NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman sentenced to just 42 months in prison

In July Allison Mack was sentenced to three years in federal prison for her participation in the NXIVM cult. A few weeks later NXIVM cult leader Keith Raniere was ordered to pay $3.46 million in restitution to his victims. He is currently serving 120 years in federal prison. Now another major player in the NXIVM scandal has finally been sentenced. NXIVM co-founder, Nancy Salman, received a 42 months sentence for racketeering and a slew of other charges. Nancy received about half the sentence as Clare Bronfman, a Seagram heiress and NXIVM financial backer, who received 81 months in prison. Below are a few more details on Nancy from Variety:

In a sentencing memo, prosecutors had asked that Salzman be sentenced in the upper range of the recommended 33 to 41 months, and they got their wish: “The conduct underlying the defendant’s conviction warrants a substantial sentence,” wrote assistant U.S. Attorney Tanya Hajjar in a pre-sentencing court filing.

Salzman was featured, though not interviewed, in the phenomenon that was the HBO docuseries “The Vow” last year. The second season of the show — directed and executive produced by Jehane Noujaim and Karim Amer — is currently in production.

Sarah Edmondson — the NXIVM whistleblower who was one of the stars of “The Vow,” if such a characterization can be made about a documentary — was one of the former members of the cult who testified at the sentencing about Salzman’s abusive behavior. According to The Daily Beast, Edmondson submitted a video statement, saying she’s “not sure you will ever understand how your lies and faulty teachings affected me and others.”

Edmondson added: “I still have dreams about you, where I’m being punished by you for something trivial and I can’t speak up for fear of public shaming.”

Salzman is the fifth NXIVM member to be sentenced. In July, her daughter, Lauren, was sentenced to time served and five years of probation; in September 2020, Clare Bronfman (an heir to the Seagram’s fortune, and Raniere’s financial benefactor) was sentenced to 81 months; in October of last year, Raniere himself was sentenced to 120 years in prison; and last month, former “Smallville” actor and top NXIVM recruiter Allison Mack was sentenced to three years.

[From Variety]

I don’t believe that these sentences are adequate. Black and Latinx people are serving three times those sentences just for possession alone. These folks ruined lives, mentally and physically tortured people and assisted in the rape of women. Not to mention racketeering and financial crimes. Keith particularly didn’t seem remorseful in his deposition. The rest of the players don’t seem to grasp the f*ckery they have unleashed on the world either. Their remorse seemed performative for leniency. Organizations like this and their leader should not be given a pass. I am glad to see that some of Keith’s henchmen are being prosecuted but I wish they had stiffer sentences. Those at the top of NXIVM are stupid rich so I shouldn’t expect them to get long sentences. I’ll need to revisit The Vow, because I vaguely remember Nancy Salzman and I want a complete picture of her. I hope the victims of NXIVM are well compensated for their pain and suffering and I hope Keith will never touch grass again. As for the rest of them, may they live long to suffer.

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21 Responses to “NXIVM co-founder Nancy Salzman sentenced to just 42 months in prison”

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  1. Merricat says:

    Agreed. This is stupid White Lady justice, and it stinks.
    Let the punishment fit the crime.

    • terra says:

      It’s especially galling when you consider than a sentence of that length will likely put her in one of the so-called “country club” prisons.

      It’s also infuriating that she’ll have better – and entirely free! – healthcare as an inmate than a large portion of Americans, myself included, who are without access to medical care of any kind.

  2. BusyLizzy says:

    42 months is just ridiculous. It’s great to be a white lady in America.

    • Chana says:

      Even worse, her daughter Lauren admitted to locking a victim in a room FOR TWO YEARS and got ZERO jail time. She said she was sorry for her “poor decision-making”.

      Not to sound like an MRA, but it’s disgusting how women (white women) are always given a slap on the wrist for crimes they commit with men in exchange for their testimony. They’re equally culpable. If anything, the presence of other women likely tricks the victim into letting their guard down, rather than just a lone male predator.

      • Golly Gee says:

        Not to excuse Lauren, but the prosecutors urged the judge to give her a shorter sentence because she was so forthcoming with details and evidence about DOS that played a large part in being able to put the biggest monster of all —Keith— in prison for life. She didn’t shy away from detailing her own crimes either, which shows she was willing to pay for what she had done. Her mother brought her into the cult as a teenager so she was brainwashed at an early age and never had a chance really.

  3. BlueSky says:

    There is a 6 part docuseries on STARZ called “Seduced” it centers around India Oxenberg.
    It has a lot of never before seen footage that showed how depraved they were.

    • Keats says:

      Yeah I’d encourage watching that instead of The Vow. Something about The Vow really stinks to high heaven. Plus they kind of teased that they’d be talking to Nancy Saltzman season 2. I extremely do not think we need to hear from the top grifters.

      • Eugh says:

        It’s the fact the ex-NXIVM people seem pretty well off financially after ruining a lot of lives. Sure you were brainwashed too but you seemed to come out on top vs. the impressionable women that were recruited

  4. Dlc says:

    I wonder why Clare Bronfman was charged but not Sara. They were both deeply involved.

    • Golly Gee says:

      I think Clare was more hands-on and responsible for the abusive litigation against former members. Plus Sarah was living in France and never stepped foot in the US again for fear of being arrested. But she absolutely funded Nxivm and played a big part in the Rainbow Cultural Garden education program which robbed children of the ability to communicate. It never got much/any attention from law enforcement. The children were basically removed from their parents full-time and spoken to by a bunch of different “teachers” each one speaking a different language. Many of these children were unable to communicate because it didn’t make them multi lingual, it just robbed them of language to communicate with. Most of the centers were shut down, but there are still some in operation, not just in the US, but all over the world.

      • jwoolman says:

        There had to be a lot more to it than just having different adults speak different languages to them. Removal from parents sounds traumatic, for example. What else did they do to the kids?

        Children are normally very flexible with language learning, and that basic multilingual scenario should not hurt them in itself. One friend of a friend thought every adult spoke a different language until he was about five years old…. They might confuse languages sometimes for a while (I do that even with languages learned as an adult!), but in the long run it keeps their brains flexible. Not at all uncommon for children to be spoken to in different languages by each parent and then a third language (or more) by various carers and teachers.

        Children are little language learning machines up to a certain age, even through adolescence they pick up new languages well. They tend to maintain some of the original foreign accent past the age of about 9 or 10, more so as they get older, but still acquire native fluency.

        American schools used to try to discourage multilingual households, telling immigrant parents to only speak English rather than their two (or more) native languages plus English, but really that has always been a mistake. We know now that even knowing a child’s version of another language gives people a head start in learning languages later on.

        So these folks were doing other things to mess the kids up linguistically and otherwise if the children were unable to communicate. Restricted language maybe? Only certain topics? Not talking enough to and with the child? Or other emotional or physical constraints?

        You really have to work at it to mess up communication development in a normal child, the brain is built for it. There is a lot of leeway in parental skills required. But if children are not spoken to enough, for example, they can definitely have serious language delays that can involve other types of learning difficulties. It sounds as though these children were just being used as lab rats, though.

  5. Coco says:

    Maybe the sentencing hearing went light on her because she’s already has to live the rest of her life with such awful over-plucked eyebrows.

  6. Ariel says:

    It’s an appallingly short sentence. Without her mind control conversational techniques- the bases of the curriculum with his babbling over it – there would have been no cult. She’s one of his pumps. She should be spending the rest of her life in prison.

  7. Sean says:

    I wonder if she was able to negotiate such a good deal by providing great information on Keith…

  8. Deanne says:

    She was Keith’s main enabler for 20 years and this 3.5 year sentence is a slap in the face to her many, many, victims. She was apparently very confident she’d get no jail time after her daughter got probation, so at least this is something. Rich, white people justice strikes again. OMG that woman’s eyebrows are a crime unto themselves.

  9. Terri J Neff says:

    The series on STARZ was fascinating to watch. I dont know why any of these people are going to be allowed out ever.

  10. Scarlett says:

    Sounds about white, must be nice….

  11. pottymouth pup says:

    she was a licensed mental health professional who abused that position to spend years committing egregious acts of malpractice, and she used the trust & authority her position offered to facilitate the abuse Raniere committed. As such her sentence should be as long as Raniers’s.

  12. Alex says:

    They have murdered people. Not only by claiming the cult could cure cancer, but there are two bodies that were silenced that might be buried in NJ or somewhere up north around that area.