It’s that time of year again when hundreds of faithful followers of Keith Alan Raniere would gather at the local YMCA’s 550-acre Silver Bay Resort on the shores of Lake George to pay tribute to the man-god they called The Vanguard on the occasion of his birthday.
Started by Barbara Bouchey back in 2004 or thereabouts, Vanguard Week grew almost every year – both in terms of the length of the event and in terms of the number of attendees.
When Barbara was in charge, the event also offered a wide variety of entertainment on the nights leading up to Vanguard’s birthday. In addition to allowing members to showcase their own talents, Barabra arranged for professional performers and noted artists to appear at the event.
After Barbara – and the other members of the NXIVM Nine – departed the NXIVM/ESP cult in early 2009, Clare Bronfman took over prime responsibility for organizing the event.
As might be expected, Clare cut back on the entertainment and non-cult-related activities. That’s because she wanted to focus all the attention on Keith – and because she was paying for all the other stuff.
The Typical Vanguard Week
Most Vanguard Weeks followed the same script.
The people would gather for several days before the Great One’s actual birthday on August 26th – and spend their time taking more ESP modules and amping each other up in anticipation of his arrival.
They would also spend time listening to Prefect prattle on about what a wonderful person Vanguard is – and how lucky they were that he has chosen to share his wisdom and insights with them.
Usually, no one saw the Vanguard during the early days of Vanguard Week.
That’s because he was hidden away in one of the private guest quarters at the resort – or he was staying at the Trout House in Hague, NY about 10 minutes away.
Either way, Raniere would spend those early days of Vanguard Week providing one-on-one mentoring with a few select women. And stuffing himself with pizza with hot sauce.
Then, on the night of August 25th, the Vanguard would finally show up – and allow the masses to see him and entertain him.
He would also accept all sorts of tribute from his followers: pianos, rare books, portraits, a $20 million check from the Bronfman sisters, etc.
Most of those who attended Vanguard Week spent at least $2,000 to be there (Some accommodations cost even more).
In the beginning, NXIVM just rented out as much of the resort as it needed for its attendees.
Eventually, however, NXIVM just rented out the entire facility for its festivities in order to ensure that they weren’t bothered by any non-members.
That didn’t keep John Tighe from showing up one year to take pictures of attendees from a public road that runs through the place.
So NXIVM tried to have John arrested for trespassing – and when that didn’t work, they informed the local sheriff’s office that they thought he may have poisoned the water (Oddly enough, this did not take place in 2016 – which is the year when they had the great illness breakout that former-Dr. Brandon Porter and soon-to-be-former-Doctor Danielle Roberts failed to report to the New York Department of Health).
The Decline & Fall of Vanguard Week
In 2016, Vanguard Week ran for 12-days and had more than 400 attendees (Prior years drew as many as 500 attendees).
What started the demise of Vanguard Week was, of course, Frank Parlato’s exposure of the existence of DOS – and the fact that Raniere had arranged to have numerous women branded on their vaginas with his initials.
Once that story broke in June 2017, attendance at that year’s Vanguard Week immediately plummeted.
Even when people were told that they couldn’t get a refund, they still refused to show up.
NXIVM/ESP had become toxic – and only the really hard-core members were willing to show up at an event honoring Raniere.
During Vanguard Week 2017, only about 125 people showed up – and many of them left after only a day or so.
It was rumored that Clare Bronfman had paid for all the expenses of many of the 125 attendees who did show up.
According to an exclusive Frank Report article, Clare spent more than$500,000 on Vanguard Week 2017.
So, what may have well been the last ever Vanguard Week ran from August 21, 2017 through September 1, 2017 – a total of 12 days.
In March 2018, the Vanguard was kicked out of Mexico, arrested at a border crossing, and transported to a cell at the Metropolitan Detention Center in Brooklyn, NY (He’s been at that location ever since).
And by July 2018, several of the Vanguard’s most ardent supporters had also been indicted – and placed under “house arrest” while their cases proceeded: Clare Bronfman, Nancy Salzman, Lauren Salzman, Allison Mack, and Kathy Russell.
Thus, there was no Vanguard Week celebration in 2018 – just like there won’t be one this year.
Vanguard’s Birthdays in Prison
Birthdays in prison are just like any other day in prison.
Most prisoners don’t even acknowledge their birthdays because they don’t want to think about who and what they’re missing.
For Vanguard, this has got to be an especially depressing week.
Because he’s not only spending another birthday in prison, he’s also missing out on another multi-day celebration of his birth.
And he’s missing out on all those slender young women who would have vied to be bedded by him on his special day.
He who has the most joy wins.
But he has the most joy also has the most to lose.