Former attendee of Vanguard Week says the event was beautiful, inspiring; YMCA had no way of knowing about creepy Vanguard

The beautiful grounds of Silver Bay where V-Week was held.

By A Former NXIVM Student who Attended V-Week

I was quite alarmed to read the Silverbay accusations.

I think you should withdraw it immediately. It’s not fair.  It’s not right and there’s no way those people would know just because they were warned.

That wouldn’t be any evidence.

I went to Vanguard Week. It was an extraordinary event and it was beautiful. I would’ve recommended it to anybody. It was only when I found out all this, which there was no way to know then – did I have any reason to suspect sex slavery.

Anyway, I think it’s over-the-top to accuse the YMCA of renting it out. I think you should withdraw the article.

Frank …  I’ve been all over Europe and the world. I have had the privilege of having extraordinary instructors around the world and the reason I say V-Week was the most joyous event is because – not only was it a gorgeous setting — beautiful with lovely food served throughout the whole time – and well organized services – it consisted of –  and I guess you never knew about this – an array of speakers from around the world – each famous in an area, educated, and extraordinary speakers or people with unusual skills. They had monks demonstrating 2-toned singing. The rarest group in the world of song. They had a famous UFO  investigator who never appears.  A rare opportunity.

They had sporting events for everyone. The students put on an opera – who had never performed opera before.  And it was a credible job.

No one could ever have known the sordid side of Keith etc if they attended or hosted. (As in the YMCA).

[That year] Keith was not at the event other than to watch the opera.

And again, the YMC would have been and should have been nothing but proud to have such a group at the resort.

Of course it cost a bundle. But it wasn’t cheap to go either and worth every penny.

So in the week they hired different people. To hear and learn from. There were creative exercises and so very many programs to choose from. I still hold it as a time I witnessed firsthand the amazing power of human potential coming together. In cooperative participation.

I do not know who created all that I received. But it was a miracle of witnessing human potential In action. All these things are what went on at V-Week

Yes, Keith was off in a house off the property as you reported, and surely the harem serviced him there. But the YMCA had no part of that.

I’m telling you these things in hope you withdraw the article and consider apologizing to the YMCA, if they saw it.  It is unfair please reconsider.

Please take it off your site; it is harmful to a worthy organization.


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Frank Parlato


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  • “I have been all over Europe and the world”… As soon as you read that, you know that the words of a self aggrandizing vacuous twat will follow.

    A 2-toned singer and a reclusive UFO expert were featured at V-week! LOL!!! Do any of the spoiled dimwits who attend even know what real life is like for most people? Its amazing what people with empty lives will do to achieve a little “fulfillment.” I’d love to have been a fly on the wall at Vanguard week, it must’ve been comedic gold.

    I’m sure all the menial labor staff that served these people, who probably have the meaningful lives that these NEXIUM people were looking for, were rolling their eyes and laughing the back rooms.

  • ” The students put on an opera – who had never performed opera before. And it was a credible job.” As a musician and an opera fan I can assure you this was not “a credible job’. You paid to be lied to. The Y M CHRISTIAN A should be held accountable for this gross travesty.

  • First time visitor…. a QANON follower. While I’m interested in this story and believe it’s important, please don’t be arrogant and stupid. Be safe and take precautions. Report the story anonymously. I’m sure there are federal resources (white hats) already pursuing these EVIL creatures. Praying for your safety.

  • Yeah, sorry. Ain’t buying what you’re selling. This reeks of someone who is a NXIVM supporter. YMCA deserves any negative attention it gets from their association with this awful group and for turning a blind eye to the many accusations.

    • Here’s the thing:

      NXIVM obviously was dirty, and criminal, and a whole lot of other bad things, too.


      There is/were/are a small amount of people claiming to be hurt by NXIVM, relative to the estimated 6,000 people who were ever involved with it.

      Frank obviously has his own biases against them (with good reason, I might add), but it would be nice to hear “what the other side has to say”, too. They were around for a while, and must have helped some people too.

      Frank, is there any way to get any pro-NXIVM voices heard, besides Onyu?

      Let the trolling/insults begin. .

      • Whining about peoples’ responses before you even get them… Well, that speaks for itself.

        If people are honest with themselves, there is nobody who has attended an intensive that hasn’t been hurt in some way.

        The way they are breaking people down is not at all the right way to help people.

        I was an emotional trainwreck after 5 days of that garbage, and it took years to get to a better place. I sincerely doubt that the one girl who was reported about going straight to the psych unit from an intensive was the only one. Fortunately for me, I was strong enough to get through it.

        No way in hell would I believe for five seconds that I would have been better off with another 11 days of it.

        Not that I actually believe 6,000 people have attended them. That is exaggerated as much as Raniere’s IQ, and a garbage marketing figure, IMO.

        Even if they managed to run one intensive a month, when were there ever more than 20 people and they would be lucky to have even half of them stick around for the full thing. Counting the various locations, I don’t think they ever came anywhere near 6,000 people.

        I don’t really see why it would matter if anybody did show up to speak on behalf of NXIVM. Nobody in their right mind would believe anything they say, anyhow. Especially not those of us who have lived any experience with it. Besides, from my experience, none of them would sound much different than Pea Onyu, anyhow. It’s all warped, irrational regurgitation of word salad.

        • I’m interested in forming my own opinions, based on “both sides of the story”, not letting others tell me what to think.

          Frank Report has done a great job of reporting the facts, but you can see the bias of the authors. I can understand it, too. It was totally rotten what they did to Frank after he had saved the 2 brats a lot of money, and he wasn’t the only one to incur unjustified wrath from Vanguard.

          I don’t remember where, but I’m pretty sure I read somewhere on here that 6000 (est.) was the number of people who were ever involved with NXIVM in some capacity. Again, don’t hold me to it.

          There’s an old saying that “history is written by its winners”, and that is my reasoning for wanting to hear what the “losers” have to say. I’m not so sure that Pea Onyu isn’t a troll, and rather than hear her raving about “the greatness of Vanguard”, I’d rather hear fact-based testimony, written matter-of-factly: “I took a 5-day intensive in 2007, to help me overcome ‘my issue with’; this is what they did, and as a result, ‘this’ happened”; Toni Natalie even said that they helped her kick her smoking habit (but she paid a hell of a price for that).

          DOS and the slave stuff was a small group within a group, and it’s doubtful that the majority of people in NXIVM even knew about any of the shady stuff.

          All I’m really asking for here, is a more complete picture of the group. Grigoriadis’ articles were pro-NXIVM, but she wasn’t an insider.

  • I was told from a person at several V week events, that the food sucked and was salty. I was also told of certain preformors who were “the best in the world” teaching different skills. Of course I decided to google the names of several of these so called “best in the world” people, not much to my surprise, they are completely unheard of, no available information on them. Just more NXIVM lies.


    Don’t you get it? None of the stuff is true. ESP and NXIVM would lie about everything.

    It was not an exclusive group of monks. Many Tibetan Buddhist Monks can do throat singing. Many can use the thighbone horns.

    The UFO specialist probably never appears, because he’s not credible and no one wants him to appear.

    Nancy Salzman was not an ethicist. Clare Bronfman was never ranked for Equestrian skills. Keith’s GPA was 2.2

  • I was at the VWeek this person speaks about, it probably was 10 years ago, and back then it was a great conference. The company had a lot of sponsors who brought in TED-level performers to show examples of exceptional human performance, mainly singing, dancing, artistic endeavors. I’ve been to several TED events & the Summit Series, these and similar events happen all over the world. They were mimicking other conferences, and overall it was still a good event. The Lake George area is beautiful in the fall. This was before most of the sex stuff, and there was no DOS and not many celebrities for Keith to lust after back then. If sex/harem stuff was going on, which I think it was, it was very hidden. Frank might have even been to this VWeek. Sorry but most people commenting have no idea what they are talking about, and condemning the YMCA is just ridiculous.

    • I agree that the story is believable. People often forget how cults work. It was not as bad in the beginning, but it devolved over the years as VanDouche became more arrogant, lecherous, and destructive as time went by, a pattern reflected in his past history that wasn’t as well known at the time. Unfortunately, the reliability and trustworthiness of the people involved in NXIVM who did have good intentions masked what VanDouche could get away with behind the scenes – along with the Bronfman millions – made it last longer than it should have.

  • You don’t think the YMCA should have investigated? They must have been aware of the food poisoning incident. Would you say that was worthy of investigating? Especially when it had to be obvious that it was not reported to the local Health dept. Staff at the facility had to have witnessed events that they reported to their superiors.

    • Excellent point. Any other establishment would lose their Food Establishment Permit over not reporting a mass incident like that.

  • Since John Tighe wrote several blog posts about what was actually going on at Silver Bay – and since I personally informed each individual Board Member of the Silver Bay YMCA about the same thing – there simply is no way for that group to claim that they were uninformed. And as a former Board Member of the Saratoga Springs YMCA – and one who co-chaired a campaign that raised more than $500,000 to help build a new facility there – I am certainly not an anti-YMCA person.

    The simple reality is that the Board of Directors of the Silver Bay YMCA allowed themselves to be bought off with money from the Bronfmans. That hardly makes them unique in Upstate New York.

  • Ignorance may be bliss, but informed ignorance (e.g. the MANY warnings that had been issued by a wide variety of sources up to and including that week) is willful ignorance. As for the YMCA, they have their own problems, but turning down money, most certainly, is not one of them.

  • The truth should never be hidden, but always be exposed to the light. The NXIVM student needs a little more education.

  • “with lovely food served throughout the whole time”

    One year the attendees of Vanguard Week got food poisoning under mysterious circumstances.
    “It was only when I found out all this, which there was no way to know then – did I have any reason to suspect sex slavery.”

    As early as 2009 the Dalai Lama had heard rumors of Raniere’s pedophilia.
    This NXIVM student is so gushing and over the top in his/her praise of the event that I must conclude that this person is a fairly hard core member of the cult.
    Everything is the “most joyous” and “most wonderful.”
    ” I think it’s over-the-top”

    The only thing that’s over the top in this story is the joyous praise of the wonders of NXIVM’s VD Week.

About the Author

Frank Parlato is an investigative journalist.

His work has been cited in hundreds of news outlets, like The New York Times, The Daily Mail, VICE News, CBS News, Fox News, New York Post, New York Daily News, Oxygen, Rolling Stone, People Magazine, The Sun, The Times of London, CBS Inside Edition, among many others in all five continents.

His work to expose and take down NXIVM is featured in books like “Captive” by Catherine Oxenberg, “Scarred” by Sarah Edmonson, “The Program” by Toni Natalie, and “NXIVM. La Secta Que Sedujo al Poder en México” by Juan Alberto Vasquez.

Parlato has been prominently featured on HBO’s docuseries “The Vow” and was the lead investigator and coordinating producer for Investigation Discovery’s “The Lost Women of NXIVM.” In addition, he was credited in the Starz docuseries 'Seduced' for saving 'slave' women from being branded and escaping the sex-slave cult known as DOS.

Parlato appeared on the Nancy Grace Show, Beyond the Headlines with Gretchen Carlson, Dr. Oz, American Greed, Dateline NBC, and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, where Parlato conducted the first-ever interview with Keith Raniere after his arrest. This was ironic, as many credit Parlato as one of the primary architects of his arrest and the cratering of the cult he founded.

Parlato is a consulting producer and appears in TNT's The Heiress and the Sex Cult, which premieres on May 22, 2022.

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Contact Frank with tips or for help.
Phone / Text: (305) 783-7083