For those who have been waiting breathlessly since last summer, it’s time once again for “Vanguard Week.”
Vanguard Week is that annual event set aside to commemorate the birthday of Executive Success Programs (ESP) and NXIVM creator Keith Raniere, known to his devoted fans as “Vanguard.”
The event will take place August 26th through September 5th at Lake George New York, touted as “10 days of synergy, enthusiasm and reflection.”
Mr. Raniere was previously best known as a failed multi-level marketing guru who beget “Consumer Buyline,” his business brainchild that ended less than a decade ago amidst a much-publicized financial meltdown.
But this time around Mr. Raniere seems to be selling enlightenment, and it’s pretty pricey.
Just for the privilege of seeking synergy with Vanguard “Nixians” will shell out about $2,000.00 per head, though there are “flexible payment options.”
Assisting Mr. Raniere will be his faithful sidekick Nurse Nancy Salzman known to her pupils as “Prefect,” self-proclaimed as “one of the top trainers of human potential in the world.”
Over 400 devotees are expected to turn out for Vanguard Week at the Roaring Brook Ranch and Resort Center and Silver Bay Association Conference Center in upstate New York.
And they will be regaled with programs that include “forums, inquiries, workshops” and of course “synergy…around the clock.”
“Select world-class entertainment will include…one of the world’s leading hypnotists…[an] internationally-acclaimed pianist, author of a New York Times Best Seller” and “special surprises.”
All this will be done for a proposed budget that totals about $130,000.
$50,000 just to bring in the best-selling author.
$12,500 for “gourmet vegetarian…specialty foods.”
$12,500 for sweatshirts.
$7,500 for T-shirts.
$8,000 for a “24-hour gourmet coffee bar.”
$7,500 for a “performance by the world’s leading hypnotist.”
$5,000 for decorations,
$10,000 for that “acclaimed pianist.”
$12,000 for the “NXIVM internationally acclaimed Harmonic Choir.”
$3,000 for “NXIVM entertainment night.”
$2,000 to be spent on “welcome gifts for Vanguard, Prefect and proctors or VIP attendees.”
The $130,000 price tag for Vanguard Week does not include another $60,000 proposed for an “Oscar winning director of leading documentary.”
Nexians have been asked specifically to sponsor a item “toward the investment of creating a memorable experience.”
CultNews has learned from a reliable source that one loyal disciple of Mr. Raniere has already agreed to sponsor “gourmet vegetarian chef and specialty foods” from their restaurant in exchange for training “intensives.”
As Keith Raniere says, “Humans can be noble. The question is: will we put forth what is necessary?”
Putting forth fat fees for high profile speakers and performers is nothing new for controversial groups.
Rev. Moon, a self-proclaimed “messiah” and leader of a purported “cult,” is willing to sign off on exorbitant fees, which in turn often lead to photo ops or at least a few blurbs citing big names at one of his events.
Mr. Raniere, the self-proclaimed “Vanguard,” probably cannot afford the level of notables nailed by Rev. Moon, but last year he did almost snag actress Goldie Hawn.
However, after Ms. Hawn heard that NXIVM had been called a “cult” she demurred and was a no-show for Vanguard Week despite the fat fee she might have picked up.
This year NXIVM has carefully kept its roster of alleged celebrities under wraps.
Whoever does show up at Lake George for Vanguard Week this year one thing is for sure, Mr. Raniere and Nurse Nancy will be there to hold forth for the faithful, shoveling out what Forbes Magazine once speculated might be labeled “horse manure.”
“Horse manure” was not listed as a line item on the proposed budget, but it may be provided at no additional charge.
Note: NXIVM is suing the Ross Institute (RI) and this CultNews reporter for “trade secret” violations and “copyright infringement.” This frivolous litigation has led to one court defeat after another for Keith Raniere, despite his willingness to spend big bucks on legal fees. Most recently Raniere has retained Carter G. Phillips and Eric A. Shumsky at the prestigious Washington D.C. law firm of Sidley, Austin, Brown and Wood to represent NXIVM on appeal before the United States Supreme Court. Were faithful Nexians asked to “sponsor” this too? RI is represented pro bono by Boston area attorney Douglas Brooks and Albany attorney Tom Gleason.