Lauren Salzman and NXIVM Leader Keith Raniere
Lauren Salzman and NXIVM Leader Keith Raniere
News NXIVM The Cult of Keith Raniere The People involved

Former NXIVM Member Lauren Salzman Makes Comeback

Former NXIVM member Lauren Salzman makes a comeback, posting a new photo on Facebook, and moving on from her involvement in the cult's downfall.

Lauren Salzman, a former member of NXIVM who played a crucial role in bringing down the cult’s leader Keith Raniere, is making a comeback.

Lauren Salzman from a recent photo.

Salzman recently posted a new photo of herself on Facebook, a Maya Angelou quote, a Gandhi quote, and a semi-joking quote about her coffee. She appears to have a new look, perhaps buoyed by the relief of putting the years-long ordeal of the indictment, arrest, and trial behind her.

Salzman was with Raniere during his apprehension in Mexico in 2018 and later pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges, testified against Raniere, and assisted prosecutors.

Lauren also appears to have a new look.

It could be the great relief of being past the years-long ordeal of the indictment, arrest, cooperating with the prosecution in the federal case against Keith Raniere and her testimony that told her story of 20 years with the NXIVM leader, that makes her look buoyant. 

It was a long ordeal.

In 2019, Salzman pleaded guilty to racketeering and racketeering conspiracy charges, testified against Raniere, and assisted prosecutors. 

Lauren Salzman goes to court in 2019.

During the 2019 trial of Raniere, Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis halted Lauren’s cross-examination by Raniere attorney Marc Agnifilo when she began sobbing while in the middle of an answer about her intent to harm other women in DOS.

The judge said he stopped the testimony because he worried this “broken woman” might have a complete breakdown. He also explained that Salzman might have unraveled her plea deal by confessing she had no bad intentions when she was active in DOS.

Salzman’s lawyers explained in a sentencing memorandum that she had renounced Raniere and now sees the mistakes and harm she has done.

Her sentencing guidelines were seven to nine years.


In July 2021, Judge Garaufis sentenced Lauren to five years of probation and 300 hours of community service.

He mentioned her work as a dog groomer, which requires care and compassion, as one of his reasons for giving her probation.

Raniere, who unsuccessfully appealed the halting of Salzman’s cross-examination, is now petitioning the US Supreme Court to hear his argument that cross-examination is not the same as direct examination and that he had every right to impeach Salzman, despite her tears.

Salzman’s case raises questions about the role of plea bargaining in the American justice system, the treatment of cooperating witnesses, and the balance between a defendant’s right to cross-examination and the need to protect plea deals.

Salzman’s rehabilitation and reintegration into society are also at stake as she seeks to move on from her involvement with NXIVM and rebuild her life. Salzman’s case shows the complexity of the issues at play in cases involving cults and the long-term impact of these cases on the lives of those involved.

About the author

Richard Luthmann

Richard Luthmann is a writer, commentator, satirist, and investigative journalist with degrees from Columbia University and the University of Miami. Once a fixture in New York City and State politics, Luthmann is a recovering attorney who lives in Southwest Florida and a proud member of the National Writers Union. 

Add Comment

Click here to post a comment