You don’t become the master of a bizarre sex cult built on blackmail and manipulation without learning a little something about collateral. While NXIVM mastermind and noted volleyball enthusiast Keith Raniere will be spending the next 120 years of his life 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 that the courts will show her some leniency. Considering that Mack is the one who provided federal prosecutors with one of their most damning pieces of evidence against Raniere, they seem to be on the same page.
On Monday, Deadline reported that a sentencing memo filed in a federal court in Brooklyn detailed the assistance that Mack provided to prosecutors. Specifically, Mack handed over an audiotape that was played several times during Raniere’s trial as a key piece of evidence against him. The recording is of a disturbing conversation between Mack and Raniere, in which they discuss the process of “branding” their slaves.
Perhaps sensing the legal troubles that might one day find him, at one point in the conversation Raniere suggests that Mack videotape the branding ritual, so that it could later be used as “collateral” if necessary. He also says that, “The person should ask to be branded. 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.”
The memo, which recommends favorable sentencing for Mack, acknowledges that while the former actress was cooperative, she could have provided much more information to investigators. “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,” the memo read.
Mack was arrested on April 20, 2018 for her role in NXIVM and charged with sex trafficking, sex trafficking conspiracy, and forced labor conspiracy. She pleaded guilty to racketeering charges one year later and is looking at between 14 and 17 ½ years in prison. Her sentencing is scheduled 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.