For readers of my ongoing reporting on NXIVM and its various offshoot programs and companies, I think a short report on its University Program may be of interest.
The first semester of the NXIVM University Program began on May 1 and ended on August 4, 2017. About 60 students reportedly signed up for what was described as an opportunity of learning from Vanguard, himself, and fast-tracking career opportunities with NXIVM. The cost is $5,000 per month or $60,000 per year.
NXIVM University is not an accredited university. The University Program is also referred to as an ‘Internship’. Students or interns ‘pass’ or ‘fail’ based on standards devised by NXIVM.
NXIVM University Program salesperson, Brian Elliot, described the curriculum, to prospective students prior to the first semester:
The content [is] going to be VERY practical in its nature, and there will be a lot focused on sales/self-marketing/enrollment.
[T]he University program is going to be like a giant customized Level 2!
An analogy used by NXIVM to encourage students to appreciate the value of the University was to compare Vanguard to Albert Einstien:
What if you could take courses with Albert Einstein while he was alive? What would that be worth to you?”
While Vanguard [Keith Raniere] never appeared in person at the University, he did deliver two lectures via video.
NXIVM High Rank also reportedly told inquirers that:
Vanguard will be using all current trainings he deems necessary, and maybe more… the amount of training they will get in comparison to the fee is the best discount this company has and ever will give.
A number of students dropped out of NXIVM University during first semester. The University campus is at 455 New Karner Road in Albany, the offices of Executive Success Programs (ESP).
The goal of NXIVM University is to offer students five ‘tracks,’ corresponding to the five ‘career’ tracks of NXIVM: Proctor, Salesperson/Field Trainer, Head Trainer, Exploration of Meaning Practitioner [EMP], and Ethicist.
But there may be other tracks. Brian Elliot told prospective students that “Vanguard is creating majors and minors – there will be more opportunities than EMP, Ethicist, HT, Proctor and FT.”
During the first semester, the following was taught:
Track 1: The Proctor Track.
In this track, the Ethos course, which is routinely taught at ESP Centers in the U.S., Mexico, and Canada, was retaught. Prefect [Nancy Salzman] appeared on occasion to read Ethos course materials and lead discussions.
Since coaches in ESP have to pay for ongoing Ethos courses, this resulted in some students paying twice for the same lesson: by paying NXIVM University tuition and fees for Ethos which is required for coaches to continue on the Stripe Path.
Track 2: Old World.
This course featured reading and re-reading the first part of George Orwell’s “1984”. It also included basic logic, and rules of grammar and punctuation.
Track 3: The Ethicist Track
The Ethicist curriculum is normally taught at ESP over an eight day training period. At the University, students embark upon an abridged format over several days. During the first semester, students did not complete the Ethicist curriculum.
During the first semester, students did not get to Track 4 for EMPs or Track 5 for Salespeople/Field Trainers. Some of the University systems, schedules, and courses were created on the spot, thereby resulting in ‘organic’ program development.
Tuition at Harvard is $43,280. Princeton: $43,450. Yale: $47,600. Cornell: $49,116. Dartmouth: $49,506. Columbia: $49,973. Notre Dame: $27, 500.
At $5,000 per month, the NXIVM University can be more expensive, on an annual basis, than any of those real schools.
Graduation depends on the High Rank at NXIVM. According to NXIVM officials, the estimated time for the average full time student is two years – and classes were initially planned to be ongoing throughout the year, meaning the cost is $60,000 per year.
Brian Elliot advised students to sign contracts that obligated them to pay $5,000 per month on an open-ended arrangement and not limit their commitment to a specific time period: “On the application, just put the monthly payment [$5,000] amount (since you don’t know how long it’ll take you to zip through to your career path!),” he advised prospective students in March, 2017.
A second semester was scheduled between September and December, but it is unclear if any students are in attendance.
Unlike real, accredited colleges and universities, NXIVM University requires its students to sign a confidentiality agreement requiring them not to disclose what they learn at the University. It is unclear why this requirement exists.