CRIME

NXIVM Leader Keith Raniere Arrested Just Before Group Sex: Former 'Slave'

Former "slave" Lauren Salzman testified that the accused cult leader hid in a closet from authorities while she tried to protect him from arrest.

The arrest of NXIVM leader Keith Raniere in March 2018 occurred just moments before he was about to have group sex with six “slaves,” a former member testified on Tuesday.

Lauren Salzman spoke in Brooklyn federal court about the moments before and after Raniere was arrested by Mexican federal agents, who raided the Puerto Vallarta compound where they were staying.

Salzman, the daughter of NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman, said she had barricaded herself in a master suite while Raniere hid in a closet, according to the Daily Beast.

“My main concern was to protect Keith. It was almost automatic,” Salzman said. “I chose love over everything, just like we were taught by Keith.”

The raid happened just as Salzman and other female members of the cult were about to perform a “recommitment ceremony” to prove their loyalty to Raniere.

Buzzfeed reported Salzman testified that she assumed this meant they would be engaging in group sex ― and the prospect didn’t excite her.

“There has to be a way that I can grow that isn’t this,” Salzman said she thought to herself. “I have no way of growing except [by participating in] a group blow job?”

Although the “recommitment ceremony” never took place, Salzman testified the arrest showed her Raniere’s true colors.

Salzman said the officers kicked in the door, threw her to the floor and surrounded her with guns drawn, while Raniere hid in a closet.

Feeling scared, Salzman cried out for Raniere’s help. He eventually came out to read her the indictment she said federal authorities “thrusted in his face.”

That’s when Salzman said she realized Raniere was not her protector, “but a coward,” according to the New York Post.

“It never crossed my mind that I would choose Keith and Keith would choose Keith,” Salzman said on Tuesday. “For months after that I felt like such a failure for not being strong enough. I felt like I let him down.”

HuffPost

BEFORE YOU GO

PHOTO GALLERY
The Faces Of Sex Trafficking
CONVERSATIONS