Underneath the surface of Hollywood’s glitz and glamour lies a dark and deplorable secret world that, for many us, is just now coming to light.
Sure, the internet is full of conspiracy theories about Tinsel Town and the eccentric, wealthy denizens of the movie industry. Lurid tales tend to rise to the surface every now and then, sometimes serving as as subtle reminder that the “elite” population of our nation is living life in a “big club” that we “ain’t in”, according to George Carlin.
But what exactly do members of the “big club” do? Some very strange stuff indeed.
Lauren Salzman is a high-ranking member of NXIVM (pronounced nex-ee-um), a self-help group whose leader Keith Raniere is facing trial for child exploitation, sex trafficking, forced labor, racketeering, and other crimes.
Salzman is the second person to be convicted in the high-profile “sex cult” case, which has also charged Smallville actress Allison Mackwith sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor. Lauren Salzman’s mother Nancy Salzman, the president and co-founder of NXIVM, pleaded guilty to racketeering conspiracy earlier this month.
NXIVM began in 1998 offering expensive “executive success” seminars in upstate New York, drawing cult accusations as early as 2003. The courses prod participants’ insecurities and claim to break down “self-limiting beliefs” that keep people from achieving their dreams.
Of course, the truth behind NXIVM is much more despicable and heinous.
Women who were initiated into the group were required to stick to extreme low-calorie diets and participate in “readiness” drills that interrupted their sleep. “Masters” in the group allegedly tested women’s loyalty through assignments that could include having sex with Keith Raniere. If women did not complete the assignments, they believed damaging information or photos of their naked bodies would be released.
Court documents allege Lauren Salzman was a “first-line master” in the secret women’s group, and was herself a “slave” to Raniere. She and Mack both pledged a lifelong “vow of obedience” to the alleged cult leader, according to a former member.
As with the Jeffrey Epstein case that is currently under adjudication, conspiracy theories are abound regarding what will or won’t be released publicly regarding these crimes.
But, as seems to be correct more often than not, the truth is stranger than the fiction.
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