Two people are selling new yoga “technology”. They are Siobahn Hotaling and Evan Zimmerman. Both are associated with Keith Raniere who prefers to be addressed by his self-given title of “Vanguard”.
Thee are visiting yoga schools in the Albany area to promote the new technology that promises to make a beginning yoga student into a yoga master almost overnight. For a fee, of course.
They are choosing not to mention the name of the technology’s creator, Keith Raniere a/k/a Vanguard.
In Albany, Mr. Raniere is considered a cult-like figure. Many have read dozens of stories about him in the Albany Times Union. His followers have been told that all those stories are “fake news”.
A reader commented to Frank Report in a phone call that Mr. Zimmerman and Miss Hotaling are “dead ringers” for cult leader Charles Manson and his follower Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme.
Judge for yourself.
Mr. Zimmerman is a partner with Dr. Danielle Roberts D.O. in another Raniere-based multi-level marketing company called Exo/Eso. It is based on an “eight platform” Raniere-inspired “technology” that is intended to improve the “mind body complex.” Courses cost up to $7,500.
Despite being a co-owner of this Raniere-based business – and despite being a teacher of this million-dollar technology – Mr. Zimmerman is apparently unable to earn a living from the business of selling people into Raniere’s “mind body complex” teachings. So, he works with his hands as a licensed massage therapist charging motley people to rub their backs at a flat rate per half hour.
His partner, ‘The Mad Doctor” Roberts performs hot-iron branding on the pubic region of women. She brands them with Keith Raniere’s initials. She is assisted by four naked women to hold the women down as they squirm and wiggle from pain.
This sounds like I’m making it up. Because if it’s true, it borders on madness.
Miss Hotaling is also involved in another of Raniere’s many business. She’s been selling people into Executive Success Programs (ESP) for years.
Business is bad now because news of the hot-iron branding has made 100s run away from Mr. Raniere’s ESP “technology.”
Miss Hotaling is also a troubadour for Raniere-world. She is a fledgling singer songwriter – and an acoustic pop rock performer. Waiting to make it big.
She sings at Raniere-events such as Vanguard Week before a captive audience. Not captivated, but captive. It is rude to walk out on someone’s performance.
Sporadically, outside of Raniere-world, she gets a gig at a coffee shop where she plays for an hour with a tip jar in front of maybe 12 people.
She posts songs on the internet where, on average, five or six people “like” or “share” them.
The music business is tough. There are many performers and the internet has changed the way paying customers buy music. When Miss Hotaling was young, she might have developed an audience. But she’s not young.
Mr. Raniere may be sporting with Miss Hotaling. He is known to mock students. She should have outgrown her stage vanity by now. Stars come out in their 20s in music. Sometimes in their 30s. She appears to be double that age.
Miss Hotaling believes in Mr. Raniere’s technology. She is giving her life to him.
She works for next to nothing wages [as many in ESP do] in return for his teachings. She believes that with just a few more ESP training sessions, she can be transformed into the next Beyonce.
People pay money to see Beyonce. People do not pay to see Miss Hotaling.
Right now, some people would pay to leave when Miss Hotaling performs at Mr. Raniere’s functions.
Is she a fool? Is she having fun? Does she believe her next “album” will make the charts?
Clare Bronfman, who underwrites all of ESP’s expenses and all of Mr. Raniere’s expenses, is the half-sister of Edgar Bronfman, Jr., who was head of Warner Music when Miss Hotaling first poked about with her guitar. He attended her performance at an a Cappella concert 10 years ago.
He didn’t sign her. She isn’t star material. She has yet to face it. Why?
Mr. Raniere’s technology?
Kathy Russell, another of Vanguard’s followers, was encouraged to be a ballerina when she was over 50. He told her she could be a great prima donna. She worked for years at low wages doing accounting for him and never saved a nickel.
She would take classes at the Saratoga ballet school with children and teens – a woman in her 50s. She would appear at children’s ballet recitals. Imagine a 55-year old woman in leotards – or, worse yet, a tu-tu – at a ballet recital dancing with children whose parents younger than Miss Russell.
Miss Russell at 55 doing pirouettes with 12-year old girls on stage before their parents. This is the archetype disciple of Keith Raniere.
And picture Miss Hotaling, scheduled to play on stage at Vanguard Week. Everybody is waiting. He is an hour late. He comes out of his cottage, with some woman, the smell of “mentoring” that woman on his face – and a hastily eaten hamburger on his breath. He is surrounded by more women who study his technology pressing near him as he strolls into the auditorium.
He is satiated and rests in his seat. His followers who waited come in and sit down.
The concert starts an hour late. Miss Hotaling goes on stage and picks up her guitar. She is an old lady. She sings. Mr. Raniere is not listening. He is surrounded by adoring women waiting for a look or a gesture from him so they can squeal with inner delight.
Miss Hotaling finishes a song and it take the audience a few seconds to realize it’s over. They were not listening. The silence awakes them. Then they applaud.
She starts her next song. Everyone is bored except Miss Hotaling. She is in love with the sound of her own voice. If Keith Raniere is not laughing inside at the fools that he despises, he may have a kindly lesson: Don’t be Miss Hotaling or Miss Russell or Squeaky Fromme. Or Evan Zimmerman.
In between massages and posting songs on the internet that nobody will listen to, they are out selling this hot new yoga technology created by Keith Raniere.
A joke is told in Raniere village: His new yoga technology is hot. Not like Hot Yoga. Hotter. So hot, it should be branded.