Lauren Salzman, one of the family sex cult leaders, was one of the brightest stars in the NXIVM sex cult orbit. And the former slave master is also the most recent to have her day in court. She is repentant.
The 45-year-old slithered out of going to a dungeon of another sort last Wednesday when Brooklyn Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis gave her credit for time served under house arrest, plus five years probation.
In 2019, Salzman, one of the family sex cult leaders, pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges.
“It kills me that I hurt people that I loved so much,” a sobbing Salzman told the court.
But on Planet Sex Slave, Salzman and her mother Nancy always stood out among Svengali Keith Raniere’s devout followers. They were the heavy hitters, along with former Smallville star Allison Mack and Seagrams heiress Clare Bronfman.
For starters, Nancy founded the self-help NXIVM with Raniere, became his lover, and introduced daughter Lauren to the cultish creep. Over the years, both mother and daughter had sex with Raniere, who was sentenced in 2019 to 120 years in prison following convictions for racketeering, sex trafficking, sexual exploitation of a child, human trafficking, and more.
Nancy and her daughter Lauren flipped on Raniere in the face of very long jail sentences.
It was Lauren Salzman who explained to investigators how the inner circle sex cult, DOS, worked and how nude photos, secrets and compromising letters were furnished for blackmail. Then it was time for sex with Raniere and their slave masters.
Next came the infamous branding of Raniere’s initials on the pubic area, which Salzman said symbolized a lifetime vow.
“I wish I could go back. I wish I could take my participation back. I wish I had been stronger and seen things sooner,” Salzman wrote to the court.
Her lawyers said her mother Nancy first introduced Lauren to Raniere when she was still in college. She was “encouraged” to take the group’s self-help courses to help her plot her life path.
Within two years, Lauren Salzman was one of the cult’s leaders and also began a 17-year sexual relationship with Raniere. She hoped to have his babies.
“I was 23 years old, and I really thought I was helping change the world,” she wrote. “Over time, I have witnessed him gain control in countless others’ lives and exploit them for his own ends.”
Lauren later admitted that while sifting through documents relating to the sex cult, she was struck by the totality of her crimes.
“The manipulation and years of abuse that I participated in and was complicit in became very clear,” she wrote. “This almost destroyed me, but it also gave me a clear path and direction.”
Sobbing on the stand in 2019, even the judge described her as a “broken person.” Two years later, she has put her life back together as a dog groomer.
“At 45 years old, I am finally in a stable and consistently positive and progressive situation,” she wrote. “I feel proud of my choices and relieved to finally have a life that is my own, an experience I never had prior to now.”
Her mother, another one of the family sex cult leaders, testified that she blamed herself.
Nancy Salzman wrote: “I am responsible for Lauren being before you, having endured arrest, prosecution and successful cooperation, and now facing her own judgment.”
Nancy Salzman pleaded guilty to one count of racketeering conspiracy and will be sentenced Sept. 8.