More controversy is swirling around the Executive Success Programs (ESP) led by a failed multi-level marketing guru Keith Raniere, now known to his devotees as “Vanguard.”

Raniere is pushing ahead with a proposal to build a 66,000 square foot NXIVM (pronounced Nexium) center in a small town near Albany, which would then be run by ESP.

But the townsfolk seem to dislike both the building plan and Raniere’s group, reports The Community News.

“Their Web (site) sounds like a brainwashing type of cult,” wrote in one resident.

In an apparent dedication ceremony to launch the project, before receiving Planning Commission approval, one perplexed resident witnessed ESP members “on their hands and knees kissing the ground, scooping up the soil and kissing it, some…rolling on the ground.”

The president of ESP Nancy Salzman, who was mentored by Raniere, told the planning commission that the proposed center would offer instruction for “people to maximize their potential through parenting, relationship and executive success classes.”

Does this mean the project is business related or a social service?

Salzman is called the “Prefect” by devoted “ESPians” and seems to be the second in command.

Right now the group is preparing to throw a weeklong birthday bash for “Vanguard” later this month.

Vanguard Week is a celebration of the human potential to live a noble existence and to participate in an interdependent civilization,” says Raniere.

So why is it named “Vanguard Week” and celebrated on Raniere’s birthday?

During this week of “celebration” there will be “forums every night with Vanguard and Prefect [Salzman],” notes the ESP website.

Sound a little creepy?

Does this mean reaching the “human potential to live a noble existence” is somehow dependent upon this dynamic duo?

Is that what Raniere means by an “interdependent civilization”?

Raniere’s last scheme was an interconnected multi-level buying club called “Consumer Buyline,” which collapsed amidst scandal and lawsuits.

It doesn’t look like many of the residents near the proposed NXIVM complex feel like celebrating Raniere’s birthday during “Vanguard Week.”


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