August 26th has arrived – and with it, the 60th birthday of Keith Alan Raniere and the 22nd anniversary of the creation of his alter-ego, The Vanguard.
Normally, this would have been a day of great celebration as hundreds of his NXIVM/ESP acolytes gathered together at the Silver Bay Resort on Lake George in Upstate New York as part of the 10-day celebration of his birth known as Vanguard Week.
But, alas, the last of these Vanguard Week celebrations took place in 2017 – and, truth be told, that one was not exactly a glorious affair as only about 125 of his most dedicated followers showed up to honor the man who would soon be on the lam.
Just a few months before the 2017 festivities, Frank Parlato broke the story about the secret “Dominus Obsequious Sororium” (DOS) society that Raniere/Vanguard had created – and its blackmail-and-branding practices.
Those revelations immediately caused many NXIVM/ESP members to cancel their Vanguard Week reservations – and many more to quit the organization altogether.
Eventually, those revelations would lead to the downfall of Raniere/Vanguard – and his ultimate arrest, conviction, and incarceration.
Some would argue that The Vanguard died in 2017 because that was the last time there was actually a Vanguard Week.
But we at the Frank Report believe that as long as he’s got women dancing in front of his prison, The Vanguard lives on.
How It All Began
For new readers of the Frank Report – and those numbers are growing again as the time draws near for the sentencing of Raniere/Vanguard and five of his most ardent followers and as “The Vow” introduces the NXIVM/ESP storyline to millions of viewers across the country – I want to take a minute and review some historical facts about the man and the myth.
Frequent readers of Frank Report can either skip over this part – or just re-read it for the sheer joy it brings to remember just how outrageous Raniere/Vanguard was when it came to describing his attributes and accomplishments.
He was born in Brooklyn, NY on August 26, 1960 to James Raniere, a New York City advertising executive, and his wife, Vera, a ballroom dance instructor (How ironic that 60 years later he’s back in Brooklyn – ensconced at the Metropolitan Detention Center on 29th Street).
When he was five years old, his parents moved from Brooklyn to Suffern, NY. About three years later, his parents separated – and he stayed in Suffern with his Mom until she died when he was 17.
He began school in a Waldorf school but transferred to a public school starting with junior high. Next, he attended Rockland County Day School in Congers, NY – where he graduated from in June 1978, just two months shy of his 18th birthday.
After high school, he attended Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (RPI) in Troy, NY – where he managed to graduate with a triple major in Biology, Math, and Physics.
After graduating from RPI, he took a job working as a computer programmer for New York State.
As it turns out, Keith does not have a very good memory.
Or, put another way, Keith has an average memory but a supercharged imagination.
In any event, as Keith went about meeting people at RPI and settling into the Capital Region as his new home, he “misremembered” a few facts about his youth.
Or, put another way, he came up with a series of unprovable claims that most people would label as delusional bullshit.
Here are some examples of what I’m talking about:
He claims that by the age of 1, he could construct full sentences and questions.
He claims that by the age of 2, he could spell the word “homogenized” from seeing it on a milk carton – and read some books.
He claims that by the age of 4, he had an understanding of quantum physics – and computers. [In 1964 there were no home computers.]
He claims that when he was 11, he won the East Coast Judo Championship.
He claims that at the age of 12, he taught himself to play piano at concert-level – and mastered many other instruments. He also claims he taught himself all aspects of high school mathematics over a period of 19-hours. And he claims that before the year was done, he had read “The Second Foundation” by Isaac Asimov – “…and was inspired by the concepts of optimal human communication to start to develop the theory and practice of Rational Inquiry™.”
One would think that after all that activity at age 12, he might have rested for the next couple of years. But that’s not how someone becomes The Vanguard.
And so it was he claims that when he was 13, he took and passed the 9th, 10th and 11th grade New York State Regents’ mathematics exams – and taught himself the first two years of college mathematics. It was this same year – i.e., 1973 – he claims that he began working as a professional computer programmer.
Although previously cited records indicate that he graduated from high school just two months shy of his 18th birthday, his biography indicates that he started attending RPI when he was just 16 – and that he took PH.D. mathematics classes throughout his time there.
Oddly enough, when he was questioned under oath in the Rick Ross lawsuit, he indicated that he actually started attending RTPI just after his 17th birthday.
But regardless of when he actually attended RPI, one thing is certain: he was not a very good student.
In addition to being placed on academic probation for his less than stellar grades – and not graduating with his original Class of 1982 cadre – his final Grade Point Average (GPA) at RPI was 2.26 – which would be less than a C+ in letter grades.
What Will His Birthday Be Like at MDC?
Birthdays in prisons are never really joyous occasions – but for guys that are popular, it’s not uncommon for other inmates to put together some sort of celebration.
Sometimes, guys will pool their commissary food – and put together a decent meal for the celebrant (There’s actually a “Prison Cookbook” in most prison libraries with recipes for meals that can be made from food that’s available from the commissary).
Sometimes, guys will do special favors for a guy on his birthday: e.g., they’ll wash, dry and fold his laundry – or pass along a new book that they received before they’ve read it.
But, regardless of what the usual practices are, in Keith’s unit at MDC, it’s unlikely that he’ll get any special treats today.
In part, that’s because he’s been identified as a Sex Offender (“SO”) – which is a bad label to have in most prisons.
But mostly it’s because he’s shown himself to be a weak and pathetic figure who can’t properly defend himself – and who has little concern for other prisoners.
Lots More Birthdays Like This Ahead?
Two months from tomorrow, Keith is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas G. Garaufis.
Most attorneys who have been observing this case believe that his sentence will be somewhere between 30-years and life – which sounds about right to me.
So, is he destined to have a lot more birthdays like this?
Or will he die long before he would have completed his sentence?
That’s really the only open question right now…
Happy Birthday, Keith!