This week, former “Smallville” star Allison Mack was sentenced to three years in prison for the role she played in the notorious NXIVM sex cult case.
Mack, in her capacity as “slave master” for the cult, which was headed by self-styled self-help guru Keith Raniere, “willingly enslaved, destabilized, and manipulated other women so that when they were at their most vulnerable.”
Raniere was sentenced to 120 years for sex trafficking last year. Mack, for her part, was facing 17 years. She has also been ordered to do 1,000 hours of community service and pay a $20,000 fine for the role she played in Raniere’s twisted scheme.
The judge distinctly noted that Mack had used her celebrity status to hook women into her cult, Variety reported.
“You abused this position of power to persuade and pressure women to join DOS,” he wrote. “You capitalized on your celebrity and these individuals’ eagerness to be close to you, told them you were recruiting them for a ‘women’s empowerment’ sorority, and misrepresented and obscured fundamental facts about the organization and the conditions of membership. You told them that Keith Raniere was not involved. You did not tell them that they would be required to engage in sexual conduct.”
U.S. District Court Judge Nicholas Garaufis described how Mack required “collateral” from the “slaves” who joined her NXIVM offshoot, DOS. These included explicit photographs, credit card authorizations, and even the right to a family heirloom and false confessions accusing family members of sexual abuse.
According to victims’ testimony, the women feared that this “collateral” would be forfeited should they violate their commitment to secrecy.
“In other words, you demanded that these women give you the keys to the most intimate, personal, and valuable parts of themselves, so that you could maintain power over them and have leverage to direct them to do anything you wanted,” Garaufis scathingly noted.
Mack, who pled guilty in 2019, used the women to do her will, the judge said, even to the point of engaging in sexual acts with Raniere, which they said they never would have performed otherwise had they not been so deeply manipulated and coerced into obeying Mack’s every whim.
“And what did you direct them to do, using your leverage? You directed them to subject themselves to extreme sleep and food deprivation and geographical isolation, and to perform uncompensated labor whenever asked, often for your own benefit or gain,” Judge Garaufis explained.
“You directed them to submit nude photographs of themselves, and to be branded on their pubic areas with a symbol that, unbeknownst to them, included Mr. Raniere’s initials. And in several cases, you directed your slaves to engage in sexual contact with Mr. Raniere. You used your leverage, your power over these women, to recruit and groom them as sexual partners for Mr. Raniere, and to pressure them into engaging in sexual acts that – according to their testimony – they did not want to engage in and would not have engaged in voluntarily.”
What is particularly chilling about this case is that these women were coerced, degraded, and abused into behaving as literal slaves, fearful that their lives would otherwise be completely ruined if they sought help from anyone or went public.
And this was all done by a woman for the sake of pleasing a man who wanted to behave as a master to them all.
Garaufis noted that Raniere’s twisted game of manipulation and control wouldn’t have been possible without Mack’s assistance.
“You willingly enslaved, destabilized, and manipulated other women so that when they were at their most vulnerable, when they believed that they owed you total obedience and that anything less than that would cause them serious personal and financial harm, when you had taken from them their sense of agency to make their own choices, you gave them ‘special assignments’ to satisfy Mr. Raniere’s sexual interests,” the judge wrote.
“Mr. Raniere could not have done that without you. You did that together. The evidence presented at his trial demonstrated that you were not a begrudging or passive enabler, but rather that you were a willing and proactive ally.”
Garaufis also noted, however, that as Mack was serving as a twisted master over these women, she was also still so deeply under Raniere’s control that she could also be considered as one of his victims, and believed her expression of remorse was genuine.
“In Nxivm language, you are a slave as well as a master. It’s hard to determine a sentence for a defendant who is also her co-conspirator’s victim,” he wrote, according to The Daily Mail.
“Your punishment should serve as a forceful deterrent and a serious sentence is important, but I don’t doubt that you were also manipulated,” he added. Mack cooperated with authorities during Raniere’s case, providing key pieces of evidence that led to his conviction.
Jessica Joan, one of the few former NXIVM members who appeared in court, did not believe Mack’s apology, however.
“Shine light on who Allison Mack really is. Allison is a predator, a danger to society, and has no remorse for her victims,” she said in court.
“She is the Ghislaine Maxwell to Keith’s Jeffrey Epstein.”
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