectors, DOS and J-ness was to create a private army for Keith.

Lauren told law enforcement the same lies about Keith not being in charge and the brand being the womens’ idea.

She recounted an upset with Emiliano (Salinas). A slave, Nicole, told Emiliano that she had been forced to have sex with Keith. Alex Bettencourt called Lauren to communicate Emiliano’s upset. But Keith told her that he’d had not sex with Nicole. Emiliano was leaving Nxivm, and this was very sad for Lauren.

Lauren said all these things were disturbing, and she was starting to have real concerns.

But the thought of leaving? Keith had been her mentor for 20 years. It would affect her relationship to her mother and sister. And Lauren still wanted to have a child with Keith.

“It would have meant leaving my entire life.”

Around the time of DOS being exposed, Keith again dangled the possibility of having children. But he continued to put it off. He told her that Nxivm was going to build a fertility clinic in a few years, and they could do it then. But Lauren wanted it now.

Lauren says she got a call from Daniella, saying that they should do something special for Keith. The special thing would be a commitment ceremony involving most first-line slaves, in which there would be a group blowjob for K.

Lauren didn’t want to do it at first. Keith said that this group blowjob was not his idea. (Dianne says she’s not sure this ever happened.)

In Mexico, Lauren was with Keith when he was arrested. She described police pounding on the door. Lauren wanted Keith to leave out a window. Keith wanted Lauren to call Jack Levy, but she didn’t have a phone. She could see police were surrounding the property. Daniella and other women were on the patio outside.

Keith said she should ask if they have a warrant, and he went to hide in a walk-in-closet.

At one point she was held on the ground with three guns pointed at her. They asked her if there was anyone else in the house.

Lauren called out Keith’s name. They then pulled him out in handcuffs. She felt terrible for months that she let him down for this.

She felt it was proof of Keith’s ideas about women not upholding principles, like being willing to die for an idea.

The testimony then focused on Daniella and her imprisonment. Daniella’s parents were very enthusiastic about her joining Nxivm. She was 17 when she came to Albany.

Daniella was spending a lot of time with Keith. She was reading books for Keith, summarizing them for him. The whole family subsequently came to Albany. Her brother, for example, was working with Mark Vicente making films.

Lauren learned that Daniella had come to US illegally through Canada.

At one point Keith said he and Daniella had a terrible screaming fight. Daniella was in her early 20s. Daniella said that Keith wanted both her and sister Marianna to take a nap with him.

Keith presented Lauren with a project. Daniella was not doing the work she committed to. Daniella would be given an ultimatum to fix it or go back to Mexico.

Lauren asked Keith, what did Danny do? He said, she knows what she did.

Lauren didn’t want to do it, but Keith said, some day you might have a child and somebody may call you saying we have your child held for ransom, give us a million dollars. You can deal with that kind of personality now, or later when it happens. That personality meaning Daniella, a psychotic person.

So Lauren agreed to take on the project: to keep Daniella in a room until she had healed whatever the “breach” with Keith was. Nothing would be in the room except a bed on the floor, pen and paper, and her meals would be brought to her.

Daniella was supposed to be in the room a week to ten days, but she was in there for almost two years.

The family agreed that they wouldn’t communicate with her, but some of them did. Daniella wrote up plans to rectify the situation, but they were never good enough for Keith. And at some point he stopped looking at her new letters.

Lauren said she bought into Keith’s idea that Daniella was a game player. Lauren was mad at Daniella for not figuring out what she was supposed to be doing to make things right.

Lauren was unkind, and she said that the situation was jeopardizing her own situation to have children with Keith.

Prosecutor Tanya Hajjar asked her, how do you feel about this now?

Lauren was crying. In 20 years working with Keith, this was the worst thing she had ever done.

Not only had they kept Daniella in a room for about 2 years, but the relationships in Daniella’s family were severed. Lauren now thinks this is terrible.

At one point, Daniella wrote a message, begging to be let out, saying that she was coming undone. Her sister intercepted the message, not allowing their parents to see it.

Camilla asked to speak to Daniella. But Lauren said no. The family shouldn’t speak to Daniella, because then she would learn that she could get upset and get what she wants. Asking to leave the room was the opposite of “healing the breach.”

After that call for help, Daniella was in the room for an additional three or four months.

Lauren’s testimony continues into the afternoon.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 21, 2019 at 14:55

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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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