You don’t become the head of a weird sex cult based on extortion and manipulation without first knowing about collateral. While NXIVM mastermind and noted volleyball enthusiast Keith Raniere faces a life sentence in prison after being charged with multiple counts of sex trafficking, racketeering, and possession of child pornography, his protégé, Smallville actress-turned-cult master Allison Mack, is hoping for some mercy from the courts. Mack, who furnished federal prosecutors with one of the most damning pieces of evidence against Raniere, seemed to be on the same page as him.
Mack’s cooperation with prosecutors was outlined in a sentencing document filed in federal court in Brooklyn on Monday, according to Deadline. Mack specifically handed up an audiotape that was used as a major piece of evidence against Raniere during his trial. A distressing conversation between Mack and Raniere is captured on tape, in which they explain the process of “branding” their slaves.
Perhaps anticipating the potential for legal issue, Raniere proposes that Mack videotape the branding process so that it might be used as “collateral” if necessary later. “The person should request to be branded,” he adds. ‘Please brand me, it would be an honor,’ or something along those lines. I’m not sure if it’s an honor I want to wear for the rest of my life… They should probably say it before they’re restrained, so it doesn’t appear that they’re being forced.”
The document, which urges leniency for Mack, concedes that, while she was cooperative, she could have provided investigators with a lot more information. “Although Mack could have provided even more substantial assistance had she decided to cooperate sooner, Mack provided significant, detailed, and well corroborated information that aided the government in its prosecution,” the letter stated.
Mack was charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy on April 20, 2018 for her position in NXIVM. One year later, she pled guilty to racketeering charges and faces a sentence of 14 to 17 12 years in jail. The date of her sentence has been set for June 30th.
Raniere and Mack became the central figures in several true-crime docuseries that were released between 2019 and 2020, including HBO’s The Vow, Starz’s Seduced: Inside the NXIVM Cult, and Hulu’s The Lost Women of NXIVM.