A little over two years ago, Allison Mack, formerly of Smallville fame and one-time face of cult recruitment, decided to cut to the chase, avoid a messy trial, and take a plea deal for her involvement in the NXIVM sex trafficking case. Allison wasn’t about to give the performance of her life on the defense stand (to be fair, her acting range isn’t much broader than being quirky around teenage Superman). So she pleaded guilty, likely in exchange for a shorter sentence in prison. Allison Mack is currently awaiting sentencing for her role in the NXIVM abuse, and prosecutors are trying to argue that she probably deserves a less-harsh sentence, due to her co-operation in putting NXIVM leader Keith Raniere behind bars. Gosh, an evil cult leader just can’t find loyal henchwomen any more, can they.
Branding was a big part of NXIVM’s sex trafficking side-project, “DOS” (for the Latin phrase Dominus Obsequious Sororium, roughly translated to “Master Over Slave“). NXIVM itself started out as a pseudo-self help/wellness cult-ish organization, but it turned out that was really just a cover for allegedly recruiting women into sex slavery and abuse at the hands of Keith and Allison. Some victims of NXIVM reported that they were initiated into the DOS “sisterhood” by being held down and branded with a combination of Keith and Allison’s initials. Allison previously claimed that the branding was all her idea, because it was harder than a tattoo. Keith was probably pleased as cyanide-spiked punch that Allison took the fall for him on the branding claim, but it didn’t matter much, because there was tons of evidence to make him look like pure evil, and Keith ended up being found guilty on all counts against him.
Keith is currently serving 120 years in prison. Allison is still awaiting sentencing, and it sounds like she doesn’t want to spend the rest of her life sitting ass-down on a cold cell bench. Because prosecutors allege that during Keith’s trial, Allison provided them with a recording of Keith talking about the branding, which prosecutors believe was critical information in convicting Keith. via Variety:
“Although Mack could have provided even more substantial assistance had she made the decision to cooperate earlier, Mack provided significant, detailed and highly corroborated information which assisted the government in its prosecution,” prosecutors said in the memo.
Mack did not testify at Raniere’s trial, and her cooperation was not publicly announced.
According to Variety, Keith could be heard talking to Allison, planning out how to do the branding. It’s all very analytical, like they’re in some board meeting with a PowerPoint presentation, trying to figure out if the branding matches up with the company’s mission statement. via Variety:
On the tape, Raniere could be heard talking about specific elements of the branding ceremony with Mack.
“Do you think the person who’s being branded should be completely nude and sort of held to the table like a, sort of almost like a sacrifice?” he said at one point.
He also suggested video-taping the ritual, which could be used as “collateral” to keep the person from leaving the group.
“And the person should ask to be branded,” he said on the tape. “Should say, please brand me it would be an honor, or something like that. An honor I want to wear for the rest of my life, I don’t know… And they should probably say that before they’re held down, so it doesn’t seem like they are being coerced.”
Allison’s possible attempt to get less prison time isn’t perfect. She can be heard on the tape talking about the branding, and not once does she say something like, “Keith this is literal abuse, don’t do this” or “What the fuck am I doing, I should have stuck to teen dramas on The WB.” So, evidence of having a shred of a conscience: not exactly present. Even worse, as Variety points out, prosecution mentons in that memo that her conduct in the group was that of a “master,” and that she initiated and participated in abuse. Allison’s lawyers will provide their own sentencing memo by Friday of this week. She’s scheduled to be sentenced on June 30th.
All this work, and for what? I know Allison probably hopes it’s all for less years on her sentence. But this isn’t a crime like removing a mattress tag. That judge might as well look at all those memos, and say: “So you turned snitch on your boss. Okay? And? I should be sentencing you and Keith to a million and a half years in the worst level of Hell. Whatever I give you will technically qualify as a reduced sentence.”