Witness: Self-help guru wanted women to be ‘hungry dogs’

NEW YORK (AP) — A former follower of self-help guru Keith Raniere says he was a taskmaster who expected her to be as obedient as a “hungry dog.”

Lauren Salzman testified Monday that she and other women, including TV actress Allison Mack, were under orders to send Raniere nude photos of themselves and paddle each other if they broke his rules.

Salzman is a government witness at a New York City trial where prosecutors have accused Raniere of forcing some followers of a cult-like group called NXIVM (NEHK’-see-uhm) to become sex slaves sworn to secrecy.

Lawyers for Raniere say his encounters with the women were consensual and meant to help with their personal growth.

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Salzman is testifying as part of a plea deal in the sex-trafficking case. She and Mack have pleaded guilty in the case.

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